Taking the Eurostar from St Pancras we arrived in Paris a stress-free 2 1/2 hours later. Whenever I travel I aim for a hotel that captures the spirit of the city I'm in. In Paris for me, it's the Hotel Duc de St Simon a beautifully renovated 18th century townhouse in the St Germain district, where we've stayed for the last several years. What can I say - it's just quintessentially Paris! From its inner courtyard with wrought iron dining table and chairs, the reception desk and foyer filled with Louis antiques, drapes and upholstery with elaborately detailed passementerie, trompe l'oeil wallpaper, to the guest rooms decorated in toile de jouy wallpaper. Classic French interior design abounds...
Some of my favorite stores are on the rue de Grenelle within walking distance from the hotel. Sabbia Rosa on rue des Saints Peres, just off rue de Grenelle is at the top of my list. Since 1976 the owner, Monte Moati has been creating elegantly luxurious lingerie in a kaleidoscope of silks with intricate lace details in an intimate Hollywood-style boudoir setting. It's the one occasion I tend to get rather carried away and have to be reined in. The Carine Gilson lingerie couture boutique which opened since my last visit also has beautifully crafted pieces, but I managed to resist.
Of course we dined in some amazing restaurants and one of my absolute favorites was L'Abeille (the bee) in the Shangri-La Hotel where we celebrated my birthday. With 2-Michelin stars L'Abeille is the perfect big-occasion restaurant with a haute cuisine menu. As to be expected the interior design was exquisitely rendered in a sophisticated palette of shimmering grey, silver and bronze.
Duc De St Simon Hotel's reception and concierge desk
Beautiful drapery details and well maintained antique furnishings
Classic passementerie details on pillows and upholstery
Monti Moati, the store owner putting together her signature gift bag
As pajamas are back in style, you could conceiveably leave the house in this little number
So happy with my purchase!
A big hug for Monti Moati
My girlfriend Phyllis recommended I stop by Fauré Le Page, a luxury leather goods store established in 1717. The store's original claim to fame was selling holsters and gun bags - organizers and handbags have since been added. A nice alternative to Goyard.
The Carine Gilson lingerie boutique creates beautifully crafted pieces from chantilly lace and sumptuous Lyon silk