GALLIC GET­AWAY

The hautest hot spots in the City of Light

The Kit - - FRONT PAGE -

In March, while the snow was still fall­ing in Toronto and SAD was set­ting in, my In­sta­gram feed was flooded with images of peo­ple de­scend­ing on the most ro­man­tic city in the world for Paris Fash­ion Week. With no va­ca­tion planned and my Fash­ion Week FOMO in full ef­fect, I de­cided to plan the ul­ti­mate stay­ca­tion.

I’ve never re­ally mas­tered the art of va­ca­tion­ing in my own city. In the past, I’ve stuck to a for­mula of de­liv­ery pizza and whichever in­stall­ment of Fast and Fu­ri­ous hap­pened to be on cable. But this time, I wanted to take a cue from the Parisian glitz and glam­our I was wit­ness­ing on­line, so I booked my­self into the luxe, his­toric Fair­mont Royal York.

On a windy Fri­day night, I walked over to the stately ho­tel from my of­fice. With hand­painted ceil­ings, or­nate fur­nish­ings and crys­tal chan­de­liers, the lobby re­mains nearly as the same as when it was built in 1929. ( Although, while I was check­ing in, the desk clerk let me know that guests can now text the front desk should they need any­thing dur­ing their stay—a mode rn hos­pi­talit y so­lu­tion.)

With a king-size bed and huge soaker tub, my plush suite was larger than my first apart­ment. Af­ter a few hours of un­wind­ing, hunger came call­ing, so I slipped down to the ho­tel’s Li­brary Bar, with its deep crim­son walls and dark wood fin­ishes.

I started with a Bub­bles & Ber­ries, a per­fect blend of Belvedere vodka, Cham­bord, Chan­don sparkling wine and fresh ber­ries. Then, feel­ing pos­i­tively Parisian, I or­dered the es­car­got, baked in an ad­dic­tive gar­lic herb but­ter with honey mush­rooms—and a per­fectly cooked filet mignon. Af­ter a sec­ond glass of one of my favourite wines, Aus­trian Gruner Velt­liner, I felt as if I’d trav­elled by air to a new re­laxed state of mind.

The next morn­ing, my North Amer­i­can am­bi­tion started creep­ing back in, so I headed to the ho­tel gym, run­ning shoes in tow. But when I en­tered the health club and spot­ted the sun­lit pool, I de­cided in­stead to slide into the hot tub be­fore hit­ting the break­fast buf­fet at Epic (where I may or may not have had three plate­fuls of gourmet pas­tries).

As I checked out, full of equal parts calm­ness and crois­sants, I hopped into a cab and re­al­ized my stay­ca­tion ex­per­i­ment had worked: I hadn’t checked In­sta­gram once to see how those Paris Fash­ion Week par­ties were play­ing out. With my own joie de vivre thor­oughly looked af­ter, it didn’t seem to mat­ter much any­more.

HIGH­LIGHT REEL Clock­wise from top left: the true-too­rig­i­nal glam­our of the Fair­mont Royal York lobby; a Bub­bles & Ber­ries cock­tail in the Li­brary Bar; keep­ing cozy in a plush robe.

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