Mariage Frères, Paris’s famous vintage-style tea emporium, has just opened in Covent Garden – and it’s home to the largest collection of tea in the world.
Hidden away inside a beautiful five-storey Georgian townhouse in central London, Mariage Frères boasts an amazing restaurant, retail space, museum and two private event spaces. On the ground floor, you’ll discover a seriously long apothecary-style wall, home to the world’s largest tea collection. There are 1,000 varieties from 36 different countries, and they’re all available to purchase by weight. There are white, yellow, green, blue, black and red teas, as well as fruity teas, vintage teas and unique harvest blends. (See also: restaurants in Covent Garden.)
Tea-infused grub ☕️?
Salon de Thé is the on-site restaurant, found on the first floor, and it specialises in tea gastronomy. Guests can either sit in the Voyage, a bright and airy gallery, or the White Himalaya room, surrounded by antique tea canisters.
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, Mariage Frères uses tea in every dish, either as a delicate ingredient, spice or flavouring. For example, dip sweet potato crisps into guacamole made with matcha green tea, or scoff on Thai-style beef tartar seasoned with tea, honey soy sauce, ginger, cashew and toasted sesame. There’ll also be some seriously decadent desserts, like the dark chocolate pudding covered with black tea and 24-carat gold leaves.
Brunch is a essential part of the menu, and there’s everything from scrambled eggs seasoned with matcha, to toasted brioche with tea jelly. If you’re just after a quickie on your lunch break, they also have over 50 types of tea to take away, as well as open sandwiches, and sweet and savoury pastries.
Tea-inspired cocktails ☕️?
There’s also a wide selection of tea cocktails, such as the Opéra Blue Dream with blue tea, red fruits, vanilla aromas and gin and the Mirabeau Ballet with black tea, red hibiscus, liquorice, lychee and white rum.
Museum of curiositeas ☕️?
The museum, on the other hand, can be found on the second floor. It showcases antiques from around the world, including the Mariage Frères family’s personal collection from their years travelling at sea. Expect to see beautiful tea caddies, teapots, hand-illustrated oak and beech tea chests, etc. It all gives an incredible insight into the history of the humble brew.
Location: 38 King Street, WC2E 8JS. Nearest station is Covent Garden or Leicester Square. See it on Google maps.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am–10pm.
Prices: Average spend per head is £50. Tea cocktails cost £12.
More information: on the Mariage Frères website.