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S Style Spirit Senses Stories



with Clara Luciani



by french photographer Mathieu Foucher


Living it up, French style


Live the French way There’s character, then there’s French charisma. Book your stay at sofitel.com or call your travel advisor PARIS – LONDON – MEXICO CITY – DUBAI – BEIJING – SYDNEY – Coming Soon: ADELAIDE – SEOUL – HANGZHOU – BARU

available at balmain.com

{ Contributors }

S Style Spirit Senses Stories


The French art de vivre (art of living) is about taking time to celebrate, to give, to share, to enjoy life. Above all, it is an invitation to travel and live to the fullest. Read on to find out more and get inspired to live the French way.

SO FITEL H OTELS & RESO RTS Chief Marketing Officer ACCOR Hotels

PU B L I C AT I O NS CO N D É N AST FR A N C E Chief business officer

Steven Taylor

Delphine Royant

Senior Vice President, Luxury & Premium Brands

Financial director

Rick Harvey Lam Vice President, Luxury Brand Management Sofitel João Rocco Director, Brand Management Sofitel Véronique Faure-Hervé Director, Brand Management Sofitel Matthias Tan Senior Vice President, Communications Charlotte Thouvard Director, Luxury Brand Communications Rebecca Quinn Assistant Project Manager, Luxury Brand Communications Emeline Sympat Assistant Manager, Luxury Brand Communications Patryk Bazinski

CO N TRI BU TO RS TO TH IS ISSU E Journalists: Jean Michel de Alberti, Jacqueline de Cossette, Lauriane Gepner, Heidi Ellison, Kate Matthams, Diane Mazloum, Francesca Serra Photographers: Arthur Delloye, Mathieu Foucher

Isabelle Léger Human resources director Charles de Vivie CNX France director Sarah Herz Communication director Bernie Torres Strategic growth & Innovation director Violaine Degas Head of digital strategy & business Victoria Bravo Marketing director Dominique Dirand Production and distribution director Francis Dufour

THE CORE TEAM Editorial direction: Bérénice de Brondeau, Sarah Herz Art direction: Géraud Feybesse, Yara Kazan, Maëlle Mukunthan Project direction: Adelia Alati Production: Candice Guetta

S O F I T E L . ACC O R . C O M

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can be summed up in four words: sing, laugh, sleep, love!

” Victor Hugo M A R I E T U D O R ( 18 3 3 )

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Live the French way There’s timeless luxury, then there’s legendary indulgence. Book your stay at sofitel.com or call your travel advisor AMSTERDAM – ASWAN – CARTAGENA – HANOI – XI’AN – Coming Soon: PANAMA

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Style 10



An Italian lunch with Gherardo Felloni


Style list

12 F R E N C H ST Y L E

An Italian lunch with Gherardo Felloni


Tristan Auer, on traveling the world to awaken sleeping beauties



Living it up, french-style




British Club extravaganza

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How the Panama hat became a symbol of french chic

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Spirit List

Senses List

Tell me about your most inspiring trip ever





Clara Luciani

Daniel Boulud’s sensory Dubai




Yannick Alléno, chef extraordinaire


Jiang Qiong Er on the yin and yang of luxury


COVER Inès L (agence METROPOLITAN) wears a LANVIN dress, NOMAD JEWELS bracelet and ring and a FRED bracelet. PHOTOGRAPH ARTHUR DELLOYE. STYLING



Rome by Mathieu Foucher

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PA R L E Z - V O U S F R A N Ç A I S








Paris or Beirut ? by Diane Mazloum


Mosey dives deep into the beat



Aquatic Pleasures



A touch of french luxury



Matthieu Tordeur

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An Italian lunch with Gherardo Felloni I N S I D E T H E S U I T C A S E O F. . .

Tristan Auer, on traveling the world to awaken sleeping beauties FAS H I O N STO RY

Living it up, French-Style CULT

How the Panama hat became a symbol of french chic ST Y L E I S I N T H E D E TA I LS

British Club extravaganza


Style list

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Style list



High-tech cosmetics ACCESSORIES In San Francisco, Odile Roujol, a former Lancôme CEO, has founded the Fashion and BeautyTech Community to bring together emerging brands and talents in the fields of beauty and technology. Why? The future of the beauty industry depends largely on artificial intelligence and 3D applications. Members of the international collective include the Japanese makeup brand Cosmehunt and the Singapore-based Alcheme beauty products company. Major players like L’Oréal – which has acquired ModiFace, a Canadian company offering 3D virtual makeup tests and skin diagnostics – are paying attention and investing in high-tech and startups. One example of tech being used in aid of beauty is the Think Dirty application, which sells vetted “clean” (toxin-free) beauty products.

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African inspirations Karim Adduchi, a multi talented young designer, winner of the Vogue Fashion Prize second award in 2020, divides his time between Morocco and Amsterdam, where he reinterprets Berber craftsmanship in a contemporary style. He also designed the covers for Vernon Subutex, a trilogy of novels by Virginie Despentes. In Dakar, Johanna Bramble, who studied at the Duperré School of Applied Arts in Paris, has her couture designs made by expert Manjak weavers, while Ghana-based Studio 189, founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, takes inspiration from Ghanian batiks and dyes, indigos from Mali and weavings from Burkina Faso. The work of this accomplished duo is shown during New York Fashion Week. In Cape Town, designer Katherine-Mary Pichulik designs stunning jewelry collections using materials from local co-ops across Africa.


Bags on parade The famed Victoria & Albert Museum in London is holding an exciting exhibition called “Bags: Inside Out,» through XXX. On show are bags of all sorts, shapes and sizes, made for a multitude of uses, ranging from historical pieces dating from the 16th century to Fendi’s cult “Baguette” bag, star of the 2000s. These history-making bags mix politics, art and fashion in a joyous parade of colors, materials and extravagant looks, from Margaret Thatcher’s Asprey bag to designs for Longchamp by artist Tracey Emin and Karl Lagerfeld’s marvelous bags for Chanel, showing off the know-how of the greatest houses. The exhibition also takes a sociological interest in the contents of bags: what was carried in them in the 18th or 19th century, for example, tells a story about the habits and customs of an era. www.vam.ac.uk


High style today is about far more than appearances as designers and trendsetters around the world take into account the environment, diversity and local communities – without sacrificing beauty and quality.

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A greener fashion planet




Long live chic nomadism! From the Balearics to the Pacific Coast of Mexico, from India to the Caribbean, the hippies of the 1960s and ’70s continue to inspire contemporary lifestyles. Among the neohippies are famous figures like Jade Jagger, whose unique jewelry and home-decoration designs have a timeless style. “At home in the world” is the motto of this bohemian, borderless traveler. Along the same lines, writer and designer Julia Chaplin, who coined the term “Gypset” (gypsy + jet set) was one of the first to theorize about this constantly reinvented lifestyle movement. Some of the ideas inherited from the hippies that continue to nourish our daily lives include the practice of yoga, organic food, ethical fashion and the use of sustainable materials. As seen on the catwalks recently, the fashion world is still reinterpreting the positive values of this style through ​​ bright colors (Pucci), embroidery (Dior) and folk accessories (Etro).

Ready-to-wear lines are leading an ethical and ecological revolution that leaves plenty of room for creativity. Pioneering designers like Stella McCartney are writing the scenarios for the future of this industry faced with the challenge of protecting the planet. For the British designer, the path to environmentally friendly fashion includes technical innovations and the adoption of new practices. For over 10 years, her collections have rejected plastic and focused on recycled fabrics and organic cotton. Another concerned designer is Demna Gvasalia, whose luxury line for the Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2021collection incorporated recycling and upcycling. Hermès’s “Petit h” collection was one of the first to reuse leftover scraps from its workshops to create new pieces. Meanwhile, young designers around the world are integrating environmental and ethical concerns into their work. Among them are fashion designers Thebe Magugu of South Africa, winner of the LVMH Young Designer Prize, and Priya Ahluwalia (a 2020 finalist for the same prize), who divides her time between Nigeria and India, and takes advantage of local savoir-faire in both places.



Latin America’s creative hub Buenos Aires is bursting with talents in the fields of decorative arts and furniture design. The designers represented by the gallery Arte Etnico Argentino, for example, give a contemporary twist to the ancestral traditions of different Argentinian communities, while the attractive boutique Facon, founded by art director Martín Bustamante, promotes the work of local artists and designers with a focus on authenticity and natural materials. In another register, the talented Patricia Lascano designs pieces with a sleek modern take on such everyday objects as a saddle or a fireplace screen. The designers at Estudio Cabeza, meanwhile, specialize in street furniture with innovative designs that take community interests into account. In the tradition of great architects like Le Corbusier, Alejandro Sticotti designs not only superb houses but also furniture made with natural materials, which can be seen in his workshop by appointment.

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Felloni The creative director of Roger Vivier is a Tuscan with a style like no other who has brought a unique cinematographic breeze to the French shoemaker. In the following interview, Gherardo Felloni speaks about his love for old jewels, actresses and beautiful gardens. BY PIE RRE GROPP O

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Portrait of Gherardo Felloni S by Sofitel 15

W { French Style }

hen we met for our interview at LouLou, the restaurant of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Gherardo Felloni was not very hungry. This happens to him, he says, “pretty much at

the same time every July.” But Felloni, Roger Vivier’s creative director, who has jet-black hair and was wearing an antique cameo around his neck (he’s a regular at the Pennisi jewelry store in Milan), is no paragon of creative austerity – much more of a bon vivant.

Since his arrival at the company in the spring of 2018, the

40-year-old Tuscan has brought new glamour to the famed shoemaker, whose founder worked with everyone from Dior to Marlene Dietrich and even Queen Elizabeth II (for her coronation).

“When Diego Della Valle, who owns Roger Vivier, contacted

Montaigne in Paris, where John Galliano and later Raf Simons

me about the position, I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” he says,

were in charge. That adventure lasted five years, until the call

nibbling on vitello tonnato and a cucumber salad.

came from Della Valle.

The Italian fashion mogul Della Valle had found the right candidate for the job, since Felloni was pretty much born into

«I grew up reading books about Roger Vivier,» says Felloni. «It’s

the shoe business. Growing up in the Tuscan countryside

a unique house, in the sense that it has exceptional know-how

between Siena and Arezzo, he spent the summers of his

but also a sense of lightheartedness and gaiety, and a certain

adolescence working in the family shoe factory, which was

idea of what rarity should be. But unlike the companies where

founded in 1958 and supplies some of the leading names in

I worked before, Roger Vivier is a house that makes only

Italian and French fashion. He also liked to draw, listen to

accessories, so I tried to come up with a total look, an idea of

music and watch movies: he was fascinated by the strange

what Roger Vivier women might look like.

cinema of Tim Burton and watched over and over again the

One model was Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, a film

VHS of John Waters’ black comedy Serial Mom, a feature

Felloni discovered in an art-house cinema in Florence and

film in which a seemingly normal wife and mother murders

that strongly impressed him, especially since the buckle

anyone who displeases her (especially by wearing white shoes

pumps worn by the French actress in the film were designed

after Labor Day).

by Roger Vivier (and can still be found in the house’s catalog

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heroines of the films of Antonioni and Fellini, are also models

baccalaureate in medical biology (“it helped me understand a

for him, along with the female stars of the movies of Tim

few things about Covid,” he says with a smile today), Felloni

Burton and John Waters. Felloni, who likes to create stories,

would have liked to become an architect, but an internship at

has even taken classes in acting and opera singing so he can

Prada changed his mind. He later became shoe coordinator

act them out himself.

for the Prada’s kicky little sister, Miu Miu, before taking on

He does not claim any intellectual content for his collections,

accessories and then accessories coordination. He stayed at

however. He designs both spectacular models – huge, thigh-

the house for eight years before leaving for Dior on Avenue

high boots for night owls, for example – and more practical


under the name «Belle Vivier”). The great Italian actresses, When it was time to make a career choice after earning a

