After my last post about camping, my friends have had a bit of a chuckle and still can't quite believe that I was there. Just for the record, it's definitely my hand that's holding that floral beaker in the first photo!
In direct contrast to that night under canvas I am going to take us to a hotel in Paris for this post.
|First glimpse of the Tour Eiffel|
Magical, even on a cold and wet December morning.
Last December we were fortunate enough to go on a trip back home to the UK to spend a cold Christmas with family and friends. I didn't really write much about it as I was too busy enjoying myself...but I have often thought that I should have recorded a bit more about the holiday.
When we were planning the trip we knew that our priority was to visit people, but we also wanted to try and fit in a couple of mini holidays away just for the three of us. One place that was on the 'must do' list was Paris.
I had some lovely memories of the city but had not been there for many years so I was keen to return.
For the whole holiday I was more or less in charge of the itinerary (for that read most of the organising!) and Neil was tasked with finding accommodation. Now for most of the time we were lucky enough to stay with family and close friends so his job wasn't particularly onerous.
For the Paris trip he was just asked to "find somewhere that feels French" So he did!
|pretty impressive from the outside|
You know that a place is going to be interesting when you are greeted at the front steps with a guest leaving with a flurry of small white fluffy dogs. They weren't poodles, but the scene was set anyhow!
Then in the entrance foyer there were zebra heads, a cascade of chandeliers and leopard print carpet...
|Entrance foyer to Hotel Saint James.|
You can just make out the zebra heads either side of the mirror in the bottom right photo.
It was a glorious mixture of the starkness of black and white mixed with an eclectic feast of warm colours and texture and crazy hanging chandeliers.
The hotel is built on the site of the first hot air balloon launch in 1783 and there are a few quirky nods to this connection.
|hot air balloon inspired wallpaper and lights|
Each one of the 48 rooms and suites has its own story and hidden behind a bold red door is a uniquely decorated haven.
We booked a junior suite and were upgraded to a suite upon arrival - I was already impressed...
|colourful, elegant and at times a little eccentric...|
It certainly felt very French with the soaring high ceilings, luxurious fabrics and marble bathrooms. Oh, and did I mention that there was French champagne in an ice bucket? Merci Beaucoup.
The hotel is the only chateaux hotel in the city of Paris and is located in its own private courtyard and gardens. It was December when we visited so we didn't see the glory of the gardens, instead we were treated to log fires and enormous scented Christmas trees so I definitely wasn't complaining.
As you can imagine, the restaurant was another wonder of decor where the young female Head Chef creates typically French masterpieces. We mainly dined in the Library and I could have happily spent hours just soaking up the atmosphere in there with the 12,000 leather bound book and Pilou the hotel cat. Yes, Pilou the black cat lounges around the place in his/her red diamante collar just waiting for attention from adoring guests. Sibs was suitably thrilled.
|from top left - the restaurant, lots of heavy tweed curtains and leather,|
exploring the library and planning the day over morning coffee
I swear that I have never had such a good night of sleep - anywhere, ever.
In fact, we missed breakfast on the first morning! The shutters did their job and plunged the room into total darkness and the opulent fabrics and furnishings muted any noise. I had no idea what time it was!
|Sibs looks tiny|
Paris, you were magnificent....
Hotel Saint James, you made it even more so.
Happy, happy memories,
Hotel website link HERE - well worth a look just to see the photos.