Look at this gorgeous and fresh salad, my favorite in summer : salad niçoise ! a specialty from South of France, Nice, on the famous french riviera. The ideal summer dish with eggs, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, tuna. Sometimes you can find also green beans even if it’s not in the original recipe. You can try this one in Paris, with an original colored twist (potatoes and radishes) at Café Ruc near Louvre, 159 rue saint Honoré, 75001. According to me the best in town ! The secret : the fresh cooked tuna and excellent vegetables.
Tired of white cube style gallery ? Looking for mystery, sensuality and new territories to explore ?…
Well, Da End gallery with its Cabinet of Curiosities is for you ! A gallery with a soul-created by japonese gifted photographer Satoshi Saikusa and his exquisite wife Diem Quynh- dark as dandy secret room, with little hooks and cranny, filled with sculptures, paintings, drawings, installations, a universal story about the cycle of life on Earth is unveiled. Growths, mutations, alterations: all the successive evolutions due to the natural course of things, but also to the action of man, are depicted both in a literal or allegorical way.
The display and gathering is echoing these famous Cabinet of Marvels, also called Kunst Kamer, created by intellectual and artists in Europe, from 16th century to 18th century, when people started to discover new worlds and expected to find mermaids, griffons, unicorns…Using a system of classifications, from Naturalia-beauty from nature-to Artificiala-artefacts- including Mirabilia -exceptional pieces like Ostrich eggs or tortoise shell-and scientifica – instrument of world knowledge-they wanted to recreate at home the splendors of the world concentrated in a small space, propitious to meditation on life and creation and stimulating imagination.
What a pleasure to discover Da-End cabinet of curiosities : you’re immerged into the deepest mysteries and beauties of life and death…ringing skulls, flowers fading away as beautiful as alive, butterflies wings playing with light, a nativity transformed into a vanity…the list is not exhaustive , you have to visit it and better : to experience it !
Da End gallery- 17 rue Guenegaud- 75006 Paris
(All pictures in this post : courtesy gallery Da End©)
Buongiorno a tutti !
We just come back from an enchanting 10 days trip to Roma, the Eternal City and I would like to share with you our wonderfull experience.
Rome can be an overwhelming city and I could write many lyrical pages about but I choose today the practical way to introduce the city with a top 3/4/5 list for hotels, restaurant, museums, places.
A kind of speed dating with bellissima Roma ;-)
First, I would like to reassure you : according to me the top Luxury way of visiting the city of 400 churches and 300 fountains, is to wander hours and hours with no goals, to stop in cafés on lovely piazza and enjoy Dolce vita. Don’t feel guilty if you don’ t visit ALL the monuments from Roman Times and ALL the churches listed in guides books , what is incredible in Rome is that even seen from outside during your walk everything is splendid, gorgeous and amazing : la Grande Bellezza everywhere !
By the way I do recommend to see the eponymous movie ( La Grande Bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino before your trip).
( Sunset et Villa Medici- French Academy in Rome)
Lets’s start with hotels, here is my top 3 list :
1) Aldrovandi hotel Villa Borghese
If you ‘re travelling in hot season and are looking for a nice pool in a relaxing garden, the place is for you !
This 5 star Luxury retreat is just next to Borghese garden and the Museum of Modern Art, away from the hustle and bustle of roman center.
Ask for Pauline Charles, deputy manager if you need anything there, she’s very professional and charming and will do everything to make your stay memorable.
The buffet by the pool is exquisite, with the best italian seasonal products , all prepared by the team of 2 star Michelin guide chef at home Oliver Glowig. Instill remember the fabulous black truffled peccorino !!
I LOVED also the Spa, very relaxing and the fitness room is great.
My tip : if you don’t stay at the hotel you can nevertheless come and use the pool ( not in high season of course). Please call the hotel before for availability and fees.
2) Hotel de Russie
Sometimes people know just 1 hotel name in Rome and this is it !
Located just next to Santa Maria deĺ Popolo piazza and close to Piazza di Spagna, the Rocco Forte gem is still a great choice with excellent service and refined atmosphere. A perfect balance between tradition and modernity.
