OCCUPATION: Owner, Fashion public relations company
MY STYLE: Classy but fashionable. I always wear a Burberry trench with high heels and a pair of J Brand skinny jeans. My house is modern and all white.
I LOVE PARIS BECAUSE: There are a lot of nice parks where I can bring my son on the weekend, and nice children’s boutiques to shop for him!
At the entrance to this lovely public park established by the Duke of Chartres stands a majestic rotunda. Its form-over-function quality may strike you as particularly French, but the gardens were actually designed in the Anglo-Chinese style, courtesy of writer and painter Louis Carrogis Carmontelle. Carmontelle said that he wanted to create the garden as an “image of liberty,” with many amusements (such as a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Dutch windmill, and a Chinese fort, to name just a few) to keep visitors coming back. As far as Gaelle Dessauvages’ kids, who like the pony and carrousel rides best of all, are concerned, he succeeded.
Grand only begins to describe Le Meurice. Palatial might be more fitting, especially since it’s known as the hotel of kings (and of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris). The façade’s many arches stand across the way from the Tuileries Garden, making it the perfect retreat after a long day’s work of seeing timeless masterpieces at the Louvre. The hotel itself, considered one of the old greats and loved frequented by iconic figures including Salvador Dalí and Elizabeth Taylor, is now managed by the Dorchester Collection, which has enacted some tasteful updates. One example is the recently renovated Spa Valmont, complete with an ice fountain, an outdoor terrace, and some pricy treatments that promise to make you looklike royalty.
Gaelle Dessauvages swears by Merci, a concept store near le Marais with space to spare. Roam the roomy boutique for chic additions to your closet…and the rest of your home too. If the Isabel Marant, Kris Van Assche, or Stella McCartney pieces seem less expensive than usual, that’s because they are. Brought to you by the husband and wife team behind Bonpoint, Merci donates all of its profits—yes, all—to needy women and children in Madagascar, and these cool designers have gotten behind the cause by slashing their prices. In other words, your purchases will inspire graciousness, not guilt, a feeling you can savor, along with a treat, in the store’s coffee shop.
Beauty insiders swear by the cult-like cosmetics brand Carita, founded by two ambitious sisters over 60 years ago. Its high-performing, high-end skincare products promise the latest in anti-aging technology, but with a refined simplicity where presentation’s concerned. Stateside, you can treat yourself to Carita’s creams and gels at the Ritz-Carlton, but to experience the brand in its hometown, go to the spa at Le Burgundy. “They give a very nice body massage, and it’s a great location near the Concorde,” says Gaelle Dessauvages.
Hôtel le Bristol
Considered one of the finest hotels in all of Europe, Hôtel le Bristol is luxurious, legendary, and quintessentially Parisian. The land, which now boasts the largest garden of Parisian palaces, was passed from the Duke of Noailles to various other courtiers and became a gathering spot for the city’s most fashionable. It was particularly roaring during the 1920s, before becoming the official residence for all Americans in Paris during WWII. Today, things are quieter at le Hôtel Bristol, but most people like it that way. Gaelle Dessauvages goes for brunch while her son plays on the outdoor terrace.