Before we first moved to Paris, I was desperately flat hunting and scouting to find something decent within three days. As it often happens, it was to be my very last flat viewing before I rushed to the airport and back to Lugano which at the time was home. I had, however, found my perfect flat. A classic Hausmanian building from the 19th century with a view onto the Arc de Triomphe and a tiny tip of Eiffel Tower if you stretch. It could not get any better.
The only hitch was the restauration of the building in front of us, which was not only noisy but also very dirty. During the extensive refurbishment our flat was filled with dust during the dry days and the windows were a sad sight during the rainy ones.
After three years of enduring the racket across the street even on Saturdays, but steadily watching the building's development with a certain curiosity, it has finally open up it's doors in all its glamorous splendour.
Turns out, it is one of Paris' most prestigious hotels. It is now a treat to look out of our window to enjoy the glorious facade promising prince-like treatment to well-heeled visitors to the French capital.
In 1922, Marcel Proust and James Joyce, the two greatest novelists of the 20th century, met here for the first and only time. In 1928 the American composer George Gershwin wrote the “blues” section of his orchestral poem An American in Paris while staying at the hotel. The building, which dates to 1908, is steeped with history, having housed the Nazi military command when Paris was occupied in World War Two. After the war, the building was briefly the headquarters of Unesco before sinking into anonymity as a French government conference centre and then as offices.
For decades, tourists and Parisians walked past this spot without knowing its extraordinary story. This was a place where the history of the French capital in the 20th century was made, both the light shades and the dark.
Well, last night for the first time ever, the entire outer facade went PiNk transformed with eye-catching pink lighting and decorations much to my delight! It went PiNk for a purpose with the initiative to support Breast Cancer Awareness. Staff are looking extremely smart in black uniforms with their elegant pink ties and specially designed pink pins. Guests and city residents are invited to enjoy a host of enticing pink-themed rooms, dining and spa promotions. I am just enraptured that the usually grey Parisian backdrop finally matches my PiNk dining room.
I have no idea what Mr Joice or Mr Proust would have made of this but I am absolutely tickled PiNk!!!