The Lobbyist is a division of JBLY that specifically handles reviews of hotel lobbies and hotel bars. If you’ve got a good suggestion (or, preferably, a bad one) for a place I should visit, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the middle of Paris Fashion Week, what better place to brunch it up than at Le Meurice, a five-star, luxury hotel smack in between the designer stores on Rue Saint Honore and the shows near the Tuileries? Eva and I waddled on over there for a late brunch, which, as it turns out, was a little too late, even by Paris standards. The conversation went something like this:
“Uhhhh, Mademoiselles. We ‘ave… uhhhh… no breakfast.”
Might we suggest arriving before noon if you plan on indulging in their traditional continental breakfast (40 €) or their signature Meurice breakfast buffet (76 €), which includes champagne by the glass “selected by the Chef Sommelier” (as opposed to the bus boy) and hopefully at least 50 USD worth of smoked salmon.
Le Meurice recommends “suitable attire” on their website, though — to likely avoid being labeled a pretentious European opulence den — they do not specify suitable to what. To a punk show? To an ‘80s-themed prom? To the Russian baths? Judging from the marble floors and chandeliers, we’re going to err on the side of caution and assume that “suitable attire” means your Sunday Best — which means a mink sable coat, your Louboutins, a designer handbag (not vintage), La Perla underwear, and a pair of Prada sunnies.
Le Meurice feels to me like a mini Versailles, complete with gilded mirrors, heavy silk window treatments, and a somewhat misguided ceiling fresco of elongated babies and curtains that look like bacon. It’s the perfect place for the fashion crowd to cram in their power breakfasts (even if they’re not serving breakfast when you get there, and who eats these days anyway?). Giovanna Battaglia was there, wearing white fur (if you’re still struggling with the “suitable attire” recommendation, just look to this woman for inspiration) and quietly chatting over coffees with two others at a table the host refused to give Eva and I earlier (anti-American hate crime).
Lots of French and ESL. The occasional wail of a baby crying for its silver spoon.
Eat, Drink, Drink, Be Merry or Whatever:
A club sandwich: What you order when you really wanted scrambled eggs and a bucket of fresh-squeezed orange juice – though those expertly crafted layers of chicken, bacon, tomatoes, and buttered bread seem an inferior replacement, really. Eva would have been inconsolable were it not for the three pan au chocolates they scrounged up for her. Against all better judgment, I had a bite. It was delicious.
The Lobbyist Rating: 3 out of 5 Kate Mosses
I have to be honest. If it weren’t for the soymilk, I would have given this place a two. The hosts hated us, the tourists wore sensible shoes, and the two lamps flanking our table were especially garish considering it was noon. Le Meurice puts the le meh in “chic.” That being said, I’ll still go back.