Star Grazing at Le Hôtel Bristol
By Anita Draycott
Chef Eric Frechon has earned the coveted three-star Michelin award for the five-star hotel on Paris’ Right Bank.
The Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré became one of Paris’ most fashionable addresses in 1880 when saddle maker Charles-Emile Hermès and fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin opened boutiques here in the posh eighth arrondissement. In April 1925 Le Hôtel Bristol opened its palatial doors and has been welcoming guests, including Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Orson Welles, with its refined setting and impeccable service ever since.
During the 1960s Le Bristol was the place for fashionistas and designers to see and be seen. Stylish high teas with models flaunting the latest in haute couture have become a Saturday afternoon tradition at Le Bristol, now owned by the Oetker family.
In fact, Head Chef Eric Frechon likens his Haute Cuisine to Haute Couture. Like a designer faced with a muse, he sees his cuisine as a similarly creative process.
Dining at Le Bristol is a memorable experience anytime of the year. In winter guests gather in the sumptuous oval dining room, paneled with Hungarian oak and lit by crystal Baccarat chandeliers. During the summer months, the epicurean experience moves to a tented patio in the hotel’s courtyard garden under the shade of a huge magnolia tree. Le Bristol is the only hotel in all of Paris where this seasonal migration takes place.
In March 2009 Normandy-born Chef Eric Frechon and his team of 80 received the coveted three-star Michelin award. President Nicolas Sarkozy also presented Frechon with the Legion d’Honneur for his culinary services, thus elevating his status to that of a national treasure.