Marcel Proust was known to stop in here to enjoy a madeleine dunked in lime tea. Audrey Hepburn frequented it when shooting on location in Paris. And Coco Chanel sat next to the mirrored wall at table 10 every single day, where she used the reflection to people watch over her regular order of their famous chocolat chaud à la ancienne l’africain. You can still find that glamour-filled world here at Angelina on rue de Rivoli. Make make a stop here a must-do on your next trip to Paris. Honestly, even an admitted curmudgeon like my beloved husband and traveling companion was completely enchanted and relaxed here.
World famous hot chocolate
Angelina’s signature drink is their hot chocolate, an improbably thick, rich, creamy, bittersweet concoction made from a secret blend of three cocoas from Niger, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. Some describe it as pudding-like. It’s served in a small pitcher with a small bowl of a mascarpone and whipped cream blend with a demitasse cup, so you can play with the proportions to make it as sweet as you like.
Don’t worry if chocolate isn’t not your thing. Their large menu includes an impressive assortment of teas along with juices, soft drinks, coffee, wines, champagnes and spirits. There’s truly something for everyone. And while they are knows for their pastries and cakes, there are plenty of savory options for a meal or a snack: eggs, sandwiches, salad, onion soup, pasta, and fish. Stop by for a drink, a snack or an entire breakfast or lunch.
Relax and enjoy
Part of the beauty of the Angelina experience is taking advantage of the increasingly rare luxury of time. No one is in a hurry. Not the patrons, who often have to stand in a line out the door and down the sidewalk for their turn at the table. Not the servers, who are in absolutely no rush to turn your table. They take your order when they are ready and let you linger as long as you wish. So in turn, not us. We felt very welcome to relax, talk to our friends, take in the ambiance … and order that second glass of champagne and another dessert.
Belle Époque glamour
The other part of the beauty of Angelina is the gorgeous gilded interior, designed by the talented and renowned Dutch-French architect Édouard-Jean Niermans, the Mâitre de l’Art Nouveau. As a young man, Niermans lived on Rue Lepic next to fellow Dutchmen Theo and Vincent Van Gogh. He designed several brasseries and theaters in Paris in the beginning of his career, each to greater acclaim. In 1903, he created this interior of Angelina in addition to renovating the Moulin Rouge. He’s especially well known for his work on iconic grand hotels of the Belle Époque: Nice’s Hotel Negresco, and Madrid’s Palace Hotel.
The interior remains exactly as Niermans designed it: gilded wainscoting, arched, embellished entryways, and landscape paintings chosen because of their meaning to Angelina’s founder, Austrian pastry chef and entrepreneur Antoine Rumplemayer. The large landscape of the French Riviera you can see in the back of the room in the photo below was installed as a nod to his first tea room, one of the first tea houses and a popular meeting spot in Nice.
You don’t have to wait for a trip to Paris to taste Angelina’s chocolat chaud. They have an online store where you can order a bottle or three along with their special tea blends, chestnut cream, biscuits, and pastries.
Angelina is located at 226 rue de Rivoli in the 1st arrondissement, across from Les Tuileries. If you think you may be in just a bit of a hurry, you now have the option of making an online reservation. Believe the history and the hype, and treat yourself to a chocolat chaud and a sweet or savory snack if you can’t stay for breakfast, lunch or brunch.