9.30.2008

Debauve et Gallais




Years ago, my friend Michael told me the best chocolate shop in Paris is Debauve et Gallais on the rue des Saint Pères. He was very correct!

Every variety of chocolate I’ve ever had from this shop is rich and delicious. They are expensive, but with their high concentration of cacoa, they are worth the splurge.

This wonderful chocolate shop was founded by Sulpice Debauve, a pharmacist for Louis XVI and Marie-Antionette. At the request of Marie-Antionette, Debauve began preparing chocolates to ease her distaste for taking medicine. After the Revolution, he abandoned being a pharmacist, opened a shop on the Left Bank and focused solely on making chocolates.

These delicious treats are now available online and in boutiques around the world.

9.29.2008

Chateau de Bagatelle





The 12th annual Fêtes des Jardins was held in gardens throughout the city this weekend. The Festival featured a variety of concerts, games and public tours. So, I decided this was a good time to return to the Jardin de Bagatelle to see the interior of the Chateau, which was closed during my previous visit.

Like the Petit Trianon, the Chateau de Bagatelle is a neoclassic architectural jewel. Both these houses remind me of music boxes; they are perfectly square, sweet, feminine and filled with treasures. The interior of the Bagatelle is well-preserved and beautifully outfitted with 18th and 19th century furniture, porcelain, and drawings. The décor is in soft shades of celadon, blue, pink and gray. Straight lines and pastel colors marked the beginning of the neoclassic period in France.

One of the most notable things about the Chateau is the amazing trompe l’oeil painting. Blue skies, billowing clouds, and cherubs painted by famous artist Hubert Robert create a light and cheerful space. The trompe l’oeil coffered ceiling in the music room is remarkable.

The dining room was fully furnished and beautiful as well. The table was laid with Sevres porcelain, 19th century crystal, and silver candelabra. A walnut rafraichissoir sat in the corner. These little tables were popular in the 19th century, as they were used to hold wine needed to refresh beverages during a meal.

The Chateau is one of many notable historic homes in Paris. I highly a recommend a visit.

9.27.2008

Charming Chestnuts



It’s beginning to feel a bit like fall. It’s still warm and sunny, but the leaves are changing color and chestnuts are falling to the ground. Throughout the city, I’ve noticed children enthusiastically running around like little squirrels collecting them.

The other day, I went to my friend Cécile’s house for lunch. Her five-year old daughter, Hannah, had decorated the mantel in the living room with a charming display. Cécile told me using the chestnuts as décor is a typical childhood activity.

Now, I know what all those children are doing with all those chestnuts.

9.26.2008

Le Petit Trianon




I read that the Petit Trianon and all the furnishings have been completely restored thanks to generous funding by the watchmaker Breguet.

So, I headed out to Versailles to see Marie-Antoinette’s country home for myself. Much to my surprise, the space was being staged for an inauguration dinner prior to the public opening on October 2.

I was able to get a sneak peak and tour the first floor of this stately home. One would think that my visit was compromised due the limited access and work being done around me. On the contrary, it was actually enhanced. Landscapers and gardeners were trimming hedges, laying pea gravel and planting flowers. Inside, florists and designers were putting last minute touches on the décor.

I love getting ready for parties, but it’s even more fun to watch other people get ready for a party. The experience made the home come alive. I could well imagine similar efforts taking place in the late 18th century, when Marie-Antoinette herself was holding a party.

I forgot to bring my camera and took these photos with my mobile phone; they leave a lot to be desired. In reality, the home looks amazing and I would encourage everyone to see this neoclassic jewel
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9.25.2008

Perrier-Grenadine

Strolling around Paris on warm weather days sometimes requires a little refreshment. One of my favorite beverages is a Perrier-Grenadine. Quite simply, a bottle of Perrier served with four tablespoons of Grenadine syrup.

It’s sweet and flavorful.

9.24.2008

Chateau de Chantilly







The Chateau de Chantilly is enormous and impressive.

It sits on nearly 20,000 acres in the middle of one of largest forests in the country. As with many of the chateau in France, Chantilly began as a defense fortress constructed in the middle-ages. It was transformed into a magnificent residence over the subsequent centuries.

Today, the overall chateau it divided into two principle parts: the grand chateau, pictured in the background to the left, and the petite chateau, in the foreground on the right. Together, they reflect a variety of architectural styles and influences. In fact, one can very well see that the foundation of the structure is indeed like a fortress, while the turrets are very eclectic, combining neoclassic and baroque architectural elements.

