Sunday, May 11, 2014

Postcard from Marseille

Marseille is a place I've often been to, but only on short trips and never overnight. I've always wanted to explore it a little bit more, but as so often with places that are nearby, it has literally taken years.

Marseille Cathedral

It was founded by Greek sailors in 600 BC, and is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It has been a trading port for 26 centuries, and consists of several ports and harbours. The Fos Port is the main French trading seaport for cargo, and huge and small passenger ferries depart from different locations bound for other Mediterranean ports or North Africa.

The most charming and picturesque port is the Vieux Port (Old harbour). It is lined with cafés and restaurants, and fishermen come and sell the catch of the day straight off their boats.

For a fabulous view over the Vieux Port (particularly at night), go to the Sofitel Hotel. Either book a room with a harbour view (5th or 6th floor), or go for a drink on the terrace of the third floor bar. For an unforgettable night time view, book a table at the Les Trois Tours restaurant on the 7th floor (make sure to ask for a table by the window), which offers a fresh and beautiful mediterranean menu.


The old harbour is flanked by imposing forts and fortresses, build in 1660 under Louis XIV.

In 2013, Marseille was designated the European Capital of Culture, and the MUCEM museum (pictured below on the left of the St Jean fortress.. a modern building with a lace like concrete shell) was inaugurated last June to mark the occasion. Dedicated to the cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean, it's also a great place to eat. The restaurant is located on the top floor and has beautiful views over the sea (it is divided into two sections, the more serious 'La Table', and the bistro style 'La Cuisine')


MUCEM (left) and St Jean fortress (centre)


St Nicholas fortress




The Château d'If  (pictured below left) was build in 1560 as a fortress. It's most famous use was as a prison, which inspired the novel 'The Count of Monte Christo', by Alexandre Dumas'. Contrary to the Dumas story, no prisoner has ever escaped from the Château d'If!


About twenty minutes from the Vieux Port, the 'Corniche de JF Kennedy' coastal road meanders along the sea shore. The pedestrian walkway gives you breathtaking views over the Mediterranen and it's rocky beaches.



Capsule wardrobe pieces:  white jeans, blue and white tunic and navy jacket 
Shoes: beige flat sandals or canvas sneakers
Accessories: Hermès 'Courbettes et Cabrioles' 90 Carré, Farandole necklace, clic H enamel bracelet in marron glacé and 35 Birkin in Gris-T
Scarf tying method: Basic bias fold, scarf wound once around the neck with ends secured in a double knot


If you cross the corniche you can explore tiny streets and alleyways lined with cottages, as well as fishermen's creeks and bays



Along the Corniche JFK you also find some of Marseille's best fish restaurants... the L'Epuisette, the Fonfon, the Peron and the Petit Nice Passédat.  With beautiful views, these are perfect places to have a Bouillabaisse, Marseille's most famous dish. Invented by Marseille fishermen it consists of local Mediterranean fish with vegetables and Provençal herbs and spices.


On the terrace of the Petit Nice Passédat





The Vallon des Auffes bay



The L'Epuisette is right by the Vallon des Auffes, and this is where we went for my birthday lunch. The decor is light, warm and modern. It has a wonderful mediterranean menu, beautiful views and fabulous fish.



the catch of the day - loup de mer



a four-legged well wisher


Au revoir Marseille


coming next ~ my birthday scarf



Sofitel Marseille: 36 Boulevard Charles Livon, 13007 Marseille, Tel: +33 (4) 91 15 59 00, www.sofitel/marseille.com
Les Trois Forts Restaurant (Sofitel, 7th floor)  http://www.lestroisforts.fr/
Le Petit Nice Passedat: 17 Rue des Braves, 13007 Marseille, Tel: +33 (4) 91 59 25 9,
www.passedat.fr
L'Epuisette: Vallon des Auffes, 13007 Marseille, Tel: +33 (4) 91 52 17 82, www.l-epuisette.fr
Le Peron: www.restaurant-peron.com
MUCEM: 7, Promenade Robert Laffont (Esplanade du J4), 13002 Marseille, Tel: +33 (4) 84 35 13 13
www.mucem.org
Le Mole Passédat ('La Table' or 'La Cuisine') at the MUCEM: www.passedat.fr
Hermès: 27 Rue Paradis,  13001 Marseille, Tel: +33 (4) 96 17 61 12 (will move to Rue Grignan by the end of spring)

