Archive for the hotels and restaurants Category

Venice 2013 for the 55th Biennale of Art : my favorite rendez-vous !

Posted in Art, art and culture, contemporary art, hotels and restaurants, luxury, museums, travels, Venice on August 25, 2013 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

What I like first with the Biennale in Italy is that I know I will always travel to my prefered city each 2 years at the minimum !

So here we are back to Paris after a fantastic trip, 12 days of artistic discoveries and marvellous meetings…

We started with La Punta della Dogana (Pinault Collection) where we liked the amazing installation by Ryan Trecartin and I especially loved James Lee Byars installation that looked like a self-portrait :

Byars

The day after we went to the Palazzo Grassi to admire Rudolf Stingel total art work. I really enjoy his abstract/figurative artworks , reflexion on creation based on reproduced/printed artwork after photographs and tension between decorative/ abstract/ firgurative.  I liked also the dimension of unease and grostesque introduced in his figurative artworks.

StingelGrassi

If you want to sip one og the best Bellini in town, take advantage after your tour in Palazzo Grassi to stop at this new hotel (opened 2 years ago) next door called “Palazzina Grassi” designed by french famous designer Starck. Sounds like  a mix of Royal Monceau and Le Meurice on a reduced scale. ! A very good bar and restaurant for rainy day more than a summer spot but the peaches in our cocktail were so tasty, heaven !

Palazzina1       Palazzina2

My favorite pavilion  this year was Denmark with videos and installation by Jesper Just : “The project will consist of five films played simultaneously on a loop that examine “architectural pastiche and cultural dislocation,” no need to say more, I was mesmerized !

Image

I was impressed also by the belgium pavillion with Berlinde de Bruykhere : amazing sculpture , a dramatic mix of  nature and organic that haunts the place

In the american pavilion  Sarah Sze  organizes and arranges obsessionnally and in an extraordinary way, like  in small universes,  the chaos of little ordinary things that surrounds us.

The french pavilion -of course !-with Henri Sala and his Ravel-Unravel, because of Ravel for sure!  I just would say :  no Rival for Ravel !

Speaking about music I did enjoy very much the performance of DJ in Israelian pavilion.

You’ve got my top 5 for Giardini !

In the central pavilion there was another exquisite James Lee Byars work and I liked also Melvin Motti video very much.

Byars2     MelvinMotti

The most impressive room was the works of  Serra matching prefectly with Thierry de Cordier dark seascapes. Very dramatic (sorry I don’t have the Serras on pic ! ).

Cordier

I liked very much the Arsenale this year which is rare ! The place is such a big challenge usually, for many reason, first of all its  raw beauty trapping the gaze, not easy to hang works…then the number of work generally displayed ! but this year the curator (Massimiliano Gioni) made really an effort to offer an exhibition with a hanging “readable”,  clearer, and accessible,  despite a (too much) ambitious title :  “Il palazzo enciclopedico” !

Among the outstanding works we highly appreciated the video by french artist Camille Henrot “Grosse Fatigue’ , the artist was rewarded a silver lion and I discovered also the radiant work of Eugene Von Bruechenhein :

EugeneBruenchenhein

Don’ t miss room N°10 in the Arsenale, curated by Cindy Sherman ! a strange family air is floating around..

At Ca’ Pesaro, the museum of Modern Art famous for his gorgeous Klimt , “Judith or Salome”  don’t miss too the exhibition of ( a part of)  Sonnabend collection !

KlimtPesaro

Illeana Sonnabend was one of the greatest art dealer and collector (1914-2007), she a been married to Leo Castelli. There is NO fault or mistake in this exhibition !

I loved  the room showing Larry bell ‘s cube next to Dan Flavin, Peter Halley, McCracken (not on pic) : just perfect !

