About   |   Travel   |   Contact   |   Style   |   Beauty

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Exploring Paris with Small Luxury Hotels of The World - PART 1

- - -
In April, I spent 4 glorious days exploring some of the best boutique hotels that Paris has to offer, with Small Luxury Hotels of The World.

Our first stop and the hotel we spent our first night in, was Pavillon de la Reine. Hidden within a courtyard in the heart of the Marais district, Pavillon de la Reine is a stunning 17th century building covered in cascading ivy that changes colour with the seasons. 

The beautiful Place des Vosges is right outside the hotel's courtyard and is lined with restaurants, pretty cafes, shops, art galleries and even an ice cream parlour. The hotel also provides bikes free of charge for it's guests if you feel in the mood to explore the local area on wheels!

Pavillon de la Reine has 56 rooms and suites, all decorated in their own individual way. The rooms are luxurious and full of personality - filled with period furniture, geometric patterns and exposed beams. Upon arrival to my suite, I was greeted with a handwritten note and a box of colourful Carette macarons - a patisserie conveniently located in the adjoining square if you develop a taste for them! I had my own beautifully furnished sitting room, bedroom, bathroom and separate toilet (which is always convenient if there's more than one person staying in the room!) joined together by a beautiful corridor lined with windows - all featuring the original, dark wooden beams. 

The next morning, I was greeted with breakfast in bed and blue skies. I opted for freshly baked pastries, juice and a cappuccino. Many more options were available, including hot food, but this truly was my idea of a perfect Parisian breakfast. We had such beautiful weather for our trip, so I opened all of the windows and enjoyed my breakfast in my giant bed, accompanied by a pleasant morning breeze and the sounds of Paris waking.

- - - 

Next, we visited Paris' smallest 5 star hotel - L'Hotel. This hidden gem, located in St-Germain-des-Prés on a small, quiet street, was the former and final home of Oscar Wilde. The architectural crown of this hotel is surely it's stunning, circular atrium; almost as soon as you walk through the hotel's doors you can look up and see its corridors winding high above you. The outside of L'Hotel is relatively unassuming, which makes it's dramatic and flamboyant interior all the more of an intriguing surprise.

L'Hotel also boasts a Michelin starred restaurant specialising in french cuisine, headed by chef Julien Montbabut, as well as a bar, spa and traditional Turkish Hammam pool. As a guest here, there's almost no need to leave. 

The 20 rooms at L'Hotel echo the property's colourful history. The rooms are stylishly decorated - all individually themed, with baroque prints, fabric covered walls and dramatic, tasseled drapes.
Some of the rooms even have their own private terrace, so you can take breakfast in bed to an entirely new level; breakfast on balcony.

So, if you're a lover of decadent decor, attentive service and fine dining, french cuisine, L'Hotel can deliver it all - right on your doorstep.

Later that evening, we drove through the Parisian golden hour for a sumptuous dinner at Hotel de Vendôme, located in the famous and architectural masterpiece that is Place Vendome - one of my favourite locations in Paris because of it's stunning buildings and huge, colourful doors. The mansion that is now the hotel started life in 1723, as the private residence of The Duke of Vendome. After this, it was purchased by Louis XIV to create the Place Vendome we know today.

Place Vendôme is not only a beautiful location, but a well-placed location surrounded by art, culture, antiques and high-end shops, with the Opera and the Louvre both within walking distance.

The mansion hotel has 29 lavishly decorated rooms and suites, within which you can expect to find anything from decadent antique chandeliers to art deco themes. Hotel de Vendome also hides a very stylish and recently renovated restaurant headed by up and coming new chef, Josselin Marie, with haute couture decor inspired by Chanel and Dior. 

Hotel du Vendome is another Parisian gem, with all of the luxuries one could possibly hope for.

Have you visited any of these hotels? Let me know!

Hotels mentioned:
Pavillon de la Reine - http://www.pavillon-de-la-reine.com/fr/
L'Hotel - http://www.l-hotel.com
Hotel du Vendome - http://www.hoteldevendome.com/fr/

Thank you to Small Luxury Hotels of The World for inviting me on this wonderful trip. 

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Tom Ford - Signature Colour collection

*Tom Ford Black Orchid: here.
*Tom Ford Lipstick: here.
- - - 

Today, I am thrilled to present to you; two icons from Tom Ford's beauty repertoire - both from the Signature Colour Collection. They are inarguable classics. 

The first, Tom Ford's Black Orchid. Encased in black glass and adorned with classically Tom Ford gold accents, this is a dark, luxurious and sensual blend of florals and warm spices that sits atop the dressing tables of stylish women everywhere. I can't begin to recall the number of times I've caught this beautiful, recognisable scent on a friend, at an event or in a meeting and asked the wearer 'which perfume do you have on?' and they always answer 'Tom Ford, Black Orchid'.

"A luxurious and sensual fragrance of rich, dark accords and an alluring potion of black orchids, and spice, Tom Ford's Black orchid is both modern and timeless. Bottled in fluted, black-glass, black orchid makes an unforgettable statement of iconic style and worldly glamour."

The top notes are french jasmine, black truffle, ylang-ylang, blackcurrant and citrus, the middle notes feature spice, fruity notes, orchid, lotus, gardenia and jasmine whilst the base notes are made up of patchouli, sandalwood, dark chocolate, incense, amber, vetiver, vanilla and balsam.

Next, what must surely be Tom Ford's most iconic and beloved beauty item; the lipstick, which comes in a rainbow of shades from classic reds to wearable nudes and more experimental colours like purple and fuchsia. I already have about 8 of these, and so can say with absolute sincerity that in my opinion, they stand out as the best lipsticks I've ever used - in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. For my every day shade, I opt for Casablanca (as does my mother!) and if you ever see me wearing a red lip, I can assure you it's Cherry Lush

"To Tom Ford, there is no more dramatic accessory than a perfect lip. It is the focus of the face and it has the power to define a woman's whole look. Each lip colour is Tom Ford's modern ideal of an essential makeup shade. Rare and exotic ingredient including Soja Seed extract, Brazilian Murmuru butter and Chamomilla Flower oil create an ultra-creamy texture with an incredibly smooth application. Specially treated colour pigments are blended to deliver pure colour with just the right balance of luminosity."

For this feature, Tom Ford and Harrods kindly sent me a new shade to add to my collection; Scarlet Rouge. When compared to my much used, classic, postbox red Cherry Lush, Scarlet Rouge is a slightly darker, slightly more brown-toned and sexy red. It's utterly perfect for evening wear, with just the right amount of shine. As expected, Scarlet Rouge has that same velvety but pigmented texture and the same deliciously appealing smell. I swear I could recognise a Tom Ford lipstick from the scent alone.

As I mentioned above, I find these lipsticks to be incredibly comfortable to wear, but they also perform well in terms of colour payoff and lasting power. A rather taboo subject to discuss when it comes to lipsticks is how 'well' they wear off. No one ever mentions how lipsticks do, inevitably, wear off. Of course, I look for long lasting power but I don't expect earth-moving miracles. As an every day wearer of Tom Ford's lipsticks I can tell you that when they do eventually wear off, they wear off well. In the sense that the colour fades evenly, not patchily or only in the centre, creating that clown-eqsue look. You can apply a Tom Ford lipstick in the morning, accidentally leave it at home and go about your day without fear. 

Have you ever tried Tom Ford products? If so, what are your favourites? Let me know below!