A child of the 90s I grew up with this fantasy of Paris I found in movies. The hotel suite that perfectly frames the Eiffel Tower in its windows, bouquets of flowers and white walled gardens where fluffy white cats come to lay in the sun before evenings in little chic black dresses and dinners where each course comes with a wine pairing. I found that glamorous Paris I so long ago dreamed about at Le Bristol Hotel.
I have been lucky enough to find myself in Paris quite often, and from time to time I can be caught in a daydream of what it would be like to live in this city that captures my soul. When I come to Paris I mostly just take my camera and walk. Walk for days. It never gets old to me, I never run out of things to photograph or be inspired by. Never, not even when I stayed in the most lovely apartment, have I desired to “stay in”… that is until I stayed at the Le Bristol. Already as I write this at Charles De Gaulle airport the memory of our suite feels more like lying half awake in a garden day dreaming all afternoon.
There is not a single detail of this hotel, which opened in 1925 in the heart of Paris’s fashion district, that isn’t wonderfully glamorous and idyllically French. From the dazzling array of chandeliers to the 18th century Toile de Jouy decor, it is unapologetically luxurious. It’s no wonder it attracts the stylish clientele to match from movie stars to entertainers and (to my pleasure) fashion photographers. It even had a place in Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris.
During World War II the Hotel Le Bristol became the American Embassy and even harbored a Jewish architect who would later design the stunning glass and wrought-iron elevator I described as what it must feel like to travel inside a diamond.
Of course they have a beautiful spa, wonderfully opulent bars and restaurants tucked here and there around the hotel corridors, but it was what we discovered on the 6th floor that really took our breath away. A pool designed in the likeness of a large sailboat as imagined by Professor Pinnau, who most notably designed the yachts for the Onassis family, wrapped in walls of windows with sweeping views of Paris and most beautifully, Sacre Coeur. While the pool was a popular spot in the afternoons, it was early in the morning alone with the sunrise I found it to be one of the most peaceful places in Paris.
But perhaps the most surprising feature of this incredible hotel are the two fluffy white cats that live amongst the marble and roses. There is nothing more charming than having afternoon tea in the hotel’s garden with company of a furry little friend at your feet.
90 years after her opening here she stands, a lovely as ever….
Continue reading “Le Bristol Hotel”
Oh the glamorous St. Regis New York hotel. I seem to always find myself here if it’s for a photoshoot, to film a video, attend a midnight supper, watch a New York Fashion Week designer shows, or meet a client at the King Cole Bar for cocktails. Nestled in the heart of Manhattan its unyielding standard of elegance, history, and hospitality make it the perfect place to find yourself for any reason. Having just finished a new redesign throughout the hotel the property feels contemporary and fresh without loosing the formality synonymous with its name.
When Kevin and I wrapped a very intense shoot out in L.A. last week for Volvo we decided to carve out some R&R time, and take a moment to celebrate how far we have come and what we have survived (cough, 3AM call times three days in a row). Since I went for days shooting outside with no makeup, dirty from crawling on the ground and sweaty from standing in the sun, I wanted full fledged romance with crystal chandeliers, red lipstick and high heels.
So we had a little staycation at the St. Regis New York with champagne and oysters, fine dining and dessert followed by sleeping late and lazy morning baths. It was heaven and for a moment, high atop a building in Midtown Manhattan, we felt like two kids drunk in love lost in a beautiful castle in the sky.
Above, Kevin wears his new Ralph Lauren suit as we arrive to the St. Regis with our Hartmann Tweed weekender. Below, I wear a Ralph Lauren white boatneck summer dress and Elie Tahari heels. Continue reading “St. Regis New York”
For our 2nd anniversary this past Monday I wanted to do something low key, but utterly romantic so I planned a surprise sunset beach picnic for Kevin. I tried to get as creative as possible and make every aspect of the picnic a walk down memory lane.
For starters, instead of a blanket, I used a rug we bought together from the flea market in Paris which gave the scene a more formal feeling. I then surrounded the rug with clusters of sandalwood incense we bought on our recent trip to Bali. Everywhere we went on the island, this beautiful and sexy smell drifted by our noses; now it reminds us of those unforgettable sunrises from only a moment ago. I made it personal with our monogrammed glass hurricanes lanterns flanking the view of the setting sky. I brought our go-to Pinot Grigio by one of our favorite studio clients, Ecco Domani, which brings back such fun studio memories – one of our first shoots at our new place. Just as I was talking about yesterday with “upgrading the everyday”, we toasted another year of marriage with monogrammed stemless wine glasses, formal, lovely, and personal (plus much less likely to spill on a sandy beach setup!)
