Paris & Cognac: My incredible trip with Hennessy

Posted on 26/09/2017 by Eileen Schuch
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Hennessy Cognac Vineyards La Bataille

I just got back from traveling and am ultra impatient to share the whole story with you. Hennessy concocted an unforgettable experience for us. Over the two days that we spent in Paris and Cognac, I took about thousand photos and I am in the process of going through them all. The things we saw and learned, the beautiful places we discovered and the people I met… mind-blowing! So much history and passion, so many impressions and memories that were created during this time spent with the brand…. Never mind the food we ate! Posh nosh? Oh my, please don’t wake me up from this foodie fairy tale!

I know it will take me a while to structure everything and so I thought, maybe you like to know what the program was and what to expect. A little sneak peek if you will while waiting for the more detailed report that I am about to prepare for you.

On Day 1, we arrived in Paris and checked in at the majestic hotel Le Bristol-Paris – which merits a stand-alone feature because it is so amazing. Just so much for now: located on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the hotel dates back to 1925 and hosts a 3 Michelin star restaurant called Epicure, a 1 Michelin star brasserie called 114 Faubourg, the Café Antonia, a rooftop swimming pool and the Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie. A Palace of the finest allure that is symbolic for the French Art de Vivre. My room offered a view of the Garden à la française that was breathtaking. The video below will give you feeling for the atmosphere that reins at the hotel.

My plane arrived in Paris with a little delay and therefore, I did not have much time left to explore the Bristol before dinner which was hosted at restaurant Nubé. The setting was gorgeous and the meal utterly delightful. If you are in Paris and anywhere near Hotel Marignan at the Champs-Elysées, I recommend you try this restaurant. Its décor is original, the vibe trendy and youthful, the prices reasonable and the cuisine a flavorful fusion of South American and French influences. You can have a look at the menu here >>>

The dinner finished with the most delicious chocolate dessert that, had I not feasted on the freshly baked, still warm bread, I would have eaten whole. At least I managed to enjoy about half of it paired with a velvety Hennessy X.O, neat. The best about this dinner was though, that it was intimate. I got to talk to everyone and met some kindred spirits. It is always a pleasure to meet and eat with people that are as passionate about food as I am. You can loose yourself in depth and detail and, by analysis of what you have been served, truly anchor the experience in your memory.

Hennessy Cognac Paris Restaurant Nubé

Although there were guests from every corner of the planet, a little group of German speakers quickly formed and it was with my newly found friends that I stayed at the table the longest and continued the night at the bar at le Bristol. There, courtesy of the hotel, we enjoyed a last cocktail: mine was the Hennessy Time, a dream in violet – Hennessy Cognac mixed with verbena infused fine Champagne, Cointreau, liqueur of apricot and lemon – that would send me straight into Morpheus’ arms and into a very profound, peaceful sleep.

A sleep so profound that I nearly missed the alarm the next day! Luckily, I asked for breakfast to be served in my room and so there was no lazing around, no matter how much I wanted to press that snooze button over and over. At 7:00 am sharp, a knock on the door signaled that room service arrived. The invigorating smell of fresh coffee, omelet and pastry eased the process of waking up. A look out the window down the garden and over the roofs confirmed: Hello, Paris!

And what a glorious day it promised to be: transfer to Le Bourget Paris Airport in a chauffeur driven Mercedes van, departure to Angoulême in a private jet, lunch in the Hennessy vineyards La Bataille, visit of Le Peu Distillery and the Bagnolet farm, visit of the Grand Bureau de Dégustation, then check in at hotel Francois 1er in Cognac.

That sounds like a pretty full schedule, right? Oh, but hang on, that’s not it. Non, non, non! The evening continues at the Founder’s Cellar, where we get to enjoy an immersive art installation by Marshmallow Laser Feast, a tasting of Hennessy Paradis Imperial and a dinner imagined by star-chef Guy Martin.

I will only say that much: when I tasted this exquisite spirit for the first time, I wept. Literally! My eyes watered up with emotion evoked by this gift of nature. That may sound pretty cheesy, I know. But I sometimes have that, on very rare occasions, when I am just overwhelmed by the thought of how much love and passion, know-how and work, patience and precision is necessary to create a masterpiece of this kind. People cry all the time, right: when their favorite sports team wins a competition, when they hear classic music or get lost in an art piece… well, I have that with food (sometimes), or drinks for the matter. Hennessy Paradis Imperial to me is everything of the above: the joy you feel when you realize that something truly unique and memorable has been achieved, the singular sound of a symphony, the soothing effect of a painting that mesmerizes you and soaks you in… a poem in its own right, an ode to the senses.

The opus continued for us at Château de Bagnolet, which was built in 1801 and became the property of the Hennessy family in 1840. We enjoyed one, or maybe two glasses of Hennessy Paradis Imperial in front of a crackling fireplace, before reclining in the winter garden for cigars and even more of the divine nectar.

In the morning, an interview session with Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, Hennessy Master Blender in the 8th generation, was scheduled…

Hennessy Cognac Hennessy Paradis Imperial Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and Yann Fillioux

 

Sometimes in life, it convenes not to wonder how or why you are in a certain place at a certain time, but to just be grateful. And I am. Merci, Hennessy.

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