February has us in the midst of winter, and while you may be dreaming of warmer days ahead, console yourself with one of Paris’ favorite winter indulgences – hot chocolate! After visiting the famous Café de Flore in Saint Germain des Prés, the stunning Café de la Paix and the Pâtisserie Viennoise, the Paris Perfect Hot Chocolate Challenge continues with a review of the famous Angelina Tea Room!
The Great Hot Chocolate Challenge – Part 4: Angelina
Ahh … for many, there is no other choice for chocolat chaud in Paris! It must be Angelina’s or nothing. What can be said about this rich, thick, intensely chocolate sip of heaven that has not already been said? We will try our best, but words may not do justice. Attention all chocolate lovers … this is one stop you won't want to miss on your next trip to Paris!
Angelina is a full service café and tea room, serving breakfast, brunch, salads and sandwiches, but for many, the hot chocolate and desserts are the main attractions. The original Angelina patisserie and tearoom, designed in the luxurious Belle Époque style, is located at 226 Rue de Rivoli, across from the Tuileries Gardens in the 1st arrondissement. Founded in 1903 by Austrian confectioner, Antoine Rumpelmayer, the tea room was named after his daughter-in-law, and has been a favorite spot for over a century for well-heeled Parisians and celebrities, including Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel.
The famous hot chocolate, known as L’Africain, is made from a luscious blend of four different cocoa beans from Africa. Sweet, thick and rich, and served with fresh whipped cream on the side, it is a taste not to be missed.
We conducted our tasting at the Angelina’s tea room located inside the Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann. Located upstairs in a far corner of the grand department store, the salon is tricky to find. Just head towards the designer handbags and turn to your left … keeping a lookout for the signs like this one.
The décor was pleasant, done in tones of gray and cream, but of course cannot compare to the grandeur of the flagship Rivoli salon. But for convenience, try this location inside Galeries Lafayette for a chocolate fix when your tired feet need a break from shopping.
Service was prompt and efficient, and the chocolate was served in individual white ceramic pitchers, with the luscious cream on the side. Sinfully thick, the pour-out was met with enthusiastic oohs and ahhhs.
The density is so thick, it reminds you of a melted chocolate bar, and could easily be enjoyed as a sauce for ice cream or profiteroles. Note how the velvet clings to the cup.
Full disclosure … one of our testers found Angelina’s hot chocolate to be almost too rich and sweet for her tastes, but the other three in our group were in chocolate Heaven. Here are the final results:
Ambience: Rivoli tea room = 5; Galeries Lafayette = 3
We think Angelina’s should be on every chocolate lover’s “must do” list. What do you think? Have you tried Angelina’s? Let us know your thoughts in the “Comments” section.
And you can even purchase bottles of the famous chocolat chaud to bring back with you. I still have one bottle stashed in my fridge, saving it for a dreadful day when I desperately need a “little bit of Paris.” Just knowing I have it lifts my spirits!
Angelina’s has 6 locations in Paris, 2 at Versailles, 1 in Lyon, coming soon to Nice, and 16 locations in Japan! You are sure to find one close to your shopping or sightseeing excursions.
Angelina’s Tea Salon
226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris
Open daily 7:30 am – 7:00 pm (weekends open at 8:30 am)
Directions to flagship Angelina’s Tea Salon on Rue de Rivoli from the 7th arrondissement:
Metro Line 8, Ecole Militaire, direction Point du Lac. Exit Concorde, then walk east on Rue de Rivoli 8 minutes
Bus Line 69 from Rapp/Bourdonnaise, direction Gambetta. Exit Pont Royal, then a 6 minute walk north through Tuileries garden and northwest on Rue de Rivoli.
In the area, enjoy strolling through the Tuileries Gardens from Place la Concorde all the way to the Louvre. Read more about things to see and do in the 1st arrondissement in Paris.
Thank you to Mary Ann Grisham for this guest post for the Paris Perfect Blog!
Photo Credits: Angelina tea room with Mont Blanc courtesy Angelina, Angelina interior by Gryffindor, Angelina hot chocolate and whipped cream by Charley, Cup of Angelina hot chocolate by summer park, all other photos by Mary Ann Grisham.