Thursday, July 31, 2014

Le Bristol Paris Tea Time

Some days you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Other days you feel light as a feather barely touching the ground.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Afternoon tea at Le Bristol Paris at 112, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré 75008

Simply divine.

The hotel opened in 1925

5 ***** luxury

Yet afternoon tea is an affordable luxury. Pretend you're a princess for a day. Why not?

Meet my teatime companion, Aussie journalist/editior Michelle Lollo living in Paris. We met at le Chateau de la Barbee last December. We were guests of Le Bristol yesterday.

FYI:
Michelle's Fab sunglasses: Karen Walker from New Zealand so Forgetaboutit.
Michelle's darling stripped shirt is not French. From Esprit in Australia. Forgetaboutit.
Michelle's lipstick? MAC: Fresh Moroccan. Bullseye! I ran out and bought it post-tea. Love it.
Why do I always covet other people's lipsticks?
Here's a fashion tip from Michelle. She knows these things since she just interviewed Juliette Binoche. For example you must wear your sunglasses slightly down the bridge of your nose or you'll look like a dork. Who knew?

Michelle's red patent leather brogues? Men's shoes bought in Portugal. All the chic people seem to be wearing men's shoes!? Who knew?

On to more important things - Tea time at Le Bristol at Jardin Française.

I had to eat most of this since Michelle is gluten-intolerant, but the chef made up a gorgeous fruit plate especially for her. For lunch at the Brasserie they will make up anything you like since everything is made in-house. (The tea tray for two is 55 euros). Instead of tea we drank iced fresh mint in bubbly Chateldon1650 water made for us by request.

My delicate bite-sized tea sandwiches.

Mignardise desserts. Michelle can eat the fabulous macaron caramel au beurre sale since there's no wheat. Extremement caramelly in my opinion. Miam.

I may be 'semi-faux-gluten-intollerant' Michelle says, since I don't eat pastry crusts. She was shocked at what I left on my plate. Especially the unctuous chocolate cake, but a girl has to watch herself doesn't she if she wants to keep going out to tea.

The head chef at Le Bristol, Eric Frechon is a MOF, meilleurs ouvriers de France, meaning he's been awarded the most highly-prized top craftsman of France. So has his assistant chef. The Bristol has 4 MOFs onboard. the most for any hotel in Paris and their restaurant Epicure has 4 Michelin guide stars - another Paris record.

The barman at Le Bar Bristol, Maxime Hoerth is also a MOF, one of only two in France. Do stop in and have a drink in the lap of luxury.

Did you see the movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel this year? All hotels have their secret backstories.

Le Bristol Paris is no different. I admired the elaborate ironwork elevator cage. Our guide told us it was designed by Jewish architect, Leo Lerman well-hidden in the hotel during the Second World War by the German owners. His room had no number so no one could find him.

There's also a secret 'house' cat, Fa-Raon (named after the Egyptian pharoh) at the hotel well-hidden in his own ballroom. Pas mal for a cat's life.

I knew a secret our guide didn't know. The heavenly pool on the hotel's top floor was designed by the same architect who designed Aristotle Onassis' pool on his private yacht, or that's what they told me when I stayed at the hotel for one brief night eons ago in mad pursuit for air conditioning in a sweltering Paris.

Simply divine no? Afternoon tea at these top notch 4-5 star Paris hotels is an affordable luxury anyone can enjoy. Why not treat yourself to tea at Le Bristol
Meanwhile back at OK Carolle it's crunch time. We bought bags of beautiful French tomates to draw for the August Sketch Letter, including the irresistible miniature bag from Pain d'Epice in Passage Panorama. You can still renew your subscription PBers and get an original cherry watercolor in your mailbox by the way. Cheers Carolg

41 comments:

  1. Anabel5:01 AM

    Simply divine!
    I'd love to walk in your shoes even if the aren't chic men's brogues

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  2. Ah Carol that looks simply magical! I'll have to add Le Bristol's tea to my list when I come back here next year in March or in the summer!

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  3. The shiny floors! The gorgeous light! And the utterly unique toothpicks in the tea sandwiches! They're even color coordinated with the china! Oh, please, in my next life let me come back as the slave who must clean up your plates!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why wait?
      The job is open.
      Send CV a toute suite.

      Delete
  4. Darling pictureof you! Surrounded by pastries

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  5. Oh so gorgeous!
    Love the juxtaposition of the strong-armed telamones in the first image and the delicate and graceful ballerinas in the following one.

    Yes, I have seen "The Grand Hotel Budapest" - twice, on the big screen, sitting in big plush red velvet chairs in a beautifully restored old movie house here in Vienna.

    P.S.: Love your bigger images! :-)

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  6. Men's shoes are more stylish and comfortable for walking than women's walking shoes. I thought it was my big secret---alas, no more! Le Bristol! Oooh, la, la, la, la! Looks wonderful and elegant. But do tell, how was the cannelle? Better than the one we bought at the fair. (This is my current obsession.) Enjoy those lovely blue skies!

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    Replies
    1. Truth be told the Bristol Cannele Was better - a more caramelized outter crust with nice soft inside.

      Delete
  7. Two beauties! You both have great lipstick lips:)
    I am funny like you..I once met a friend who was with someone at a country street fair..loved her lipstick..it's in my cosmetic drawer..more than once this has happened..Sienna being my fave from a fave client 100 yrs ago:)
    Love that aquarelle..it brings back the memory of your lessons..i still have mine in my book.:)

    What a LOVELY outing.
    And those ballerinas..be still my heart.
    beautiful pastries..did you try le savory cake?
    The cannele looks quite perfect no?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cannele Was perfect!
      Like everything else.

