Last week, I found myself in Paris for 2 magical days. Short but sweet.
I was there to discover Contemporary Paris, through food, art, spa and design with the Mandarin Oriental. Could there be a better way?
I dashed inside the Mandarin Oriental as the heavy Parisian rain fell hard, but soon all distress of the weather was gone. The hotel really is something quite beautiful. Not just a 5* hotel, but a ‘Palace’ hotel- basically the next level up from 5*- it has been beautifully designed by Sybille de Margerie, one of Paris’s most revered interior designers. A mixture of Parisian flare, but with characteristics of its Oriental roots.
Immediately I was greeted by genuinely happy to see me staff, who took my bags, coats and took me straight upstairs. Check in is in the rooms here. Now that I like.
I was pretty enamoured with my suite. The design is very Parisian haute couture and I very well might have done a skip round the rooms with a huge smile on my face and then flung myself on the bed. Trust me eh?
I need this bathroom in my life! It's only a woman's right, right?
Plus with Diptyque products on tap, I would never leave the bathroom.
See, I'd move in to the bathroom. Found my new bed.
-Shop the post-
Forcing myself out of the bath I found myself in the garden courtyard, where the sun had come out and was flooding the garden.
It's a rather romantic space, filled with trees, fairy lights and cute little seating areas. Again I want my garden to basically be modeled on this.
It's very instagram worthy.
But champagne called, and I headed in to Bar 8, a casual, but still rather stylish bar. The walls are embedded with Lalique crystals and the bar is made from one solid 9 tonne marble slab.
Joining my new found friends, we eyed up the food coming towards the table.
Again, blending Paris and it's Asian roots, I had Breaded Maki rolls, which really were delicious.
Plus a good trusty caesar salad, which was lovely and light, as sometimes the sauce is way to heavy and strong.
Now if you got to the Mandarin Oriental you have to promise me you have dessert. Their desserts really are fan-tastic!
Even if you are not staying, just pop in and grab some cake in the garden.
After lunch we headed off to discover Paris's famous art scene with the help of Stephanie d'Aboville, founder of Voie Privee. Voie Privee is a team of expert insiders who can get you into places you can't normally, curate events, tours and experiences that just are not available unless you know people in the know.
First we headed to Mussee de Las Chasse in The Marais distrcit.
They are due to open up their new SAFRIX exhibition today, but we got a sneak peak at it being put together.
It was fascinating seeing the work, and moving parts of what it takes to put together an exhibition, and yes, it was rather like a building site, except with beautiful and rather expensive art in the middle.
One of the main artists on display is a man named Mark Beard. He paints in 4 styles, but to achieve this, he has 4 "Personalities", each being a different artist, allowing he to paint as multiple people, in different styles. This way he can change the way he paints, but he'll credit to one of 4 working names he uses.
The gallery is a great place to leisurely wander through, and it's rather fun too, with this life-size giraffe that you can poke your head in. I never knew Giraffe were that big!
Help it got me!
Next up we headed over to Suzanne Tarasieve's gallery.
There is alot of art I don't get. Quite a lot of the interpretive stuff confuses me. I like art that I can appreciate the talent of. I'm a big fan of paintings, as I can see the skill. I think it is very important people don't feel the snobbery that often comes with art. Like what you like, as at the end of the day as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
However Suzanne's gallery stood out as it spoke to me quite well. It was all about the modern age of technology. The above tablets have written on them the T&C's of Facebook. Basically the code that we all follow now. A modern 10 commandments.
And below shows all the technology and apps that make us up. YouTube, Drop Box, Twitter, they all define us now and are apart of us.
However art takes many different forms, and it's completely up to you what you like, and what doesn't. Here are some of my favourites.
At Galerie Perrotin.
Emmanuel Perrotin is a French art dealer with galleries across the world. With the help of Voie Privee we got to go to his secret gallery which is usually only available to his clients. However here is a sneak peak of what you get if your a multi millionaire art lover.
Don't be afraid to step in to a gallery if you want a browse. I can tell you, they are alot nicer people than some of those in Mayfair here in London. In Mayfair you get looked down upon, but in Paris, it's come on in.
After spending the afternoon deep in thought about art, I needed a little switch off time.
The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental is entirely devoted to well being and relaxation. It's like a sanctuary, a oasis among the hustle of the city.
Only a couple of weeks ago it opened up it's new Guerlain Suite, where the treatments are made to measure for every client, using a range of Guerlain products and techniques.
I went for the Guerlain Lift Ultime facial which was to rejuvenate my skin, and give it that uplift that sadly time is hard at work trying to bring down. Think no surgical face lift.
I had a 50 minute facial, but that time is for the facial it's self, and after extensively talking about my needs, I was in there for a whopping 1 and a half hours. No rush at all.
I'm not just saying this, truly, it was the best facial I've ever had. From the minute I walked into the spa, it was a journey of relaxation, and was the most calming, yet invigorating facial I've had. I can not recommend it enough.
Also I came away wanting everything Guerlain.
I may have picked up a few things... Would you like to see a review if them?
Feeling on cloud nine, it was time to prepare for dinner. Oh and boy, I was in for a treat. Stay tuned for the next blog post...