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