It’s the first week of winter and boy am I feeling the cold. I took Chloe out for a walk this morning and although the sun was shining, the winter chill is most definitely here. A blogger I’ve been following posted this post on her blog Bel ‘Occhio yesterday. I loved the sound of her peanut butter choc chip cookies and decided to make that my afternoon project. Et voilà! Success…

Peanut butter choc chip cookie with Mariage Frerès tea

Peanut butter choc chip cookie with Mariage Frerès tea.

You can find Virginia’s recipe for this yummy peanut butter choc chip cookie here. Now that the baking is done, I’m sitting back with my freshly baked cookies, enjoying a cup of tea on a cold, crisp winter’s afternoon.

For my choice of tea, it has to be Mariage Frerès. I fell in love with Mariage Frerès during our trip to Paris last year. We were staying in Le Marais, and wandered into their tea room at rue du Bourg-Tibourg. The shop was amazing! There was an entire wall covered with tins of different teas. You would go up to the counter and make your selection, which will then be scooped out of the tins and weighed out for you by men in white lab coats. Yes, that is how seriously they take their tea! The selection on offer was mind-boggling. Their website states that their selection of tea is made from over 600 tea merchants, with constant new additions. We asked if we could take a photo of the place and were told that photography was not allowed. (Note to travellers to Paris : The French take their window-display and display of their goods very seriously. It’s almost like what we would consider copyright so it’s always polite to ask if you can take a photo before clicking away on your camera) We did however select 3 tins to take home with us.

Mariage Frerès teas

Mariage Frerès teas.

The history of Mariage Frerès goes back to 1660, when Nicholas Mariage and his brother were sent by King Louis XIV and the French East India Company to procure trade agreements for trade in tea, spices and other colonial goods. The family business continued on and in 1854, Henri and Edouard Mariage founded the Mariage Frerès tea company. For 130 years, the company maintained a whole-sale only business, trading with top-ranked hotels and tea shops in France. In 1983, the company finally ventured into the retail business. Today, the Mariage Frerès brand of tea is sold in over 60 countries, served in world-class hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, Le Meurice in Paris and Claridge’s in London.

Those of you who live in Melbourne will probably be familiar with tearooms like The Oriental Teahouse and T2. I’ve tried the teas from them. In fact, prior to this, I was a big fan of the fruit teas from Oriental Teahouse. Believe me when I say that Mariage Frerès blows the competition out of the water. I have seen Mariage Frerès teas at Simon Johnson but sadly the selection is very limited and the price is almost double compared to Paris. But if you are heading to France or Japan (they are HUGE in Japan judging by the number of shops they have there), do stop by and check out this wonderful teahouse. For more details visit the Mariage Frerès website.