The Sweetest Treats

Lady M Cake Boutique, known for elegant, multi-layered Mille Crêpes cakes, has partnered with  French luxury brand Baccarat to launch its first luxury cake truck in California.

Alongside 3D Artist Kurt Wenner, the five-year partnership will launch the cake truck in New York City at the Baccarat Boutique on Madison Avenue, and travel across the country before commencing operation in California. Set to start serving August 2019 in Northern California, the 28-foot multi-functional luxury cake truck will journey throughout California greeting new and existing clients of both brands with a unique cake experience.

“Baccarat is thrilled to be partnering with Lady M on this new and innovative collaboration,” says Jim Shreve, President and CEO of Baccarat North America. “Our partnership reinforces the Baccarat message of enjoying beautiful things every day. We are excited to share delicious cakes on beautiful Baccarat. Everything tastes better on Baccarat.”

From the sidewalk, pedestrians and guests will experience the Kurt Wenner 3D, life-sized rendering of the cake truck that will be affixed to the boutique’s glass façade. Inside, guests will meander through the boutique surrounded by Lady M cakes, capturing the feel of being in an actual Lady M boutique. Within the boutique, guests will be greeted with a glass of champagne as they approach yet another version of the cake truck, where Lady M Mille Crêpes will be served through a functional service window. 

The Lady M x Baccarat cake truck is a stunning and luxurious feast for the eyes. On the exterior, Baccarat has mounted two large Tuile de Crystal Chandeliers ($29,100 each) and 1 small Tuile de Crystal ($12,600) that will gracefully hang suspended from two long beams that are collapsible when the food truck is not in service. Four Baccarat Mille Nuits Torch sconces ($2,150 each) will mount on either side of the service windows. During the day, Lady M will provide legendary service to clients who pre-order cakes.  During the evening, Lady M and Baccarat will illuminate the night and create an outdoor dining experience for those who want to experience both brands.

“The collaboration with Lady M and Baccarat has allowed me to have an entirely new experience with interactive art. Placing my art on a food truck is a first for me,” says artist Kurt Wenner, who invented 3D Pavement Art in the 1980s. By combining his art with digital printing, Wenner offers stunning, durable, interactive illusions.

This collaboration is the first of its kind, and Lady M Cake Boutique is thrilled and honored to partner with Baccarat. We are excited to expand the concept of the Lady M experience and take our cakes (including a new confection made exclusively for the collaboration), on the road, introducing them to those both new to and familiar with the brand. We look forward to sharing our signature cakes on beautiful crystal, and sharing happiness.

Ken Romaniszyn

CEO, Lady M Cake Boutique

“My 3D illusions are where the language of proportion and innovation meet. I’m so excited about this project as the illusions I have created will be partnered with elegant chandeliers and the world’s finest cakes. The marriage of all three will shift the perception of what is reality,” says Wenner. 

The cake truck will start service starting this month in Northern California, and guests are encouraged to tag and follow along with the hashtag ​#ladymxbaccarat. ​A microsite tracking the cake truck’s journey throughout California will be live at ​www.ladym.com/thecaketruck​. 

All photos courtesy Samantha Nandez / BFA.com

France is a country inexorably bound with ideals of beauty, style and high fashion. From its poetry to its property, the world’s most visited country has a certain je ne sais quoi that draws people in.

 

Visitors who are charmed by France’s allure may want a more permanent stake in the country than a two-week holiday. Luckily, there are some exceptional properties to choose from. French second homes offer rich pickings to those with a taste for luxury — from palatial Parisian apartments to classic country chateaux.

 

With so many luxurious properties available, the age-old question of city versus country rears its head once more. A chateau in the heart of the countryside and an apartment in central Paris offer utterly different lifestyles. Thanks to our friends at FrenchEntrée, we are taking a look at the differences between city and country living.

City Living

Country Living

City Living — A Paris Apartment

 

Paris is a fascinating city, and the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognised landmarks on the planet. For €18 million, it’s possible to own a stunning apartment on the historic Avenue du Président-Wilson, with views of the Eiffel Tower.

 

An apartment in Paris is the ideal property for those looking to get the most out of city life. From shopping on the Champs-Élysées to dining in some of the world’s best eateries (Paris is home to 10 restaurants with three Michelin stars and 106 Michelin starred venues in total), a Paris apartment is perfect for a lively life packed with social engagements and glitzy gatherings.

