Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Last week, my mom and I went to afternoon tea at the Sofitel. For $35 per person, you get a mimosa or bellini, a pot of loose leaf tea, finger sandwiches, scones, and an assortment of mini desserts. All the trappings of traditional afternoon tea, but with a slightly French flair (macarons!), as the hotel itself is French (everyone greets you with a delighted, “Bonjour!”). My mom had purchased one of those half-off deals, so we only paid $35 total, which I admit was still a splurge for a Wednesday afternoon but the perfect excuse for a little indulgence. I turned my mom onto Rooibos tea, and we downed a full pot each (and our bellinis) in record time. We had the perfect unspoken arrangement when it came to eating, too: she ate all the sandwiches, and I got all the desserts. Hooray for being an only child!

We have been playing with the idea for months now of taking a girl’s trip to Paris next March; next year marks 15 years (!!) since my first (and her only) trip to the City of Light, and also a milestone birthday for her (I won’t say how old she is, in deference to her vanity, but let’s just say she was 35 when she had me and I’ll be 30 next year, ahem. I’ve been stalking flights and itineraries for a while, and over tea we decided to just pull the trigger on a $900 ticket that had a layover in London, either on the way there or the way back, I can’t remember. It was going to be my birthday present to her (and a selfish present for myself. Paris! Again!) but more than I was entirely comfortable spending, given I’m only working part-time and will have just been to Paris in November and am going to Spain in April. But, Paris! Maman’s 65th birthday!

I came home from tea and went to book the flight, only to find that somehow, for some reason, as if imbued by the magic of tea and macarons, fares had dropped substantially in the last day. I wouldn’t have to pay $900! There wouldn’t even be a layover! A roundtrip, direct flight from Philly to Paris next March cost me –are you ready for this?– a whopping $1. ONE. DOLLAR.

One Dollar Fare

Sure, taxes and fees added another $640, but are you kidding me? I’ve never seen fares that low. I had to book flights. (In another post I’ll tell you all my tips and tricks to booking flights, if you’d like. Stalking airline and travel websites has become a part time job for me.)

We’re going to Paris! Again!

23 thoughts on “Afternoon Tea

  1. PARIS!!!! Me, you, The Iron Lady! She’s not sharing my bed….let’s make that clear. $642.50/person and double the air miles!! You and I both have problems avoiding a bargain. It’s genetic. If I came home with a lovely skirt, my grandmother would say, “You paid WHAT for that skirt?” and by the time I got home from school the next day there would be a pile of wraparound, perfectly made skirts. Congratulations on being a trusted member of the tribe and someone we can pass the torch to.
    I had such a wonderful time having tea with you at Sofitel. Such a civilized afternoon. Oh, and thanks for the tip on Rooibus tea! Can’t wait to buy some in Paris. Did I mention I am going in March for my 29th Birthday?

    1. Paris!! I inherited the Francophilia from Daddy, and my bargain hunting skills from your side. It’s really the best of both worlds! Why would anyone ever buy anything if it wasn’t on sale?? And that includes plane tickets now, because we’ve set the bar really high for ourselves for future trips. How are we ever going to beat this one?!

      We’ll buy plenty of Rouge Bourbon tea at Mariage Frères. You’ll love it, trust me. We can even have tea at one of the Mariage Frères salons. There’s one in the basement of the Louvre! I’m already planning… xo

  2. I for one would love to know how you find airfare deals, so yes, please do write that post. Also, hooray for more trips to Paris!

  3. that’s awesome! great deals and bargain shopping clearly runs in the family. you ladies are going to have such a fabulous time together. it makes my heart happiest to hear of mother/child relationships like yours. xo

    1. Thank you so much, L! We haven’t always had this kind of relationship, as we are both hot tempered with mouths to match, but we’ve hit a good stride in the last few years and are totally capitalizing on it before we start fighting again ;) We joked that we should just not speak between now and when we meet at the airport in March, lest we ruin what we have going, haha! xo

  4. Je suis ravie pour toi Erin ! Paris sera toujours là pour toi ! Je crois que tu est la plus parisienne des personnes que je connais !
    Le “afternoon tea” de Sofitel est exquise. xxx

    1. Oui! American! The Philly -> Paris leg used to be operated by US Airways, but since the merger it’s now American. xo

  5. wow, that’s a great deal. I once got a return ticket from London to Berlin for 10 pounds all inclusive. I went twice within a month. ah, those were the days…

    ps: how long will you be staying in November? maybe we can meet up for a Bellini?

    1. £10?? That’s incredible! Was it on Ryanair? I’ve heard rumors they’re intending to launch international routes, which would be great news for my wallet :)

      I’ll be there for a week this November-December. Let’s meet up again! I’ll email you as it gets closer. xo

  6. It’s a bargain – how utterly perfect! That’ll be so nice for you and your mother and can’t wait to see the pictures next spring. I keep saying some day that I’ll go. Time to make that some day a specific day, huh?

  7. Well I’m going to Paris also and it is costing me nothing – we’ll sort of. American Airlines just wants 40,000 of my points. Not bad for early Nov. However. I now look forward to the first edition of Erin’s tips and tricks for stalking airlines and travel sites.

    This trip is for me a rehearsal for next year when I will fly to Paris the week before the presidential election. I have been doing this escape for about 20 years and I’m sure thar next year’s will by far the craziest of all time. It’s. Already way to nutty.

    1. That’s not bad at all! Mileage redemption is costing less and less these days, it seems. You’ll have such a good time, both this year and next! I kind of envy you skipping town for the election nonsense. It’s already a circus. Maybe we could just stay in Paris until it all blows over? :) xo

    1. You and your mom would have such a lovely time there! Try to get a deal on Groupon or Travelzoo, though. It makes it much more affordable! xo

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