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Haute Dining

With Alain Ducasse the bastion of haute gastronomy resides at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. A proper dining experience can still be expected here. After all, an amuse-bouche of a single langoustine served on a citrus cream with a touch of Iranian caviar is accompanied by a refreshing drink from a J. & L. Lobmeyr glass.

The Hermès of the glass industry, as we’ve discovered. After all, setting aside Cinderella’s glass shoe, we cannot think of a second piece of glass with a waiting list – and yet Lobmeyr’s Loos carafe is in such high demand (contrasted with the limited amount produced each year because of the high craftsmanship involved) that it has a three-year waiting list.

Fine glass is everywhere here. The dining room ceiling drips with 10,000 crystals, courtesy of that other Austrian company known for its sparkling surfaces – Swarovski, who in the past have collaborated with Lobmeyr for their world-renowned Metropolitan chandelier.

This is how a Michelin-starred restaurant is done: poised, elegant, gracious, with a developed sense of noblesse oblige. “They cherish our exceptional shapes above all, our spherical bowls for example,” says Rath.

The mastery of Lobmeyr glassblowers lies in their crafting of thinly delicate muslin glass. Less than a millimeter thick, it creates an incomparably fine connection between mouth, glass, and drink – a sensual experience that “changes one’s behavior”, as New York design guru Murray Moss says, “making you more elegant, more graceful.”

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