If Marie-Antoinette were alive, wouldn't this be her hideout for teatime? Located next to the place Vendôme, the heart of the capital, Nina’s Paris is an exclusive Marie-Antoinette concept store. This tea shop succeeds its origin perfumery “La Distillerie Frères” since 1672, specialized in the production of lavender essential oils. And it was the official supplier of fragrances to the Court of Versailles under Louis XIV. We introduce you to the loveliest pink tea salon in Paris.
This pretty tea room is designed in rococo style, Marie-Antoinette’s taste. Rose chairs, white cabinets decorated with luxury gold lines enhance the romantic mood. The gold decoration is the same one of the palace Versailles. It is the perfect place to have a lovely afternoon in a peaceful atmosphere. You will feel like you’re invited to the queen’s alcove as her bestie, a secret place where only her intimates can get in.
You can find traces of Marie-Antoinette here and there. Upon entering, the original marble bust of the queen greets you. Nina's Paris is the owner of this bust, which represents the unique identity of the tea salon specially created for the queen. This is the work of artist Felix Lecomte, who created statues of nobles and great figures in the 18th century.
Before going up the stairs on the first floor, on your right side, you can see her lost shoe she wore before being executed by guillotine. This is the only one replica made in the same traditional way in 1793, and certified by the Museum of Caen. The image of the queen who lost a shoe like Cinderella will be vividly pictured in front of your eyes when you see it.
And on the left is the original letter written by her to cousin cardinal Honorati on the 13th July in 1777, about his elevation of dignity as a cardinal. It is her signed handwritten letter. Rather than only looking some portraits and objects of the queen, you can feel better her presence by reading this real writing. You will feel like you are travelling backwards in her time.
Besides, several different portraits of her on the wall will remind you that this is a special place only for her. Especially on the first floor, there is a work by Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun, the most well-known portrait of the queen. All these precious antiquities are on display in the store, Nina’s Paris is a kind of petit museum.
There is a large selection of teas made of various fruits and flowers, as well as orange, sunflower and herb. In addition, as many teas have their own adorable name like "Jamais vu" (Never seen) and "Je t'aime" (I love you), choosing a tea with a name you like is also interesting. But, we would like to suggest you the signature set “Royal afternoon tea with Marie-Antoinette’s Original Tea and Cake” in which you can discover a piece of French history.
This black Ceylon tea is made from handpicked fresh apples and rose petals of the King's Kitchen Garden “Potager du roi”, the oldest garden created in 1678. Besides, it adhered to the traditional cultivation methods of the time for a deeper and original taste. Made of the best ingredients in France, it tastes delicate and the flavour is elegant. The moment you sip it, you will imagine Marie-Antoinette having a tea time in a beautiful lace dress.
We recommend you to add apple & rose jelly, which gives extra flavour to the original tea and doubles the sweetness. And the cake named "Ninasette" is the original recipe created for the queen. An iced rose jelly is coated on a soft cake with caramelized apples, it tastes like strawberry chocolate. This sweet combination gives you a pleasure with its unique texture, and would remain in your memory for a long time.
If you want to feel again the elegant mood after your travel in Paris, you can buy some souvenirs such as tea set, fruit jams and mini pouches with reasonable price (about 20 euros). Even the scent of this day will be remembered. And the family and friends who have received these ones from you will also be able to feel the elegant atmosphere here without having to come to Nina's Paris.
The clerk is very hospital and motivated. If you want, she will explain you about the teas and let you smell the flavour before ordering. She can have a simple conversation in English.
Author: Alae Lee
Photographs: Phan Thanh Thủy
Address : 29 Rue Danielle Casanova, 75001 Paris
Transportation : Metro line 7, 14 Pyramide station
Website : Click here
Opening hours : Mon - Sat, 12:00 - 19:00
Contact : +33 (0)1 55 04 80 55
Price : Tea & cake set - 23 euros / The other teas - 15 euros / Cake - 8euros