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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Angelina Salon de Thé: The Paris Temple of Hot Chocolate was last modified: December 20th, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

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Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.

17 Comments:

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  3. You had me at “hot chocolate” – throw in a couple of rich French pastries, and I’m all yours! Can’t wait to check this place out next time I’m in Paris – looks like the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon…luckily I have access to a few sweets today to combat my cravings after viewing these delicious photos :)

    • I’m sure you’d love it! I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the pastries but it’s worth trying the mont-blanc :)

  4. Oooh la la madame… Tres tres magnifique!

  5. Ahhh, this brings back memories of when I lived in Paris. After class, a few of us would check out the tea salons (more for the pastries than the teas). This post absolute nailed my memories of Angelina: hot chocolate, Mont Blanc, the mille feuille, and the old-time opulence of the salon. Le sigh. I’ll be returning to this post just for a look at that hot chocolate and to reminisce.

    • How lucky you are that you’ve lived in Paris for a while :) I’ll tell you a little secret, you have no idea how much writing this article made me long for the chocolat chaud!

  6. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Memories ….. When I lived in Paris, I would take visitors here and on our last trip back, we went there for afternoon tea along with the tourists! Loved every minute! I also want a chocolat chaud now too!

    • It’s the kind of place that doesn’t lose its magic even when full of tourists (except ordering a Coke! ;) ) though I recommend sitting further towards the back. I can definitely see myself queuing up again for that chocolat chaud!

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