Living with Style, Travel Notes

Experiencing Paris, Part 1

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.

If you enjoy this article, please share it!

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

12 thoughts on “Experiencing Paris, Part 1

  1. I’m booking my trip to see the Christian Dior show now!
    Any thing I should see or know ahead of time?
    Looking at the hotel you recommended also!

    1. How exciting that you’re going to the show. You will not be disappointed! And the hotel, Le Dhokan, is worth a stay (especially great for ladies). Enjoy!!

  2. Oh, Bettie, how wonderful of you to share gay Paris in the Fall! Felt like I was there with you…darn! As usual your strolls & events leave me longing…so great of you to fill us in…it was a must needed break for me I’ll get to those pesky chores today with gorgeous visions in my head….xx

    1. Jane, Your comments are always a treat!! Thanks always for taking the time to comment. Missing you and Peter, xo

  3. The ceiling and the ceiling at the Meurice is breathtaking! A glass or 🥂 of Champagne. Cannot wait for Paris ll.

    1. Isn’t it magical? It is in the Parc Monceau in the 8th arrondissement in Paris. This is an exquisite park that you would enjoy for many reasons. Happy fall!

  4. Beautiful photos. It looks as if you had excellent weather. Parc Monceau is one of my favorite spots, as is Musée Camondo and the almost-next-door Musée Cernuschi, with Asian art.

  5. Bettie……just finished Part 1 of Paris and am enthralled ! But the carousel was an absolute delight…SO Paris but haven’t ever seen one like that. KUDOS to you for exquisite photos so we can relive it with you.

  6. There is a wonderful chateau south of Versailles that is like a fairytale. It’s on the list of Historical homes and the gardens are incredible. 32 Bedrooms/bathrooms, chateau built with a steel frame, etc., etc. If you happen to be interested in seeing/visiting please contact me and I will be happy to give you the name and contact information of my dear friend that owns it. It is not to be missed and I have photos I can forward to you if you like. Hint – close to Rambouillet!

Comments are closed.