29th October 2018
The world’s most exclusive purveyor of luxury teas and France’s oldest tea house, Mariage Frères, has opened its first UK tea emporium in September. Bringing tea savoir-faire to the capital, the brand’s largest branch to date is housed in a beautiful five-storey listed Georgian townhouse on Covent Garden’s King Street.
Offering the largest collection of teas in the world, from vintage and rare to fruit and herbal, the UK flagship of Mariage Frères boasts a stunning retail space, restaurant specialising in tea gastronomy, a tea museum and two private event spaces.
The Comptoir de Thé on the ground floor is an expansive tea emporium, incorporating the longest tea wall in the world, with close to 1,000 varieties of rare teas displayed apothecary-style.
Other products, all beautifully packaged, include an assortment of tea-flavoured and tea-scented items such as signature fragrances, incense and candles, confectionary, gift sets, distinctive teapots and teacups, books, strainers and tea paraphernalia.
A selection of freshly brewed Mariage Frères teas are also be available to-go alongside freshly prepared sweet and savoury pastries on the ground floor.
On the first floor, diners at the 100-cover Salon de Thé is seated in the ornate gallery, flooded with daylight from the atrium above and surrounded by an intricate listed heritage balustrade. Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, Mariage Frère’s unique Cuisine au Thé concept runs throughout the menus with head chef, Felix Richard, using tea as a delicate ingredient, spice or flavouring. Dishes include houmous-style butternut squash and Vert Provence® tea with shrimp and orange zest, chickpeas and pomegranate glaze; Thai style seared beef tartar with coriander and Lune Rouge Tea, dark chocolate gateau flavoured with Black Magic Tea, wrapped in gold leaf with a fleur de sel caramel core and red currant coulis.
The Musée du Thé on the second floor showcases tea antiques from around the world. Hand-illustrated oak and beech tea chests, pewter tea boxes, Chinese furniture made of carved wood, caddies, cannisters, teapots, old archives and an array of curiosities line the walls providing a fascinating insight into the history of tea.
The third and fourth floors house two private rooms, accommodating up to 30 seated and 50 standing, one with its own terrace; as well as a trade showroom.
Mariage Frères has been operating out of the Marais district of Paris since 1854 when it was founded by brothers Henri and Edouard Mariage. Its exceptional reputation, specialist tea salons across the world, gourmet products and unique Cuisine au Thé concept has created an iconic French brand favoured by haute couture fashion houses, supermodels and celebrities.
The brand is currently stocked in Selfridges and available in London restaurants and hotels such as The Rosewood, Claridge’s, and Hide.