The interior space is beautifully maintained and well appointed. The most recent resident, Henri d’Orleans duc d’Aumale (1822 – 1897), was an avid collector of paintings, furniture and object d’art. He left the chateau fully furnished to be kept as a museum. Everything is in place as it was when he lived there.

In the gallery, one can see the paintings by Delacroix, Corot, Poussin, Ingres and others. The console in the sitting room photographed above belonged to Louis XVI. It was removed from Versailles after the Revolution. The chandelier is by Baccarat and the tapestries on the chairs are by Beauvais. The quality and condition of the collection is remarkable.

In reference to the console, I want to make a larger comment on the French Revolution. Many people have the false impression that the tumultuous and violent period leading up to and during the Revolution left the country in a state of total havoc. This is true to a limited extent. It is almost impossible to find pre-Revolution tapestries that contain gold or silver thread or sterling silver flatware and serving pieces because they were stolen and melted down for monetary purposes. But, when the government was transformed from a Monarchy to a Republic, property of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette was seized and inventoried in an orderly fashion. Yes, the Bastille was stormed by an angry mob, but it was a prison containing no valuable objects. The Chateau de Versailles and the Louvre were never stormed and their contents were preserved by the State as part of what the French refer to as le patrimoine d’Etat; i.e., state property.

OK…enough editorial! Getting back to the Chateau…

The grounds are equally spectacular. They were designed by the famous landscape architect André LeNotre, who also designed the grounds of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles. Anyone who has visited either of those two chateaux can see the similarity of design. Key elements for which LeNotre is known include a large central axis bordered by parterres and fountains, leading to a man-made lake.

The Grand Ecuries, or horse stable, are just across the road. This structure very well could have been named the Enorme Ecuries because of its size. The Ecuries runs the length of the famous Chantilly race track. The building holds the Museum of Living Horses, with breeds from all over Europe. There is also a performance ring in the central portion where free equestrian dressage shows take place daily. On the day that I visited, an outdoor horse festival was taking place in the infield of the Chantilly Race Track. It was a bit of carnival atmosphere, packed with families and vendors.

I was very impressed with all that Chantilly had to offer and I would definitely recommend a visit to anyone with an interest in seeing one of the great chateaux of France
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9.23.2008

Apremont





Apremont, where the Polo Club is located, is a pristine little town about five kilometers northeast of Chantilly. It only takes about 15 seconds to drive through this town, but it's worth a visit.

These photos were taken in the town center. They include the Church, which sits at the highest point, the Mayor’s office and the library. Just down the road is the only restaurant in town. It looked warm and welcoming. I would have stayed for dinner, but I knew there would be a lot of traffic heading into Paris and the return trip would take much longer than my outbound trip had taken. So, I opted to hit the road.

And, it's a good thing I did. The Stade de France is on the north side of Paris. Madonna was performing there and traffic was a nightmare. I had just enough time to return my rental car before the agency closed for the night.

9.22.2008

Open de France Polo Cup






The weather remains spectacular. So, like many Parisians, I decided to head out of the city for the weekend.

I rented a car and set my sights on Chantilly. Located just an hour north of Paris, it would be an easy drive and a very do-able day trip. Chantilly is famous for its beautiful chateaux and race track. I had always wanted to go there and this was the perfect opportunity.

The final match of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Open de France Polo Cup was being held at the prestigious Chantilly Polo Club on Sunday afternoon. I arrived at about eleven o’clock in the morning. I toured the Chateaux and the Grand Ecuries until mid-day. Then, I hit the road to Ferme d’Apremont, where the tournament was taking place.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Open de France is one of the four major polo tournaments of the season. Jaeger-LeCoultre is famous for its Reverso watch, which was designed intentionally for polo in order to protect the face from possible damage during play.

I had never attended a polo match outside the United States, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. As it turns out, the “polo scene” seems to be the same all over the world. Guests arrived in luxury automobiles outfitted in jeans, boots, blazers, stable jackets and Hermes scarves. Many packed a picnic lunch and were provided a parking space alongside the field in exchange for a twenty-five euro donation to the Kiwanis Club.

There was also a tented brasserie and stadium style seating. A sponsor tent, which included a full-on Jaeger-LeCoultre boutique, was provided for VIPs and their guests. Almost everyone, including me, sat or leaned on the rail fence just beyond the perimeter of the field. This provided the best views and the most camaraderie.

