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March, 2010:

Eleven Madison Park

James Andrew at Eleven Madison Park

The very prestigious and coveted designation Grand Chef Relais & Chateaux is only bestowed upon a select few restaurants and hotels throughout the world, and Eleven Madison Park is one of the elite few here in the United States.

Established in France in 1954, the Association’s mission is to “spread its unique art de vivre across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with a truly unique character.” With Chef Daniel Humm’s exciting take on modern French cuisine, a remarkable wine selection, dramatic Art Deco architecture, and a staff that guarantees an “unforgettable celebration of the senses” Eleven Madison Park truly typifies what we at WIJW call elevated living.

Please do go and experience absolute perfection at Eleven Madison Park yourself.

I’m pictured here at Eleven Madison Park, and as you can see I’m dressed to celebrate! – I’m wearing a sapphire blue velvet jacket , woven silk tapestry pants, silver chain link belt and black python “Playboy” loafers all by Gucci, white cotton French cuff shirt by Tom Ford, silver silk pocket square by Charvet Paris, black pearl Seaman Schepps cuff links and my fragrance is Creed Windsor.

Creed Bois de Cedrat

Creed Bois de Cedrat.

Whether I’m creating a fine interior for someone or planning my wardrobe, I’m always looking to stimulate all of the senses. Needless to say, I do spend some time addressing olfactory concerns, and when coordinating my wardrobe, choosing the right fragrance is a must. Spring will quickly spill into Summer and as the weather warms I like to wear a lighter fragrance. One of my favorites is the fresher than fresh Bois de Cedrat by Creed. It’s a delicious mix that includes Sicilian lemon and cedar wood.

Georges Braque

As with many of the Creed fragrances Bois de Cedrat has a history – In fact the great Cubist painter Georges Braque who had a house near the Creed family preferred this particular Creed blend. Interestingly Braque trained as a decorator early in his career so we do have a certain affinity towards his work, and we’re not ashamed to say that on aesthetic merit we’d take a Braque over a Picasso any day! – but that’s a discussion for another post. In any case I’d like to think that a splash of Bois de Cedrat brings a bit of Braque’s heightened sensibility to any Summer outfit I wear.

Park Avenue Springs into 2010

James Andrew at Park Avenue Spring - photo by Nicholas Turner

Spring has finally sprung here in New York City – welcome relief after a long, dark, and dreary winter – a wonderful sense of optimism and possibility is in the air once again. Donna Summer’s Spring Affair is starting to get lots of play time on my iPod – it all puts me in the mood for a bit of a celebration.

And I can’t think of a better place to celebrate than Park Avenue Spring!

Park Avenue Spring - photo Nicholas Turner

This season at PAS derives inspiration from the classic English garden with a modernist flair. Spectacular blossoms bathe the dining room in every shade of pink imaginable – the walls, a super chic back drop of deep leaf green with brass panels, and brass clad niches showcase a selection of garden statuary. The ceiling adds to the fantasy with barrel-vaulting in a smoked laurel burl wood. A garden-like centerpiece with vintage cast wild dog heads and exotic greenery and flora create the perfect locus around which all revolves at the magical Park Avenue Spring.

Park Avenue Spring - photo Nicholas Turner

To match this glorious sensory feast, the highly esteemed chef, Craig Koketsu has concocted a most exciting Spring menu.

We’ve included a few highlights from our recent lunch below.

Starters included peekytoe crab cake with avocado and raspberries, smoked salmon and bucatini, wasabi caviar, creme fraiche, roasted baby beets, pistachio pesto, and danish blue cheese.

We followed this with a delectable langostine roll and shrimp scampi and completed our Spring fete with a stable of confections that simply bloomed with a myriad of concentrated flavors – We particularly fancied the rhubarb and lemon semolina fritters with white chocolate-yuzu curd and rhubarb sorbet – and all was presented beautifully by Richard Leach – a James Beard award winner and executive pastry chef.

I recently gathered a collection of friends to experience Park Avenue Spring- most of whom thought they might experience nose bleeds having to trek uptown – their usual preference being to stay below 23 rd Street – Needless to say they were all quite blown away by the sumptuous surrounds and spectacular cuisine – Well worth the journey a few blocks north!

Getting into the Spring spirit I’m wearing a dusty rose suede safari style jacket and oat meal cotton corduroy pants both by Gucci, white cotton french cuff shirt by Tom Ford, vintage moonstone cuff links by Ralph Lauren, Gucci python belt with silver buckle, chartreuse silk tie Charvet Paris, Lanvin sneakers in taupe suede and patent leather, and my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.