December 02 2009
Lucia van der Post
Mariage Frères in Place de la Madeleine in Paris used to be an insiders’ secret, a little-known sanctuary of real refinement, a place for the international sophisticate. Since its charms have become more widespread it has started to expand its lines – besides more than 500 different teas, it now sells some of the most delicious scented candles around (Nicole Farhi’s home shop usually has a small selection), as well as tea-infused incense sticks, tea-infused bonbons, tea jelly, chocolates and divine little canisters in glorious colours (mustard yellow, Chinese lacquer red) of special teas. All its wares can be seen online.
But possibly of most interest is its heavenly range of teapots. Ever since fancy teas became all the rage, what we’ve needed is a glass teapot in order to show them off – and Mariage Frères has come to the rescue with some beautiful, hand-crafted glass ones (from €205). In the UK, Selfridges will be selling the finely ribbed Happy Green Tea teapot from January (first picture, £315, or €248 at Mariage Frères) – but for the highly ornate Happy Bouddha, the Sultane or the Tibet (second picture, €205) you’ll just have to make the trip to Mariage Frères’ wonderful new tea emporium in Paris.