Béatrice de Plinval talks personal taste: Part One

Béatrice de Plinval is curator of the museum and archives of Paris-based watchmaker and jeweller Chaumet.

Béatrice de Plinval at the Chaumet Museum in Paris.
Béatrice de Plinval at the Chaumet Museum in Paris. | Image: Roberto Frankenberg

My personal style signifier is the diamond given to me by my grandmother, which I asked Chaumet to mount in a ring in 1970. It is set in yellow gold, with onyx, in the style of a chevalier signet ring. I wear it nearly all the time.

Moynat Quattro tote bag, €1,500.
Moynat Quattro tote bag, €1,500.

The thing I’m eyeing next is a new bag for everyday, perhaps an orange shopping bag from Moynat. And I’d like a new car, a Range Rover Evoque, to use when I’m in the countryside. Moynat, 348 Rue Saint-Honoré, 75001 Paris (+331-4703 8390; www.moynat.com). Evoque, from £27,960 (0871-522 5740; www.rangerover.com).


An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Romania, where I went hunting last year with my husband. We went to a magnificent place in the Carpathian Mountains, looking for bears, but only to observe – I don’t shoot. We were deep in the forest, a unique spot, where there are more than 6,000 wild bears. It was also very rich in flora and fauna, with wonderful flowers and birds.

The Carpathian Mountains.
The Carpathian Mountains. | Image: Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery

An indulgence I would never forego is cultivating my bonsai in my kitchen. My mother gave it to me 35 years ago.

Béatrice de Plinval’s signet ring.
Béatrice de Plinval’s signet ring. | Image: Roberto Frankenberg

A recent “find” is a charming little hotel just behind the Rue Cambon in Paris, called Le Burgundy, which was Baudelaire’s house and has a very good restaurant called Le Baudelaire, a new adaptation of contemporary arts de vivre. It is one of the great old hotels of the area around the Place Vendôme; it’s elegant yet cosy. 6-8 Rue Duphot, 75001 Paris (+331-4260 3412).

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne, £60
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne, £60

The objects I would never part with are my sunglasses and my pen. My sunglasses are from EB Meyrowitz, and I need them all the time to protect me from the many contrasts in light. My pen is a Montblanc, and I always write with sepia ink; I use it to write, design and sketch. EB Meyrowitz, 5 Rue de Castiglione, 75001 Paris (+331-4260 6364; www.meyrowitz.com). Montblanc, 13 Old Bond Street, London W1 (020-7629 5883; www.montblanc.com).

Otto e Mezzo Bombana restaurant in Hong Kong.
Otto e Mezzo Bombana restaurant in Hong Kong. | Image: Otto e Mezzo Bombana HK

The last meal that truly impressed me was in Hong Kong, at Otto e Mezzo Bombana. I had a risotto with fresh white truffles. I had never before had so many white truffles. Shop 202, Alexandra House, 18 Charter Road, Central, Hong Kong (+852-2537 8859; www.ottoemezzobombana.com).


The books on my bedside table always include a cookbook, and I especially like recipes by Guy Martin, the chef of Le Grand Véfour. There is currently also a biography of Marie Antoinette by Stefan Zweig; and always a plant finder, which takes me back to my botanist’s world. www.grand-vefour.com.

The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is probably Joan Miró. I also love Max Ernst and Georges Braque – that period is very coherent with my house in Normandy; these artists actually came to my village.

The last music I downloaded? I don’t download. When I drive to the country, I Iisten to Radio Classique, which I find the best when I want to escape. I have so many CDs at home, and I make a selection to take in the car.

In my fridge you’ll always find a bottle of champagne. When you come back home after a hard day, a glass of champagne is very nice.

The beauty staple I’m never without is Orchidée Impériale Cream from Guerlain, and I also use Guerlain fragrances. I love Guerlain – it is a beautiful house, very French, with a shop next door to the Place Vendôme. £240; www.orchideeimperiale.com.

The last item I added to my wardrobe was a new coat from Jacqueline Peres, the tailor in Paris I always use, in the same material as a jacket I already have. My clothes are nearly always the same, but it’s my style. Now her boutique is called Comme une Grenade, but I first found her years ago when she used to be in the Rue de Castiglione. I am not a branded lady; you don’t have to be when you find your own style, coherent with your attitude and age. 21 Rue de Tournon, 75006 Paris (+331-4407 1197).

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