September 29th to October 3rd seemed like a whirlwind trip, but when you stay on the move from morning ‘til late at night, four days and as many nights can seem like weeks. Here are highlights I shall be savoring…and enjoy sharing with you.
Of course, there are always the old favorites but at times I also like to introduce something new — like a hotel in a different arrondissement! This gives you the opportunity to discover shops, restaurants and sights that you otherwise might miss. The even bigger plus for me is walking the beautiful residential side streets, absorbing the feel of that particular neighborhood (always pretending that I was, indeed, living there). My travel sidekick (Norma Thiessen, who authors “My Beautiful Paris”) and I opted for a small jewel of a boutique hotel, Le Dokhan, in the 16th arrondissement. Housed in a handsome Hausmann building…
Their tasteful, intimate, antique-filled décor and “comfortable pricing” was an absolute delight.
It was our good fortune to be in Paris during the Christian Dior blockbuster show (see my post of October 5th). Building our afternoon around 3:00pm tickets, we walked to the show, reveling in the warm air, blue skies and enjoying the only-in-Paris sights (like the orchid purple old Citroen)
and taking in Paris’s always dramatic architectural statements.
We timed our afternoon to enjoy a personal favorite…the Tuileries garden at the Louvre. Capturing its early fall color, with metal garden chairs scattered about and the requisite dog chasing a ball (as shown in our feature image at the top of this post), followed with a quick crepe from the garden’s café made us feel that we were truly back in Paris.
What can one do to recover after that breathtaking Dior exhibit at Musée des Arts Décoratifs except retreat across the street to Le Meurice for a glass (or two) of champagne? Its main room gives new meaning to “hotel lobby.” The eye popping painted canvas ceiling is so powerful that it was not a let down after the Dior show.
Musée Nissim de Camondo, in the 8th arrondissement, deserved the morning we allocated to it. It’s poignant history permeates each room, making the visitor all the more grateful for the opportunity to be touring this exquisite house museum of French decorative arts.
Hôtel Camondo is further distinguished by bordering on the exquisite Parc Monceau. Strolling through the Parc’s lush grounds was a welcome respite (can you tell where the actual bridge stops and its reflection starts?).
But discovering a very French version of a carousel was the highlight for me. It’s turquoise submarine, yellow trolley, blue airplane, red firetruck, and gilded coach, to name a few details, added a note of enchantment to the morning.
As I had mentioned at the beginning of this post, I look forward to and never tire of strolling through a new arrondissement of elegant homes. As below, where the black iron urns, and their placement on each wall post, are a detail I have not seen before (don’t miss the streetlight on the lower left of the image, too). The 8th is one arrondissement I shall plan on returning to often.
And I hope you will plan on returning for Part Two of Experiencing Paris, posting on October 12th.