The Great Paris Chocolat Chaud Run Down

The Great Paris Chocolat Chaud Run Down
For purely blissful imbibing surely nothing beats a lusciously rich, decadently smooth, chocolat chaud. Whether the surrounds are cosy, or hip and contemporary, classic art nouveau, or within a mind-bending chocolate shop, sipping a great chocolate chaud can reinvigorate the weariest taste-buds. During a September ‘04 sojourn in Paris I found two new favorites for this ambrosial drink, each as different as they can be in their neighborhood setting and ambience–but each well worth a visit for relaxation and savoring this deliciously restorative drink. First, Peter Beier on rue Monsieur le Prince. Just steps from Boulevard St. Michel you’ll find this gorgeous, quite new in Paris, chocolate shop. Run by Ms. Baume, a charming Dane who speaks fine English, Peter Beier Chokolade is the first Paris-based Boutique of this superb Danish Chocolatier. Other shops are located in Denmark and Sweden. The motto of the shop is “Le chocolat qui vous fera fondre le coeur”, a theme born out in this hip space with lovely dark, milk and white chocolates. But—to the drinkable part—upstairs over the chocolate boutique you’ll find a contemporary lounge with overstuffed black leather chairs surrounding small round tables—the feel is almost clubby and not at all formally off-putting. Exceptional hot chocolate beverages are served from late morning through early evening (and cold chocolate too!). This is a spot that should be added to any chocolate lover’s address book. Peter Beier Chokolade, 62 rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 Paris 01 43 54 06 06 My second find is wonderfully well located along the quais of the Canal St. Martin. I never miss an opportunity to walk along this charming canal when I’m in Paris and every trip yields a new find or two in this changing neighborhood. The cosy little salon, Múkura is easy to spot with its colourful façade near the well-known café, Chez Prune. Múkura is a “Salon due Chocolat, Thé, et Fruits Latino Tropicaux” offering delectable drinks across the taste and temperature spectrum. Their hot chocolate is prime South American chocolate, rich, slightly bitter and very delicious. This is the chocolat that likely fueled the Aztec empire. And if the weather is too warm for chocolat chaud, this is a marvelous place to reinvigorate with tropical fruit smoothies, or, a well-chosen cup of tea. Múkura, 79 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris 01 42 01 18 67 I’ll close with a few perennial favorites for assuaging chocolat-chaud-cravings. Worth a detour from anywhere in Paris, and proximate to Madeleine and the Grands Boulevards, Steiger Chocolatier is an always dependable source for fabulous hot chocolate—the type that you practically have to eat with a spoon—it is thick, rich and very, very delicious. Steiger, 20 Rue des Capucines 75002, Paris. 01 43 67 34 39 Angelina is no secret to chocolate chaud afficianados. Its historic art-nouveau interior has been a favorite canteen of the famous (and the less so) for decades. The hot chocolate is indeed very good and it is great fun to sit in the spaces historically graced by the likes of Coco Chanel. A visit to Angelina is a particulary nice reward to oneself if you are suffering from Louvre-overload or shopping excesses. Angelina, 226 rue de Rivoli 7501 Paris 01 42 60 82 00 For sweetness, lovable eccentricity AND great chocolate chaud, the intimate La Charlotte de l’Isle wins hands down. Located in the heart of the Ile St. Louis, this salon du thé (and chocolat) is a delight. The famed hot chocolate is made by melting bars of bittersweet chocolate into hot foamed milk, with predictably delectable results. Sometimes there is live piano music and on Wednesday afternoons, there are puppet shows for kids and for the inner-child in us adults This is one of those quintessentially Parisian places which restores the spirit in tangible, drinkable, and intangible ways! La Charlotte de l’Isle, 24 rue St. Louis-en-Ile 01 43 54 25 83 Finally, taking chocolat chaud in the heart of a stellar chocolate boutique. When your Paris ramblings take you to the tony 8th ème, be sure to plan a stop in the Maison du Chocolat shop on rue Francois 1er. This boutique, one of several of the justly-famed chocolatier Robert Linxe, has a marble topped bar area as well as café tables where you don’t have to delay gratification—sit down and enjoy superlative chocolat chaud or froid and more. La Maison du Chocolat, 52, rue Francois 1er 75008 Paris 01 47 23 38 25 Sally Peabody is a travel advisor and writer specializing in Paris  Her company, Your Great Days in Paris, advises independent travelers on getting to their best in and around Paris–on and often the well-traveled path. Read Sally’s bio for more information on her services.
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