When it comes to food the French are notoriously hard to please.
So it came as no surprise that Corinne, my delightful Parisian companion for the day, was distinctly lukewarm about afternoon tea at The Botanist in Sloane Square.
As the waiter approached with a three-decked tray brimming with sweet and savoury delights, she gave a withering Gallic shrug and said: "We 'ave zis in France."
It was a gesture which explained why we humble Brits spent 100 years at war with her countrymen.
"You are wrong ma petite jambon sandwiche," I countered, and here's why:
Tucked on the corner of Sloane Square at the former site of the effortlessly disgusting Royal Court Tavern, The Botanist brings a uniquely English feel to the tea ritual.
Its toasted homemade scones - of course accompanied by jam and Devonshire clotted cream - are the real deal.
While the finger sandwiches, cheese and pickle, cucumber and smoked salmon, are as idioysncratically Anglo-Saxon as it gets. Topped by a blueberry turnover, with cream spilling out of the fine filo pastry - it's a delight.
Add attentive and immaculately turned out staff, and an airy natural lit feel, and the overall effect is to transplant the terrace of a Tunbridge Wells country hotel to the centre of town.
But The Botanist does not lay the tradition on too thick. Bright, modern and buzzing, Tom and Ed Martin's latest gastro endeavour teeters onto the right side of posh and it's easy to feel at home munching cakes on the sofa window seat which overlooks the square.
The sleek wood-framed chairs lend a contemporary touch while the subtle botany theme, a nod to Sir Hans Sloane, creates a sense of place and a memorable aesthetic.
Judging from a busy Saturday the crowd is typically Sloaney (pastel-coloured shirts, chinos and loafers are de riguer), but there's something unpretentious about The Botanist which encourages enough laughter and noise to give it character.
But what's so new about upmarket London eateries and afternoon tea I hear you cry? The answer is in the leaves.
Classics such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green and Mint sit comfortably alongside exotic, colourful and perfumed infusions with impossible-to-remember names which entice from glass latern-shaped pots. They look and taste great, high praise indeed from a milk and two kind of guy.
It costs £15 a head, add another £4 for a glass of champagne, but if you don't mind your wallet being pruned - befitting its location at the top of London's most expensive shopping street - be sure to stop by. The Botanist also has a full lunch and dinner menu.
And Corinne if you're reading, it's leagues better than Oriel, the passe French cafe/restaurant across the road.
Vive la Difference!