Archive for November 5th, 2018

November 5, 2018

The Place Vendôme , Paris!

So we are coming into more chic ,cache places in my eternal Paris and also closer to my work area there. This is a very famous square, and the world goes by it but seldom you see the immense number of faboulous mansions around it. I know but can’t show you that most of the part covering the side of the Tuileries garden is own by the Sultan of Brunei!

I used to work nearby between two properties and needed to walk by it each day for business, not to mention the times passing as a visitor to the city while living in Versailles. This is ultra chic and the inside of some of these buildings which unfortunately can’t show any photos is just too gorgeous.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Place Vendôme of Paris.

The Place Vendôme is located in the 1éme arrondissement of Paris, and at the north side of the Tuileries Garden, south of the Opéra Garnier and east of the Madeleine Church. It is one of the most famous places in Paris and considered one of the most luxurious in the world. It was called Place Vendôme from the 17C from the Hôtel de Vendôme, which was located there.


It was formerly the Place Louis le Grand and, originally, the Place de Conquêtes (conquests). It was given the name Place des Piques (spades) during the French revolution. It was named Place Internationale in 1871, during the second commune of Paris, during which the Vendôme column was destroyed by the Communards, who saw it as a symbol of Napoleon’s tyranny and militarism. The Anarchist painter Gustave Courbet participated in his provocative fall during the commune of Paris. He was heavily condemned to rebuild it and restore it at its own expense. The colonne (column) was inspired by the Trajan column of Rome, and done here  to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz, in its summit the statue of Napoleon dress as a Caesar was made in 1863.
In 1685, the idea to built it was though of when Louvois purchased the   Hôtel de Vendôme and the Convent of the Capucines, which were located north of rue Saint-Honoré. On their site, others propose to built a large rectangular square, entirely open on Rue Saint-Honoré and destined to be lined with large public buildings, such as a Royal Library, Hotel de la Monnaie, Hotel des Academies, Hotel des ambassadors, etc. At the bottom of the square, the façade must be pierced by a monumental arcade that will leave the convent of the Capucines, which is rebuilt north of the new square in 1688. In 1699, the public programme of 1685 was abandoned in favour of a private operation. The King sells the land to the city and the facades, which had been built for the inauguration, are demolished in order to reduce the right-of-way of the square by twenty meters on each side. The new square is surrounded by private hotels behind uniform façades, and designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart.

In 1764, the fair Saint Ovid moved to the square before moving in 1771 to the place Louis XV, future Place de la Concorde. From 1793 to 1799, the square took the name Place des Piques. In 1806, the Rue de la Paix was pierced at the site of the Convent of the Capucines, and the column Vendôme was raised in 1810 at the site of the statue (destroyed) of Louis XIV, The column is surmounted by a statue of Napoleon in Caesar. This first statue was suppressed under the monarchy of July in 1831 to be replaced by a statue of Bonaparte in little corporal style. A copy of the original effigy was restored in April 1863 by a replica. The column was shot down in 1871 by the Communards, and once restored, was re-established in 1873.

Not to mention too much in detail as it will be very long , here are the buildings in the Place de Vendome: No. 1: Hotel Bataille des Francès; No. 3: Hôtel de Coëtlogon, No. 5: Hôtel Orsigny, No. 7: Hotel Lebas de Montargis, No. 9: Hôtel de Villemaré, No. 11: Hôtel de Simiane, No. 13: Hotel de Bourvallais, (Minister of Justice) No. 15: Hotel de Gramont; No. 17: Hotel de Crozat; No. 19: Hotel of Evreux; No. 21: Hotel de Fontpertuis; No. 23: Hotel de Boullongne; No. 25: Hôtel Jacques V Gabriel No 2: Hotel Marquet de Bourgade; No. 4: Hotel Heuzé de Vologer, No. 6: Hotel Thibert des Martrais, No. 8: Hotel Delpeche de Chamot, No. 10: Hôtel de Latour-Maubourg, No. 12: Hotel Baudard de Saint-James, No. 14: Hotel de La Fare, No. 16: Hotel Mouffle, No. 18: Hotel Duchy of Tournelles, No. : Hôtel de Parabère, No. 22: Hôtel de Ségur, No. 24: Hotel de Boffrand, No. 26: Hôtel de Nocé, and No. 28: Hotel Gaillard de la Bouëxière .

