In the centre of French capital lies the neighborhood of Les Halles. It is the hub of the city’s transportation system and at this busy crossroad, there is a lively neighborhood of shops, cafes and entertainment spots. A stone’s throw from its bustle, there is tranquil oasis of greenery and serenity where one can take a pause and relax. It’s a peaceful spot rightly named “Le Jardin Privé” (Private Garden), in the courtyard of the Novotel Hotel. The terrace is enclosed in a translucent sphere, or bubble, so it can be enjoyed no matter what the weather is doing outside, even , during the chilly and wet winter Parisian days,
In this soothing atmospheric, outdoor bubble, the pastry chef Quentin Lechat creates an indulgent and elegant teatime. The young chef offers tasty and guilt-free fine pastries. (Yes, you read that correctly. It is possible to have the words “pastry” and “guilt-free” in the same sentence.)
The pastries are low in sugar and made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, mainly organic and local. Quentin Lechat thinks in terms of seasoning – like a cook would – and employs a minimal amount of sugar to reach its lowest necessary expression. Therefore, the flavors of the fruits, spices, and nuts can fully bloom and develop their complexity and shades. Since Quentin sources ingredients from small suppliers, the availability of ingredients may suddenly change so, with a great deal of skill and creativity he makes a menu which can vary from one day to the next.
You can choose from three options:
The T’Time à anglaise (19€ - including hot beverage, assortment of small delicacies (custard pie, tartlets, cakes) and the signature buckwheat – honey – bergamot orange madeleine).
The T’Time à la parisienne (25€ - same as above, plus a fine pastry among 4 seasonal creations),
The Champagne or Cocktail versions (35€).
This tea-time is definitely one of the best deals in Paris. The private garden is, calm and exotic, and makes an ideal atmosphere to savor the outstanding creations created by the very talented Quentin Lechat. Furthermore, Quentin is warm and friendly. He is very welcoming, and is always delighted to converse with customers.
Although this spot is not yet well known, the space in the bubble is small, with limited seating so we highly recommend you to make a reservation.
Novotel Les Halles
8 Place Marguerite de Navarre 75001 Paris
Tel. +33 (0)1 42 21 31 31
The bubble is open from mid-October to the end of April, Wednesday to Sunday: 15h-18h
Patio garden is open for the rest of the year.
Article by Cindy Joffroy, Parisian based reporter with a penchant for sussing out the sweetest addresses in the city.