Last November Rémy Martin opened La Maison pop-up Private Members Club doors for the first time for 2 weeks. It was deemed such a success that this year La Maison ran for 4 consecutive weeks. In the same location – 19 Greek Street in Soho, London – the four floors of the design gallery, home to La Maison, were transformed into four floors of Rémy Martin cognac and lifestyle heaven. An exclusive Private Members’ Club, members were offered a unique, multi-dimensional sensory adventure that reflected the European launch of Rémy Martin’s new global campaign ‘One Life / Live Them.’
The Lounge was home to a series of events and workshops that were hosted by top London craftsmen and celebrities. The Library on the second floor was where to make yourself comfortable to sample a wide range of Rémy Martin cognacs, some of which are not readily available in the UK.
The Atelier on the third floor was home to the ‘Opulence Revealed’ sessions that were dedicated to introducing members to Rémy Martin XO in an interactive way. Hosted by Rémy Martin Ambassadors throughout November, the tasting table, brimming with wonderful produce, brought all the elements of sight, touch, taste and smell to the experience that really engaged the guests and took the tasting experience to a completely new level.
The Hub was on the top floor and was where London mixologists served a variety of Rémy Martin cognac cocktails. Always a buzzing bar full of people socialising, networking and enjoying all the different taste experiences on offer, The Hub again became the place to round off an evening at La Maison perfectly.
One Life / Live Them
The ‘Slashie’ concept: a new and quite surprising concept. It is, however, quite ingenious and couldn’t be more appropriate and absolutely spot on with regard to Rémy Martin’s global ‘One Life / Live Them’ campaign. Once I understood the concept, it became clear that this new strategy is very clever, inspiring and appealing to an extremely wide global audience. In my opinion, it also has a wonderful potential for longevity, unlike so many luxury brand marketing angles, that only retain their poignancy for a relatively short period of time.
— Michelle Brachet (@MichelleBrachet) November 2, 2015
The entire strategy is based on the concept that we shouldn’t just pigeonhole ourselves into one box, but embrace and celebrate our multi-dimensional lives. The synergy with everything Rémy Martin – its history, its ethos, its cognac, its people, and its logo – couldn’t be more closely aligned to this. In Rémy Martin’s own words, ‘We have been bringing talents to life for nearly 300 years and embody the spirit of the ‘slash’ way of life: work / life / passion. We encourage you to not be defined by one thing that you do, but all that you do. Why be one thing, when you can be many. You only get one life. Live them.’ Luxury brands working closely with celebrities to help disseminate a new brand message is nothing new, and Rémy Martin’s choice could not have been more fitting with the concept. Academy Award nominee and Rémy Martin’s Celebrity Brand Ambassador – Jeremy Renner: actor/singer/songwriter/producer/musician/home designer. The famous Centaur of Rémy Martin is also a legendary example of a slash personality: man/horse. But it is more than this; the centaur is teacher/hunter/philosopher/plant-doctor/archer/wise man and more.
And is it a coincidence that the diagonal composition of the vibrant gold spear of the Centaur embodies the visual aspect of Rémy Martin’s ‘One Life / Live Them’ concept? Reflecting the very visual nature of the ‘slashie’ phenomenon too, the interior of La Maison was designed with the Centaur’s gold spear at the heart of every room.
The Launch Party
The launch party for La Maison was once again a superb evening with a really great atmosphere at every level, it was buzzing and full of invited guests enjoying Rémy Martin cocktails and canapés. This year the celebrity appearances included Rémy Martin’s Celebrity Brand Ambassador Jeremy Renner, British actress Gemma Chan and model and writer Laura Bailey. It was also an absolute pleasure to meet Rémy Martin CEO Eric Vallat and to see Rémy Martin’s Executive Director Augustin Depardon once again. Created by some of the world’s best mixologists including Agostino Perrone, Ladislav Piljar and Alastair Burgess, the cocktail menu was again a sensory playground of Rémy Martin cognac-based creations.
Not so long ago cognac cocktails would have been primarily based on VS or VSOP cognac classifications. The thought of mixing anything older with fizz and fruit would have sent shivers down many spines. The cocktail menu at La Maison, however, took members on a cocktail adventure with cocktails created using Rémy Martin VSOP, the newly launched in Europe Rémy Martin 1738 as well as three cocktails based on the iconic Rémy Martin XO.
We were also treated to a beautiful musical interlude as Gemma Chan displayed her multi-dimensional facets in life as a talented violinist.
La Maison Workshops and Masterclasses
A diverse series of special events and experiences were held over the four weeks of La Maison. Last year’s line-up was impressive and due to its success, Rémy Martin built on this and took the concept and range of experiences on offer to a completely new level.
Top London craftsmen and special guests who hosted these events included former supermodel Jodie Kidd, contemporary artist Gregor Muir, food and drink writer and restaurant critic Tom Parker Bowles, owner of London’s oldest butcher Allen’s of Mayfair David House, director of Mixology at The Connaught and one of the world’s best bartenders Agostino Perrone … to name but a few.
I attended the Tom Parker Bowles session and what a fantastic evening it was. Relaxed, fun and wholly inspirational. Mr Parker Bowles took us through a journey of his life, from his hideous and repulsive school dinners, to his time at Oxford University, right through to where he is now and how he got there. I’m not quite sure what I expected, but his session was full of passion, laughter and energy. Listening to his top ten restaurant pet hates put many a smile on my face as I sympathised and chuckled at every one of them as a fellow food and drink writer.
If all the other La Maison workshops and masterclasses were as fulfilling and entertaining as this one, which I’m sure they were talking to other people, then the entire programme of events must be hailed as a blinding success for the second year. I just wish I could have attended more of them!
So the doors of La Maison Rémy Martin have now closed once again, and I really do hope they open again next year. It is such a fantastic and diverse experience in so many ways and on so many levels, which is what Rémy Martin is all about. One Life / Live Them.
Michelle Brachet is a world award-winning writer, speaker & cognac expert who has infinite passion & energy for food, drink and all things that add a little luxury to life!