Kevin *loves* crab, so I asked my friend Molly when she was over for dinner for a crab salad recipe that would go well with the Pinot Grigio for our picnic (recipe below!). I also had lots of beautiful fresh finger foods from the farmer’s market such as morning radishes with a little pile of Maldon salt, a couple of flaky, yummy farm stand cheeses, the most beautiful petite blackberries, an avocado, salami for depth and to finish it off – grapes. So classic. And just so there were no pesky bugs around, I threw down some citronella candles in terra-cotta pots. To finish it off, I had our assistant Carly stop by and snap a few photos of us together, just like we did 2 years ago when we said “I do“.
We sat on the beach and sipped wine, took black and white photos of each other in an intimate dance we’ve been doing now for years, shared food, and watched the colors of the sky paint their way into darkness. Happy Anniversary to my husband, thank you for my beautiful anniversary gift (scroll down to see!) I’ll cherish forever which will remind me of this magical era of our life and cheers to forever, wherever that may take us.
Thank you again, Ecco Domani, for the memories…
Continue reading “Romantic Beach Picnic”
It’s that time of year, where were we all desperately want 60 degree days and to see the color green again fill our parks… but alas, here we are, soon the snow will begin falling quietly outside. The mother of a friend taught me something new recently that I have been trying to live by since my recent transformation: “Make it fun”. We all get stuck in situations that are not ideal (like winter) and instead of being negative about it, find a way to make it fun!
A couple of weekends ago Kevin used HowAboutWe for Couples to turn these last few winter days into a fun memory of the season with a romantic snow-covered mountain horseback ride! I’m beside myself with excitement waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones to begin so it was quite fun being a couple hours outside the city in complete silence pretending I was Khaleesi. You know I love horseback riding…I love seeing the world from a slightly higher perspective, watching winter’s angular shadows dance by as if they were the ballerina legs of nature.
Continue reading “HowAboutWe…”
After our first year of marriage we decided it was important to keep dating each other…to keep discovering, learning and growing together. Thanks to HowAboutWe’s new service for couples, for those of us who want to “stay in love”, we have been able to easily achieve this goal we have set. Of course we still do the classic nights at the ballet and all those oh-so-glamorous events as dates, but with HowAboutWe we get to really do something different. Last month we tried our hand at glass blowing (I now show off our lopsided glasses on photo shoots at the studio like a proud parent) and this month it was a hot air balloon ride, planned and booked through the HowAboutWe Concierge! The concierge service allows you to make special one of a kind dates like this one with the help of a HowAboutWe planning expert…perfect for celebrating anniversaries, planning a baby moon, or setting up the proposal just so…
I don’t know if you guys caught this but we just bought our first car! I’m still trying to name her (deciding between Jolene because she is a lady that has been around, you know, Khaleesi because she is such a queen, or E.H. Yuppie…you know, to celebrate the 80’s). So I really wanted a date where we could drive out of the city! Such an exciting new adventure!
Watching the balloons take shape… feeling very trepidatious!
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You know, Kevin and I often get dressed up for our dates, so I thought it might be fun to do something totally new and different – where my hair had to be tied back, comfy cotton clothes were the norm, and close-toed shoes were a must. If you follow our life here, or on Instagram or Tumblr, you know we love adventure and new experiences. I first heard about HowAboutWe from our assistant who is in the throes of the NYC dating scene (which I love to enquire about on a weekly basis). She introduced me to the part of the site where couples can choose amazing tailored dates to encourage people to “stay in love”…and they are awesome. All the details are taken care of, so it’s completely fool-proof and you can just focus on the fun part!
I chose glass blowing because it was totally different from anything we have ever done. I thought it would be terribly romantic to have the glasses we would create on the date (which turned out so hysterically lopsided that it’s charming and makes us giggle each time we look at them) in our new studio to remind us of the fun we had. I guess that makes me sentimental…but you already knew that.
Continue reading “How About We…”
Have a romantic winter weekend!