Perfectly Paris: A Recommendation
In the four years since we last visited Paris, we accumulated voluminous lists of must-dos. But when we arrived, we decided to put them aside to make some independent discoveries instead.
For dining, we loved Le Grand Colbert [2 Rue Vivienne; 33-1/42-86-87-88; legrandcolbert.fr] and its delicious sole meunière with haricots verts; the cheese soufflés, salade verte and grilled sole at Le Soufflé [36 Rue Mont Thabor; 33-1/42-60-27-19; lesouffle.fr]; and Jean-François Piège’s brasserie, Thoumieux [79 Rue St.-Dominique; 33-1/47-05-79-00; thoumieux.fr], for its not-to-be-missed Caviar de France starter, a mound of roughly mashed potatoes with a Brobdingnagian dollop of caviar. We also spotted Calvin Klein seated just across from us, spending more time on his cell phone than enjoying his lunch.
We stayed at Le Meurice [rooms, from $1,040; 228 Rue de Rivoli; 33-1/44-58-10-10; lemeurice.com] for ten days under the inimitable watch of general manager Franka Holtmann, who is as sparkling as the hotel. She has transformed the property into a great people-watching scene in Paris. Bar 228, the lodge’s piano bar, is the best in the city, and the hair salon by Christophe Robin [christophe-robin.com] is the place for coloring—especially blondes. His personal coterie includes Catherine Deneuve, Kristin Scott Thomas, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton, among others. Luxuriating in my blondeness, I left laden with Mr. Robin’s shampoos, conditioners and his new rose-based hair volumizer. One afternoon, a stroll through the Palais Royale led to the discovery of Delage [15 Rue de Valois; delage-paris.com], which offers sophisticated, beautifully designed shoes for grown-ups. Nearby, Paule Ka [223 Rue St.-Honoré; pauleka.com] carries exquisite dresses, and Apostrophe [43 Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré; apostrophe.fr], on Rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré, has gorgeous Chanel-inspired jackets.
First in Class
British Airways’ first-class cabin [“First-Class Travel Handbook,” September 2010] is the most glamorous cabin I’ve ever been in—so comfortable and cosseting. Its look is Andrée Putman–meets–Normandy, with Bentley finishes. The food and wine were quite lovely, too. Once in London, we shopped at two cool places worth mentioning: Dover Street Market [17–18 Dover St.; doverstreetmarket.com], run by Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo, and LN-CC [18 Shacklewell Ln.; ln-cc.com] in Dalston, an underground concept store in an old boxing gym.
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