KOKTAILS With KOKET at Fauchon L’Hotel Paris
What seems like another monotonous morning—opening emails looking for the next story to propel the magazine and her career as an editor to another level—turns into much more than an uneventful morning.
It’s 6 am, and all is silent in Boston’s Back Bay as her boys sleep. Eva takes a seat at her small bistro table tucked into a corner of her perfectly preserved Victorian brownstone.
She begins scrolling through the emails in her inbox. The first 20 or so are the usual article submission and weak story pitches. Then in the middle of all the “great story” email titles, she wakes to French words—very anticipated and desired French words:
The Fédération de la Haute Couture e de la Mode has replied to her request to go behind the scenes of the famous French fashion industry and publish an article on borderless fashion.
Excitement, exhilaration, and a cold sweat fill her body as she jumps up, knocking over the folding bistro chair. The morning silence is instantly gone as the boys bound from their rooms, and the dogs start barking. But this does not stop Eva from a 3-way facetime call to Giselle and Alexa.
Hysteria and baffling fill the airways as Eva attempts to read the email, tell the story, and break the kids apart.
“Who? What?!!! Can you call me back later? I need to meet you know who,” Alexa cuts in. The PR vixen has no time for this morning chaos as she has one plan and one plan only, and that is prepping for a steamy brunch rendezvous in downtown Miami as soon as she drops her daughter off at school.
“Fédération de Mode invited you! Omg let’s go!” chimes Giselle.
And there were the magic words Eva hoped to hear: “Let’s go.”
Eva is your classic blue-eye, porcelain skin, polished American woman. A well-read, brilliant writer and single mother to two rambunctious boys. As a writer and editor, Eva has control over words, tone, and storyline, but in real life, the unknown scares her and keeps her from taking risks. A trip to Paris and being in the middle of the elite of fashion terrifies her.
Giselle, a lux world savant, and Parisienne-want-to-be is the perfect sidekick and assurance Eva needs. Giselle spent some time in Paris as a student and visits yearly with the desire to one day make a life on the left bank among the artistic scene
Fast forward six weeks and the girls arrive at the Air France premier check-in line at Kennedy airport.
Eva’s classic Ralph Lauren look pairs with relief, anxiety, and excitement. She has spent the weeks leading up to the trip obsessively researching haute couture and craftsmanship.
Giselle arrives in black head to toe, radiating edginess.
Then comes Miss Alexa whirling through the terminal, loudly laughing her way past lines of impatient passengers. A sun-kissed tropical vision about to turn Paris upside down.
The three could not be more different in look, lifestyle, and beliefs, but their journey through life and now all single mothers brought them together many nights as they cried, laughed, and feared what lay ahead with the global pandemic.
Alexa and Giselle are beyond excited to join Eva on her venture. Alexa is working on a PR pitch for the house of Fauchon, and this is the perfect opportunity to learn about the brand’s sensory and personalized experience firsthand. While Giselle happily filled her agenda with second-hand luxury shops, flea markets, and the newly renovated Samaritaine.
As their driver passes La Madeleine, a sweet world of fuchsia comes into view.
The deliciously glam Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris welcomes them with pink flowers, pink velvets, pink macarons, and of course, champagne and truffles.
More pink flowers, sophisticated lighting, diamond shape armoires, and a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower adorn the space in their suite.
The initial Paris ma-vie-en-rose high has worn off, and the girls collapse onto the bed fully dressed.
Hours later, they wake, ready to see Paris with a new outlook on life. Their day begins with a behind-the-scenes tour of the first Fauchon shop, an experience for the senses! History, craftsmanship, and beauty bundled into a multi-level studio tucked away in the city. After 130 years, it is still one-of-a-kind and worthy of its title as an innovator in the world or patisseries. A legacy built through hard work and passion for the craft.
This idea of legacy sparks an internal moment in all of the girls. Were they owning their moment? And seeing the world as their stage to leave their legacy? In some ways, they were, but always for someone else and never for them. This question stays with them as they each head off on their pre-planned days.
After a very full day of people watching, ankle-twisting, and slipping off narrow sidewalks on the streets, Giselle returns to the room and begins preparing for pre-game drinks. Alexa comes in radiating from her afternoon at the Carita Beauty Spa, ready for the first round. Eva arrives late, as usual, but not without first taking the liberty of ordering their favorite all around, Hibiscus Lime French 75.
Round two, and the suite is abuzz with stories of each of their days.
