Eloise, a French girl, who shares the same name as the charming children’s book character who lived in The Plaza in New York City, went to the famous hotel and wound up at the center of a disgusting international spat at high tea.
The Christmas-week tea party involved the French Consulate, the New York Police Department and an ambulance ride to the hospital.
Eloise Faux, 16, her friend Elodie and Faux’s uncle, Laurent, were having “Eloise at The Plaza” high tea in the Midtown hotel’s Palm Court on Dec. 21 as part of a dream vacation from their native France.
“She had seen the Eloise movies,” recollected Laurent, 43. “She was very excited and full of fun and energy!”
But when Laurent took a bite from a turkey finger sandwich, the French guests were horrified. “We find a rat! A baby rat, yes!” Eloise told the New York Post on Dec. 24 over the phone from her home.
Eloise, who lives in Fontainebleau, some 60 miles outside Paris, told the New York Post that, “Oui, it was very bad.”
However, the Faux family and Plaza Hotel have tremendously conflicting accounts of the event, with the New York institution asserting it was all “faux.”
A Palm Court spokesperson said the incident “is purely a hoax.”
“This situation has been thoroughly investigated, and it is unequivocally a meritless claim,” he said, while mentioning the restaurant’s recent “A” grade from the Department of Health.
A Plaza security video observed by the New York Post shows the uncle passing his plate to Eloise, and Eloise then hiding the plate under the table for several seconds before passing it back.
The video also displays the mayhem -- at least compared to the posh surroundings -- that broke out at the high-class hotel.
A supervisor, a chef, a Plaza security guard and finally a police officer and an ambulance worker all showed up.
Finding no evidence of a crime, the police handed the situation off to the ambulance staff.
“They kept saying it was a cranberry,” Laurent said of Plaza management. “But the ambulance lady told the manager this is no cranberry.”
Their tea forsaken, the French family were rushed off in an ambulance to hospital, where, according to a release form shared by Laurent, a physician wrote, “The remnant you brought looks like the top half of a baby rodent.”
And now, the fiasco has become an international rat-spat. Pierre Cournot, general counsel for the French Consulate, vowed he would help the family find a lawyer in hopes of recovering the $300 cost of the tea party.
“The pictures are pretty nasty looking,” Cournot said.
Laurent claims that now Eloise is frightened of sandwiches, adding, “I just want an apology.”
Rodents were a hot topic in New York for 2015. In September, “Pizza rat” was an admired resident in New York after a YouTube video was posted of a determined rat hauling a whole pizza slice down a subway stairwell, reported the New Yorker.