In the 17th and 18th centuries, La Rochelle sailors would fare seas and oceans, on the look out for the precious exotic goods Europeans were fond of. They would bring back from their journeys odd objects that well-to-do people would relish and exhibit in their halls. Hence the origin of cabinets of curiosities, the collection of which were eventually bequeathed to public museums, such as the Lafaille cabinet to the La Rochelle Museum.

In the same spirit, the wood panelled cabinet of curiosities of the tea room of the Résidence des Indes displays aboriginal art from Africa, Asia, America and the Pacific from the Sabatier family’s collection. Detailed notes documenting each family of exhibited artefacts are available for the most curious visitors. The history of the advent of cabinets of curiosities and tea rooms in the 18th century and the saga of the then discovery of exotic beverages such as tea, coffee and chocolate by Europeans in the 18th are also documented.
The tea room is also housed in the small and large reception halls, which are furnished and decorated in genuine 18th century style. The small hall offers a boudoir-like cosy ambience, whereas the large hall offers a lavish decor and a quiet view over the garden and parks.

Weather permitting, the tea room can also be in the open air of the green patio, where you can choose sun or shade.

The tea room will extend an oriental-style welcome to you and serve you with various fine sorts of tea, coffee or chocolate with local pastries.

Paying guided visits by the museum curator can be organized on appointment for more than 5 people. Write to:

You may also hire the tea room for yourself outside opening hours to organize work meetings, breakfasts, brunches, conferences, workshops, cocktails, diners, etc. , while combining the seated and standing capacities of its four spaces to suit your requirement.

On the way to the rest room, the staircase displays posters of cultural events that recall the cultural revival of la Rochelle in the 1960-90’s, in which Dr. Georges Sabatier played a major role. The Résidence would then host the Gotha of francophone theatre, contemporary western classical music and World cinema. A complete file on this unique history is available on request.