True story: there are no highchairs in Paris. Or, at least, we couldn’t find them.
Hudson is a very good toddler in restaurants and, if we’re lucky, will even sit still through some pretty long meals! But that’s with a high chair. Without, it’s more “up-down, up-down.” (Literally. He narrates.) So after a few days of doing without, I was thrilled when I remembered that once I saw a post on Momfilter about a very elegant high chair in this belle-epoque tea salon, Angelina. Or so I thought. Turns out that the chair in question was at Laudurée and that my memory had deceived me. Aron and I had been to Angelina years ago and perhaps I subconsciously wanted to return.
In any case, I was more than a little disappointed when I asked the maitre’d for a high chair and was met with the same response as elsewhere: “Non,” with a wee bit of “but of course we don’t” expression. In fact, we never saw any French children of Hudson’s age in restaurants. None. Ever. So of course there are no high chairs.
Angelina is a beautiful tea salon that opened near the Louvre at the turn of the last century, and that serves delicious albeit pricey pastries and the most decadent, rightfully renowned, sipping chocolate. It’s popular with tourists, which always increases the chances of other small children, but no luck this morning. Just the sounds of clinking china and muffled conversation. But despite the slightly hushed atmosphere that had me a little nervous at first, I have to admit that taking hopping, bouncing, wiggling Hudson to this slightly fussy tea salon was a highlight of the trip. It was one of those moments when I really appreciated his ability to just not care.
First off, he ran straight to the pastry case in front and started pointing: “balls, balls, balls!” He had spotted the religeuse, a sort of eclair-like pastry with two stacked balls. ”Balls, mommy!”
What can you do, but order the balls?
When they arrived, he didn’t know what to do. He poked at the top, licked the raspberry off of his finger, and then just dove in! We quickly ushered a fork into his hands, laughing at the surprise of his reaction.
Aron ordered the Saint-Honoré, a combination of puff and caramelized choux pastry with vanilla pastry cream and chantilly whipped cream. Hudson got one bite of that whipped cream and immediately turned to my (nearer) Mont Blanc—where chestnut vermicelli conceals a filling of meringue and that same chantilly.
The whipped cream was clearly a big hit.
We couldn’t help ourselves. We ordered some of the hot chocolate, too. Maybe I just wanted to give him more whipped cream so that he’d stop stealing mine. But I also thought it would be fun to see how much he’d love the hot chocolate.
I wish I had a photo of his face. You’d think we’d given him a bowl of sour lemon. I didn’t think it was so bitter, but his expression told another story.
Finally, to cap off a truly entertaining visit, Aron took Hudson with him to the restrooms upstairs. When they returned, Hudson ran toward me shouting “Daddy pee-pee! Daddy pee-pee!”
It was a wonderful, memorable morning! It’s such a beautiful space and I definitely wouldn’t let the lack of high chairs or the formality scare you off from visiting with a toddler. If anything should have scared us off, it should have been the cost. Mon dieu!