“More fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection”.
Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past.
Marcel Proust is right – great memories stay with us. All the more so when they hold the promise of pleasures we will soon enjoy again!
Pleasures like soaking up the sun beside the wonderful lagoon at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort… As you lounge on a Bali bed sipping a smoothie, surrounded by lush tropical greenery and lulled by the glimmers of sunshine dancing across the water, it’s easy to forget where you are. Bali? The Maldives? The tropics? Open your eyes and it’s even better: you’re in Monaco! Whether you choose the gentle caress of a foot massage, or the serenity of a yoga session, Monaco really is a little piece of paradise.
Like surrendering yourself to the exquisite pleasure of a massage at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, one of Monaco’s longest-standing establishments, or the Cinq Mondes spa… Not enjoying a massage while you’re in Monaco would be like going to France and not seeing Versailles, visiting Milan without marvelling at La Scala, or sightseeing in New York without a stroll through Central Park!
Under the expert hands of a certified massage therapist, your muscles relax, energy flows through your body, and your soul slips into a state of bliss. Free your body, let your mind roam, and prepare to regain harmony.
Like indulging in the delights of a swingingly chic picnic on the grass in the Jardins des Boulingrins… Over the summer, we met every Thursday in the gardens of the Place du Casino or at Mada One for a relaxed, lusciously chic, joyfully delicious and unfailingly surprising aperitif and picnic under the stars, orchestrated by Michelin-starred chef Marcel Ravin! Just over the road, our favourite stores stayed open late into the night so we could indulge in a little retail therapy, too.
Like listening to Cécilia Bartoli singing bel canto under the stars in the Place du Casino on a warm, late summer’s evening – it sent shivers down our spine! The famous mezzo-soprano was accompanied by Les Musiciens du Prince-Monaco for a recital like no other, with the period instruments bringing the traditional 17th and 18th-century music of princely, royal, and imperial courts across Europe back to life. And how could we forget the voice that soared above the square to echo around the towers of the Casino before flying high into the sky?!
Take two chefs, two masters of their art, and two visions described as “not entirely the same, nor entirely different”, and you have a recipe for a collaborative masterpiece capable of moving us to our very core. The encounter between double Michelin-starred chef at Le Vistamar at the Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, Jean-Philippe Borro, and his guest Philippe Mille, another Michelin-starred chef from Domaine Les Crayères in Reims was one such masterpiece. What could be more moving, and more bounteous, than the meeting of two such great minds? We are already familiar with the friendships of Matisse and Picasso, Van Gogh and Gauguin, Hugo and Balzac, and more recently Basquiat and Wharhol.
Now, with top chefs having rightfully joined these ranks of celebrated artists, their partnerships too lead to creations that ravish the collectors of culinary masterpieces – otherwise known as fine dining connoisseurs. It goes without saying though, that maestros will never make the perfect pairing if they’re alike as chalk and cheese! Over to Jean-Philippe Borro: “Our respective styles of cooking are born out of the same fundamental values: respect and love for our ingredients. We both love showcasing and elevating our local produce. We also love putting a modern twist on our food to make sure we keep up with the times, and continue to offer our diners the dishes that they want to eat”. That says it all.
Another of chef Jean-Philippe’s friends – and a special one at that – is Yannick Alléno, the multiple Michelin-starred chef at the Pavillon Ledoyen, the most prestigious restaurant in Paris with a reputation as a shrine to fine dining. How could anyone forget Alléno’s virtuoso performance at Le Vistamar, with his steamed cheese soufflé, watercress and smoked eel sauce, and butter and chive-basted sole pomponettes. And the chermoula, salt and cumin-spiced red mullet! And the wood-fired lamb and bagnetto rosso sauce! We loved them then, and we can still taste them, even now!