I love their garden with the outdoor restaurant, so refreshing to come on sunday for brunches. All the waiters are very friendly and very professional.
3) JK Place
If you like Design and contemporary art in a top Luxury and trendy atmosphere and want to stay in the center, don’t look further more and book here immediatly ! As you may know I’ m an art historian and collector and that ‘s the first time I was really impressed by the decor and amenities. I’m a fan ! more over the selection of art works is just perfect.
The service is so charming and very attentive !
I’m looking forward to discovering next year the roof top terrace.
Top 5 restaurants :
1) a gastronomic experience with 2 starred chef Oliver Glowig at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese.
The chef is german but great expert in italian products with a high Technical level ! a real work of art in your plate and a delight for your palate.
His reference is french chef Pierre Gagnaire and we can say he’s reaching the Master.
My tip : at the end of the meal, if you can’t take any more , don’t be shy to ask for a box for your macarons and chocolates ! I can tell you you’ll be happy the day after !
2) In institution : Pierluigi , especially for fishes.Great choice ! Actually you choose yourself the one you want , on display inside.Elena, the hostess is adorable and very efficient. You need to book as this is a must in Rome ! When we had dinner there, Alex Baldwin was also in the place. Many beautiful people from fashion, media business, mixed with local big wheels … In summer, having the diner outside is a lovely experience, the facade around are so theatrical !
3) Trendy and (very) young : Bar del Fico . Outside : Amazing cool crowd for a drink by night ! Inside : funky salvage decor , open kitchen, delicious pasta with truffles ! Parisian will understand : it’s a kind of Oberkampf style. Don’t mind their website with this impossible video of a woman running naked over the table …still try to understand myself !
4) Casual, unformal, kind of old school, but delicious : Corallo. The best scaloppine with truffles ! My friends love also the pizzas very much.
5) A fooding experience in Trastevere in the new Sotto-Sopra ( via di Ponte Sisto 67). Very friendly welcome and service. Original and italian in the same time, very tasty and creative. Nice contemporary design, not cold at all, food-manufacture style.
Top 3 museums :
I know there are many more worthy to visit, but if you had only time for 3 museums here is the ones I would recommend :
1) The Vatican Museum for its amazing and gorgeous collection of Antiques first, a great source of inspiration for Art since they were exhibited, second reason to be mixed with the huge touristy crowd : Michel Angelo’s sistine chapel ceiling ! No need to add more ! You absolutely need to book online to avoid endless queue. And better to visit St Peter later in the afternoon. More than a tour it’s an experience to be inside.
2) Borghese Gallery for the lovely, exquisite and splendid Berninis ! My favorite is Apollo and Daphne . For paintings : the Caravaggios of course are a must see ( the Boy with fruit basket – the Madonna of the groom…)
3) The Museum of Modern Art : located near the famous Borghese gardens, a rich collection of modern masters you wouldn’t expect to see in Rome. Actually the biggest collection in Italy of Modern Art, but it looks like few people know it only. A kind of best kept secret ;-) With gems like Kandinsky, Albers, Klimt, de Nittis, italian futurist, Manzoni (see pic), Fontana, Cruz-Diez…
I would like to share with you my favorite hidden gems museums in Paris :
1) Delacroix museum : the romantic hidden gem by excellence !
6 Rue de Furstenberg, 75006 Paris- musee-delacroix.fr
open from 9.30 am to 5 pm – closed on monday – 7,50 euros
The famous french romantic painter author of “Liberty guiding the people”, exhibited in the Louvre, choose to settle down in 1857 in Saint Germain des Pres district, on left bank,
to get closer to Saint Sulpice church where he was commissioned a chapel to decorate, on which he was working since 1847. Sick and tired he was so delighted to find a lovely place close to the church :
My apartment is decidedly charming… Woke up the next day to see the most gracious sun on the houses opposite my window. The view of my little garden and the cheerful appearance of my studio always make me happy.” (Journal, December 28, 1857).
He will die there 6 years later in 1863.
His last apartment and workshop have been saved thanks to an association led by french painters, symbolist artist Maurice Denis and pointillist Paul Signac, in 1929.
