Sunday, July 30, 2017

Postcard from Marseille - Le Petit Nice

It's been a while since we were in Marseille, and as so often with places that are close, one tends to forget that they are there. I've been so busy recently and was longing for a break.. to relax for a couple of days,  read,  enjoy lovely meals and not do much of anything at all.

We came across Le Petit Nice when we were in Marseille a couple of years ago walking along the Corniche Kennedy. You follow the sign off the street down a narrow alley, and then suddenly, this is what you see. It looked so beautiful and inviting that we went in for a drink on the terrace, and as we were enjoying a cold crisp glass of white wine overlooking the Mediterranean, I knew we'd be back one day to spend a couple nights in its calm and tranquil atmosphere.

Le Petit Nice has a family history going back a hundred years. It was bought by Germain Passedat in 1917, who made some additions and improvements and passed the reins to his son Jean-Paul in 1954, who made some more additions and improvements (and who incidentally still greets diners at the bar), and now it is run by his son, the celebrated chef Gérard Passedat, who has made it what it is today. The kitchen has a glass wall looking out onto the alley, so that anyone walking past can watch him and his team prepare the dishes that earned him his 3* Michelin status in 2008.

lunch preparations

Imagine how fabulous it would be to have your meal in the kitchen!

You don't have to be an aficionado of three-star dining to have a wonderful time at the Le Petit Nice.. it is such a welcoming place and such a  beautiful setting. The calm, light rooms are stylish and elegant and have amazing views over the Mediterranean sea.. the perfect place to relax and unwind. It was pure bliss to settle down in the room,  let the soft breeze float through open windows, and listen to seagulls while reading in bed or lounging on the private terrace.

When the Passedat family bought it in 1917 it was the 'Villa Eugenie'. Then later, because of of its beautiful setting and many improvements and refinements, it was re-named the Petit Nice. Personally, I think of it as the Petit Paradis!

Wearing the kaftan I bought on my birthday trip to St-Paul de Vence in May with an Hermes Kelly Double Tour bracelet in Ebene and MaiTai Collection Double Anneau necklace in Or (available here)

I'm often asked where I get inspiration for my outfits, and the answer is everywhere.. the plants and furniture on the terrace and the colored accents in our room provided me with plenty of ideas for new colour combinations, 'modeled' by my Parures de Samourais, a scarf which has quickly become a favorite in my collection.

What a wonderful surprise to find a turn table and vinyl records in our room. The Parures de Samouraïs was 'right in tune' with the album I pulled out!


The next day... feeling rested already. Cavallerie d'Etriers GM and MaiTai Collection Pearl collar necklace in blanc/ivoire (available here)

Grey and white capsule pieces as above. They are easy summer staples as you can style them in many different ways, which makes them a perfect travelling wardrobe, too.

Capsule pieces: Grey t-shirt and white jeans
Accessories left: Hermes Cavalleria d'Etriers cashmere GM, 35 Birkin in Gris-T and Elephant enamel bracelet. Breakpoint sneakers by Converse.
Right: Hermès Parures de Samourais 90 Carré. MaiTai Collection Pearl Collar necklace in blanc/ivoire (available here) and light brown sandals

Le Petit Nice-Passedat, Anse de Maldormé, Cornique JF Kennedy, 13007 Marseille, France
Tel: +33 491 592 592

For hotel information and reservations click here
For restaurant information and reservations click here

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Summer necklaces and style sheets

Summer's now well established, and as the days have been getting warmer, scarves have been taking a little bit of back seat. On cool fresh mornings and evenings they still come out, but I wear them in loose drapes and folds, or as a belt.

As the temperature goes up, I rely on necklaces to give my summer outfits a touch of color and chic. I love wearing them in combination with a scarf, but when it gets too hot and the scarves have to be stored away, a necklace can always pull the look together instead.

Very happy to introduce two beautiful new waterfall necklaces today... both are light and easy to wear statement pieces, and  entirely made by hand.  I selected eight capsule wardrobe pieces (details at the bottom of the post) as a canvas on which to play with the new necklaces and also some of my favorite summer scarves. The capsule pieces may look sombre at first glance, but they are easy to mix and match and go from day to night, which makes them a perfect summer travel wardrobe, too. The suggestions below are just some of the many possible combinations which you can use to brighten up these pieces and give them a summery touch. Hoping that you enjoy the post and have a wonderful summer!


