Petit Plaisir is a French phrase that means small pleasure. In Rory Satran’s article entitled In Paris Living Large for Less, published on The Washington Post website, he described the idea behind this concept as:
“…the principle of the petit plaisir is that we should treat ourselves to mini-extravagances once in a while.”
I, for one, can relate to this principle because I do it, too. Mini luxuries once in a while make you appreciate the fruits of your hard work. I see it as a form of love for yourself. Of course, we work hard because we have bills to pay and families to support, but buying something for yourself is like a pat on the back and saying “you did well, here is a little something for you.“ That little something may be food, a dining experience, a bottle of wine or small items such as lipstick; perhaps a new Pandora charm? For me, one of my small pleasures in life will be good food. If paying a little extra would mean having the freshest salmon sashimi in town or the juiciest Wagyu beef, I can spare a few dollars for that. 🙂
Sure, I also have an undeniable affair with leather goods, that is why when everyone found out that I will go to Paris for 15 days, their reaction: “OMG! Shop! Shop! Shop!; bags! bags! bags!“ I cannot help but smile or rather laugh when I remember them. True enough that I have the access to flagship stores of the famous brands when it comes to bags and purses, but I did not shop for bags this time. I told myself that I will just look around for now and instead, chose the experience for this trip. Of course, I had a small haul (and I will have a separate post for that) but the entire trip was about enjoying what the city of lights has to offer.
While searching for things to try and places to explore when in Paris, a number of bloggers and travelers recommended this restaurant famous for its signature hot chocolate and pastry – and the name is Angelina. From the articles and comments found online, the raved specialties tickled my curiosity and on my 2nd day in Paris, I visited one of their tearooms at the Galeries Lafayette.
Named after his daughter-in-law, Angelina was founded in 1903 by the Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer. The salon’s fame paved its way as it became a favorite place for the elite Parisians such as Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel to name a few. To date, they have 9 salons in France and a total of
19 20 tea houses located in UAE, Qatar, China, Japan, and soon in Singapore.
I reached the salon at around 11:45 am, just in time for lunch. The room was divided into two levels by a mini staircase. After I was ushered to my table at the higher level, the waitstaff handed over the menu and left to give me some time to decide. But after she left, I put down the menu because I cannot help but admire the place –from tables to chairs to the paintings on the wall, everything was carefully chosen and designed to exude such graceful charm and refined ambiance.
For lunch, I was thinking of a light meal, hence I decided to have their Caesar salad and to my surprise when my order arrived, it was a huge bowl of generous serving. My plate was well-prepared and the taste is great, too. You might think all Caesar salad tastes the same, and I agree, but this one is rather fresh and the dressing was not overwhelming. The greens and meat are well-mixed in proportions that they blend well when eaten. I failed to finish the entire bowl of salad as I gave a room for my hot chocolate, but it sure did fill me until late evening.
Angelina’s Caesar Salad with Chicken Supreme and Parmigiano Reggiano and Caesar Sauce
Now, for my main mission in this restaurant: I ordered their much-raved drink to satisfy my taste buds. Angelina’s signature beverage is the old-fashioned hot chocolate “L’Africain“ that is composed of three carefully selected kinds of African cocoa from Niger, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire.
The single serving of their hot chocolate “L’Aficain” costs 8.20 euros
According to their website, “the secret recipe for this chocolate mix is specially put together for Angelina. “
The waitstaff arrived and placed the white, ceramic cup, mousse and the small pitcher. The smell of the chocolate is flirting with my sense of smell so I hurriedly filled my empty cup, topped it with some mousse, and had my first sip. It was rich, thick, velvety and did I say delicious? It is the perfect drink for the cold weather and the Christmas season. Angelina did not disappoint!
I finished my lunch and drink and went off to see the rest of the mall. Ecstatic with what I tried (as always), I told my husband about it and we agreed that we should go back over the weekend because he should not miss the chance to taste this hot drink. He ain’t a coffee-drinker, but hot chocolate is one of his weaknesses. 🙂
Fast forward to Saturday, I came back in the same tea salon with the Mister. The salon was packed and very busy, unlike my first visit. The great thing about the place was the waitstaff; they were very professional and they try to address everyone’s requests in a timely manner. While some of them are really snobbish and not smiling, there are those who makes you feel warm and welcomed.
The serving comes in a bigger pitcher and mousse container if you ordered the hot beverage for two.
We ordered our food and drinks but the hot chocolate was served first and so I let him have his first sip. What can I say? The man was convinced. It is the best hot chocolate that we tasted to date! Happy and satisfied, we continued to enjoy our lunch and planned our escapades for that day.
Pan-fried scallops with black Venere rice and shellfish cream
Morel Risotto with crusty Grana Padano and fresh spinach leaves
The risotto was delish and creamy. Again, the serving was generous and it leaves you very full and satisfied. The flavors of the mushroom, cheese, basil and sauce married each other so well. It was that good that on my third visit, (yes, you read that right! 3rd time) I ordered the same thing while he had the ham and cheese omelet.
Berry’s Travel Tip:
If you wish to visit their store at the Galeries Lafayette, you can consider doing that on a weekday. The mall and the salon are crowded on weekends. However, if you only have Saturdays and Sundays, then try to visit it earlier. 🙂
As much as we would like to try their famous trademark pastry, Le Mont-Blanc, we did not have the room for it anymore. Hopefully, we get to try it when we go back in Paris or maybe we will just visit their tea house here Singapore (though I am not sure if they already opened the store).
Before leaving, we bought some goodies so we can have enjoy the perfect Christmas drink (in my opinion) on Dec 24th.
In summary, here is how I will rate my overall experience in this restaurant:
Food – 5 / 5
- The presentation, quality, and serving size in this restaurant is good to satisfy a very hungry person and that is a good thing. Sharing your food may also be an option. 🙂
Price – 4/5
- True enough that it is quite pricey but if you consider the whole package (ambiance, level of service, quality of food and serving size), you are getting all the worth of what you pay for.
Customer Service – 3.5/5
- The serving time is fast and accurate. Commendable service. BUT! it is again, a mix of snobbish, attentive and friendly waitstaff. Though I understand that as the place gets busier, the faster they should move but a little smile will do the trick. 🙂 It makes the customer feel wanted and welcomed.
Will I go back?
- I would love to! 🙂
Will you recommend it?
What about you? What are your small pleasures? Share it with us! 🙂 ❤
Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things: It’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.
– Oscar De La Renta