Please excuse my lateness in replying to emails and requests. I have been swamped, and I'm only slowly beginning to catch up x


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84 comments:

  1. Just spent four days in La Ciotat. What a treat. The old harbor filled with yachts big and fishing boats small plus the Calanques! Had lunch at La Figurolle du Calanque and it was wonderful! We spent too little time in Marseille. Thank you for the visit,

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    1. Your trip sounds wonderful, dear Nancy! I've bookmarked the LFdC, looking forward to trying it one day!

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  2. Dear Mai Tai,

    Beautiful pics as always!!!!

    You look so gorgeous and happy and the blue and white outfit match so wll the sorrounding!!!!

    In spite that we live reasonably near (Barcelona) I have never been to Mrseille but after watching your beautiful pictures we are seriously thinking about an escapade.... and I understand that ttheres is a H store, ins't it????

    Cant wait to see whats inside this orange box!!!!

    Thanks for sharing this moments with us so we all can share your joy!!!

    Regards from Barcelona

    we live reasonably near. ( Barcelona) Marseille

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    1. We are practically neighbors, my dear ilsa! Love Barcelona, must come and visit your beautiful city one day soon again xx

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  3. Bon anniversaire dear MaiTai!! Thank you for a lovely postcard Marseilles looks lovely and warm! Can't wait to see which scarf you got - I am guessing De la Mer au Ciel? SA;-)

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    1. Great guess, and it would have been a perfect reminder of the view! But in the end, Mythiques Phoenix stole my heart...

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  4. What a beautiful and charming view of Marseilles! So very happy that you and DH got to linger there a little longer than usual. I am sure the night views are mesmerizing. There is nothing like a trip to the sea to refresh and renew...perfect for a birthday celebration! Again,you look 'marvelous' in all of the looks fashioned here...super! Going to have a seafood cocktail,this time, and think of you! T xx

    P.S. Ironic about the JFK quote that I sent...and there you had the Corniche JFK<3

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    1. My dearest friend, the timing can't have been a coincidence, what are the odds (particularly so in the South of France) ?! I thought of the quote (and you!) when looking at the ocean... what a beautiful special touch on my birthday it was xx

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  5. Dear MaiTai,

    It looks like you had a fabulous birthday celebration. Marseille is breathtaking! You truly have a gift...your photos are beautiful.

    Can't wait to see what's in the orange box! Whatever it is, I know it will be fabulous.

    Welcome back! Simone xx

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    1. Thanks so much, dearest Simone! Hope you like the birthday scarf, and have a wonderful weekend xx

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  6. Dearest MaiTai,

    Firstly belated Happy Birthday, I am so pleased you got to spend it in such a lovely part of the world.
    Your pictures are so amazing I long to go there now, and I also cant wait to see your special H birthday gift.

    Have a lovely relaxing week ahead
    Jane xx

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    1. Many thanks for the good wishes, dearest Jane! I know now that we are twins on this scarf, how wonderful xx

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  7. Dear MaiTai,
    it´s me being late with my wishes for your birthday!
    Vivat, vivat and all the very best for you!!
    And thanks a million for all the inspiration you give us, esp. when you show sportive looks which I like best:-) Scarved up by an H carrée, the simplest outfit becomes crisp and chic...
    Not to mention your Marseille travelogue - stunning as all the travelling pics and background information you share with us!
    Again, all the very best and warm wishes from Germany
    Barbara

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    1. Liebe Barbara, vielen lieben Dank für die Glückwünsche und netten Zeilen! Weitere sportliche Looks werden folgen, incl. der GM! Herzlichst, MT

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  8. Dearest MaiTai!
    A belated Happy Birthday, it looks like you have had a lovely day. The pictures are beautiful, they make me dream of salty winds and glittery water. You look stunning as always, so chic.
    Can´t wait to see your special birthday present.
    Hugs Johanna

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    1. Blowing some salty winds your way, dearest Johanna! Thanks so much for the kind note, and have a lovely weekend!

