Archive for the monuments Category

A lovely fast getaway when stuck in Paris in august ? Versailles !

Posted in Art, art and culture, hotel, hotels and restaurants, monuments, museums, private guide in Paris, restaurants, trips, Versailles on August 17, 2016 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Tired to see all the trendiest bistrots and boutiques- without speaking of yummy bakeries and small groceries- closed until the end of the month, and too hot in town to enjoy  Tuileries or Luxembourg garden ? Then it’s the perfect timing to go green ! The ideal summer retreat 20 minutes far from Paris is … Versailles !  Did you know it Well,  Trianon Palace hotel is so sure about this  that they propose during summer a free shuttle service from the Arch of Triumph to the Hotel in Versailles, located just next to the legendary park.

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The hotel has also his own pleasant garden with nice terrasses, a great swimming pool and the restaurant is run by Gordon Ramsay (the gastronomic restaurant is closed for holidays now but delicious Veranda restaurant is open). All of these give you excellent reasons to take 3 days off for    visiting, at your own rythm, the castle, the gardens, the estate of Marie-Antoinette like we did last week and to relax in fabulous surroundings 😉

 

I loved our room (number 126) with nice views on the greenery, even on the bathroom !

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I would suggest to arrive on friday  and start with a walk in the Domaine (real estate) of Marie-Antoinette including first Petit Trianon, commissioned originally by Louis XIV  for his famous mistress Madame de Pompadour,  built in neoclassical style by the architect Gabriel and achieved in 1768. Then you can reach from there my favorite part of Versailles gardens : the Hamlet of Marie-Antoinette commissioned in 1783.  It looks like a small french village from Normandy with rustic style country houses for the queen and her personal selected guests. It’s a little bit Marie- Antoinette Simple Life mood but soooo picturesque !

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There is also a lake with swans and carp fishes, and a small tower of observation called Malborough tower from a popular song at this time. The perfect postcard as you can see below !

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You can walk after to the farm and see the rabbits, peacocks, chickens, goats, aries and pigs , without forgetting the cute donkeys :

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Then you can go back to the hotel and enjoy sunbathing by the pool 🙂

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I would suggest a romantic diner on the Veranda terrasse in the evening to admire the sun set and they have a fabulous diet menu with these exquisite pasta as main course :

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On saturday you can visit early in the morning the castle.  Don’t miss Olafur Eliasson’s fantastic and dazzling installations :

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At 11 am rush in the gardens to admire the magical spectacle of Great Waters (Grandes Eaux). Versailles gardens with fountains working and baroque music in the background  is a unique experience in summer, just memorable !

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I do recommend to hire golf cars to explore the bushes and coppices, full of surprises and visual delights,  you will enjoy then totally  the pure beauty of the french style gardens, created by Le Nôtre,  THE garden designer  of the famous sunking,  Louis XIV.

After a light  lunch by the Grand Canal a boat ride can be fun, or hire bicycle if you want to go to Grand Trianon, located just next to Petit Trianon visited the first day.

Check before you go to Versailles, if  there is any night spectacle on saturday evening  and book if so ! You’ll have sparkles in your eyes, like a  kid,  for the final with the fireworks around midnight next to Grand Canal 😉

On sunday you can take advantage of the hotel pool and relax in the spa or go back to the park to see some spots you didn’t have time to explore the days before !  You can even book a driver to go to Giverny and visit Monet house, 1 hour far from Versailles 😉

We can also go to Versailles together, just for the day (and no waiting line there with    me !) I will give you a private tour of the castle and gardens 😉 Send me a request by mail to know my fees (amuraro@sfr.fr) if you’re interested.

I invite you now to visit my Instagram account (parisdeluxearty) to see more images of Versailles if you wish  !

A romantic week-end in Bruges (Belgium)

Posted in Art, art and culture, Bruges, contemporary art, hotel, hotels and restaurants, luxury, monuments, museums, places, restaurants, Valentine's day on January 28, 2016 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Last week  we went to Bruges 2 days. That was our 4th stay there but I never had the time to write about it and we enjoyed it so much I thought I should do something about the Venice-of-the-north as people nicknamed it. This city is enchanting, filled with infinite charm that’s why I recommend a hotel the same level : Tuilerieen Hotel, a 4 star charm- hotel , very well located , facing a canal and not far from the historical Grand Place (Great square). We had such a lovely and romantic bed chamber , very cosy, overlooking the canal, offering a great view on mediaeval architecture, with an amazing atmosphere by night :

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The Spa was just refurbished and we enjoyed the pool after a cold day outside  :

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We loved so much the buffet-breakfast with its chocolate fountain 😉

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As this is our 4th stay we are used to do a kind of pilgrimage to see the only sculpture by Michel-Angelo in Belgium : it’s the Madonna of Our-Lady church (Notre-Dame), early 16th century, which left Italy from the lifetime of the artist, acquired by wealthy fabric merchants.

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We like to stroll in the rooms of Groeningemuseum to admire the splendid flemish primitive artists like Memling or Van Eyck who challenged the imitation of reality with amazing minute details that the use of oil painting allowed.

We always have a lot of fun to rediscover the impressive and extravagant details of Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment :

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Bruges is not only a city turned towards the past, you have also contemporary artists exhibited in museums like this month ,and until february 21st, Robert De Vriendt‘s fabulous hyper realist small scale paintings evoking fragmented pieces of tv drama -or web voyeurism- with very seductive colors and appealing manner.

