What does one go to the Louvre for? Hordes of tourists flow torrentially through its doors everyday, filling the long galleries and the underbelly of the glass I.M. Pei pyramid. Some take snapshots of its monumental items to show back home, others run through the galleries as if leafing through magazines in the queue of the grocery store. A few may concentrate and wish for more spacious silence to digest the surrounding beauty. All swarm and agitate among the unperturbed attention of the security guards and the hundreds of years mute presence of the artifacts
So there it is, once inside, the show is on the walls, sculpture stands and in the glass cases. There is, however, another view from inside out. Turn away from the displayed objects and look out. The perspective from the upper floor gallery windows opens to irresistible panoramas. As we stand above the ground and cast our eyes over the facades, courts and streets below we review Paris, the symmetrical elegance of the arcades designed by Percier and Fontaine for the Rue de Rivoli or the perfect square shape of the majestic Cour Carrée.
One can add a sensual indulgence to polish off this visual enchantment: a fortifying cup of tea at the recently opened salon de thé Angelina on the first floor of the Richelieu wing. There is a way to make this experience perfect: order a chestnut purée and meringue Mont-Blanc, one of the most sublime afternoon pastries that seem to fit in so right in those surroundings. Then, this visit will linger in your memory.