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tea trip

June 9, 2007

My friend Travis and I take the TGV up to Paris to attend a bloggers picnic in Buttes Chaumont. (What a well kept Parisian secret this beautiful park, designed by Baron Haussman, is). First stop is the Mariage Freres shop in the Marais. It is ironic really, that the best tea shop in the world is in France, which is of course, a country of coffee-drinkers. Shopping at Mariage Freres (there are several boutiques in Paris) is always such a fantastic experience: you step into the cool, dark interior, where the assistants are dressed in pale colonial style suits, and the air is perfumed with a sweet green melange of of over 500 exotic teas.

As usual here, I am overcome by a wave of consumerism and end up buying four different types of tea, including Boudha Bleu (a non-bitter green tea with fruit notes), Marco Polo Vert (a a delicious tea with a bouquet of vanilla and fruit), and a tin of white tea hand tied in little boules, which open up like a lotus flower when you drop one into hot water. I will never get through all this tea – not in five years. But it doesn’t matter. As one of my French friends domiciled in the UK points out, you can never have too much Mariage Freres, as you can always gift it on, tea from MF being one of the chicest offerings around at the moment, if you are visiting friends in London. Travis discovers that for an extra four or five euros, you can have the tea dispensed into a chic little black canister, so that it lasts much longer. Well, at least I know for next time.

comments (10)

1. Posted by Chris on June 12, 2007 3:44 PM

You have such exquisite taste Mimi. Have you tried the Buddha Bleu, quite amazing and also in summer my favourite is the Casablanca mint tea with Bergamot...

2. Posted by Laurent on June 12, 2007 4:03 PM

Aaaaaaaah! Mariage Freres! The essential place to stock up on Parisian chic..... I miss it so much!

3. Posted by Jeannie on June 12, 2007 8:01 PM

Right then - it's about time I popped over - and helped you drink all that tea. You are sooooo chic...I feel tres shabby - you've not once mentioned a nice pot of Tetleys or PG Tips.

4. Posted by thebride on June 13, 2007 11:00 AM

very lovely tea news... but blogger picnic?? Do tell! Sounds like the French have turned geek to chic if bloggers meet for picnics!

5. Posted by mimi pompom on June 13, 2007 11:36 AM

Read all about theh bloggers picnic in the FT Arts section soon! Geek to chic - now why didn't I think of that? Mx

6. Posted by tippitybit on June 13, 2007 11:41 AM

Yes, can't quite see you slumming it at a bloggers picnic. Was there waiter service? At the very least there must have been champagne involved.

7. Posted by Mr Ocket on June 13, 2007 4:43 PM

Yes, enouth detail on the tea. What happens at a bloggers picnic?

8. Posted by Noel on June 14, 2007 6:42 AM

You create such evocative descriptions I feel that I'm almost there, Mimi. I haven't tried MF, but will be doing so as soon as possible! Thanks for the tip. x

9. Posted by frog with a blog on June 14, 2007 8:29 AM

Geek to Chic, I love it. But if you had been there you'd have thought our behaviour was more "Chic to freak".
Was anyway lovely meeting you MimiPompom and hope we'll have more time to chat next time.

10. Posted by Pierre L on June 24, 2007 8:39 PM

Hello MimiPompom. I have just been reading your excellent article in this weekend's FT. I will be back to read you other posts.

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