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detail of The wood of Love and horror- oil/ canvas- 2011

Food is also an arty contemporary topic today sometimes ! You won’ t be disappointed in Bruges then, from top gastronomic to friendly neo-bistrot or cosy traditional flemish style restaurants, you’ll find what will fit your taste bud and eyes. Here is my top list :

  1. De Reften  : top level Bistrot revisiting traditional belgium classic in a contemporary neo70’s like decor. Excellent lunches, always !

2. Poule-Moule : among the best mussels in Bruges, very friendly place, simple and                                    rustic decor

3. Breydel de Conync : The best lobster ! Mussels are very good too. Friendly atmosphere.

4. Lizzie waffles : Simply The best waffles in town !

5. Marcolini chocolates : My favorite high-end chocolate maker ever in Belgium (and also in Paris, in my top 5) !! The best quality , don’t hesitate on more second 😉

Bonus : Aux Merveilleux. Would you like to experience Heaven under you palate ?  A miracle of vaporous cream and aerial meringue, this little dome of pleasure is called Merveilleux, with french/ flemish origins… My favorite is the white one called Incroyable (Uncredible !), tribute to french youngsters who after the Revolution, as a sign of reaction against dark Terror period,  used to parade around Palais Royal area. They wanted to introduce extravagant taste in fashion and original lifestyle, they were nicknamed Incroyables et Merveilleuses and refused to pronounced r letters !

The Boutique is a fairy tale !

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Bruges is the perfect trip for lovers, so why not going there for february 14th, Valentine’s day ?! But prepare well your stay as the city is small, the hotels and restaurants will be quickly full booked.

Wish you to fall in love very soon with the Venice of the north 😉IMG_5523.JPG

 

Murakami opening in Chateau de Versailles

Posted in contemporary art, monuments, museums, music, Versailles on September 14, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Waow ! What an evening yesterday ! We were, Edwart my fiancé and me, invited to the VIP party to Chateau the Versailles for Murakami opening with a private concert by Pharrell Williams !!!! Edwart was  there since the morning for french television, he participates to a show called “Un soir au Musée” on France 5 , 2 thursdays/ months, and  he met Murakami who is very nice.

We arrived for the opening at 8pm and the light was so beautiful in these fabulous french gardens. A giant gilded Buddha is displayed between two ponds and 2 lovely japonese girls were taken pictures, they looked like princesses, very elegant, quite mysterious, then we sat newt to them during the coktails and spoke : one has a japonese tea shop in Saint Germain des Près, the other is going to open a japonese spa…for sure,I will let you know more  about her very soon.

it can take 4 years to Murakami to achieve an artwork, they are all manufactured with extreme care in the making , the choices of colours, the details. The influences are of course Manga and Kawaï cultures.
here are my favorite :
the second one is displayed in the dazzling Hall of Mirrors and facing the gardens, actually, it’s a tribute to french gardener designer Andre Lenotre.
We saw Laurent Lebon , the curator, and congratulated him, he’s a GREAT curator with new visions about contemporary art and culture, and very clever and knowledgable without being “unreachable”. That’s so rare !! He’s also the director of new Pompidou center in Metz (Lorraine, east of France, I will write soon also about it).
Then we had the VIP party  in the incredible Orangerie, open only for private event.
Pharrell Williams is a very good friend of the artist and even participates  to the creation of an artwork you can see in the exhibition.
Waow, the concert blew our mind !!! girls went crazy when Pharrell invited them on stage with him !!
Then we went back to our hotel-yes we decided to spend the night in Versailles, no trouble with taxi ! and it was the opportunity to enjoy one more time Trianon Palace ! People think we are millionaire, but we only know how to enjoy good life and spa (my obsession !!) ! With trip Advisor and  Expedia I could have the best rate 😉
Gordon Ramsey is the chef and everything is delicious.
We learnt that Pharrel was also sleeping there but we did not see him at the breakfast 😉
The lobby is very relaxing, contemporary design but elegant and not cold, filled with natural daylight . The swimming pool is more minimalist, silver and blue atmosphere…they should add a little decor, a kind of frieze, i can imagine elegant drawing on the wall evoking fishes, underwaterworld, or more greenery perhaps. But the natural light is such a pleasure !

Peterhof, Saint-Petersburg

Posted in monuments, museums, Saint-Petersburg, travels on August 10, 2010 by ParisDeluxe&Arty

Amazing gardens opening to the sea, the Finland Bay. Peter 1st wanted to do better than the famous Sun King himself ! Fabulous fontains too.

But our favorite place, definitly,  was the smaller residence “Mon Plaisir” and the Pavillion of the baths.

Perhaps one day we’ll talk about “Russian Baroque”…

well, maybe you noticed I had an italian name :  “Muraro”, that’s why baroque can be only italian for me, 😉 and then versions were made from it…here is a very short  shorcut of art history  !!

I ‘m sure you must think the french  always think  they are superior ! well, french classicism vs baroque was my  daily food when I studied art history ! and I’m so used to the grandeur of Versailles, a very conceptual castle indeed, more than just a setting or a stage- I will explain you if you come with me there !

But Peterhof absolutly deserves a whole day to explore russian baroque and these fabulous gardens.

we had a wonderful and lovely guide : Svetlana, thank you so much Svetlana for the good times spent together that day and our lunch facing the sea !