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Postcards from the Edge: Vive l'Hôtel de Crillon

Regulars | August Issue

It was where Robin Day made a pass at Mary Kenny, and champagne-fuelled journalism reached its peak. Now it has been reborn

I must put a visit to the Hôtel de Crillon, on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, on my bucket list – Paris and London being almost equidistant in travel time from Deal in Kent. The Crillon, now owned by the Saudi Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has been closed for four years, while undergoing a palatial restoration: it reopened on 5th July. I associate the Crillon with the legendary Paris correspondent of the Evening Standard, Sam White, who would appear at the Crillon every morning for his 11 o’clock half-bottle of champagne, declaring to his secretary in accurate but Australian-accented French, ‘Si on demande pour moi, je serai au bar.’ They were the days to be a journalist – with an office in Paris, a secretary and a chauffeured car. Sam had the inside track on General de Gaulle, at a time when the French...

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