Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Postcard from Paris

Even with the strikes, demonstrations and Eurocup football matches, Paris was as beautiful and romantic as ever, but then again St Germain always is. Layered outfits were essential, as the weather can take you through several seasons within half a day, but if caught out by a sudden rainstorm  there is always a café nearby to find shelter (also a good excuse for having a little something!)

Ralph's is one of my favorite Paris  restaurants in summer. You couldn't imagine a more enchanting setting for an alfresco dinner. If anything, the courtyard is even more beautiful than when it opened a few years ago.. the plants have matured to form lush alcoves and niches, providing natural dividers for the pretty cobble-stoned courtyard (click here to see pictures from 2011).

The bar... a happy place to have a drink before dinner

In the meantime the light has turned soft and blue.. a perfect time to start dinner

Place de la Concorde with happy summer clouds and the Grand roue de Paris ferris wheel

As you can see, I absolutely love my new Zara pieces (click here to see them in the previous post). This time combining them with black trousers and RV pumps.

Capsule pieces: layered top and khaki bomber jacket (by Zara, see previous blog post), black trousers by MaxMara
Accessories: Hermes 'Ex-Libris en Kimonos' 90 carré, Caleche enamel bangle in black and gold and a Kelly 32 in ebene. MaiTai Collection pendant necklace in Or (available here)
Shoes: black patent leather pumps (Roger Vivier)

Street selfie!

The Saint-Germain Ladurée on Rue Bonaparte is another place I love coming back to.  It is never crowded, and feels like the neighborhood café. You hardly ever see a queue, and you don't even have to go past the macaron counter and (temptations way!)... you can use the side entrance in the rue Jacob to get to the salon de thé. The spacious light salon is tucked away in the back and is a wonderful place for breakfast or  a coffee in the afternoon. The hand painted walls feature exotic landscapes and animals in colors which match the blues, greens and reds of the whimsical Chinoiserie decor. (click here for pictures from a couple of years back).

The Blue Room dining room on the first floor is plush and intimate. It has low seating and twelve tables for two... what a great place for a small private party!

The elegant Place Vendôme is lined with watch and jewelry stores, most of which have an artisan and a small workshop on the premises. This is very useful place to know if your things only need a quick check or an easy part replacement..

Capsule pieces: layered top, khaki bomber jacket and jeans
Accessories: Hermes 'Ceintures et Liens' cashmere GM and Kelly Double Tour bracelet in ebene. MaiTai Collection long gemstone necklace in turquoise/citrine/smoky quarz (available here)
Shoes: turquoise sandals (Roger Vivier)

Roses Costes Dani Roses - one of my very favorite flower shops in Paris, filled with nothing else but fabulous roses. If you are staying for a few days in town, it is a special treat to buy a little bouquet for your home away from home.

As usual, our train back home starts from the Gare de Lyon. I'd never miss toasting Paris good-bye with a glass of champagne at the Train Bleu (although I once missed my train because of it). It is undoubtedly the most glamorous station restaurant and bar in Paris, and maybe the whole world. The hand-painted murals on the ceilings and walls show the regions in the South of France to where the trains set off from this station (click here to see more pictures of the Train Bleu)

The scene below (spanning both sides of the arch) shows a venue taking place in the early 20th century, at the Roman Theatre (1st AD) in Orange.

Two weeks earlier we'd been in the exact same theatre..

... at the final night of Hans Zimmer's European tour. It was a stunning and magical evening.

21st century meets 1st century

In the foreground.. the great HZ with Czarina Russell (click here to watch her singing the Gladiator theme that night)

Roses Costes Dani Roses, 239 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, Phone: + 33 (0)1 42 44 50 09
Ralph’s, 173 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, Phone +33 (1) 44 77 76 00
Ladurée St Germain: 21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 07 64 87
Roman Theatre of Orange: Rue Madeleine Roch, 84100 Orange, Phone: + 33 (0) 4 90 51 17 60

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Monday, June 6, 2016

Capsule wardrobe additions

Early summer here has been the coolest and wettest for years, but it has had the wonderful side effect of producing wildflowers and green colours in places which normally would have been covered in dried out grass by now .

The Lyonnaise bakery in Nîmes

Meringues like summer clouds

On a visit to Zara last week I found three tops I absolutely love, all of which are still available online. The khaki bomber jacket is perfect for our current weather.. on a cool and rainy summer day a mix of subdued and lighter colors always works. The white and black layered tops are perfect with casual trousers, but also beautiful when dressed up for an evening.

From left to right: Bomber jacket (29.95 EUR), layered top (29.95 EUR) and long asymmetric top (19.95)

The pretty and flattering neckline of the layered top

Capsule pieces: layered top, khaki bomber jacket and black trousers
Accessories: Hermes 'Aux Pays des Epices' 90 carré and Picotin 22 in etoupe. MaiTai Collection pendant necklace in Or (available here)
Shoes: beige patent leather flats (Roger Vivier)

Pendant necklace in Or

Variation with an 'Ex Libris en Kimono' 90 carré and new MaiTai Collection long gemstone necklace in turquoise/citrine/smoky quarz

Capsule pieces: layered top, khaki bomber jacket and black trousers
Accessories: Hermes 'Ex Libris au Kimono' 90 carré and Kelly Double Tour bracelet in ebene. MaiTai Collection long gemstone necklace in turquoise/citrine/smoky quarz (available here)
Shoes: navy patent leather pumps (Roger Vivier)

The new additions turned out to be a perfect match for my latest scarf, La Marche de Zambèze

With so much rain recently, the South of France (and the view from my office window) has certainly never been this lush in June!

Pretty in pink - preview of a new addition to the Collection (coming soon)

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