The Chantilly Polo Club and the Deauville Polo Club were in the finals. Play was very exciting, with an even score at the end putting the match into overtime. Deauville was the first to score, winning the final match and the 2008 Open de France.

There was competition off the field as well. A Concours de Picnic was held and the best presentation was awarded a bottle of Champagne.

When all was done, I headed back to Paris energized and completely charmed by the picturesque countryside
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9.19.2008

Soirée de Gala






Last night, the Les Amis de l’Opéra and The American Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet co-hosted a Soirée de Gala celebrating the New York City Ballet’s opening of the 2008-09 Season in Paris.

The excitement of the evening began on the steps of Palais Garnier when arriving guests making their way into the opera house were greeted by photographers and press covering the soirée. Madame Bernadette Chirac, the Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Peter Martins, and Charlotte Moss were amongst those in attendance.

The program consisted of four dances celebrating the choreography of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins. The first three programs featured only one, two or four dancers at a time dressed in understated costume.

During intermission, the impressive catering firm of Potel & Chabot provided guests with an assortment of beautifully displayed hors d’oeuvres and flutes of Champagne. I am amazed at the skill, ease and efficiency with which this firm served more than 1,000 guests in the short time span of only 20 minutes.

After intermission, the red velvet curtain was raised revealing approximately 20 dancers in elaborate costumes of ivory satin bodices and white crinoline tutus embellished with crystals. All of women had their hair tightly pulled up and adorned in satin. The principle dancers wore jeweled tiaras.

Together, they looked like delicious dollops of meringue uniformly lined up on stage. The audience responded with a unified “aaahhh” of delight, as if a magnificent firework has just been set off in the house. Everyone knew they were in for a special treat and the NYCB did not disappoint them.

They thrilled the audience with a dance choreographed by Balanchine to George Bizet’s Symphony in C Major. At times, there were more than 40 dancers on stage captivating the audience with synchronized movements. For the next 35 minutes, the entire company filtered on and off stage with great spectacle. When the performance ended, the audience expressed appreciation with non-stop applause in unison until a fourth curtain call was taken by the principle dancers.

I needed to be pinched…this was over the top! The fabulous performance, taking place in one of the architectural jewels of Paris, for an audience dressed in ball gowns and black tie was almost too much to absorb. Somehow, I managed!

Afterward, guests enjoyed three-course supper of Soufflé de brochet accompanied by a Mouton Cadet white wine, followed by Boeuf à la Royale topped with grilled foie gras served with truffle ravioli accompanied by Médoc Baron Philippe red wine, and chocolate mousse and vanilla ice cream followed by expresso coffee for dessert.

Tiffany & Company sponsored the dinner. Their participation was marked by silver and white décor and an emblematic Tiffany blue box tied with a white satin ribbon at each place-setting. The box contained a silver “Return to Tiffany” key ring engraved NYC Ballet Paris 2008.

When I first arrived, I checked in and discovered that I was seated in the Grand Foyer just outside the Grand Ballroom. I was a little disappointed. I wanted to have been seated in newly restored ballroom. When dinner began, however, I realized that I was just a couple tables away from Madame Chirac and other VIPs who were also seated in the Foyer. What luck!

And, I’m not quite sure how to fit this in, but I’m going to put it under the category of “An Interesting Note on Protocol.”

For two and a half hours during supper not a single person stirred from their seat. After dessert was served, Madame Chirac and her companion stood up, quietly walked through the hall and departed by elevator. Not a single person stirred.

Then, Baroness Rothschild and her companion stood up, quietly walked through the hall and departed by elevator. Not a single person stirred.

That is, until the elevator doors closed. At that moment, it was like a quiet orchestrated stampede to the main staircase. In less than 15 minutes, more than 650 supper guests left the Palais.

As I taxied home, I watched the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. It marked the perfect end to a perfect night
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Les imprévus


One of the nicest things about Paris is what the French call les imprévus, those unforeseen moments that occur simply because you’re in a city where so much happens.

I had such a moment the other day. I had just finished the mundane task of picking up a fountain pen that had been repaired in a boutique on the Champs-Elysée. As I walked toward the Metro, I happened into a large crowd. As it turned out, the sidewalk was closed due to the opening night celebration of a film at the Lido.

I decided to make my way through the crowd near the curb of the street. Just then, two black sedans pulled up, everyone started yelling and Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro emerged from the cars.

