Fauchon L’Hotel in Paris serves up gourmet goodies

Scallops with pumpkin risotto and bacon at the Grand Cafe Fauchon on the ground floor of the Fauchon L’Hotel. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Scallops with pumpkin risotto and bacon at the Grand Cafe Fauchon on the ground floor of the Fauchon L’Hotel. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Scallops with pumpkin risotto and bacon at the Grand Cafe Fauchon on the ground floor of the Fauchon L’Hotel. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Focus on Culinary Travel

Fauchon L’Hotel in Paris serves up gourmet goodies

By Johanna Jainchill

Scallops with pumpkin risotto and bacon at the Grand Cafe Fauchon on the ground floor of the Fauchon L’Hotel. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Scallops with pumpkin risotto and bacon at the Grand Cafe Fauchon on the ground floor of the Fauchon L’Hotel. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Scallops with pumpkin risotto and bacon at the Grand Cafe Fauchon on the ground floor of the Fauchon L’Hotel. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

PARIS — I didn’t know much about the Fauchon brand before reading that the French luxury food purveyor was opening a hotel. 

Then a family member who lived in Paris assured me that the brand, around since 1886, was synonymous with good food: When he needed top-shelf caviar as a gift, he went to the Fauchon shop. 

I was intrigued: What would a hotel from a gourmet food brand be like? 

Fauchon L’Hotel opened in fall 2018 in the Madeleine neighborhood, close to the brand’s flagship store. Built into a classic Parisian mansion, the brand’s signature pink and black colors are incorporated into modern furnishings and amenities. 

The property has generated lots of buzz for its signature Gourmet Bar, and with good reason. Housed in a wardrobe-size pink cabinet, custom-built for the hotel, it takes the minibar concept to the next level, as it is filled with a customized selection of Fauchon goodies based on guest preferences: salty, sweet or a mix of both, along with Nespresso and Champagne.

 The Gourmet Bar is Fauchon’s take on the hotel minibar. The custom-built, wardrobe-size pink cabinet is filled with a customized selection of Fauchon goodies based on guest preferences: salty, sweet or a mix of both, along with Nespresso and Champagne. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The Gourmet Bar is Fauchon’s take on the hotel minibar. The custom-built, wardrobe-size pink cabinet is filled with a customized selection of Fauchon goodies based on guest preferences: salty, sweet or a mix of both, along with Nespresso and Champagne. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The Gourmet Bar is Fauchon’s take on the hotel minibar. The custom-built, wardrobe-size pink cabinet is filled with a customized selection of Fauchon goodies based on guest preferences: salty, sweet or a mix of both, along with Nespresso and Champagne. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

And it’s all free and restocked daily. In fact, the hotel will pack up whatever is left for the guest to take home, which I had to do, because I was too busy eating my way around other areas of the hotel to sample much from my Gourmet Bar.

That’s because Fauchon’s culinary ethos is part of its overall hotel experience. 

Guest check-in is done in a sitting area where Fauchon’s signature macarons, baked daily in rotating flavors, are set out. Guests are given a welcome drink made from Fauchon’s own tea blends and adorned with an edible flower. 

Tea is an important part of the Fauchon portfolio, and the company has blended its own since the 1960s. Its website boasts, “The British may have invented teatime, the Parisians improved upon it, and Fauchon turned it into an art form.” 

With that in mind, I couldn’t turn down an invitation for the afternoon ritual in the Jardin de Thes, a stunning tea garden in a former courtyard under a ceiling of skylights.

The Fauchon L’Hotel specializes in afternoon tea, and it features the stunning Jardin des Thes tea garden for the ritual. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The Fauchon L’Hotel specializes in afternoon tea, and it features the stunning Jardin des Thes tea garden for the ritual. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The Fauchon L’Hotel specializes in afternoon tea, and it features the stunning Jardin des Thes tea garden for the ritual. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

At Fauchon, five sweet and five savory finger foods are served in the brand’s signature black-and-pink boxes instead of on a tower. My selection included ham from Gascony, smoked salmon from Isigny, apple cardamom domes and coconut mango cheesecake.

 Fauchon’s afternoon tea featured ham from Gascony, smoked salmon from Isigny, apple cardamom domes and coconut mango cheesecake. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Fauchon’s afternoon tea featured ham from Gascony, smoked salmon from Isigny, apple cardamom domes and coconut mango cheesecake. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

Fauchon’s afternoon tea featured ham from Gascony, smoked salmon from Isigny, apple cardamom domes and coconut mango cheesecake. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

A bit jet-lagged and with the evening ahead of me, I chose One Night in Paris, a blend of black tea, chamomile and verbena. Teatime also includes a glass of Fauchon’s own Champagne, and next time I’m in town I’ll have to try Fauchon’s menu of tea-infused cocktails, such as the Celebration, which pairs vodka and poppy liqueur with Fauchon’s Red Fruit Scented Green Tea. 

Staying at a gourmet-themed hotel means dinner at its on-site restaurant is not to be missed.

 The Grand Cafe on the ground floor of the Fauchon L'Hotel is a buzzing lunch spot in the Madeleine neighborhood of Paris. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The Grand Cafe on the ground floor of the Fauchon L'Hotel is a buzzing lunch spot in the Madeleine neighborhood of Paris. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The Grand Cafe on the ground floor of the Fauchon L'Hotel is a buzzing lunch spot in the Madeleine neighborhood of Paris. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

I’d walked through the Grand Cafe Fauchon in the morning and during lunchtime, and it was abuzz. The central neighborhood location on a busy corner makes it a prime lunch, coffee and cocktail spot throughout the day. 

The restaurant was quiet around 8 o’clock on the Friday night I ate there, as was the neighborhood in general. The chef’s tasting menus are based on what is in season, which in November was scallops, which were harvested from French coastlines.

One of the three scallop dishes served as part of the chef's tasting menu at the Grand Cafe in November, when the bivalves were in season. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

One of the three scallop dishes served as part of the chef's tasting menu at the Grand Cafe in November, when the bivalves were in season. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

One of the three scallop dishes served as part of the chef's tasting menu at the Grand Cafe in November, when the bivalves were in season. (TW photo by Johanna Jainchill)

The $52 menu offered scallops three ways: as a carpaccio, with truffle and razor clams and atop a pumpkin risotto with chestnuts and bacon. A fun, $36 wine pairing included glasses from Sancerre, Bordeaux, and a dessert wine from Jurancon, a region I’d never heard of. The dishes were fresh and inventive, and the service was excellent.

I knew I’d need to pack up my gourmet bar when I had one morning and one meal still to enjoy. Top-category rooms have views of the Eiffel Tower, but I loved the Parisian street view I had from my third-floor location. The table in front of my oversize window was the perfect spot to enjoy a breakfast of coffee, fresh squeezed juice, fruit, croissants and, of course, Fauchon’s own jams, honey and chocolate spread.

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