 

In Paris, there are a range of ultra-fashionable, contemporary apartments that boast superb proximity to some of the capital’s best attractions, from the Museum of Modern Art to the Palais de Tokyo.

Country Living — A Country Chateau

 

For those who prefer classic grandeur to urban style, a countryside chateau can deliver all the serenity and solitude that country living has to offer. It’s hard to put a price on having the space to relax and breathe, away from the frenetic pace of city life. Although at €14.7 million, this chateau does just that. Less than an hour’s drive from Paris, this property offers all the benefits of the country lifestyle.

 

With meadows, mature trees and a wealth of flowers and shrubs, a home in the country is a lovely contrast to a home in the bustling city. Whether homebuyers spends their time horseback riding or hosting a beautiful garden party, the options are limitless in the French countryside.

 

Set in the greenwood countryside of La Vallée de l’Ancoeur, this chateau offers 173 total acres with a 42-acre park.

Photos courtesy of Le Bernadin

Overall, Americans are shunning haute cuisine, but for elite diners there remain plenty of opportunities for conspicuous consumption.

 

By Roger Grody

 

Generally, “fine dining” — typically evidenced by crisp white tablecloths, crystal stemware and formal service — is rapidly disappearing in America. However, for those restaurants that stubbornly adhere to tradition and insist on genuine luxury, the experience is elevated … along with the price.

 

Charlie Trotter, the renowned Chicago chef who died in his prime, insisted that fine dining actually represents good value, citing the superb ingredients and intensive labor (100 people from farmers to servers) that contribute to a world-class meal. Average Americans cannot afford mansions or yachts, but many can occasionally experience the world’s finest cuisine. The restaurants featured herein honor Trotter’s philosophy, with some pushing his principle to its limits.

 

Le Bernardin is one of New York’s temples of gastronomy, where chef/partner Éric Ripert has earned acclaim for fresh, seasonable seafood enhanced through sophisticated French technique. With options between $170 and $225 per person, the prix fixe menus at Le Bernardin are actually restrained for a Michelin three-star restaurant, but a couple can drop a bundle once caviar and wine are added.

 

“Luxurious service no longer equates to the stiff environment with formulaic interactions that was once popular,” reports Ripert, and while Le Bernardin has pioneered a more approachable experience, the chef/restaurateur still values tradition. “We continue to be a destination for special occasions, which is a large part of why we uphold some of our more classical dining requirements, such as gentleman wearing jackets,” he says. Allowing guests to visit the kitchen and take photographs with staff might not have been something his mentor Joël Robuchon would have encouraged decades ago, but Ripert views it as part of the evolution of fine dining.

 

While French cooking has the reputation for being the most expensive, it is Japanese cuisine — particularly the art of sushi — that is the priciest in America today. Discretely tucked into a diminutive space on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive is Urasawa, whose entire seating is essentially comprised of just eight chairs at a sushi bar. There, for a flat fee of $425 per person (before tax, tip or a drop of sake), sushi chef Hiroyuki Urasawa personally pampers guests with an omakase (chef’s choice) meal in which extraordinary ingredients are matched by artistry on the plate.

Photos by Allen Hemberger, interior by Matthew Gilson

Urasawa-san is a protégé of sushi chef Masayoshi “Masa” Takayama, whose own restaurant previously occupied that same Beverly Hills space. When Takayama was lured to New York to open his 26-seat Masa at Time Warner Center, the prices went up and are now $595 per person, although gratuities are not accepted.

 

Masa’s sushi bar, a solid piece of hinoki (Japanese cypress), is sanded daily to create a luxurious tactile surface, while flowering branches of seasonal plants provide the only distraction from the master’s work behind the counter. A procession of glistening, edible jewels — the exquisite plating includes ample caviar, truffles and uni — comprise an unforgettable two dozen-course feast that most believe is worth the price.

 

Alinea, the renowned flagship of culinary innovator Grant Achatz, is sometimes mistakenly viewed as an elaborate stage for the chef/owner’s bag of molecular gastronomical tricks, but innovation alone does not earn three Michelin stars. While the interactivity and playfulness of the cuisine may turn off traditionalists who insist on the hushed formality of what typically passes for fine dining, the sophistication of Achatz’s ingredients, imagination and technique is undeniable. The price for this carefully choreographed presentation of culinary and performance art can reach $385 per person, prior to making a wine selection.

