Carlos Melia – Epicure Restaurant at Le Bristol Hotel Paris

Author: , March 13th, 2015

Epicure Restaurant at Le Bristol Hotel Paris

Last week, during my visit to Paris for Fashion Week Fall 2015, I made some time to come for lunch at the iconic Le Bristol Hotel Paris, located on the prestigious rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore at the heart of Paris’. Triple Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant, overlooking the hotel’s magnificent French-style garden. Last time I visited Le Bristol Hotel, I enjoyed a lovely lunch at 114 Faubourg Restaurant. This time I tried their main gastronomic option by chef Eric Frechon.

Bay windows allow diners to make the most of this lovely setting, an exceptional, beautiful light-filled dining room, dedicated to the art of living, and the pleasure of savouring Eric Frechon’s cuisine. A very distinguished crowd, with guests you will immediately recognize, as I did, which I will keep private. For gentlemen, business casual attire is required. In other words, a suit jacket is required but not a tie.

My experience began walking from my apartment in Trocadero, all the way along rue Kleber and Champs Elysees, to rue Faubourg Saint-Honore. As I arrived and sorting through Lady Gaga’s fans, I arrived to Epicure Restaurant and began my gourmet experience over a lovely glass of a Cramant Brut-Rose Champagne Diebolt-Vallois. Bubbles to begin my gourmet experience. A few signature dishes you must try. Stuffed Macaroni ([euro]95) with black truffle, artichoke and duck foie gras, gratinated with mature Parmesan cheese. The chef sent a courtesy from the kitchen and I must say was just decadent. Followed by a very stylish an amuse-bouche.

Now for my choices of the afternoon, where: Purple Sea Urchins ([euro]82) simmered whilst in their shells with tongues and sea urchin broth, smooth egg mousse. The texture was incredible and the flavor very subtle, matching perfectly the wine selection made by the sommelier. As for my main dish, I went with another signature dish by the chef, Line-Caught whiting fish from Saint-Giller Croix-de-Vie ([euro]69) in a crust of bread with almonds, “New-Zealand” spinach and olive oil flavoured with curry and pequillos pepper.

Carlos Melia“Epicure” has the role of transmitting the passion of cheese by offering, in close collaboration with two master cheese makers, Marie-Anne Cantin and Bernard Antony, a selection of cheeses that perfectly express the local land and tradition for your gastronomic delight. These two master cheese makers guarantee impeccable quality and traditional know-how for a unique flavor that is sure to enchant your taste buds. Our cheese board offers a number of new selections, varying the content depending on the seasons and the gradual maturation of the different cheeses.

Dessert was selected by the chef and sent to the table. I usually don’t try desserts, and more over when cheese is being offered first, since I am a huge fan of this last. But I am happy the chef made that executive decision for me, specially for the two little spoons with the jelly-gold-leafed with liquid heart delights, they were incredible. Indeed, over and over, Le Bristol Hotel Paris, delivers incredible unforgettable experiences, holding very high standards and impeccable professional service, which is still welcoming and warm, away from the stuffiness.

Both dinner and lunches are strongly suggested, but for me the options of lunch over such a stunning pre-Spring afternoon, was just marvelous. If you are a guest at Le Bristol Hotel Paris, my envy to you, you will get to wake up every morning, to a lovely breakfast at Epicure. After my lovely lunch, I walked back to my apartment in Trocadero, ready to begin my afternoon at RUBINSINGER Showroom.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Paris Gay Travel Resources

What’s New in Paris?

Author: , February 13th, 2015

Paris - Lane Nieset

If you’re visiting Paris for the first time, you’ve got to check off a few things on the list: the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Champs-Elysees. But after hitting up the City of Light’s landmarks, make your way to the new happenings in town that are less for the tourists, and more for the locals. Here, a guide to the new parts of Paris that shouldn’t be missed, from haute hostels to designer-driven monuments.