“The spa was so amazing! I so wish you two could have joined me,” starts Alexa. “This may have been my first Carita brand experience, but it definitely won’t be my last! Thank you, Carita Sisters, for the pleasure-filled epicurean wellbeing experience!
“I had the Rituel Celebration Fauchon. We are talking 4 hours of indulgent gourmet treatments. And oh, the spa decor. A sea of serene beauty with, of course, a touch of pink glamour.”
Giselle reminisces about her wanderings through the streets of Paris as she shows off her purchases. Each, a work of fashion art in true Giselle style.
For Eva, the day would be marked as the one she broke out of her comfort zone. It was like a dream come true for her to see firsthand the usual backstage chaos and gracious models walking side-by-side, getting ready for the shows. Every single one of them acting like life is their runway, and no one but them has a say on their beauty and glamour. It truly felt like another world to Eva.
Stepping out of the bathroom with no bra on, Eva felt liberated and oh so French. After a day surrounded by women in the world of high fashion who embraced their bodies for what they were, aging with grace, she let go of her underwire padded bra and let ‘em hang for the city of lights.
Giselle watches, amused. A big fan of going topless, Giselle had a breast reduction after childbirth because she hated how big hers had become.
Then, Alexa, who embraces her naturally plump oversize breasts as her statement pieces, walks over, grabs them, and begins molding them in hopes they will assume some shape or symmetrical form. They all burst out laughing, and jokes about the unsymmetrical boobs and Alexa’s watermelon breasts keep them rolling.
This was the perfect kick-off for the Hotel Glam’Hours, a gourmet happy hour located in the exquisite Grand Café Fauchon, one of Paris’ most celebrated addresses.
And so began their evening of excitement with food, drink, entertainment, and a little bit of who knows what?!
Drinks and exquisitely sophisticated delicacies decorate their table. The Grand Café Fauchon is all glamour with powerful chic elegance. Trademark fuchsia chairs and fuchsia-toned blocks of mirror pop against a black and white scene.
They were so looking forward to trying the signature tea-based cocktails! Sultry as ever, Alexa orders the “Smoking Sensation,” a creative balance of smoky scotch, sweet nutty Amaretto, and Fauchon’s scented black tea, all with a punch of lemon and a soft hit of agave syrup and egg white.
While Eva and Giselle opt for the “Celebration,” a red fruit-scented green tea alongside unexpected flavors of cardamom syrup and poppy liqueur. A combo that makes the Gray Goose vodka go down in a thoroughly—and almost dangerously—smooth manner!
Glancing down, Alexa notices her right breast is bulging upward out of her dress while the left is squashed down by it. “Uff,” she mumbles as she adjusts.
Looking up, her eyes land on a beautifully exotic, amazingly adorned woman breastfeeding full-on exposure. Instantly her daughter crosses her mind, and then she goes political.
“It really is crazy that a woman has to feel embarrassed to breastfeed in public. I mean, these tits of ours are pure nurturing power,” she exclaims.
Giselle chuckles as she glances up from her phone. “Eva, Remember when you decided to stop nursing cold turkey on our last trip in Paris?”
Eva smiles as she recalls Giselle offering to help her release her massively engorged breasts while in a taxi. With the driver, of course, loving Giselle’s monologue.
The conversation quickly turns as Alexa gasps, her eyes glued to a sexy young man passing by. Then, sipping her cocktail, she speaks softly, “A pleasure for the eyes and the taste buds, all the senses solicited.” Her pitch for Fauchon L’Hôtel Paris solidified.
Laughter, enthralling conversation, flowing drinks, and even a few tears fill the evening.
A bit tipsy and feeling the emotions of the day, month, and year all bubbling to the surface, Eva raises her glass, “I love you girls so much! Thank you so much for coming on this trip with me.”
Then, leaning in to meet Alexa and Giselle’s drinks for a graceful clink—wham, splash! Eva’s drink sloshes out of her glass, showering her friends’ faces in red as the delicate martini glass shatters on the table.
Stunned for only a brief moment, Alexa and Giselle quickly burst out laughing. And before Eva can even process her embarrassment, her giggles begin to flow.
And there it was, just when Eva thought all was perfect, life had other plans. Again. But if she had learned anything through her recent perils, it was most certainly to embrace the moment.
Live in it.
And of course, when all else fails, laugh!
KOKTAILS With KOKET at Fauchon L’ Hotel Paris Originally Appeared in Love Happens Volume 5
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