In a busy city life nothing is better than taking a few hours off for a perfect relaxing afternoon. For me such afternoons are always tinted with red. In my previous blogs I wrote about Le Musée Marmottan Monet & Yamazaki Café, and visiting a Medieval Hospital in Bruges. This time my perfectly red and relaxing afternoon in Paris consisted of visiting the Kamasutra Exhibition at the Pinacothèque and having tea at the Most Elegant Tea-room – Angelina.
The Kamasutra Exhibition at the Pinacothèque (running until Jan 11, 2015) was full of fun, interesting discoveries and different shades of red. It consists of all sorts of erotic objects accompanied by texts (too detailed for my taste) explaining that the Kamasutra is not a pornographic book but a unique Indian approach to society, marriage, and relationships with spouses, love and seduction. One learns why in Indian art human beings are portrayed while having sex with animals and all sorts of other aspects of Indian art and spirituality. While at the Pinacothèque I decided to visit another exhibition, “The Art of Love in the time of Geishas”, this time devoted to strongly erotic Japanese works of art. The musem bookshop (I consider museum bookshops a must and one of my favourite places in the world) is great and worth a visit to pick up a few souvenirs.
(To get there: 28 place de la Madeleine, M Lines 8, 12, 14 Madeleine, to reserve tickets online http://www.pinacotheque.com/en.html, open every day except Tuesday, 10.30 – 6.30, admission until 5.30).
After visiting the museum I took a ten-minute walk along rue Royale and rue Rivoli to get to Angelina – certainly one of the must-see places in Paris. This legendary café, in front of the Louvre Museum on rue Rivoli, has for decades remained a temple of Parisian beauty, elegance, class and ‘nomm-nomm ‘– most delicious deserts. It is famously known for its thick and creamy Hot Chocolate-called African Chocolate-and its pastry Le Mont Blanc – Meringue with light whipped cream and chestnut cream vermicelli. However, my favorite of all, available only at Angelina, is its red version Mont Blanc Fraise-Vanille.
The tearoom is also worth a visit for its sophistication and class. It is beautifully designed in the style of Belle-Epoque. Popular at the beginning of the 20th century, this style boasts rich decorative plaster work in shades of white and cream. The tearoom is open for breakfast and lunch and offers a nice, though pricey, menu which includes omelets, salads and club sandwiches at about 20-25€ per course and around 8-9€ for pastries. To ‘Redden’ your trip try an Eclaire Fraise Vanille (Strawberry-Vanilla Eclair) or Tarte Framboise-Pistache (Raspberry-Pistachio tart).
(Note: the well-known Angelina TeaRoom is on 226 rue Rivoli, Metro Tuileries, Line 1, open 7.30-19.00; there is often a line outside of the shop which can be quite long depending on when you get to the tearoom; there are other smaller, though not so picturesque, branches of the café in Galeries Lafayette, Palais des Congrès and Versailles. For more information consult the Angelina web-site http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/)