Bell:Flavin    PeterHalley

Without speaking of majestuous Keith Sonnier :

KeithSonnier

Venice is not a just a city turned towards the past as you can see and Peggy Guggenheim knew it too , choosing Palazzo Venier dei Leoni as her residence and then Foundation. I did enjoy the exhibition of a recent donation : Hannelore and Rudolph B. Schulhof. Even the works on paper or small size works were very well selected like Ryman or Bridget Riley :

Ryman       SchulofRiley

If you go to Venice this fall, I do recommend also “Glasstress” in front of Academia, based on use of glass in contemporary art, always surprising and seducing ! One of my favorite this year  : Mat Collishaw, “East of Eden”  and Paul Fryer , “Nebula” :

Matt Collishaw   PaulFryer

Prada Foundation proposes this year a very challenging exhibition, curated by Germano Celant : the exact replica of an artistic milestone, shown in Bern in 1969 : “When attitudes become forms” . Well, for the  generation born after this year,  is the opportunity is see gathered in one place the foundations stones of what some would call “contemporary art”. This is there that we learnt the death of Walter De Maria a week ago and we were so sad he couldn’t call us on the phone anymore, as he used to do from time to time (he did it for the opening). We would have loved to tell him we were great fans of his work and we did liked the installation in the last room of the Corderie in the Arsenale…

WalterdeMaria

One of my dear friend working with Prada Foundation has also an uncle in Venice who opened recently a wine bar called All’Amarone, calle del Lughaner in San Polo, not far from Rialto market.  It was of course on my top list ! we went and loved the place : taditional wooden decor with a touch of crazy design (the bottles are refreshed in a glowing red bath tub!), excellent choices for italian wines of course and delicious cicchetti with tasty prosciutto, mozarella…the perfect vineria I now recommend.

All'Amarone

In Venice you can change easily you perspective and point of view going to Giudecca island for example in Zitelle district, for a dinner at I Figli delle Strelle where you can enjoy a gorgeous view on the Palazzo Ducale. Trendy restaurant with 50’s touch inside and excellent sea food

VenicebyNight      Sunset from Zitelle

FigliSTrelle

And I ‘ve kept the best (kept secret)  for the end : the recent openig -last june- of Aman Palace in Venice after 2 years restoration with the best craftmen !  imagine a traditional venitian palazzo offering 24 high end luxury rooms : the perfect balance between contemporary design- so refined and elegant with an asian touch in the sophistication-  and the highest beauty of a typical venitain private mansion ! You just feel like beeing a guest of an aristocratic venitian family. Moreover you can have the privilege to enjoy a lovely dinner in a fabulous dinnig room overlooking Grand Canal, in an exquisite thai version or in original version with delicious venitian specialties revisited. We did appreciated the welcome, the service, the dinner, the decor…well it was absolutly Deluxe&Arty from the beginning to the end of our stay !  and that’s my favorite address now in Venice for sure I recommend to my clients. http://www.amanresorts.com/amancanalgrandevenice/theresort.aspx

Aman1        Aman3

Aman4

Advertisements

12 Days in Palermo, Sicily

Posted in art and culture, hotels and restaurants, Palermo, travels on September 3, 2012 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Still time to go to Sicily for september holidays, the perfect spot to find pleasant heat and sun, meanwhile Paris get colder and colder, greyer and greyer ! Let’s start first with the most beautiful hotel in Palermo, the best location ever for a successfull stay : Villa Igiea.Before I found it, I was dreaming about  a mediterranean garden filled with orange and palm trees overlooking the sea, with a glamourous swimming pool …My dream came true when I saw pictures of Ville Igiea and when we arrived there and visited the mansion,  it was beyond my hopes : as the mansion was created first for an esthete lady ,Donna Fanca Florio,  at the end of XIXth century , and where famous society painter Boldini stayed to paint her portrait. Mmmmm this place sounds definitly very Deluxe&Arty !

As it was very hot , I recommend to visit early in the morning in summer , from 9 to noon. And there is so much to see ! One week is a good timing to see the best of Palermo for monuments and architectural styles as this city had been the crossroad of many different cultural influences which succeeded to mix in an impressive beauty such as arabo-norman style.

My favorite monument is definitly  the Capella Palatina, founded in 1130 by norman king Roger II where you can admire this jewel of  cultural-cross fertilization between islamic art  (the wooden ceiling is a masterpiece of the genre with tempera painted box-sections and stalactic shape) and christian art -influenced by byzantine style with dazzling mosaic on gold background, from 12th and 13th century. I didn’t expect such a beauty when I got inside, it was just breathtaking ! It had been a long time since I haven’t seen so much beauty and spirituality … it’s a total artistic environnement : you’re surrounded by the splendour of architecture and decorative art and it elevates your soul, whatever the God you pray or believe in !

