James Bond and I: "Shaken, Not Stirred"

IMG_3372"Shaken, not stirred" is a catchphrase attributed to # 007, the British Secret Service agent James Bond, one he used when ordering his martini.  The phrase would appear in many of the Bond films, but was not spoken by Bond himself (played by Sean Connery) until Goldfinger (1964).  And, according to my source, Wikipedia, in the film You Only Live Twice (1967), the drink was wrongly offered as "stirred, not shaken.” As the martini is my favorite cocktail, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to use that phrase to great effect. The excellent classic martini above was imbibed at a neighborhood "French", one I've yet to share with you.

Shaken, not Stirred

A word of caution: should you be tempted to do as James Bond did and order yours "shaken, not stirred," be sure you do so in elegant surroundings, digs befitting the fastidious  Mister Bond.  Did you say: Like what? Like  the new Hotel Baccarat on West 53rd Street, across from MoMA. After an enviable  250 years in business, the French crystal firm is synonymous with an elegant lifestyle.  (As seen below on Madison Avenue. )

Baccarat on Madison Avenue 001After an exhausting day of sightseeing or long hours spent shopping at Saks, Henri Bendel, or  Bergdorf’s, should you find yourself in mid-town Manhattan , there’s no better place to kick back and relax than The Bar at the Hotel Baccarat. And that's not just my humble opinion.  Baccarat Hotel New York has been named the Grand Award winner2015  in the best new hotel category by none other than Andrew Harper's Hideaway.The luxury travel experts whose newsletter was my favorite bedtime reading for years. What's more, Chevalier, its restaurant, the one we lunched at two weeks ago, has been named Best Hotel Restaurant 2015 (Click for Chevalier and MoMA). And Baccarat's bar has garnered the award for Best Bar 2015.  It's a trifecta. I  had to see for myself.

IMG_3229All that Glitters

Upon entering the hotel -- the doorman couldn't have been nicer-- I realized in an instant that all that glitters is not gold, not when you're at Hotel  Baccarat. Waiting for the elevator to whisk me to reception on the second floor, I felt as if I had stumbled into an anteroom at Versailles.

Sharing the elevator with a couple in from out-of-town, I asked about the rooms: Fabulous, they said. With gorgeous linens and an extremely comfortable bed. When I mentioned the stunning Baccarat chandelier overhead, they said there was Baccarat crystal throughout the hotel, not only in the lobby, but on the floors and in all of the rooms. Stepping into a salon where a few guests were finishing late breakfast brought even more surprises.

An Elegant Reception




Which Way to The Bar?

MoMA Picasso Sculptures 027This way, Madame.

Too early in the day to parrot " shaken, not stirred, s'il vous plait,"  I settled for taking a photograph, if promising myself a return visit.

So, what's your drink of choice? A Negroni? A Sloe Gin FIzz?  Cheers! Hope to see you next week, I'll have the coffee ready. Now be a pal and remember, sharing is caring. Merci fois mille.