Expat Magazine

Angelina in Paris (no, Not Her)

By Sedulia

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To Parisians, Angelina does not mean the famous movie star. Instead, it is a famous café to which Parisians traditionally repair after an afternoon at the Louvre.  It was once called Rumpelmayer's and is a true French institution. In the old days, I always saw someone I knew when I went there. (I usually ordered the salad of green beans and foie gras.)

But now, like so many famous, traditional French places, like Ladurée or Galeries Lafayette, Angelina's has made its way into Japanese, Russian, American and Chinese guidebooks. Now, when you want to have a pleasant tea there at five o'clock in the afternoon, you find yourself in a long queue d'attente:

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But once you are inside, sitting at one of the timeless, not-quite-big-enough marble tables, waited on by a good-humored, handsome waitress in black-and-white, you can relax, enjoy the scenes painted onto the walls in the 1930s, taste the delicious teas and pastries, and take your time to your heart's content. The most famous two specialties at Angelina's are the Mont Blanc, a horrendously rich concoction of chestnut cream piped into a mound with whipped cream on top, and the blackish hot chocolate, which frankly is practically a meal in itself.

Today we went and sat upstairs (= Siberia, except that at this time of day and year, the entire restaurant is filled with tourists), and had delicious macalons  (macarons that are not small and round, but the size of an éclair au chocolat; D recommends you order the raspberry/ framboise), éclairs au chocolat, and tarte au citron. Mmmmm! Afterwards we strolled to Colette (#1 stop for chicsters in Paris), Galignani (the Continent's oldest English-language bookstore) and W.H. Smith (Paris's largest English-language bookstore). It was an nice evening, and Paris looked so beautiful at the Place de la Concorde.

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