Hotel Alfred Sommier, a new garden near la Madeleine

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One of the smaller rooms which goes for approximately 300€ a night depending on the season

A hotel with taste and a large garden: this is what Alfred Sommier‘s descendant, Richard de Warren, a former diplomat, has endeavored to create 18 months ago. Since, the “yellow vests”, the strikes and the world pandemic have slowed down his business, but on July 1, the hotel reopens with its delightful garden, one minute from the Madeleine. The place is charged with history of the Sommier family, who built it in 1860. Far from the rates of other five star hotels, it is a discrete and luxurious hideaway with a host and a beautiful lunch place, Les Caryatides.Read More

Double bill at Templon Paris and Brussels

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Will Cotton, Bareback, 2019, Oil on linen, Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels and the artist © Adagp, Paris, 2020

Daniel Templon is as dynamic as ever and he was among the first galleries to reopen in Paris and in Brussels braving the absence of ArtBasel and the Venice Biennale, which usually attract world collectors at this time of the year. Two fun artists are showing at the moment, New Yorker Will Cotton who reinterprets the myth of the cowboy with boys riding pink unicorns, in Brussels. In Paris, Japanese performer and sculptor Chiharu Shiota gives us color threads and new bronze sculptures moulded after her hands and feet.Read More

A golf family saga and the victory of youth!

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Valentine, 15, Vladimir, 12, and Antoine Delon are all Morfontaine club champions

I know most of you are totally uninterested in golf matters but what happened this week end at Morfontaine golf club near Paris, is such a lovely family saga that I have to tell you about it! A father, Antoine Delon, a 15 year old daughter Valentine and her younger brother Vladimir, 12, have all won the Club’s championship in their category. Such an event reminded me of  Lally Vagliano, aged 16, who won the Girls championship at Stoke Podges and the Fathers & daughters championship with her father André, in 1937, in Pulborough. She went on to win the French National championship at 18, beating Simone Thion de la Chaume-Lacoste and passed her baccalaureate at the same time. While Valérie Dulout won at 18 and became Portugal’s International champion, Valentine is the youngest to have ever won since the founding of the club in 1927.

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Frank Horvat makes a glamorous comeback at Galerie Lelong

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Frank Horwath in the film by Philippe Abergel dedicated to his career

I met Frank Horvat at Vogue Hommes in the 1980’s when he started diversifying from fashion photography and photojournalism to many other topics and I saw him again when he shooting the collection of costumes of Palais Galliera in the 1990’s. He is the most generous and charming photographer you can meet. The 1980’s are exactly the period when he shot these photographs of young ladies posing in famous painters’ works, the series “Vraies semblances, 1981-1986” presented at Galerie Lelong on avenue Matignon until October 10. Before you go, make sure to see this film made by Philippe Abergel and shot in Horvat’s studio in Boulogne. It is so genuine and revealing!Read More

“Cooking on the sixth floor” by Nathalie George

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Cooking with no space but with a view of the Eiffel Tower

The sixth floor is generally considered in Paris as the level where maids used to live, without the commodity of an elevator and in tiny rooms called “chambres de bonne”. Today, there are mostly students or newcomers who live there and often, still have to share the loo in the corridor. This is where Nathalie George, who was raised by Gigi, a grandmother in love with good simple food, developped her cuisine with no space, only one hot plate, and few utensils, thus defying the rules of gastronomy. The result is this book from another time, with recipes of life as much as of food, “How to do better with less” became her motto after she had a turn of fortune twenty years ago. Read More

The Prat collection at Petit Palais, what a treat!

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Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Pierre Baillot, 1829. Ingres had nicknamed this famous violinist “Le Poussin du Violon”.

There was a series of opening parties planned on March 20-22 for “La Force du Dessin” (In the Drawing room), the exhibition of three centuries of French drawings, patiently collected since 1976, by Louis Antoine Prat, who worked with Pierre Rosenberg at the Louvre for forty years and his wife Véronique, an art critic for Le Figaro Magazine. The timing was carefully organized to match the Salon du Dessin, where curators from the entire world converge to Paris at the end of March. Sadly it had to be postponed and I was particularly excited to see it as my first exhibition after lockdown, at Petit Palais, the museum transformed by Christophe Leribault into a temple of aesthetic pleasures.Read More

Deconfinement, Edouard Philippe, Emmanuel Kasarérhou and John Neumeier

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Edouard Philippe enjoying breakfast rue Ballu at 8.10 on Wednesday, June 10 © Alexander Shea

Why would Prime Minister Edouard Philippe have breakfast at café Ballu, a few blocks from his apartment, if not for political reasons? We are getting ready to vote again for the municipals on June 28, and this young woman seen from the back could be 46 year old Delphine Bürkli, who is standing for reelection as mayor of the 9 th arrondissement. He himself is running in Le Havre and is the favorite. Not that we would want him to leave hotel Matignon where he has done wonders with calm and determination. His book, “Des hommes qui lisent” (Ed. JC Lattès), written before he became prime minister and published just after in June 2017, is a masterpiece of intelligence and humanism.

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Chateaubriand’s secret paradise and Caillebotte’s family house

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The façade on the park of Chateaubriand’s house, with the Neo Classical peristyle and the Cariatides, was built in 1783

It is not that easy to get to from Paris (50 mins), but La Vallée aux loups, Chateaubriand’s property in Chatenay Malabry, south of the capital, is a dream place well worth a day’s excursion. The house first, which was built in 1783, is the perfect size and has exquisite furniture.  The park with its two hundred year old cedar tree and lovely tea house, the arboretum and its bonsai greenhouse and 500 species of trees,  are ideal for a walk. On the south east side of the capital, the Caillebotte family house in Yerres is also a beautiful spot. The garden is smaller but the house entirely redecorated two years ago is a little jewel of 1824 where Gustave, the Impressionist painter lived with his family. They are 40 mins from each other. Read More