The Louvre, Art and Gastronomy

Paris Louvre (1)The Louvre needs no introduction, with nearly six million visitors each year. But did you know that it is possible to have lunch inside?

Opened in September 2010, only a few steps from the apartments of Napoleon III, the Café Richelieu has a delicious selection of pastries and cakes. It is a refined setting where gastronomy and history are married in a way that only the French know how.

The café’s large patio doors open out on to the Cour Napoléon and the Louvre’s famous glass Pyramid. There’s a terrace where, during the summer months, you can enjoy a peaceful lunch in the magnificent surroundings of what was once the royal residence of the Kings of France.

The menu itself was created by the famous Maison Angelina, a house founded more than 100 years ago by the Austrian confectioner Rumpelmeyer in honour of his daughter. This elegant tea room has quickly become a mecca for French pastry. The café is no stranger to celebrities with great names like Coco Chanel and the writer Marcel Proust, to name but a few, having lunched there.

dsc00064 (1)The Louvre is more than a museum. Behind its walls lies a millennial history where kings and statesmen have come and gone. This can be very much appreciated in the building’s attention to detail, and it is not unusual for visitors to dwell more on its feats of architectural prowess and on its frescoes than on the museum’s world-class art collection itself. Under the current palace lies the foundations of a medieval castle that was rediscovered in the 19th century. Part of the old wall is thus accessible to the public in the basement of the museum and hundreds of everyday objects are on display in the Saint-Louis room.

The Louvre has also played an important role in recent history. The rooms that today house the Café Richelieu were once the offices of the Ministry of Finance, which was located there some 30 years ago, before moving to more modern buildings in Bercy.

So, in a sense, politics made way for gastronomy in this historical setting. The symbolism isn’t lost on the French, in a country where the diplomatic and gastronomic arts are equally important.

Good to know: Buy combo tickets here, offering skip-the-line access to the museum as well as tea and pastries at the Richelieu café. For more information, consult the website and get a 10% discount with the code LOUVREGMT2018.

Comments are closed