The city of lights and Love – Paris


Paris is by far the most romantic city in the world. The global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, Paris is equally beautiful at night when most of its iconic landmarks light up the City of Lights and Love.

Lucky to be here twice this year, I was here last May on the invitation of La Cornue, a French high-end luxury kitchen solutions company. They invited a small group of designers to visit their impressive Paris Showroom and factory.

Experts in tailor-made systems to satisfy each personal aesthetic, La Cornue is exclusively produced to order and made to measure in a range of colors and finishes without equivalent.

Viewing the production of the ranges at the La Cornue factory just outside Paris, we marveled at every detail that goes into making this kitchen masterpiece. Each piece is handmade by some employees that have skillfully worked in the same factory for the past 25 years.

After the impressive factory tour, the group led by La Cornue Philippines’ Archie Nacpil was invited to a special lunch at their Paris showroom where Chef Stephon prepared a delicious roast lamb using the Flamberge. Also on display at the showroom was La Cornue Chateau 150 Lex Pott edition in solid oxidized brass.

At the La Cornue Manila Showroom, the La Château 150 series in burgundy decked with gold trims, and the classic pure white are on display. The La Château 150 cookers are fully equipped with two standard vaulted ovens – one gas, one electric – and offer eleven configurations to combine exquisite cooking performance. Atop each cooker stands the signature Hotte Château hood.

To witness ingenuity firsthand, visit their showroom at the 2nd floor of W Highstreet Building, 28th Street corner 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Metro Manila. Inquire at +632-585-96-37. Contact La Cornue at +632-802-97-19 or

Before ending home from that trip, Archie invited us on a scenic boat ride along the River Seine to marvel at the 19th-century cityscape that is crisscrossed by beautiful bridges.

I remember running the streets of Paris when I did my second marathon many years ago. Passing through such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral made the challenging marathon worth finishing.

Even with my marathon / triathlon days long over, my coach Ani de Leon-Brown continues to run with our Girls Run For Breakfast gang every Friday barring her schedule as the Team Philippines Triathlon Coach. At the recent SEA Games 2017, Team Philippines swept through the triathlon competition and garnered the Gold and the Silver medals in both men’s and women’s event.

Coach Ani proudly shared that her four triathletes brought home four medals with just her co-coach and herself in Team Philippines. Gold medalist Kim Mangrobang and Silver medalist Claire Adorna have been training with Coach Ani for several years now and have very promising careers ahead. The dedication of our impressive coach is quite commendable and should be rewarded.

Nowadays, my only “marathon” activity is running and window-shopping at the same time. Paris weather is so pleasant this time for the year. For the pass couple of days, I have been running at the Tuileries Garden with Joji Dingcong trying to trim down for the much-awaited wedding of Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho.

Their highly romantically dramatic teleserye level love affair is finally bonded for life as they wed here in beautiful Paris. Over 200 guests have flown in to witness what would be the most stunningly incredible wedding reception ever. I will feature that next week.

For now, I would like to share photos of the birthday celebration of fellow columnist and host par excellence Johnny Litton at the Grand Ballroom of The Bellevue Manila. Johnny’s party theme was based on the 1950’s film High Society – the Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly era.

As guests entered the main lobby of The Bellevue Manila, a very sleek Lexus GSF was situated to one side providing many photo opportunities. The ladies came in Grace Kelly inspired dresses which definitely added glamour that evening. Gracing the event with their presence were Johnny’s family, friends and colleagues in the business and social circles as well as several government officials like Sen. Cynthia Villar and Gov. Chavit Singson together with members of the diplomatic corps including US Ambassador, H.E. Sung Y Kim, E.U. Ambassador H.E. Franz Jessen and his lovely wife Madame Wang Qi, Israeli Ambassador, H.E. Effie Ben Matityau, Russian Ambassador H.E. Igor Khovaev, Ambassador to the US Babes Romualdez and many more.

At Johnny’s speech on stage, he mentioned how the night was all about love and friendships without any political bias or boundaries. Afterwards, he awarded a handful of guests who won the “Stars of the Night” for the best dressed for the occasion. The winners were Dr. Minguita Padilla, Ross Licup, Tina Jacinto, Crystal Jacinto, Paqui and Lilibeth Campos and Joy Rustia.

Also adding to the success of the evening was the hard-working team of The Bellevue Hotels & Resorts led by chairman Johnny Chan and his sons, Patrick, Ryan and Dustin. With overflowing wines from Titania Wines, giveaways from Rustan’s, Aficionado, Beabi and Laneige and the official TV partner being 2nd Avenue, it was definitely a night to remember!

In closing, I would like to invite all to the León Gallery auction next weekend. The prestigious gallery partnered with the Meralco Foundation, Inc., Philippine General Hospital Foundation, Inc., and St. Luke’s Medical Center Foundation, Inc for the upcoming auction. Auction proceeds of pieces donated to these institutions will be for their respective charitable projects. For St. Luke’s Medical Center Foundation, Inc.’s, works by Bencab, Zean Cabangis, Manny Garibay, Martin Honasan, Louie Cordero, and Mauro Malang Santos among others are included in the selection.

Mid-Century Moderns and the auction preview ends on September 8, 2017. The Magnificent September Auction 2017 will be on September 9, 2017 at 2 in the afternoon. The lots may be viewed at www.Leó Like and follow @LeónGalleryMakati on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.



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