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  9. Such beautiful pictures and colors. I love all the pale blues and sands. And, when I glanced at the first picture of you near the water, I thought for a moment that it was Grace Kelly herself.

    It looks and sounds like you had a lovely birthday getaway, and I can't wait to see the scarf. I have an idea which one it might be, and if so, we'll be twins or cousins. That would be lovely.

    Jerrine

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    1. Oh my dearest Jerrine,you've done it again... my head turned into the color of a tomato! Very much hoping we are twins or cousins on the new scarf, but if not, we still have all the others xx

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  10. Thank you so much for writing up this most lovely and informative post about Marseille - one can truly tell how much you've enjoyed the past few days there. Wonderful impressions and as always you and your tremendously chic looks are the best inspiration! hugs, Macs

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    1. It was such fun, and I'm longing to go back already! Loved your Hamburg pictures, great to know you had a wonderful time x

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  11. Dearest MaiTai,

    Happy Birthday--you're just more beautiful each and every year!

    Thank you for a most glorious postcard from Marseille. Your museum-quality photos should be displayed in the Muceum--they so perfectly capture the charm and beauty of this sea faring town, esp. those glowing, coral-streaked oceans. I also loved the wistful look on the 4-legged well-wisher; so pure and sincere.

    Happy Mother's Day, dearest MaiTai!

    Thank you for taking us on a lovely postcard tour of your world. It's a beautiful trip!

    Cheers,
    sammie

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    1. Dearest sammie, thanks so much for the happy cheer, and beautiful and spot on description of the four-legged friend. Dogs are always so very positiv/full of goodness. Have a happy weekend!

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  12. P.S. w/ all the dazzling photos of you, the sea, the village....forgot to mention, can't wait to see your b-day scarf treat. Perhaps, something to do w/ Marseille, as in their most lauded (well, prophet-style) explorer, Pytheas?

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    1. This is a great guess, and it would have been such a spot on purchase. But it did not love me back in the same way as the Mythiques Phoenix did!

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  13. Belated birthday wishes and a big Thank You for this post on Mother's Day. It looks like I will likely be unable to take any holidays this summer and have been feeling kind of down about it. When I read posts that take me to away to a different place like Marseille, I get to be an armchair traveler and it gives me a little lift. So thanks again. The pictures remind me a bit of small coastal towns in Northern Spain, where I spent many summers past. I can smell the fish, taste the wine and hear the gulls.

    I must say I also love your outfit of tunic, jeans and blazer in blues with white. Gris T looks so dreamy with it to top it all off!

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    1. So happy you enjoyed coming along on the travelogue, you ladies are always the very best company! Blowing a sea breeze over to you, and will clink my glass to you when next by the sea x

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  14. happy birthday! These photos are beautiful and you look gorgeous. I love your tunic. My mother will be arriving back from London on my birthday and I have already decided I want a scarf from her! Your life always looks so calm and serene- maybe it isn't always but I love how happy and content you seem. x

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    1. How wonderful to have a visit from your mother to look forward to on your birthday! Marseille was a very happy and relaxed trip, glad you liked the pictures. Most of the time my life is very happy and content, but I would not call it calm and serene... I am always busy!

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  15. Dearest Mai Tai,

    Hope you had a great time!

    Thank you for bringing back beautiful memories. As we couldn't get the flights from Paris to Nice during September last year, we decided to fly into Marseilles. So that was the first impression we had of Southern France and it was lovely! We had only a day before going to Nice, but we fully enjoyed Fort Jean, Notre Dame de la Garde and the surrounding area. The weather was comfortable, the sky was clear and the city is quite charming! I still remember this French gentlemen who help us call the phone company several times to activate the credit amount. My husband loves fish the harvest are so fresh and succulent here. We promised that we'll be back in the future.

