Mademoiselle Li, a traditional Chinese tea salon, opened recently in a most unlikely place: the Jardin d'Acclimatation, a children's park in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris. But owner Hippolyte Romain, a popular French illustrator and the Jardin's artistic director, wasn't worried about pouring tea in a city ruled by café noir. "My goal," he says, "was to create a space where people can enjoy fine teas, talk to friends, and dream between heaven and earth." The large room's skylight promotes this aspiration, as does its decor: black and red lacquer tables, fanciful paper lanterns, twisted birdcages, and exquisite calligraphy paintings. Romain imports the selection of eight tea varieties—modest but exclusive—from a small Beijing boutique every three months. "Drinking tea should be like reading a line of poetry," he says, "something to be shared and appreciated."
Mademoiselle Li can accommodate up to 20 for private dinners. $ Jardin d'Acclimatation, Bois de Boulogne; 33-1-40-67-91-55. Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
$ Establishment accepts no charge/credit cards or accepts cards other than the American Express Card.