What to Eat

The Canal Saint-Martin’s arched iron bridges made an appearance in the French classic “Amelie,” and over the past decade this neighborhood has started attracting more visitors to its quays thanks to the gentrification of the 10th arrondissement. The canal is now lined with funky bars, bohemian bistros, and a cafe culture focused more on where the beans are roasted than the famous clientele who frequent it. Start the morning with coffee at the narrow Ten Belles cafe, which declares “Drinking Good Coffee is Sexy,” and gets its beans from the nearby Belleville Brulerie. For lunch, swing by Sol Semilla for organic vegan fare crafted by an Amazonian chef and served at communal tables in a charming narrow cafe.

A favorite for dejeuner is Chez Prune, set right on the canal, with daily changing dishes that put a stylish spin on French brasserie favorites. Nearby, HolyBelly has become a hotspot for Sunday brunch (one of the latest trends in Paris), but if you can’t snag a seat at the small retro-style diner, stop by during the week (except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays) for breakfast that’s part-French, part-Southern comfort with pancakes, bourbon butter, and chai-infused porridge.

By Lane Nieset – Full Story at Shermans Travel | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Image by Lane Nieset

Featured Gay Accommodations: Le Domaine de La Millasserie, Mauzac et Grand Castang, France

Author: , December 6th, 2014

Le Domaine de La Millasserie

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

B&B with Pool in the Dordogne: La Millasserie is a 17th century stone house in the ancient province of the Perigord – the modern gay-friendly Dordogne – the land of truffles, wine, grand cuisine, and the greatest number of historic sites in France outside Paris. Our spacious rooms (16 x 24) offer private baths, king-sized beds, private entrances, private terraces, and easy access to the pool.

See the Le Domaine de La Millasserie
Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Southwestern France

Queernaval to Launch in Nice, France in February

Author: , December 5th, 2014

QueernavalFluff up your feathers, stock up on glitter and get that headdress sorted – a new gay and lesbian carnival, or ‘Queernaval,’ is to launch in Nice, France next year.

The free event will take place in the sunshine city on the 27 February, with a burlesque procession passing through the streets of Nice Old Town.

Its organizers – including Jean-Louis Longo of July’s Pink Parade, the city’s annual gay pride event – promise an evening of ‘feathers, sequins and extravagant make-up.’

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News | Southeast France Gay Travel Resources

Is Disneyland Paris the Gayest Place on Earth?

Author: , November 26th, 2014

Euro DisneyOnce upon a time, in a faraway land, there was a little boy who loved Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid a little too much…but he wasn’t allowed a doll of her for Christmas.

It’s a tragic tale, albeit one befitting many a queer man of a certain age who remembers the Disney Renaissance (Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture – we will not forget). But really, who doesn’t have a relationship with Disney? And more to the point, whoever said Disneyland Paris was just for kids?

Because to say a visit to the most visited tourist destination in Europe will bring out your inner-child, regardless of your age, gender or sexuality, would be an understatement – after all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves came out in 1937, meaning it must conjure memories of infancy even in some 80-year-olds.

By Jamie Tabberer – Full Story at Gay Star News | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

Carlos Melia’s Favorite Restaurants in Paris

Author: , November 12th, 2014

Carlos Melia in ParisDuring the last 5 years, I think I have been to Paris over 30 times, either invited as a travel blogger, producing fashion events for RUBINSINGER, or simply for pleasure. Paris is one of those cities in the world, like Bangkok, London, Buenos Aires, or New York, where I feel like home. I feel it has grown on me, and I have managed to curate and identified those experiences, spots and venues where I love to be and spend my time, sometimes within the touristic circle but most out on the beaten path.

I would love to share with you all, a few of my absolute favorites, should not miss gourmet experiences when visiting Paris. Hope you enjoy them and get to try them on your next visit.


A classic and institution of Paris and the French Cuisine, Le Voltaire. Book your table way in advance. Cozy with only two small ovely rooms with approximately 10 tables each. A very intimate space, full of tradition, style and fantastic homemade style food. Located on 27 Quay Voltaire, across the Seine from the Louvre Museum. I usually come for Dinner.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at Dot429 | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Tour Operator: Oscar Wilde Tours

Author: , November 9th, 2014

Oscar Wilde ToursPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay history for gay travelers: luxury guided tours focused on gay history. Exclusive experiences, including visits to places normally closed to the public and lectures by prominent gay authors and performers. Our 2014 tour follows Oscar Wilde’s life from Dublin to Paris. Gay Italy in 2015, Greece in 2016.