{ French Style }

“ I don’t like

heels for daytime, adorned with the signature buckle. Then there are, of course, sneakers, a must these days. “I don’t like

stereotypes, a woman who is only this or that. I’ve always found stereotypes to be very masculine. 2

stereotypes, a woman who is only this or that,” he says. “I’ve always found stereotypes to be very masculine. I design shoes so that women will buy them and wear them for the different occasions that might arise in a single day.” That might mean bejeweled sneakers, ballerinas and boots or mules with rhinestone buckles, patent-leather ballerinas and multicolored sling-backs. Every woman can find the shoes that suit her at Roger Vivier, reworked by Felloni to be lighter and more comfortable. “It’s important to think about the customer’s pleasure if we want to see her wearing our shoes on the street,” he says. “I love to watch what’s happening on the street.” He also likes to create theatrical productions for shoes. Rather than traditional presentations of new collections

during Fashion Week, Felloni has invented an original new project called Hotel Vivier, which might be presented in a private mansion that’s up for sale on Paris’s Left Bank or in a townhouse next to the Parc Monceau. Visitors find different 3

scenes in each room, where they might encounter a petulant Rossy de Palma, fortune-tellers, giant cats dressed in 18thcentury crinolines, an opera singer or twin dancers. The success of these shows is unprecedented: journalists, buyers and influencers love taking part in this “immersive experience,” although Felloni rejects that expression. “It’s more like a succession of small theaters,” he says, leaving the


door open for anyone who might want to attend. The pandemic put a stop to the Hotel Vivier during the past few seasons. Instead, Felloni convinced Isabelle Huppert to act in a series of short films for a virtual presentation with a Hollywood/Cinecittà-style plot. Funny, chic and totally enjoyable, it exhibits a warmth that is typical of this marvelous personality. Felloni, who loves Paris but has always avoided its touristy areas, previously lived in the chic seventh arrondissement near Unesco and on Rue Lamarck in Montmartre. He is now settled in a part of the 20th arrondissement known as “La Campagne à Paris” (the countryside in Paris), a block of brick or burrstone houses dating from the early 20th century. Away from the noise of the city, Felloni, who has a green thumb, has 4

even created a small terraced garden. His talent for gardening «must come from my grandfather,» he says. «He had a garden with lemon trees, magnolias, a vegetable patch and an aviary.» Felloni spent most of lockdown in Italy, not in the


1. Portrait of Gherardo Felloni. 2. Stilettoheeled Covered Buckle Platform Boot in Gold from Roger Viviers’s AW 2021 Do We Show Collection. 3. The Do We Show film, resurrecting all time icons Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly, Josephine Baker and Edith Piaf. 4. The Hotel Vivier, where a series of cinema scenes were played, to showcase Gherardo Felloni’s collections for Roger Vivier through a unique, immersive experience.

countryside, where he grew up, but in a lighthouse he bought not far from the sea, overlooking what was once the favorite vineyard of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He installed an irrigation system himself for the four thousand plants in the garden. From his perch, he can see Montecristo, the shores of Corsica and the sunrise and sunset. This colorful, 360-degree vision of happiness echoes that seen in his collections, which consist of 80 to 100 models per season, all hand-drawn and made in workshops he visits regularly. ❙

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Gherardo Felloni's

Rome Address Book Antiques ALESSANDRA DI CASTRO “One of the most beautiful antique shops in Rome. Everything is absolutely exceptional, from the bronzes and furniture to the drawings and paintings. It regularly holds exhibitions of the highest quality” Piazza di Spagna, 4, Rome. www.alessandradicastro.com

Good food PIPERNO “Located since 1860 on a small, charming square in the historic center, this restaurant serves excellent Roman cuisine, from carciofi alla giudia to saltimbocca alla romana.” Monte dé Cenci, 9, Rome. www.ristorantepiperno.it



Piazzale di Villa Giulia, 9, Rome. www.museoetru.it

LU I G I FA R AO N I “Luigi Faraoni is one of the few artisans who is a master of micromosaics, a remarkable decorative art whose origins date back centuries. He restores ancient jewelry and objects and also creates contemporary wonders.” Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 137, Rome. www.romanmicromosaic.it

Jewelry D O N AT EL L A R I G H I “A goldsmith who designs jewelry inspired by ancient Etruscan and Roman techniques. Everything is made of gold, with the addition of shells, colored stones, coral, ancient coins, etc. Wonderfully modern!.” Piazza Capri, 1, Rome. Instagram: @donatellarighi

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“It is no doubt the most beautiful museum dedicated to Etruscan antiques. An opportunity to discover the magic and refinement of this vanished civilization that came before the Romans.»

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1. The dreamy view on the city’s highlights from the Settimo restaurant 2. A unique blend of classicism and baroque in the hotel’s bedrooms


VILLA BORGHESE La Dolce Vita reaches an apex in the five-star Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese Hotel, completely redecorated by leading interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, who introduced elegant French classicism to opulent Italian Baroque style to create the feeling of a traditional Roman home with a soupçon of contemporary French art de vivre. Located in the heart of Rome in a handsome 19th-century palazzo just minutes away from many of the city’s leading attractions and historical sites – including the museum-studded gardens of the Villa Borghese, the Spanish Steps, the luxury shops on the Via Condotti and the Trevi Fountain – the hotel is topped with a real jewel: the seventh-floor restaurant Settimo, which offers fantastic views of the Villa Borghese, Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica, and serves signature contemporary Roman dishes concocted by chef Giuseppe D’Alessio.


Via Lombardia, 47, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

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Tristan Auer

On traveling the world to awaken sleeping beauties BY JACQUE LIN E DE COSSE T TE & K ATE M AT THA MS

Instead, he is guided by the

As an ambassador-at-large for the French lifestyle, the celebrity interior designer Tristan Auer travels the world waking sleeping beauties as he redesigns some of the world’s most iconic hotels. He agreed to tell us about his life as a globe-trotting designer and to share the travel essentials always found in his carry-on bag.

client, the artisanship and exceptional materials at his disposal, and the light as he creates a new balance with elegant, structured lines. When he is working on a historical setting, the designer turns into a magician, as during the redesign of the legendary Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opéra, a Paris institution for the past 150 years. Headquarters to the Jockey Club under the French Second Empire, it was the site of the first-ever cinema projection in the world, by the Lumière Brothers in 1895, part of an illustrious history

As an interior designer

that provided Auer with

for private clients, stores,

plenty of inspiration to work

restaurants and hotels,

his magic: “It’s a building that

Tristan Auer has brought

has always been closely linked

his graphic, neoclassical

with images,” he says, “moving

style, with a hint of luxury

images and photographic

à la française, to some of the most exclusive – and

images, especially during the Second World War, when it

Instagrammable – locations on the planet in just a few years’

was headquarters for all communications. It was also the

time. This highly cultivated aesthete with a five-star luxury

first building in the world to be ‘draped’ as part of an ad

CV – he worked with Christian Liaigre and Philippe Starck

campaign. The history of the place is fantastic!” The resulting

before setting up his agency, Izeu, in 2002, and was voted

facelift gives the hotel new polish and revives its Old World

Designer of the Year by Maison&Objet in 2017 – knows how

Parisian spirit. The plush, modern, luxurious interior has

to create interiors with something extra. He likes to refer

all the exquisite charm of a Haussmanian apartment, with

to himself as “a 1920s ensemblier” or a theater director

its cornices, paneling and fireplaces, as well as details like

piecing together the elements of a stage production,

screens, medallions and vases.

bringing into play everything from coin trays to wallpaper.

As for his next destination, it’s a closely guarded secret:

He has no preconceived ideas when he starts a project.

“Somewhere else, under construction.” ❙

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1. A Car Tailoring bag, which I designed for a previous project with Citröen DS. 2. My fragrance, Musc Ravageur by Frédéric Malle. 3. My favorite shoes J.M. Weston. 4. Foreign magazines found in airport lounges. 5. The book on my bedside table, Froth on the Daydream by B oris Vian. 6. The watch I always travel with, a Zenith El Primero Rainbow Flyback from 1996. 7. The Pentel Criterium pencil that I’ve had since 1996.

8. My blue leather pencil case by Montblanc. 9. My Airpods so I can listen to podcasts in the car. 10. My uniform: pants and awrinkle-free jacket by Givenchy. 11. My iPad is the only piece of tech that allows me to continue working while I’m traveling.

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Living It Up,

Frenchstyle French style – admired and envied worldwide – is an expression and celebration of the French way of life. It’s all about understated confidence and chic, about enjoying every moment to the full – in love, on the road, at the table, while honing the intellect or letting go and living it up on the dance floor. Vive le style français! BY H E IDI E LLISON PH OTOGR A PH Y A RTH U R D ELLOYE STYLISM ANNABELLE SANGIN

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Le bouquet What says romance better than a gorgeous bouquet? The art of the bouquet is a French specialty, a bold yet poetic mélange of blossoms bursting with color, freshness and joy. Whether for him or her, it’s a welcome message of love.

HER Dress, NADYA DZYAK. Sandals, FRANCESCA RUSSO. ‘Force 10’ bracelet in yellow gold, diamonds and rubies, FRED. ‘Rose Dior Pop’ ring in white gold, rose gold, diamonds, rubies, red spinels and red lacquer, DIOR JOAILLERIE.


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HER Jacket and shorts, HAIDER ACKERMAN. Coat, DIOR. Boots, MAISON SKORPIOS. Béret hat, COURTOIS. Necklace, ALEXANDER MCQUEEN. Right hand: ‘Serti Inversé’ ring in rose gold and pear-shaped diamond, REPOSSI. Helen cuff, covered with 18-carat gold, AURÉLIE BIDERMANN. Left hand: ‘Rose Dior Pré Catelan’ ring in rose gold, diamonds and rose quartz, DIOR JOAILLERIE. ‘Peekaboo’ bag, FENDI.

HIM Sweatshirt and pants, TOD’S. Jacket, DE FURSAC. Sneakers, VEJA. Luggages, GLOBE TROTTER. Travel bag, TOD’S.

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A Travel moment The French love to roam the world in search of adventure and new sights and experiences. Practicality counts when it comes to travel togs and luggage, but that French je ne sais quoi ensures the easy elegance of all travel accoutrements And what garment is more practical and elegant than the trench coat, the best friend of every traveler from James Bond to Audrey Hepburn. Shirt and pants, FORTE FORTE. ‘Bento minaudière’ bag, LANVIN. ‘Venice’ necklace covered in 18-carats gold and bakelite, AURÉLIE BIDERMANN. ‘Force 10’ bracelet in yellow gold, diamonds and rubies, FRED. Plaid, MAISON DE VACANCES.

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Le Goûter When teatime rolls around, the French take a break for le goûter, a shot of sweetness for an afternoon uplift, a sugary and “not-so-guilty” break in a long day. This is “me-time” with a capital M.. ‘Capucines bag’, LOUIS VUITTON. Éclairs, L’ÉCLAIR DE GÉNIE.

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Jacket, GIAMBATTISTA VALLI. ‘Rainbow’ ring in yellow gold and multicolored sapphires,


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HIM Sailor shirt, PETIT BATEAU. Pants, TOD’S. Belt, DIOR. Glasses, GIORGIO ARMANI. ‘Flyback Chronographe Manufacture Panda’ watch in stainless steel and alligator leather, FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT.

HER Blouse and skirt, ISABEL MARANT. ‘Force 10’ earrings in white gold and diamonds, FRED. Bust, ATELIER LORENZI.

Art and literature The richness and diversity of the French cultural heritage are legendary. Today, the French celebrate both the past and present in art and literature, soaking up everything from the classics to the “extreme contemporary” in art and literature. In this country, the intellect and culture – both high and low – are esteemed, cultivated and even stylish!

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HER Dress, SANDRA MANSOUR. Antifer bracelet in white gold and diamonds, REPOSSI. Headband, PETUSA PARIS. ‘Cléo Mini Croco noir’ bag, LOUVREUSE.

HIM Tuxedo jacket and shirt, RALPH LAUREN. Bow tie, MAISON F.


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Culinary Art French culinary art is a holistic proposition encompassing not only exceptional food and wine but also a beautifully dressed table and equally beautifully dressed diners – a little black dress and a tuxedo are just the thing.

