What was Marie Antoinette’s original royal tea blend like? Come and taste!
When was the last time you had the chance to savor something with centuries old history, flavor and romance? Well, if you haven’t had an experience like that, you’re in for a real treat! Once upon a time there was a gifted man who after studying law and philosophy and becoming a barrister developed an unusual interest in plants after touring Italy and its gorgeous gardens. This gentleman, Jean de La Quintinie, born March 1, 1626, in Chabanais, France designed and became the first director of the Potager du Roi (the King’s Kitchen Garden) which was planted in Versailles over the course of five years ending in 1683 to furnish the table of King Louis XIV with fruits and vegetables fit for a royal palate. This beautiful garden looks essentially the same as it did under Quintinie’s direction, all twenty-five acres of it! Still cultivated using traditional techniques and organic methods, it includes 150 types of apples most of them dating back to the era of Quintinie!
It still has a circular pond with a fountain in its center, which sits in the middle of a large square made up of smaller squares planted in vegetables. There was a raised terrace around it, from which the King could watch the gardeners and their progress. A high wall surrounded the Grand Carré (the large square), and behind it there were another 29 enclosed fruit tree and vegetable gardens. They were arranged in such a way as to create microclimates, in order to grow produce beyond their normal seasons.
From among those fruits and other garden delicacies, Queen Marie Antoinette’s favorite tea was crafted. Today, the garden is still furnishing its gifts of flavor to create the same tea, Marie Antoinette’s original recipe, the royal tea of Versailles.
Today, Nina’s, a French tea salon in the heart of Paris and a striking Marie Antoinette themed maison sources the same ingredients from the King’s Kitchen’s Garden in the Castle of Versailles under an exclusive collaboration to bring the royal tea, a Ceylon tea scented with rose and apples, to modern consumers. Nina’s roots date back to 1672 when distilling lavender oils in France garnered Pierre Diaz a commission to supply aromas and “parfum” to the Court at Versailles. Later, under Nina Diaz (creator of the Ninasette cake for Marie Antionette) the family business became a tea and patisserie company.Recipes were handed down from one generation to the next of Diaz women, and centuries later, Nina’s of Paris became the purveyors of the exclusive authentic blend now known as Marie Antoinette’s Royal Tea of Versailles. The Salon is a memorable experience, rich in the history, romance and elegance of Marie Antoinette, the Queen who so loved roses, they were infused into her tea. Here at the Cottage we love all things French, and what could be more French than a cup of tea made from the exact same ingredients Queen Marie Antoinette’s favorite tea was made? We know you will enjoy this exclusive and delightful offering!