An Oasis for Tea

6 05 2008

After visiting the Préfecture twice in one day, I needed a break.  Nick wanted to check out a Roman amphitheater in the 5th arrondissement, so we Velib’ed over there.  The weather was absolutely perfect for a bike ride.  After sunning ourselves in the amphitheater for a bit, Nick remembered a tea salon he had visited, with an idyllic-sounding patio and mint tea.  Now, I am weird about mint in my tea.  I adore it in iced tea, but can’t stand it in hot tea.  The discord between the cooling flavor of the mint and the heat of the tea bring about some kind of Sartrian nausea.  Somehow, Nick managed to convince me to wander around the 5th until we found this tea place.  After a few wrong turns, we found it, just as he had described:


A big iron gate leading into a large tiled patio filled with greenery and birds.

Lush greenery and vibrant stained glass

Colorful tile walls

We seated ourselves at one of the many small tiled tables and soaked up the atmosphere. 

Mosaic table

It was nice and cool in the shade, and there was so much to look at: The intricate tilework on the walls as well as inside, the tourists, the people sharing a hookah, the birds overhead, and the exotic foliage.  There was one waiter making the rounds with a tray of glasses filled with hot mint tea.  I decided to give it another shot.

Mint tea, hot and sweet

And it was very refreshing.  Just sweet enough, and the perfect temperature for drinking without burning your mouth.  After such an invigorating pause, I had the newfound energy I needed to hunt down and cook dinner.  And finally write a blog entry with pictures.




4 responses

6 05 2008

You went to the Grande Mosquée de Paris! That’s a lovely place to have mint tea. It’s beautiful isn’t it? — and with the birds chirping you practically feel like you’ve left the city. Supposedly the food there is good too, but I’ve only been for tea, never for dinner.

7 05 2008

And now I know the name of the place! Thanks! 🙂 It is a charming, calm little spot, and I’m sure I’ll be returning. It appears from the menu outside that it is also a spa, which I find odd, but cool.

7 05 2008

Oh! Camille! You have unwittingly done part of my “Favorite Day in Paris” activities. The roman amphitheater is the Arene de Lutece (sorry, no accents on these American-style keyboards), and that whole area surrounding Place Monge in the 5th is one of my favorite of Paris. Just across from the Mosque is the Museum of Natural History, anchoring one end of the Jardin des Plantes – both are favorites. I am so, so jealous/nostalgic now!

7 05 2008

Sorry/You’re welcome. 🙂

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