Going shopping for Christmas can be fun and I loved my little time spent at Marie Hélène de Taillac‘s shop on rue de Tournon. It is all blue and red and her sister Gabrielle, who beautifully edited the book on her jewelry, could not have been more patient and charming as is Philippe, the director of sales. Sealed drawers magically open and there comes a myriad of colored stones which are all cut and mounted in Jaipur, India. Prices are modest for precious stones and start at 300€. You find earrings and light necklaces, but mostly incredibly playful colored rings starting around 800€. One is in the shape of lips, very Dali like, others glitter like a summer sky. Read More
Out of the four novels selected in the finals of the Goncourt Prize (the equivalent of the Booker Prize in France), only one appealed to me and the good surprise was that “Les Impatientes” was quite short, 240 pages, and completely mind grabbing. Now 45, the author, Djaïli Amadou Amal is a Peule from North Cameroon, the French speaking part of the country. An avid reader and a good high school student, she was married off at 17 to a much older politician and has since become a noted writer. After winning the Orange Prize for Africa the book has recently been published in France by Emmanuelle Collas. It is the riveting account by three women of their forced marriages, their lives in a harem like situation, where they fight for the husband’s attention and their psychological survival. Her heroin Ramla is more literate than her rivals and ultimately flees for her freedom. The details of each life are beautifully analyzed with an African voice by a very smart woman who fights for all her fellow forced brides. The book will be translated in English next year. Read More
Fabienne de Seze is the good friend without whom you cannot live. Her profession is to organise weddings and balls but she used to work for Musée des Arts Décoratifs for many years, and created their wonderful shop which is still the best place to find presents in Paris. You can ask her any question, she will solve your problem. The best printer for invitations, the best light designer, the greatest caterers and butlers, florist, cushion maker, vintage car renter, she knows it all. She has kindly made this Christmas table for Parisdiary and dares mixing orange and green, which is very festive. Read More
Make sure to book today to visit the new exhibition of Marc Riboud’s photographs at Musée des Arts Asiatiques Guimet (from December 15 th onwards), a blockbuster show that we were all waiting for, for ages. It is the happy conclusion of Catherine Chaine Riboud and Marc Riboud’s children generosity. They GAVE 50 000 photos and documents to Musée Guimet in 2016 to preserve the photographer’s entire body of work. The exhibition features 300 photos (a hard selection to make) and is chronological from his first pictures in Lyon in 1940 to the last ones in China in 2010. His superb Afghan pictures of 1956 were new to me and of course, I loved seeing again his emblematic, “Painter on the Eiffel Tower” and the “Young lady with a flower” in the protest against the Vietnam war on October 21,1967 at the Pentagone. Read More
If you can’t afford a painting by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring or Alex Katz, Ligne Blanche has a solution for you. Buy a plate, a coffee cup or a candle designed by them. This smart company started working with famous artists or their estates to reproduce their art on Limoges porcelain plates. And the result is great fun. I was alerted to these pieces by Thaddaeus Ropac and was happy to discover that besides its shop on galerie Vero Dodat, Ligne Blanche also has a website where you can order from. Plates are 80€ or 90€ each and they will definitely enliven your dinners. Socks for men and women are another option and if you are just surrounded by very gourmet friends go for black truffles. They only grow in the winter and it’s really worth cooking with them. Beautiful linen can be found at Noël, a perfect name for Christmas presents, where Olivia Dieudonné is now in charge of marketing…Read More
Clara Lourenço is a wonderful cook. Not one of those trendy chefs who serve you half a spoonful of beef and call it a bourguignon. And she has her own recipe of pot au feu which she was generous enough to share with us. It is a delight. She shops at Marché de l’Alma every Wednesday and Saturday and picks her vegetables one by one before 8 o’clock. This recipe is for 6 people.Read More
Isabelle Baer is a very special person. She worked for many years as Pierre Celeyron’s good fairy organizing weddings and eccentric evenings at Versailles and has three brilliant children. Julien who is a talented singer and musician who also writes poetry, a daughter Pauline, who just published a book “La collection disparue” on her family’s painting collections which were looted by the Nazis. She is trying to recover them and she narrates her father’s family history throughout the search. And a son, Edouard, a famous French comedian and Homme du Monde who is on stage at Théâtre Antoine at the moment with a one man show, “Les Elucubrations d’un homme frappé par la grâce”. She has kindly produced this table full of the Christmas spirit. Read More
Since everyone has time at the moment, I asked a few friends to create their Christmas table for Parisdiary and here is the first one by Anne de Caumont la Force, a writer and member of the Femina prize. Don’t hesitate to mix bamboo chairs with precious Herend porcelain and a home made gold tablecloth. My most precious presents come from Scotland and London and for the young who move into a new house, I privilege Kartell, the Italian designer of lights and furniture.