Your Bristol & Somerset Wedding - June/July 2023 (Issue 95)

After a speedy trip on the Eurostar and a leisurely stroll, we arrived at the Shangri-La Paris. With all that Paris has to offer, the actual accommodation you find yourself using can often feel like an afterthought. However, with the history and majesty of the Shangri-La Paris, the hotel is as much a tourist destination as the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe or even the Eiffel Tower. A former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, overlooking the River Seine, the hotel is centrally located in the 16th arrondissement and seamlessly blends European grandeur with traditional Asian hospitality. FIT FOR ROYALTY Upon arrival, we were greeted by a welcoming member of the hotel concierge who checked in our bags while we were given a guided tour. The building is a stunning feat of architecture and the location alone is enough to take your breath away. The hotel has plenty of stand-out features (too many to mention), but the impressive marble-lined swimming pool converted from the former stables, the relaxing spa, state-of-the-art health club and stunning entrance hall are all must-sees. If you want to relax with a drink in your hand, then you’ll feel right at home in the stunningly decorated Le Bar Botaniste or Les Lounges, both of which offer a friendly and impressive service. SUITE DREAMS Catching our breath for a moment, we were shown to our suite. In all honesty, the view of the Eiffel Tower a few hundred feet away, in plain sight of our room, made it very hard to focus on the suite itself for a good few minutes! But after wiping the stardust from our eyes, we discovered that we had been treated to a magnificent space. The biggest bed I’d ever seen, a walk-in wardrobe and a lavish bathroom greeted us; with every aspect of the room designed around that view. The attention to detail was beyond anything I could have imagined with every amenity you could possibly need at your fingertips. One of my favourite aspects was the balcony, which showed the tower in all its splendour and views of the city at every turn. Sitting there with a cup of tea and homemade macarons was one of the highlights of the trip, and I opted to be out on the balcony every spare moment I had. EAST MEETS WEST There are two restaurants at Shangri-La Paris, both of which are beautifully decorated with stand-out food. Shang Palace, where I had the pleasure of dining, is France’s only Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant and what a treat it was! Inspired by Southeast China’s culinary traditions, the restaurant offers authentic Chinese cuisine by chef Samuel Lee. With so much choice, we were a little lost for words, but thankfully the charming hostess was very helpful and suggested options that she felt we would enjoy. Every dish was incredible and the food complemented the surroundings perfectly. We started with the chef’s special sashimi; immaculately prepared, it set the standard for what was to follow. The lobster dumplings were a particular favourite of mine and is something I’d eat every day if possible. After several dishes, it was safe to say I was stuffed, but when the dessert arrived, I couldn’t help myself; the rice balls with mixed fruits and whipped cream was delicious and one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime meal, then this is it. It’s been months since we visited, but we still talk about how delicious everything was. TRUE ROMANCE With such awe-inspiring surroundings, we couldn’t resist a short stroll over to the Trocadéro and across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower. As beautiful a sight at night as during the day, we couldn’t believe our fortune. When we eventually headed back to the hotel, we wearily made our way up to our bedroom. The suite had an impressive TV, but it almost felt like a redundancy next to the view from the windows. I’m typically a blackout sleeper, but on this occasion, I had to sleep with the curtains wide open. After a wonderful night’s sleep, we ordered breakfast to our room and enjoyed it out on our balcony terrace. Barely noticing the brisk February weather, we dined in what felt like the historic heart of Paris. Breakfast was up to the high standards we’d come to expect from the Shangri-La Paris, and when it came to checking out, we felt devastated to be leaving. I can say with absolute certainty that we left with our chi restored and look forward to returning in the near future! OF LOVE The city Melissa Cullen reveals why Paris is the perfect honeymoon destination BOOK IT: 92