Ok, so the word 'icon' is bandied around willy-nilly these days, but Princess Grace - the Hollywood star turned real life princess of Monaco - is the genuine article. More than thirty years’ after her death, the mere mention of her name has instant connotations of style, beauty, luxury and high-class glamour.
So it’s fitting that Dublin’s most (truly) iconic hotel, The Shelbourne, has created a range of experiences inspired by Her Royal Highness, who was a regular guest. So much so, in fact, that one of her dresses – worn during her first visit to Ireland - is currently displayed in the hotel lobby, on loan from Newbridge Silverware’s museum of style icons.
The Elegance and Grace package in The Spa at The Shelbourne is inspired by the princess, and some of her favourite things – including pearls, champagne and roses (which happily enough, are also some of mine!). A key element is the Elegance and Grace aroma, created exclusively for The Shelbourne by Pañpuri (read more about this gorgeous spa and aromatherapy brand here).
Available as a diffuser, €38, a 90-hour burn candle, €50, or a 12-hour burn candle, €19.50 – all exquisitely presented - the fragrance combines an array of scents associated with Princess Grace - from pink roses, peonies and lilacs to brambly woods and rich amber.
The spa package has been built around the fragrance and is a real treat for the senses, combining a Pañpuri Siamese water jasmine body polish, mini facial and massage, with a take home gift of a mini Elegance and Grace Candle. Available until the end of August, the treatment is €149 per person and finishes with a restorative glass of Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne – the Princess’s favourite - overlooking St. Stephen’s Green. Like the woman herself, the experience is exquisite and the epitome of - you guessed it – elegance and grace.
Not to be outdone by the spa, the bar at the Shelbourne have introduced the Princess Flower cocktail, served in a champagne coupe glass for added Hollywood glamour. With elderflower, plum bitters, Crème de violate and Lemon peel, topped – of course – with Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne – this is one of the most delicately delicious concoctions I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. If you ask me, it’s €19.95 well spent.
If that’s not quite enough luxury for you, try the Elegance and Grace Afternoon Tea, served daily in the hotel’s Lord Mayor’s Lounge (accompanied by a live classical pianist from Wednesday to Sunday). Along with the dainty finger sandwiches and scones you might expect, the highlight of the menu (from €39.95) is a stunning selection of desserts created with inspiration from HRH - including a raspberry and Valrhona chocolate mousse with fondant pearls, based on her famous Hermès Kelly handbag. This is afternoon tea elevated to a whole other level - you know you're worth it!