The sensational and stunning Shangri-La Hotel Paris is like no other and will deliver all of your luxury hotel dreams in a perfectly presented package. Situated in the former private residence of Napoleon Bonaparte’s great-nephew, it oozes history throughout; you can expect beautifully restored marble, chandeliers, antique furniture and hand-gilded panneling to transport you to a bygone era full of grandeur and opulence. Shangri-La Hotel Paris holds the prestigious ‘Palace Status’ meaning you can expect “exceptional qualities embodying French standards of excellence during your stay” which we are happy to report was exactly what we experienced during our memorable stay.
The luxurious rooms and suites offer guests the finest of furnishings, the comfiest of beds and for those of you lucky enough, the most awe inspiring views of the Eiffel Tower that have to be seen to be believed. From our ‘Deluxe Eiffel View’ room we literally felt that we could reach out and touch the iconic Parisian monument, wow. But for the ultimate in indulgence, book the 120 sqaure metre ‘Shangri-La Suite’ complete with an incredible 100 square metre terrace boasting panoramic city views including River Seine, Eiffel Tower, The Trocadero and Notre Dame.
We discovered a selection of delights awaiting our arrival and they were all perfectly plant based for a taste of vegan luxury that made us smile; a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot, seasonal fruit basket, truffles and the most delectable macarons were our welcome gifts, it’s safe to say we enjoyed them all whilst soaking up the luxurious room complete with the unique and mesmerising vista.
The Vegan Food
There are 3 dining options at Shangri-La Hotel Paris, 2 Michelin starred L’Abeill for ‘sophisticated cuisine in an enchanting atmosphere’, authentic Chinese cuisine at Shang Palace (which also proudly boasts a Michelin star) or a blend of French and Southeast Asian cuisines at La Bauhinia which is located in the heart of the hotel.
Breakfast at La Bauhinia featured an exquisite buffet with a whole vegan (and gluten free) section including chia pudding, tapioca coconut pudding, bread, chocolate muffins, granola, two plant milks and a vegan soft cheese with fruit compote which was a perfect match for the selection of seasonal berries. We selected a green detox juice with celery, cucumber, apple and ginger along with freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice and with our bowl of rice congee we were more than content. From the a la carte menu we ordered vegetable dim sum and avocado toast on a rice cracker, served with Shangri-La olive oil from Italy. Our plant based breakfast at La Bauhinia was a refined feast made even more enjoyable by the elegant surroundings.
We headed back to La Bauhinia for the fabled 100% Vegan Afternoon Tea which has been lovingly created by Michaël Bartocetti, the super talented pastry chef extraordinaire. We’d read about this plant based Holy Grail, and we’d discussed it with others who had experienced the elegant tower of sweet and savoury goodness, but here we were, having travelled 9706 km from Siem Reap, Cambodia about to indulge one of our dreams. The ambiance offered a subtle blend of relaxed refinement and understated yet formal service which fitted perfectly within somewhere so grand, we knew we were in for a treat and were suitably excited.
We commenced our 100% vegan afternoon tea with Swiss-roll style spiced guacamole creations, creamy cashew cheese and spinach leaves served on a soft, dark bread and fresh spring rolls filled with carrot and marinated tofu ponzu; we savoured them, we were feeling blessed to have a such an exciting array of savoury delights but for us, the center piece of any good afternoon tea has to be the scones and that’s where we went next.
There were two varieties of vegan scone to enjoy, ‘Grape and Apple’ and ‘Earl Grey Tea’; they were both light on the inside with a good crust on the outside and divine when enjoyed with the cherry jam and chantilly cream and lime zest. Unrivalled and unparalleled, they were the finest scones we’ve ever eaten. But there was more and it was all equally as mind blowing. A brioche with roasted and caremelized almonds containing a sweet paste full of roasted ground hazelnuts and crystals of sweet sugar. Salted caramel chocolate cookies that was oozing with chocolate flavour, swirls of chocolate, chunks of chocolate on a soft chocolate cookie base and then get that hit of salted caramel to descend fully into this immense chocolate indulgence. Finally, a delicate and crisp granola and hazelnut sablé comprising dark chocolate, mini boulders of biscuit and hazelnuts; sweet, crunchy and satisfying on every level.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better we sampled the trio of ‘Seasonal Cakes’ that accompanied our 3 tiered tower of beauty. The lightest of cream and sponge, infused with strawberry flavours with the freshest strawberries perched on top. A chocolate puffed rice truffle which was like eating chocolate silk with a hint of salt and smokiness that can only be described as a creamy cloud, it was smooth beyond smooth with crispy yet chewy, puffed rice and a biscuity base. And then, a cherry pie with cinnamon cream and a fresh cherry that had been poached in earl gray tea. Again, the softest of creams like a pillow that we would happily sleep on forever, or a cloud that we could float away on to plant based dreamland.
We hereby declare a new vegan law: You must head to France and experience the 100% Vegan Afternoon Tea at Shangri-La Hotel Paris at least once in your life, preferably more than once…
The Vegan Essentials
The pillow menu allowed us to choose a feather free option and the sheets were of the finest Egyptian cotton; both combined with the ridiculously comfortable bed to guarantee a perfect sleep. Bathroom amenities were from luxury French brand, Guerlain which we could not use as they contained animal derived ingredients but we felt serene and calm with ‘The Essence of Shangri-La’ which was conveyed via the reed infuser in our bathroom.
If you can find time between relaxing in your room, dining on the delicious plant based food or just marvelling at the incredible ‘palace’ that you are calling home then you must head to CHI, The Spa even if it’s just to be suitably impressed by the mosaic tiled pool that is oh, so very inviting. If you indulge in a treatment, you will find products from The Organic Pharmacy being used which are 100% cruelty free and contain very few animal derived ingredients making many of their products vegan friendly.
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
If when Vegan Food Quest began 5 years ago, someone had told us we would be able to stay in one of the most luxurious and classical hotels in the world, located in the heart of the French capital and dine on an array of plant based delights including an exquisite vegan afternoon tea we would never have believed them. Well, it’s now a reality and just shows how much change there has been in such a short time; all we can say is that Shangri-La Hotel Paris is leading the way when it comes to vegan friendly luxury hotels, they’ve raised the bar to a level that others can only aspire to. Bravo.
We were guests of Shangri-La Paris but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
10 Avenue d’Iéna
Telephone: +33 1 53 67 19 98
Cost From: £700 / $900 (July 2019)