Le Cristal Room
It’s hard not to snort with amazement/amusement at such a palatial (don’t mention the ‘bling’ word) dining room, reached via a literally sparkling staircase inside the Paris HQ of Baccarat, the 250-year-old crystal brand. Actually, laughter isn’t inappropriate; they did bring in Philippe Starck, after all, to install pretty pink benches and cushions, exposed brickwork and oversized pieces of furniture among the ornate mouldings. Beneath crystal chandeliers (what else), business regulars and local plutocrats eat rich, playful French cuisine, with lavish resort to lobster, caviar and foie gras a given. Talking of lobsters, Salvador Dalí used to be among the guests at the legendary parties thrown in the building by its former owner, Marie-Laure de Noailles, along with fellow artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and François Picabia.