Archive for June 10th, 2020

June 10, 2020

Passarelle Solférino , Paris!

Well yes , so much to write on my eternal Paris, having been lucky to have lived near and worked in it for several years. One of its most emblematic sights are the bridges crossing the Seine river from rive gauche to rive droite. I have written on the bridges before but missed one very important one me think.

Let me tell you about one particular footbridge that was very unfamous for its load of padlocks and gladly now gone. Oh yes Solférino well that is the name I came to know it ,however, now it is name the Passarelle Léopold Sédar Senghor footbridge.

The first bridge, 106 meters long, the Passarelle Solférino bridge, made of cast iron and inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1861, had three arches on masonry piers. It was destroyed and replaced in 1961 by a pedestrian steel footbridge resting on two piles of concrete built about thirty meters upstream and demolished in turn in 1992. Its name recalls the battle of Solferino of June 25, 1859 during which Napoleon III defeated the Austrians The footbridge is located downstream from the Pont Royal bridge and upstream from the Pont de la Concorde bridge.

Formerly the Passarelle Solférino footbridge, the bridge was renamed the Léopold Sédar Senghor footbridge in tribute to the Senegalese poet and head of state, French academician on October 9, 2006.

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The Passarelle Léopold Sédar Senghor footbridge links the Musée d’Orsay and the Quai Anatole-France on the left bank to the Jardin des Tuileries and the Quai des Tuileries on the right bank, it is accessible by pedestrian way from the top and bottom platforms and connect the port of Solférino 7éme to the port of Tuileries 1éme. Built on two levels which meet in the central part, the footbridge serves, on each bank, the banks of the Seine and the quays proper. At each of its ends, the foundations in the form of concrete pillars sink fifteen meters underground and its structure is an assembly of six 150-ton elements manufactured by établissements Eiffel. It offers benches to walkers who can join the Jardin des Tuileries via the right bank underground.

Some of the remarkable events listed everywhere for the passarelle Léopold Sédar Senghor are: While looking at the Seine river and the overcast sky from the passarelle Solferino bridge, one evening, that the French composer Claude Debussy had the idea of writing Nuages, one of his Nocturnes. In 2011, the Gainsbourg 20 years collection made the catwalk part of the filming of the Requiem pour un con (idiot) in tribute to Serge Gainsbourg. In 2014, artist Christina Goh filmed the video for the jazz L’Instant.

You get there walking of course, but if far you can take the no see metro Solférino line 12; however, better on the bus lines 68 (Place de Clichy –Châtillon/Montrouge metro stop Solférino-Bellechasse or Musée d’Orsay) and 69 (Champ de Mars-Gambetta, stop Solférino-Bellechasse or Musée d’Orsay). Also, the RER C stop Musée d’Orsay.

More on the Paris tourist office here: Paris tourist office on the passarelle Léopold Sédar Senghor

Complete information on the Seine river bridges of Paris from the city of Paris in French here: City of Paris and its bridges

An oldie but worth remembering me think is the group form No Love Locks several years back by a couple of expats whose love of Paris and France made them French citizen and sadly one of them died of cancer.  It is much better now thanks to their effort a sparkling clean bridge with no pad locks !!! Their webpage in a sort of memories of a battle worth fought and won is here: No Love Locks Solférino Paris

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And there you go folks another dandy in the most beautiful city in the world…Paris! And a wonderful footbridge and great area of wonders in architecture and history; hope you enjoy the post as I did.

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

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June 10, 2020

You are hungry at the Domaine de Versailles?

Ok so I have mentioned a lot on Versailles and the Domaine de Versailles (all inclusive palace, trianons hameau, orangerie etc) .However, I have not told you enough as to what to eat inside! With a long tour of the place and to really see it all you need 3 days (forget the rush of glitters) you will be hungry. Therefore, let me tell about what is to eat at the Domaine de Versailles.

You have several kiosks or stand to ease your thirst or hunger along the alleys.  By avenue de Trianon and allée des 2 Trianons, before the Grand Trianon there is a fresh orange juice stand or cart as well as one by the avenue de Petit Trianon near the Petit Trianon. There is an ice cream cart by the avenue de Trianon and allée Saint Antoine. A great area we love is the picnic area by the allée Saint Antoine take left into the allée des Moutons. This is on the other side of the wall facing far the Hameau of Marie Antoinette. There is another ice cream cart by the Grand Canal allée de la Reine across from the boat rides port.

There is a La Gourmandise de La Petit Venice (sweet candies store); this take-away point of sale offers homemade ice cream, sweet products such as waffles, pancakes, etc, cakes and hot drinks. Really a break from the walks in the domaine of Versailles! Across the Orangerie passing the road D10 or Route de Saint Cyr you have another nice picnic area on the Piéce d’eau des Suisses (see post).

