Living with Style, People, Places & Spaces, Travel Notes

Remembering Paris…

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If truth be told, the beauty of travel for me may ultimately rest in collecting memories that you then have at your fingertip to recall whenever, wherever. They are all yours — no one can take them away. You can draw upon them to lift  a mood, enjoy a chuckle, awe at the beauty or feel refreshed in the spirit of that moment in time. What an absolute pleasure to recall these Parisian memories, for to me, sharing invests them with a special burnish.

Don’t you love the way that scrumptious Eiffel Tower just cozies into the neighborhood?

Aaaah Dior, who is more associated with Paris than this designer and house, which has had six couturiers following in his path? The wonderful story of Christian Dior was told in a most dramatic and truly, truly unforgettable show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, “Couturier du Reve.” How lucky I felt to have been there at the time for it will never be seen again!

A gallery that literally takes your breath away… dramatic displays that include some of the creations of seventy years of the House of Dior.

Of course, the doors of Paris are a favorite photo opp…too many to ever be able to capture but I shall keep on trying.

My traveling buddy, Norma Thiessen, introduced me to the handsomely Parisian small  Musée Nissim de Camondo with its heart-wrenching story of this Jewish family home during WWII. Beautifully maintained, and in a neighborhood so very French, I shall always plan to return to it on every trip.

The boiserie so intricately carried out but never over done.

The grand limestone facade letting on to a small formal garden that has the added distinction of backing up to the Parc Monceau.

Viva la France! Looks like the latest shade of a French lipstick, n’est-ce pas?

Along with shoes, I have a stair fetish…

And what says Paris more joyously than the signature red awnings of the Plaza Athénée, accented with beaucoup of geranium-filled window boxes.

All the more wonderful because it was so unexpected and a punctuation in its French neighborhood…the divine shade of cinnabar accenting the “Pagoda Paris” art gallery of Chinese and Asian art and antiquities with the added chic of the tiled roof entrance set at an angle to the building.

And my fondest remembrance of Paris will be the exquisite jewel of a hotel, Le Dokhan in the 16th Arrondissement, to which we retreated at the end of each day. Did I mention they have a large champagne selection (and three-offering champagne tastings at the cocktail hour?)

Le Dokhan will deservedly have its own post on January 11. You won’t want to miss it…

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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".