Angelina Tea Room was opened in 1903 – it was a time of peace, glory and beauty in Paris, the Belle Epoque was in full swing.
Antoine Rumpelmayer, a young Austrian confectioner moved to the South of France to work at the end of the 19th Century and opened several boutiques. His delicious cakes and pastries soon acquired a reputation and on a visit to France, Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary fell in love with his pâtisseries and sweets. Antoine was inspired by his success to open the Angelina tearoom, located at 226 rue de Rivoli, in Paris; he named it in honour of his daughter-in-law, Angeline Rumpelmayer.
Angelina immediately attracted Paris society and the celebrities of the day. Proust would visit and Coco Chanel who loved the hot chocolate served in the shop and who always sat at the same table.
Today a timeless icon of luxury, the Angelina tearoom is a worldwide symbol of the French “Art de Vivre”. The decor at the Rue Rivoli shop, created by the famous architect Eduoard-Jean Niermans who also designed the Moulin Rouge combines elegance, charm and refinement and the look is somewhere between serenity and indulgence.
The legacy of centuries-old know-how passed down from generation to generation is one of French pastry-making’s best-kept secrets. Angelina endeavors to perpetuate tradition through, most notably, its signature products: the Mont Blanc pastry and Angelina’s hot chocolate with the same recipe so beloved of Coco Chanel.
Old fashioned “Hot Chocolate L’Africain” (shown above) is made from a traditional recipe for hot chocolate, a delicious concoction which derives its potent flavour, tempered by a bowl of unsweetened whipped cream, from the subtle blend of four different types of African cocoa beans – hence the name “L’Africain”. It is loved by young and old – served on silver trays accompanied by delicious pastries.
The Mont Blanc (shown above) is one of the most famous desserts of Angelina’s tearoom and up to 600 per day are sold in Rue Rivoli. It combines meringue, whipped cream and sweet chestnut puree to delight the taste buds. In 2012, Angelina’s pastry chefs paid tribute to this timeless dessert by creating a new version made with chocolate and chestnut puree: the Choc Mont-Blanc.
Find out more on the Angelina website and thanks to Angelina for the additional photos they sent to us.
Pic 1 is by Marissa McCreay Seritella from San Francisco Bay. She is a photo producer in advertising, loves Paris and says that for her, the museums are a key visit – particularly the Museeé d’Orsay and L’Orangerie but she says she could never visit Paris without going to Angelina.