The Paris Diary

I have always been a huge fan of France and Paris. It was a dream of mine to visit and was lucky enough to do so for the first time in 2011. You can imagine the large smile that appeared on my face  when I found out that I had been invited by Cointreau to be their special guest at the creative society launch. And here I am. 

Cointreau certainly know how to put on an event! So let me show you what I got up to. 

Well hello, Opéra de Paris! An incredible iconic Parisian monument. But why did Cointreau chose this location and how did they managed to lock in such an exclusive and private tour. I was soon informed that Louisa Cointreau, the wife, muse and confidante of Cointreau creator Édouard Cointreau, was fond of OPERA. They often come, with Edouard to the Opéra. They even have a special “room” for them! 

The visit of the Opéra was run by M. Jean Philippe Thiellay who is one of the Director of the Opéra de Paris. He told us of the history of this breathtaking structure. We ventured backstage into the wardrobe department, into the training / warm up room for the dancers and ended up on the roof with panoramic picturesque views of Paris. Many years ago the dancers used to enjoy this view while on their lunch breaks, however now days this is strictly off limits and only select few get to experience this little roof treasure now days. Bucklist moment for sure. 

Off to the Cointreau distillery in Angers, France. Where we got to learn the process of Cointreau, and most importantly learn the story of Cointreau that was established 160 years ago. 

So what is Cointreau made up of? Bitter and sweet orange peels from around the world. We were fortunate enough to meet Cointreau's Master Distiller Bernadette Langlais who let us in on the components and information that is Cointreau. The sweet oranges lend the orangey taste, the bitter peels bring a fresh, zesty lemon / lime notes. They call this the head, tails and heart of Cointreau. There are 220 different essential oils in the orange peels, the bitter molecules from the orange pith don't carry over during the distillation. The peels are dried and water added to reduce Cointreau to proof. Cointreau’s distinctive amber square-shaped bottle is a global icon, and its subtle taste is a perfect balance of bitter and sweet orange peels grown and meticulously selected for their quality.

The worlds entire supply of Cointreau is made here and the produce around 15 million bottles annually. Cointreau is, without a shadow of a doubt, your Parisian zest!

After the Cointreau distillery we spent the night at the Château de la Briottières – Loire Valley. This 18th century family chateau is one of the most beautiful in this region.Château de la Briottières looks like something out of a scene from Downtown Abbey, with 11 bedrooms featuring period furniture. Whilst sipping on Cointreau and champagne in front of an open fire in such an estate, well.... I've never stayed in such a place before and was blown away by its history and the Château de la Briottières hospitality. 

Nikki xox 

With love from Paris with Cointreau. 

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