From marmalade and tea infused scones to lavender infused tea, afternoon tea at Mariage Frères was one of the most contemporary tea experiences I’ve had.

I visited Mariage Frères tea emporium which claims to offer the world's “largest collection” of teas, with their London branch located in a Georgian Townhouse on King Street, a stone's throw away from the Covent Garden Market.  

This Parisian-based tea house offers a wide selection of teas from fruity to contemporary and vintage blends, and also offers customers the chance to sample an afternoon tea.

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Upon first walking into the building, it looks like something out of a set for a period drama. The old style tea emporium has an old world charm, with dark wood and shelves upon shelves of different flavoured tea.

The Resident: The afternoon tea changes seasonallyThe afternoon tea changes seasonally (Image: Mariage Freres)

Afternoon tea is served upstairs in a room with views of King’s Street, and has a Parisian black and white monochrome décor.

The afternoon tea changes seasonally, and the current theme is inspired by the Lunar New Year and the Sakura festival in Japan.

The tea menu took me completely by surprise, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a menu with so many different options for tea before.

I did struggle trying to read all of them, so I resorted to asking one of the servers for a recommendation.

The Resident: Find Mariage Freres just near the Covent Garden MarketFind Mariage Freres just near the Covent Garden Market (Image: Mariage Freres)

After working out what my flavour preferences were, the server recommended a lavender and rose infused tea.

The savoury selection consisted of three brioche buns filled with salmon, chicken and chickpea and tagine.

They had a lot of flavour, however the thick bun dough was filling, and I was conscious that I had even more food to get through.

Scones arrived next and they came tea-infused and served with butter and marmalade as opposed to the traditional jam and cream affair.

The Resident: The scones were tea-infused and served with butter and marmaladeThe scones were tea-infused and served with butter and marmalade (Image: Mariage Freres)

It was certainly a novel experience and something I’ve never tried before, although I don’t think the combinaton would be enough to steer me away from the traditional route.

The final course was made up of three serves of mousse, each with Asian-inspired flavours. 

One serve was fashioned into the shape of a bunny to represent the Year of the Rabbit, and was made with matcha and a strong mint sauce centre.

The Resident: The old-style tea emporium has an old world charmThe old-style tea emporium has an old world charm (Image: Mariage Freres)

Another mousse consisted of Sakura (cherry blossom) and dark chocolate, which was probably the richest out of all three.

Finally, I finished on an almond mousse on top of a tarte base shaped into a sheep that came with gold leaf.

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With a light sweet flavour, and the pastry base of the tarte, this was my favourite out of all three. 

Mariage Frères' afternoon tea was a departure from the traditional afternoon teas I’ve had in the past, and was an interesting mix of contemporary flavours, which gave it a cosmopolitan. 

Address: 38 King Street, Covent Garden WC2E 8JS