In 1971 the place became a national museum where you can admire Delacroix paintings and works on paper, plus furnitures and memorabilia who belonged to the french master. Temporary exhibitions are organized as well. Sometimes concerts or plays are performed in the workshop.
Don’ t miss the enchanting little garden recently refurbished where you can rest under the shade of the tree and listen to birds, dreaming about artistic life in Paris in 19th century…
2) Rodin Museum : the splendid gem !
79 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris-musee–rodin.fr
Closed on monday – open from 10am am to 5.30pm – 9 euros
The museum opened in 1919, 2 years after the death of the french sculpteur who choose this address in 1908 as a parisian office on behalf of Rainer Maria Rilke,
the famous Austro-Hugarian poet who was Rodin’s personal secretary at this time. After first occupying few rooms on ground floor, he spread in the whole building in 1911 and decided to
“give the State all my works in plaster, marble, bronze and stone, and my drawings, as well as the collection of antiquities that I had such pleasure in assembling for the education and training of artists and workers. And I ask the State to keep all these collections in the Hôtel Biron, which will be the Musée Rodin, reserving the right to reside there all my life.”
The gorgeous 18th century mansion with original paneling and well preserved decors is filled with 500 sculptures by the author of The Kiss.
A room is devoted to his pupil, muse and lover Camille Claudel, who was also a gifted woman artist-sculpteur-at the end of the 19th century.
Don’t miss a tour in the lovely french style garden where imposing bronzes are displayed all around like the mythic « Doors of Hell » or the « Bourgeois from Calais ».
Temporary exhibition are also organized.
Mapplethorpe-Rodin until sept 21st
3) Gustave Moreau museum : the very secret gem…
14 Rue de la Rochefoucauld, 75009 Paris http://www.musee-moreau.fr
closed on tuesday- from 10 am to 5pm ( closed during the week between 12.30 and 2pm)
If the name Gustave Moreau(1826-1898) doesn’t sound familiar to a large public, connoisseurs appreciate this great symbolist master who loved myths and mysteries and was fascinated by Salome character. An art critic once said about his paintings that we should use gems vocabulary to describe his colors : emerald- ruby- saphirs…He influenced also very much french end 19th century literature.
Gustave Moreau became at the end of his life a respected teacher at the high school of Fine Arts in Paris (Beaux-Arts). His students were named : Rouault- Matisse- Marquet- Valtat….the future representative of Fauve mouvement in early 20th century.
He conceived very early the project of transforming is own house where he first lived with his parents into a whole museum devoted to his entire work-achieved and unachieved- which will be open only after his death.
When you visit his apartment and workshop, you feel like being invited in an ivory tower of a dandy painter of 19th century, the hero of a symbolist novel… the place is out of time, enchanted and marvelous ! Moreover the painter conceived spectacular furnitures to admire all his sketches and preparatory drawings. So take a seat, remove the fabric on the cabinet that protects against light, and open the windows : marvels will be revealed…
1) Henri-Cartier Bresson – Centre Pompidou until june Henri-Cartier Bresson ( 1908-2004), the french photographer who founded renowned Magnum Agency in 1947-with Capa, Rodger and Chim- was nicknamed « The eye of the century » as he witnessed the greatest moments of world history, from Spanish war in 1936 to the biggest changes linked to decolonisation and cold war. He was one of the last man who spoke to Gandhi few hours before his assassination, the first western photographer in 1954 allowed to cross the iron curtain in Russia after the death of Staline.
But before giving credentials to photo-journalism, he was originally trained as a painter in Andhré Lhote workshop notably, and was stronlgly influenced by surrealism and modernism, as we can see in his first images.
This retrospective in Pompidou Center is a real event , the first to be organized since his death 10 years ago, with a selection of 500 photographs, drawings, paintings, documents, films, which offers to the visitor an extraordinary and complete access to his work, revealing its depth and variety, without forgetting iconic images capturing the famous « decisive moment » like Giacometti walking in Maeght Gallery, becoming himself The Man who walks.
from 11am to 11pm (Closed on Tuesday) – 13 euros full price / 11 euros reduced rate
2) Artaud-Van Gogh – Orsay Museum until july 6th
The choice of Orsay Museum is captivating since it’s more than a Van Gogh exhibition, which is itself an avent ! We have on display 40 paintings, a selection of outstanding drawings, some letters to his brother Theo, but not only : the show is completed by Artaud works and pictures. Actually Orsay exhibition is based on a book written by the french dramatist and writer in 1947, called « The Man suicided by the Society », one of the most beautiful, poignant and moving text about Vincent Van Gogh’s art.
