I am so excited to be sharing my experience at Le Logis and how to #LiveYourBestSummer with all of you! As you may remember from my posts here and here, I visited Juillac-le-Coq, France a few weeks ago with my best friend Cami thanks to Soho House and Grey Goose. It’s hard to imagine it’s all over… so let’s relive it, shall we?!
After a pretty painless red-eye flight, Cami and I landed at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. We were instructed to meet everybody at the train terminal, which is conveniently located within Terminal 2 (a note for future wine country trips!). After a quick meet and greet with all of the other winners of the North American Soho Houses, we were on our way to Le Logis! We took the train to Angoulême, which took approximately 3 hours. After a delicious lunch nearby the station, we then boarded shuttles for a 30-minute drive to the estate, also known as our home for the next few days. We finally arrived to breathtaking Le Logis…
After a delicious Le Grand Fizz welcome drink, I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the grounds of the beautiful 17th century manor. Grey Goose purchased the property in 2012 and began extensive renovations to truly embody the look and feel of the brand while maintaining the architectural heritage – and they nailed it. The chic home now is comprised of 14 bedrooms, a salon, dining room, open house kitchen, patio and outdoor swimming pool with poolside BBQ and cocktail bar.
The house even has complimentary bikes on the ground, and I seized the chance to take a ride through the town, which was a breath of fresh air compared to New York City…
We spent the evening getting to know the other winners over a delicious dinner. There are currently seven Soho Houses in North America – two in New York, Chicago, Miami, West Hollywood, Malibu and Toronto. We became fast friends, and I can truly say that I feel more connected to the Soho House community thanks to these amazing people!
After a breakfast buffet that only dreams are made of, we began our day by heading to the Grey Goose blending facility in Gensac-la-Pallue. We learned the meticulous way that Grey Goose is produced, from transporting the world’s finest wheat from Picardy to this facility to be transformed into a high-proof spirit. Each batch goes through more than 550 daily quality control checks.
The what is so integral to the Grey Goose process that we then visited with the resident baker, Nadia, to learn how to bake bread from the same Picardy variety.
The afternoon was spent with the Maître de Chai (Cellar Master) and founder of Grey Goose, François Thibault. Growing up in a wine making family, Thibault developed his skills early and after working with a Cognac distillery, one of his clients, American Sidney Frank, approached him with the opportunity to create a first: a premium French vodka. We began with a cognac tasting in the cellar room – after all, we were in the Cognac region!
From there, we headed into the main event, the Grey Goose tasting, complete with six vodkas. From the original to their flavored vodkas (made only with the essence of the finest fruits), we sampled the best of the best, including a new limited edition Ducasse available in the U.S. this fall.
From there, we were invited to experience something very special. Thibault has been working on a secret project to create a new spirit that has been aged for the past four years in different wood barrels. After tasting the to-be-named spirit, we were gifted with a bottle of the sample, personalized with our name and the story of our trip. I’ll be sure to be on the lookout when it becomes mainstream!
As if the day couldn’t get any better, before our formal paired dinner, we attended a mixology session with the head bartender Barbara and learned how to make our very own Le Grand Fizz, which I detailed here. An expert now, I have made this for friends and family to their delight!
Our last day at Le Logis was filled with mixed emotions: sadness at leaving but gratitude for our experience. All of the Soho House winners shared their presentations that they submitted to get them to this spot, which was so fun to see how everybody interpreted the Grey Goose and Soho House brands. We then headed back to the train station where we were off to Paris for the night and then onto our regular scheduled lives…
Still nostalgic from the trip, Cami and I will be hosting a Grey Goose inspired party at Soho House New York to further share our experience and learnings. Be on the lookout for that announcement!
In no way was I asked to write this post or review the experience at Le Logis – but I WANTED to! From the U.S. based team to everyone on the grounds, this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and I would be remiss to not shout everyone out! Special thanks to Grey Goose (Francois, Francesco, Nadia, Barbara and Sumer), Soho House New York (Courtney, Tricia, Janel, Yasmin and Ben), all other Soho House employees in attendance (Libby, Christine and Spencer), all of the lovely other winners and of course my companion, Cami! This trip is one I will never forget and it was due to all of you!
xx Jet Set Steph