October 24, 2014

French Friday: Angelina

Friday is a good day to indulge a little bit -- if not literally, why not virtually? One of my favorite Paris rituals begins at the Louvre to visit my beloved Nike of Samothrace. Next, I like to stroll through the lovely Tuileries Gardens, go window shopping on the rue Cambon, and finally, enjoy a decadent treat at Angelina on the rue de Rivoli.  

[Time out! The French teacher in me can't pass up this opportunity to provide a vocabulary lesson. In French you visiter le Louvre (a place), but you rendre visite à la Victoire de Samothrace (a person). While in the Tuileries, you may use the verbs, se balader, se promener, or the very stylish flâner: Je me balade aux Tuileries. Je me promène aux jardins. J'adore flâner parmi les sculptures et les belles fleurs. And, although the Chanel boutique on the rue Cambon is very posh, one is encouraged to "lick the windows" -- faire la lèche vitrine -- the very descriptive French expression for window shopping! OK, now you've earned a treat. Let's go inside...]

Founded in 1903, Angelina's famous tearoom was a favorite of Coco Chanel. For years, Mademoiselle indulged in a daily cup of Chocolat africain at table #10 while coyly observing the tearoom's chic patrons in the surrounding mirrors. 
Photo via Pinterest
The tearoom's Belle Epoque interior projects an elegant, romantic atmosphere.
Le Chocolat chaud l'Africain, Angelina's famous hot chocolate, is composed of three varieties of African cocoa from Niger, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. A pitcher of rich, thick chocolate is served with a cup of fresh whipped cream.
The gilded boutique showcases Angelina's colorful pastry collection.
I find it impossible to choose from among the gorgeous confections.
The Saint Honoré is named for the nearby, fashionable Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. 
(Puff pastry, caramelized choux pastry, Bourbon vanilla pastry cream, whipped cream).
The millefeuille is one of my favorites.
(Layers of caramelized puff pastry, light Bourbon vanilla cream) 
The Mont-Blanc is Angelina's signature pastry.
(Meringue, whipped cream, and chestnut cream vermicelli)
Of course, Angelina also features the iconic macaron.
(Mont Blanc, Chocolat grand cru, Vanille, Café, Pistache, 
Caramel, Chocolat-Passion, Cassis, Framboise, Citron)

Go ahead -- Feast your eyes! Bon appétit!