Champagne at Tiffany’s
Walking through a winter wonderland to a tasting of Prestige Cuvées at Lavinia in Paris, the jewellery-box windows of Place Vendôme inspire thoughts about diamonds and champagne.
Walking past the Palais Garnier after the champagne tasting, I remember the performance of Balenchine’s ballet “Diamonds”. A scintillating ghirland spray of diamonds is set like a tiara above a stage full of white crystal encrusted tutus swirling in patterns like blanc de blancs flutes, spinning to the allegro con fuoco final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony in D Major Op. 29 Number 3. The crescendo, a staccato of percussion booming like sixteen champagne corks popping from the orchestra pit.
George Balanchine was inspired to create this ballet as he walked past the window display of Van Cleef & Arpels in 1967 on 5th Avenue in New York. On rue de la Paix just before I reach Place Vendôme again making a perfect three point shaped walk tonight, I suddenly stop at the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique and wonder if Balenchine was there.
The Tiffany boutique opposite is reflected in the window, and I imagine Audrey Hepburn sipping a midnight coup looking through the glass window. I think about the French title of the film ‘Diamants sur le Canapé’, and reflect on the magic of diamonds and champagne.
I don’t think I’ve ever drunk Champagne before breakfast before. With breakfast on several occasions, but never before, before.
Paul Varjak (George Peppard) in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961). The opening scene Holly Golightly: