The long-awaited RM Champagne Salon located behind Nellcôte, and accessible only via a walkway that leads inside the industrial courtyard onto which both the Nellcôte building and g.e.b.'s present a face held a preview event last night for friends and media. A much more intimate space than Nellcôte, it is also, for that reason, more successful at seeming a world apart from Chicago, a vaguely decadent (with its black columns and ceiling) evocation of a Belle Epoque past, with maybe a little of Edward Gorey's playfully macabre illustrations thrown in. Early reports that the menu would focus on (besides champagne) snacks like tea sandwiches and mignardises made it seem too twee to be successful as a spot for dating couples looking to impress, but as Jared Van Camp explained to us, the menu is now more robust, ranging from oysters to crepes with wild mushrooms to a curated selection of cheeses, and it's easier now to see it carving out a niche offering various forms of Gallic carnality. We came back with some pictures, but frankly, it was a party, there's not a lot to say so taking off from the room's own sense of constructed fantasy, we have captioned our pictures with the story Gorey might have told in a book like The Curious Sofa. It opens to the public on Thursday.
No one has ever seen who lights the candles in the great fireplace.
Even the children knew not to mention Aunt Esme's "difference."
The vases are set out in a precise order every afternoon at Vespers.
This used to hold teacakes, but there have been none since the Incident.
Curiously, the gold telephone can only be answered by the horses.
The sound of wickets compels Gerald to remain inside while the others watch croquet.
Precautions were taken after something began eating the lightbulbs.
This half of the room has remained dark ever since Deirdre's seance.
The champagne arrives fortnightly, in a crate labeled "Anxiety."
Few of the guests noticed that the candles seemed to grow taller as the evening progressed.
As the guests conversed on the veranda, the doctor repeated the single word "excelsior" to himself over and over.
A box of macarons appeared, but no one could make out the shadowy figure holding them— or, indeed, be certain that anyone was holding them at all.
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