"In the center of the courtyard, with original Corinthian marble columns with gilded capitals, is a full Parrotia persica tree imported from Belgium in a specially crafted afromosia-wood square tub. There are huge wicker baskets of Pittosporum tobira, Viburnum, olive trees, and climbing roses in pink, as well as English boxwood and fern. With the teak-and-metal sofas and chairs upholstered in handsome linens, the ambience is almost Nantucket-in-Paris. It’s all “luxe, calme, et volupté,” to quote my favorite French poet, Charles Baudelaire.
There’s a bar with high-backed banquettes that match those in the restaurant and leather chairs the warm color of Spanish port. My first impression was of some exquisite smell, but it wasn’t from the glorious apple-blossom branches towering in a metal urn atop the brass bar. I observed a man in a lemon-yellow sweater preparing for the black-tie dinner tonight, deftly applying paste to the bar and rubbing with a soft cloth until the foggy patina glistened. It turned out Jean-Michel Bailly, an expert in polissage with an atelier near the flea market, was applying a wax called Cire Teintante Louis XIII in the color Chene Clair, with a scent that can only be described as sandalwood with a hint of roasted marrons glacés (truly!) “You have to make a new brass-covered surface look a little bit old,” said Baeely, swiftly turning the laiton into a surface you could almost see your reflection in. Among the usual Lauren lifestyle paintings and photographs (polo mallets, grooms with horses, hunting parties in pink coats), one stood out: a black-and-white close-up of a beautiful wild horse from Sable Island, off Canada, by photographer Roberto Dutesco."