For the month of August, I decided to take a break. I imagine some of you might have noticed. I’m not writing much, I’m not working much, I’m not traveling much – I’m resting.
The only thing I did during my break was go spend a few days in Jackson Hole. I’d never been there before and honestly I’d been dreaming about going – people had been telling me about it for so long. Plus, the trip was organized by Veuve Clicquot, and I knew Dominique Demarville, the amazing Chef de Cave. I’d met him before in Paris, so I knew it was going to be fascinating.
And besides – it’s Veuve Clicquot! Champagne of dreams!
But actually, I’ve never been very good at wine. I know I have a little bit of taste, probably because of growing up in my dad’s restaurant, which only served Corsican wines (Corsican wines are delicious) – so I do have some idea of what makes a good wine. But other than that, I’m often “the French woman everyone asks to taste the wine” at dinners and honestly, I’m not that confident about it.
So having the privilege of spending a few days in the company of a champagne super star didn’t seem like the kind of thing I could turn down.
To celebrate the pioneering vision of Madame Clicquot (Did you know that ‘veuve’ means widow?) and the launch of the new La Grande Dame 2008 vintage.
The team at Veuve Clicquot also invited me to host a salon, and I’d always dreamed of doing that. Similar to the spirit of our retreats, the idea was for us to get together as women and chat and share about our lives and careers.
We invited a few journalists, kept the group really small — I put my friend Heidi in my suitcase and off we went.
I’ll let you look at the photos to experience the dreamy fabulousness of it. No description necessary. I went up in a hot air balloon for the first time, rode horses and learned how to make champagne. Dominique was even more amazing than I remembered, answering all our questions and having us taste mind-blowing vintages – he helped us discover all the beauty of what makes a real Champagne. And we learned loads of things about the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, a woman who single-handedly revolutionized the world of champagne – more than once.
But the reason I wanted to write this post is mostly to talk to you about all the women I met on this trip. I can’t even tell you how captivated I was with each one of them. Most of us didn’t know each other – but we were chosen for our independent spirit, or at least that’s what it seemed like to me – and that’s probably why in just a few hours, fascinating discussions started to develop.
Kind of like at our retreats, it didn’t take long for us to drop our social masks and start telling each other our real stories. Our fears, our desires. Our mistakes. Laughing at ourselves. Not one of us had the same life. There were mothers with families, and single women who were happy to stay that way. One of them was looking for love on Raya. Some spent all their time working, others wanted to save the world – and others were at a turning point in their lives, feeling a bit lost – why not? It was funny, light, and a feeling of sisterhood took over right away.
It all culminated in our salon, where we discussed our careers, the world the way we are living these days (is social media harming the adolescent brain or is it a wonderful tool for expression?) and even the Kardashians (what do they represent for women?) – but what I loved most was that a real debate took place. We didn’t always agree. The discussions got heated. You could feel the passion, intelligence and spirit of these radiant women creating electricity in the room.
It was a real, engaging moment that deeply inspired me in the middle of this break I’ve been taking, trying to reflect on what makes sense in my life – and how to communicate that.
I thought a lot about you, my dear readers. About your magic, your intelligence, that spirit of independence that makes it so that each time I meet one of you, I’m fascinated – which inspires me to create more and more opportunities to meet you and share real moments together…
Translated by Andrea Perdue