1. Home
  2. The Hotel
  3. Marcel Proust and the Ritz Paris: An odyssey through words

Marcel Proust and the Ritz Paris: An odyssey through words

When the chocolatier’s art meets literature… This Easter, the Ritz Paris celebrates Marcel Proust, one of our earliest loyalists, with a creation made to be both read and eaten; a chocolate book. This work of art, dreamed up by Pastry Chef François Perret, allows us to savor the picturesque lines of the text "On the Threshold of Spring", as well as conjuring happy memories of childhood.

Marcel Proust, faithful friend to the Ritz Paris

“At the Ritz, nobody hurries you along", said Marcel Proust. Such was the bond between the hotel and the literary icon that both a luxury suite and our tea Salon now bear his name. Invited to the inauguration in 1898, the young novelist soon made the Ritz Paris his second home, a place for dining and receiving guests. Here he rubbed shoulders with the smart set of Paris, entertained artist friends and even celebrated his Goncourt Prize. Above all, the hotel became his greatest source of inspiration. In a small private room where he came to dine at all hours of the night, Proust gathered confidences about the guests from the waiters and a butler he’d befriended. Another favorite place was a corner adjoining the lobby, from which he observed the society of his time and discreetly captured conversations.

Easter, when we rediscover our childhood

When the name Proust comes up, we naturally think of his life's work "In Search of Lost Time". In March 1913, a few months before the publication of the first volume, Marcel Proust penned a series of columns in Le Figaro entitled "Easter Holidays", from which "On the Threshold of Spring" is taken. Over the pages, the author’s key themes are already emerging: the sweet moments of childhood, wonder at the beauty of the world, a vivid memory triggered by a sensation;  a color, a smell, a taste. The most famous is the madeleine dipped into a cup of tea, allowing the instant rediscovery of a time he’d thought lost forever.

Hawthorns, heroines of a Proustian childhood

Throughout "On the Threshold of Spring", the writer celebrates the arrival of warmer days. In particular he praises hawthorns, the much-loved flowers that tell of his "first love - a flower". A country walk brought back the joy of first discovering them. Their almond fragrance, their white petals and radiant veins, the festive finery of the thorns. So many visual and olfactory impressions, all bringing back forgotten emotions from his own soul as a child. As if by magic...

What is the Ritz?
- It's Paris.
- And what is Paris?
- The Ritz.

From The Pedestrian of Paris by Léon-Paul Fargue
Discussion between Marcel Proust and Léon-Paul Fargue

More information