Before becoming a central place for jewellery that we know nowadays, Place Vendôme is, with the Rue de la Paix, the epicenter of Parisian elegance for half a century, counting many couturiers or milliners. It is especially Charles Frederick Worth, inventor of haute couture, who gives his letters of nobility to the ensemble formed by the Rue de la Paix and the place that extends it. In 1858, Worth opens at 7, rue de la Paix. The first jeweller who settled on the square was Frédéric Boucheron in 1893.

Place Vendôme is accessed by the Rue de Castiglione (my work street!!) from the rue de Rivoli and the Tuileries Garden to the south and by the Rue de la Paix from the Place de la Opéra to the north.


Some webpages to help you plan your visit or walks here are

Official webpage on the Place Vendôme

Tourist office of Paris on the Place Vendôme

One group that I need to tell even if cannot be visited itself, is the group of merchants of the Place Vendôme that look after its maintenance as a center of luxury and excellence in Paris, the Comité Vendôme!

The Vendôme committee has 107 members, such as Chopard, Thatcht, Dior, Chanel, Buccellati, Goyard, Bouchern, Guerlain, Breguet, Christofe, Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Luis Vuitton, de Grisogono, Patel Philippe, Piaget, Schiaparelli, Van Cleef & Arpels, the Meurice and the Ritz Paris hotels… All governed by a common value, Excellence.

Their webpage is at Comité Vendôme

There you go, Paris is excellence, good life, good living and class, my eternal Paris is a lot more than the Eiffel ::)

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!



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November 5, 2018

Some news from France CXCXVIII

So here back with some news of my belle France! The weather is still cloudy and cool at  14C in my neck of the woods of Morbihan, and in eternal Paris is 17C  with more sunshine at 16h or 4pm. There are many events leading up to the commemoration of WWI or the Great War as it is known here.

In the course of this week’s events, here are some of my favorites news.

Emmanuel Macron embarks on a new marathon. This past Sunday in Strasbourg, the president embarked on a week-long journey in the footsteps of the Great War (WWI), from Verdun to the Somme. The purpose of this roaming, as the Elysée calls it, is to go to meet our ancestors the poilus, these some eight million who fought from 1914 to 1918. In total, Emmanuel Macron will visit 11 departments and 17 cities. The president will visit the sites of the war but also go to territories. These are Strasbourg, Morhange, Pont-à-Monsoon, Pompy, Les Eparges, Verdun, Reims, Charleville-Mézières, Rozoy-sur-Serres, La Flamegrie, Feignions, Maubeuge, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, Lens, Albert, Péronne, Compiègne, and Paris. In black ,towns that I have been to. Unfortunately, this is also part of politics with some rumblings going on now here, and some visitor coming now not so strong after Merkel of Germany decided not to run for re election, and the USA election tomorrow for Congress seats.

According to the management of Disneyland Paris; Star Wars, the Snow Queen and Marvel: The Disney galaxy will still grow in Marne-La-Vallée. By 2025, the three new universes of Disneyland Paris will open to the millions of visitors of the amusement parks of Chessy (Seine-et-Marne 77); Three public meetings are scheduled for Tuesday evening and on 14 and 22 November to inform the population of the Val d’Europe for the construction restrictions. The Marvel universe will serve as the European base of the Avengers ‘s  headquarters.  They will remake Rock’n’Roller coaster to create an experience against evil, alongside Ironman. On the Snow Queen, the town of Arendelle must be recreated with attractions where our visitors can meet their favorite character. And on Star Wars, they are going to create an immersive place where our visitors will live like in a galaxy. From 2019 until 2025, the three new worlds will be set up in the second park, the Walt Disney Studios. With 31 ha to be set up (12 ha for new attractions, 8 ha for backstage, 11 ha for construction site and road), the expectations in terms of employment are enormous. Hopes that this extension will promote longer stays of tourists on the area as well as the construction of new hotels. More on Disneyland Paris here:

Victoria’s Secret, The famous American lingerie brand, will it open in 2019 its first French flagship on the Champs-Elysées? The experts believe this news is credible. The Italian group Percassi, owner of the 1 500 m2 of the Queen’s premises, closed since April 2018, would first consider installing a Kiko make-up shop. But commercial experts believe that the surface would be too big for such a sign. Hence the theory on the installation at this location of a Victoria’s Secret shop, of which the Percassi group holds the license. Victoria’s Secret is rich in 1 200 stores around the world including a small shop at Orly Airport as well as at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle airport since last May.

