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Mariage Frères in Berlin


And as the nights draw in and dusks fall faster, my urge to hoard returns.

Last year I was tickled to see Berlin welcome Ladurée and Mariage Frères (though how queer to see such august brands in Galeries Lafayette’s rather poky basement foodhall). I obediently queued up to purchase my own pistachio-green box, noted Chandernagor on the tea shop’s shelves, and bit into a caramel macaron on my way to the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market.

I remain fond of my improvised blend of spices, but a few weeks ago tea seemed a good thing to stock up on when the early dark had me down. The man behind the Mariage Frères counter was as quietly theatrical as his colleagues in Paris; rare is the moment here where service becomes performance, and the other customers seem plucked for the way they support the scene.

‘Ladurée's shut?’ I asked, as he measured some Roi de Earl Gray into a bag, and he gave me a look that said it all, remarking quietly that it had closed some months ago; “Apparently,” he added drily, “it was too parisienne.”

As pleased as I was to see those macarons a year ago, I was perversely gratified now to see them go. Though I see my own neighborhood growing more ridiculous by the minute, I can never really believe that Berlin will fully embrace the frippery that plagues glossier, more exclusive cities. (I suppose as it does, I will go on recasting the boundaries of what I consider Berlin.)

All that aside, can I tell you that the Russian Breakfast blend is really, really worth trying?

Mariage Frères, Galeries Lafayette, Französische Straße 23, Berlin Mitte (map)
Open Mo-Sa 10am - 8pm


Ha! I completely agree with you! Eating macarons in Berlin just seemed... wrong, somehow. But I sure am glad that Mariage survived the cut, their 'montagne d'or' tea really helps make the Berlin winter cosy!

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