Summer treats in Paris

Chef Jean François Rouquette relaxes on the terrace of Park Hyatt Vendôme

Paris can become pretty dreary in August when everything closes down but there are also special summer treats to be found. I went to the “Palazzo“, the terrace in front of Palais de la Porte dorée which features a great exhibition of photographs of gipsies (until August 26) and on Wednesday nights you get a free drink and a guided tour with the museum ticket.Read More

A hilarious summer read by Pamela Druckerman

Writer Pamela Druckerman has a monthly column in the New York Time

She is better known for her best selling book “Bringing up Bébé” which was translated in twenty seven languages but Pamela Druckerman has more resources than just being a very good mother in Paris. From her columns in the New York Times she has produced yet another hilarious read, “There are no grown ups, a midlife coming of age story” on her contemporaries, the 40 year olds. How do you find your place in the world when you are not called Mademoiselle anymore in Paris’  cafés? Her book delivers street wisdom and psychology to a universal but sophisticated public.  Read More

Pastels at the Louvre, a Royal wall!

Jean Etienne Liotard, Madame Jean Tronchin, née Anne Molènes, Musée du Louvre

Pastels are an extraordinary medium, fragile and subtle and for this reason, the exhibition at the Louvre, “En société, pastels from the Louvre” is a small miracle. A hundred and twenty pieces from the collections of the museum are exhibited in the Sully aisle and one almost feels dizzy from seeing so many portraits together. They all date from the 17 th and 18 th century and represent the best of European painters at the time.Read More

My Bastille day week end

Brigitte and Emmanuel Macron and Les Bleus on Monday at l’Elysée

Everything always happens at the same time and Bastille Day week end was a busy one for the whole world. The French had the military parade of July 14, the Brits had Wimbledon in the heat with the longest match ever in six hours and thirty five minutes between Kevin Anderson and John Isner in the semi finals, and Nadal and Djokovic playing over two days in five hours and fifteen minutes! while Serena Williams was being beaten by  German player Angelique Kerber. But I was invited to the most charming and fun wedding ever.Read More

Maison Astor, a discreet hotel with history

Ahmed Salhi, Stéphane Mouttet, Denis Pirouelle, are all Clefs d’or concierge

The new Maison Astor, on rue d’Astorg in Paris has a motto. Friendliness and  charm. The bar is called the “club” and serves real food and cocktails at a reasonable price, the dining room has special lunch menus for 39€ and a glass roof open on the 131 rooms of this Haussmanian house built in Proust’s times across the street from Comtesse Greffulhe’s private house. I had lunch there and liked the atmosphere, the skate and toasted foie gras. Read More

Musée de Cluny is young and beautiful again

Tapestry of the Lady and the Unicorn : Sight, ca 1500 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen-Âge) / M. Urtado

You thought there was nothing happening in Paris in the summer and went away with a tranquil feeling of not missing anything. Well you were wrong! Musée de Cluny very quietly reopened on July 14th, when everyone had something better to do, except for the 3 080 visitors who rushed over the week end to see it and it is stunning. A special exhibition “Magic Unicorns”, around the tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn is hanging in the new gallery designed by architect Bernard Desmoulin (who is working on Hospital Lariboisière at the moment)and one can walk above the Roman ruins which date back to the first century.Read More

In Meaux, the Great War becomes alive

The museum of the Great War was open on 11/11/ 2011

Where else but in a museum celebrating the First World War and founded on 11/11/ 1211, should one go and learn about an event which shook Europe and the USA and turned the XX th century into a modern world on many levels? In Meaux, an hour east of Paris, le Musée de la Grande Guerre was built on one of the first battle fields of la Marne. Whether you like weapons or uniforms, (I don’t particularly) you will be interested in the exhibition “Families throughout the war” which describes the incredible bereavements of men and children abandoned by the 1 400 000 dead soldiers. And this year is the hundredth anniversary of the armistice.Read More

Azzedine Alaïa is celebrated again by Olivier Saillard

Coral cotton satin dress and bra in white broderie anglaise, worn by Veronica Webb, summer 1992

It is incredibly moving to return to Azzedine Alaïa‘s gallery again after he suddenly died eight months ago. The opening of Olivier Saillard‘s new exhibition devoted to the Summer 1992 show, was well attended by all the fashionistas who came to Paris for the Couture shows. And most star models who were part of the défilé were there. The building acquired by the designer in 1987, used to be where Madame de Pompadour lived as a small girl. Thus Alaïa dedicated his first collection of 115 pieces, designed on the spot, to Louis XV’s very sexy mistress.Read More