AT RI G H T Left hand: ‘Antifer’ bracelet in rose gold and diamonds, and ‘Serti sur vide’ ring in rose gold and diamonds, REPOSSI. Right hand: ‘Serti Inversé’ ring in rose gold and pear-shaped diamond, REPOSSI. ‘Archi Dior Bar’ en Corolle ring in rose gold and diamonds, DIOR JOAILLERIE. ‘Classics Carré Ladies’ watch in rose gold plated stainless steel, leather and diamonds, FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT. Plates, cutlery, lobster pick and cup, PUIFORCAT.

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HER Blazer, top and pants, LANVIN. ‘Diorama’ creole earrings in rose gold and diamonds, DIOR JOAILLERIE. Signet ring in gold and diamonds, CAROLE GUEZ. Berbere ring in rose gold and diamonds, REPOSSI.

HIM Blazer, THE KOOPLES. ‘Slimline Manufacture Réserve de Marche’ watch in stainless steel and alligator leather, FRÉDÉRIQUE CONSTANT. Glasses, SAINT-LOUIS.

L’apéritif “L’apéro,” a sacred moment in France, marks a turning point in the day. Once work is done, friends and colleagues gather to debrief and share a drink and savory snacks before moving on to the next daily rituals: dinner, relaxation and sleep. Conviviality and good humor reign during this happy interlude.

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La Nuit When it’s time to party, normally reserved French people let loose, forget their cares and express their joie de vivre to the full with glitter and glam – always elegant and subtle, of course. Whether furiously dancing le rock or spacing out to electro sounds, they light up the night.

HER Top and skirt, GEMY MAALOUF. Sandals, AQUAZZURA. « Natosi » earrings covered in 18-carats gold, AURÉLIE


HIM Pants, shirt and shoes,


Models: Inès L (METROPOLITAN), Agathe S and Valentin S (VIP models) Make-up: Marilyn Marchesi Hair: Mathieu Laudrel Manicure: Delphine Aissi Set Design: Sarah de Beaumont Photo assistant: Kleber De Quay Digital operator: Agathe Charbonnier Production director: Candice Guetta Stylist’s assistant: Charlotte Draghi Set assistant: Célia Ferraroti

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{ Cult }


How the


An essential for travelers in hot climates, the Panama hat has been embraced by the country that gave the world such fashion classics as Coco Chanel’s little black dress and Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking tuxedo jacket. From the French Open to the Paris runways, how a traditional South American hat became a French style staple.

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1. British singer Mick Jagger, whose style would later inspire Saint Laurent designer Anthony Vaccarello, wearing a Panama hat in October 1973. 2. French actress Brigitte Bardot shelters from the sun in a giant straw hat in the 1960s. 3. Oversized Santon hat by Jacquemus.

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Chic, playful and with just the right amount of je ne sais quoi,

4. A hat maker weaves a Montecristi fino Panama hat out of stripped and dried paja toquilla palm fronds. 5. American actress

the Panama-style hat is a Paris summer essential best paired

Chloë Moretz paired a chic, playful Panama by Maison Michel with an outfit by Chanel at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014.

with a Provençal straw basket and a pair of shades. From its origins in South America, it has gone on to conquer the world and holds a special place in the hearts of French people of every stripe.

Traditional South American style Despite its name, this lightweight straw hat is traditionally woven in Ecuador and worn in the Andes. In 1835, an


entrepreneur in the town of Montecristi named Manuel Alfaro began a business making the hats, which were exported via the Gulf of Panama, where foreign Gold Rush prospectors chose them as protection from the hot sun. Call it early influencer marketing, but the Panama’s popularity surged when U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt wore one on a


visit to the Panama Canal site in 1906. A style classic was born and has since inspired generations. Today, traditional Panama hats are still made in Ecuador, but only a handful of weavers remain who can make the ultrafine Montecristi superfinos.

The Panama in France Just like Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz and Lupita Nyong’o today, French screen stars have loved Panama hats since the 1960s. Jean-Paul Belmondo was photographed in one in Venice, while Brigitte Bardot wore hers on the Côte d’Azur. More recently, Vanessa Paradis has been snapped on both sides of the Atlantic pairing her trusty Panama with boho dresses. © ALAN POWDRILL ; © HULTON ARCHIVE ; © EXPRESS / INTERMITTENT ; © OWEN FRANKEN ; © NEILSON BARNARD / GETTY IMAGES / AFP ; © JACQUEMUS

The Panama is de rigueur for the French Open audience each year. Fans can buy a special Roland Garros edition straw hat at the stadium gift shop, and spectators in the boxes even receive one as a gift. It also makes a regular appearance in Paris Fashion Week street-style roundups, with young French fashionistas like Camille Charrière leading the pack.

Style inspiration for French fashion houses The hat was further popularized by designer Gabrielle Chanel, who revolutionized women’s fashion, liberating women from corsets and dressing them in pants. Today, the Chanel subsidiary Maison Michel makes straw hats that appear

Panama Address Book

regularly on the runway. Sean Connery wore the Panama in a 2008 campaign for Louis

S TAY In a legendary hotel Sofitel Legend Hotel Casco Viejo Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama Opens in 2021

Vuitton, and with a distinctive monogrammed hat band,

SHOP Authentic Panama hats Victor’s Panama Hat, Casco Antiguo-San Felipe Calle 3, Panama City, Panama Calle 3, Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama

New-generation designers have also taken note. In the wake

E AT Traditional Panamanian food El Trapiche, Vía Argentina & Albrook Mall, Panama City, Panama

it's now a frequent feature in the house’s Spring/Summer collections. At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello recently drew on vintage photos of Mick Jagger in a Panama to create a discreet straw hat. of Jacquemus’s oversized Santon hat, straw hats are here to stay, and the Panama’s popularity shows no sign of waning. Everyone from international style icons like Kate Moss to Paris cultural royalty like Monica Bellucci is wearing them, turning 5

the traditional South American hat into a symbol of French elegance recognizable around the world. ❙

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Live the French way There’s afternoon tea, then there’s Le Goûter by Sofitel. Book your stay at sofitel.com or call your travel advisor PARIS – LISBON – ISTANBUL – WASHINGTON DC – BALI – FRENCH POLYNESIA – Coming Soon: ADELAIDE – SEOUL – HANGZHOU – BARU

{ Style Is In The Details }

British Club extravaganza BY K ATE M AT THA MS

Contemporary French chic meets Swinging London in the recently redesigned Sofitel London St James, as the traditional British club aesthetic gets a modernday update referencing the history of the building itself and London’s creative heyday. Unpicking the design of one of our latest renovations.

The breakfast room at the Sofitel London St. James.

French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon refreshed his original concept for the hotel in 2019, blending a modernized private-club look with the energy

this former bank’s neoclassical architecture. Leather and a softer iteration of the traditional brass bar rule at Wild Honey, while Chef Anthony Demetre’s new restaurant has been redecorated by Jim Hamilton Design. Sixties icons like Twiggy feature in specially commissioned art, and a rich shade of peacock-blue velvet reigns in the St. James bar. This is London luxury at its best.

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of the city’s creative scene in the 1960s and ’70s, including references to iconic French furniture design from the same period, all while respecting

{ Style Is In The Details } MOODBOARD The Sofitel London St James is distinguished by warm tones of gold and rust, offset by peacock blue, along with pop-culture references from the city’s history and elegant Regency London style.





1. Burberry ready-to-wear Fall/ Winter 2020-2021. 2. Gubi Light Suspension, The Conran Shop. 3. Terraced houses in London. 4. Bob Dylan poster designed by Milton Glaser as an insert to the album Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, 1967. 5. Divino cushions, The Socialite Family. 6. New Normative couch by Maxim Scherbakov for Supaform. 7. Trifid wallpaper, by Osborne & Little. 8. Tank whiskey glass and decanter Tom Dixon.



5 8


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Spirit list 3 6 H O U R S I N PA R I S W I T H . . .

Clara Luciani PA R L E Z - V O U S F R A N Ç A I S ?

Chouchou L I V E T H E F R E N C H WAY


Paris or Beirut? by Diane Mazloum



{ Spirit }

Spirit list A selection of cultural developments around the world to nourish the spirit of the discerning traveler.


New York’s new temple to photography The International Center of Photography’s new space opened in 2020 on the Lower East Side, in Lower Manhattan. The ICP is not only a photography museum but also a respected school, set up in 1974 by Cornell Capa, brother of Robert Capa, both of whom worked for the legendary Magnum photography agency. Exhibitions at the ICP provide a 360-degree view of photography, with society, politics and education as key themes. Each year, the institution honors a photographer with the Infinity Award; in 2020, British war photographer Don McCullin was chosen as the latest in a prestigious list of winners that includes Richard Avedon and Henri Cartier-Bresson. www.icp.org



Pinault offers Paris a new art venue In May 2021, the Pinault Collection moved into the Bourse de Commerce in central Paris, not far from Les Halles. Japanese architect Tadao Ando was charged with renovating the building, a striking circular structure dating back to the 18th century. The Pinault collection of modern and contemporary art brings together the work of more than 380 artists working in all disciplines, from video art to sculpture. Ando created 10 exhibition spaces, a 284-seat auditorium and a studio for video- and soundart presentations, while French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec were responsible for the interior. www.boursedecommerce.fr

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A new laboratory for contemporary art The Vietnamese capital attracts collectors from around the world looking for emerging artistic talents. Multidisciplinary artist Tia-Thuy Nguyen, who uses painting, video and photography to create works inspired by Vietnamese tradition, is at the center of the new art scene. She is the founder of the The Factory Contemporary Arts Center, one of the country’s most influential cultural institutions. Another talent to follow is the artist Lê Giang, who is showing at The Factory this summer. Finally, Galerie Quynh is a must, with its high-quality program featuring names-of-the-moment like artist Von Tran Chau and painter Nguyen Manh Hung. factoryartscentre.com/en galeriequynh.com



{ Spirit }





From outer space to inner thoughts Travel buffs won’t want to miss the Zero to Travel series, which mixes practical advice with new discoveries for more than 195 destinations. The BBC, the British public broadcaster, has an extensive offering of podcasts with rich content.. One of the most interesting is 13 Minutes to the Moon, all about space missions, divided into two seasons of 10 episodes each. The Chaise Lounge is one of the all-time best podcasts on interior decoration, featuring a top designer on each episode. Foodies will love Gastropod, which covers cuisine, science and history, while anyone interested in the world of ideas should subscribe to a podcast by philosophy professor Peter Adamson, History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps, which charts the development of thought.


Building new Young architects around the world are busy designing our future. In Rotterdam, Waterstudio has created the first tower made of wood, designed to float on water. Revealed in spring 2019, it is the latest highlight in a city designed by some of the best architects in the world, among them Rem Koolhaas. In Singapore, sustainable development projects along the lines of the well-known Gardens by the Bay project by WilkinsonEyre are thriving. Also in Singapore is the avant-garde Learning Hub, a university site devoted to new technologies, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and CPG Consultants, andthe new Bishan Public Library by LOOK Architects, which boasts futuristic reading spaces. In Bangkok, one of the most surprising projects is the Vikasa Yoga Retreat, which marries 3D technology with traditional craftsmanship, using natural materials like rattan and palm leaves.



Inspirations from a pro Athena Calderone is the well-known New Yorkbased interior designer behind the blog Eye Swoon. She recently published Live Beautiful, a wonderful new book packed with interiors of her own design and by architects and designers she admires. Among them are the home of design duo Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, as well as that of decorator Stephen Alesh. For each interior, Calderone shares the designers’ work sources, as well as their creative and furnishing processes. Her own style blends contemporary design with rustic touches. She provides plenty of practical tips in her beautiful book, illustrated with photographs by Annie Franzen. eye-swoon.com/books/livebeautiful

zerototravel.com/travel-podcast www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w13xttx2 thechaiseloungepodcast.com gastropod.com historyofphilosophy.net

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{ 36 Hours With... }



Luciani Over the past two years, and with a much anticipated second album released in June, French musician Clara Luciani has become a new-generation icon of la chanson française, channeling Françoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg on her hit album Sainte-Victoire. She’s also behind En Voyage, an exclusive soundtrack written especially for Sofitel’s Live the French Way global campaign. When we joined the young star for a weekend in Paris, she opened up about the role the city had played in her creative coming-of-age. BY JE AN -MIC H E L DE ALBE RTI

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{ 36 Hours With... }

Portrait of Clara Luciani

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W { 36 Hours With... }

hen her deep, throaty tones hit the airwaves in the song

La Grenade in 2018, Clara Luciani won over Paris – swiftly

followed by the rest of France – in just a few months, packing out concert venues and taking home an award from the French equivalent of the Grammys. With hints of Serge Gainsbourg,

Michel Legrand and Françoise Hardy in a musical mix that feels very now, her album Sainte-Victoire is a direct descendant

of la chanson française, and listeners love it: with over 200,000 copies sold, it has now gone double platinum.

