The Day I Ate Nothing But Sweets

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The Day I Ate Nothing But Sweets
After a climate-controlled morning spent with Monet’s water lilies at l’Orangerie, a short, gravelly walk across the Tuileries was all it took to get to Angelina; the legendary tea room located at 226 rue de Rivoli. I questioned the logic of queuing to have a hot cocoa on a day where the temperature was hovering above 22° C, but I reject so many popular things that I didn’t want to short-change myself again. After waiting for the procession ahead of me to be seated, I was properly able to take in the loveliness of Angelina. Founded in 1903 Angelina (sans apostrophe ‘s’) is an elegant restaurant of the Belle Epoque with sconces gleaming gold amid its murals and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. My aim was the house specialty – a Chocolat Africain and the Mont Blanc dessert. The Chocolat Africain was the thickest hot chocolate I’ve every had the pleasure of meeting. Deliciously deep and dark, it stayed true to its reputation of being almost thick enough to stand one’s spoon in it. A secret blend of cocoa from Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, it was created just for Angelina. Then to scale Mont Blanc; a base camp of meringue and crème Chantilly blanketed with pureed chestnut vermicelli. The Mont Blanc has been a signature recipe of the tearoom since 1903. I love both meringue and the flavor of chestnut, so I was in dessert heaven. The combination was almost too much to bear! So rich, I had to force myself to finish it. Quelle dommage! Angelina has a gorgeous pastry shop too, where many were lining up for other heaven-sent confections instead of lining up for tea and chocolate. Sunday afternoons, Angelina is a conveyor-belt of the curious, but the tearoom retained its dignity. The cocoa and the pastry cost 17.40 € – steep, but I enjoyed the Mont-Blanc. I was glad have conquered it and Angelina. I strolled, sugar-fuelled, through the arcades of the rue de Rivoli and bridged the Seine to the Île Saint–Louis. Despite the Sunday crush of people, I aimed for Berthillon – Paris’s temple of ice cream. Berthillon Glacier’s flagship store is located on the smaller of the city’s two islands where the scene was mad with people lining up zombie-fashion for ice cream. On this warm autumn day all the other vendors on the island were selling their much-sought-after “ices” too and hosted lines at least 20 deep. At Berthillon’s headquarters at 31 rue Saint Louis-en-l’Île, I counted over 40 in the queue. MUST-HAVE-ICE-CREAM! Maybe because I’m a cat who walks by herself, but I find it somewhat undignified to have to line up for treats. I had done it once that day at Angelina and enough was enough. I gave Berthillon a pass, wandering instead into a mustardy-yellow candy shop. La Cure Gourmande is an old fashioned sweet shop also on rue rue Saint Louis-en-l’Île. I’d been beckoned inside with a promise of something strawberryish. After browsing amid the pyramids of rainbow-bright bonbons, I came out with an assortment of nougat and boiled candies called Berlandises, each with a surprising fruit burst at their centre. I intended on saving them for my friends at home but after sorting out my day’s purchases like pirate booty on my hotel bed, I ate them all, one by one. For dessert I had the Toblerone from the hotel mini-bar. Image Credits: Images courtesy of Cure Gourmande and Angelina.
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Lead photo credit : Le Cure Gourmande

More in French desserts, French food, French pastries, french sweets, gourmet chocolate, Gourmet desserts, Gourmet sweets

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A freelance writer and amateur historian, Hazel knew she wanted to focus on the lives of French artists and femme fatales after an epiphany at the Musée d'Orsay. A life-long learner, she is a recent graduate of Art History from the University of Toronto. Now she is searching for a real-life art history mystery to solve.

Comments

  • roman makowensky
    2019-07-29 21:20:22
    roman makowensky
    Worst meal ever, at Angelina. It was so bad, I've been trying to block it out of my mind, but the chef, was either a smoker, or was completely incompetent. So much salt, that the meal was inedible. My dining partner, my daughter, was the first to mention it, and could not eat the salad. I tried it thinking that perhaps her tastebuds were off that day. Nope. The wait staff was not ready to accept my complaint, until I told the manager how bad it was. I did not skimp on the tip for the waiter. Not his fault the food sucked. They compensated me with a small bag of macarons. BFD. Cocoa was fine, if you like it that way, but in all the restaurant is nothing more than a tourist trap. Crappy, overpriced, meh, food.

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  • Hazel Smith
    2016-09-08 16:27:59
    Hazel Smith
    Too bad we didn't know each other. We could have had some "sweet" adventures.

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  • Phyllis Parrish
    2016-08-29 18:02:34
    Phyllis Parrish
    Enjoyed your article on Angelina. I love the one on Rue de Rivoli & the one at the Louvre. Had the hot chocolate & the Mont Blanc at the same time as you did at the one on the rue de Rivoli. Very good & very rich. One of my fondest memories with my best friend. I long to go to Paris every day of my life. Thank you for sharing a sweet bit of Paris with us.

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  • J dixon
    2016-08-26 19:04:18
    J dixon
    The almond shortbread cookies at La .Cure Gourmande are simply wonderful beyond description. I bought some for my sons, and you guessed it, ate each and every one! Hazel made me do it. Going back for more a week fm tomorrow!!! Can hardly wait.

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  • Hazel Smith
    2016-08-15 09:16:57
    Hazel Smith
    Hi - I did eventually have a Berthillon ice, at a cafe while fending off the advances of handsome Frenchman.

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  • A. Polangin
    2016-08-12 17:45:29
    A. Polangin
    Heavenly? reminded me of my visit to Angelina. Even managed Berthillon, but on a separate visit....

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  • Stephan
    2016-08-12 14:56:25
    Stephan
    A tour of Paris after my own heart!!!

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  • Hazel Smith
    2016-08-12 10:35:29
    Hazel Smith
    Thanks, Kathy!

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  • Carolyn Marsh
    2016-08-12 09:45:04
    Carolyn Marsh
    Being an art history major, how could I have missed these delicious spots!!!

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  • Kathy Davenport
    2016-08-11 12:57:19
    Kathy Davenport
    Hazel, we love you (& Angelina's)!!!

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  • Sylvia Treadwell
    2016-08-10 13:44:20
    Sylvia Treadwell
    So interesting...cute...yummy adventure. :-)

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  • J Biddie
    2016-08-06 15:07:32
    J Biddie
    I think I gained weight just reading this article. I may just have to get on a plane and go visit.

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