Accessories provide the perfect opportunity to highlight specific colors or parts of your scarf, and give a focus point to your outfit when the silk becomes too warm around your neck.  Bringing out the blues of a Parures de Samourais (CW05) with a crystal waterfall necklace in Duck Blue (available here) and an Hermes Clic Clac H bracelet in Bleu Indiens.

Variation with a dark blue top and the pastel version of the Parures de Samourais (CW04) worn as a belt, teamed with a Crystal waterfall necklace in Miel/Champagne

As above, but bringing out the scarf's green and teal parts with a Crystal waterfall necklace in Vert Nil

Scarf and necklace as above, but with a grey top instead of the blue, and the scarf tied into an asymmetrical wrap Bag: Caba in navy/stripes/natural (available here)

Change of accessories.. Hermes Zebra Pegasus 90 carré in the basic bias fold with an Elephant printed enamel bracelet. MTC Crystal Waterfall necklace in dove grey

Another favorite summer scarf from previous collections...Aux Pays des Epices 90 carré in the basic bias fold with an Clic H enamel bracelet in marron glacé and a  MTC Gemstone waterfall necklace in Gris/Taupe/Argile (available here)

Mousseline scarves are a breeze to wear in the summer.. even GMs are airy and light as a feather. Hermes Fantaisies Indiennes GM mousseline in the basic bias fold with a rose gold and black lizard Charniere bracelet. MaiTai Collection Gemstone waterfall necklace in Sienna/Ecru/Champagne (available here)

It's always fun to discover how to  fold a scarf to bring out its different parts and colors. Here folding the Parures de Samourais (CW04) into a wide basic bias and wearing it as a belt with the ends secured in the basic slide behind the back, which almost completely eliminates the beige elements, making it look like a different scarf. Also wearing an Hermes Charniere bracelet in rose gold/black lizard and a MaiTai Collection Gemstone waterfall necklace as above. Clutch by Zara.

Cashmere GMs are wonderful companions on cooler summer evenings, and can make a perfect substitute for a jacket on days when sun and clouds can't decide who's to stay or who's to go. Hermes Ceintures et Liens cashmere shawl in the basic bias fold with a Clic Clac H bracelet in Blue Indiens. MaiTai Collection Gemstone Waterfall necklace in Aquamarine/Turquoise (available here)

Sometimes it just needs just a couple of accessories to turn simple wardrobe staples into a casual chic look. Hermes Aux Pays des Epices 90 carré in the basic bias fold (ends secured behind the back in the basic slide). MaiTai Collection Long Gemstone necklace in Gris/Prehnite/Garnet (available here)

Teaming the new Gemstone waterfall necklace in Gris/Taupe/Argile (available here) with a MaiTai Collection hand-embroidered stole in Gris Perle (available here)

Casual alternative... PdS (CW04) in a basic bias fold and a MaiTai Collection Gemstone waterfall necklace in Sienna/Ecru/Champagne, echoing the red tassel in the corner of the scarf. Caba bag in black/natural (available here)

Even the coolest scarf can feel sometimes too warm... accessorising here in black with an Hermes Kelly Dog bracelet in matte croc, a MaiTai Collection Crystal Cluster necklace in charcoal (available here)  and a Zara studded clutch (the Crystal Cluster necklaces also comes in Cinnamon Rose, Lavender Grey and Champagne)

Tops: sleeveless black top (Agnès B), long sleeve grey T-shirt (Max Mara), Black blouse (Zara), dark blue cropped tunic blouse (Gerard Darel)
Trousers: Black trousers (Apriori), Blue Jeans (AG), white jeans (Vince), navy trousers (Max Mara)

ACCESSORIES (from left to right):
Left: shawl travel pochette in peacock containing a Hermes Ceintures et Liens cashmere shawl and Fantaisies Indiennes mousseline and a MaiTai Collection embroidered stole in Gris Perle. On top of the Pochette: MaiTai Collection gemstone waterfall necklaces (in aquamarine/turquoise, gris/taupe/argile and sienna/ecru/champagne)

Centre: MaiTai Collection Jewellry organizer in Bleu Marine, filled with Hermes bracelets (Clic Clac H in bleu Indiens, Kelly Dog in black croc, Elephants and Torana printed enamel bracelets, Clic H in marron glacé, Charnière in rose gold/black lizard) and a MaiTai Colletion long gemstone necklace in Gris/Prehnite/Garnet

Right: 90 carré travel pochette filled with four Hermes 90 carrés: Parures de Samourais CW 04 and 05), Zebra Pegasus and Aux Pays des Epices. MaiTai Collection Crystal Waterfall necklaces (Duck Blue, Vert Nil, Champagne and Dove Grey) on top.

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