Where to go for afternoon tea in Monaco

afternoon tea monaco

Enjoy the sweet and the savoury in the most elegant way at one – or more – of these classy afternoon tea spots in Monaco.  

The ritual of an afternoon tea is a special something to be savoured, perhaps even with a glass or two of the finest champagne. Here are some of Monaco’s best places to visit when the mood to indulge strikes.  

Located in the Hotel Hermitage’s Beaumarchais Lobby, Le Limùn is nestled in a sumptuous garden recalling days when mobile phones didn’t exist and people had time to sit and enjoy the finer things.  

The afternoon tea features a spectacular selection of brews from the classic Earl Grey and Darjeeling to herbal and even smoked teas, offering something for every taste. Delicious home-made pastries cap it all off, making for an experience to be repeated again and again. 

An Italian bakery may not seem the intuitive place to go for afternoon tea, but in the case of Cova, it would be foolhardy to not to try it.  

Cova serves up freshly brewed teas with an assortment of sweet and savoury mini bites, and with two locations to choose from, one on Boulevard des Moulins and the other on Avenue Princesse Grace, it would be possible to hit both in one day and still come away wishing you could go back for more.  


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Like taking a step back in time, Le Bar Américain’s 1920s art deco vibe feels as decadent today as it did back then. Set inside the Hôtel de Paris and featuring leather chairs that can be melted into with views onto Casino Square, the place oozes luxury.  

It’s no surprise then that afternoon tea, loaded with a plate of delectable pastries and a selection of teas gathered from around the globe, is an affair to remember. For something extra-special, try the hotel’s signature Hôtel de Paris tea blend.  

Head to the Lobby Bar at the Hôtel Métropole for a daily afternoon tea à la carte, where guests select a warm beverage of their choosing and tasty morsels from a trolley of exquisite pastries that resemble tiny pieces of art.   

Reservations are recommended to be sure to have a table upon arrival. 

afternoon tea monaco
The signature waffles with truffle caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream by Chef Christophe Cussac and Pastry Chef Patrick Mesiano at the Lobby Lounge. Photo by Monaco Life

For something more casual, and more do-it-yourself, there is Pâtisserie Prince’s Tea, a shop whose displays are groaning with gorgeous sweet and savoury snacks to be eaten “tearoom style” at the address on 35 Boulevard Princesse Charlotte or for take-away.  

It has just the right amount of quirkiness to keep it from being twee and the tea selection is very good. There’s no website, but make sure to visit if you’re in the area! 


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Main photo by Monaco Life

What exactly is Monaco’s status in the EU?

monaco eu status

Monaco holds a rather unique position in the European Union. It’s part of the system in some ways and decidedly not in others. Here is where relations stand between the Principality and its powerhouse neighbour. 

The Principality finds itself in a special place when it comes to European Union (EU) participation, in that it follows most of the legal, safety, customs duties and even financial rules laid out by the bloc. But Monaco is not a Member State.  

Since 1999, Monaco has, however, been granted permanent relationship status, giving the country some interesting features.  

Recent years have brought about a desire on both sides to normalise relations further and to that end, they have been working toward the hashing out of an Association Agreement, which will make Monaco a sort of pseudo-member of the EU, whilst still maintaining sovereignty over certain matters.  


The EU and Monaco share some important aspects, perhaps the most important of which pertains to currency. The Principality was given permission to use the euro like other members of the Eurozone, but also to retain the sovereign right to mint coins. This was thrashed out in a Monetary Convention held between France on behalf of the EU and the Monegasque government in 2001.  

Monaco is also part of the customs union due to its long-standing association as part of France’s customs territory. It is also part of the European Value Added Tax (VAT) system and its ports of entry are considered authorised external borders, giving Monegasques the right to move freely in the Schengen zone for up to three months.  

Furthermore, the EU and Monaco are like-minded on values such as the protection of human rights, democracy, security, multilateralism and a rules-based international order. They also share their interest in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and a variety of sustainable development goals. 


Despite all of these commonalities, which make working and living as convenient as being part of the EU, Monaco is not an EU country and since March 2015, it has been in negotiations with the bloc to find a status acceptable to both sides, giving both what they want as well as what they require to function legally, profitably and safely within the context of the Association Agreement.  

