Saint Denis, the Basilica, in a lovely book

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Royal tombs at St Denis, © Photo Pascal Lemaître

Royal tombs at St Denis, © Photo Pascal Lemaître

The cathedral of Saint Denis is mostly a house for French kings to rest in peace. Few people think of visiting this first example of gothic art built on the spot where King Dagobert was buried in 639, even though it is only a twenty minute metro ride from the Madeleine. In June, its sacred music festival is a must. But if you are not in Paris or just feeling lazy, there is now a definitive 500 pages book on the basilica. And the 600 pictures of the church, restored in 2015, will give you a much better idea of its originality. Less far than driving to Chartres and historically fascinating.

Catherine de Medicis

Catherine de Medicis, © Photo Pascal Lemaître

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Baccarat is upgrading

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Inside the new Saint Honoré shop, photo Laurent Parrault

Inside the new Saint Honoré shop, photo Laurent Parrault

When the Baccarat flagship store was located, Place de la Madeleine, my house guests used to bring me presents from the shop and it was very nice… But, yet another luxury hotel, is being built on the site and Starwood capital, who owns the crystal company, had to close the store.
Only to reopen five minutes away, in an even better location, across the street from the Bristol, the now famous « Midnight in Paris » hang out. So I rushed on opening day to check it out for you…Read More

Hunting, shooting, giving

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Hand painted mugs with foxes or hare at 50€

Hand painted mugs hand painted with foxes or hare at 50€ are irresistible

Colorful boots and shooting chairs

Colorful boots and shooting chairs

Last minute shopping for Christmas, can be done at Artumès, on Faubroug Saint Honoré, where tweeds, cachemire scarves and cute mugs mix in a very luxurious shop. Opened by the Drach, Father and sons, it has become the classical men’s store for soft Portugese woolen jackets, Scottish socks, hand painted china with shooting themes and fun cocktail parties all year round. A new range of bags and boots can be THE present that you have never seen elsewhere for the friend who has everything!!!Read More

Zao Wou-Ki, master of light

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Hommage a Varèse, 1964, photo Dennis Bouchard

Hommage à Varèse, 1964, photo Dennis Bouchard

Everytime I go to Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny (Switzerland), I undergo the same choc. The very powerful museum opened by Léonard Gianadda 37 years ago, appears against the mountains in its brutal concrete form. And once inside, I am mesmerized by the art seen from the  balcony, in this huge private exhibition space. This time was no exception. After a five hour train trip from Paris, we arrived and literally dove into the Zao Wou-Ki show, taken around at high speed, by curator Daniel Marchesseau, who not only knew the artist very well, but has also been a faithful curator here, for more than twenty years.
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L’Alcazar (once more) revisited

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A tropical forest for the "balcon" where you can have tapas and small meals

A tropical forest hangs from the balcony where you can have tapas and small meals in front of early nude pictures of Madonna,  by Martin H.M. Schreiber

L’Alcazar used to be a naughty cabaret where Jean-Marie Rivière created humorous and chic transvestite shows in 1968 until his death in 1996. I remember going there when I was 17, and loving the transgression and quality of the singers. In 1998, Sir Terence Conran, then at the hight of his Habitat and Conran fame, transformed the spot into a posh black and white and fairly cold brasserie. This week, with the same team as in the 90’s, manager Michel Besmond and Fabrice Gilberdy, Alcazar reopens with a completely different decor, created by Laura Gonzalez, the charming it-architect of the time.

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Le Corbusier offers Anish Kapoor his redemption

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Le Corbusier's couvent de La Tourette was built for the Dominicans in

Le Corbusier’s Couvent de La Tourette was built for Dominicans in 1960

After his sad adventures in Versailles this fall, Anish Kapoor needed some respite. And this is what Couvent de La Tourette in Burgundy, is offering him until January 4th. The Dominican convent, built by Le Corbusier (who died 50 years ago) is a fascinating stage for Kapoor’s sculptures and paintings. Built at the same time as the architect’s other project of Chandigarth, it is made of concrete, with linear windows designed by music composer Xenakis. It lies thirty minutes from Lyon in a beautiful countryside and is home to twelve monks from the Dominican order founded 900 years ago.

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Black truffles, what else?

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Traditionally, truffles are kept in a glass container with eggs. And when you cook your eggs, the flavor is already within.

December is in France the right month to find black truffles. If you have never tasted them, they are very different from white Italian truffles and are cooked with risotto, scrambled eggs, or eaten on toasted country bred with melted butter and salt. They are a delicacy and can be found wild in Lubéron and Dordogne or grown, as is the case with Baron de la Truffe’s production in Touraine. Founded in 2011, the company is based on 60 acres which were planted in 1996 with Tuber Melanosporum.Read More

All you need to know on Modern Chinese art

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Liao Xinxue’s watercolor on silk, reveals both his oriental and occidental training. He came to study in France in 1934

Why did Japanese artists such as Foujita become famous in Paris in the 1920’s and not their Chinese contemporaries ? This is the theme of Helen Szaday’s talk on December 14 th at Christie’s Paris.

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