The legendary purveyor of fine French food, Fauchon, has recently dipped its toes into the hotel business. Known for its delectable delicatessen, the gastronomic offerings have spilt over into the hotel where the ethos is about offering an experience for “all the senses”.
In fact, within sight of the Fauchon L’Hôtel’s elegant historic Haussmann building is the original delicatessen itself, founded in 1886 on Place de la Madeleine with distinctive black-and-white awnings. Its impeccable French style is evident in this boutique hotel with its dramatically decorated rooms.
The corner, street-level open-air restaurant, is a magnet for the beautiful people of Paris who come for after-work cocktails and dinner.
Some of the 54 rooms, rising up to six floors, overlook the imposing Church de la Madeleine while others face the bustling Boulevard Malesherbes.
Under high ceilings, Schiaparelli’s distinctive hot pink – the brand’s accent colour – explodes here and there; from elegant velvet pouffes and scatter cushions, to geometric patterned rugs on black-stained parquet floors against a largely serene cream canvas.
Bose speakers link directly to your phone, a Dyson hairdryer sits discreetly in a pale pink case.
The Fauchon logo (a raised eyebrow and eyelash) is monogrammed on the underside of the silky linen and the bathrooms are the epitome of luxury with floor-to-ceiling marble.
The extraordinary minibar is housed in a full-height pearlised pink cabinet. Unusually, the treats are pre-ordered to your taste and the bar is stuffed with complimentary delights from Fauchon’s own delicatessen.
For those with a sweet tooth there are the most delicious chocolates, biscuits and soft macarons, while savoury types will love the mini cheddar crêpes, truffle crackers and luscious dips and spreads. Best of all, anything left over is yours to take home.
FOOD AND DRINK
The French have dining down to a fine art and Le Grand Café Fauchon is fabulous. Sit outside under the hot-pink awnings, watching the world go by on Place de la Madeleine. Inside, it has a more Parisian café-style feel.
A long counter, full of cakes is wickedly tempting and walls adorned with gold and white mosaics make for a contemporary take on gilt café interiors.
Try light bites such as carpaccio of scallops and roasted hake or the signature riso pasta “like a risotto” with lashings of truffle oil – an impressive nod to the hotel’s culinary pedigree. Don’t miss their signature “bisou bisou”: a cake of fruits in the shape of glistening red lips wrapped around an almond biscuit. Expect to pay around €100 for two with wine.
High tea can be taken in a tropical-style tea room, complete with swaying palms and antique tea caddies, while the moody, cosy little black bar just off reception with velvet club chairs strikes the perfect tone for a post-dinner nightcap.
French women have always spent more on beauty than fashion – and it shows – so you know the Carita spa is going to offer something truly special. My facial was exceptional. The bijou all-white spa has two treatment rooms and a superb therapist, Laura.
She administered the excellent Carita bespoke facial which not only involved the usual cleansing and moisturising, but also a zingy vibrating massage stick to stimulate all those sluggish blood vessels.
And should you be so inclined, there’s a little gym next door, and an aromatic steam room – just the thing to relax post-workout.
Treatments from €70.
Fauchon L’Hötel couldn’t be better located with so many famous boulevards and attractions right on the doorstep.
For Paris at its people-watching best, Rue Saint-Honoré with its cheek-by-jowl designer stores is minutes away. So too are the sublimely manicured Tuileries Gardens which lead you to the Louvre Museum.
The Place de la Concorde with its gold-tipped obelisk and crazy traffic is around the corner.
Rooms from £380, room only (hotel-fauchon-paris.fr). Eurostar (eurostar.com) offer return fares from London St Pancras to Paris from £58.
Paris tourism: en.parisinfo.com