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Angelina Salon de Thé: The Paris Temple of Hot Chocolate

A trickle of rain turns into a heavy downpour. We seek shelter under the rue de Rivoli archway, and like many Parisians on this Sunday afternoon, we join the long queue for Angelina Salon de Thé.

Famous for its hot chocolate, or chocolat chaud, this Paris institution dating back to 1903 has been a meeting place for French aristocracy and devout gourmands.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

“I can’t believe it has taken us five trips to Paris to come here!” I tell Mr G.

“Well…” he hesitates. “I’ve been here for lunch on a business trip.”

The things you suddenly learn about your other half!

The queue is moving surprisingly fast. Through the glass panel, I spy a faux pas that makes me cringe. Someone has ordered a bottle of Coke to go with their intricate patisserie.

Once inside, I am bedazzled by the display of pastries peering from behind frosted glass. I could have one of each but I have come to Angelina for the specialties.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

Our host is about to usher us to an empty table near the front with very little to see. I request if he could accommodate us somewhere inside the salon or towards the back. “Bien sûr, madame!” He reassures me that the next vacant table is ours.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

There are long anticipated moments in one’s travels. This is one of them.
Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

I admire the classic décor, the elegant clientele and the number of French families spending their Sunday afternoon in the lavish Belle Epoque surrounds.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

I study the menu, noting the history of the fabled establishment founded by Austrian confectioner Antoine Rupelmeyer. I try to imagine the likes of Coco Chanel and Proust who have come here before me, occupying a table in the corner.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

When it comes to placing my order,  I have come to Angelina for two things.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

“Un chocolad chaud africain et un Mont-Blanc.”

Angelina Salon de Thé, ParisAngelina Salon de Thé, Paris

Mr G and I have a long time habit of ordering the same so we always consult with one another, compromise and revise our selection.
Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

His Thé Angelina arrives, light and fragrant, a most pleasant afternoon tea.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

My chocolat chaud is served. I delight in pouring the viscous liquid into the cup and admire the colour and consistency. A side order of creme is also served but I pass. A pitcher of water is automatically placed on the table.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

Le chocolat a l’ancienne dit l’Africain, as it is termed, is wickedly good. No hot chocolate compares to the rich, smooth, velvety and lingering taste. Surprisingly, it’s not overly sweet but very rich and guaranteed to satisfy chocoholics.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

The Mont-Blanc dessert is something to admire at first. It has a meringue base and a light crème de chantille topped with a vermicelli of sweet chestnut paste (vermicelles de crème de marons). It tastes divine and I relish in the texture of the crème de marons as it melts on the palate.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

Mr G’s mille feuille is layered perfectly and has a lovely thick and tasty crust, crumbling in the mouth.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

No visit to Angelina is complete without checking out the ladies’ room in yellow and gold trimmings.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

It may have taken five trips to Paris to get to Angelina but it is worth every moment. Service is polite, friendly and very efficient. The time from order to service is very quick and although people continuously line up in a queue, we are not pressured to vacate our table or pay the bill. We are left alone to enjoy the experience at our leisure. Only when we ask for l’addition that the bill is promptly presented.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

In this city of superlatives, where you can find the best ice cream at Berthillon, the best hot chocolate is undoubtedly at Angelina. Just don’t wait for your fifth trip to Paris to enjoy it.

Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris Angelina Salon de Thé, Paris

Angelina
226 rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
Métro: Tuileries
http://www.groupe-bertrand.com/gb/angelina.php

For more suggestions on where to eat in Paris, don’t miss our Paris Restaurant and Bistro Guide.

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This article is posted on Gourmantic.com - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2017.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.

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