    

I’ve already spoken about my taste for baroque style and I wasn’t desappointed by Palermo, believe me ! The most baroque church is for sure the “Chiesa del Gesù e casa Professa” , , the facade from the end of 16th century even served as decor to famous movie by Visconti “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard, 1963) with Burt Lancaster, french male icon Alain Delon and glamourousClaudia Cardinale. Inside the church are the triumph and splendour of polychromic marbles, pietra dura marquetry and torso columns-all I like and excite my sense- magnified by natural sunlight.

There is a famous baroque artist who worked so much for churches in 17th and ealy 18th century  in Palermo : Giacomo Serpotta. He’s almost in every churches and  was specialised in stucoes decors. His masterpiece is in Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita that offers a monochrome lavish and spectacular representation of the battle of Lepante, the greatest naval battle since Actium, opposing the turkish float to a christian coalition ” The Saint League” on october 7th 1571. The departure was in Messina in Sicily.

In my list of must do in Palermo I could add  :

– San Cataldo, a  church for knights of Jerusalem built 12th century in arabo-norman style with a mosaic grounfloor made of malachite and the original altar piece carved in romaneque style. Minimalist and powerfull.

– San Giovani degli Eremiti : another  arabo-norman style architecture with a lovely garden where jasmin, roses and pomegranates embalm the hot summer.

– The botanical garden  for  freshness and greenery

Il Palazzo Abatellis  for fine art with an unexpected masterpiece by flemish Mabuse (Jan Gossaert), Malvagna Tryptich and two beautifulAntonello da Messina, witjout speaking of amazing medieval anonymous frescoe “The Triumph of Death”

Few kilometers from Palermo don’t miss Monreale and its cathedrale with a tour in the cloister , the masterpiece of norman art whith 228 twin column, all carved with different patterns for capitals and inlaid with mosaic motifs, supporting arcades influenced by islamic art.

If you want to escape the town to go by the seaside I recommend Mondello resort and the restaurant called “Le Terazze”.  A perfect art deco spot to relax and enjoy siclian food and fishes :

 

Bye Bye the Ritz…(our last evening diner in Vendôme Bar)

Posted in hotels and restaurants, luxury, Paris on August 1, 2012 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Yesterday evening Edwart and me had a last dinner at the Ritz Bar Vendôme. Maybe you’ve heard that this legend- the first palace hotel ever created in 1898 by Cesar Ritz on famous Vendôme square- just closed this morning at noon, in order to be refurbished entirely during 27 months ! Yesterday evening was then the last chance for a dinner on the marvellous terrace and we took advantage to live a very ParisDeluxe&Arty moment !

      

Last delicious fraisier too, surely the best in Paris !

We wanted a souvenir album with all the marvellous people who worked there : the gifted chef, first, of Espadon Restaurant : Michel Roth, born in Lorraine as Edwart and me :

The best of the dream team : Victor (restaurant manager) on top left,  Stephane and Antoine , the best waiters, ever ! On second picture, our favorite Golden Key Concierge :  Christian.

     

Playing piano, Mr Robert Middleton,the  great Vendôme Bar managing director !

It’s sad to say goodbye to such a professional and marvellous team but let’s hope it’s a not  a farewell and  that we’ll see everyone in 27 months for the reopening !

4 DAYS IN LONDON ….

Posted in art and culture, hotels and restaurants, London, luxury, travels on January 19, 2012 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Edwart and me spent 4 days in London last week. We choose  a central hotel , 5-star: the Langham at Portland Place, close to Regent street. It’s the first luxury hotel that opened in London in 1865 but they refurbished it into a luxury design hotel, with a very nice asian spa (Chuan Spa). The people working there were ALL kind and nice, ready to answer our request and prompt to please us. The indian and thai food was amazingly good at the restaurant (the unformal one), without speaking of the Moka creme brûlée !

