The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellness are Tessa Theolier, my lifelong friend, collaborator and the only person I ever allow to cut my hair; and Julien Montenot, a masseur extraordinaire at the Hôtel Costes spa, for his restorative massages with essential oils. I’d have a very hard time giving these up – they are the perfect way to unwind after a busy day. Hôtel Costes, 239-241 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris (+331-4244 5000; www.hotelcostes.com).
The books on my bedside table are typically about Roman architecture from the 17th century, but you’ll also find a copy of Monochrome by photographer Vanessa Von Zitzewitz, a coffee-table book of her black and white nudes, and Lost Divas by André Tubeuf, a beautiful Assouline book about the glamorous – and gossip-filled – lives of great opera singers.
The best gift I’ve given recently was proof of my loyalty to a dear friend.
And the best one I’ve received was a beautiful bouquet of lilies and white roses from Parisian florist Moulié Fleurs. It was sent by a close friend to celebrate the reopening of the Louvre’s decorative arts galleries, which I have spent years restoring. 8 Place du Palais Bourbon, 75007 Paris (+331-4551 7843; www.mouliefleurs.com).
The last meal that truly impressed me was a private dinner hosted by Marie-Hélène de Rothschild in the Galerie d’Hercule at the Hôtel Lambert in Paris. This exquisite, 17th-century mansion – set on the tip of the Ile Saint-Louis – was the magical setting for an evening that will forever be in my memory.
The artists whose work I would collect if I could include Michelangelo, Nicolas Poussin, Turner, Picasso and Matisse, among many others. I admire them for their use of colour, and each of their works evokes a distinct sense of place and time.
My favourite room in my house is my bedroom at my château in Normandy. It is a grand, jewel-toned space that has painted Peking silk walls and an elaborate, green velvet canopied bed. I like being surrounded by the rare books and antiquities I have assembled, as well as the complete quiet and calm.
In my fridge you’ll always find smoked salmon and blinis; I travel a lot but like to have something in case friends drop by. There’s also a bottle of Cos d’Estournel Blanc; I like its fresh, fruity flavour and stay particularly loyal because I helped design the chais at Château Cos d’Estournel.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be a sculptor. I particularly admire the work of Renaissance sculptor Jean de Bologne and would love to create such beautiful, lasting works of art.