Sunday, August 26, 2018

Paris in August

Trip date: August 2017

After my week long holiday in the Southwest of France, I stayed with Forest and Thibault for another quick two days before flying home. But I can do a lot in two days!

Day One, Forest and I set out for a very special exhibit at The Musée des Arts Décoratifs. 70 Years of Dior was an amazing collection of over 300 gowns from all the designers who have led the haute couture house; Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri.
Additionally, there were displays of shoes, handbags, jewelry, perfume. And an amazing collection of photos and ad campaigns, as well as magazine covers.
They even had a mini atelier set up and showed how they go about making patterns. It was really an event that overwhelmed my senses in a great way.  We spent a couple of hours going through everything, marveling at the craftsmanship, the elegance, and the style. It was awesome to be able to see so much of the House's work.
We discussed it all in detail over a wonderful lunch at Ellsworth after. We each took the 3-course menu; I chose the roasted marrow bones for my starter which were absolutely the best I have ever had!
While walking from the restaurant enroute to our next stop, we passed a cute little boutique hotel called The Drawing Hotel and had a quick drink on their small back terrace. It seemed to be a very nice 4-star hotel, with a great location in the 1st, if you are looking to stay in that area.

Our actual destination however was the Crillon Hotel, which had just reopened after a 4-year renovation, and their bar, Les Ambassadeurs. The hotel is located at Place du Concorde and its facade was originally commissioned in 1755 by King Louis XV. A mansion was finally built behind the facade and the Count of Crillon purchased it in 1788. In 1906 it was sold and turned into a hotel. That's some pedigree!
It's swanky as hell and the service was very proper but not stuffy. I just loved it! There is also a beautiful looking bistro with interior courtyard seating adjacent. The hotel is worth a stop, even to check out the amazing floral displays in the lobby. But if you're there anyway, why not a glass of champagne in the bar?  And by the way, if you book a room here, you get your very own butler. So call me and I'll drop by!

We had another new spot to check out, over at the Palais Tokyo, where Les Grand Verres had recently been opened by the team behind Candalaria. The space is very industrial chic, and the drink menu focuses on being sustainable and creating minimal waste. Drinks and snacks were great, and you can't beat the location, right on the Seine!

That evening we met Thibault and a few other friends at Duc Lombards, one of the main jazz clubs in the city. We had an absolutely great time sitting up in the balcony, listening to jazz, and sharing many bottles of wine!

Day Two, Forest and I had a delicious lunch at the one-Michelin starred Neige d'ete in the 15th arrondissement. For €76 we had 4 courses with wine pairings and amuses to start.
I chose to add Sevruga caviar to my Whitefish beignet (as you do) for another €25 and we shared a cheese course before dessert for another €12.

The wine pairings were all excellent, as was the service. It's a beautiful space, done in barely-there greys and whites. I'd highly recommend it.
After lunch we did a little shopping, stopping into the Maison de l'Escargot (just down the street) and then over to the 7th to the Maison du Whisky. Shopping completed I was looking forward to a glass of wine at L'avant Comptoir (one of my most fave spots in Paris) but they were having electrical issues and had to close.

We headed to Montparnasse and decided to do a crawl of the grande dame bistros. First stop was Le Dome, which is absolutely gorgeous inside. Multiple rooms, as well as a glassed-in terrace, are decked out lavishly. I could only imagine it back in its heyday.

Across the street we had a drink at Le Rotonde, where art and mirrors line the walls and the red and amber lighting gives a theatrical feel to the space.
We finished up at Le Select, outside on their patio. It's so fun to imagine the various celebrities (and celebrity wannabes) who ate and drank at these old haunts. The year before we did a big lunch at La Coupole and drinks after at La Closerie des Lilas. Next time I'm in the area I'll try to hit Rosebud. So much fun!

Thibault met up with us for dinner at near by Les Fauves, a super cute and bustling restaurant with really good food.
And then it was home to pack :(

My American flight left CdG at noon, and I was lucky with the 3-seat row all to myself. I had a small layover in Chicago where I chowed down on some queso fundido and a margarita! Love France, but a girl needs her Mexican too!

All photos of Paris here.

Previous post on this trip:
Summer in Southwest France

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