Luciani, who cites the Beatles as a major influence, knows Paul McCartney’s musical evolution inside-out and names George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass as one of her main inspirations. Both a woman of her times and an old soul,

she moved to Paris at 19 and credits the city with her creative “rebirth,” as it both inspired and encouraged her to find her place on the contemporary French music scene.

has a strong feminist bent, and she is close to contemporary

Born in the South of France near Marseille, Luciani never

French musical talent Juliette Armanet and Belgian star

imagined when she was growing up that one day she would

Angèle, whose work focuses on empowering lyrics for women

be able to make a living from her music. She took her first

and girls in a post #MeToo era. International artist Lana

steps in the industry as a singer for the group La Femme after

Del Rey and PJ Harvey are also favorites.

meeting the band at a concert in Cannes and sang with them on the eponymous La Femme and It’s Time to Wake Up.

Lyrics loom large for Luciani: when she was a child, she

The band encouraged her to make the move to the French

wanted to be a writer and penned her own sequel to Harry

capital, and she set out to meet as many people on the Paris

Potter. Today, she admires contemporary musicians like

music scene as she could. Luciani was soon called upon

Nekfeu, who handle words like poetry. Inspiration for Comme

to open concerts for French stars like Raphael and Benjamin

Toi came from Verlaine and, for later works, from the novels

Biolay, casting herself as a name to watch and something

of the great French writer Annie Ernaux which deal with

of a modern-day Patti Smith, both musically and in her

women’s emancipation, memories of the past and first steps

timelessly chic style, which elegantly sidesteps trends with

into adulthood, themes dear to the heart of Luciani,

a touch of androgyny in a way that only Parisians can pull off.

who is also an art lover who uses references in her music learned during her university art history studies.

Among her wide-ranging influences, she cites the big names

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of la chanson française like 1970s French pop idol France Gall,

Finding creative and cultural inspiration in Paris

who went on to become one of the country’s most popular

“For me, Paris was a rebirth,” she says. “I was born in the

artists of the 1980s. She also identifies with Nico, who fronted

South, but when I came here at 19, I felt completely fulfilled.

the legendary Andy Warhol-produced Velvet Underground

It seemed like anything was possible. I had my first few

and whose deep, mournful voice, with its echoes of the 1960s,

years of total freedom as a young adult.”


resonates strongly with Luciani’s own. Luciani’s music

Striking out on her own

{ 36 Hours With... }

Seeing Paris through Luciani’s eyes offers a gentle version of the French capital. Celebrity and the success of her first

For me, Paris was a rebirth. It seemed like anything was possible.

album do not seem to have turned the singer’s head, and she still references her modest beginnings in Paris as a way of keeping her feet on the ground in the midst of the whirlwind of show business. The Paris of her success is not full of seeand-be-seen celebrity addresses; Luciani likes to start the weekend with Saturday morning coffee in her favorite café and loves being able to run into friends, visit secret spots full of memories and explore neighborhoods that attract few tourists. In a nod to her origins in the South of France, some of her favorite places in Paris are in the city’s “villages,” like the now-hip ninth arrondissement, which has managed to retain its strong identity. A hotspot for musicians in Paris, Rue Victor Massé, located a few minutes from the neon lights of


Pigalle, is lined with shops selling guitars, Luciani’s favorite instrument. Arty and bohemian, the area was fittingly the scene of the great love story between composer Frédéric Chopin and writer George Sand. It is home to the Musée de la Vie Romantique, a small museum tucked away in a beautiful mansion that tells the story of the city and the Belle Époque. Its garden is a wonderfully secluded spot for afternoon tea. Luciani likes to dine in a part of the ninth arrondissement known as New Athens for its past as a hub for artistic and musical creativity. There, she can bathe in the atmosphere


appreciated by many of the great artists and writers of the late 19th and early 20th century who made their home there, including Eugène Delacroix, Claude Monet, Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. For Luciani, the streets she treads every day are alive with the creative phantoms of the city’s artistic and literary history. Paris has not supplanted her memories of the South of France, however. Its colors and light often make their way into Luciani’s songs. Sainte-Victoire is about a mountain near Aix-en-Provence made famous by the paintings of Paul 3

Cézanne, whose artistic destiny was also shaped by a trip from Provence to Paris in search of fame and fortune, while the song La Baie, a cover of a track by the group Metronomy,


was inspired by the paintings of Paul Gauguin and Henri Rousseau. The lyrics conjure up an island paradise, a secret place under the palm trees. Luciani’s second album is in the works, while an updated 4

version of Sainte-Victoire includes five new tracks, among them Ma Soeur, a direct tribute to her elder sister, Ehla,

1. Portrait of Clara Luciani. 3. One of


Luciani’s favorite guitar shops on Paris’s Rue Victor Massé. 3. Mont Sainte-Victoire, the mountain near Aix-en-Provence that inspired Luciani’s song Sainte-Victoire. 4. The album cover for Sainte-Victoire. 5. French singer France Gall on July 6, 1966.

who is also embarking on a musical career. The two talented sisters plan to take French chanson to the international stage, with gigs from New York to Sydney. But something tells us that Luciani feels most at home on stage in Paris, preferably at La Cigale in the ninth arrondissement, within touching distance of the cultural heritage of the area that fuels her creative drive. ❙

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{ 36 Hours With... }

Clara Luciani's

Paris Address Book Lunch L E BO U I L LO N C H A RT I ER “I always recommend this restaurant to Paris first-timers and tell them to try the choucroute. And, before or after, to wander through the covered passages nearby. I always come away with a few books.” Le Bouillon Chartier 7, rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris

Shopping AMI “For me, Ami is the reference for Parisian casual chic.” 109, boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris

Dinner GRAND CAFÉ D 'AT H È N ES “This is one of my recent Paris discoveries, an authentic Greek bistro with a contemporary interior. The name refers to one of the Impressionists’ favorite cafés.” 74, rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris


16, rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris

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A gig L A CIGALE “I was lucky enough to play at this legendary Paris concert hall in Pigalle last year. When it reopened in the late 1980s, one of the first groups to appear in the new hall designed by Philippe Starck was Les Rita Mitsouko, one of the most popular French pop-rock groups of the day.” 120, boulevard de Rochechouart, 75018 Paris


“In the heart of New Athens, this museum hidden in an alleyway in the 9th arrondissement has a garden tearoom that makes a beautiful spot for a date. Paris has lots of little museums I love, like Maison Victor Hugo on Place des Vosges and the museum dedicated to the painter Jean Jacques Henner in the 17th arrondissement.”

{ 36 Hours With... }



1. Breakfast in bed in a Prestige suite. 2. The bar, with a view of Art Deco architectural features.

Le Scribe Paris opéra

Following a two-year refurbishment helmed by artistic director Tristan Auer, Le Scribe Paris Opéra has a new look rooted in its storied 150-year history as a Paris landmark. The redesign revisited the building’s Hausmannian heritage and original features in contemporary style, creating the overall feel of a private club in tribute to its years as Jockey Club headquarters, with the vibe of Paris nightlife in the 1860s when it was the epicenter of the city’s social scene. Celebrities including Josephine Baker have called the hotel home over the years. The guest rooms and the Café Scribe now have the softer feel of an elegant Parisian apartment, while Le Lumière restaurant references the world’s first cinema screening, held in the building in 1895. Located in the heart of the Opéra district, Le Scribe Paris Opéra is a few minutes’ walk from some of the city’s most prestigious addresses, including Galeries Lafayette, Place Vendôme and the Louvre.


1 rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France www.hotel-scribe.com

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{ "Parlez-Vous Français ?" }

This typical French word sounds delectable but is a bit tricky: it can have a positive or negative connotation, depending on your age and to whom you are speaking.

The best way to pronounce “chouchou” would be “shoe-shoe.”


If you are a child addressing another child, then it is probably an insult. It means being the favorite, and the translation in this case would be “teacher’s pet.”

If you’re an adult addressing a child, it becomes an affectionate form of address, like “sweetie” or “honey.” and you can use it with a lover, too.

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{ "Parlez-Vous Français ?" }

The French might also occasionally call someone “chouchou” in a tenderly mocking way. When used as a verb, “chouchouter” means to pamper. If your partner cooks your favorite meal or brings you breakfast in bed, you know you’re being “chouchouté.”


It does not necessarily have to be food-related, though; those are just the first examples that might pop into a hungry mind.

(Speaking of food…) did you know that the French word for cabbage is “chou”? Its round shape became associated with the small, round, cream-filled pastry we call a cream puff, even though, flavorwise, they are worlds apart. Building on the idea of the pastry’s sweetness, the word ended up conveying a sense of tenderness when referring to a loved one.

So “chouchou” is a derivative of “chou,” repeated twice in a playful manner, and might be translated as “my little cabbage.” S by Sofitel 51


{ Live The French Way }

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{ Live The French Way }


The Italians have la dolce vita, and the French have l’apéro. It’s a casual way of sharing gourmet pleasures, a balanced combination of simplicity and taste, a tradition that’s become a modern ritual – a French cultural exception. The word “apéritif” used to refer to specific alcoholic

Whether it’s raining or snowing shouldn’t matter for apéro

beverages like gin, served before a meal to whet your appetite

pros, but when summer works its magic, each and every

while the host finished cooking. Over the past few decades,

French person of legal age is now sitting outside, a glass in

however, the term has been shortened and the pastime

one hand, a cherry tomato in the other, forgetting all about


the past working day – and the next one. It can sometimes

Say “apéro” instead of “apéritif,” and everyone knows you’re

feels as if society is held together by this collective ability

not talking about just drinking anymore but about drinking in

to chat and relax as one. From an outsider’s point of view,

something, connecting with family, friends or acquaintances

the French may seem to be really serious about having fun

– even strangers, since friends of friends often join in.

– paying attention to the way they behave and dress, to the

Alcohol will be poured, yes, but not to stimulate your appetite

quality of the food and conversation. That’s perfectly true.

since there is no meal. Ever. Instead of dinner, you’ll have

L’apéro is a matter of importance, an occasion to think and

quality snacks: pain de campagne, aged Comté, charcuterie,

debate, to make plans to change the world. The participants

pâté, olives, nuts. The hosts? They are right there, enjoying

might even complain a little bit, because what could be more

their evening with everyone else. Wait, what house? The best

French – and more satisfying – than complaining while

apéros are enjoyed outdoors in a park on a picnic blanket,

savoring some fine cheese? Chances are they will be drinking

if the weather allows or, more often, in bars or cafés.

wine in Paris, and pastis in the south. Beer – or champagne, of course (as Coco Chanel said: “I only drink champagne on two occasions: when I am in love and when I am not”) – would do anywhere. The idea is to sip it slowly and make it last: “L’apéro” means you’re not in a rush. It’s not an activity per se, but a period of time that starts before sunset in summer. In winter, if the sun isn’t already down, you’re cheating. And it can last until midnight or even later – no matter. Nothing is measurable anymore. The apéro is now time itself: a wine bottle in lieu of an hourglass. ❙

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{ The Letter }

Paris or Beirut?

