It’s time to go back in time once again and revisit some of the lovely comments left in the guestbook for the Hotel des Grands Hommes in the 1940s et 50s.
Back then (remember?) the hotel was owned and run by Madame Souquet-Basiege, and became a temporary home for many foreign language students staying in Paris to study and improve their French. Many stayed as long as a month, some even longer.
Madame Souquet’s cheery disposition and fine cuisine (!) left an indelible impression on many of these young (and sometimes not so young) guests, as proved by the comments in this article, taken from the end of 1949 and very early 1950.
On 10th November 1949, Gemma wrote “You have given me the best of everything, dear Mme Souquet, and so I wish you the same thing – the best of everything“.
Ruth from Minneapolis wrote on 1st January 1950 “To my dear Madame, who has been so wonderful to me – Paris always meant the loved Madame Souquet… and always shall” (although there’s a word we can’t quite make out in the last sentence).
Walter dfrom Waunakee, Wisconsin explained on 21st January 1950 why he wanted to return to Paris.
“I will always remember the day spent in your hotel. You always have some good advice to give, and everyone feels at home here. I wish you good health, good luck, and I say ‘au revoir’ as soon as possible”.
With a little drawing of a snowman (perhaps it snowed in Paris at the beginning of 1950?) another guest (Milton?) who seems to have stayed a while, said: “These have been a most pleasant few months. I’m sincerely sorry to leave.” How sweet!
And Dorothea Dauer, from the University of Texas languages department seems delighted that everyone is so happy, saying “Dear Mme Souquet, you were so wonderful, and it is for this reason that I will entrust you with all my students who wish to come to Paris in the future”.
All of which proves that a warm welcome and making people feel at home during their stay – still priorities at the Hotel des Grands Hommes – really make a difference!
To read all the comments in fullscreen mode, just click the button at the bottom right of the image below.
The Hotel des Grands Hommes