The bar called the Artesian is rated n°3 in the world ! We invited friends to taste and share fabulous cocktails ! My favorite : Aromatic rendez-vous with cardamome and tarragon + flowers, a real water garden in a glass ! And try Diamond life with diamond dust on mint leaves ! Tha bar is neo-Shangai style with amazing lamps.

              

We had the day after a light lunch at Selfridge’s restaurant , in a nice veranda atmosphere. Loved the design and the food was good, guess what  : we had mussels and fries !

Exclusive pictures of the Ritz bar where we had Pim’s and a plate of english cheeses. I love Rivoli Bar, I feel like beeing on an art deco cruiser, such a warm and elegant place where to rest after a whole afternoon visiting museums !  I’m crazy of their pop-corn sprayed with trufflle oil they serve with cocktails !

        

The third day we had to go to South Kensington to Christie’s, and we found a marvellous little exotic restaurant : Madsen. It’s scandinavian food ! So it’s means very healthy and tasty. I recommend the brunch on sunday.
   

We visited the exhibition of a brazilan artist, Lygia Pape (1927- 2004) at the Serpentine Gallery. 3 years ago I discovered her work at the Biennale in Venice, it opened the Arsenal show with the same installation : gold threads playing with light in a dark space and creating volumes. Depending the place you observe the work some part are invisble and revealed little by little as you move around, meanwhile other part are disappearing… it ‘s magical , ethereal, almost  immaterial !

I enjoyed the V&A show about Postmodernism, especially the part devoted to movie (with Blade Runner) and music with Klaus Nomi (video and costumes), Kraftwerk (1st pic  below) , Leigh Bowery (we won’t never say enough that Lady Gaga had stolen so much from that 80’s genius !!). Below a picture from a video by Charles Atlas showing choreography by Michael Clarke on Velvet Underground music (Venus in fur), the dancers costumes were made by Leigh Bowery, who was himself an incredible performer.  You can even admire the turntable that belonged to Grand Master Flash !!

           

One of my favorite artist is Robert longo and I didn’t realize that he made the famous video for New Order Bizarre love triangle, so obvious when you see that image :

We saw of course Leonardo’s show at the Natioanl Gallery. I really wanted to see the Lady with ermine who is today in Kracow.

4 days are short, already time to take Eurostar  back to Paris… but before, a last british ritual : a high tea at the Duke’s !

(By the way, let me whisper you a secret : the BEST PIM’S in the world is at the Duke’s ! they serve it in a silver glass and there is a jungle of  leaves and fruits topping the liquid , just AMAZZZZING  and perfect, sorry no picture this time)

The Perfect New Year’s Eve in Paris, followed by the Perfect January 1st !

Posted in hotels and restaurants, Paris on January 2, 2012 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

All my best wishes of a Deluxe&Arty life for 2012, wherever you live and wherever you will travel !!

Curious to know how I’ve spent New Year’s Eve  in Paris ? We decided to have a dinner at home so we shopped at Fauchon, on Madeleine square, my favorite fine grocery and caterer in Paris (with Dalloyau). We had before  a light lunch at Fauchon’s restaurant on 1st floor that I do recommend. I took oysters and they were so good (Gillardeau). We choose for our lover-diner two risottos (one with langoustines, the other with boletus), few slices of pata negra, a foie gras from Landes, Stilton cheese.

      

We took desserts from the pastry corner at Mandarin oriental (I had the Mandarin, a little round cake with a amazing vanilla cream and chocolate ganache). And last but not least, our Champagne this night was Roederer .

Around 11.30pm we went to Le Meurice, we were invited by exquisite Franka Holtmann(Le Meurice General Manager) for a glass of Champagne. The sweet Beatrice Ardisson (famous french DJ for making original mixes for french tv shows and catwalks) was there for the show and the music was excellent. Edwart -my fiancé-and me were the King and Queen of dancefloor until 4pm ! then time to go to bed because we planned january 1st at Royal Monceau !!

