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Le Grand Colbert for Paris' Best Christmas Hot Chocolate

Eileen Mcaliney writing for I V Y paris.
If you want a special inexpensive Christmas treat in Paris with friends, I can recommend Le Grand Colbert for real hot chocolate (le vrai chocolat chaud)!  A gorgeous historical restaurant in the heart of the Palais Royal district with lots of low lighting, mirrors and Christmas lights.  This restaurant was featured in the movie "Somethings Got to Give" with Jack Nicholas and Diane Keaton.  You can experience the magic for 8 euros (2 chocolat chauds) instead of 180 Euros (dinner for 2).

Le Grand Colbert serves the melted chocolate bars in a little silver teapot, along with separate silver pots of hot milk and whipped cream.  And of course you can add your own sugar.   I tried 4 other places known for real hot chocolate in the neighbourhood (Angelina's on rue Rivoli, Ladurée on rue Royal, Jean Paul Hevin on rue St Honoré) but Le Grande Colbert was by far the best, not to mention the least expensive.  Plus the fun part - mixing your own special blend of milk, chocolate, whipped cream and sugar.   Angelina's also serves whipped cream on the side to add as you want. The other two only serve the whipped cream if you order the Viennoise for an added price.    J-P Hevin's Salon de Thé is rather hidden upstairs over the chocolate shop, and perhaps this is why it had available seating.   Angelina's and Ladurée had HUGE lines to be seated.  Since they are not well known for tea time, Le Grand Colbert had plenty of available seating, and as it gets dark so early, the glow of the Christmas lights inside creates a warm restful ambiance far from the bustling crowds in a beautiful setting.

Le Grand Colbert, 2 Rue Vivienne 75002 Paris (M: Bourse or Palais Royal)
Jean-Paul Hevin, 231, Rue St-Honore 75001 Paris (M: Tuileries or Madeline)
Ladurée, 16, Rue Royal (M: Madeline) 75008 Paris  01 42 60 21 79
Angelina's, 226, Rue Rivoi (M: Concorde or Tuilleries) 75008 Paris

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