After a lazy lie-in and missing the hotel's sumptious breakfast buffet, we decided to head out to a nearby cafe for our morning expresso. The clear blue sky prompted us to take a walk to the Louvre, along the Tuileries. We walked past many inviting sidewalk cafes but resisted the temptation until we reached the Louvre ~ Le Cafe Marly with its spectacular view of the pyramid is our destination.
Le Cafe Marly is located in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre, right on the terrace of Cour Napoleon - you will have no trouble in locating the cafe, just keep a lookout for IM Pei's shining glass pyramid - it is right next door.
This cafe/salon is run by the Costes brothers, creators of the ultra-hip Hotel Costes in Paris. Here's a picture of the cafe from the outside, which I agree looks pretty ordinary...
... but my breath was taken away by how gorgeous it was on the inside. The indoor seating area is literally a glass wall away from the many art works and scultpures placed in the Richelieu wing, as if you were dining in an art museum.
With such lovely weather, we opted to sit in the terrace, in full sight of the stunning pyramid.
Mindful of our big lunch ahead, only ordered a couple of pain au chocolate to munch on. The portions were a bit small but perfect for our purposes. I have now come to the conclusion that all pastries taste at least ten times as good in France as anywhere else. Cannot think of a time when I was disappointed with the patisserie here in Paris, be it at breakfast in an outskirt three-star hotel, or mass produced packets from some supermarket. My only recollection of a Paris-HK flight on Air France was how delicious the breakfast pastries were (and how lousy the movie selection was). Although not the best that I have tried, I had no complaints with these Lenotre pastries.
Fixated on hot chocolate after passing by Angelina's on the way, I decided on the hot chocolate Milk, while T had the hot milk, both served in small metal jugs. These were yummy - the hot milk was scented with a hint of vanilla and sweetened to the right degree, while the hot chocolate milk was silky smooth with no powdery taste. There was no yucky feel or half torn skin on top on either drink. I definitely prefer this chocolate drink to the one at the Orchidee in the Park Hyatt.
Both were delicious - and tasted even better when we mixed the two up to our liking. Can imagine this to be the perfect winter warmer - mental note to self~ try revisiting in colder months.
We just sat there sippng our hot drinks and browsing the French sunday newspaper at leisure. It's a perfect brunch spot or for tea. I could totally imagine going to Cafe Marly in the afternoons by myself and just spend ages sitting there, curled up with my latest read and letting time passes by. And of course, whenver I am bored or in need of enrichment, the Louvre with its art treasures is just seconds away...
Our breakfast for two came to EUR10 only, which was very reasonable by Paris standard and accounting for the setting. However, was told that one should avoid visiting during meal time, as the cafe menu would be replaced with a fusion cuisine that overcharges. This is one reason why you see mixed reviews on Cafe Marly's pricing.
Le Cafe Marly, Palais du Louvre, 93 Rue de Ravioli, Paris