A Frenchman with fine wines. And about trading places and ghosts in hotel corridors.

Somewhere in the city tonight, living a #Travelife, I met a very interesting Frenchman involved in the fine wine trade.

By fine wine, I literally mean the best wines in the world.

Interestingly, this Frenchman deals only with private individuals around the world who purchase fine wines for their own consumption — so you can guess what kind of clients we are talking about that he personally flies around the world for.

The international multi-billion dollar league. He doesn’t even deal with luxury hotels or top restaurants, just the richest people in the world.

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But this wasn’t what caught my attention.

He had that very good combination of niceness, ambition, energy, competitiveness and focus that generally encourages me to keep talking to someone. Unfortunately I don’t meet very many people with all these criteria often enough.

Of course, we talked about Travel and Life. And fine wines and good food.


We both travel a lot, although I’ve been to way more places than him. He said with a chuckle: “You probably know Paris way better than me.” Yes, I would think so. And in his hometown, there is actually a luxury hotel in a perfect location that I stay in whenever I’m there, and we talked about the ghosts in the corridor and the interesting rooms they have.

However we are very similar in the places that we have actually been to and like. And by the nature of his job, he exists in the multi-billion dollar world so he gets to eat in the best restaurants, have great food and excellent wines.

So I reckoned it was a pretty even scoreboard in an informal tally of “been there and done that” things, even if it wasn’t a competition.

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One thing he does have up on me is a hot line to a wonderful restaurant that’s on my list of places to eat in for 2016. What a coincidence is that? I had just included it in my 2016 plans.

In fact, I would’ve gone this year if only I had the time, but I don’t.

And this guy said to me tonight: “Just tell me when you want to go, and I’ll call and get you the booking and even arrange lunch or dinner with the chef and the owner.

#Travelife with us to Japan in May 2016.
We’re visiting truly off-the-beaten track destinations.
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Wow. Plus one for him in our non-competition.

And I was so happy about this offer, as we are talking about one of the best restaurants and truly one of the most famous chefs in the world. In fact, perhaps the most famous chef among lovers of fine dining and fine food.

And hint: this is a chef I don’t have hotline to myself, and I have met and spent time with many of the best chefs in the world.

So I replied: “You’re going to be my new best friend.

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With the Roca brothers of El Celler de Can Roca,
currently the best restaurant in the world

He asked me about my favourite countries, and where I want to go in 2016, so I gave him my shortlists.

These pretty wow destinations kind of made him green with envy, but this is inevitable as we are Travelife, after all, and we’re everywhere many people want to be — to paraphrase our tagline.

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With Chef Juan Mari Arzak
in his private wine cellar in Spain…

And before we said goodbye, he said, with a smile: “One day, you and I should switch jobs. This way, I’ll get to travel to all these amazing places and you’ll get to eat good food and drink good wines.

Nice idea, in principle.

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With Rene Redzepi of Noma,
currently the #2 restaurant in the world

But just because the timing was so perfect for a tease, I just couldn’t resist pulling him over and whispering rather conspiratorially: “I’ve got news for you.”

He looked at me inquiringly, so I continued: “I always eat good food and drink good wines anyway. No need to trade from my end.

Plus one for me this time, somewhere in the city tonight, living a #Travelife.