      Delete
  8. delightful, all...

    and oh! those red patent leather brogues!!!!!!!!!!

    tessa~

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  9. Charmante, Carol! Reminds me of every day with my grandmother. So nice of them to make the special treats for someone gluten sensitive! I heartily approve! Sweet photo of you, Carol. Hope the foot is doing better. XO

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  10. You made me swoon!

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  11. ps
    love the tomato painting!

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  12. Super sleuth Carol! Fascinating to hear the hotel hid the Jewish architect - more amazing in that Gestapo interrogations were held around the corner in the now Ministry of Interior.

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  13. Great post today. Your friend is gorgeous. I need to check out the shoe situation. Who knew.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

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  14. Barbara11:23 AM

    Oh wow ! that is so fabulous, and as you say affordable luxury.
    I'm packing my my bag to come for afternoon tea. :

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  15. I am soooooooo inspired by your sweet paintings AND of course I live vicarously in Paris through your sketch letters. AND I like your red glasses.

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  16. A dewishous post; you two look so chic and perfect in that setting. I would forgo all the food for a swim in the pool though, an hour in the pool. Really the best one I've ever seen......having not seen Mr. Onasis' little floating pond. It's wonderful to see you out and about, healed and happy
    xx
    julie

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  17. OMG does that sound fantastic.
    Going on my 2015 list for sure.

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  18. Anne K.11:37 AM

    SOOOOOOO FUN !!!!!!!!!!!!

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  19. Oh I want to have tea here. This is going on my list.
    Actually the price is not too bad. I would have helped
    you finish the desserts off, but really like the savories
    the best.

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  20. I love my cheery cherry watercolor! I don't think I dress well enough to have tea there, but may I have take-out?!

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    Replies
    1. Of course you do Jeanie!!
      I had on a macaron T-shirt (from Anne Maisonneuve 28 euros) and black pants.
      Nothing fancy
      Take-Out defeats the purpose and they only have that if you want room service I bet.

      Delete
  21. Loved every word & picture in this blog & am thinking that I must try tea at Le Bristol.

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  22. In the film, Les fauteuils d'orchestre, in one of the opening scenes, the lovely grandmother says to her adult grandaughter who is going to live in Pars: "J'aimais le luxe. J'aimais toujours la luxe." And you also! Even though I don't eat gluten or sweet deserts, I love the food in Paris! The sweet ones ARE pretty to look at! Tomorrow is a big day: I am going to the post office to mail YOU a card ~ enfin I found the perfect one yesterday! You're looking very elegant & chic, Madame!

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  23. oops,,, le luxe, not la....PS I read an interview with Binoche in "Psychologies", the monthly magazine, some time ago, & she seemed very down to earth...

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  24. Carol,what a wonderful post!
    That heavenly tea shared by elegant ladies--and us!--,topped off with a beautiful sketch!
    How does this get better?!
    The Bristol holds special memories for me;my parents were partial to it and would treat us to dinner there when we were newlyweds(and could NOT afford such a treat!)

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  25. Anonymous7:50 PM

    WOW! Thank you for this post Carol, my husband and I will definitely come here for tea time. The Sweets look sinful:). We will be visiting Paris this October for our wedding anniversary. Off topic, we will be attending the Salon du Chocolat also, could you tell me how I can purchase the tickets that are in color that I see so many people have? We did attend the Salon in 2011, but all we got was the plain black/white printed receipt type. I want to buy the nicer ones this time, so I can put it in my scrap book for souvenirs. Could you advise me as to how and where k can get these tickets? If anyone else know the secret, please please share. Thanks a million! bao-kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NO idea since I go in as Press and get no ticket at all.
      Better to buy online than wait on those long lines.
      Or you could buy tickets at FNAC shops

      Delete
    2. Anonymous9:15 PM

      Thank you Carol! We did buy the tickets at FNAC before, and it was just a black/white printed receipt. I saw many people at the show with the nicer tickets in color and with the Salon prints on them...I should have asked how they got them:(. PBers, if anyone know the secret of getting the nicer tickets, please help. It would mean so much to me... bao-kim

      Delete
  26. How elegant! Lovely and delicious post. And I notice a new "masthead." :-)
    CarolH-NY

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    Replies
    1. THANKS for noticing ArtistLady
      PV is now WIP!!
      more to come soon

      Delete
  27. Egads! You left the chocolate cake!

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  28. Carol, your tea time looks like a complete delight, surroundings, good company and delicious creations to nibble elegantly.

    I loved the elevator story, too. I was amused to see sneakers on the feet of ladies checking in or out at the hotel's reception area in one of the first photographs.

    You've certainly captured Parisian flair very well in your latest watercolor paintings! What spirit you have, dear Carol. xo

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  29. That is a dynamite photo of you, Carol. Keep it!

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  30. I love your opening photo, and then it just keeps getting better :)
    What a place! You really do it justice with your photos. I wish that I could be there, too......"wow" photos, Carol, and the pic of you is a great one, too!

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  31. But yes! Karen Walker everywhere. But not cheap here in NZ or anywhere! http://www.karenwalker.com/stockists.aspx

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    Replies
    1. WOW I noticed that Bindy,
      Thanks for the link!
      One can dream..

      Delete
  32. OK CAROLLE…… really good!
    Tea at The Bristol....
    divine!

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  33. I love the two "Goyard girls" at the check in desk of the Bristol.

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