See the Oscar Wilde Tours Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, Vacation Rentals, Travel Agents and Tour Operators in London

Paris on Instagram

Author: , October 31st, 2014

Paris on Instagram - Adam GroffmanLast month I visited Paris for the first time in seven years. What I found was a city as picture-perfect as it always was. I don’t think there’s ever been a city so picturesque!

But besides the obviously iconic images of Paris (looking at you Eiffel Tower), the city has plenty of hidden gems which provide equally beautiful backdrops. Visiting my sister in Paris, some of my favorite places for Instagramming were the following:

Latin Quarter – Lively at night, near Notre Dame Cathedral and books for sale EVERYWHERE. Along the river, booksellers have small wooden boxes that sit along the railing which are full of used books. I’m not sure if there are any studies on this or not, but Paris must be one of the world’s most literary cities.

This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: Paris on Instagram.

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Paris’ Le 404 Restaurant

Author: , August 16th, 2014

Le 404 Restaurant - Paris - Carlos MeliaOne of my favorite activities when I travel, is to discover new restaurants, regardless the destination and type of cuisine. During my last trip to Paris, invited by La Compagnie Boutique Airline, I spent four days trying all new options I have never tried before.

Some where over the top like L’Oiseau Blanc at the new Peninsula Hotel Paris, and some where very casual but yet AMAZING.

Le 404 Restaurant, located in the neighborhood of Le Marais, was without a doubt one of them. Le 404 offers a great selection of dishes and delights from Morocco, in a very intimate atmosphere. Do not judge the book by the cover, from outside the restaurant doesn’t say much, but once inside you will discover scents and flavors, typical dishes, lots of Couscous, Tagine, Keftas and Berber specialties.

Note that the restaurant offers communal seating, so be aware of this. If you are like me, not a big fun of communal tables, then plan to visit with a group of approx. 6 people to secure your own private table.

Despite this, food and wine, made up for my phobia to communal seating, and I truly had a fantastic Moroccan Cuisine high. The way to go, is ordering for the table and sharing. Average menu price per person including beverages EUR 45. And trust me, we eat till we were FULL.

After that we took a lovely walk along Le Marais to around Champ de Mars.

Some of the dishes I tried by traditional recipes, along local Moroccan Rose Wine were: Seven Vegetables CousCous + Moroccan Lentil Salad + Zaalouk Salad with roast aubergine, tomatoes and garlic + Chicken preserved lemon and olive Tagine. To end, of course, a selection of Oriental Pastries with Moroccan Tea.

Rather small place, so I would suggest booking in advance, over walking in.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Strasbourg, France

Author: , July 7th, 2014

Strousburg, FranceBon jour,

Yes. Today we are in France. We were docked in Strasbbourg when we woke up. I opened the curtains in our cabin to see at least 40 swans, floating in the river, some around our boat.. And what a lovely morning.

Later, we went on a walking tour of Strasbourg. When we were walking down one street, the guide told us to not look up until we reached the end of the block. There in front of us was the massive cathedral, whose construction started in 1015.

It took two centuries for the cathedral to be completed. Then, of course, through the centuries, much has had to be rebuilt, especially after the damage of WWII. This cathedral is massive. I had to walk a full block away to get a full picture of just the front of it.

After our visit there, we got to go on a boat trip around the city. Strasbourg is built on an island, so there are many canals running through it.

We came to an area called La Petit France that was so pretty, we decided, after the boat trip, we wanted to go back there. So we found our way back to this area to have lunch. Near the outdoor restaurant, some musicians were playing accordion and guitar, playing old French songs. I loved it.

We spent most of the day, walking along the canals, looking at the beautiful buildings, the darling little children, out with their Mama or Grandma, enjoying the sunny day.

Finally, we caught the street car heading toward the river, and found our boat again. We were tired, as we had walked many miles during the day, but we were so happy to have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Strasbourg.

Tomorrow we jog back into Germany (by bus),and we will visit the Black Forest. Now we are tired, have had way to much to eat again, plus enjoyed more of the local wine, so I will close for now, and I know I will have a peaceful sleep.

Au revoir, mi ami,