 

While acknowledging the “absurdity” of paying so much for a meal, Jeff Ruby, chief dining critic at Chicago magazine, insists the Alinea experience is a sound investment. “Someday, Alinea will be gone, and people will speak of it with awe, and its legend will grow,” he says. “Like people who brag that they saw Michael Jordan play in his prime, you can say you ate at Alinea. That is worth way more than $385 to me.”

 

Ruby believes even traditionalists can find pleasure with Achatz’s concept, as long as they go with an open mind. “People walk in with a chip on their shoulders and Alinea knocks the chip off and turns it into some kind of dehydrated truffle orb,” quips Ruby, insisting Achatz and his crew deliver on their promise night after night.

 

Located in a posh hotel 20 miles north of downtown San Diego is Addison, where 22-karat gold-trimmed doors open into a soaring foyer while four limestone fireplaces warm the classically inspired premises. In the kitchen, Executive Chef William Bradley prepares a contemporary French cuisine while $10,000-plus treasures are stocked in the wine cellar. Although the chef’s 10-course tasting menu is a relatively manageable $250, Addison recently hosted a Krug Champagne dinner that at $1,000 per head is extravagant by any standard.

 

“At Addison, every element is fine-tuned through the lens of creating the best and most memorable dining experience possible for our guests from the moment they walk through the door,” reports Bradley. Noting that many diners are celebrating special occasions or have traveled a great distance, he adds that small details (e.g. generously spaced tables, stools for ladies’ purses) are the foundation of the guest experience.

Photos courtesy of Tory Kooyman and Jakob N. Layman

“Hospitality is timeless, as is the desire to be transported,” says Bradley, noting that the dining experience at Addison — it is tucked away in the hills above Del Mar — echoes its physical separation from metropolitan San Diego or L.A. “In an era where we’re so connected to technology, it’s more important than ever to maintain fine dining traditions that separate our guests from the stress of their daily routines,” suggests the chef.

 

Addison’s bar is currently dispensing a $250 cocktail called the Corpse Reviver XIII, a reimagination of a classic libation with roots in the 19th century. This gold dust-embellished version contains Adrien Camut Rareté (a Calvados so rare only 10 bottles are allocated to the U.S. annually) and 40-year-aged Rémy Martin Louis XIII Cognac. With its price equivalent to the tasting menu, this is clearly an indulgence worth lingering over.

 

In San Francisco, Saison ranks as the most exclusive and expensive restaurant in town, where exquisitely presented contemporary American fare is served in a space where the boundaries between dining room and kitchen are all but erased. A procession of nearly 20 small courses, which changes daily and can be tailored to the preferences of individual diners, carries a tariff of $398 —before even exploring Saison’s world-class wine list.

 

In Las Vegas, where winners and losers alike are as predisposed to consume opulent cuisine as they are to purchase Louis Vuitton bags, every major hotel has at least one ultra-high-end dining room. At Caesar’s Palace it is the eponymous restaurant of Guy Savoy, one of Paris’ Michelin three-star stalwarts, where the “Prestige Tasting Menu” runs $385 per person and premium wine pairings add another $375.

 

At Twist, a celebrated dining venue at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, Chef Pierre Gagnaire (another giant of the Parisian dining scene) presents what may be the luckiest menu on the city’s legendary Strip. A seven-course meal is paired with seven fine wines to comprise a memorable gastronomic experience, and hopefully its $777 per person investment can be recouped with some additional sevens in a nearby casino.

 

At the Mandalay Bay’s Fleur in Las Vegas, even the ultimate comfort food can inflict extensive damage to one’s budget. There, chef/owner Hubert Keller applies the city’s legendary glam to the humble hamburger, layering foie gras and truffles over a wagyu beef patty. It arrives with a bottle of 1995 Château Pétrus, one of the world’s most treasured wines, followed by a $5,000 tab. 

Photos by Bonjwing Lee

Addison San Diego www.addisondelmar.com

Alinea Chicago www.alinearestaurant.com

Fleur by Hubert Keller Las Vegas www.hubertkeller.com

Restaurant Guy Savoy Las Vegas www.caesars.com

Le Bernardin New York www.le-bernardin.com

Masa New York www.masanyc.com

Saison San Francisco www.saisonsf.com

Twist Las Vegas www.mandarinoriental.com/las-vegas

Urasawa Beverly Hills http://urasawa.cafe-inspector.com

Few estates can be considered a work of art, but arrive at the property featured on our cover and you find it takes a moment to take it all in. Ducks paddle in front of an antique millhouse next to a quarter-acre pond. Vine-covered bridges and stone paths twine among four cascading ponds. The setting is as idyllic as Monet’s gardens that inspired the landscape.