S by Sofitel magazine invites writers and thinkers to share their take on The French Way of life and explore how it connects with other cultures around the world. Diane Mazloum is a French-Lebanese writer who was born in Paris, grew up in Rome and studied at the American University, Beirut. She is the author of the graphic novel Nucleus en Plein Cœur de Beyrouth City (Éditions de la Revue Phénicienne, 2009) and the novels Beyrouth la Nuit (Stock, 2014) and L’Âge d’Or (JC Lattès, 2018). Her latest novel, Une Piscine dans le Désert (JC Lattès, 2020), was nominated for the Femina, Médicis and Renaudot Prizes. She lives and writes in Paris and Beirut.

“The Beirut I had discovered – a humid, chaotic, noisy capital that is a concentration of all the world’s contrasts and contradictions taken to an extreme – stuck with me. I felt compelled to write about this difficult-to-describe city: its singularity, violent sensuality, and infernal and addictive beauty. The more it escaped me, the more I wanted to write about it and preserve it on paper, but even today, it remains elusive. “When I found that piece of paper amid the ruins of a demolished city on August 4, 2020, in a country that had already been dying for several months, I realized that it was Beirut that inspired me to write. Beirut made me, and now it is my turn to remake it and create a Lebanon of the future.”

Diane Mazloum 54 S by Sofitel


Diane Mazloum

“I was in Beirut when an explosion ravaged half the city on August 4, 2020. While cleaning up the debris in my room, I found a piece of paper that had fallen out of one of the many notebooks in my desk, which had become a box of memories after the drawers were blown out by the blast. On it was written: "The atmosphere here hangs between life and death; it’s impossible to not become a writer." I had typed it on my grandfather's machine in Beirut in the summer of my 14th year. The city had already been almost fully rebuilt after 15 years of war, but as has often happened to me since I was a child, I must have been overcome by a feeling of strangeness, probably intensified by the fact that I was a teenager. It was not the first time I had written under the influence of gloom, and even though I was not born in Lebanon and did not grow up there, I had gone there with my parents every summer since I was born, and the country had already made an impression on my imagination and my child’s subconscious.



©Lily Rose

Collection Aux Oiseaux



Daniel Boulud’s sensory Dubai ROOM SERVICE

Yannick Alléno, chef extraordianire INDULGENCE

Mosey dives deep into the beat SENSE OF PLACE

Aquatic pleasures



{ Senses }

Senses list The joy of travel lies in reawakening the senses with new sights, sounds, flavors, scents and sensations. A selection of ideas for keeping your senses stimulated, wherever you are.


A world tour of happiness

New bread trends The French tradition of bread-making is now being carried on by a younger generation of bakers who love their work and take a new approach to it. One example is Benoît Castel, who works with artisanal millers and uses heirloom wheat, organic flour and natural yeast. A pastry chef by training, he likes to describe his creations – which contain honey, Salish salt and seeds – as “pastry breads.” In his shops in Paris’s 20th arrondissement, Castel offers long-lasting, easy-to-store breads that are cut on demand to preserve their flavor. Another innovation: at Ludovic Olivier Cambianica’s bakery in Lyon, customers can watch the bread-making process. Back in Paris, the annual prize for the best baguette was just won for 2021 by Sami Bouattour of the bakery Brun, rue Tolbiac in the 13th arrondissement, while across the Channel, in London, Maison Puget continues the tradition of making old-fashioned sourdough breads, and in the Châtelain district of Brussels, the bakery Grain uses only local products, including flour from the last mill operating in Belgium.



Scintillating scents The Bombay Perfumery, founded in 2016 by Manan Gandhi, looks to the rich fragrance culture of France for inspiration for its contemporary scents, which blend the traditions of Grasse, the world capital of fragrance in the South of France, with those of India. Gandhi’s collections conjure up the scents of his childhood, with patchouli and geranium, along with more recent inspirations, including an original new scent based on the Indian tea tradition. Indian fashion and concept stores, from The Mill in Mumbai to Project Café in Goa, can’t get enough of Gandhi’s perfumes. His very contemporary line also continues a family tradition: his father founded a company, Associate Allied Chemicals, whose European office is in Grasse, that supplies the world’s great perfumers with essences and rare ingredients. www.bombayperfumery.com

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The French expression “joie de vivre” perfectly sums up that ebullient feeling we get when all is right with the world and our lives. Every country, however, has its own recipe for happiness. According to international studies, Denmark is the happiest country in the world. Danish writer Malene Rydahl wrote the book on the subject, the well-documented Happy as a Dane which has been translated into many languages. In it, Rydahl shares the secrets of hygge, a particularly Danish style of wellbeing based on small pleasures and social responsibility. The Swedish equivalent, lagom, is similar, with an emphasis on moderation, a simple lifestyle and a return to nature. In South Africa, the concept of ubuntu, or a sense of community, was inspired by the speeches of Nelson Mandela, while in Japan, the philosophy of ikigai, which literally means «the joy of always being busy,» extolls the benefits of having hobbies and following childhood dreams. These traditions from around the world are worth borrowing to expand our own sense of fulfillment and happiness.



W E L L- B E I N G

{ Senses }



Spicy souks




Stretching for serenity The ancient practice of yoga is more than ever relevant today as a way of awakening the senses and soothing away stress. In India, where it all began, yoga is a part of life right from childhood. That custom is beginning to spread, while other new trends continue to pop up. The Cosmic Kids app, for example, developed in the United States for youngsters, combines stories and games with yoga and mindfulness practices. Taking a different approach, London-based Pets Yoga works with animal protection organizations and , offers traditional yoga classes mixed with relaxation sessions focused on the benefits of being around animals. For those who prefer to exercise on high, Aerial yoga incorporates Pilates and dance and is practiced while suspended from the ceiling. The musically inclined might want to try doing yoga to live music, a new form of relaxation introduced in New York by Elena Brower, one of the bestknown teachers in the United States, whose sessions are accompanied by a cellist.

A spice market is a feast for the senses: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, pepper and more tickle the nose with their rich scents, delight the eyes with their patchwork of bright colors and call out to be tasted, while the vendors’ cries and customers’ chatter fill the ears. A fine example is Istanbul’s Mısır Çarşısı, or Spice Market, located in a 17th-century Ottoman caravansary (completely renovated in 2018) in the Eminönü neighborhood. Connoisseurs are sidestepping tourist shops to make a beeline for the market, where they can find spices used in traditional Turkish cooking, including urfa chili pepper, powdered sumac, black cumin seeds and much more. In Hungary, Budapesti Központi Vásárcsarnok, the Great Market Hall, is the capital’s most famous, a must-stop for paprika and a wide variety of different peppers. Marrakech, however, is without doubt the city most famous for its souks. Its spice market, on Place Rahba Ladima in the medina, is one of the most varied in Africa.



Foodie paradise The sense of taste is linked not only to our very survival but also to one of the greatest pleasures in life: enjoying a superb meal made with the very best ingredients combined in creative ways. Sydney, famed for its rich, varied and innovative food scene. One of the biggest trends at the moment is a gourmet version of jaffles, or toasted-cheese sandwiches. At the Dutch Smuggler cafés, they are reworked with truffles and mushrooms. Chef Diana Chan is participating in the elevation of street food to gourmet levels, blending influences from Singapore and Malaysia, to critical acclaim. Mark + Vinny’s, one of the city’s most popular vegan addresses, specializes in “spaghetti and spritzes.” Another trend, fermented cuisine, is gaining popularity all over the city. The Fermentary, for example, offers kimchi and kefir-based dishes in its gorgeous shop and also holds fermentation workshops.

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{ Senses Awakened } 2



1. Daniel Boulud stirs a coffee in his Singapore restaurant. 2. A mosaic detail in a Dubai Iranian mosque. 3. Colorful wares at the Dubai spice market, Deira. 4. Sand dunes near Liwa Oasis, UAE. 5.The Dubai waterfront.

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As he opens a restaurant at the new Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, chef Daniel Boulud introduces us to his Dubai, a city where the blend of nationalities and cultures produces a heady mix of stimulation for the senses. BY K ATE M AT THA MS


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Dubai has one of the most international populations on the planet: just 15 percent of Dubai residents are UAE nationals. The remaining 85 percent are from around the globe and include Western expatriates, a large Asian community and sizable Iranian and Somali populations. That makes for an enticing cultural – and culinary – mix. Where else can you experience the rush of Alpine skiing, the heat of the desert sun and the thrill of parasailing over the Arabian Gulf – all in a single city?

“I am French by soul, American by heart and international

by passion,” says Daniel Boulud, who grew up in the French countryside on the family farm near Lyon. After early experiences in prestigious restaurant kitchens in France and Denmark, he arrived in the United States in 1981 to cook for the European Commission’s ambassador to Washington. Soon afterward, he moved to New York, where he worked at a string of high-profile eateries, including Le Cirque and the Plaza Athénée, before opening his first restaurant, Daniel, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Fast forward to the present: Boulud now has restaurants on three continents, a private catering company, several fine groceries selling handpicked and house-made products, and a string of honors to his name, including

I have always loved Dubai. It combines European sophistication with the energy of New York City.

two Michelin stars for Daniel, his world-famous flagship. His particular blend of influences has produced a style of modern French cuisine anchored in seasonal produce, local ingredients, traditional techniques and world flavors that thoroughly indulges the senses.

Perfectly executed dishes from almost all the world’s cultures are within easy reach, from authentic Italian stone-baked

Call it his French roots, but the opulence of his cooking

pizza to finely crafted Lebanese mezze and mouthwatering

is what makes his restaurants around the world so

Asian noodle soups. It all makes for a culinary scene with a

distinctive, from Bar Boulud in London and DB Bistro

special vibrancy that appeals to Boulud: “I have known the

& Oyster Bar in Singapore to his 10 outlets in New York

UAE for 20 years and have always loved Dubai,” he says. “It

City. Wherever he is, he champions the flavors of classic

combines European sophistication with the energy of New

French cuisine, mixed with local influences: “I learned to

York City.”

cook in France,” he says, “but I have been in New York for three decades and am influenced by American culture and

He is now adding his award-winning cuisine to Dubai’s


international gastronomic mix. The French dining concept at the new Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk will offer revisited classics

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His work in the kitchen is also fueled by the sights,

that will charm the taste buds and delight the senses with

sounds and scents of travel. “I love discovering new

Boulud’s contemporary, wholly international style. It’s the

customs, traditions and flavors and incorporating them

perfect fit for a city that is itself a sensory feast, offering

into my dishes,” he says. Few destinations can offer

some of the finest dining in the world, rooftop sunsets,

more sensory stimulation than Dubai, the United Arab

adrenalin-driven adventures and the most hedonistic luxury

Emirates’ biggest city, known for its extraordinary levels

spa experiences money can buy. Daniel Boulud’s cooking is

of luxury.

the ideal gourmet expression of all it has to offer. ❙

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Daniel Boulud's

Dubai Address Book Chef Boulud takes us on a sensory tour of some of his favorite places in the city. Where to see, hear, taste, touch and smell the best of Dubai.

Watch a desert sunset “You can’t beat the view of the sunset from the back of a camel,” says Boulud. “A desert trek for us on my last visit to Dubai.” Escape the bustle of the city and find peace in the calm of the desert with a luxury desert trek, during which you can visit a Bedouin camp or simply take in the vast night sky and rolling dunes.


Platinum Heritage www.platinum-heritage.com

Try Turkish coffee like you have never tasted before “Sofitel makes the best Turkish coffee,” says Boulud, “with cardamom, saffron and rose water.” Ditch your latte and try the traditional preparation, rich, thick and spicy, for a fragrant start to the day or a little extra decadence during your afternoon break. Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi, Dubai

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Enjoy the fragrant Dubai Spice Souk “The spice market in the souk is full of inspiration for my recipes,” says Boulud. The narrow lanes of the small marketplace next to the Gold Souk are like another world, where mountains of richly colored spices are piled high and spill out of burlap sacks to perfume the air, far from the high-rises of ultramodern Dubai. Dubai Spice Souk 26-34th Street, Deira, Dubai

Listen to the call to prayer echoing over the city “Hearing the call to prayer in Dubai takes me back to my first job in the United States, when I was chef to the European Commission in Washington, D.C. I lived next to a mosque and would wake up to the prayers being sung on Saturday mornings.” Visit the iconic Jumeirah Mosque for classic Arabian architecture and insight into the world of Emirati Muslims.

