Paris is a city for walking, and after a day on your feet you deserve to stop and restore your energy with a pot of rich dark hot chocolate.
We cannot seem to better the experience than at the Angelina tea-room. I once had a hot chocolate at Paris’s Café de Flore and on the day I thought it was easily a rival so I was torn about where the best hot chocolate could be found in Paris but recently (May 09) it was appalling. I have not had a hot chocolate experience that varied ever at Angelina.
Angelina was founded in 1903 and the interior décor has been maintained to reflect that period but I find the interior a little dull, however as soon as you stand at the entrance, waiting your turn to be seated, the cake display on your right takes over the senses and you greedily begin to calculate your selections.
To combine a cake here with hot chocolate is seriously sinful for the calorie conscious. It comes out in a silver pot with a bowl of extra cream on the side, there are at least two decent cupfuls in there. I once had the hot chocolate accompanied by Angelina’s equally famous Mont-Blanc, the recipe of which that they claim is a closely guarded secret. I won’t be repeating that combination and it is now reserved as my ‘death row’ final meal request.
Le Mont-Blanc is chestnut puree mixed with cream and piped out like vermicelli, onto meringue and chantilly cream. I am not sure why they say it is a secret as I have had virtually the same in a Jewish cake shop in Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Here it costs 6.90 euros so that comes to around $12AUD.
The dark chocolate version is known as Le Chocolat a la Ancienne dit “L” Africain” Angelina is also 6.90 euros and there is a white chocolate version for 6.80 euros.
It does not sound too expensive but at $24AUD a person, the bill for two people comes to $50AUD and you have only had a hot chocolate and a cake. So if you need to justify this expense think of it as lunch. Take a baguette sandwich for lunch and visit Angelina in the afternoon.
To prevent my stomach from doing a backflip particularly if I want one of their amazing cakes I take advantage of the wine list – you can have a glass of Kir Royal, a mix of raspberry liqueur with champagne. That costs 12.00 euros, and a simple glass of champagne, Coupe de Champagne Jacquart- Brut is 11.00 euros. After two of any of those my husband is anxious to get me out of there…
Angelina’s most famous address is 226 rue de Rivoli in the 1st – very close to the Louvre and the other address which I have not been to is 2 Place de la Porte Maillot, 17th
If you love chocolate as much as I do, read the best book (in my opinion) on the subject by Mort Rosenblum an American who lives in France ‘Chocolate, A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light’.