October 08 2011
Back in Paris – I had an excellent meeting this morning, we reviewed the results the second edition of Tous au restaurant (“Let’s all go to a restaurant”). I borrowed the idea from the New York Restaurant Week, which has been very successful for many years. The idea is very simple; “Your guest is our guest” – during one week, participating restaurants across France create a special menu and if two people order that menu, only one pays. This initiative has been a huge success, with more than 1,000 participating restaurants and 500,000 customers.
When back at my desk, I found a nice surprise: a sample of the beautifully handcrafted Christmas chocolate baubles that will be offered to our guests at The Dorchester restaurant during the festive season. I tasted them in London but the team there knows I have a sweet tooth – especially when it comes to chocolate!
This afternoon I left Paris to fly to Nice where I drove to l’Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de La Celle, my country inn. One hour and a half of pure pleasure through the hills of Provence: I love the colours of autumn and the stunning landscape, but I couldn’t resist a quick detour to Le Val and say hello to Mustapha Messaoudi. Mustapha is a very special sculptor: he makes mortars with the local marble. I’m so enthusiastic about his work that last year I asked him to sculpt two dozen individual butter dishes for the Plaza Athénée.
By the end of the afternoon I arrived at L’Hostellerie. This evening I held a party to celebrate the completion of the enhancements. The decorator, the contractors and artists who contributed were all here, along with our best clients and a lot of other friends. Nice weather, ice cubes tinkling in the glasses, conversation whispering… a magic moment.