Beyond Cool! Special-T at the Shangri-La Hotel thanks to "My Little Paris"!

Special-T and pastries!

One of the most important things that I've learned about living in Paris is that it pays to act first and work out the details later. So, as soon as I received an intriguing invitation from My Little Paris for a romantic tea with my lover at one of the most beautiful hotel suites in the city, I grabbed the phone to make a reservation. All of their other readers must have nimble fingers and lightening fast reflexes because the line was busy...busy...busy. After hitting redial numerous times, it was a relief to hear that there were still a couple of spots left at my preferred hotel, the recently opened Shangri-La, a luxurious five-star hotel near the place du Trocadéro.

The devil is in the details - since Stéphane is in Geneva this weekend and we haven't adopted the Parisian habit of having "his and her" extramarital affairs, I was at a loss as to which lover I should ask to accompany me this morning. Realizing that a single woman would probably look rather strange among the amorous couples, I nonetheless set out for the Shangri-La because there was no way that I was going to miss out on this delightful event just because I don't have a paramour. I'll know better for next time and plan ahead!

After passing through the doors of the Shangri-La, the former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte that has been meticulously restored, I was told to proceed to suite number 41 on the fourth floor. Still feeling slightly apprehensive yet rather adventurous, I rang the bell and was ushered into the two-floor suite with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Sigh... How romantic!

View of the Eiffel Tower from the suite

Walking down the steps to the first level, I was warmly greeted by the Special-T hostesses and a young couple sitting on the couch. The man immediately broke the ice by offering me one of the exquisite pastries, while the hostess explained the range of exclusive teas that are made with a Special-T machine, the Nespresso equivalent for tea aficionados. While sipping my Imperial Black Tea, the young couple revealed that the husband had invited his wife to an unknown destination this morning that just happened to be a beautiful suite at the Shangri-La Hotel. It just goes to show that women aren't the only ones who like to surprise their partners!

One of the charming Special-T hostesses

While we were talking about what a great idea it was to offer people the opportunity to sample tea in such luxurious surroundings, another lone woman walked down the steps. She turned out to be a real estate agent, which was rather serendipitous because Stéphane and I are toying with the idea of buying our own little piece of Paris. All too soon, my second tea was finished and it was time to go, but not before I registered to win a night in the suite. My fingers are crossed that I'll be the lucky winner and that Stéphane will be in town to enjoy it with me.

This was by far one of the coolest things that I've done in Paris! Kudos and thanks to My Little Paris, Special-T, the Shangri-La Hotel, La Belle Juliette Hotel and the boutique Hotel Seven for organizing it. If you're not already on the mailing list for My Little Paris, I highly recommend it. It's one of my favorite sources when I'm looking for interesting and unusual things to do.

Disclaimer: Even though Stéphane works for a certain Swiss multinational that owns Special-T, I wrote about this event because I thought that it was over-the-top fantastic not because of his affiliation with the company. He didn't know about this promotion until he heard my rave reviews.
Shangri-La Hotel


  1. Sounds like such a wonderful treat - sad I couldn't be there to enjoy it with you!! If only special T would do something similar in Boston!

  2. I wish that you could have joined me, too! Being at the Shangri-La brought back such good memories of all of the time that we spent at the S-L in Surabaya. They have an afternoon tea that we should try the next time you're in Paris! :)

    Unfortunately, Special-T hasn't made it to the USA yet - it's only available in Switzerland and France.

  3. What a fun thing to do. I"m glad you're so intrepid. The hotel exterior is so stunning--imagine living in such a home. Ah, I would in a heartbeat. Anyway, after the dreams are over, the tea sets in. Where is the photo of the tea machine? Does it use capsules like the coffee/espresso makers?

    And I wonder, did anyone cut that cake? Where are the plates? They really needed a good butler to set this affair up.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. You would love the Shangri-La, Joseph! I told Stephane that it was as if my mothership had called me home because we used to be members of their health club when we lived in Indonesia. The hotel in Paris is the perfect combination of Parisian elegance and Asian hospitality. After touring the hotel, I still couldn't drag myself away so I ended up having a cappuccino in one of their sitting rooms. You'll definitely see more about this hotel in future posts. It's gorgeous.

      As for the Special-T machine, it uses capsules like the Nespresso machines and offers the same sort of convenience. I didn't get any photos of it - but I do have one in my kitchen so perhaps I'll write a post about it sometime! ;)

      They certainly could have used a butler! That would have made this special event even better. The realtor asked for a slice of the cake but I'm not sure if it was served on a plate, maybe only on a napkin.

  4. This looks like such fun! I've been there for drinks/dinner before (the chinese restaurant is amazing!) but maybe will save tea for a special occasion w/ visitors?!

  5. You've been to the Chinese restaurant at the Shangri La? I need more info!!! Was it super expensive?

    As someone who is in advertising, I think that you would have enjoyed meeting the "Chef de Projet" from Publicis who put this promotion together for Special-T. I thought that it was an extremely clever idea!

  6. Mary Kay; you are so courageous! I also would have loved to dial - redial - and once again but Hero Husband was, same as yours, abroad and I didn't have even the tiniest thought that I could have reserved and go there alone.... you're so much more 'liberated' in your mind-frame! I would agree that it is absolutely not necessary to have a partner with you at all times and all events but here I just didn't think any further - I'm just glad that you made it to this fabulous event and that I can partake via your good luck! Thanks for T.... :)

    1. Kiki, I wish that I would have known that you wanted to go for tea. I would have asked you to be my "date"! It's not that I'm so liberated - it's more that I always ask myself if I will regret not doing something more than I'll regret doing it. SInce I was really impressed by the whole concept, I decided to forget about the potential embarrassment that I would feel being on my own. As it turned out, I really enjoyed myself and wasn't embarrassed to be alone at all. But next time we should go together!


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