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Look for the magic

Four Seasons Hotel Paris

The other night at dinner, people were saying that everything seems so flat these days. They blame celebrity, reality shows, like that. But I think you have to wake up every morning looking to be astonished, and you will be. – Christian Lacroix

When I turned 30 I wanted to escape the generic “you’re 29 again?” party so I booked a trip to Paris. There, I had the best suite at the historic Four Seasons Henri V. That plus a meal with a friend would be my birthday treat – and it was.

But the magic actually came the day after my birthday when the maid came to turn down my room. Rather than remain in the room while she tidied, I headed downstairs to the lobby to wait with a friend. We were both tired but I was also slightly cranky and not feeling very well as the trip had caught up with me as had the February weather.

In the lobby was a small lounge where we thought perhaps we’d get a coffee to warm us up. But once seated in gold silk chairs next to women dripping in jewels and furs and near a piano man who looked like a pianoman (and who was so enjoying being a pianoman!), we felt the magic begin.

Saying no to the coffee but yes to soup for me, salad for for my friend and a plate of cheese to share, the magic became stronger and we became more and more astonished and wide eyed at everything around us.

It seemed as though were were the only ones in this beautiful lounge; waiters literally slipped in like a ballet to remove our plates and deliver us fresh water and remove plates without knowing. The pianoman would often wink over at us as if to say, “yes, get a little closer on the couch – this song is for you” and then we’d cosy up in the couch just a bit more. We’d lean back to look at the paintings, how the light reflected off the silk drapes and just how sophisticated the yellow and blue tones seemed.

We savoured our small plates of food then followed with coffee and a shared creme brulee. What was to be twenty minutes of pitiful waiting turned into five hours of one of the best nights of my life. I know I am not describing it well at all but that’s because it was magic – and how do you describe that?

The point though, is not that that night was a given. It was supposed to be a wait followed by going back up to bed. But we chose to do something different, something out of our comfort zone (paying $250 for that kind of meal is definitely out of my comfort zone!) and voila – magic.

I tend to live – perhaps too much – in my own world but this, I find, allows me to always look at things in a hopeful and new way. It allows me to see the world with a bit of magic in it. It allows me to see the best and I like that.


1 Comment

  1. December 10, 2006 / 7:54 AM

    I love the George V. I’ve never stayed there but I just love to walk in and look around. I had an incredibly expensive glass of ice tea there on one hot summer afternoon. Did you know that the florist that sets up all of those incredible vases of flowers is an American?