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Paris, Thanks for the Memories!

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The events of the last 3 months have given a new meaning and vividness to the memories we each hold dear — almost as though a bright celestial light has been shined on them. Whether it be a family holiday, a house party weekend, a trip and a comfy chic boutique hotel…

Or friends who now seem so far away. The details, and sweetness, of remembering have been a welcome companion throughout these days that seem to flow into each other without any distinguishing identity. I’m reminded often of Downton Abbey’s Dowager Duchess asking, “what’s a weekend?”

Last week’s post mentioned the glorious silver lining of being in Newport to witness the full bloom cycle of our 4 matched cherry trees. This was taking place the latter end of April, when I was to have been in Paris with dear friends. Well, as the saying goes, if you can’t be there, bring it to you.

So here are snippets of past Paris trips, the images that flash into my mind when someone asks — “what do you remember most?” For me, that always calls up details — funny, poignant, naughty, tasty, luxurious which I shall share in no particular order. The sponatneity of this post has been a special pleasure. As Audrey Hepburn said in Sabrina, “Paris is always a good idea.”

And speaking of always, the gardens and esplanades at the Tuileries are a must at any time, and any season.

Glorious pops of red, punctuating the facade of the Plaza Athénée — and their French toast tasting like the richest soufflé I have ever eaten.

Truly rare among Paris’s luxury hotels, the garden at the Shangri-La with its botanically inspired specimen trees and shrubs.

Capturing a floral wedding creation just before the bride ascended the stairs.

September “Fashion Week,” and the truly awe-inspiring grandness of the Dior show at Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

What is more classic than an old Citroen, in a shade of blue that you would only find in France, adding a bit of Gallic whimsy to the street scene.

Beaux Arts architecture at its finest — the courtyard, and neighbors, at the Musée Nissim de Camondo.

Chancing upon an out-of-a-storybook bridge in the Parc Monceau — its reflection almost completing the circle.

A tucked away tiny restaurant, on the Ile de la Cite’, in the handsome Square de la Place Dauphine.

Painted doors, here my favorite color aubergine, to be found down the side streets of almost every arrondissement.

Paris’s oldest bridge, le Pont Neuf, as the golden glow from apartment lights signals that evening is descending.

The charmingly cheeky bartender at the Ritz, who popped in front of the camera as I was photographing a new purchase.

For this champagne lover, the exquisite jewel of a room at the Dokhan hotel, which doubled as a champagne bar at night (with over 240 selections) and a breakfast site that I much anticipated every morning.

Being enchanted by the Jules Verne Carrousel in the Parc Monceau which features an eclectic array of exotic wood carvings …a submarine, a bi-plane, a trolly, a motorcycle, a fire truck, Cinderella’s carriage, a giraffe, and a laughing cow.

A taste of Paris culture and courtesy…a little footstool on which to place your handbag when dining out.

Lastly, an international architectural landmark that always tugs at my heart…none more so than when lit up every evening from sunset to 1am. But the real magic is added during the first five minutes of each hour on the hour when she is a golden spectacle of glimmering, sparkling lights.

Today, May 7th, I was to have been in Locust Valley, New York, on Long Island, for a book signing and talk about “Tales of Newport.” I will miss you, ladies, but look forward to next year!

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

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".

28 thoughts on “Paris, Thanks for the Memories!

  1. I am always excited when I see an email from you. Thank you so much.

    Elizabeth Ambler

    1. Oh Elizabeth, thank you so much…and thank you for being part of my treasured Private Newport family! xB

  2. Oh, Bettie, thank you posting your best article to date. Sharing glorious Paris, my mother’s absolute favorite city in the world on the cusp of Mother’s Day brings back only the very happiest of memories of our times together. EE

  3. Thank you for this beautiful post. It has brightened my day. Looking forward to returning to Paris sometime soon. Best to you.

  4. Dearest Bettie, I’ve tried to begin each quarantine day with gratitude. Recognizing that we are the fortunate ones. But canceling your visit was a huge disappointment as well as canceling a trip to Paris scheduled for June 12th with our ten year old granddaughter. We had the most wonderful plans! The objective was to instill in her a lifelong passion for this incredible city. I will share this beautiful blog with her and we will go vicariously! Merci

    1. Dearest Ann, I knew that this blog would strike a nerve with many; “we’re all in this together.”
      And all the fun planning that went into your June trip…I’m guessing that we’ll actually just cross through 2020 and transpose all dates to 2021 (?).
      Holding every good thought that G’boro will be on the calendar next year!! xB

  5. Bettie, I always look with eager anticipation to your beautiful photos! Love the one of the cheeky bartender–too funny. I’m sure all of us are relying on happy past times right now to help counteract all the depressive news we hear on a daily basis. I’m thrilled to have your blog counted among the things that bring a sense of normalcy and smiles to my life. Hugs!

    1. What a compliment, Bobbi, Merci! And I adore that image of the bartender, too…so spontaneous. xB

  6. Wish I were there! Such gorgeous pics, thank you Bettie!! 💃🏼🍾💐

  7. Bettie,
    I look forward to all your lovely posts, which are always inspiring in so many ways. Your exquisite taste and discerning eye make your posts a very special treat indeed. The Paris post brought a smile and dreams of better times ahead for all of us. What a handsome bartender at the Ritz to join in the fun. Best wishes and take good care!

    P.S. what was the make of your fabulous bag at the Ritz?

    1. Thank you, Deborah, I so want to bring some levity (the bartender) and perspective to these Covid-era posts.
      Tha bag is from Moynat. xB

    1. That was the premise…that we were all together back in Paris!
      Yes, I take all the images…such a treat, especially in “Paree”. xB

    1. Truly? What a wonderful coincidence; I don’t know too many people who’ve ever seen it….xB

    1. Dearest, I’ve been thinking of you all so much!!
      So to my favorite mother of an adorable little boy, let me wish you Happy Mother’s Day from the bottom of my heart…xxB

  8. You made my day Bettie! I was to have spent April in Paris and May in the South of France. Now, I just got to take a wonderful trip to Paris that was not possible without your lovely post. I appreciate your sense of taste and style and always enjoy your post.

    Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!
    Deborah Levy Designs

    1. Many mercis, Deborah!It must be very painful to miss two coinciding trips to France…lets’ hope it’s possible to get back over soon.
      And Happy Mother’s Day to you! xB

  9. Bettie, merci beaucoup for this wonderful “trip” to Paris. We’ve gone each of the last 7 years until this one. Last year we took our 14-year-old granddaughter. I’m so glad we were able to get that trip in before 2020. We also visited the Dior exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Wasn’t that spectacular! So thank you again for bringing back so many memories. Until we can again see the Eiffel Tower sparkling at midnight–health and happiness to you as you share your wonderful adventures with us.

    1. Thank you, Anita, for your sweet note. And those trips with a grandchild to Paris are the best (I hear…)
      So many reason to love having been there a few times in the past, but yes, that Dior show was a BIG reason!!
      Hoping you have a chance to return soon…Cheers, Bettie

  10. Hi Bettie! Love that bartender!
    Yes, Paris IS ALWAYS a good idea…but these days I long for Belle Newport, my home away from home, as I sit distancing here in Morris County NJ…Enjoy our beautiful city by the sea!

    1. Yes, Joanne, I love that cheeky bartender, too; who knew how much he would add to my picture.
      Hope you’ll be able to get back to Newport soon! Cheers, B

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