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A tea-drinker’s paradise: the first standalone London branch of Paris’s famous vintage-style chai emporium.
We Londoners take pride in our love of tea, but French emporium Mariage Frères puts us to shame. Originally founded as an import company in 1854, it’s become a Parisian institution, selling hundreds of varieties of thé in an old-world setting. And now you don’t even need to hop on the Eurostar for a taste, because Mariage Frères has opened its first London shop in a Georgian townhouse in Covent Garden.
Step inside and choose your brew from a seemingly endless (and very Instagrammable) wall of vintage-style canisters, then pay for your purchase at a wood-panelled booth manned by white-jacketed staff. If you’re a real tea lover – and you know you are – head up to the first floor, where an all-day salon de thé infuses everything from scrambled eggs to cocktails with matcha, rooibos or lapsang souchong. And if you still aren’t chai-ed out, check out the shop’s museum and familiarise yourself with the historic tea trade. Cup of builder’s, anyone?