    Looking forward to your post on your Hermes scarf!


    With love,
    Jasmine

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    1. Dearest Jasmine, Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful and special memories of Marseille! So glad you enjoyed the little detour en route to Nice. It is always so nice if one sees something different than initially planned! xx

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  16. Beautiful reportage and pictures of Marseille and i's true you look very happy dear Mai Tai for this Birthday..
    Amities
    Monica

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    1. So nice to know you liked the reportage! It was a very happy day indeed <3 Amitiés

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  17. Dearest Mai Tai,
    When I look at the first pictures I can imagine how it would be to be there, at the end of the day, when the light is golden and magical...
    Thank you for sharing them with us and for the interesting information about Marseille.
    You look so beautiful and happy, as lovely and gracious as Grace Kelly (I agree with Jerrine).<3
    Love your tunic too and the way you combined it with the other pieces.
    Can´t wait to see what´s in the orange box.... Love, Manuela*

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    1. I can imagine how much the special light must remind you of home, my dearest Manuela! Thanks so much for the lovely and kind words, although my face is changing color again ;-) Much love to you, and a beautiful Sunday evening xx

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  18. I'm so glad to have found your website. Although I can't afford Hermes, your website has opened my eyes to the beauty of silk scarves. I live on an island with 80% r. humidity most of the time, so wearing scarf around the neck is far too warm. But I'll experiment other ways of wearing scarves.

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    1. Dear Cath, I live in germany and most of the time I´m dreaming of sunshine, palm trees and heat. But now, reading your comment with the description of your environmental conditions, I feel nearly happy to live in a country where it´s possible to wear scarves the whole year ;-)
      Never the less I think MaiTai gives us inspirations for all temperatures!
      Best wishes to your warm island from cold germany (today we had 6°C in the morning) Claudia

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    2. Haha... Yes! And my dear husband dreams of being able to layer his cloths and wear stylish coats and boots.

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    3. Dear Catherine, *lol* please send your husband greetings and tell him, that I'm really delighted of the imagination that there is somebody who is dreaming of our german weather! Fortunately there are still things we haven't got any impact on...
      Claudia

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    4. Dear Cath, A very warm welcome to my blog and our chat corner, so glad you've found us! Re scarves, there are quite a few styles you can wear in hot and humid climates (collier knot, drape knot, as a belt or sash etc). If inside, you can always use a scarf to protect you from the (sometimes freezing cold) AC. Have fun!

      Cath and Claudia, your lovely exchange made me smile <3

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  19. So beautiful! I love the looks of Marseille...another beautiful place to add to my list. And the palette of your ensemble is just gorgeous!

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    1. Hope you'll be visiting Marseille one day soon!

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  20. A very Happy Birthday to you, I am a month behind you!

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    1. And a very happy upcoming Birthday to you!

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  21. Happy birthday! Marseilles looks wonderful in your pictures - I've never been but hope to someday! Enjoy your spring weather - hasn't arrived here yet :(
    xx

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    1. Hope spring has arrived and that you'll visit Marseille one day soon, dear sushi queen!

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  22. What exquisite photos! I hope you had a lovely vacation and birthday celebration.
    Now show us what's in the box!!
    Greta

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    1. Many belated thanks! Hope you like the new scarf :-)

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  23. Welcome back, dearest MaiTai! Thank you for sharing your travel photos and information of Marseille. It's on our "one day" list. ;-) ITA with so many of the other comments, you look so beautiful, happy, and serene, with your windswept hair and warm smile. Just join in with the others and write that I'm looking forward to the orange box reveal. I hope that my instincts are correct, and that we'll be scarf twins or cousins.

