Anyone who is missing strolling through the Tuileries in Paris with a decadent Angelina hot chocolate in hand can now stroll through Central Park with one.
Carolina Herrera is bringing fashion favorite Angelina Paris to its Madison Avenue flagship beginning Monday in the latest merging of the worlds of style and food.
“We think of our flagship as our home, and this is an extension of that, a place where everyone can come and entertain. And who doesn’t want to be outside, see friends and enjoy the sun and flowers right now?” said Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon of the outdoor bistro set-up. “Our idea was to turn 75th and Madison into a little Angelina Corner.”
The original French tea room, which is a Rue de Rivoli lunch stop during Paris Fashion Week and a tourist hot spot, opened its first U.S. location last year near Bryant Park. The Herrera outpost is the second, and marks the American fashion house’s first foray into food, following a trend that has seen Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Prada, Burberry and others entering the restaurant business, Brunello Cucinelli making olive oil, Fendi sending out logo pasta for a runway show invitation, Telfar designing White Castle staff uniforms and on and on.
Angelina was established in 1903 by confectioner Anton Rumpelmayer with his son René, and named after his daughter-in-law. The Art Nouveau tearoom was designed by Belle Epoque architect Édouard-Jean Niermans, and quickly became a hangout for Paris’ beau monde, including Marcel Proust and Coco Chanel.
Angelina was family-owned until 2005, when it was acquired by French restaurant group Groupe Bertrand, which has been expanding the brand internationally.
Today, the most popular items on the menu are the richer-than-rich l’ancienne L’Africain hot chocolate, which is also served cold for warmer days, and the Mont Blanc pastry, a tiny mountain of meringue and cream.
And Herrera has its own version, with cherry and chestnut cream vermicelli in the house colors pink and red celebrating the brand’s 40th anniversary year. “It’s a little Mont Blanc — not so sweet that you can’t have several,” Gordon said.
Angelina Paris at Carolina Herrera is open until July 31, 954 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 212-249-6552.