Nocturnes at Le Meurice, Paris

Le Meurice in Paris manages to combine understated elegance with quirkiness while at the same time enveloping you in a cocoon of luxury. That is the best way I can think of to describe this de luxe (in the truest sense of the word) luxury hotel. The history of the hotel goes back to 1771 in Calais where the founder of the hotel, Charles-Augustin Meurice took it upon himself to set up a hostelry for tired British travellers on their way to Paris. Charles Augustine owned a coach service and from there the travellers would take his coaches to Paris where – surprise! he set up a second inn for them to check into after the long journey from the coast. From these humble beginnings, Le Meurice was born. In 1835, the hotel moved to its present location, across from the Tuilieries. Due to it’s close proximity to the Louvre Palace, it soon became a favourite of visiting royalty and became known as the Hotel des Rois (Hotel of the Kings). Throughout the years the hotel also served as a refuge for royalty, as well, the Shah of Iran was actually staying at the hotel when he was deposed. Probably one of the most famous guests of the hotel was Salvador Dali. He would stay at the hotel every year for at least a month and was noted for his, shall we say, unusual behaviour. On one occasion he requested a herd of live sheep be delivered to his room and once they arrived began shooting at them with blanks! Ah, artists. Another time he asked the staff to catch flies in the Tuilieries and paid them the equivalent of 1 euro per fly. The legacy of Dali’s visit was the establishment of Prix Meurice for Contemporary Art. Launched in 2008, it’s aim is to support young French artists. As you enter the foyer of the hotel, you are greeted by a pair of almost entwined columns, one of the winners of the Meurice Prize. The...

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Podcast – Champagne (mostly) and a bit of Paris…

Feb 09, 12 Podcast – Champagne (mostly) and a bit of Paris…

Posted by in France

The Winesleuth is venturing into the world of podcasting. This is my first effort and I’m still learning how to use everything so bear with me, they will get a bit more polished as time goes by. The aim of this podcast is not necessarily to be educational, although, if you do learn something, that’s great! This is basically a chat show about wine. I get to talk to so many interesting people everyday and thought, I really should record this stuff. It’s not “irreverant” (which seems to be all the rage in wine shows nowadays) nor dry as dust (I hope) just people with a passion for and about wine, talking about it. Whether they’re winemakers, producers, sommeliers, etc. if I’ve met them, you’re bound to find them on this podcast. Click on this link for the podcast…. Champagne(mostly) with The Winesleuth In this podcast, The Winesleuth chats with the Head Sommelier of Le Meurice in Paris, Estelle Touzet, about Le Meurice’s food and wine matching event, Nocturnes, talks about the recent declaration of the 2003 DP vintage with Chef de Cave of Dom Perignon, Richard Geoffroy and goes to Champagne to visit the growers champagne, Champagne Tarlant, where I get to drink with one of the 12th generation of Tarlants, Melanie. Comments? Questions? Leave me a comment in the comments section.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Paris comes to London,winetasting at The Dorchester with Le Meurice

Jul 13, 11 Paris comes to London,winetasting at The Dorchester with Le Meurice

Posted by in Hotels and Spas

Walking into The Dorchester, I was on time for once. No, I was early! And why was I early? Well, when Le Meurice of Paris says don’t be late on the invitation, one does not want to risk being left out in the cold. Le Meurice is part of the luxury hotel group, The Dorchester Collection and the Head Sommelier of Le Meurice was in London to give us a taste of their monthly wine tastings, held on the first Tuesday of each month. This being Le Meurice, it’s not any old winetasting but a tasting led by Estelle Touzet, the aforementioned Head Sommelier paired with canapes created in conjunction with the hotels Executive Chef, 3 Michelin star rated, Yannick Alleno. They call it Les Nocturnes du 228 because the hotel is located at 228 rue de Rivoli and the event is held in the evening, obviously. Estelle was extremely friendly and easygoing, full of information about all of the wines we tried as well as the food paired with it. Originally from the Loire Valley, Estelle started out in the kitchen before switching over to be a sommelier. She told us that she and Yannick work closely together so that each pairing is a seamless mouthful. Where does the wine end and the food begin, is the question. As Estelle is French and the hotel is in Paris, I thought all the wines would be French but I was wrong. Estelle is a young, adventurous sommelier and she likes to push the boundaries of the wine world. She has not only an extensive list of French and European wines on her list but also goes out to find new and exciting wines from Australia, America and New Zealand amongst others. We blind tasted four wines, 2 whites and 2 reds, along with 4 matching canapes. Estelle would give us hints and try to draw us out but even us seasoned wine pros were hesitant to begin shouting out names and places but after...

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