Celebrating Saint Hubert and the blessing of the hounds

November third marks the birthday of Saint Hubert, patron saint of the hunt.
If you happen to be France on this day, be sure to experience annual festivities taking place in and on the steps of basilicas, cathedrals, and churches throughout the country. Celebrations include a special mass invoking the protection of the horses and hounds, the sounding of the horns, and the distribution of fresh bread blessed for the occasion.
Often, the ceremony is followed by the opening of a market featuring artisanal products, local foods, and wine, as well as performances in traditional costume. 



Nuit Blanche

I love Paris in the fall. Everyone seems to be in such a great mood, the weather is usually good, and there are so many activities and special events taking place throughout the city. One of my favorites is Nuit Blanche. It's an evening devoted to the celebration of contemporary art, with installations, light displays, music, and visual performances.

It is truly a fun night and something to experience!
Photos: © Richard Ying/metronews.fr


Cour de Rohan

I am never at a loss for things to do in Paris, whether visiting a museum or strolling the streets of my favorite neighborhood, I can always find enjoyable ways to pass the day. On this day, I came upon the Cour de Rohan, a tucked-away passage in the sixth arrondissement. I had not been there in years and my return visit was truly a step back in time. Not only a step back to my college days in Paris when I first visited the neighborhood, but also a step back to the 15th century when these buildings were constructed.

Rohan is a corruption of Rouen. The Cour de Rohan consists of three small pictureque courtyards which formed part of a townhouse owned by the archbishops of Rouen. The second courtyard includes the last remaining vestige of Diane de Poitier's Renaissance loggia.


Camille Claudel

Very often friends ask me for suggestions on what to see and do in Paris. In fact, the frequency of those requests was the impetus for this blog. Whenever possible, I try to pair my suggestions with French films that provide context. Given my two recent posts about the Rodin Museum, I cannot help but think of the film Camille Claudel
Based on a book by Reine-Marie Paris, granddaughter of Camille's brother, the poet and writer Paul Claudel, the film tells the story of her life as an artist, her apprenticeship under Rodin, their love affair, and her tragic end.
Starring Isabelle Adjani in the title role and Gerard Depardieu as Rodin, the film was a huge box-office hit and won five Cesar awards. It is truly one of my favorite films, and I highly recommend it to anyone planning to visit the museum, which features her work along side the work of Rodin.


The restoration of the Rodin Museum nears completion

With the help of Farrow & Ball, the renovation of the Hotel Biron, home to the Rodin Museum in Paris, is nearly complete.
Farrow & Ball has long supported the renovation of historic sites and museums around the world with remarkably beautiful results that complement both the architecture and art. Here,  Farrow & Ball colors include Skylight, French Gray, Fox Red and bespoke color Biron Gray to create a striking backdrop to the gallery spaces.


Paris Plage

Every summer, a full-fledged beach with sand, games, cafés, and even boating takes over the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette in North Paris. Paris Plage has enjoyed enormous success since its launch in 2003 and attracted millions of visitors. Not to be missed by anyone yearning for a stay-cay experience in the city center.   


Happy Bastille Day!

My dear friend Charlie lives across the Seine from the Eiffel Tour. Needless to say, she has a spectacular view. I was delighted when she shared some pics of this year's fireworks display. Vive la France!


Dior and I

At the suggestion of a close friend, I saw the documentary film Dior and I, which provides a fascinating look into the house of Christian Dior at the time newly-hired creative director Raf Simons launched his first haute couture collection.

Simons was hired to replace John Galliano after he was suddenly relieved for an anti-Semitic rant in a Paris bar in 2011. Simons is given only eight weeks to produce the fall 2012 Dior collection. So the story begins... 

For me, the world of fashion always looks so calm, cool, and collected. Here, one cannot help but become absorbed in the drama and stress of putting together a collection. As the drama played out, I found myself rooting for Simons and wanting his success.

In the end, he was superb, and I was thrilled by a well-spent evening - two thumbs up!


Second hand shopping in Paris

It's a bit overcast and gloomy this Saturday afternoon, and I have no plans. So, I decided to put on my walking shoes and see what my beloved city has to offer. Strolling through the seventh arrondissement I came upon one of my favorite sites...a brocantes or street market. What could be more fun that poking around an open-air market of vintage goods and antiques. These markets are a great place to find interesting, high-quality souvenirs. Personally, I love the tableware and silver. Returning home with a darling little mustard pot, a set of linen napkins, or a serving platter is an ideal and practical complement to my table.  


Caffè Stern

For nearly two centuries, Stern Graveur was the letterpress printing home to an elite international clientele. When the Stern family relocated to the Faubourg St. Honoré, the Tudor revival premises was converted to a restaurant by world-renowned designer Philippe Starck

As always, Starck correctly interpreted the soul of this historic place in a modern way, mixing carved wood paneled walls with sleek chrome bar stools. Likewise the menu is the perfect blend of classic, yet contemporary Venetian cuisine. It's no wonder stylish Parisians have flocked to Caffè Stern since it opened.