Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fun - the Royal Wedding

Fridays will now be about having a little fun! What better day to kick off my Friday Fun series than on the Friday of the royal wedding? 

Will you be watching history be made today? Will you hosting or attending a "royal wedding" soiree? 

I will be hostessing a Royal Wedding Celebration Playdate for my five year old princess and seven of her princess friends from 3:30 to 5pm! The table has been set for "wedding cake" and fresh fruit. 
Are you fascinated by fascinators and hats? I have long been a fan of wearing hats and fancy hair pieces! I wore this hat seven years ago to a friend's wedding, last summer to another wedding; as well as to Bunny Williams birthday celebration when I interned for her office.
2010 Newport, RI wedding I attended July 2010
Congratulations to the Prince and his Princess! Don't you think the new Duchess of Cambridge is the epitome is elegance and sophistication? Have a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April in Paris: Part 3

Last week I was in Paris for a long weekend....four full days and the morning of the fifth. It was quick, jam packed and fabulous! I've posted about our first two days in two previous posts and I'm wrapping up the final two days in this post. 

Day three began with a classic Parisian breakfast with sidewalk seating at Cafe de FloreCasually Defined had commented that this was a favorite spot of hers, perhaps she too likes places that locals hang out?

Afterwards, we took foodie blogger, Weird Combinations, advice to grab the Metro (less than a half an hour and no traffic...can't be beat!) and head directly to Versailles. I felt like it was a privilege to visit a place where kings lived. Louis XVI style furniture is my absolute favorite, so I loved seeing "the real deal" in his palace! Do you have a favorite Louis furniture style?
 The Royal Chapel
 I remembered studying the Hall of Mirrors, so to see it person was such a special treat!
Some furniture will always be timeless, like x-based stools.
Love this stool!
Marie Antoinette's bed
After the awe inspiring visit to Versailles, we spent time in Versailles Village before heading to 
Sacre-Coeur located in Montmarte. The city wide views from Sacre-Coeur are amazing. See the Eiffel Tower in the distance? We spent into the early evening exploring this part of the city.
At the end of this day we took Barefoot Contessa's recommendation for an Italian diversion from the Parisian food and went to Marco Polo located at 8 Rue de Conde. This place was packed with locals and the meal was beyond amazing...thank you Ina Garten! 

After dinner we took Heavenly Housewife's recommendation and had Grom gelato (which we devoured two nights in a row!) The Carmello (carmel) gelato with Himalayan sea salt made me realize I would fly to Paris just to eat this speciality! 

On our final day we started with a stroll thru Luxembourg Gardens, so beautiful!
Then we went to Le Puces and Les Halles before walking to the Pompidou Museum which houses modern art. Have you been? Here's Andy Warhol's Liz Talyor piece.
Pablo Picasso, Femme en bleu 1944
Henri Matisse,  La Blouse Roumaine 1940
Now, you have to "study" Michelangelo Pistoletto's (perfected mirror paintings) piece, Woman in a cemetery, for a few moments. All I could think was what on Earth did this person do to her?! 
Our last evening was spent dining at the highly raved about Le Comptoir in the St. Germain neighborhood, again another culinary home run!

I'll wrap this with the museum pass made our experiences enjoyable. There was no waiting in long lines, along with gaining access into the various museums via a special entrance. I never once encountered a surly local, in fact we found them to be quite opposite the stereotype. I hope you've enjoyed traveling to Paris via my posts! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

April in Paris: Part 2

Today's post is about how we made tracks exploring the City of Lights on day two of our visit. In January I did a post asking for your Paris recommendations, we heeded your advice and you did not disappoint!

Marianne of Style for Living commented that the 7th arrondissement was her favorite, we too loved the neighborhood! As we finished our stroll along the Rue de l'Universite we were greeted by the Eiffel Tower.
A special lunch was had in the Eiffel Tower at famed chef, Alain Ducasse's Le Jules Verne. No waiting in lines, a private elevator midway up the Tower, great views of the city, a remarkable meal and a memorable lunch experience was had!
The dishes were works of art and did not disappoint the palette.
I'd rather be shopping commented that she/her husband walked from 9am to 7pm daily, and after our lunch I was glad that it was turning out to be our game plan too! After stepping out of the private elevator I had to stand still, look up and marvel at the inside of the Eiffel's such an enormous structure!   
 We walked across the Seine and got one last view of the Eiffel Tower...isn't if fabulous?
Needing to walk off lunch, we started our stroll down the Champs Elysees, made our way through the lovely Jardin Des Tuileries and into the Louvre. Elizabeththe Diane James ladies and Frances all suggested that they were three musts, and they were!

Some of my Louvre favorites included finally getting to see the Mona Lisa!
La Venus de Milo
Giovanni Paolo Pannini's 1759 creation, Galerie de vues de la Rome Moderne had me in awe. This creation was art within art...look at the painting and then the close up...beyond amazing detail. I was floored.  
We wrapped our day of sightseeing up with a visit to Notre Dame. It was at this point that I  realized I would continually be in awe over the sights in Paris.  
After a day of observing details, I concluded it is the little details that add up to something grand. When designing spaces do you pay attention to little details? The trim cord on a pillow? The wallpapered closet? The monogram on a towel?  

Knowing that we'd be spending our evening eating our way through the St. Germain district we decided to go running along the made working out fun! 5th and State commented that St. Germain was her favorite district and after spending everyday there, we decided it was ours too!

Pretty Pink Tulips, The Buzz/Diane James and The Zhush gave me a Streetwise Paris map which allowed us to navigate the streets with ease! Are you familiar with these maps? I have them for several locations and just think that they are the best! 

I have one final post on Paris that I'll share next week. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April in Paris: Part 1

I've returned from my long weekend in Paris. April in Paris with sunny and 70 degree weather was pure bliss! We had an AMAZING time in the City of Lights (in my previous post I intentionally referred to Paris as the city of everyone calls it such a romantic city, there's so much to fall in love with and since I was with my husband, I was so happy to be sharing the experience with the man I love so much!)

The Musee d'Orsay houses world class art. It's an amazing place. I took notice to just about all of the artwork being in gold frames and hung on black walls. So striking.  
Standing across the street from the Musee d'Orsay, you look at the Seine and on the opposite side you see the Louvre. We enjoyed some runs along the nice!
Walking through the 6 and 7th arrondissements I was in awe over the architecture, the doors and the door knobs. Do you have a favorite?  
This is the doorway to Ralph Lauren's restaurant and stores located on Rue de St. Germain. I walked inside and in true Ralph Lauren fashion the place was stunning.  
All the cars seem to be small in Paris, and when I saw this man driving his car into the courtyard I understood one reason why. Many of these doors open to either a courtyard leading to several apartments or as a path to drive/park one's car before entering an apartment.
Dinner the first night was truly a treat, as we went to the fabulous Le Pre Catelan. With each bite I took of Frederic Anton's culinary creations, I felt like royalty! 
Tomorrow's post is about the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame and a few other goodies!
Have you been to Paris? Are you as smitten with the city as I am?