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 ++33.01.53.43.43.42.
Hôtel Le Bristol Paris
112 rue du Faubourg Saint Honore