Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Courts 'n cocktails

When my friend, a kicky Parisian architect, and I heard on the news yesterday that a court had suspended a controversial restoration and renovation of the Hotel Lambert on the Ile Saint-Louis, we decided to celebrate.

My friend had been among the first to sign the petition to defend the elegant 17th century hôtel particulier (private mansion) against certain renovations that had been authorized this past June by the former Minister of Culture. Architects and historians maintain that the new owner's proposed excavation for an underground parking in the courtyard and the installation of an elevator and bath rooms would weaken the structure and denature this exceptionally beautiful, classified historic monument.

The Hotel Lambert, situated on the point of the Ile Saint-Louis, has long been a symbol of French refinement and culture, one where figures such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, George Sand and Frederic Chopin once lived and worked.

For our impromptu cocktail celebration we made a really simple but tasty drink, one my friend and a well-known French decorator (whose name I also decline to drop) say they invented and dubbed a Hypocrite.

Was it really a new cocktail?  What they did was simply disguise or hide their whiskey with chilled pink grapefruit juice, which of course gave reason to the name.

Text and photo ©2009 P.B. Lecron

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