As of this Monday (today), November 5, you can see trains of the tramway T3b circulate between the Porte de la Chapelle and Asnières, the extension of the tramway of the Maréchaux  which will actually enter into commercial service on November 24th 2018. More on the line and tramways of Paris here:

Meaux,  my dear late wife Martine native town, something wonderful for the lovers of good cheese, the Brie de Meaux ! This past Sunday the dean of the Brotherhood of Brie de Meaux blows the candle of the birthday cake of the Maison du Brie de Meaux. The small museum in the Episcopal city celebrated its second anniversary this past Sunday. More on it here:

In Saint-Germain-en-Laye, (Yvelines 78) the  l’Apothicairerie  Royale (Royal apothecary) reveals its treasures until the end of March 2019, you will discover these pots of the 17C and  18C in which the apothecaries concoction their remedies.

For the lovers of good wine: This past October 22nd, one of the largest castles in Pauillac obtained the Ecocert France certification, which validates the production of organic wines. A first in the closed circle of the prestigious areas of Bordeaux. Unofficially, this wine has been for at least three years, obligatory conversion time to obtain the Ecocert France certification, but the body that validates the production of organic wines has just delivered its precious decision. Château Latour will be officially organic from the 2018 vintage. The work carried out by the château, which has been owned by François Pinault since 1993, marks a real turning point. The figures are there which show that the train is en route. On the wine expert blog of  “Côté Châteaux” of France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Jean-Pierre Stahl points out that 15% of all the classified crus of 1855 are now switched to organic, when the whole vineyard of Bordeaux is still only 8%. Another locomotive will soon leave the station: Château Margaux, one of the five largest on the left bank, is also in conversion. More on Latour here:

The Fondation Henri Cartier- Bresson inaugurates tomorrow November 6th the more spacious premises in Paris with a retrospective of Martine Franck. Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) signed unforgettable portraits of his contemporaries, but himself refused to be photographed, and he pulled a knife out of his pocket to discourage any attempt to steal his image. The founder of the Magnum agency, who marked the history of photography with his dazzling images, did not do many self-portraits either. Huge works have turned an old car garage into an air-conditioned and state-of-the-art exhibition and storage area of 900 square meters .More here:

A notice to Photography enthusiasts! Be aware that the Grand Palais provides free online courses on the history of photography from November 5th until December 31st 2018.  After the success of the online courses on the history of art and on Picasso, the Grand Palais provides free online courses on the history of photography, on the occasion of Paris Photo 2018. Enough to refine your photographic knowledge and technique.  Delivered by the Orange Foundation for Culture and NMR-Grand Palais, this MOOC (for Massive Open Online Course) approaches in 6 sequences the great movements as well as the authors and the clichés that have marked the history of photography. Direction the site Mooc Photo where already more than 10 000 enthusiasts have registered! The courses are open to all, available free of charge 24 hours a day, and bonuses, at each end of the sequence, a quiz allows you to test your knowledge. More in French here:

So you want to speak French ok how about mixed up with some English, you can have Franglais !! This is every day life here and I think hilarious !! To get straight to the point, we’re just here to let you know that even if  we like English, you have to be able to dose it properly on a daily basis.  We have nothing against a beautiful mixture of cultures. We are just looking to warn most people before they fall into the syndrome called “Afida Turner”.  Our friends the English and the Americans influence us daily with their art (music, films, series…), and by this way, their language. Here are 10 phrases that need to (really) try to use less here in my belle France!!!

1 – Mainstream : Rather cool term because it defines well the state of notoriety of such or such thing, that said… Popular passes as well, huh?

2 – Random : We like to use it, but in itself, we have enough to do with many French synonyms (as commonplace ).

3 – Boriiing :  What annoys us most is probably the lengthening of the word. It sounds very bitchy, and it’s not positive.

4 – Whatever… Still in the same line, the whatever becomes very bitchy with the sharp accent that is added and that makes a lot of shit.

5 – Asap :  That means  “as soon as possible ” (either  “as fast as possible “). You could say that it is a time saver, but it is very effective too…

6 – Anyway… : It can also be added to the family of the bitchy talk (Franglais assumed). Especially annoying when a person places it to move on to something else in a debate.

7 – Bae : Bae does not want to say babe, but before anywone else (before all the others). Unfortunately, in the mouth, the term resonates very little girl who can no longer…..

8 – Cute : One must recognize that the term is quite effective and more practical than a “mignon “. Unfortunately, this over-exploitation has exhausted all  and  tired us out a little by force.

9 – Obviously (ou of course) :  For the time being, there are so obvious alternatives that one wonders why people are going to look so far… A simple  “obviously ” or  “Of course ” is largely enough.

10 – Target : Word that defines that person you dig and want. Only in the ear, the term gives the impression that seducing this person represents a psychotic mission. So, the crush presents itself as the alternative: a real vicious circle!

