The Trianon Palace in Versailles, a cultural and vegetal breath of fresh air
The Trianon Palace has a beautiful story yo tell! This building, with its 65 m façade and 320 windows, was the brainchild of architect René Sergent (1865-1927) and was inaugurated on 1 May 1910.
An outstanding architect
This unusual architect, son of a baker and a graduate of the Ecole Spéciale d'Architecture, was already a celebrity at the time, having designed the headquarters of the Rolls Royce firm and the Savoy and Claridge hotels in London. In 1913, he also designed for the American banker Alfred Heidelbach, the mansion on Avenue d'Iéna, which was to become the Buddhist pantheon of the Guimet Museum. His clientele included some of the wealthiest families such as the Wendels, Rothschilds, Vanderbilts and Pierpont Morgans.
The Treaty of Versailles
This building, which has seen a multitude of personalities, writers, bankers, artists (Sarah Bernhardt, Marcel Proust, Sacha Guitry, Marlène Dietrich, Paul Valery...) as well as great fortunes such as John Rockefeller or Paul Getty pass through its doors, and was above all marked by the Treaty of Versailles. Signed in 1919 at the Château de Versailles, Georges Clemenceau dictated the conditions of this Treaty at the Trianon Palace and a room in the establishment still bears his name. Its many brocade-draped windows, its four huge crystal chandeliers and its historic golds remain as they were in 1919.
A more contemporary renovation
Since 2007, this historic and century-old establishment, under the leadership of English decorator Fiona Thompson, has undergone a thorough facelift. While preserving the original decor of the hotel, she has introduced contemporary, elegant lines, where muted colours, dark wood, leather and velvet predominate, without sacrificing, of course, the golds, mouldings and columns. The rooms are sober but refined, with a rather masculine touch, and the highlight is the fabulous view of the gardens where Marie-Antoinette's sheep still gambol in the fields. The bathrooms of the suites, some of them equipped with balconies, offer the same enchanting panorama. To recharge your batteries or take a dip, the swimming pool, located not far from the main building (it can be accessed via the spa located on the second basement level), is adorned with an immense glass roof that lets the daylight filter through.
Beautification with respect for history
The embellishment has preserved and respected the history of the place while adding subtle touches, in reference to the great styles of the 1930s and 1950s. Thus we find bi-chrome marble in the spacious bathrooms and from the lobby to the gallery. Alcoves upholstered in white in the gourmet restaurant or in shades of grey and olive in the gallery, Murano glass chandeliers in the bar and restaurant. As for the gallery, it is punctuated by an impressive colonnade, set in perspective by ten domes. The playground of the Trianon Palace is of course provided by the park and gardens surrounding the Château de Versailles.
Dinner under the stars
Literally and figuratively, Gordon Ramsey's restaurant dazzles us with its talent. In the sober and refined decor of the restaurant, the tables with white tablecloths and plush golden velvet chairs are scattered around the immense bay window, which opens onto the terrace in fine weather. A few elegant chandeliers cast a subdued glow. Not far away, the Chef's Table , hidden behind a large panel is featuring a huge corner bench covered in burgundy leather, leaning against a flowery wall, with a glass table with undulating shapes overlooking the glass wall of the kitchen. An imposing blind, as in a theatre, opens at one point to see the uninterrupted ballet of the brigade that will entertain us throughout the evening. This evening the chef's 7-courses menu offers us a rather exceptional culinary journey, I must say.
A culinary festival
Orchestrated by Cyril Bruneau the charming and very professional restaurant manager, led by Gabriele in the kitchen and his chef Frédéric Larquemin, our gourmet journey takes us from surprise to surprise. After a half-cooked tuna, with a lemon veal juice, pleasant and refined on the palate, we discover caviar lentils coated with a full-bodied, tasty juice, a risotto with ceps and chanterelles, old Comté cheese, simply delicious. Then the saddle of rabbit stuffed with Taggiasche olives reminds us of Italy, the duck with spices, accompanied by its roasted giblets with foie gras, a pure delight. Finally, a blue lobster is presented to us, slightly pink to the core. This culinary festival is punctuated by a pre-dessert of roasted figs, light in the mouth, to finish with an original and fresh creation: acidulated berlingots with lemon, ice cream with Timut pepper, all prepared by Eddie Benghanem.
Verdict: a very creative dinner, elegant, interesting refined combinations awakening the senses by the Michelin-starred chef.
The next day, for lunch we are seated at the Veranda, with its large glass roof and terrace, looking out onto the park of the Château de Versailles. This contemporary space with its black and white chequered floor is beautifully lit. The menu is also tasty and between foie gras, risotto, wild boar stew, duck breast, sea bass steak, the choice is vast. We decided to opt for the cod. This dish delights us with the finesse of the cooking of the fish, visually gustatory presented with mussels and cockles. For dessert, the coffee tiramisu, reinvented by the pastry chef, is the perfect finish to this light lunch. Afterwards the park is ideal for a digestive walk while enjoying the Château de Versailles, just a stone's throw away.
By Katya PELLEGRINO