Chocolate Being Poured onto a White Cup


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As we drag ourselves through the depths of winter, another Valentine’s Day has come along to lift our spirits. Yes, it’s a great time to let loved ones know they are loved, but if you really want to prove it, chocolate needs to be involved. I’m not talking about a box of See’s Candies that you can pick up at Walgreens, although the dark caramel patties aren’t bad. I’m talking about the ultimate indulgence — Chocolat L’Africain, a sinfully rich hot chocolate created at Angelina in Paris. It’s made with 72% bittersweet chocolate and is so decadent you need to add whipped heavy cream to cut its intensity.

It’s been over thirty years since I had my first taste of it on a madcap trip through Europe with friends, but since then, Angelina has expanded globally. Of all places, I stumbled upon an outpost during my years in Singapore. Of course, it’s at the infamous Marina Bay Sands. Even with the temperature at a sticky 92 degrees, the air conditioning chilled me enough to enjoy a cup. Not that I need any excuse to indulge at any temperature.

Fortunately for me, my luck continues with their beautiful tearoom here in New York’s Bryant Park. It’s just as crowded as the one in Paris and almost as good. Although you can’t burn off the calories by walking through the nearby Louvre as is required in Paris, you can at least put on some skates and dodge the NYC tourists at the ice rink across the street.

Bring your Valentine, indulge, and toast to love … and chocolate!

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