Let go under the magical fingers of an expert masseur After a hard day’s work, nothing is more blissful than the voluptuous feel of a serious head-to-toe massage. In the calming atmosphere of the Sofitel SPA with L'Occitane, the Occitane products transport you to the lavender fields of Provence while your body positively begins to glow. Sofitel Spa with L'Occitane, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk

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Jumeirah Mosque Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai

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1. The monumental lobby, inspired by ancient Egypt. 2. The elegant Brasserie Boulud, serving celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s modern French cuisine.


Recently opened in 2020, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk fuses the glamour of the Middle East and the refinement of French art de vivre, in one of Dubai’s most vibrant districts. Modeled on the Luxor Obelisk in Place de la Concorde, Paris, the interior includes design elements referencing both Ancient Egypt and modern-day Arabia to channel the very essence of the city-state in lavish style. With 595 luxe rooms and five meticulously delivered dining concepts offering contemporary Asian, modern French, a British gastropub, French pâtisserie and Mediterranean flavors around the Egyptian key of life-shaped outdoor pool, Dubai’s newest hotel looks set to become its most distinctive. Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk Sheikh Rashid Road, Wafi, Dubai

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Yannick Alléno chef extraordinaire BY KATE MATTHAMS

Master chef Yannick Alléno has cooked for some of the finest tables in the world, taking his own brand of contemporary French gastronomy around the globe with a precision approach that has earned him three coveted Michelin stars since 2007. We sat down with this ambassador of French cuisine to explore taste, “that deepest of senses,” through one of his recipes.

What does this recipe mean to you? I really like this recipe, as it expresses everything a modern restaurant should be doing in terms of eco-responsible cooking. We not only use the flesh of the turbot – a fish that is already quite rare – but we also use the cheeks and fins. We roast it in a wood-fired oven; I love the primal, tribal feel of that kind of cooking. The firm flesh of the turbot needs a sauce with character; ours is made with pecorino extract and pepper.

How would you define your approach to cooking? My signature style of cooking is about free expression – responding to the mood of the moment, how I’m feeling and my travels.

What is your best travel memory? I can still remember the texture, density and exceptional lightness of the best lasagna I ever tasted, in Luigi Taglienti’s restaurant Lume, in Milan.

Japan was the most extraordinary revelation for me when I first visited, at 18. I was touched by the spiritual approach to cooking and the great respect for tradition. My knowledge and love of the country was the impetus for me to create my restaurant L’Abysse [two Michelin stars].

Do you have a favorite ingredient? I like using nori [sheets of dried seaweed] a great deal. When it’s crunchy and a little smoky, it’s an extraordinary ingredient and marries well with many different things. I like to serve it with sea urchins and beef in particular.

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Les Dîners Sofitel, extraordinaires Sofitel is paying tribute to French gastronomy through Les Dîners. After the first dinner in 2019 with Chef Yannick Alléno, presenting the best of modern French cuisine in the spectacular setting of Place Vendôme in Paris, Sofitel will bring these once-in-a-lifetime dining experiences to Dubai next and a variety of destinations around the world.


What kinds of world cuisine appeal to you the most?

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Turbot Two Ways Wood-roasted fillet with black pepper and Cacio et Tio Pepe sauce; gratin with chanterelle mushroom gnocchi




For the roast turbot fillet:

For the gratin:

For the Cacio et Pepe sauce:

1.9kg (4.2 lb) turbot 20g (~1 tbsp) salt 4g (¼ tsp) white pepper 80g (⅔ cup) mustard 40g (⅓ cup) olive oil 60g (7 tbsp) garlic 20g (~ 1 tbsp) thyme 80g (⅔ cup) leeks

200g (7 oz) turbot skin 4 turbot cheeks 2 turbot heads 60g (½ cup) gnocchi 60g (½ cup) parmesan 12g (~2 tsp) snipped parsley 120g (1 cup) chanterelle mushrooms 40g (⅓ cup) butter 40g (⅓ cup) fumet 20g (~1 tbsp) thinly sliced shallots 20g (~1 tbsp) olive oil 40g (⅓ cup) Meursault white wine 4g (~¼ tsp) white pepper

400g (14 oz) fumet (fish stock) 40g (⅓ cup) pecorino extract 20g (0.7 fl oz) Tio Pepe sherry

For the gnocchi:

300g (0.66 lb) turbot 300g (0.66 lb) cuttlefish 40g (⅓ cup) egg white 100g (½ cup) cream Salt

For the fumet ( fish stock):

3 L (3.2 qt) water 1kg (2.2 lb) fish bones 80g (⅔ cup) leeks For the butter and pepper:

800g (28 oz) salted butter 200g (7 oz) sweet butter 40g (⅓ cup) black peppercorns

F I R S T WAY 1. The roast turbot fillet: Cut the turbot lengthwise down the spine, then cut into four sections. Season with salt, pepper, mustard and olive oil. Grill. Add the garlic, thyme, leeks and olive oil, then roast in an oven preheated to 160°C (320°F) for 5-6 minutes. 2. The fumet (fish stock): Bring the water and bones to a boil. Skim, add the leeks and boil for an hour over medium heat, then filter and reduce until you have 400g (14 oz) of fumet. 3. The Cacio et Pepe sauce: Reduce the fumet to ¾ of its volume, add the pecorino extract, then the Tio Pepe. 4. The butter and pepper: Mix the two butters until they take on a creamy texture. Toast the crushed peppercorns in a frying pan then add them to the butter and combine in an electric mixer. Put to one side.

S E C O N D WAY 5. The gratin: Cook the turbot heads with the skin and fins at 100°C (212°F) for 5 minutes in the oven, then remove the skin and fins and place in a casserole dish. Sauté the shallots with butter and olive oil, add the chanterelle mushrooms, sweat them, then deglaze the pan with the Meursault. Add the fumet and butter. Season with salt and pepper. 6. The gnocchi: Combine the turbot and cuttlefish in an electric mixer until it turns into a mousse. Add the egg whites, cream and salt. Mix again. Strain and pour into an icing bag. Drop small dots of mousse onto a plate, cover with olive oil then form larger, round balls by hand.

FI N I S H I N G A N D P L AT I N G Turbot fillet: Plate the turbot fillets and keep them warm while you add the combined butter and pepper to the sauce at the last minute. Cover the fillets with sauce. Gratin and gnocchi: Layer the turbot skin, chanterelle mushrooms and grated parmesan, then grill. Add a turbot cheek, the gnocchi and finish with parsley.

{ Indulgence }


dives deep into the beat BY KATE MATTHAMS

As Sofitel launches a new sound signature, we invited French house-music DJ and producer Mosey to share his own musical inspirations. In the following interview, he talks about why nightlife is special for him and the unique Parisian party vibe.

Your music mixes hip-hop and French house influences. How did you build your style? I listened to hip-hop and soul at home, then when I started going to clubs, we’d dance to French house by Daft Punk and Alex Gopher. I realized it all used the same techniques to get people onto the dance floor. My electro friends laughed when I told them I

Mosey’s perfect playlist 1. Hold, J. Pastel 2. Something Freaky, Mosey 3. Like Me, Lomboy 4. Evan Finds the Third Room, Khruangbin 5. How it Goes, Mocky 6. Lost Without, Kindness, Seinabo Sey 7. Jaded - Tentendo Remix, Golda, Tentendo 8. Hot in Herre, Lion Babe 9. Dreamflower, Purple Ice 10. Lost in Yesterday, Tame Impala

was listening to hip-hop, and my hip-hop friends laughed when I told them I was listening to electro, but now the borders between genres are more porous.

You played La Nuit by Sofitel in Mexico City, following the hotel’s opening in September 2019. What does nightlife mean to you?

What music helps you kick back?

I am totally a night owl.

My tastes are eclectic. I’m a

For artists, there is a special

big fan of all kinds of music,

sense of owning space and

from hip-hop to soul, but you

time while everyone else

might also find me listening

The night is about hedonism.

is asleep. People’s social and

to polyphonic folk singing from Corsica, where some of my

professional masks drop. I’ve played La Nuit [a Sofitel party

family roots are – the harmony is fantastic.

blending Parisian nightlife style with local culture] before. I

I was studying law by day and making music at night with a friend when we were asked to create some beats for a DVD by

You play all over the world. How do the French party differently?

French comedian Jamel Debbouze. When I got the paycheck,

In Paris, there’s no action in clubs before 2 am. I gave some

I realized I could turn music and making people feel good

American friends a club recommendation recently, and they

into a source of income. Living from your passion is the best

were disappointed because it was dead at 11:30 pm! Along

feeling. As Mos Def said, “Money was never the driver, but it

with the sounds, the sophisticated, effortless vibe of the way

was on the backseat.”

Parisians dress sets the tone for the whole night. ❙

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love seeing the local crowd mixing with international guests.

When did you realize that music could become a career?

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{ Sense Of Place }

POLAND 72 S by Sofitel

In a city steeped in history, clean, contemporary design keeps the accent on well-being with soft lighting and candles, for exclusive downtime at Sofitel Warsaw Victoria.

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A pool is a pool is a pool? Not so. From sleek infinity pools in the midst of an urban jungle and hilltop retreats set in a rainforest to secluded palm-tree-fringed lagoons, all kinds of styles and settings are possible. A look at some of the most extraordinary swimming pools in Sofitel hotels around the world, designed to enhance your overall sense of well-being in luxurious style. S by Sofitel 73


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SINGAPORE Find calm in the city up among the skyscrapers at Sofitel Singapore City Centre, ideally positioned in the heart of the action and surrounded by historic shophouses and ultramodern towers. 72 S by Sofitel

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INDONESIA The beautifully landscaped lagoon pool at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua, set on the immaculate white sands of the Indian Ocean.

DUBAI Looking out toward the Arabian Gulf, this inviting lagoon at the Polynesian-themed Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa is one of six luxurious pools at the resort.



An infinity pool with a spectacular view at Sofitel Inle Lake, a shorefront hotel accessible only on foot or by boat, nestled amidst 20 acres of rice paddies and floating gardens, for the ultimate isolation.

AU ST RA L I A Soak up the sun by the picture-perfect pool at Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach, an ideal example of modern beachfront luxury.

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EGYPT Housed in a 19th-century Victorian palace on the Nile, the pool at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan channels Ancient Egypt in opulent style.


COLOMBIA Even the pool is elegant at the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena Hotel, set in a handsome 17th-century Colonial-style convent in the historic center of Cartagena, Colombia.

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Enjoy sweeping views of the city skyline and relax in a pool surrounded by lush greenery at Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, located in a historic neighborhood.


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CHINA The huge pool dotted with islands at the Sofitel Sanya Leeman Resort Hotel on Hainan Island, overlooking the South China Sea, has something for everyone: slides for kids and shade for adults.

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The trip that changed my life S U CC E SS STO RY

Jiang Qiong Er, on the yin and yang of luxury CARTE BL ANCHE

Rome, as seen

by french photographer Mathieu Foucher À L A FRANÇAISE

A french touch of luxury MY NEXT TRIP

The adventurous life of Matthieu Tordeur



{ Travel Stories }

The trip that change my life

It all stems from my childhood. I first dreamt about Rome, a long time ago, when I was still a child. I had a Roman neighbor whose eyes would light up when she spoke about the Italian capital. And then there was the city itself, for the first time. The shades of ocher that embrace the yellow of the sun. There was the Italian language, the melodic voices, the bursts of laughter, the Mediterranean, which is so close to my Algerian roots. There were other times. The Vatican City and its museum, the Sistine Chapel with its mesmerizing ceiling. God passing the energy of life to Adam. And all of Michelangelo. Rome knows how to work its magic on film. The Trevi Fountain. No need to close your eyes to see Marcello the Unique and Anita the Indomitable. All these places live within me and provide a lot of inspiration for my novels.

