The week-end brunch starts to be a habit in Paris and more and more luxury hotel’s restaurants offer great brunch experiences in a casual-chic way. We decided to try it at La Bauhinia, the Shangri-La Paris’ second restaurant located in Iéna Avenue, just few steps from the Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower.
This brand new hotel – the flagship of Shangri-La worldwide – has been designed in a building listed as French historical monument, the Prince Roland Bonaparte’s residence in the 19th century, which represents probably the best choice for the luxury company : combination of French classical and Asian styles is truely impressive.
The main entrance as well as front facade are really magical, an invitation to visit the hotel. Once in the lobby, you can find a small and cosy reception on the left with the concierge at the opposite side. If you are not recognized as a guest, a doorman will immediately help you to find what you are looking for ; of course there is also a security purpose behind this because many VIPs come to Shangri-La Paris on week-ends, for instance during our tour we could see Will Smith with some friends visiting Paris for Fashion Week.
So we were escorted to our destination located at the hotel’s back, ground floor, close to an opulent historical stairs leading some celebration’s salons. A glass door is also available at the corner if you want to enjoy the garden – faultless – with full view over the Eiffel Tower: what a memorable and romantic moment! From the corridor’s lift you can also go to the Spa that we didn’t see but for sure – I trust Condé Nast Traveller – it is a must-do in the future. All other parts of the building’s ground floor are simply stunning, from stone walls to wrought iron furnitures and velor seats, everything feels 5-star luxury.
Dining experience was the purpose of our visit of Shangri-La Paris ; we booked a table for a chic and romantic saturday brunch at La Bauhinia. The restaurant is superb with an asian design according to the overall hotel style and a mezzanine headed by a glass dome imagined by Maurice Gras and a Baccarat chandelier. Kitchen is managed by Chef Philippe Labbé.
We arrived a bit early – 11.45am while brunch starts at 12.00 – so we wait a while for the last people enjoying breakfast because La Bauhinia is used for both services. No problem. Then a very friendly waiter led us to our table at lower floor and explain us their brunch’s concept: breakfast part is buffet, lunch part is a-la-carte and finally desserts are buffet. We are not used to that kind of brunch – usually we find cold and hot buffet, no more – but it worth it, definitely !
Regarding the buffet, everything is homemade and looks improvised – lovely – far away from regular and unementional buffet that you can find even in awarded restaurant. I tasted most of dishes and I especially liked the Thai salad which was very convenient with a fresh mixed mango juice.
For a-la-carte hot dishes I took a french omelette with black truffles and the chicken curry ; even if it’s not the best choice for a brunch, I have not been disappointed as curry’s flavoring was smooth and consistent with the rest. Then back to buffet for cheese’s slices (love St Nectaire and Beaufort…) and finally to achieve this wonderful brunch experience I chose a homemade lemon meringue pie and some macaroons by François Perret, Chef Patissier.
Level of exigency
Shangri-La Paris is the company flasghip and honestly it deserves it. All parts of the hotel are amazingly clean and gleaming, garden’s shrubs and bushes are cut to the millimeter… This perfection transpires on staff, from doormen to receptionists, concierges, restaurant waiters, etc. I have rarely seen such a service quality. Of course, special mention to Nicolas Bourgeois – Food and Beverages Assistant Manager – who managed that brunch perfectly with a passion we could felt when we discussed with him. I can’t imagine how hard Shangri-La HR department worked to find out so many well-trained and talented people.
Brunch on January 18th, 2014
The Shangri-La Paris opened in late 2010 and is composed of 108 room and suites on Iéna Avenue with full view over the Eiffel Tower. The week-end brunch buffet has been launched on February 2012 and its standard rate is 92EUR/person.