When the heavens open in Paris and driving Spring rain pelts on even the most chic of umbrellas, the City of Light always has a bright side.
On the popular Rive Gauche (Left Bank of the Seine), near the Sorbonne and Pantheon and just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Boulevard Saint-Germain, I’ve recently discovered a new quiet haven on rue des Ecoles: the Hôtel des Bulles de Paris.
This charming, modern hotel has a theme around bubbles. Happily we’re talking about my favourite bubbles: Champagne.
Just walking directly into the lobby, the welcoming staff is bubbly. Led (couldn’t resist that one) into the sparkling breakfast and tea-room on even the most gloomiest of days, the room is dappled in light with a very apt quotation from Louis Pasteur decorating the pastel walls:
Un repas sans Champagne est comme un jour sans soleil
A meal without Champagne is like a day without sunshine
This new teatime brings back the sunshine. There’s no need for a menu since the choice is pure and simple: tea or Champagne – or both – served with the hotel’s signature patisserie.
To accompany the patisserie, two teas have been chosen by master of teas, Madame Tseng of La Maison des Trois Thés, nearby in rue Saint-Médard. Either choose a rather subtle black tea from Nepal, Makalu SFTGFOP 2nd flush. Tasting it on its own before the patisserie, I was trying to pin down the floral, fruity Muscat and rose notes with an accent of honey. It wasn’t until I tried it with the patisserie that the flavours came through, and could then see why it was a good match.
For those of you like myself who love a more fragrant floral tea, then go for Madame Tseng’s white Jasmine tea, Xiu Qiu, from the Chinese province of Fujian. Even the hand-rolled pearl-shaped tea-leaves evoke the idea of bubbles!
The signature patisserie’s design had been re-modelled as an Easter egg nesting on strands of white chocolate, but the pastry remains the same: hiding inside the pearl-rose white chocolate shell is a Champagne jelly, topped with a raspberry sponge and delicate vanilla mousse.
The real honour of this new teatime goes to the Champagne, selected by the Hotel des Bulles de Paris by Bocquillon: a Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru with white floral notes, white fruits and a subtle hint of citrus, the perfect match with the patisserie.
If you do opt for the tea and Champagne, I would recommend tasting the tea first and finishing off with the bubbles.
Peeking inside the Champagne bar, I couldn’t help being drawn in to its quirky bubbly decor, and can just imagine finishing off the day after my chocolate and pastry walk nearby in Saint Germain with a glass of one of their wide choice of Champagnes in a bubble chair. I hear another of their walls speak to me:
Start the day with a smile and end it with Champagne
I can see clearly now the rain has gone.
The new Champagne Teatime is served Wednesday – Sunday, 2.30pm-5.30pm
Signature Pâtisserie with choice of two teas or a glass of House Champagne: 15€
(for all 3: €20)
Hôtel Les Bulles de Paris
32 rue des Ecoles
This article is published on BonjourParis.com