The Association Agreement takes on some tricky issues, including how to facilitate the export of Monegasque products throughout the EU, to simplify procedures for Monegasques to enable them to move around more easily, and to potentially enable students to take part in school exchange programmes. 

In June 2022, the Council of the European Union, under France’s presidency, noted that the negotiations were now set to enter into a decisive phase, and said that it was looking forward to progress, especially on politically sensitive issues.  

Already agreed upon are Monaco’s participation in the internal market and cooperation with EU policies, but a few sticking points remain. 


Whilst Monaco colours within the lines of legality and in accordance with EU laws, the nation has long enjoyed a different kind of set-up to most other countries in the world. The citizenry is income tax-free, attracting many HNWIs, and the corporate tax structure is friendly, making it a great place to set up a company’s headquarters.  

As such, they are not bound by the exact same banking laws as in the EU and this has caused some friction. As recently as January, a Council of Europe report shone a spotlight on Monaco’s anti-money laundering measures, which they say are leaky due to the “internationally oriented financial activities”. A one-year observation period has been enacted.   

Additionally, Monaco wants to protect its self-dominion in areas such as the maintaining of the national interest in all domains, guaranteed Monegasques exclusiveness in certain professions, and reserved nationals-only access for state-owned housing.  

These issues aside, both sides are very much open to coming to a suitable arrangement, perhaps as soon as the end of 2023.  

Separate, but similar, negotiations have been ongoing with other microstates of Europe, namely Andorra and San Marino, whereby the EU has stated that “the Union will take into account the particular situation of small-sized countries, which maintain specific relations of proximity with it,” as set out in the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon 


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Photo source: Kyle Evans for Unsplash

Débroussaillement and wildfire prevention: The legal obligations for homeowners


Wildfire season is upon us so it’s prime time to remind yourself of the débroussaillement obligations homeowners must abide by. 

In 2022, an estimated 7,850 square kilometres of European land went up in flames. It was a record-breaking year according to Effis, the European Forest Fire Information System, and one that was fanned by rocketing heat and widespread drought.  

Around 72,000 hectares of French terrain was burnt, with the south of the country primarily affected, but there were also a worrying number of fires in regions usually spared from such occasions.  

At the start of April, a series of fires across the Alpes-Maritimes saw 30 hectares of land destroyed in a single weekend. People were evacuated from their homes to the north of Nice and 450 firefighters were called in to tackle the blazes in Saint Auban, Aspremont, Colomars and Tende.  

Given the ongoing dry conditions, it will come as no surprise that local officials are trying to get ahead of a potentially dangerous wildfire season and numerous municipalities have sent out leaflets to residents reminding them of their fire prevention obligations, often referred to as débroussaillement.  

A homeowner’s legal obligation

This is the legal responsibility of homeowners to clear the areas around their homes and properties of any vegetation that could be a hazard in the case of a fire nearby.  

The rules differ for urban and non-urban areas. For example, homeowners in an urban setting must clear the entirety of their plot of undergrowth and weeds at ground level while those owning property in a wooded area or less than 200 metres from a forest, moor or scrubland must ensure a radius of 50 metres from the house is cleared.  

Trees within three metres of a property must be pruned of their lower branches to half the height of a tree under four metres and by two metres for trees over four metres. Hedges must also be well maintained.  

A key aspect of the obligations légales de débroussaillement is that any cut vegetation must be disposed of correctly and according to the rules of the municipality. For the majority of France’s towns and cities, this means heading to the déchetterie.  

Daily fines until completion 

It is also important to note that some parts of France have more stringent débroussaillement rules, so be sure to check with your local mairie for further information as a failure to comply with the clearance and maintenance work can result in a daily fine of €100 until the property owner has completed the works. An additional €30 per square metre can also be applied and up to €750 for single properties or €1,500 for those on a sub division. If homeowners fail to act and the result is the further propagation of a fire that destroys someone else’s property, they can risk a €15,000 fine and up to one year in prison.  

In the Alpes-Maritimes, débroussaillement should be completed before 1st June and at the very latest by 1st July, although local townhalls may insist on earlier dates. 

Click here for localised information or contact your mairie


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Photo source: Boris Debusscher for Unsplash