Having afternoon tea at Plaza Athénée has always been a dream. I remember talking about doing this with Ferrandi classmates when I first arrived in Paris three years ago, all of us in awe by what we’ve heard about chef Christophe Michalak and his fantastic pastry creations. As this luxury 5 star hotel soon went under renovation, I didn’t get to come until very recently…thanks to Carin who suggested that we spend an afternoon here. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get many photos of Le Galerie as there were too many guests around, so you will just have to visit and see this beautiful place for yourself.
On this afternoon, we decided on Le Goûter by Michalak (€48 including a hot beverage) to try a selection of the chef’s creations. For tea, I chose the Mélange Plaza, a particularly fruity tea flavored with figs, grapes and quinces, while Carin went with Pouchkine vert, a green tea with bergamot from Calabria, citrus fruit, and peels (included in the set, or €14 a la carte).
On to the pastries. Le Goûter by Michalak, inspired by the reopening of Plaza Athénée, is composed of 11~12 sweet bites created by Christophe Michalak and Jean-Marie Hiblot. On the day of our visit, this included: two ice-cream bites (chocolate and lime), fig tart, tropezienne, strawberry macaron, caramel chou, mille feuille, chocolate mousse, lime verbena tiramisu, saffron panna cotta with peaches, and honey sesame financiers.
And what delicious bites these are! Other than the saffron panna cotta which tasted too strong for me (generally not a fan of saffron flavors in desserts), everything else was a delight. Even something as simple as the tropezienne (vanilla cream sandwiched between orange blossom water-flavored brioche) was meticulously done. A gorgeous three-tier affair indeed.
We also tried the “religieuse caramel au beurre de sel”, a signature dessert of Christophe Michalak. The caramel cream was surprisingly light, we easily polished this off despite all the sweet things that were already in our stomachs…
A most lovely afternoon. We lingered for hours in our ultra-comfortable couches, enjoying the ensuing food coma while being pampered by the warm service. I hope it won’t be long till I come back again.