When the weather is cold, or damp or grey, there are few things as comforting as a nice cup of hot chocolate, not to be confused with chocolate milk heated with the coffee machine steamer. People, I am talking about that beverage with a deep, rich color, velvety in texture, aromatic and with just the right touch of sweetness. For starters, here are five of my favorite addresses among many others:
Jean-Paul Hevin, 231 rue St Honore, Paris 1 (Tel : +33 (0)1 55 35 35 96). When you are eating your heart out window-shopping on the rue St Honore, stop into his tearoom and enjoy what is arguably the best chocolat chaud in Paris. Metro: Tuileries (Line 1).
Chocolaterie Jacques Genin, 133, rue de Turenne, Paris 3. Tel: 01 45 77 29 01). If you are spending time in the Marais, this tearoom is a must. Metro Temple, Filles du Calvaire (Line 8).
Les Deux-Magots, 6, Place St Germain des Pres, Paris 6, Tel : 01 45 48 55 25). Ahh, I can hear you saying « this is not exactly insider information, as this may be one of the best-known cafes in Paris!” Right you are and I would add that in general the food and drink do not move me to wax lyrical. The exception however, is their chocolat chaud. Make sure to sit on the side facing the church and enjoy this treat. Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Pres (Line 4).
La Maison du Chocolat, 52, rue Francois 1er, Paris 8 (Tel : +33 (0)1 47 23 38 25). This is a chain of shops selling great chocolate, and you will love their chocolat chaud. Metro: George V (Line 1).
Le Grand Colbert, 4, rue Vivienne, Paris 2 (Tel : +33 (0)1 42 86 87 88). www.legrandcolbert.fr. Every afternoon this restaurant becomes a tearoom, and their specialty is…chocolat chaud! This is a traditional Parisian brasserie, classified as a historic monument. Metro: Bourse (Line 3).
Footnote: As of this writing, a chocolat chaud in any of the above establishments costs about seven Euros (fourteen Euros at Le Grand Colbert, which includes a choice of desserts from the pastry wagon). Now this is not cheap, but I think the experience, at least once, is worth it. Another spot that I recommend if your rich uncle is inviting you:
Hotel Meurice Bar le Dali- 228, rue de Rivoli, Paris 1, Metro : Tuileries (Line 1). For 30 years, Salvadore Dali would spend a month at the Meurice each year, staying in the Alphonse XIII royal suite. Legend has it that he transformed his room into an atelier, where he brought goats, horses, and even a motorcycle. But to get back to hot chocolate: there are three varieties on offer: dark chocolate, milk chocolate and a dark-orange mix. Enjoy this cozy and elegant experience.