 

No matter where you are on this property, you are surrounded by beauty, along with blue skies and rolling mountain panoramas that comprise 360-degree views. Finding an estate so meticulously orchestrated is rare; even the hues of the roofs merge into a larger palette.

 

Inspired by the French Romantic period, the main house was completely reimagined three years ago when additional parcels were also acquired to transform the entire property into an ultra-private, 33-acre compound. Every finish is exquisite, superbly paired with the setting and endowing each space with a vibrant but balanced aesthetic. Even the kitchen, designed to evoke a French bistro and backed by professional chef’s kitchen, reflects the design inspiration, as do the parterre gardens and formal landscaping.

 

“What is especially remarkable about this property is everything you might not notice initially,” says Jordan Cohen, estate director for RE/MAX Olson and Associates in Westlake Village, who is the No. 1 RE/MAX agent in the U.S. The interplay between buildings and the land is dynamic but subtle. Off to one side lies an organic farm and orchard. From the main house, gardens and one of the two pools stretch out toward distant views. A pool house becomes the setting for an extensive spa including a Himalayan salt room. A second pool is adjacent to the 11,000-square-foot guest house.

 

Privacy and infrastructure were prime objectives in the creation of this property. The guard-gated entry road is part of the property and completely secure. A sagacious purchase of water rights, almost priceless in California, resulted in two municipal-quality 1,000-foot wells on the property. When viewed from the perspective of art, the $85 million offering price might be considered a bargain for a masterpiece of this magnitude. — Camilla McLaughlin

 

Photo courtesy of RE/MAX

The Corcoran Group is selling the 75-acre French compound, Le Domaine des Oliviers de l’Esterel, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the Bay of Cannes and consists of three independent villas.

By Brielle Bryan


Located in the heart of the French Riviera, this rare estate, Le Domaine des Oliviers de l’Esterel, is seated within 75 acres of landscaped gardens and offers a contemporary perspective of the art of Provence in its most prestigious form. This estate offers a panorama of exceptional beauty with its endless meadows, olive trees, lavender fields and breathtaking views of the Bay of Cannes.
The Corcoran Group and the Paris agency, Vingt Paris, have listed the estate for $65 million, or €53 million. Tom Di Domenico, founder and president of The Domenico Team at The Corcoran Group, as well as the listing agent for Le Domaine des Oliviers de l’Esterel, described the estate to be nestled in an “amazing, private, tranquil environment.”
“The property was restored back to its original local flavor, and all of the furnishings and details in terms of the finishes are from local artisans that were brought in to make it indigenous to the area,” Domenico said.
Consisting of three independent villas — Le Manoir, La Sandrilene and La Ferme — this estate offers more than 21,000 square feet of living space, including 17 suites, three swimming pools, spa and fitness facilities, a tennis court, three miles of fitness trail, a helipad, garages, independent quarters for staff and a caretaker’s residence.
“This is an investment property or can be used as a private compound for a family that would want to use one home for theirselves or rent out to others,” Domenico said.
The price covers the real estate assets and includes the French operating structure, which manages the day-to-day running of the complex, as well as the rental component and exclusive bookings for on-site events. There is also a maintenance personnel living all year round in a separate house at the entrance of the compound, as well as a house manager on site every day located in an independent office.

    

As the largest of the three villas, Le Manoir offers approximately 11,000 square feet of living space, showcasing picturesque views of the French countryside and Bay of Cannes. Upon entering this home, one is immediately greeted by a grand entrance hall and central living room, separating the two wings of the property. The expansive living room is flooded with light and opens onto the summer terrace, overlooking the infinity pool.
The east wing includes a gracious dining room and has a fully equipped commercial-grade kitchen with a butler’s pantry, cellar and sideboard for direct or independent access. There is a sizable office which is complete with traditional beamed ceilings, intricate millwork and a wood-burning fireplace with a custom stone mantle. Additional rooms in the east wing include a laundry room and an archive room.
The west wing of Le Manoir contains private living quarters, including the master suite which has its own lobby, a lounge with a wood-burning fireplace and a glass-enclosed terrace. Down the hall from the master suite are four guest bedrooms, each having their own en suite bath with double sinks, T.V.s, dressing rooms and terrace access.
Inhabitants of this villa can also enjoy the fineries of the home cinema, as well as the separate entertainment room which includes a billiards table, wet bar and access to outdoor dining areas. This villa has a lower garden level relaxation area with an on-site spa, comprised of a fitness room, sauna, large jacuzzi and shower.

