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Are you planning a visit to the magnificient Louvre museum in Paris? Take note where to eat at the Louvre: after having admired the Mona Lisa and before a Venus of Milo’s view, you could have a really nice rest in a new but legendary local just opened within the Louvre itself.
I’m referring to Angelina, the famous tearoom in 226 rue de Rivoli which has now also a dependence right off the Napoleon III apartments, the unique place to enjoy the famous hot chocolate l’Africain and the incredible Mont Blanc whose century old secrets are closely guarded. So there you have the ideal, well-deserved and exquisite stop to rest those weary legs after you have been trudging around the Louvre!
Hosted within the Café Richelieu, the Angelina tearoom retains a combination of elegance, charm and refinement with its marble topped tables, gilded ironwork and mirrors. You will particularly enjoy the terrace overlooking the main courtyard (Cour Napoléon) with aview of the Louvre Pyramid, breathtaking!
The large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids, now serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. You may remember that its construction created much controversy back in 1989.
Indulging in one of Angelina’s numerous delicacies; you may enjoy it even more when thinking that Angelina is located in the former offices of the French Ministry of finances!
Named after his beloved daughter-in-law, the Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelayer opened the doors to his first Angelina salon de the on the Rue de Rivoli in 1903. He initially conceived a special drink for children before beginning a real tradition and elevating it to an art form, with the ritual of pudding-thick bittersweet chocolate with rosettes of whipped cream, served in white china cups.
For over a century, this tearoom has been the reference for Parisian delicacies. As soon as it opened, Angelina became the meeting-place for the Parisian aristocracy. Proust, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn used to be regulars. Some of the major French fashion designers all crossed each others’ path there.
Famed French writer Marcel Proust, who loved their madeleines, declared they could transport him back to childhood. Frommer's calls it «the best hot chocolate in Paris... hands down»; while Patricia Wells deems it «lethally rich, delicious hot chocolate».
But let’s come back to the House specialties, Angelina is famous for l'Africain, as their insanely rich and equally delicious hot chocolate is called. L’Africain is a decadent concoction with a pure, rich, velvety flavor and texture, accompanied by unsweetened whipped cream in a white ceramic pitcher and a beautiful globe glass pitcher of ice water, all provided by white-aproned servers.
Pouring the hot chocolate out of the pitcher and into the delicate gold-framed cup is already a scrumptious experience! It is so thick you can eat it with a spoon. Adding some whipped cream only creates a more silky texture. Upon first sip it is heaven, a divine and memorable drink, words are missing to describe this taste and experience that will linger in your memory for several years…
Not a chocoholic? I could bet Angelina’s hot chocolate will blow you away!
Expensive? An understatement. But savoring one cup of their melted-chocolate is worth every savoring sip. Definitely a sweet treat not to be missed if you’re in Paris, especially after a long day of sightseeing.
A little reminder: don’t make the mistake to order the other house specialMont Blanc… unless you have been fasting for the past week! Never tasted a Mont Blanc yet? This meringue base piled with chestnut purée and whipped cream… it is genuinely to-die-for!
Now, if you are not too keen on chocolate and chestnut, Angelina offers a wide array of pastries and desserts. I could recommend the éclair, a light pastry shell with delicious chocolate or vanilla cream filling. Unless the St. Honoré is a better choice: a flaky pastry topped with mini cream puffs covered in caramel and bourbon cream… not to mention the Baba au Rhum, rum-soaked cake topped with rum-infused fresh fruit… I leave it up to you!
To accompany these royal delicacies, I can only recommend the Thé des Ecrivains which comes in flavors dedicated to the authors of different countries of the world Last but not least, although it is known as a salon de thé, Angelina also serves breakfasts, lunches and with excellent salads and quiches.
Musée du Louvre, Aile Richelieu, Café Richelieu (1st Floor)
Access reserved to visitors Tel +33 (0)1 49 27 93 31 Opening hours: every day from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Tuesday; Wednesday and Friday until 7:00 pm. Terrace open from April to September.