Hot chocolate with Coco Chanel.
Act I: Angelina Café on the Roof of the Louvre.
They call Paris the City of Lights, not the City of Lines, so if you must stand in the line for the Louvre and you don’t have the Paris Museum Pass, do so as early as possible. Ideally you’re in line when it opens at 9 am and with caffeine because caffeine is a known cure for the mob migraine virus.
Once you get through the line and you’re under the pyramid now you have to buy tickets to the actual museum itself. Walk past the lines of the ticket booths, and as everyone watches and wonders where you’re going, buy your tickets at the self-serve kiosks. Of course this is assuming you don’t already have a Paris Museum Pass.
Once inside the Louvre break off from the stampede herding toward the Mona Lisa and follow the signs for Angelina or ask the people who work there for directions.
Ask to sit outside because Coco Chanel was a regular at Angelina and even though this isn’t the same one now that they have one in the Louvre go get a hot chocolate with her while you look out over the Tuileries Gardens and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. The food here is good and you should eat here but the hot chocolate and the views and the inspiration to design some fashion are stunning and worth the wait in line by itself. This is why you didn’t worry about breakfast and got here first thing when the line was shorter.
Act II: The Louvre
Once you’re full and fueled with hot chocolate and a delicious bass and maybe a little rosé wine it’s now proper to browse the art at the Louvre. My suggestion is to do the grand gallery first because let’s face it even though there will be six hundred people between you and the art it’s the reason you came to the Louvre, then pick two other exhibits you want to see, and then get the f*&k out of this place because a certain somebody named Paris is waiting outside to spend time with you again.
Act III: Le Palais Royal
Outside and in front of the Louvre, stroll the Tuileries Gardens and let it brush off any scent of mob still lingering from inside. And actually the Ferris Wheel is a lot of fun and with great views and great giggles.
I however after the mob of the Louvre am sometimes so desperate for peace and quiet that I skip the Tuileries and take a hard right out of the exit doors of the Louvre and head north on Place du Carrousel and cross Rue de Rivoli. Then I take a quick right on Rue Saint-Honoré and then a quick left on Rue de Valois and then you’re pretty much at Le Palais Royal and its quiet and relaxing garden. There is hardly anyone here on most occasions except those in the know and those are the ones you know you want to be there.
The garden is a rectangle that is surrounded by delicious restaurants of your choosing tucked into pretty much every corner bordering this quite post-mob oasis. From Michelin restaurants to cafés, under the trees here is a perfect place to eat and to catch up with Paris, who has been waiting patiently but with legs crossed and high heels twitching for your return from the Louvre.