Victoire and Hélène risk it all with their “gri-gri”

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The entrance of the gallery which used to be Yvon Lambert's

The entrance of the gallery, which used to be Yvon Lambert’s

For their first exhibition in their new not-yet-totally-renovated gallery, Victoire de Pourtalès and Hélène Nguyen Ban are showing a good measure of courage ! After negotiating for a long time the lease of Yvon Lambert’s former gallery at 108 rue Vieille du Temple, the young women chose an artist from Cameroun, Pascale Marthine Tayou (yes a man with a girl’s name) to invade the space and use every little corner of the back rooms with his multidiscipline work. Gri-gri means a good luck item and there is no lack of sense of humor in this show. The result is spectacular, fun and unpretentious.

Pascale Marthine Tayou is a self taught artist from Cameroun

Pascale Marthine Tayou is a self taught artist from Cameroun

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A world of cheeses that travel

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Order any cheese and you will be delivered 48 hours later.

One of the best Christmas presensts I ever shared was a basket of fresh French cheeses delivered by Fed Ex to a Santa Barbara door step on Christmas eve. The present came from my nephew who resides in Shanghai and had guessed what was most needed by a French family living in America.

With truffles it's even better.

With truffles it’s even better. was the good fairy that not only delivered on time in 48 hours, but mostly sent the most fabulous cheeses you can find in France. How do they do it ? I have no idea but I repeated the experince a number of times with friends in Great Britain and in the US, and the cheeses were always fabulous. A real vacherin Mont D’Or, a real smelly Epoisse, and all sorts of brie with truffles or heart shaped goat cheeses. This seems to be the best kept secret amongst gourmets and I am sharing it with you.encyclopedie_845_1
This company based in Tours, is so efficient that I suspect some American management behind it all. ?

Poussin and a few discoveries

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Eliezer and Rebecca

Eliezer and Rebecca, 1648, © Musée du Louvre,

I have always been reticent about Nicolas Poussin’s paintings and even in Chantilly where I discovered the fabulous « Massacre des Innocents », which is considered as one of his masterpieces, I tended to be bored by his landscapes. Well, with this new exhibition at the Louvre of « Poussin et Dieu », and thanks to Guy de Compiègne’s new study « Nicolas Poussin, l’ambiguité recherchée » (Ed du Varulv), I had a new look and was fascinated.Read More

A dream house facing the Rhune

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The beautiful 1930 farm house Martienea

The beautiful 1930 farm house Martienea


The large living room includes two pianos!

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.


The view from the breakfast terrace

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From Courson to Chantilly, a Princely triumph!

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A forest of Dogwoods Venus won a Prize

A forest of Dogwoods Venus won a Prize

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.

The first Courson at Chantilly was a huge success with over 20 00 visitors in three days

The first Courson at Chantilly was a huge success with over twenty thousand visitors in three days

At dinner the same evening, in the charming Maison de Silvie, everyone was completely relieved: 7 124 visitors had been faithful on the first day of this magical event, where Belgian, British and Dutch exhibitors had joined the French nurseries in a fantastic Ball of Plants.Read More

A Dolce Vita not so sweet

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Vittorio Zecchin, ONe and thousand nights, 1914, © Musée d’Orsay,

Vittorio Zecchini, “One and thousand nights”, 1914, © Musée d’Orsay,

It starts with furniture by Bugatti (the brother of… ) and Eugenio Quarti, presented at the Universal exhibition of Turin in 1902. An amazing painting by Pelizza da Volpedo, « The Mirror of life », shows a series of sheep following each other. So funny and so true ! In a small room full of Vittorio Zecchinis, one discovers the versatility of this artist with a mosaic of the Rois Mages, many glass artifacts collected by Mitchell Wolfson, Jr and the painting of « One and thousand nights » with gold chips painted over the canvas. Quite magical.

Carlo Bugatti, Chair, 1902, © Musée d’Orsay,

Carlo Bugatti, Chair, covered in parchment, 1902, © Musée d’Orsay,

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Irv Yalom, a psychotherapist, a writer and now an actor

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Marilyn and Irv Yalom celebrating at 80

Marilyn and Irv Yalom celebrating at 80

It is incredibly brave to direct a documentary on a psychotherapist and this is what the Swiss director Sabine Gisiger,  spent the last four years doing, after reading most of Irv Yalom’s books, including “Love’s Executioner” which was translated into 30 languages. The result, “Yalom’s cure” is a fascinating 72 mn interview of the great American psychotherapist and novelist, featuring his wife and himself in a “Guide to happiness”. The film which comes out in theaters in France on May 20 th,  starts with strong beautiful images of a large commercial ship cruising through the San Francisco bay.

A brilliant young boy raised in Washington

A brilliant young boy raised in Washington

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A tiny coffee shop on a famous street

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Muffins and carrot cake on Fbg St Honoré

I was walking past the British Embassy on Faubourg St Honoré when I spotted a small sign on the sidewalk : “Honor” with an arrow leading to a courtyard at n°54. Real estate is so high on this street that many shops are actually hidden in the back.  Behind Burberry, Cuchinelli and Moschino,  I found  the most charming little coffee shop selling muffins and carrot cake, a true British enclave designed by Studio Dessuant Bone’s very talented Marie and Phil.Read More