As the sun lowered on our day in Paris, our group were joined by 30 other VIP guests for a rooftop dinner and champagne reception at Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe. Unlike London, Paris doesn’t have many outdoor roof bars, or restaurants, so it was exciting to have an event on the hotel’s outdoor terrace.
On arrival we were greeted with a glass of champagne before stepping out to meet the other guests.
DJ’s pleased the crowd with their sounds and bartenders showed off their bar flaring skills while everyone chatted and mingled in the warm Parisian evening.
Ah, Summer. You are my favourite season of the year.
Our taste buds were in for the biggest treat with French Top Chef finalist, Kevin D’Andrea in the kitchen putting his culinary skills to use at what he does best…
Creating winning combinations of mouth-watering, delicious food!
We were served cooked salmon wrapped in nori, foie gras, prawns, an egg combination topped with crunchy bacon and truffle and my favourite, a creamy rich polenta topped with tenderly cooked duck. The flavours were so incredible in this dish, I went back for seconds (it tasted THAT good I didn’t even take any photos – all other focus went out the window).
In between the incredible food and glasses of champagne, the girls from ByWhoTattoo were blinging everyone out for the evening with temporary jewellery tattoos. Even the guys were getting in on the action.
There were different options from necklace designs to bracelets and decorative arm and face tattoos. I went for a silver bracelet, which impressively lasted a week without any special care.
The desserts were equally impressive and beautifully delicate. I opted for the one above and am so happy to report that it was the best macaron I’ve ever tried. Seems a perfectly fitting experience in Paris. Guiltily, I’ve never really understood their hype and craze the past few years.
It was melt in your mouth, just the right amount of sweetness with a soft squishy centre kind of incredible. Finished off with the cream, it was a winning flavour combo. Kevin, if you’re reading – you’re welcome to come and cook for me anytime.
Led out to the front of the hotel, the best was still yet to come with several stretch limos waiting to take us on a night tour of Paris. Of course the Renaissance Navigators still had a few tricks up their sleeves and surprises lined up for the evening.
Climbing in, more champagne corks were popped and the music pumped as we ventured out in our convoy.
Our first stop on the evening tour of Paris was Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel, where The Groovy Project performed in the lobby. Everyone stood mesmerised by their incredible voices and guitar playing.
Back out to the limos, we found our assigned drivers and ventured on our way in anticipation for our next surprise.
Next we stopped at a footbridge, passerelle Léopold-Sédar-Senghor where we crossed the Seine and admired the sparkling lights along the river. The top of the Eiffel Tower could be seen shimmering in the distance sending out beams of light into the night sky.
Lining the bridge, lovers were still allowed to leave symbols of their love with a lock – a popular practice on many bridges around the world. With their recent removal from Pont des Arts bridge, it may be something that doesn’t last too much longer though in Paris.
Under the bridge, hip-hop dance troupe Move and Art were waiting to put on an energetic performance. Twisting, grooving and break-dancing, they got the crowd into the mood, before getting everyone involved to Mark Ronson’s, Uptown Funk.
There were a lot of laughs as we joined in and moved along (semi in sync) to their choreography.
Carrying on and still buzzing after our dance efforts, we joined a crowd of outdoor party goers on the bank of the Seine at Faust. At the foot of the gilded Pont Alexandre III bridge it was a great spot for some people watching and to enjoy the balmy evening.
Our final stop for the evening was the exclusive L’arc, one of Paris’ top hip-hop clubs near the Arc de Triomphe. Owned by Lenny Kravitz, celebrities from Beyonce, Jay-Z and Katy Perry to Mick Jagger have grooved to the beats of the in-house DJ’s at this uber cool spot.
We didn’t have to wait long for some celeb spotting when Kool & The Gang joined us in a VIP area next to ours. To top the night off, they did an impromptu performance with all the usual crowd favourites.
To the sound of ‘Celebrations’ it was time to sadly call it a night. On a massive adrenaline high from all the evening’s events and our incredible Day of Discovery in Paris, Angie and I made our way back to the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe.
With one last photo stop along the way past the Arc de Triomphe, we said goodnight in the early hours ready for a good night’s sleep.
A huge thank you to Renaissance Hotels and their team of Navigators for so many incredible experiences during Global Day of Discovery. Each activity was so much fun and certainly showcased a unique side of London and Paris. So many fond memories that will last forever – exactly what travelling and exploring new destinations is all about.