The brunch was too big for us so we had a lobster salad, an excellent croque-monsier (th best in Paris !!) + one high tea, enough for 3 persons ! Famous Macaroon Master Pierre Hermé (I gave him tours last year in Basquiat exhibition and Monet exhibition !) “signs’ all the pastries at Royal Monceau, so you can eat them with eyes closed ! I don’t speak about the mcaroons, you exactly know what I mean if you’re a connoisseur, many books, articles, tv documentaries have already talked about them ! but try the scones and the Paris Brest (my favorite parisian classic pastry) …the high tea is just WAOW !! perfect to start well the new year…

One week in the most beautiful city in the world, very Deluxe&Arty : Venice !!

Posted in art and culture, contemporary art, event, hotels and restaurants, luxury, shopping, travels, Venice on August 10, 2011 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Ciao amici ! we just come back from Venice and it was sooo fantastic I would like to live there 6 months per  year ! This is really the most beautiful city in the world and 20 millions people do agree with me !

Moreover this is the 54th Biennale of contemporary art this year, so many exhibitions and artists to discover in a unique atmosphere…

     

We stayed at The San Clemente Place hotel and resort, this is THE place to be in summer ! Located on an island, 15 min boat ride only from Piazza San Marco (free shuttle service each 20 min), the 5-star hotel opened in 2004, after immense works in a former convent. Today it offers a marvellous garden with several hundred years old trees, a golf, two tennis courts, a refreshing pool, 2 restaurants… I take advantage to thank Melissa who helped us to improve our stay and make it memorable, grazie mille carissima ! Below : our bedchamber (we were upgraded with a junior suite), the bar, the pool.

           

The Biennale of Art 2011 :

We loved the austrian pavillion in the giardini with Marcus Schinwald.In the same time an installation, video and paintings, creating a white hanging maze with strange and unquiet meetings : anonymous portrait who received new proesthetics on their faces, minimalist sculptures hidden in corners with hangers and great video , closer to contemporary dance with body trapped  and contortions.Fabulous !

    

We also loved Sigalit Landau in Israel pavillion with shoes recovered with salt from dead sea falling down slowly in the sea.

Don’t miss the british pavillion by  Mike Nelson, you fell like visiting a taliban house…very impressive.

Are you a fluxus fan ? Visit the german pavillion, a flux oratorio (winner pavillion this year) by Christophe Schlingensief. Total success.

Art around the clock : in the Arsenal (globally very disappointed according to me this year) don’t miss Jean-Luc Mylaine and his fabulous birds,

James Turell for a space and light experience, and the great winner is (golden lion) : Christian Marclay with “The clock”, a video lasting 24h, a fantastic collage of movies excerpts evoking each minute of the day and night !

Want to have fun ? visit the narrow house by austrian artist Erwin Wurm (in Palazzo Franchetti’s gardens).Wurm was  famous for fat objects, here is some picture and there is no special effect !

      

Next to the house the exhibition “Glasstress” : master of contemporary art using glass in their work. Beauty still exist in Art if you ever doubted and you can find it here. Javier Perez crown of thorn is a good example as well as Zaha Hadid  futurist flowing like desk or Charlotte Gyllenhammar ‘s Alice in wonderland world :

    

Am a great fan of Pinault’s collection but photographs are not allowed…Nevertheless I do recommend Punta della dogana for Koons’s big red heart, Tatiana Trouvé drawings , Julie Merethu works … In Palazzo Grassi you cannot miss Joanna Vasconcelos  (next year in Versailles !) with a textile sculpture, a proliferating assemblage on  all the height of the building  : spectacular, decorative and a tribute to minor and folk art on a giant scale. after Wurm, great fun too with Francesco Vezzoli video : a pastiche of Hollywood true story, a kinf of hilarious self-portrait !

Prada exhibits its own collection in a fabulous 18th century palazzo Ca’ Correr della Regina : the place is great first for architecture, and  frescoes influenced by Veronese, then the collection with Pino Pascali (see below), Anish Kapoor (early work), Francesco Vezzoli again (works after famous Bernini with my friend Eva Mendes, we went to Louvre and Pompidou center together some year ago, fabulous and adorable girl !).

