A dream house facing the Rhune

It is one of the great advantages of our times, that exceptional private houses, hidden away in the countryside, can be rented for short periods of time. « Martienea » (the house of Martin) is one of those treasure houses, set in the Basque country, 15 mns from Biarritz airport.

From Courson to Chantilly, a Princely triumph!

Hélène and Patrice Fustier were slightly nervous at 10 am this Friday morning, when the Festival of Plants, which they created in their castle of Courson 32 years ago, was for the first time taking place at Chantilly. At dinner the same evening, in the charming Maison de Silvie, everyone was completely relieved: 7 124 visitors had been faithful on … Read More

Versailles in gold and green

« Come at 7 pm through the « Grille de la Reine » said the invitation and we were just too happy to drive inside the parc de Versailles past the Trianon Palace hotel and look at the sheep having their Sunday night supper in the sunset. The new “Bosquet du Théâtre d’Eau”, resurrected by gardner Louis Benech, contemporary artist … Read More

A genius clarinetist at the US Embassy

« Madame Ambassador » was hosting a concert with five soloists from the New York Philharmonic, what a treat to be invited! A small group of French politicians including President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, former Minister of Health Roselyne Bachelot and diplomats Benoît d’Aboville and Jean David Levitte were happy to celebrate with her.

Napoleon’s last visit to La Malmaison

La Malmaison is the fairly small country house that Josephine found for Napoléon and herself in 1799 ; it is located in Rueil, a chic suburb 30 mns west of Paris. The long tree lined avenue, which used to be the main road from St Germain to Paris, leads to the charming « Consular style » house that is especially … Read More

Indulge in softness

If you have never tried a pair of linen or Egyptian cotton sheets, this is the time and place start. It took me about forty years to understand that and then, I got addicted. “Vis à Vis” is a fairly new shop hidden in a courtyard of Faubourg St Honoré, between Lanvin and Gucci. The atmosphere is cold and intimidating … Read More

Giverny forever

The waterlilies were not in bloom and Hugues Gall, the brilliant President of the Monet Foundation was not in town, but our day in Giverny was nonetheless scintillating. My initial desire was to visit the Degas exhibition at the Musée des Impressionismes (former American Museum) and I picked a very sunny day to drive up to Giverny (one hour from … Read More

A new glass roof for Chantilly

The occasion was festive and « the Friends of Musée Condé » in Chantilly, could be proud of themselves for having contributed to the restoration of the paintings from the famous Duc d’Aumale collection. Pierre Antoine Gatier, architect in chief of Monuments Historiques, was discussing the color of the original 1895 mural fabrics by Binant, which he managed to save. … Read More