Rich food, beautiful wines, laissez-faire, Coco Chanel, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Emmanuel Macron…Mme. Macron! We beg you, who does ‘sex appeal’ better than the French?
A matter of opinion, perhaps, but that’s beside the point. The matter is that Valentine’s Day is this Thursday – and if you’re in Los Angeles and have yet to decisively plan to whisk your immortal beloved away on a whirlwind trip to Paris, it’s really okay. French hotel brand Sofitel has a fabulously romantic alternative at its plush Beverly Hills outpost – where we recently checked in for a short but decidedly amorous stay.
Indeed, from Friday, February 8 to Monday, February 18, guests can indulge in the hotel’s appropriately titled Magnifique Romance packages. As did we, spend the day relaxing and primping at Le Salon and SoSpa – book a So Couples Massage, naturally – then head down to dinner at the Sofitel’s verdant Cattle & Claw restaurant (at an outdoor table, you can pretty much pretend you’re in Provence), which, we’re told, has a romance story all its own: inspired by the Friends episode in which Ross declares Rachel his lobster, it’s about a real lobster finding its one true love, the cattle. (Aww…)
For Valentine’s Day itself, the restaurant is shaking up its standard menu of lobster rolls and french fries for something impossibly elegant: a five-course prix fixe menu features dishes – tournedos rossini, lobster risotto, chocolate-hazelnut genoise for dessert – that eloquently couple the crustacean and beef love affair. (Homard et boeuf, in the language of love.)
V-Day is for splurging, mais oui. So following dinner, you can make your way up to your Magnifique Romance Suite, which includes a bottle of the good bubbly and, of course, a lazy breakfast the next morning – where you can continue making googly eyes across the table over healthy egg white omelettes. Follow with an unhurried morning dip in le resplendissant rooftop pool.
And though we were there running romance reconnaissance (for you, dear readers) ahead of the big day, we were admittedly lovestruck by the sculptural pop art in the lobby (curated by heART L.A.), the dazzling views of the Hollywood Hills from our balcony, the macaroon turndown service, and… wait for it…those decadent Hérmes shower amenities we adore so much.
And so we wish you, as they would in France, Joyeuse Saint Valentin!