I snapped a photo et voilà
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9.18.2008

Christie's


I could not write about French style without mentioning Christie’s Education in Paris. For one year, I studied Fine and Decorative French Art History at Christie’s, covering every period from the middle-ages to the present. This course of study increased my appreciation for French art and design. It is part of the reason I wanted to create this site.

Studies at Christie’s included architecture, painting, furniture, sculpture, porcelain, silver, tapestry and textiles, and all of their associated crafts. Students were provided entrée to private galleries, atéliers, and reserve museum collections, including the Louvre and the National Library. As a group, we traveled to the Loire Valley, Lyon, Lille, Brussels and Maastricht. We had a wonderful Director, Monsieur Frédéric Ballon, whose knowledge and enthusiasm for our program fostered a high level of seriousness and aptitude in all the students.

We met with museum curators, professors, gallery owners, artisans and historians to better learn the foundation and evolution of French design and execution. We learned how to value items and catalogue collections, how to differentiate authentic from false, how to care for, clean and restore valuable works of art. We learned the “ins and outs” of the auction trade.

In our class, there were 47 students from all over the world: France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Venezuela, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada and the United States. We had a wonderful group dynamic with everyone offering interesting insights to French art and culture based on their experiences in their own countries. As a group, it was the highest-quality of people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing
. I made friends and developed relationships that I hope will last my lifetime.

My year of study and living in Paris transformed and intensified my appreciation for French quality, design and culture. I went from thinking Limoges porcelain is beautiful and selecting it for my own home to knowing why the finest porcelain is made in the town of Limoges, the influencing characteristics of the soil in this part of France and the economic factors the helped this budding industry flourish.

My year at Christie’s was marvelous in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, it is an experience that cannot be replicated. Christie’s Education closed its school in Paris and there are no plans for it to reopen. Similar programs are offered in London and New York, but the curriculum is very different from the program I studied.

I have fond memories of my year at Christie's and I will always appreciate having had the opportunity to study there.

9.17.2008

Hydrangea


I love blue hydrangea. They are all over France. One day I will have a garden full of them. For now, I will enjoy these from the flower market at Place de la Madeleine.

9.16.2008

Comtesse du Barry


One of my favorite gourmet shops in Paris is the Comtesse du Barry. I dare say that it’s a favorite because nearly everything they sell comes in a can. Sound awful? Well, not if you’re planning to pack it in your suitcase and take it home with you!

The Comtesse du Barry has been producing gastronomic delicacies for 100 years. Products include everything from truffle juice to chocolate soufflé. Honestly, these gourmet treats are delicious. I usually purchase a few cans of goose and duck liver paté to have on hand in the States. Paired with a bottle of Sauterne, a serving of foie gras makes a great starter for almost any dinner.

There are six boutiques in Paris. I shop at the boutique in the sixth arrondissement at 1, rue de Sevres. The products are quite expensive so it’s a good idea to sign up for the “fidelity” program. Through the program, one can accumulate points for each purchase based on the dollar amount spent. If you’re stocking up, you may receive a complimentary product straight away.

If you should decide to return to the States with an inventory of your own, be sure to purchase a French can opener as well. Opening French cans with an American can opener is a struggle.

Bon appetit!

9.15.2008

Americans Abroad






Over the weekend, I had dinner with longtime American friends Dawn and Michael at their home, La Charmeraie.

La Charmeraie is in the little town of Louveciennes, not far from Versailles. The meaning of the name of their home is twofold: first, after the Charme, or Hornbeam, trees that grace their property and second because it is indeed a very charming place.

I’ve known this couple since I was a little girl. Michael and I grew up in the same neighborhood and Dawn lived in the next town. Michael is largely responsible for nurturing my budding interest in all things French.

Since my first trip to Paris, we’ve made it a point to get together. I love spending time with them. They represent the quintessential Americans abroad: attractive, affluent and successful, with an interesting circle of friends and three adorable multi-cultural children. I fancy them as Zelda and F. Scott during their years on the French Riviera.

Michael is the founding partner of an international business consulting firm. He always has wonderful anecdotes about his experiences living and working overseas. Dawn is just amazing in every way. She has a terrific sense of humor and gracefully manages her household despite the fact that her husband and children may be simultaneously in a different country, or continent, at any given time. She is also a fabulous chef and dinner at their house is always special.