        

Do you know Axel ver Voordt ? a man of taste for sure then a famous belgium art dealer who loves to mix antique, modern and contemporary art , creating connoisseur cabinet. Each two years my great pleasure is to visit his new opus at charming Palazzo Fortuny (first pleats please inventor !). Among the treasures this year  (Op Art, Arte Povera, James Turrell, Lygia Pape …) , my favorite artist : Anthony Gormley !! I looove the dynamic energy emanting from this inner body… by the way, is this a centrifugal or centripetal strenght ? actually it’s working  in both way…

(Some of) My favorite restaurants in Venice :

1) da Forni

Spaghetti vongole is my sin in Venice ! I can eat them each day ! the best I’ve ever had  are there. Without forgetting another venitian specialty : le canocie (sea cicadas ).The waiters are just perfect, they make me think about italian movies in the 60’s, I can imagine them  twisting on Adriano Celentano…

             

2) the best Bellini ? At Gritti !!

How romantic  ! a dinner at Gritti Palace hotel (remember “Everybody says I love you”by Woody Allen ?) : we started with a glass of Bellini, our table facing la Salute …we had the tasting menu and we finished with an exquisite and incredibly light Tiramisu :

    

3) last day in Venice ritual : a dinner on Danieli terrace

It’s a ritual now, a way to say goodbye-but never farewell- to the Serenissima : we have a lunch with a view in legendary  Palace  Hotel Danieli, on the top roof.

That night the sky was so spectacular, we had a a marvellous table  and I enjoy so much my lobster salad !!

         

Shopping in Venice :

I’m so happy, I’ve found THE perfect gift from Venice you can wear each day at home !! I was so excited to find “Furlane”, these elegant venitian slippers originally  used by gondoliers and customized today with coral motifs made of beads. It is said that courtisans worn them when they went out, late at night, in venitian street …Mine furlane were embroidered by this charming lady, owner of a shop called “Venitian dream” (3805A, calle de la Mandola) I do recommend you.

                  

4 days in Amsterdam. Envy, Nomad’s, Bo Cinq : the places 2 B

Posted in Amsterdam, art and culture, hotels and restaurants, travels on July 20, 2011 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

We just come back from Amsterdam, it’s not our first stay, I was used to guide french upscale groups there for fantastic temporary exhibitions such as Gauguin/Van Gogh in Van Gogh museum some years ago.

I wanted to escape from Paris, a 4 days break just before our real holidays coming soon…I wanted to stroll along the canals, take a boat for a cool cruise, have a horse carriage ride through the city, take time to walk in gardens and through old little streets, discovering the new hotest places …and this is exactly what happened !

     

So it won’t be a very cultural post, as Rijke museum is still a “work in progress” until 2013 ! and we even didn’t go to Van Gogh museum, where I’ve been many times. Unfortunatly the Stedelijk museum closed early so we had 30 minutes only to discover the refurbished spaces, the works are breathing , the light is perfect , the hanging was about art and nature, lansdcape…

        

We stayed at the Pulitzer, thanks to the young duty manager Dennis van Vlaam, our stay was definitly inproved ! Thanks a lot Dennis, you know how to manage a five stars for sure ! The location was perfect because just next to the hotest places : Envy , Nomad’s , BO Cinq, everything around betwenn 2 and 12 minutes walk !

First, ENVY restaurant. More than food , ART n your plate ! Exquisite, fresh and tasty plates, very small portions like tapas on a very sophisticated scale, just have a look at pictures below, lobster and langoustines, yummy sooo yummy !

  
 Funny, we’ve been in Marrakech in may and it looks like Moroccan style is the fashion now in Amsterdam, the hotest place is called NOMAD’S and served excellent mezze and tajins in a vey hot atmosphere : belly dancers among the tables !  Tents echoing nomadic life await you, take off your shoes, sit back  and relax, an arabian night in hand (gin, tonic, mint, rose water) and enjoy the electro-lounge music. The DJ was perfect.
The trendiest lounge bar and bistrot is called BO CINQ. We even had a famous young french actor next to us with his new fiance…
Excellent dinner with an half lobster, one more tajins (so unexpected in Amsterdam !), with figs and other caramelized fruits…the service was so friendly and warm.
I do recommend all these places I’ve mentioned, you won’t be desappointed !