Stella McCartney's Latest Collection at Le Bristol's "High Fashion Tea"

Even though there are many quotations extolling the virtues of patience, I've never been the waiting kind. But just when I was beginning to think that I wouldn't be able to attend one of Le Bristol's popular "Fashion High Teas" because they always seem to fall on dates when I'm out of town, I heard that Stella McCartney's 2012 spring collection would be featured on December 3. It's true - good things do come to those who wait!

Enchanted by the idea of watching couture-clad models while indulging in sumptuous pastries and finger sandwiches, I decided to contact Le Bristol to reserve a table for Sylvia, a writer for the Girls' Guide to Paris, and me. But since I rarely follow the old adage to "never put off till tomorrow what you can do today", the last table was booked moments before I spoke with Pascal. After mentioning my disappointment, he offered to start a waiting list and suggested that I phone the following week to see if there had been any cancellations.

Thinking that the slip of paper with my name on it may have disappeared somewhere in the bar, I nonetheless called on the appointed day and was pleasantly surprised to learn that there was a table reserved in my name. Not quite believing my good luck, I quizzed Damien rather relentlessly about the spelling of the name to ascertain if the reservation was truly for me, while he cheerfully reassured me that all was in order and said that he hoped that I would enjoy the tea.

Settling into our seats in the festively decorated bar and admiring the bright red poinsettias on each table, Sylvia and I joked about the toll that Thanksgiving dinner had taken on our hips and agreed that it was a good thing that the special designer cake created by Pastry Chef Laurent Jeannin to accompany the Stella McCartney collection was served before we saw the waif-like models. Otherwise, we may have felt slightly guilty about finishing the decadent chocolate dessert that was sprinkled with edible gold dust and the luscious coconut ice cream.

While I admired the streamlined silhouettes of McCartney's designs and momentarily yearned for a tropical climate where I could wear the flowing dress with the Hawaiian motif, the most lasting memory of the "High Fashion Tea" at Le Bristol will be of my interactions with Damien and Pascal. Sorry, Stella!  For when Sylvia, Stéphane and I had the pleasure to meet Damien in person while sipping champagne after the show, we discovered that he's every bit as charming in person as he is on the phone. 

As the first hotel in Paris to be awarded the distinction of "palace" by the French government earlier this year, the bar at Le Bristol is a luxurious place to enjoy a glass of wine, a cup of tea or your favorite cocktail.

The "High Fashion Tea" is 55 Euros ($74) per person. Past fashion teas have showcased the collections of Celine, Yves Saint-Laurent, Givenchy and Chloé. Please check Le Bristol's website for upcoming events. If you would like to reserve a table, call the bar at ++

Hôtel Le Bristol Paris
112 rue du Faubourg Saint Honore
75008 Paris


  1. I love their Christmas tree, so bright and cheery, but surely they could put a star or angel atop it, yes?

    Mary Kay, you do some pretty fancy things all in the name of your blog--good for you! And Stephane there to accompany you. Oh wait, the tea table is set for two (sort of), so he joined you after the show? Missing the leggy models?

    Do you remember what the sandwiches were? Watercress and cucumber by chance? Chicken salad? And of course it was milk served with the tea, yes? Did you share the cake and ice cream, or were there two serving? And where is the cutlery? My inquiring mind wants to know.

  2. You certainly are observative! I hadn't even noticed that the tree was missing its star, but you're right that it does look bare without it. A star or an angel is always the finishing touch. I wonder if they forgot about it and it's sitting in a box somewhere.

    Nope, Stephane didn't join us. He strolled in after the tea proudly carrying his new made-to-measure umbrella that he had just picked up from Michel Heurtault. He claims that he called my cell phone, but I think that it was all a pretext to see the leggy models. Unfortunately, he arrived too late.

    I'm afraid that my answers are going to be a bit of a disappointment because while everything was delicious, I was trying to do about 3 things all at once. Eat, take photos, and watch the models.

    Sandwiches - they were very tasty. I remember raving about them but can't remember what they were. There were two of each on a plate that we shared.

    Milk was served with the tea but I drink mine plain. And there were individual servings of the designer cake and ice cream. Sylvia and I shared a plate of pastries - macaron, a small tart, chocolate, etc. Fortunately there was still a little bit of chocolate left for Stephane, who happily popped it in his mouth.

    Cutlery - with the exception of the cake and ice cream, everything else was finger food.

    And in all honesty, I would do these things whether I was writing about them or not. The blog just legitimizes my days and gives me an excuse to drive metro simulators and go to afternoon tea, which I have always loved doing.

  3. Made to measure umbrella--that's class.

  4. You would love Michel Heurtault's boutique! For anyone looking for a unique gift from Paris, it's a great address to know. Plus, Michel is a real artist and a highly skilled craftsman.

  5. Such a great atmosphere! Lucky you!

    Speaking of Christmas! Enter my Christmas Surprise Campaign!

    Good luck!

  6. Edible gold dust? I don't think that's made its way to Nouzerines' boulangerie yet! Does it taste nice?
    You're right about the waif-like models, poor things. They need a good plate of frites with mayonnaise.

  7. lorenabr, Great idea. Unfortunately, I don't have a Facebook account and can't follow step number 1.

    Steph, I don't know if it's real gold, but Sylvia had to tell me to lick it off of my lips because they were shimmering with gold dust. As far as taste, the only thing that I could taste was luscious chocolate. I guess that my palate isn't that refined.

    French fries seems like just the thing for the models, although being American I would serve them with ketchup!

  8. It is real gold but it doesn't really have a taste as it is so thin.


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