    Warm orange hugs, dear
    CS

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    1. Hope you can swing by Marseille on one of your next trips, my dearest CS! Now I am wondering which one your new scarf might be, and if we are twins or cousins indeed! Warm orange hugs right back xx

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  24. Très chère MAITAI

    Très heureux anniversaire.
    Vous avez revalorisée Marseille a mes yeux car très déçue lors de mon ancienne visite très sale car éboueurs en grève Mes vos merveilleux clichés donne envie d'y retourner
    Bises a vous et belle semaine

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    1. Merci beaucoup, très chère Myriam! J'espère vous allez trouver un occassion pour d'aller à nouveau un jour... mais sans grève, bien sûr! Bises x

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  25. Happy Birthday wishes from me too. I have really enjoyed looking at these beautiful photos and can't wait to see your latest choice in the orange box! Susan, London

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    1. Thanks so much! Hope you liked the inside of the box :-)

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  26. Both Marseille and you look adorable. I would also like to thank to the photographer behind the camera taking your beautiful photos - he is always taking fabulous photos and only a person loving another person can "catch" such the fabulous pics and moments of magic.
    As of scarf - I must say, I do not have a clear idea whether it is of a "traditional" or "modern" design", therefore my guessing would surely be wrong. If you saw Carre en Carres, please report about it - I feel it is too monochromatic for that type of design and it should not have been dip dye...maybe wrong...namely, I like it so much and would enjoy having it.
    Hugs, Lea

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    1. The photographer says thank you, my dear Lea! So very nice of you to think of him <3 I agree with you on the CenC. Although I have not seen it as a DipDye yet, I can't imagine it being my favorite re-issue of the design. Hugs x

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  27. So much to love in this post! What a wonderful introduction to Marseille. It appears that you had a splendid, well-deserved birthday celebration. That first shot of you is gorgeous. I think it belongs in a frame on your DH’s desk. I adore the sweet-faced floppy-eared birthday greeter who appears to have been captured mid-wag. Awww! And the blue door with the pink flowers—so romantic. I’m going to venture a guess that your birthday scarf is Le Voyage de Pythease colorway 07. It would look perfect with your sunny yellow RV flats.

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    1. Yes, the birthday greeter was absolutely adorable, and the wag only intensified as he came closer.. so sweet! Given the post your scarf guess is absolutely perfect, but something else stole my heart instead xx

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  28. Thank you once again Mai Tai.I really enjoy these wonderful pictures of places you visit and things you see. I know that I will probably never get to see these for myself, but still consider myself lucky that I can see such beauty through your your blog.
    Happy Birthday. Linda C.

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    1. Many thanks, dear Linda. So happy you enjoy coming along with me <3

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  29. As always, you have an eye to catch the angle for pictures and make us wish to visit… Number 7, on the pedestrian walkway is just « super relax chic» (I had to check twice to be sure that you didn’t cut your hair !) your tourterelle Birkin was made for this beauty spot!
    Catherine

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    1. Happy you like the look, it was such an easy and comfortable outfit! And I see what you mean about the hair. It was suddenly so windy that I had to tuck it inside the scarf! Have a wonderful week x

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  30. The photos are sublime. And happy birthday to you. Can't wait to see your choice. Xx

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  31. Love these soft chalky colours..

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  32. Dear MaiTai, thank you for this lovely tour of Marseille - when i was a student (1000yrs ago) I used to take the bus from Aix to Marseille. Happy Birthday and can't wait to see the birthday scarf xx

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    1. Oh it must have been such fun to study in Aix! Glad the post brought up happy memories! xx

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  33. Beautiful location for a birthday celebration MT and thanks for sharing it with us.
    Absolutely love your navy blue knit jacket/looks to be the perfect weight for a spring day that's not yet too warm - would you share its info please?

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    1. Many thanks! The blue jacket is by 'Apostrophe/Georges Rech', from the Spring 2014 collection.

