La Galerie des Gobelins
To us, they’re just (very nice) cakes, but to become pastry chef at the Plaza Athenée is equivalent in France to the highest sporting or scientific achievements. Pierre Michalak has trained with the best (Ladurée, Pierre Hermé), won championships, impressed Jacques Chirac and experimented with profiteroles. His playful creations have recently included cherry and orange-flower ‘frisbee’ macaroons; religieuses on chocolate skateboards; and chocolate and salted-caramel sailing boats. To take tea here, you walk from the impressive lobby, past the gastronomic restaurant, to a wide corridor, aka the Galerie des Gobelins, overlooking the hotel’s central courtyard. Here, business meetings and wide-eyes tourists alike are plied with delicacies beneath crystal chandeliers. Apart from all the sugar-spun genius, the menu features salade niçoise, black spaghetti with lobster, the croque-plaza (chicken and truffle) and super-duper cocktails. Dress up a smidge.