Monday, 29 August 2011

Expand, Brave Crillon

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~ Expand, Brave Crillon ~

Expand, Brave Crillon, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

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Oh how the mighty have fallen. There I was on Friday afternoon in the Paris Crillon on Place de la Concorde (ex-Place Louis XV with plaque to prove it), sipping on a ridiculously extravagant hot chocolate à l'orange to rival Angelina's (see picture above), and here I am on Monday morning back in McDo with a caffay-oh-lay and a crumpet to my name.

I've done McDo before, so let me tell you about the Crillon. I wasn't that impressed, but then again I have to admit that I wasn't actually staying in this legendary 'palace' - and that the hot chocolate would probably have been the only thing I could have afforded if it had been me paying.

The setting is wonderful of course, and I'm sure the rooms are, well, sublime, and no doubt the service excellent, but for me a bed's a bed, with its main interest normally who's in it, no, I'm kidding, but I've never felt the need to spend large amounts of money on the place I'm sleeping.

There was an interesting inscription on the wall, which of course I forgot to photograph, referring to the name of the hotel itself: The Crillon.

I asked what I though would be an impressively testing question of my entourage regarding the exogenesis of the name and was swatted like a fly with the blindingly obvious reply - that's the name of who used to live here before it was a hotel. Hmm. Enough said. But who, then, was this 'Crillon' chappy, or perhaps 'chappess'?

Unfortunately, I can't remember the inscription but it did include words along the lines of 'Die, brave Crillon'. The waiter claimed it was Napoleon saying this to a general who didn't bother to turn up to a battle and was a wee bit peeved, but then again 'brave' is generally complimentary, notwithstanding sneakier secondary meanings.

From then on my investigations became mired in the murkiness of the years, with tales of battles and kings (Henri IV, notably) and long family histories. Not much fun to read and even less to write about.

So I'll leave you with the image of a commoner dutifully wading his way through the treacherous sludge of a drink designed to expand waistlines to royal proportions in a setting fit for a king. Poor me, right?

P.S. You may be wondering, seeing as I make the comparison, whether the Crillon hot chocolate is enough to make Angelina weep, or if the Rue de Rivoli legend still holds its own in the cocoa kingdom. I've only been to Angelina's once and it was rushed and a while ago now, so I can't say for sure, but the memory of that place still lingers so I'm giving this round to Angelina for the time being.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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