NY diary: the Caudalie Spa, a view from Chanel and other delights

After a day of cultural bliss on Museum Mile, I treated Maman Ritournelle to another pleasure: a morning of luxurious pampering at the Caudalie Spa. The perfect Mother’s Day gift! We headed to the Plaza Hotel first thing in the morning, walked through the lavish marble lobby and took the elevator up to “heaven on the fourth floor”. To view my review and pictures of the spa, click right here!

After my Grand facial, I waited in the wine lounge for Maman Ritournelle to join me. Heather, the lovely spa director, invited me to get a manicure and I happily obliged. They carry celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann’s brand and I went for a bright red called My Funny Valentine. Nice, no? As we were reunited, my mother told me she absolutely loved her time at the spa and I got several compliments on my “great skin” (I quote) the following days. Merci Caudalie!

My parents and I were then invited by a relative to the Chanel New York office: the breathtaking view they have on Central Park was a must-see according to her. But as I never, ever show up empty-handed on such occasions, I went for a quick walk to the nearby Macaron Café.

Run by a French team, this Upper East Side spot has become a favorite of mine. With a box in hand and a couple macarons in my mouth (I simply couldn’t resist!), I joined my parents at the gigantic building located by the Plaza and we took the elevator up to the top floors.

My, my, my, what an incredible view they have from the Chanel lobby indeed! I am very jealous and would happily work there every day. It would have been inappropriate to take pictures of the office itself but let me tell you that it is luxurious in its simplicity with beige carpeting and a staircase similar to the one on rue Cambon in Paris.

Our plan was to enjoy some art at the MOMA right afterwards but it happened to be closed that day. Oops! Nevertheless, the museum’s restaurant was open and it was time to eat, so in we went to be seated at the Bar Room of The Modern.

The executive chef and pastry chef both happen to be French (you must begin to think we are invading New York City!) and pride themselves with a Michelin star. The menu encourages you to pick 3 different items but we chose just the Duck Confit à l’Orange with cauliflower and fingerling potatoes. When it was delivered, we Ritournelles smiled and rolled our eyes at each other thinking “Yet another trendy restaurant that gives nothing to eat in the plate.” Yet the duck was so refined and subtle in taste that you could only savor it slowly and by the time we had finished, we were nearly full.

Of course we had to try out the desserts. I couldn’t resist stealing one of Papa Ritournelle’s beignets dipped in mango marmalade, maple ice cream and caramel. Miam!

The Dining Room of The Modern overlooks the museum’s sculpture garden and offers a more sophisticated menu.

Nothing’s better after a good meal than a walk to digest it all, and it happened to be a gloriously beautiful day in Manhattan. Rockefeller Center was bathed in sunshine instead of the drizzle we had to bear on our visit up there.

We made our way uptown on Fifth Avenue and found ourselves window-shopping in front of Louis Vuitton. The brand sticks to safari-themed windows yet again this season with some humorous big birds.

If only such precious babies could hatch out of the eggs I have in my fridge.

What are burying your head in the sand for, young lady?

Our last stop brought us to Hermès on Madison Avenue. The store recently unveiled a new floor, a gem of refined authentic luxury.

Up next: a visit of the Met and the MOMA!

Après une journée riche en culture dans les plus beaux musées de New York, j’ai offert à ma mère un autre doux plaisir : une matinée de soins dans le magnifique spa Caudalie. Le cadeau idéal pour la Fête des Mères ! Les quelques heures de détente étaient bienvenues après des journées au rythme trépidant. Mon soin du visage terminé, la directrice du spa m’a invitée à essayer leur manucure avec la marque de Deborah Lippmann, nail artist des célébrités. J’ai choisi un rouge éclatant, My Funny Valentine. Joli, non ? Une fois ma mère retrouvée, elle m’a dit avoir adoré son temps au spa et j’ai reçu plusieurs compliments sur ma « belle peau » (je cite) les jours suivants. Pour lire ma critique du spa Caudalie, c’est par ici !

Mes parents et moi étions ensuite invités par une cousine à visiter les bureaux de Chanel : la vue  sur Central Park y est magnifique, disait-elle. Mais comme je ne viens jamais les mains vides, j’ai fait une rapide excursion au Macaron Café. Tenu par des Français, c’est l’un de mes endroits préférés à New York. Une boîte à la main et quelques macarons dans la bouche, j’ai rejoint mes parents au pied du gigantesque immeuble situé près du Plaza et nous avons pris l’ascenseur vers l’un des plus hauts étages.

Quelle vue incroyable en effet depuis la réception de Chanel ! Je suis extrêmement jalouse et franchement j’y travaillerais volontiers. Je me serais fait taper sur les doigts en prenant plus de photos. Laissez-moi seulement vous dire que les bureaux sont bien emblématiques de la marque avec un luxe sobre, une moquette épaisse beige et un escalier semblable à celui de la rue Cambon.

