Paris sunrise

Breakfast through the privacy hatch

Avenue Montaigne

December 2011; HOTEL DE LA TREMOILLE, 14 rue de la Trémoille – 75008 Paris, Tel. : +33 (0)1 56 52 14 00, reservation@hotel-tremoille.com

The 7:30am Eurostar train smells of musk, newspapers and coffee, the second class cabin seats are bustling with men in suits, lodged expertly in positions that ensure least creasing on their trousers. I stand out in my plaid shirt and dark skinny Levi’s, knitting needles in each sleeve and balancing a coffee formula with a little too much milk. The bloke next to me glances occasionally at the snood factory, and flutters open his newspaper to wave off the fluff. It’s a food-trip to Paris for work, and I’m to meet Sophie at 11 o’ clock for brunch at the Rose Bakery on Rue des Martyrs. The train pulls into a foggy opening of Gare du Nord and the doors slide open to spill out the passengers and L‘Eau du businessmen; the morning wind is scratchy but there’s a glow of orange on the roofs. The taxi driver attempts slurred English and ends up ranting in French, and I say ‘Wee, wee, wee’ throughout the ride to the hotel, I think I might’ve said yes to ‘I think I’ll have a Jambon sandwich today’ but I’m not too sure. We weave past Champs Élysées, a strikingly clear view of the Eiffel and the glitter-clad Avenue Montaigne, and I wonder if I’d also accidentally agreed to a mini taxi-tour of Paris and fumble at my phone (comme dictionary), but apparently that’s the supreme location of Hôtel de la Trémoille. My bag is hailed away, straight from the taxi boot to the porter’s desk, and I’m received in a Haussmanninan foyer, complete with wrought-iron doors and rich velvet drapes.

The diffused lights from the enclosed balcony illuminates the room to a dawn-like glow, and as the receptionist flicks the lightswitch on I realise it’s massive, hardly the size of a standard room. There are two doors to the room, but one is a privacy hatch, accessible from the inside so that the breakfast deliverer isn’t assaulted with a door-full of bedhead and morning breath. The bathroom is colourful with Molton Brown liquid and I momentarily confuse myself C (Chaud = Hot) tap as the English short for Cold, and dip my hands into scalding hot water. And what do you know, a box of Ladurée macarons as a welcome gift on the bed. I rush out to meet Sophie but glad that at the end of the day I can come back to this.

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Hôtel de la Trémoille is offering a Valentine’s package until the end of February, including an evening of Maison Kaviari’s l’en-K de Caviar© with a bubbly to share with a significant other, and a tailored culinary walk with guides around the area. Check their official website for more information.

Thank you Hôtel de la Trémoille for the hospitality & Mango PR for the organization.

Special thanks to Alix for helping with the photos, Hôtel de la Trémoille, Paris for the location, and Guerlain and Ykone for the opportunity.

It’s only really been a recent development on my part, from considering water + shampoo to be the ultimate l’eau de toilette (no pun intended!) to weaving through the perfume counters at the ground floor, not just to get to the elevator that will take me to 1) the toilet or 2) the food court. I do remember specifically though, that it was triggered by my brother, who dragged me around Selfridges looking for a ‘character smell’ that wouldn’t repel girls, and we ended up riding the bus home, drunk on the adjective ‘musky’ and feeling like mosquito melting in repellent. Since then on I’ve been on an informal quest to find my own smell, first preference being Candy Floss, but I hear the Jelly Belly factory stopped producing perfume… about time to grow up, I guess. Guerlain had contacted with a proposal for a mini collaboration, wherein I was to interpret the Shalimar into a photoshoot, and what with my olfactory age being about…six, I went for innocent, delicate, sensual as the key vocab for the shoot and here are the results. Actually there’s a lot more where this came from – lots of bedsheets, legs that just won’t stay covered… and a lot of ‘I’m wearing a white dress looking sad but also want to pounce on you’ faces. Scent-wise, there is a note of sweetness, but then it’s weighed down by a stronger velvety tang, and I must be honest and say that the Shalimar will sit on a higher shelf until I grow up a little to be able to reach without a kiddy step stool.