• stephenjrountree

Hot Chocolate with Coco Chanel at cafe Angelina on the rooftop of the Louvre.

The first thing I do in the Louvre is head for Angelina café for views of Paris and hot chocolate with Coco Chanel.

It used to open at 10 am -- I’m not sure what will happen after covid-- but, even if you’re early, it’s not a big deal. You’re in the Louvre. Go have a gander around. The mob will flash-flood down the halls leading to the Mona Lisa, but you and I are going to follow the signs for cafe Angelina.

At Café Angelina, we’ll ask to sit outside on the roof-terrace. Sitting inside is rad, too, of course. If there’s a wait there’s a wait. Like I said, you’re at the Louvre. No big deal. Coco Chanel was a regular at cafe Angelina, and now that they have one at the Louvre, we’re going to order a hot chocolate for her and all share one while we look out over the Tuileries Garden and to the Eiffel Tower in the distance on a clear day.

Don’t forget you’re also gazing down upon the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which was a shooting location for the movie Funny Face, where Audrey Hepburn took the pictures with the balloons.

We recreated the photos in a silly little photo shoot, but those photos of Audrey Hepburn as shown in the movie, turned out better than any of the modern sharper-than-real-life in 20k images. It’s why I say, when people ask, that the best camera is the one you’ve got. Framing and content is so much more important than blurry backgrounds. We still haven’t reached where we were in film, before digital, in my humble opinion. If tomorrow, some digital camera company had a press release that they had some super duper new digital camera, and, if the little picture they inserted into the article as a sample of what this new camera can do, had the same picture quality as the intro scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in terms of color quality, people would lose their minds, including me. So because we’re all playing catch up to Technicolor anyway, just choose a camera the way wizards choose a wand. Hold a few until one feels right and there are sparks. You’ll know. Some of my favorite travel shots have been with the little point and shoots because the hotshot DSLR got left behind because I didn’t want to lose it. Anyway. Where was I.

The food here at Angelina’s is good, and you should eat here, because you’re not here to analyze if a salmon was left frying on a pan for 17 seconds too long,

but the hot chocolate and the views are stunning, and worth the hour line to get into the Louvre in and of itself. What better way to start the overcrowded Louvre than with a hot chocolate with Coco Chanel.

Coco Chanel may have attended the Angelina down the street, but who cares. It’s still Angelina. It’s still hot chocolate with Coco Channel. Plus, you get to the Louvre earlier, and beat at least some of the line, because you don’t have to eat beforehand. Oh, and they only have like three tables on the rooftop, so, if you can’t get one, it’s no big deal. Coco Chanel never did, either. The inside is still gorgeous. And you came to view Paris from the ground, anyway.

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