Thaddaeus Ropac helps the young

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Thaddaeus Ropac' Pantin gallery in a former factory and Antony Gormley's Giant in front. Definitely a place to see.

Thaddaeus Ropac’s Pantin gallery built in a former factory. With Antony Gormley’s “Giant” in front. Definitely a place to see.

Charming Thaddaeus Ropac is a visonaire. He was one of the first in Paris to move to Pantin, a suburb north of the new Philarmonie concert hall, and now Chanel and Hermès have followed with their workshops, creating a hub in this poor neighborhood. Last Friday, he was having the « Tout Paris » for dinner, in honor of Jean Marc Bustamante, a brilliant photographer turned painter, and now the director of Ecole des Beaux Arts. His new work uses lightjet on silver paper that he enlarges. The effect is very decorative. (until March 5th)Read More

“The Winter’s Tale” à la Donnellan

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Irish director Declan Donellan met his scenographer Nick Ormerod at Cambridge. He is permanent resident at eh Barbican

Irish director Declan Donellan met his scenographer Nick Ormerod at Cambridge. He is a permanent resident at the Barbican

Going to Théâtre des Gémeaux in Sceaux, a family friendly suburb south of Paris, is always a matter of utter excitement. The friend who invited me, was just as intense. We left early for an 8.45 pm show, and found ourselves perfectly on time for a bohemian buffet dinner at the theatre. A very nice and pretty waitress, who had obviously never carried a plate in her life, let alone listened to a food order, made us immediately happy with her beautiful smile. How soothing to let things happen in a disorganised way. We managed to kidnap a table and two chairs and very soon, two old friends showed up, Patrick and his delightful daughter Marianne, who studies acting. The draw of the evening was Declan Donnellan’s new staging of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”.Read More

Ring Hortense and museums open up

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Ring Hortense de Navacelle and museums open up

Ring Hortense de Navacelle and museums open up

So many young people complain about working too hard or not working at all that it is really exhilarating to meet a 33 year old young lady, mother of (soon) 3, who trained as an engineer, worked in marketing for Voyages SNCF, the French train company,  and who has now opened an agency for booking museum private tours.Read More

Starting the year in beautiful Umbria

parisdiaHappy moments, Restaurants & Hotels2 Comments

A view from my window on New Year's day in Poreta…

A view from my window on New Year’s day in Poreta…

I could not have started the year better than at Villa della Genga, built in  1673 in the medieval village of Poreta, half way between Assisi, Perugia and Spoleto. The olive trees and lentil agricultural estate owned by Alessandra and Paolo Montani, was once inhabited by Pope Leon XII and it now houses a small “village hotel”, entirely renovated twelve years ago with old stones and local materials. Run by their dashing son Filippo Montani,  it is the best escape from city life one can find and I want to return next summer, for the Spoleto music festival with my 45 best friends.

The interior decoration of the hotel is cosy and chic

The interior decoration of the hotel is cosy and chic

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An Iksel decor is rejuvenating!

parisdiaArt, Happy moments5 Comments

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Qianlong garden from 1790

At the beginning of the year, one is always full of good intentions, like going swimming twice a week, cleaning one’s car thoroughly or entirely revamping the flat. Thanks to a very creative website dedicated to made-to-order decorative wall papers, you can change the decor of your daily life and turn your house into an Oriental garden or a French 19 th century landscape, an Indian or an Iznik design, or go for Pompei or Chinese gardens. With their inventive “papiers peints” created from archives, Mehmet and Dimonah Iksel will advise you on what is best.Read More

Louis XIV dies again in Versailles

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Pier Luigi Pizzi's model of the Saint Denis ceremonies

Pier Luigi Pizzi’s model of the Saint Denis ceremonies

It is an extraordinary exhibition that Béatrix Saule, the curator, and Pier Luigi Pizzi, the scenographer, offer us in Versailles to celebrate Louis XIV th’ 300th death anniversary, “Le roi est mort”. The ceremonial of the death, which lasted from August 25 (the feast of Saint Louis) to September 2, 1715, the autopsy, (heart, body and entrails were separated) and the funeral in Saint Denis 40 days later, make for a very dark (literally) and beautiful show with music and candles.Read More