Monday, June 25, 2018
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Paris is lovelier the second time around

By: - Columnist
/ 05:25 AM September 03, 2017

Paris is by far the most romantic city in the world. The global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, Paris is equally beautiful at night with its famous landmarks lit up.

I was in the City of Light last May on the invitation of La Cornue, a French high-end luxury kitchen solutions company. They invited a small group of designers to visit their impressive Paris showroom and factory.


Viewing the production of the ranges at the La Cornue factory just outside Paris, we marveled at every detail that goes into making this kitchen masterpiece. Each piece is handmade by some employees who have worked in the same factory for the past 25 years.

After the impressive factory tour, the group led by La Cornue Philippines’ Archie Nacpil was invited to a special lunch at their Paris showroom where chef Stephon prepared a delicious roast lamb using the Flamberge. Also on display at the showroom was La Cornue Chateau 150 Lex Pott edition in solid oxidized brass.

The La Château 150 series in burgundy with gold trim and the classic pure white are on display at the La Cornue Manila Showroom. The cookers are fully equipped with two standard vaulted ovens—one gas, one electric—and offer 11 configurations to combine exquisite cooking performance. Atop each cooker stands the signature Hotte Château hood.

Michelle Perez, Vina Francisco, Sea Princess

To witness ingenuity firsthand, visit its showroom at the second floor of W Highstreet Building, 28th St. cor. 11th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Call 5859637, 8029719; e-mail

Before heading home from that trip, Archie invited us on a scenic boat ride along the River Seine to marvel at the 19th-century cityscape that is crisscrossed by beautiful bridges.

I remember running the streets of Paris when I did my second marathon many years ago. Passing through such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century Gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral made the challenging marathon worth finishing.

La Cornue lunch with Carlo Calma, Nicky and Maritess Magcase, Jigs Adefuin, Andres Hegenscheidt, Sea Princess, Archie Nacpil, La Cornue host Benoit and chef Stephon

Active women

Even with my marathon/ triathlon days long over, my coach Ani de Leon-Brown continues to run with our Girls Run For Breakfast gang every Friday if her schedule as Team Philippines’ Triathlon Coach allows.


At the recent Southeast Asian Games 2017, Team Philippines swept the triathlon competition and garnered the gold and the silver medals in both the men’s and women’s events.

Coach Ani proudly said that her four triathletes brought home four medals with just her cocoach and herself in Team Philippines. Gold medalist Kim Mangrobang and silver medalist Claire Adorna have been training with coach Ani for several years now and have very promising careers ahead.

The dedication of our impressive coach is quite commendable and should be rewarded.

Nowadays, my only “marathon” activity is running and window-shopping at the same time. Paris weather is so pleasant this time for the year. For the past couple of days, I have been running at the Tuileries Garden with Joji Dingcong trying to trim down for the much-awaited wedding of Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho.

Their highly romantic and dramatic teleserye-level love affair is finally bonded for life as they wed here in beautiful Paris. Over 200 guests have flown in to witness what would be the most stunningly incredible wedding reception ever. I will feature that next week.

Party time

For now, I would like to share photos of the birthday celebration of fellow columnist and host par excellence Johnny Litton at the grand ballroom of The Bellevue Manila. Johnny’s party theme was based on the 1950s film “High Society,” starring Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly.

As guests entered the main lobby, a very sleek Lexus GS F was situated to one side providing many photo opportunities. The ladies came in Grace Kelly-inspired dresses, which definitely added glamour that evening. Gracing the event with their presence were Johnny’s family, friends and colleagues in the business and social circles, as well as several government officials like Senator Cynthia Villar and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, together with members of the diplomatic corps including US Ambassador Sung Kim; European Union Ambassador Franz Jessen and his lovely wife Wang Qi; Israeli Ambassador Effie Ben Matityau; Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev; Philippine Ambassador to the United States Babe Romualdez and many more.

At Johnny’s speech on stage, he mentioned how the night was all about love and friendships without any political bias or boundaries. Afterwards, he awarded a handful of guests who won as “Stars of the Night.” The winners were Dr. Minguita Padilla, Ross Licup, Tina Jacinto, Crystal Jacinto, Paqui and Lilibeth Campos and Joy Rustia.

Also adding to the success of the evening was the hardworking team of The Bellevue Hotels & Resorts led by chair Johnny Chan and his sons, Patrick, Ryan and Dustin. With overflowing wines from Titania Wines, giveaways from Rustan’s, Aficionado, Beabi and Laneige, and the official TV partner being 2nd Avenue, it was definitely a night to remember!

In closing, I would like to invite all to the León Gallery auction next weekend. The prestigious gallery partnered with Meralco Foundation Inc., Philippine General Hospital Foundation Inc., and St. Luke’s Medical Center Foundation Inc. for the upcoming auction.

Auction proceeds of pieces donated to these institutions will be for their respective charitable projects. For St. Luke’s Medical Center Foundation Inc.’s, works by BenCab, Zean Cabangis, Manny Garibay, Martin Honasan, Louie Cordero and Mauro Malang Santos, among others, are included in the selection.

Mid-Century Moderns and the auction preview ends on Sept. 8. The “Magnificent September Auction” 2017 will be at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9. The lots may be viewed at www.Leó Follow @LeónGalleryMakati on Instagram.

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TAGS: Lifestyle, Paris, Tessa!, Travel
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