This villa is comprised of approximately 4,600 square feet. Through its gracious entrance hall is a bright and airy living room, which has a wood-burning fireplace and custom detail throughout.

Just off the main entertaining space is the sleek chef’s kitchen, with tailored wood cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances. Next to the kitchen is the dining room which opens onto the large covered terrace. The outdoor space encompasses a complete summer kitchen and gracious living and dining area that overlook the infinity pool and provide tranquil views of the Esterél Hills.
The sleeping accommodations are generous in size, offering two bedroom suites in addition to the luxurious master bedroom that comes with a dressing room, en suite bath and balcony. The covered terrace leads to an independent guest house, which has its own kitchen, dining and living room and two bedroom suites. The villa also contains a large office as well as fitness area and relaxation facilities with a sauna and hammam.

 

This particular villa includes more than 5,300 square feet and affords sprawling indoor and outdoor living, as well as a windowed chef’s kitchen complete with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, marble countertops and direct access to the covered terrace.

The separate lounge is the perfect place to relax as it showcases a custom stone fireplace. The elegant dining room is highlighted by high wood-beamed ceilings and glass French doors that open onto the summer terrace for seamless flow to the outdoor kitchen facilities and barbecue.

The private quarters of this home are the epitome of luxury, with the impressive South facing master bedroom suite that extends into a spacious office and dressing room. Four additional en suite bedrooms can be found throughout the premises.
Centrally located, this villa’s beautiful custom pool house, La Bergerie, ideally blends the main residence with the outdoor entertaining component. Le Bergerie offers 1,600 plus square feet of independent amenities for guests, including a fully-equipped kitchen, dining and living room and two en suite bedrooms with dressing quarters.

Photo courtesy of The Corcoran Group

An interior garden, an indoor rock wall and an 18-person dining room are only a few of the features that make this new, extravagant European property truly unique.

By Alyssa Gautieri

This chalet is the largest newly built chalet in Val d’Isère and it has been specifically designed to be highly unique. “This home is a leading chalet by design and size in a leading French/European resort,” said Julian Walker, the director at Skiingproperty.com.
Embracing the trend of a preference toward greenery, this home has two large terraces and an indoor atrium garden. “Over the recent years, a number of properties throughout the world, include some greenery inside as well as outside,” says Walker.
 

There is also a 4.5-meter high room, that is built into the rock face, which can be used as an indoor climbing room or a shooting range.
When asked why he feels this property is unique, Walker says the location along with the stunning interior design make this property truly outstanding. “The pictures do more justice than I ever could,” he said.

Other unusual features include a large heated indoor swimming pool, a Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi, treatment rooms, an indoor garden with a glass bridge, and a dedicated bar and relaxation area.
The two-level property offers a private lift and 609 square meters of living space. The ground floor is home to six of the seven spacious bedrooms, all of which have their own ensuite bathrooms with his-and-hers sinks.

The home boasts an expansive lounge with a feature fireplace that is connected via a glass bridge to the kitchen, dining and ‘Espace Bar’ area. The dining area comfortably seats 18 people and the ‘Espace Bar’ is a skillfully created area entirely devoted to relaxation and entertainment.

Infini,​ ​a new luxury bath collection, marks the first collaboration between THG-Paris and ​Haviland​, a ​Limoges porcelain manufacturer​. ​

As the leading French atelier for the luxury bath​, ​THG-Paris​‘ new collection combines exquisite detail with timeless design. THG-Paris and Haviland’s designers re-imagined the classic Infini pattern to create this one-of-a-kind collection, which is hand-engrave​d​ ​and delicately​ ​hand-​paint​ed by French artisans​.​
Haviland, known worldwide for its porcelain tableware, has been a leading porcelain manufacturer since 1842, ​and has been designed for presidents including Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant.
“It is our great privilege to work with Haviland,” said Pedro Uranga, North American director for THG-Paris. “The brand has long been synonymous with quality and refinement, designing for presidents and royalty since the 19th century. Like THG, Haviland is dedicated to the highest level of craft and artistry. Our collaboration has produced something we can both be proud of.”
Infini is offered in various configurations for basins, matching bath tub and shower systems ​as well as a range of matching accessories. The collection is offered in different finishes, including white, gold and platinum.

Photos courtesy THG-Paris

Style Selector
Select the layout
Choose the theme
Preset colors
No Preset
Select the pattern