Angelina was recommended by a friend as a "must visit" typical salon de in Paris. In fact, I believe her exact words were, "everyone should experience Angelina at least once in their lifetime". As it turned out, Angelina was right next door to our hotel, Le Meurice, and managed to garner a further recommendation before we got round to sampling its delights - from one of our taxi drivers, who echoed my friend's sentiments that the chocolate drink here was, quite simply, the best in town.
We went for afternoon tea on the second day of our visit to the French capital, a bit surprised at being able to walk straight in having spied the lengthy queues there every time we had passed by the day before. I suspect we managed to get in, entirely by chance rather than design, at an opportune in between time, after lunch but just before tea, as the queues had returned by the time we left some 30 or so minutes later.
We, needless to say, ordered trois Le Chocolate à l'ancienne dit "L'Africain", and also got a few cakes to share:
Le Mont-Blanc: Meringue, Chantilly Légère, Vermicelles de Crème de Marron - Meringue, Sweet Whipped Cream, Chestnut Puree Vermicelles
Millefeuille à la Vanille Bourbon: Fine Pâte Feuilletée Caramélisée, Crème Légère à la Vanille Bourbon - Thin layers of Caramelized puff pastry, Bourbon Vanilla Cream
and, from the new collection,
Carla: Mousse Aux Marrons Glacés, Gelée de Myrtille, Cheesecake à la Crème de Matton, Biscuit Sablé aux Marrons Glacés, Glaçage Chocolat Blanc et Marron - Marron Glacé Mousse, Blueberry Jelly, Chestnut Cream Cheesecake, Shortbread with Marrons Glacés, White Chocolate and Chestnut Icing
The chocolate drink was über rich, but yeah, it was good, if not quite as good as advertised. It's not something you could drink on a regular basis, mind, or even something I could finish on the day, so thick and heavy was it, but it was certainly nice, and well worth trying. Amongst the cakes, Le Mont-Blanc was Angelina's signature dessert, and was lovely; the Millefeuille was disappointing - too much heavy cream and pastry that was far from light enough; but the best was the Carla - a delightful chestnut mousse atop a chestnut cream cheesecake, a crunchy meringue base, finished with a coating of white chocolate and chestnut - beautiful.
In a nutshell...
I can't say I loved the chocolate drink - it was good, but also far too rich, dense and heavy for my liking, so much so that only the first couple of sips were really enjoyable. The cakes were above average, but nothing all that outstanding; and given the prices, it lacked in the refinement I would have expected. It was fine for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I don't know if I would return too often, even if I lived just around the corner.
226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris, France
Average Price: €15