After a little Champagne and a lot of catching up, we sat down to a wonderful meal. Dawn always has flavorful salad recipes and this time was no different: shredded cabbage and sliced almonds tossed in vinaigrette with a tomato and lettuce garnish. This was followed by roasted veal, potatoes and carrots. Fresh berries, whipped cream, homemade cookies and coffee were served for dessert. It was delicious!

We continued to visit until it was time for me to go to the train station for the return trip to Paris. I rode home with a smile on my face, thinking about how much fun I had visiting with them.

9.13.2008

Market Day




I used to loathe grocery shopping in Paris. I thought it was a big hassle. I hated having to quickly bag my own groceries before the next customer’s items came tumbling down the conveyor belt. I hated having to carry everything home or manage my little pull-cart down the cobbled street. I hated wondering whether I got a nice piece of cheese or just something the shop owner was trying to unload.

It was so much easier in States where I could fill my SUV with the brand-names I knew and pull my car right into the garage for easy access to my kitchen.
It's no wonder that the French use the same term, faire des courses, for grocery shopping and running a race. It requires practice, skill and a degree of athleticism.
Eventually, I adjusted my attitude and developed a strategy for this sport. I learned where I should purchase my bread, cheese, wine, etc.
I go to Maison Gosselin, where fresh fruits and vegetables are fully stocked and beautifully arranged. La Fromagerie de Passy where the woman behind the counter recognizes me and patiently explains the flavors of the cheese. The Supermarché, where the aisles are wide and check-out girls are friendly. I quickly dart in and out of these shops according to the length of the lines and weight of the items I must carry.On my way home, I stop at the La Flute Enchantée for my bread. Not coincentially, "the Magic Flute" is on Avenue Mozart and the colloquial term for baguette is flute. I am charmed by this confluence of artistic reference and daily life.The Passy market is a bustling and fun place to be on Saturday mornings. I never know what I'll see and I always come home with something interesting and unexpected. It’s usually something that looks so colorful and delicious that I just have to eat it. Today, it was raspberries. Who knows what it will be next week.
Now, I love grocery shopping in Paris. I view the process as a testament to France's love of bonne cuisine.


9.12.2008

NYCB in Paris


Americans have stormed the Bastille!

Well, only figuratively…The New York City Ballet has been invited to open the 2008-09 Season with a series of performances at the Bastille Opera from September 9 to 21.

This is the first time in 43 years that the NYCB has performed in Paris and the first time ever that a visiting company has been invited to perform on stage at the Bastille Opera. For this momentous occasion, the City ballet has put together four programs celebrating four of our greatest choreographers: George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martin and Christopher Wheeldon.

In turn, France’s premiere company Ballet de l’Opera will pay homage to Robbins with performances at the Palais Garnier from September 20 to 30.

The production of this wonderful series will be celebrated at a Gala Soirée in the Grand Ballroom of the Palais Garnier by the American Friends of the Paris Ballet & Opera and its French counterpart Les Amis de l’Opera. This black tie event is sponsored by Tiffany & Co.

As a fan of the Paris ballet and a proud American, I purchased tickets to all of these performances. I will attend the Gala Soirée on September 18 as well.

Last night was the first of the four programs, which consisted of three pieces choreographed by Balanchine: Divertimento No. 15 (Mozart), Episodes (Webern) and Suite No. 3 (Tschaikovsky).

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, an expert in dance. I have never studied it and I have never performed it. I can, however, comment on the quality of the spectacle. It was magical!

The program opened with a classical dance performance to Mozart. I have always loved Divertimento No. 15. It instills in me a sense of calm and ease. Seeing this piece of music interpreted to dance was particularly rewarding. The dancers wore traditional costumes in pale shades of blue and gold. In my view, it was an intentional nod to the royal colors of France.

The second piece, entitled Episodes, was contemporary and hypnotizing. The dancers wore white tights and black leotards. Their movements were geometric and angled. It reminded me of Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire in Funny Face.

The final piece, Tschaikovsky’s Suite No. 3, was dreamlike. It was performed behind a screen that created the sense of haze. The dancers wore a combination of costumes ranging from flowing gowns in pastel shades of pink, purple and blue to traditional tutus in celadon and peach. They looked like delicious macaroons dancing across the stage.
The photo does not do justice. It is quite dark, but it was the best I could do given the restrictions.

For two and half hours, the City Ballet wow'd a sold-out house. The evening ended in resounding applause and spectators howling "Bravo!" at the top of their lungs.