In 1947 , few days before a retrospective of the dutch painter organized at Orangerie Museum, Artaud was asked by a an art dealer, Pierre Loeb, to write a text about Van Gogh, as he thought an author who spent 9 years in a psychiatric asylum was the best placed to understand the work of a painter considered mad by the society…
The result was dark and brilliant at the same time, exactly like Van Gogh’s paintings.
This exhibition is the same level, I loved it !
But don’t be afraid by the serious side of the exhibition, if you think french poets have a twisted mind andfrighten you, just focus on Vincent’s works and the pleasure of vivid colours and dense textures, you won’t be disapointed.
Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait de l’artiste, Paris, automne 1887 (© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Gérard Blot) + Man Ray, Antonin Artaud, 1926 (© Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Jacques Faujour © Man Ray Trust / ADAGP, Paris 2014))
Musée d’Orsay- 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris- 00 33 1 40 49 48 14- http://www.musee-orsay.fr
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm – from 11 euros full price/ 8,50 euros reduced rate
3) Paris 1900 Petit Palais until august 17th
Who never dreamed about going back through time and live in 1900 Paris, the well-named Belle Epoque ? When Paris was considered to be the Capital of Art, pleasures and entertainments with its many museums, galleries, cabarets, theatres,restaurants and very special houses with closed curtains…? In 1900 Paris was definitly the Capital of capitals and the acclaimed 1900 World Fair attracted this year 51 millions people to France culturel center !
The first metro line crossing Paris from West to East was built, a new impressive bridge with gilded satues sparkling, spanning proudly above river Seine, linking Champs Elysées to Invalides was inaugurated and celebrated the franco-russian friendship (Alexander IIIrd bridge), a new train station for electric trains was achieved (the future Orsay museum), and last but not least, buildings to house temporary exhibitions devoted to the best of french art through age were designed at the corner of Champs Elysées and still exist today : Grand Palais and Petit Palais, the latter used today for this brilliant exhibition called « Paris 1900 : the spectacle city ».
That’s why you’ll be totally immerged in these fabulous times of creativity and happiness thanks to a rich documentation : vintage pictures , posters and movies (Melies- The Lumiere brothers), preparatory sketches for the world fair, dresses and accessories evoking the legendary « parisienne » (parisian woman) and many art works ( paintings, sculptures, decorative art…).
A large part is devoted to Art Nouveau Style of course with the greatest signatures : Guimard, Lalique, Prouvé, Gallé, Grasset, Mucha…The artists of the turn of the century are well represented too: Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, the Nabis…You will discover other names, less familiar today, but expert in images of 1900 Paris : Beraud, Gervex…
600 works on total to give a taste of Paris in 1900, when Paris was giving pleasure endlessly !
Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris- Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris – 00 33 1 53 43 40 00- www.petitpalais.paris.fr
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Late opening until 8pm on Thursdays for temporary exhibitions-11 euros full price/ 8 euros reduced rate
4) Bill Viola– Grand Palais until july 21st
Strongly influenced by art history-according to him Giotto’s frescoes in Assisi basilica is the unequalled summit of art installation- Goya, Bosch, Vermeer, haunt his work, lyrical and minimalist in the same time, but always accessible to a large audience.It would be reductive-even if true- to introduce Bill Viola as the greatest representative of video art in the world today, as limiting an artist about his predilection medium would enclosed him in a category. Viola is an artist first, who seeks to express universal ideas and emotions, based on major metaphysical questions (Who am I ? Where am I ? Where am I going ? ), through moving images thanks to a technique , as he likes to say, which appears when he was born in 1951 : video images.
