Marble Staircases, Grand Foyers reflecting the glow of grandeur candelabras and Crystal Chandeliers…Versailles you may think? Mais Non! On a chilly winter’s eve I found myself among friends at the infamous Palais Garnier Opera. Built 135 years ago by unknown (at the time) architect, Charles Garnier, this breathtaking Opera House is situated just in between the 8th and 9th arrondissements, and serves as the thirteenth theater to house the Paris Opera, and needless to say, the Paris Opera Ballet.

As I walked up the Grand Staircase in nervous anticipation of the performance I was about to enjoy, I tried to picture the past century of Opera Audiences that have frequented this Royal House.

Amongst gold plated pillars and tasseled draperies, I lingered until the bells rang, signaling the start of a spectacular evening…

Into the theater I went only to be awe-struck once again…I sat down in my red-velvet seat (one of 1,900) and marveled at the tiers of treasure above that stacked like well adorned layers of a Royal Wedding Cake. The program was a palpable palate of ballet at its finest: George Balanchine’s Apollo, Trisha Brown’s O złozony/O composite, and Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring. It was the perfect medley of classical, modern and contemporary repertoire that left me floating in clouds of inspiration to the ethereal ceiling above…

Après beaucoup d’applaudissements, it was time for a post-performance dinner, and where better to roam than the streets of Paris for a meal & a memory? Our short walk brought us to Le Grand Colbert, an ambient café made famous for its brief appearance in one of my favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give. Now it is safe to say that if you are ever craving a warm bowl of the most sumptuous French Onion Soup this is undoubtedly where you should go. You see I have this thing about French Onion Soup. My Uncle first introduced it to me at a posh restaurant in lower Manhattan, and since then I have been on the look out for an authentic version served only from a true French Cafe. Kind of like having a ‘Danish’ in Denmark, Oui? Alors, we return to caramelized onions, slowly simmered & perfectly pungent, hidden beneath a layer of toasted bread and a thick blanket of fromage melted on top and spilling onto the sides of the croque—creating the ‘gratin‘ you’ve all been waiting for. Perhaps you should see from L.C.’s perspective and you will understand…Voila mes Amis.

I leave you with visions of Greek Gods, Velvet Curtains & Layered Flavors impossible to Forget…

An evening of light, love & luxury I am so happy to share.

p.e.