A La Réserve, a very special home

The swimming pool is 52 foot long and built in pierre de Bourgogne

I wonder if Lady Antonia Fraser will decide to leave Hotel Meurice to stay in this elegant new hotel, La Réserve, which has without question, the prettiest swimming pool in the Champs Elysées gardens. As she tells us in her new autobiography « My History » (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), she has always been a keen swimmer and cannot survive without her holidays in Cornwall and the weekly exercise !Read More

Paula Rego in Paris at last

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“Get out of here you and your filth” a dark pastel by Paula Rego

I fell in love with Dame Paula Rego’s paintings in 1988 when I saw her first retrospective at the Serpentine gallery in London’s Hyde Park. Everything about her art was perfect : the dark Portuguese characters, the firmness of her hand, the colourful backgrounds, the tragic fairy tales…Read More

A goddaughter’s tribute

One of Lesley Blanch's drawings

One of Lesley Blanch’s drawings

Georgia de Chamberet has been an editor and a translator in London for many years. Since her godmother, the romantic writer and adventuress Lesley Blanch, died in 2007, Chamberet has never stopped looking for unpublished manuscripts and drawings in the numerous cases of documents she inherited from her. The result is this new book published by Virago in London « On the Wilder shores of love, A bohemian life ».Read More

Are we shocked by “King Charles III”?

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Remarkable Lydia Wilson with Tim Piggot-Smith as Kate and Charles

 

I was lucky enough to be attending this London long running play by Mike Bartlett between two British historians, Rebecca Fraser, who is completing her new History book on characters from the Mayflower and Munro Price, author of the recent « Napoleon, The end of Glory ». After a lovely Dover sole and white wine at J Sheekey’s around the corner, we were in perfect form to watch this almost Shakespearian drama.Read More

Wandering in the Marais

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Chronochrome exhibition. Courtesy: Galerie Perrotin ; © Jesús Rafael Soto / ADAGP, Paris, 2015

Going to an art gallery at 11 am is like going to a movie at lunch time : the faint guilt that you feel doubles the pleasure. This time, I went to see the Venezuelan Jesus Rafael Soto «Chronochrome » (kinetic exploration of the monochrome) show curated by Matthieu Poirier at Galerie Perrotin. I went to the Paris one but it also shows in New York until Feb 21 st.

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Michel Houellebecq, the bird of ill omen

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« Soumission », the latest novel by Michel Houellebecq, was the object of somber rumors since mid December. It finally came out on ….Wednesday January 7 th, 2015, the same day that Charlie Hebdo caricatured the writer on the cover. And you know the rest of the story….
The next day, his face was on all the newspaper stands (the Kiosks à journaux) around Paris promoting l’Obs, the new magazine born from le Nouvel Observateur. That day, he decided to leave the media scene and go skiing.Read More

New Year Good Wishes

Nicholas Vreeland leads His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 29 th in Southern India

Nicholas Vreeland leads His Holiness the Dalai Lama on December 29 th in Southern India

 

There is a wonderful custom in Great Britain and The US of sending Xmas or New Year cards. Each year my French friends envy the mantelpiece in my living room, where I display the cards. Of course more and more arrive by e mail with endless stories of the children having lost their teeth or the husband having run off with a youngster, and it’s harder to show off. This is why I will use this little blog to show you the most precious Good Wishes message I received this year.
Nicky Vreeland, grew up in New York as the grandson of Diana Vreeland, the Vogue queen and founder of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum (how on earth did the Museum dare erase her name and replace it by Anna Wintour’s ? I don’t understand…). He then became a photographer assisting Richard Avedon and other major stars in the 80’s, but found his real calling in becoming a Tibetan monk.
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Les Chouettes is “drôlement chouette”

The restaurant was a clock factory in the 19 th century

The restaurant was a clock factory in the 19 th century

 

Les Chouettes (the Owls) is « drôlement chouette » as we would have said in French in the 70’s, very groovy indeed. This fairly recent restaurant –it opened four months ago – is located on rue de Picardie between République and the Marais. It’s already a hit among the thirty/forty crowds of beautiful Parisians and I was introduced to it by my nieces who know the sous-chef, charming Frédéric Lutz.

But as a group of slightly olderpeople, -hilariously funny and food connoisseur New York artist Donald Sultan was one of us- we did not feel out of place. A continuous stream of tall and slender young girls came up and down the Eiffel type cast iron staircase which leads to the third floor, a library/bar with a view down on the restaurant. There are tables on the three floors with a covered courtyard and a glass roof. The place used to be a clock factory in the 19th century and the decorator enhanced the black and white decor of tiles on the floor and on the walls. The atmosphere seems very New York to the French but keeps its Parisian flair. Read More