Social notes : At 100, Ritz-Carlton shines bright

November 11, 2012

Montreal royalty – and some real royals, too – turned out in their finest to celebrate

MONTREAL — Upon the discovery of a rich an d creamy envelope at my door, I handled with care. It was clear the content was impressive. Was it ever … The Ritz-Carlton Montreal was celebrating 100 years of fabulous with an exclusive star-studded gala! Without further ado, here’s every glittering detail:

The Florals: Tiered, elongated and tighter bouquets of white roses and other choice blossoms reflected the well-trained eye of the Ritz-Carlton’s in-house floral designer Jean-Pascal Lemire, of Bouquet. Indeed, they were a perfect complement to Fanadica’s breathtaking decor.

The Gastronomy: A menu masterminded by world-famous chef Daniel Boulud (whose Maison Boulud is operated by the Ritz-Carlton in collaboration with him) featured a delicate lobster salad, robust duo de boeuf, and melt-in-your mouth coulant au chocolat caramel for dessert. (Wine pairings were just as impressive).

The Entertainment: As you all know, your social scribe is rarely speechless, but this lineup clammed me right up. In fact, a hush fell upon the entire room throughout the performances by both of the evening’s featured acts. (Did I mention they were a delicious surprise, too?) First, homegrown teen songstress/jazz master Nikki Yanofsky wowed with several classics before topping things off with her moving Olympic hit I Believe. Next, the Tenors (as dashing as they are gifted) dazzled with several numbers, including a Leonard Cohen Hallelujah finale that moved everyone, particularly as it accompanied a beautiful tribute by Ritz GM/president Andrew Torriani to the extraordinary ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz.

The Royals: When a bona fide prince and princess make a special party pilgrimage from Europe to lend support to a gala evening in Montreal, you know it’s the big leagues. … Such was precisely the case as their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco not only jetted in especially for the centennial soirée, but also inaugurated the luxurious Royal Suite, which, in their honour, has now been renamed the Grimaldi Suite.

The A-List: While it would be a veritable impossibility to catch them all, topping the Ritz centennial pack were luminaries like the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney and wife Mila; Galen Weston Sr. and his wife, the Hon. Hilary Weston; honorary consul general of Monaco Jean-Claude Bachand; royal attaché Heather Acheson; a solid stream of Saputos; Peerless Clothing chief Alvin Segal, attending with elegant wife Emmelle; beauty empress Lise Watier and husband Serge Rocheleau; L’Oréal Canada tops Javier San Juan with wife Constanza; Diesel Canada CEO Joelle Berdugo Adler, arriving with pals Shawn Zarbatany and wife Joelle; superwoman Mitsou Gélinas and husband Iohann Martin; Zaib Shaik and Kirstine Stewart; and of course the first families and proprietors of the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, the Torrianis (well represented by Andrew, Arlene, Karin, Anthony, Jonathan, Delphine, Genevieve, Marco, Richard and Jodie) and the Lawis (just as well represented by Solly, Madeleine, Philippe, Julia, Yvette, Roger, Stephan, and Alfred and Martha).

The Fashion: BLACK-TIE proclaimed the embossed invitations and, by George, the sartorially expert crowd delivered the goods. Particularly stylish standouts included Alfee Kaufman in BCBG, YSL and Louboutins and her mom, Liza, in Marchesa.

The Après: The Rooftop deck with perfect cityscape view was the backdrop and every guest’s first sighting was of a mermodel (a.k.a. real-life model with fantasy tail) luxuriating in an equally stunning infinity pool. … Obviously the “après” was to rival the “during.” … And it did, with flowing drinks, a decadent dessert bar and a spirited après-party crowd, who revelled in festivities until 3 a.m. (While I’d love to provide further scoop here, I cannot for what happens at the Ritz after midnight!)

What a night! History in the make … Cheers to the next 100 …

For more scoop, pix and peeps from this gala and others, visit diaryofasocialgal.com.

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