Tonight, I will see the second program and I can hardly wait
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9.11.2008

Biennale des Antiquaires - Part Two






The art market came alive in Paris last night as hundreds of dealers, collectors, curators and art aficionados poured into the Grand Palais to view some of the most exceptional objects on the market today. Once again, the Biennale did not disappoint even the most discerning visitor.

Recently renovated, the Grand Palais looked fabulous. The exhibition space was divided into quadrants, each depicting a different style of garden. The themes included an Exotic Forest, a Roseraie, a Japanese garden, and a Mediterranean garden. The extraordinary glass ceiling loomed overhead and shed light onto the exhibition hall until sunset.

The gallery spaces within the exhibition were clean and modern. Most of the exhibitors adopted a minimalist approach to displaying their goods, with straight lines, neutral tones and no architectural embellishment. This was a bit of a disappointment for me. When I’m in France, I like feel as if I’m at Louis XIV’s court, not a Calvin Klein boutique. Nonetheless, there were a few exhibitors that kept to tradition. Bernard Steinitz’ gallery was like a Fabergé egg, filled with crystal chandeliers, porcelain, gilt mirrors and marquetry embellished furniture.

This is a shopping experience like no other. Everything from impressionist paintings by Renoir, Degas, Corot and Cassatt to art deco furniture by Ruhlmann, Iribe and Gray was on display and available for purchase. If it wasn’t there, there was someone who could tell you where to get it.


As if that weren’t enough, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, de Grisogono and an array of other fine jewelry houses exhibited magnificent pieces. A pavé diamond necklace and a feather adorned tiara worn by the Maharaja were displayed at Cartier. De Grisogono offered a serpentine ruby encrusted bracelet. Harry Winston showed a 97 carat marquise diamond necklace set in platinum. Every jewelry house had amazing pieces.

The quality was unsurpassed. The Syndicat National des Antiquaires has very strict guidelines for the Biennale. If there is the slightest indication that a piece is not authentic, it is pulled from the exhibition.










In my view, Van Cleef & Arpels had the most impressive jewelry gallery. Van Cleef & Arpels paid homage to the décor of the Biennale with four large display cases, each depicting a style of garden. Each case held a central piece, such as an ornate necklace, and a variety of ancillary pieces that coordinated with it. For example, the French garden themed case held a necklace comprised of emerald cut emeralds and diamond baguettes arranged in a geometric pattern that imitates the parterres and pathways of a formal French garden. They were newly created pieces, but in the art deco style. Likewise, there were Italian Renaissance Garden, English Garden, and Japanese Garden inspired collections.

The evening began with flutes of Champagne served at the door to arriving guests. Shortly thereafter, an army of servers entered the hall from every direction with platters of the most beautifully displayed hors d’oeuvres provided by Potel & Chabot. There were several well-appointed bars that were easy to find, but strategically placed so they didn’t impede traffic flow. Likewise, small buffet and cabaret tables displayed an array of delicacies. Servers passed hors d’oeuvres and then dessert throughout the night.

There was a Club Privilegé, which offered reserved seating and table side service. It remained empty all night. Even the most privileged guests preferred to socialize and view the beautiful array of objects displayed in the galleries.

Interestingly, as I had never seen this before, several servers circulated the exhibition hall working from a small tri-pod table on wheels, the sort of table a painter would use next to an easel. Each server had a type of hors d’oeuvre, but with some slight variation in flavor: “Madame, Do you prefer duck or goose liver?”

Often, I don’t eat at these sorts of cocktails soirées because I find the task overwhelming. How does one hold a handbag, glass of Champagne and program while trying to put food in their mouth? That was not case last night.

I fell to sleep thinking about all the beautiful objects of art and trying to quantify the amount of food I must have consume
d.

9.10.2008

Biennale des Antiquaires - Part One
































The 24th Annual Biennale des Antiquaires, one of the largest and most prestigious art fairs in the world, will open to the public on Thursday, September 11 at the Grand Palais.

Every variety of rare and unique object d’art, ranging from ancient antiquities, to jewelry, furniture and contemporary paintings, will be presented by 94 of the leading dealers from across the globe. For this fabulous event, the Grand Palais has been transformed into an immense exotic garden with an array of foliage and floral displays leading visitors through the exposition hall.

To celebrate the opening, the Syndicat National des Antiquaires is hosting tonight a Vernissage; i.e., a Preview Party. Gallery owner Madame Monique Arnon has invited me to join her and a small group of dealers from Paris for this wonderful evening of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.



This will be an exceptional night and I promise to post all the details…