Yes we do Franglais a lot at work and on night outs here, but mostly just for our inner circle lol!

Enjoy your time in my belle France, and maybe you can catch up on some news here too.  vous avez besoin de faire le target ::)

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

November 5, 2018

A park or better a garden of Ranelagh!

On my Paris swing, let me tell you a bit more on a wonderful seldom visited park, or garden , me think both of Paris 16éme. This is actually my fav area if had the money to live there comfortable, consolation lived in Versailles by Notre Dame, not too shabby anyway! Love the lived in V and work in P !

This Jardins du Ranelagh sits in my fav area or neighborhood of Muette in the 16éme district of Paris. Tucked right behind the Chaussée de la Muette and the BP boulevard périphérique between the Porte de la Muette, and porte de Passy, and just by my fav restaurant La Gare!

The jardin du Ranelagh is a green area of the 16éme arrondissement. Named after Lord Ranelagh, a noble, politician and English diplomat. It is an English garden designed by the engineer Jean-Charles Alphand, the main designer of the Parisian parks and woodlands under the Haussmann era. its puppet theater is famous. On its western edge is the Marmottan Monet Museum. The streets immediately adjoining the garden are also known to include the largest concentration of embassies and international institutions of Paris

The Petit Ranelagh was a fashionable place at the end of the 18C. It was opened in 1774 in the gardens of the Castle de la Muette, as a guard of the gate of Passy, with an entrance to have the land dedicated to dances on the gardens of the castle de la Muette and to have a café and restaurant built in imitation of the gardens of the Ranelagh created by Lord Ranelagh, for his gardens of his house in Chelsea, in London and opened since 1742.

During the French revolution, the park or parc de la Muette became a place of the muscadine culture and the counter-revolution, after, in 1790, the first anniversary of the oath of the jeu de paume was celebrated there, at a banquet in which Danton and Robespierre participated. Its success was not disproved during the consulate and the Empire either. The ball was requisitioned by the Russian detachments during the occupation of Paris in 1814-1815, and the ballroom was transformed into a stable and then a hospital. In 1818, a hurricane destroyed the buildings.

What is the park garden of Ranelagh.

The six-hectare public garden was created in 1860 by Baron Haussmann in honor of Lord Ranelagh. It extends and reshuffles the pavement and the parc de la muette .Set in a triangle, the present garden has been embellished over time by many sculpted groups, for example: a Cain in marble of Joseph Caillé dating from 1871, childish figures like the Fisherman and Meditation, from early 1880’s, and a large group dedicated to Jean de La Fontaine, circa 1900, which was endowed with new bronzes in 1984. And around the statue was my fav area for walks with my boys. In the early 20C, rare tree species were also planted in addition to the ash and chestnut trees.



In the garden there is a puppet theater,including the Clown Buffo and a merry-go-round which is one of the oldest in Paris. With wooden horses, it always works on the crank, and very popular with Parisien families of the district including my boys!! When younger.

The garden was bordered, to the north, until about 1920, by the closing of the parc of the Castle de la Muette, former Royal domain which belonged since 1820 to the factor of pianos and harps Sébastien Érard and then to his heirs. On its southern side, until 1985, by the railway line of the petite ceinture (small belt), of which the Gare de la Muette served the garden. Now a famous restaurant mentioned in my blog several times La Gare and many friends taken there including those from the old defunct travel site virtualtourist...

The garden is accessible by the Chaussée de la Muette (extension of the Rue de Passy), the Avenue Raphaël and the Avenue Ingrés. It has the rare peculiarity for a Parisian park to be open as well during the day as at night. It is thus frequented at all hours by the residents who come to take a walk and some air. The garden is bordered by Avenue Raphaël to the east, the Boulevard de Beauséjour to the south and the Allée Pilâtre-de-Rozier to the north. The embassies of Gabon, Afghanistan, Madagascar, India and the Sudan and the OECD (taken tours here very nice old Rockefeller house) have an entrance to the garden.   This site is served by the Metro stations La Mute (line 9) and Ranelagh (line 9). The bus line RATP 32 (link between the Porte of Auteuil and the Gare de l’Est) passes by the Chaussée de la Muette. The train station RER C of Boulainvilliers also is   located nearby.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Paris on gardens of Ranelagh

Tourist office of Paris on gardens of Ranelagh

It is a nice stroll park, beautiful garden and chic upper neighborhood of daily Parisian life. You will do wonders to eat at La Gare ,the old Gare de la Muette train station now a huge restaurant with brunches on Sundays on all you can eat scheme. I need to go back again…

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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