Known all around the world since the 90’s-Viola had already great retrospectives organized in NY, LA, Tokyo, Berlin, it was time Paris devoted him an exhibition worthy of his name.
Done here in Grand Palais exhibition’s rooms where you will be invited to a mesmerizing journey, and will live a real experience.
Grand Palais- 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris 01 44 13 17 17- http://www.grandpalais.fr
from 13 euros full price/ 9 euros reduced rate
From 10 am to 10pm ( on Sunday and Monday until 8pm)- Closed on tuesday
5) Once upon a time, the Orient Express– IMA (Institut du Monde Arabe- Arabic World Institut) until august 31st
An invitation to travel without leaving Paris, that’s the promise of this splendid and unexpected exhibition !
What a unbelievable challenge : the real legendary Orient Express train, with 7 original cars, conceived in 1883 as a 5 star palace on tracks by Georges Nagelmakers, displayed on the square of Arabic World Institute (in french Institut du Monde arabe. The IMA (initials in french of this cultural center) is an outstanding contemporary building inaugurated in 1987 and designed by Pritzker Prize’s laureate french architect Jean Nouvel , a mix of high tech structure and abstract oriental motifs, facing Notre-Dame, built in 1163.
The exhibition is a pure delight and great fun ! First you start with the visit of the coaches and expect to meet Mata Hari, Agatha Christie, James Bond…all the mythical characters, real or fictional, linked with this exceptional train, symbole of exquisite luxury (finest panelling- glasses in the bar designed by Lalique) and exoticism ( the train went from London to Istambul via Paris and Venice). For each car, an original display with documents, accessories, clothes, evoke the famous and privileged travellers that made us dream.
From time to time, you can hear the sound of the train whistling like ready to leave with the noise of wheels on tracks…
Then, second part, inside the Arabic World Institute building, with more documents, posters, decoratives art, paintings…all linked with the Orient Express and its golden age in the beginning of 20th century, and shown in huge travel trunks transformed into show windows.
What a fantastic journey into time !
And the cherry on the cake : you can book online, during the exhibition, for a dinner inside one of these coaches ! The menu was created by famous french chef Yannick Alleno.
(120 euros without wines/ 160 euros with wines)
1 rue des Fossés Saint Bernard-Place Mohammed V- 75005 Paris • T 00 33 1 40 51 38 38 www.imarabe.org – closed on Monday- check opening time on website
10,50 euros full price/ 8,50 euros reduced rate
I’ve already written a post about the dream team Pierrick and Kiki Mathon for Thaïm restaurant, my favorite Thaï in Palais Royal area (check in the archives) ; well, they are back with B.A.L.M ! After the success of Thaïm, Pierrick had the wish to open a french gastronomic place which would be also an arty spot for design and art lovers. Facing the former palace of Cardinal Richelieu built in early 17th century and today office of the french minister of Culture, in a little street parallel to Palais Royal gardens, Balm is the acronym of Boeuf à la mode, a legendary restaurant of the age of enlightenment which opened there in 1792 but closed in 20th century to be transformed into a garage then into a light shop. Pierrick and Kiki launched the contemporary and trendy Balm in december 2012, keeping the initials of the famous restaurant like a tribute to this legendary place…(this pic below by Patrick Curtet)
Great names of design world were selected to create a contemporary but welcoming atmosphere : Eames, Mariscal, Massaud…raw and noble material are matching in an elegant balance of mineral and vegetal. On the wall, sensual photographs by Marc Lagrange warm up the minimalist decor.
The Chef, Rachid Djellali, who had worked before for George V and Bristol -great references-sucedeed in finding tasty equivalent to the decor ! Fresh, stylished, with textures and colors matches in your plate, his cuisine is a delight for gourmet palates and esthete. Below, the perfect starter for spring : scalops carpaccio with tartare beetroots and granny smith then a plancha gambas with risotto like a paella.
without forgetting excellent seasonal dessert, an exquisite tartlet with pink rhubarb and white cheese sorbet :
A very ParisDeluxe&Arty restaurant indeed !
B.A.L.M : 6 rue de Valois- 75001 Paris – tel. : 00 33 1 42 60 38 81 – http://www.balm.fr