Nous avions ensuite prévu de visiter le MOMA mais il était fermé ce jour-là. Oups ! Le restaurant du musée était cependant ouvert et nous nous sommes attablés au Bar Room du Modern. Les chefs cuisinier et pâtissier, tous deux français (décidemment !), peuvent être fiers de leur étoile Michelin. Le canard confit à l’orange avec chou-fleur et rattes une fois servi, nous nous sommes dits « Encore un restaurant à la mode où il n’y a rien dans l’assiette ». La viande était cependant si subtile et raffinée au goût que nous ne pouvions que la savourer et avions juste assez de place pour le dessert à la fin. La Dining Room du Modern offre une vue sur le jardin de sculptures du MOMA et un menu plus sophistiqué.

Il n’y a rien de mieux après un bon repas qu’une promenade pour digérer le tout et c’était une journée magnifique à Manhattan. Rockefeller Center était baigné de soleil au lieu de la bruine endurée lors de notre visite. Nous nous sommes retrouvés à faire du lèche-vitrines devant Louis Vuitton et la journée s’est terminée devant le magasin Hermès sur Madison et ses bracelets en émail géants. A bientôt pour la suite !

21 Comments

Filed under Beauty, Food, New York, Store windows

21 responses to “NY diary: the Caudalie Spa, a view from Chanel and other delights

  1. Oh, moi aussi je suis jalouse, Anne !
    Je ferai bien un tour à NY, ce que tu nous montres à l’air magique !

  2. OMG, la phaute d’ortografe ;) tout ça pour un “à”

  3. I just love adventuring New York through your eyes Anne! And oh how lovely the trip to Caudalie and Chanel must have been (like you I always take a small gift and send ‘thank you’ cards to such things – manners are so rare these days, that it sets you apart I feel).

    Caudalie have invited me to the Plaza spa too, so am definitely planning a trip to New York later this year during which this must feature!

    Briony xx

    • See, now you have no more excuses to not come to New York! Be sure to ask for Régine if you go to the spa; she’s amazing!
      And yes, I have never met a person that was not delighted to get macarons as a thank-you present :-)

  4. nineteenninety

    Reading this makes me wish ever so much to be back in the bright lights of new york! I enjoy reading your adventures there and hope to go back some day soon!!

  5. Sounds like such a wonderful time, Anne!

    PS: I smiled to myself when I saw that you wrote “miam!” It’s funny, in French, it’s “miam,” and in English, it’s “yum.” They look like such different words on paper, but when you say them fast enough they sound the same. That word – and the spelling of noises that animals make across languages – always intrigue me!

    – Ava

    • I had never thought about that! I was wondering when writing this post if my non-French readers would understand what “miam” means. Glad it made sense to you ;-)

  6. Tourists, are you listening? THIS is how you see New York. Do it properly or stay home! Wowza Anne, what a fab trip for Maman et Papa Ritournelle! As lovely as the images are, it’s Papa Ritournelle’s beignets that have my attention. Heavenly!

    PS – we need to talk about your dream trip to Chanel over champagne next month!

  7. Meingast

    Bonjour, Anne! As always happens, it´s a pleasure to read this delightful new post. Your narrative style is so sweet. And you took very beautiful pictures!
    By the way, loved de “miam!”… Sounds like “nham!” in Portuguese ;-)
    Have a nice weekend,
    F.

  8. Sounds like such a wonderful trip for the Ritournelles! What a sweet treat to go up to the Chanel offices too….spectacular views! Anne, your skin is always beautiful facial or no!! And perfectly complemented by your nail color. Another fabulous post- glad to see you make an appearance!

  9. Anne this really is a perfect NY day. What an amazing view the Chanel offices have, I am so jealous I am rethinking a career in the cosmetics and beauty industry :-)

    Regarding MoMa you must come with me one day because I have membership. But if you do we must have a repeat of that dessert, which clearly I missed on the menu last time, or is new, it looked delightful.

    You showed your parents such amazing places in the city. I hope they loved it enough to visit again very soon.

    • I very much like your plan of returning to the MOMA and indulging in desserts ;-) My parents did love New York! Now that my contract has been extended they’ll probably come back next year. Which is a good thing given the kind of stuff we do when they travel!

  10. Hi Ritournelle. Thanks for your diary. Really cool. It’s a nice spot you had there at 5th Ave. Do you know how the place lokked like in 1968? We have some original footage from back then. Maybe you want to check out our latest post. It’s a quite special one and it was a lot of work. We hope you like it:

    http://transatlanticdiablog.wordpress.com/2011/06/24/new-york-city-1968-vintage-impressions-a-look-back-by-video-camera/

    See you… (We come by at least once a week)

  11. Can’t pick a favorite – The dessert, the views, the windows, the nails. It is all too wonderful.

  12. Fabulous pics and the food looks amazing!!

    x
    Michelle

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