Who was I in 1728? I couldn’t tell you. Do I believe in reincarnation well that is a discussion best had over a couple bottles of wine. What I do know is that in this life I am a princess and I expect to be treated as such. Although after my solo aperitif at 1728 on Friday 14 June, I now consider myself a queen!
1728 is a hotel particulier situated just off rue Faubourg St Honore. The building is where General Lafayette, the man who helped the Americans gain independence and who nearly lost his head in the French Revolution died.
Fun historical fact for you – hotel particuliers were the large houses the aristocracy built for themselves to stay at in town when they left their chateaux in the country.
Anyway back to 1728 and what an experience it was. I walked into the courtyard. I swept up the stairs and was warmly greeted by the maitre’d as she opened the glass door for me to step through. I literally stepped back in time. I said I just wanted to have an aperitif. She nodded and asked if she could take my jacket. Immediately I knew this was my kind of place.
She walked me through to the next room and offered me a choice of tables to sit at. I chose the one by the open window, the perfect people watching spot. The window she said could be shut at any time all I needed to do was ask. As I sat down I thought maybe I had just married into royalty and was settling into my own personal parlour.
Whilst the room is not immense, the tables are laid out in such a way that you feel as if you still have your own intimate space. There is an adjoining room where diners were enjoying dinner. However in both rooms you can order off the dinner menu.
The first surprise was a waiter came and lit the candle that was on my table. I realised I am not dillusional. There are actual individuals who realise that I am a princess and they are here at 1728. At last I have found my people!
The second surprise came when I opened the menu. Yes, this place treats you like a princess, queen or king whatever you want to be and you better have the budget that goes with your title. A kir (cassis with white wine will set you back €21) and when you consider that at most places it is the cheapest aperitif on offer at €4 . I was in the mood for a glass of white wine on this glorious summer’s evening and there was the second surprise. A glass of red, white or rose will set you back anywhere between €10 to €18. I am no budget princess – I came for wine and that was what I was going to drink. When the wine did come, it was a generous serving of perfectly chilled viognier. The kind of serving I pour myself when I am chilling at home in my own petit palais!
As if that was not royal treatment enough, five minutes after being served my glass of wine came a few amuse bouche; savoury cheese shortbread (still warm) and an avocado and fish mousse.
I sat back and soaked in the atmosphere. This is a great place to people watch or just to zone out whilst listening to the carefully selected classical background music. As the evening drew in and the candle light flickered and shadows danced upon the wall I thought about General Lafayette and what life might of been like for him.
I was left to enjoy my glass of wine and the service here is very discreet. Nobody rushed me or stared at me and I was left alone with my thoughts. Around 22.30 I was ready for the bill. I was pleasantly surprised that I only had to pay €12 for my glass of wine. This is the kind of place where if you have to ask how much it costs don’t bother turning into the courtyard just keep on walking.
As I turned to leave 1728, the maitre’d and manager were stood by the door and thanked me for my presence that evening. With that added touch this princess left 1728 feeling like a queen!
8 rue d’Anjou