Four prize-winning Sofitel Literary Escapes Traveling Writers share a travel experience that made a lasting impression on them. Anissa Bouziane, Zhang Yueran, Akli Tadjer and Philippe Sands describe how finding solitude in the Moroccan desert, surviving a tsunami in Thailand, living la dolce vita in Rome and a trip in a New York elevator have left an indelible mark on their lives. 78 S by Sofitel

I have never found la dolce vita like it anywhere else. A K L I TA D J ER Franco-Algerian writer Akli Tadjer was born near Paris. Le Porteur de Cartable, his novel exploring the experience of pieds-noirs (Algerian-born French people) in France, ignited a debate about racism. His work has been translated into several European languages.

{ Travel Stories }

Without hesitation, my most inspiring trip ever was to the Dunes of Merzouga

In December 2004, Southeast Asia

in the Moroccan Desert, east of the Atlas Mountains. As a Moroccan novelist,

was hit by a tsunami, and Ko Phi

the North African landscape has always been a source of inspiration for me,

but truth be told, I did not visit the deep desert until adulthood. Watching the

Phi in Thailand was devastated.

sun’s first light break over the dunes at dawn was a transformative experience

Bodies were washing ashore.

out of which my debut novel, Dune Song, was born. At nightfall, as I sat around

I went to join the volunteers,

a fire watching the moon and stars dance over my head and listening to the

ancestral music of the Gnawa people, I heard the musicians echo the winds that

but while I was there, a second

crossed the African continent, bearing the sand of distant shores and forgotten

tsunami struck. People ran in

times. On that trip, I learned to read the interplay between landscape, music,

different directions, and my friend

and memory – and my work has been transformed by it.

and I followed two men toward the beach. It was completely calm;

ANISSA BOUZIANE After living and working in New York for over a decade, Anissa Bouziane moved back to her native Morocco in 2002, then on to France. Her first book, Dune Song, travels from the deepest canyons of Manhattan to the highest dunes of the Moroccan Desert.

all we could see were huge waves on the horizon. We begged them to take us with them in their boat. They agreed, and we headed for the open sea. The waves were very

May 1989, New York City. I’m working as a young lawyer.

strong. I have no idea how they

A London friend makes an introduction. “She’s interesting.”

knew which way to go. I thought

We have dinner at Tripoli, a Lebanese restaurant on Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. A second date follows. Trouble and Strife, Off-Broadway.

about the sailors who had died

“Windows on the World?” she suggests for a third.

at sea. I felt their presence and

We reach our table and enjoy the view. One drink, a second, a third.

gradually found beauty and a sense

(She hasn’t drunk anything since.) “You’re the kind of man I could marry,” she says.

of serenity in the darkness.

She needs to meet her boyfriend, uptown. We enter the elevator, alone. We kiss;

The ocean calmed. We spent the

107 floors is a decent amount of time.

night drifting in the Andaman Sea

Four years later, we marry.

and arrived on another island at

Eight years after that, someone destroys the elevator with a plane. Six months pass before I realize we’ll never take that ride again.

sunrise. The men must have been

I miss that fabulous elevator.

trying to get back to their families.



From Rwanda to Guantanamo, lawyer Philippe Sands has weighed in on the most important cases of our times, but his books The Ratline and East West Street, rooted in family history, explore the life of a senior Nazi and the roots of international law in the Nuremberg trials.

Zhang Yueran, one of the most promising young voices in Chinese literature today, has published a number of novels and short-story collections. Her latest novel, The Cocoon, which explores the impact of the Cultural Revolution, is garnering great acclaim at home and abroad.

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{ Success Story }



Jiang Qiong Er, the founder and creative force behind the Chinese luxury lifestyle and ready-to-wear label Shang Xia, set up her business in partnership with Hermès 10 years ago to focus on traditional Chinese artisanship reinterpreted in contemporary style. Born in Shanghai, she now leads a bicultural life in China and France, and thrives on the contrasts between her two very different homes. Portrait of a designer who believes balance is our most powerful source of energy in life. BY K ATE M AT THA MS

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Jiang Qiong Er is showing me a carbon-fiber chair inspired by furniture from the Ming Dynasty. Its graceful back arches into a slim (0.35-inch) seat, the width made possible by the superstrength of the material, which can hold up to 882 pounds. A hardwood counterpart that shares the same mortise and tenon construction needs a much thicker seat to hold the required weight. It’s a striking illustration of the modern-day reinvention of traditional Chinese expertise underpinning Shang Xia’s products, exquisitely executed pieces designed with today’s generation in mind.

The company’s past-meets-present approach extends throughout its range of ready-to-wear, accessories, jewelry, furniture and


lifestyle products. Here, super-soft Mongolian hand-felted cashmere has been shaped on a mannequin to create a boxy, seamless jacket; over there, a pair of wide-legged lacquered silk

of artisanal craftsmanship and a strong set of family values. “We

pants take on the patina of leather, while the label’s emblematic

were like two parents who decided to have a child,” she laughs. “We

woven Lan bag revisits the form of a traditional Chinese water

nurtured Shang Xia for a long time. I spent the early years exploring

basket to create a minimalist new shape that feels very now. “My

our creative language and the different forms of expertise we could

inspiration comes from three different Chinese dynasties,” explains

focus on, and we worked to set up a real operating structure. Now

Jiang. “For clothes, I look to the Han Dynasty, with its simple, fluid

we’re starting to see its personality, but parental guidance from both

shapes. The timeless, extremely minimalist Ming Dynasty inspires

sides is still very important.”

furniture and lifestyle objects. And then there is the art of the Song Dynasty, which was very clean and pared-down, with absolute

For all the synergies between them, however, the Sino-French

purity of form and proportion.”

business model was not without its challenges. While both parents of this bicultural child were aligned in their philosophy,

Shang Xia shares a focus on artisanship and a refined aesthetic

which helped to minimize cultural differences in business, “the

with the label’s French backer, Hermès, a house rooted in leather

real challenge comes from us,” says Jiang. “We must continue to

craft and now known for discreet, contemporary luxury in

surprise and challenge ourselves with each collection.” She believes

everything from ready-to-wear to its lifestyle concept. Shang Xia’s

that beauty and the way it makes people feel are universal, but

goal is to highlight traditional Chinese artisanship and expertise in

that the forms it takes are less so – jade is not as highly prized

a meaningful new way and give it a new role for today, one more

on the French market as it is in China, for example. The colors,

closely connected to a younger generation: “It’s a dialog between

embroidery and lacquer finishes used by Shang Xia, however, were

the past and present,” says Jiang “We can revisit our heritage, but the

immediately successful in Europe. Implementing an ecosystem

expression of that heritage – the design, the creation, the aesthetic –

for quality craftsmanship was essential for the brand, which

must be of its time.” Repetition does not always mean rebirth.

started with raw expertise alone: “We were using artisans from

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create incredible woven bamboo, but he couldn’t necessarily scale

executives Pierre-Alexis Dumas and Patrick Thomas. With a

up to make the 10 pieces we needed.” With a constant focus on

postgraduate degree in design from the Paris School of Decorative

quality, standardized processes were gradually implemented

Arts in hand, she had set up a design agency and taken the Paris

to cover everything from raw materials to final quality control

luxury house as a client, designing everything from window

and packaging: “In Europe, this is very mature, but in China there

displays to books. It was a meeting of minds, and both sides

was nothing 10 years ago.” She hopes that the label will become

soon realized they shared the same passion for the renaissance

independent in eight or nine years’ time, but what will she do once


all over, with no management, no processes. A craftsman might Shang Xia came into being a decade ago, after Jiang met Hermès

{ Success Story }

it reaches the age of majority? “A mother is always a mother,” she says. “I will surely continue to be involved, but the relationship and the dialog will change. The fundamental values and style will be handed down, but the interpretation might be different in 10 or 20 years’ time.” That’s the beauty that comes with age. Family values are clearly very important to Jiang. Her seven-yearold daughter, Fei Er, features in the seasonal lookbooks and has even contributed drawings that have been turned into prints on fluid pants and loose shirts. Her own parents, Jiang says, were “open-minded and open to the world” and supported her when she chose to “follow her destiny” and move to France, starting from scratch after graduating from Tong Ji University in Shanghai with a design degree. Why France? “Paris was always my grandfather’s dream,” says Jiang. “He was an early-20th-century Chinese artist and one of the first to travel abroad. He went to Japan to study sculpture but had

We can revisit our heritage, but the expression of that heritage the design, the creation, the aesthetic – must be of its time.

to come back when the Sino-Japanese War broke out.” A generation

later, his granddaughter made a solo trip to Europe and fell in


love. In the late 1990s, she was poised to take up a postgraduate university post in the United States. “I had the visa, I spoke English, and my brother was there. My father was an architect and had set me up with friends and contacts. I was ready to start a great new life.” Then she visited France, and something clicked. “I couldn’t speak a word of French, but I felt a real connection. It was now or never.” Inspired by the idea of immersing herself in a new culture and one day speaking and reading French well enough to “read French literature, watch French films and talk to people in their own language,” she discussed the idea with her parents, who agreed to support her if she thought carefully about it. It was a do-ordie moment, and she seized the opportunity with both hands,


starting from zero in France with no network and no language skills. “Sometimes, you have to listen to your heart rather than overanalyzing. The unknown can bring you great things.” Jiang is married to French businessman Guillaume Brochard. The family’s main home is in Shanghai, where her younger children are in school, but she frequently visits the capital, Beijing, where she enjoys the contrasts between history, tradition and cutting-edge modernity. “There is a huge contrast between the modern, fastpaced Chinese supercities and Paris, where there is such a sense of history and time seems to stop, and our château in Bordeaux, where we are surrounded by nature,” she says. They travel frequently between China and France, and cherish the stimulation and contrast afforded by bicultural life: “The conception of time in each is very different. We are incredibly lucky to live with these three 4 1. Home knit shawl in cashmere. 2. Jiang’s daughter Fei Er wearing the Sculpture felted cashmere shawl. 3. The house’s signature Lan Yue handbag, with embroidery tiger-head. 4. Inside Shang Xia’s Paris store.

dimensions of time and space, between the city and nature.” Striking a balance between all three is intensely enriching for her. “It’s the yin and the yang, the shang and the xia – opposites that meet and create energy when they come together. It’s the most powerful thing in life.” For Shang Xia, balance is one fundamental that will certainly be handed down to future caretakers to help


them reinterpret that finely crafted equilibrium between tradition and modernity. ❙

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{ Success Story }

Jiang Qiong Er’s

Beijing Address Book Take in Beijing's history THE FORBIDDEN CITY “Unmissable and unique. A place that’s full of imagination. Go in the afternoon when people start leaving to take in the same sunset the emperors saw.” 4 Jingshan Front Street, Dongcheng, Beijing

Experience Chinese Imperial culture THE TEMPLE OF HE AVEN “Originally the site of sacrificial rites and ceremonies for the nobility of the Ming and Qing dynasties, today you can see locals doing tai-chi amongst the cypress trees.” 1, Tiantan E Road, Dongcheng, Beijing

To get your art fix 798 ART DISTRICT “An East German Bauhaus-style military complex built in the 1950s that now houses art galleries, restaurants, shops and plenty of street art.”

