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The Cristal Room, Paris

Housed in an amazing mansion in the 16th arrondissement of Paris is the Baccarat Museum and restaurant. 

Steeped in Parisian history, apparently the former muse of the mansion, Marie-Laure de Noailles (1902-1971) had fabulous parties there and she loved to transform the interiors to suit her mood or theme of the party and her home was dedicated to artists, writers and musicians.

Sounds like the perfect contemporary home for Baccarat – with a boutique on the ground floor (where you can purchase exquisite tableware and jewellery) and an upstairs museum.  In amongst this sumptuousness, is the Cristal Room restaurant a creation of design legend Phillippe Starck.  The Cristal Room is actually a series of radiant rooms shimmering from the reflected light darting from crystal to gilt and back again. 

 “It is a sort of Alice in Wonderland, a place of awoken dream. Nothing is real, everything is illusion. For a lot of people life is not very fun, it is too realistic. When you enter in the Cristal Room Baccarat, nothing is realistic: all over there is poetry, everything is coming from somewhere else.” Phllippe Starck.

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The decadence and grandeur of Stark’s design is the perfect backdrop to the food of Michelin star chef, Guy Martin.  In typical Phillippe Starck fashion, some of the raw brick walls are exposed and juxtaposed with the French frou and formality.  Mirrors catch your eye and the famous faces dining under hand carved chocolate marble arches that frame the raw underbelly of the surrounding structure.  You can dine in the Living Room or The Salon Rose which has a private terrace view and of course the glorious ballroom which can be reserved for special events.

Starck’s whimisical modernism is breathtaking, these gleaming rooms with grand high ceilings, dripping in crystal and gilt will knock your socks off!

Location: 11 Place des Etats-Unis, 75116 Paris, France.

Jamie Durie

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