By Mary Gostelow
There are those who believe a gentleman should never breakfast, lunch and dine in the same room – but David Beckham may find it hard to resist with a three Michelin-starred restaurant just downstairs. Epicure is the signature restaurant at Hotel Le Bristol, Paris, where Beckham will be staying during his tenure at Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.
At dinner last night, the elaborate offering of dishes was served on plain white porcelain. Now, at breakfast, the china is totally delightful, a floral landscape with whimsical birds and butterflies. The playfulness extends to the kitchen. The gal asks for an omelette, and look how it comes set as if a little blue painted butterfly is just about to take a bite.
All the china is like that. Sit there reading your Figaro, if you are French, or Financial Times, or International Herald Tribune, and you can nibble a croissant or Danish while you gloss over yet more horror stories of today’s economic and political worlds. After Istanbul and its sense of optimism, here in Paris it is doom and gloom. My friends bemoan what President Hollande is doing to middle class life (straining budgets when it comes to dining out in a brasserie) and to general city life (dirtier streets and more dog mess, they say, but I never saw either, when running pre-dawn).
The perfect way to enjoy this part of Paris is to base yourself here, at the 188-room hotel that is within three minutes’ walk of all the big-name art galleries along avenue Matignon. I found room 760, a mansard shape with walls covered with open-tulip patterned fabric, an eyrie that could only be here in Paris, especially since I look straight out, across the Seine about ten blocks away, at the Eiffel Tower.
Come out of 760’s door and you are at the top of the original staircase, 158 stone steps, in square formation, back down to ground level. From the top, seventh floor, right to the ground level there hangs a light installation which could, at a stretch, be called a modern chandelier. All the decorations at Oetker Collection hotels are supervised, or entirely created, by ladies of the Oetker family. They have an exquisite sense of colour and they know when to blend a traditional classic sculpture with something oh-so-modern.