Vicki Archer was already an established social media star when I first discovered her re-published book, My French Life, at a boutique in Newport in 2012. I had yet to start down this social media path myself but she has been inspiration ever since.
This former Australian was living the dream of many, restoring an old farmhouse in Provence (the subject of the book) and living in a pied-à-terre in Paris (the subject of her second book, French Essence), and soon thereafter in London. She paired a gift for writing and capturing the captivating details of prized destinations with a sense of style that was both enviable and a delicious read. To then discover, over lunch in Paris recently, of her gracious spirit was confirmation again of the lovely people populating the social media world.
I was thrilled when she accepted my invitation to share her Paris via my “48 Hours…the Private Side” series, complete with a Q & A that gives us insight into this prolific blogger, Instagram Influencer and devoted Francophile — Here’s Vicki!… just in time to finalize those Paris plans you’ve been working on!
When traveling, I’ve been most inspired by… People watching, my most favorite pastime.
One way I stay original is… Retaining authenticity. I write “from the heart” at all times on my website. I believe if I stay true in this way with my own voice then the rest will take care of itself.
Whenever I travel I come back with… Beauty Products!
Where to Stay
Hôtel Duc de Saint-Simon
In the Seventh.
Le Bourg Tibourg
In Le Marais.
Hôtel Bel Ami Saint-Germain-des-Prés
In the Sixth.
In the Second.
Le Dali in Le Meurice
Beyond out of this world…a dining room inspired by Dalí and designed by Philippe Starck.
L’ Ecrin in Hôtel de Crillon
A light lunch in the bar area….” refined, precise and sophisticated without sacrificing conviviality.”
L’Espondon in Hôtel Ritz
Lunch in the garden courtyard.
La Galerie at Hotel George V
Snapping a shot of Jeff Leatham’s floral fantasies on your way through.
My favorite part of the day? Why?… Around 6:30-7:00pm. That’s the time I pack up at the end of my working day. I like reflecting on what I have achieved during the day and thinking about what tomorrow will bring.
Le Bar du Bristol
The bar is one of my favorites…”couture cocktail lounge.”
Le Bar du Hôtel Costes
Some of the best people watching must surely be done here.
Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée
The Michelin star dining room has one of the most amazing restaurant interiors.
I save/collect… Embroidered vintage linen sheets and vintage glassware. The linens I have been collecting for over 20 years, the glassware about 5. We use them everyday.
One of my earliest memories is… Paris — The Eiffel Tower and Montmartre. I visited at a young age with my mother and I have never forgotten.
For all things antique and vintage. Don’t be afraid to ship, you will be sorry if you don’t.
For their gorgeous packaging and fragrances. I always come back with their scented matches.
Astier de Villatte
For white porcelain and their geometric notebooks. They have two shops – rue Faubourg Saint Honore on the right bank and rue Tournon on the left bank.
Le Bon Marché
My most favourite fashion department store. Have a cup of tea at the Rose Bakery near the shoe department. Shop for lingerie – it’s the best and easiest experience ever.
For paper and cards.
I’m never too busy to… Have my hair done! There is something about a “good hair day” to give a real boost to the self-confidence.
My greatest indulgence…chinese jasmine tea and excellent Russian Vodka.
My day is not complete without… a long and luxurious soak in the bath; it’s one place for a little “me time”…complete with candles, FACE MASK or whatever my current mood requires to create the AMBIANCE.
Walk, walk and walk some more.
The view from the terrace of this department store is one of the most beautiful in Paris.
True glamour to me is…a woman who is confident in herself and who knows exactly what she is about; she knows what she wants and what she likes. Glamour is so much more than skin deep. Glamour means being interested in others — it is vital to be a good listener and to be engaged in life and with those around us.
Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve
Just for the record, this was surely one of the great “Don’t Miss” events ever seen in Paris; the show closed in early January but deserves this mention again.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum
Opened in September 2017 and has an inaugural exhibition until this September 2018.
Design thoughts from Vicki
The top city for design is… I’m biased and would say my most loved interiors are in Paris.
The movies with the most beautiful rooms are… I am trying to say anyone other than Nancy Meyers — they were superb and I wait impatiently for her next film. But what about, “The Graduate,” “Annie Hall,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Amelie,” “A Space Odyssey,” “Atonement,” “The duchess,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Gone with the Wind,” and “The Ghostwriter.”
With design, the most common mistake is… Too much perfection and not enough personality.
The most versatile color is… Greige — the southern French mix of cream, white, gray and beige.
My secret design trick is… A room should be a reflection of who you are, what you love and the life you are living now.
Thank you, Vicki, for joining us at Private Newport; we’ve so enjoyed the chance to get to know you…xB.
All images photographed by Vicki Archer (unless otherwise noted).