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  34. Bon Anniversaire MaiTai,
    Vos photos de Marseille m'ont réconciliée avec cette ville dont ma première visite remonte à 1978... Tout respire l'élégance et le bonheur chez vous. Mon instinct de Sherlock Holmes me dit qu'il s'agit du carré "Tous les bateaux du monde" dans la boîte orange!
    Quyen

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    1. Merci pour votre gentil commentaire, chère Quyen. Merci pour partager vos belles memoires... Bonne fin de la semaine à vous!

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  35. Welcome back, dearest MaiTai! Hope you had the most wonderful celebration. Thank you for sharing so many beautiful photos from your special day and trip. As always, my favorite photos are of you, just breathtaking! Also, thank you so much for always including such wonderful historical background, it is so very much appreciated. How so very true that places closer to us take a bit longer to visit. Raising a sparkling glass to you, my dear friend. Sending you much love and biggest birthday hugs xxx

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    1. Thank you so much for the lovley good wishes and warm and sweet welcome back, my dearest Scarf Enthusiast! So happy you enjoyed the postcard! Much love and biggest friendship hugs xx

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  36. Well, I was wrong. It's not the one I thought you might have chosen to commemorate your trip to Marseilles, but it looks stunning on you. I've had kind of mixed feelings about this one, as I'm not overly fond of BIG birds, but I think you've changed my mind.

    I will hold out, though, as we're pretty certain that this may be the special scarf offered when the new boutique opens in Atlanta in September. It would be a perfect choice, as the symbol of Atlanta is the phoenix rising from the ashes of the Civil War.

    If we're all wrong, I'll be looking on eBay, as I think this particular color way was the most popular and has flown off the shelves, no pun intended.

    It's really beautiful on you. Congratulations on holding out for the perfect one.

    Jerrine

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    1. Dear Jerrine,

      I would have made the same prediction -- the sun-washed tans and softly faded blues of Marseilles in those lovely photos had me sighing to myself, "Ah, I know where this is going." But now that we have the reveal, I can't imagine a better choice. Here's hoping that Hermes has tucked away a cache -- flock? -- of Phoenixes for the lucky ladies of Atlanta, and that that one comes home with you as we move into scarf-wearing season!

      Blowing kisses to you and the incomparable MaiTai --

      Azalie

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    2. Thank you, Azalie. I didn't wait for September. I "flew" right over to Hermès this afternoon and plucked the last one from the case and brought it home.

      I will never look as stunning as MT, but I like to think that it flatters me, too. It is an amazing design, and I am sending MaiTai the bill, as she "made" me buy it.

      It may be the scarf for the Atlanta opening, but they assured me today that it will be offered in differing color ways, and this particular color way is why I find it so appealing.

      And, if I'm lucky, I just might sneak in a wearing before even the thought of wearing silk draped around the neck makes one nauseous.

      Best to you,
      Jerrine.

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    3. Your guess was perfection, my dearest Jerrine! Only the Voyage de Phyteas looked less than perfect on me... The MP is a stellar guess for the Atlanta store re-opening. Please keep me posted on the CWs! You were so right to snap it up now though, it's the best neutral scarf I've seen for a long time! Twin hugs to you, Dearest xx

      Azalie ~ well done, you ladies have been great at guessing! Bisous right back

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  37. Un peu de retard pour vous souhaiter un joyeux anniversaire! Vos photos donnent envie de découvrir Marseille/J 'étais surtout impatiente de découvrir le contenu de la boite orange!! Amitiés .Véronique

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    1. Merci beaucoup, chère Véronique!

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  38. I had misgivings about this design, but after seeing how fabulous it looks on you, I ran right over to the boutique today and brought the big bird home.

    It is absolutely beautiful. I will put the bill in the mail to you on Monday, my dearest!

    Jerrine

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    1. Well done, you won't regret this xx

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  39. Happy birthday Maitai! All the best and thanks for Marseille recommendations!

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  40. Happy Birthday Maitai! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful photos and narratives. It is truly breath taking. I hope to visit such places one day and Marseilles will definitely be one of those. Kxx

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