Sample authentic Chinese haute cuisine XIN RONG JI “Browse in Shang Xia Gallery, then enjoy a meal upstairs in the same building, at my favorite restaurant, the only one in Beijing with three Michelin stars.” F1, East Tower, Genesis Beijing, 8 Xinyuan South Road, Chaoyang, Beijing

82 S by Sofitel

A little retail therapy TA I KO O L I SANLITUN VILL AGE “A hotspot for the local younger generation, with top international and Chinese brands.” 19 Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang, Beijing


798 Art Zone, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang, Beijing

{ Success Story }



1. Exceptional dinner setting in one of the luxury restaurants. 2. The hotel's eye-catching facade.


Beijing Central Traditional Chinese hospitality blends with French art de vivre at Sofitel’s central Beijing outpost. Within easy reach of landmarks like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the National Museum of China and the National Grand Theater, Sofitel Beijing Central mirrors the imperial history of China with an opulent design that draws on the country’s rich culture. Spacious, minimalist rooms overlook the Beijing skyline, while the striking pool references Chinese contemporary design in this thoroughly modern metropolis. For dinner, L’Or by Yi Palace focuses on contemporary Cantonese food and the exquisitely executed cuisine of Northern China, while Kwee Zeen offers international fusio n with a French twist. 2 Jianguomen Outer St, Jian Wai Da Jie, Chaoyang Qu, Chine, 100022

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{ Carte Blanche }


In Rome, La Dolce Vita is in the water. More precisely, it’s in the Tiber, the river that meanders through the heart of a city bursting with art, culture and food. From the splendor of the Vatican, to the joie de vivre of aperitivo, photographer Mathieu Foucher paints an authentic portrait of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. BY K ATE M AT THA MS

86 S by Sofitel

{ Carte Blanche }


Centrale Montemartini

"I could still smell the engine oil in this former power plant, now converted into a museum, that holds the archeological treasures of the Capitoline Museums. The worlds of history and industry combine, the workers of the past have been replaced with statues." S by Sofitel 87

{ Carte Blanche }

"A typically Italian view. As I was returning to my hotel late one night, I looked up and saw laundry strung across the street. I felt instantly that I was in Rome everything was perfect, from the yellows and ochres of the buildings, to the city street lights." 88 S by Sofitel


Laundry in the street

{ Carte Blanche }

Skaters "On an otherwise quiet Sunday evening, young skaters had set up an impromptu skatepark on a street that has been closed to traffic, lit only by the light of the Fendi flagship on Palazzo Fendi."

"In Rome, art and culture are everywhere. The close-up framing and slices of light and shade bring these statues to life. I always work with natural light."


Statues, the Vatican Museum

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{ Carte Blanche }

90 S by Sofitel

{ Carte Blanche }


Kiosk near the Trevi Fountain

"These street kiosks are to be found across Italy, selling fresh produce, and food and drink essentials. I found this one around the corner from the Trevi Fountain, its bright lights and blue tones contrasted with the warmer colors of the rest of the city."

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{ Carte Blanche }



"As the sun sets, the city lights up. Aperitivo is an important part of the day in Rome, when locals come together to start the evening with a cocktail and the bar snacks that come with it."

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{ Carte Blanche }

Vaulted ceiling, the Vatican Museum "The way this ceiling in the Vatican was lit contrasted beautifully with the walls, which were just as richly decorated. The light pulls us towards the vanishing point, a reminder of a special moment of quiet inside the Vatican Museum at the end of the day."

Delicatessen «The neon shop light of this delicatessen caught my eye first, then I saw the hams hanging from the ceiling. Food and pleasure are central to Italian culture; the delicious smells of the hams enticed me in from the street.»

Staircase, the Vatican Museum


"The staircase that visitors take as they leave the Vatican is magnificent. The steps that get smaller towards the bottom add depth, and the contrast between the blue tones of the staircase and the warmer lighting reflects the grandeur of the building itself. I had to wait a while to get this shot."

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{ Carte Blanche }

"When I saw this couple of Piazza Navona, it was too good an opportunity not to capture their passion and spontaneity. It was just after a rain shower and the lights of the city were reflected beautifully in the wet cobblestones. I gave them the picture afterwards." 94 S by Sofitel


Couple on Piazza Navona

{ Carte Blanche }


"This picture of the neon light on the sidewalk, as the last few clients in the trattoria finish their meals and others make their way home, provides an intimate picture of the lesser-known backstreets of Rome."

Neons in the street

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Live the French way Bring home the luxurious comfort of the Sofitel MyBedTM and more. Indulge in modern French art de vivre.

{ À la française }

A touch of

french luxury © SOFITEL

Sofitel is the ambassador of French art de vivre (art of living) and luxury hospitality in its hand-picked addresses around the world.

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{ À la française }


Showplaces Close-up on a few jewels of Sofitel around the world, offering exceptional luxury and art de vivre on a tray.


Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese La Dolce Vita meets French art de vivre in this newly renovated 19th-century palazzo, a short walk from the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. The rooftop restaurant provides a lush escape with panoramic views, while thoughtful details like the evening candle-lighting ritual make for a very special stay. Via Lombardia 47, 00187 Rome


Sofitel Mexico City Reforma

297 Avenue Paseo De La Reforma, 06500 Mexico


Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour The award winning hotel in the heart of Darling Harbour artfully combines French elegance with local culture to create a world of relaxation, romance and waterfront sophistication. From the infinity pool to the state-of-the-art gym overlooking the skyline, indulge in exceptional experiences, with Sydney’s playground on your doorstep. 12 Darling Drive, 2000 Sydney

98 S by Sofitel


Contemporary luxury with a touch of French chic in a historic setting. Outside: vivacious Mexican culture and heritage in the bustling capital. Inside: a serene atmosphere, sweeping views of the city, a lavishly appointed spa, a cutting-edge fitness center and five restaurants.

{ À la française } NEW OPENING


LEGEND Sofitel also includes a collection of luxurious heritage addresses located in destinations exuding charm and vibrant culture. Sofitel Legend has been recognized and awarded as one of the top best luxury hotel brands by readers of the acclaimed Travel & Leisure magazine as an illustrious selection of heritage landmark hotels where the best of past and present converge in the spirit of French art de vivre.



Sofitel Adelaide New for 2021, Sofitel’s latest Australian outpost is housed in a gleaming tower that befits the modernity of Southern Australia’s lively scene. Local produce is a focus in the hotel’s eateries, while exclusive amenities will bring the best of French living to the land Down Under. 108 Currie Street, 5000 Adelaide



Sofitel LEGEND Panama City Casco Viejo

Sofitel LEGEND Metropole Hanoi



Sofitel LEGEND The Grand Amsterdam

Sofitel LEGEND Santa Clara Cartagena




Sofitel Ambassador Seoul The abundant cultural heritage of Seoul paired with the French luxury lifestyle. From its exceptional location overlooking Seokchon Lake Park, to the rejuvenating Sofitel Spa and Fitness, Sofitel Ambassador Seoul Hotel and Serviced Residences boasts a unique vantage point for leisure and business travellers. 209 Jamsilro, Songpagu, 05552 Seoul



Sofitel LEGEND People's Grand Xian

Sofitel LEGEND Old Cataract Aswan

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{ À la française }

Sofitel World Tour I N T E R N AT I O N A L O U T P OS TS O F FR E N C H LU X U RY

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Sofitel Haikou






Sofitel Algiers Hamma Garden

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Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco & Spa

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EGYPT Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor


CANADA Sofitel Montréal Golden Mile

Sofitel Malabo Sipopo Le Golf

IVORY COAST Sofitel Abidjan Hôtel Ivoire

MAURITIUS Sofitel Mauritius L’Impérial Resort & Spa

CO LOMB I A Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia Sofitel Baru

MEXICO Sofitel Mexico City Reforma

MOROCCO Sofitel Agadir Thalassa Sea & Spa Sofitel Casablanca Tour Blanche Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa Sofitel Marrakech Lounge & Spa Sofitel Marrakech Palais Imperial Sofitel Rabat Jardin des Roses Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach & Spa

100 S by Sofitel

PA N A M A Sofitel Legend Panama City Casco Viejo


L AOS M A L AYS I A Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara

MYA N M A R Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min

PHILIPPINES Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

SINGAPORE Sofitel Singapore City Centre Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

SO U T H KO R E A Sofitel Ambassador Seoul

THAILAND Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Sofitel Krabi Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort

VIETNAM Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi Sofitel Saigon Plaza


Sofitel Tamuda Bay Beach & Spa

{ À la française }

UPCOMING OPENINGS A L G E R I A Sofitel Thalassa Algiers • A U S T R A L I A Sofitel Adelaide • B R A Z I L Sofitel Rio Ipanema• C H I N A Sofitel Hangzhou Yingguan• C O L O M B I A Sofitel Baru • C Y P R U S Sofitel Limassol • J O R D A N Sofitel Amman • PA N A M A Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama • S A U D I A R A B I A Sofitel Riyadh • S O U T H K O R E A Sofitel Ambassador Seoul • S PA I N Sofitel Barcelona • Q A T A R Sofitel Doha West Bay • V I E T N A M Sofitel Cam Ranh

Sofitel Frankfurt Opera

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Middle East I TA LY

Sofitel Brussels Europe Sofitel Brussels Le Louise

Sofitel Roma Villa Borghese



Sofitel Biarritz le Miramar Thalassa Sea & Spa Sofitel Golfe d’Ajaccio Thalassa Sea & Spa Sofitel Lyon Bellecour Sofitel Marseille Vieux-Port Sofitel Le Scribe Paris Opera Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe Sofitel Paris Baltimore Tour Eiffel Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg Sofitel Quiberon Diététique Sofitel Quiberon Thalassa Sea & Spa Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Île

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Sofitel Adelaide Sofitel Brisbane Central Sofitel Gold Coast Broadbeach Sofitel Melbourne on Collins Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

LEBANON Sofitel Beirut Le Gabriel

SAUDI ARABIA Sofitel Al Khobar The Corniche

Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam



Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Sofitel Dubai Downtown Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk

Sofitel Grand Sopot Sofitel Warsaw Victoria

PORTUGAL TURKEY Sofitel Istanbul Taksim



FIJI Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

F R E N C H P O LY N ES I A Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort Sofitel Tahiti Ia Ora Beach Resort

NEW ZEALAND Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa Sofitel Wellington

Sofitel London St James Sofitel London Gatwick Sofitel London Heathrow

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{ My Next Trip }

“I spent 51 days crossing part

Falling too far behind and not

of Antarctica alone on skis,

having enough food could have

with no assistance or supplies.”

killed the whole project.”

says Matthieu Tordeur, who

Tordeur has been traveling

speaks of this superhuman

the world since he was 18,

feat with disarming modesty.

including “a round-the-

This undertaking involved

world trip in a Renault 4L in

“up to 12 hours of skiing

support of various microcredit

every day in an environment

projects.” Other, highly varied

blanketed with ice and snow.

challenges have included a

I had to keep going even in

transatlantic race under sail, a

such difficult conditions as

marathon in North Korea and

whiteout, during which it’s

the Sahara on a Solex.

impossible to tell the difference

In early 2021, he was busy

between the snow and the

plotting further adventures.

sky. It’s a white light that

One of them will offer a

eliminates all contrast, relief

small group of hikers the

and depth.”

opportunity to learn from

Tordeur is the youngest

Tordeur’s experience. “I’m

explorer to have completed

going to do the Haute Route

this polar odyssey. Thanks to

des Alpes, from Chamonix to

this extraordinary adventure,

Zermatt,” he says. The journey

November 2018 and February 2019, he has now earned himself a place in the famous Guinness World Records. “Antarctica was the carefully prepared fulfillment of a dream,” he says, “but I started planning other adventures as soon as I returned to France.” At the same time, he started writing a book called Le Continent Blanc (The White Continent), which tells the behind-the-scenes story of his crossing to the South Pole.

The adventurous life of Matthieu Tordeur BY JE AN -MIC H E L DE ALBE RTI

soon as he started out on his journey through Antarctica. “I set myself easy goals,” he says, “and created a routine to help me cope with the difficulties. I would ski for one hour then take a break for a few minutes.

102 S by Sofitel

one of the most breathtaking ways to cross the Alps, the ideal trip for any mountain enthusiast. This highmountain terrain has already been explored by Tordeur, who climbed Mont Blanc in the summer of 2020 in the company of the mountaineer Cédric Gras. Another of his projects will take him to the mountains of Tajikistan, where he plans to make a documentary about adventurers like Tordeur have closeup experience of

slowed down the young Frenchman’s progress as

Blanc to the Matterhorn is

melting glaciers. Modern

The difficulties were many, and the weather conditions

across glaciers from Mont

After a record-setting solo expedition to the South Pole at the age of 27, this young Frenchman is preparing for more epic adventures all over the globe.

climatic upheavals, and he wants to spread the word. His extraordinary life takes on its full meaning when he talks about the fragility of the natural world and the need to protect it for future generations. ❙


accomplished between


Live the French way There’s living, then there’s joie de vivre. Book your stay at sofitel.com or call your travel advisor PARIS – ROME – LOS ANGELES – MARRAKECH – SINGAPORE – AUCKLAND Coming Soon: ADELAIDE – SEOUL – HANGZHOU – BARU