Watch Snack (noun):
“Article made of high-end watchmaking visuals & the sharing of insider Parisian spots worth visiting. Intense pleasure for the eyes and the taste buds, the Watch Snack is a source of inspiration that may very well bring you to your next acquisition as well as to the place where you’ll announce it to your lady friend.”
Your friend from out of town comes to Paris on business and has time to meet for coffee. Where do you take her or him for that authentic “Parisian experience”? Well, one thing’s for certain, you can’t go to Starbucks even though you’ll have no trouble finding one. Nor should take him to one of the many impersonal bar-cafés scattered all over the city. No, no…that won’t do. Especially if your friend is an epicurean and appreciates the finer things in life. Why not cheat a little and add French pastries to the mix? Opt for a “salon de thé,” or tea room.
It just so happens that on rue de Rivoli near Tuileries Gardens stands a beautiful salon de thé with a historical soul: the one and only Café Angelina. Built in 1903, the original tearoom hasn’t changed much. Its decor will take you back in time to the prosperous Belle Époque, or the “Golden Age”, when life in Paris was carefree and filled with lavish dinner parties, dancing, cabarets…
The tea room’s name wasn’t Angelina at that time but Ancienne Maison Rumpelmayer, after its founder Anton Rumpelmayer, an Austrian confectioner. It was later changed to Angelina, in honor of his daughter-in-law.
It was definitely the place to be and enticed the city’s crème de la crème like writer Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel. Apparently Coco had a weakness for Angelina’s famous hot chocolate. Very well, but we must mention the tea room’s other specialties, Mont-Blanc, Saint-Honoré, and the Choc Africain.
For those of you who don’t know what a Mont-Blanc is, I hope it’s because you’re Alsatian and call it “Torche aux marrons” (literally meaning chestnut torch). From French and Italian origins, it combines crisp meringue with airy whipped cream and mouthwatering chestnut vermicelli. A real epicurean pastry of which Angelina has perfect mastery.
If you haven’t yet tasted this marvelous treat, or any of the others mentioned, I suggest you enlighten your taste buds.
And why not do so in a charming historic Belle Époque décor at Café Angelina? Now there’s a delicious idea for the mouth and the eyes…