Now you have the heavy hitters coming in like Alain Ducasse. Ore – Ducasse , this is new restaurant not try yet, it is at the Pavillon Dufour and entrance on the cour des Princes. A 17C pavilion located in the heart of the Palace of Versailles. Alain Ducasse is the Sun King of these places, enforcing the culinary law we know about him: that of naturalness, and a constantly renewed homage to the beautiful product. More here: ORE Ducasse at Versailles

The Terrasse de la Petit Venice offers food at the counter, on site or to take away: Picnic, ice cream, waffles, to be enjoyed facing the Grand Canal!!! Another nice break from the walks and continue…walking! More here: La Terrasse de la Petite Venice by Ducasse

The Grand Café d’Orléans ,entrance by the cour des Princes. This one was one of the first experience eating in the Domaine of Versailles but over the years it has gone up in prices. In the Aile du Midi or south wing, the Grand Café d’Orléans offers a contemporary setting for your dining pleasure and events while preserving the historic spirit of the place. It was built between 1678 and 1682, the Aile du Midi is part of the palace extension project requested by Louis XIV from the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart, for the permanent installation of the Court in Versailles. It housed the blood princes, and more recently the parliamentarians. It is a practical place, where you can rest after a visit, have a tea and eat on the go (sandwiches, quiches, salads, pasta, cakes, …). The decor is sober and contemporary, which makes it a rather curious stop in the midst of the sumptuous gilding of the Palace of the Sun King. More here: Grand Café d’Orléans Versailles more of Ducasse

The Restaurant La Petite Venice is one of my favorites there over the years, it is between the Grand Canal and the Bassin d’Apollon. It is in the former stables, Italian and bucolic cuisine will be offered. Created in 1694, two years after the impoundment of the Grand Canal, this set was intended to house the shipbuilding sheds. The warships coming from Marseille or Le Havre were assembled there, and rubbed shoulders with a more recreational flotilla. Indeed, the royal walks were carried out in gondolas imported from Venice, reflecting the court’s fascination with the city of the Doges. The site of La Petite Venice or little Venice, where the corporation of the sailors of Versailles, dissolved after the French revolution, was transformed into stables under Louis Philippe. This is how two hundred years later, gastronomy takes over the place. In Summer, the shaded terrace of La Petite Venice is an ideal place to share a lunch with family and friends! Indeed!! More here: La Petite Venice at Versailles

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The Restaurant La Flotille facing the Grand Canal is another of our favorite food hangouts in the Domaine of Versailles. For a total change of scenery! As a family or as a couple, let yourself be carried away by different atmospheres: on the terrace with a view of the gardens of the Palace of Versailles or indoors, enjoying a 1900s decoration, a large shaded terrace as well than a tea room. And from the first rays of the sun, we come to the Flotilla at the end of the afternoon to enjoy time for a tea from the tranquility of the large shaded terrace, right by the water while enjoying an ice cream. You might as well take advantage of the place a little more, because the concession ends in 2021 and it is not known who will take over the exploitation of the place. Oh yes need to be back before it might be more commercialised! More here: Restaurant La Flottille at Versailles

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Restaurant and Salon de thé Angelina at the first floor ( 2nd US) in the Pavillon d’Orléans, entrance by the cour Royale or at the end of the circuit of Grands Appartements. On a 700 m² space, welcome you and offer you a savory and sweet offer, adapted to each moment of the day. Open since 2011 within the grounds of Château de Versailles. Also discover a boutique area offering sweet delicatessen products, an ideal souvenir of your visit to the Château. Do not go without trying the hot chocolate L’Africain (African) or the Mont-Blanc ,the essential sweet wonder of the Angelina tea room! And not the least the bourbon vanilla millefeuille, Saint-Honoré!! Salut! More here: Angelina on Angelina in Versailles

Angelina by the Allée des 2 Trianon by the Petit Trianon. This was our hangout when jogging/ walking in the domaine property at the time of me living there; enormous, awesome, grandiose magnifique to have a light meal while looking at the Palace gardens , the back view and the Petit Trianon next to you!!  Angelina installs during the beautiful days a beautiful terrace under the trees, in front of the Petit Trianon; you can have wonderful ice creams here. . It is used in an outhouse of the Trianon, then you brings your trays outside. There is a very nice outdoor terrace of 100 seats and heated in Winter; great for a coffee or hot tea indeed glorious!. More here: Angelina on Angelina at the Petit Trianon Versailles

And the Château de Versailles page in English on the above:  Chateau de Versailles on Angelina at Petit Trianon

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And the official Château de Versailles on practical information in English for your up to date info on visits here: Chateau de Versailles on practical information

And there you go folks , a wonderful experience indeed, the ultimate in France on the most beautiful palace of them all. Often imitated elsewhere but never equalled the Domaine de Versailles is for the world to see at least once in your lifetime. And of course, with the above you won’t go hungry or thirsty for all the time you need to see this marvel of our times. Hope you enjoy the culinary tour by yours truly.

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

June 10, 2020

A bit more on the Grand et Petit Trianon!

I will take on the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon on this post.  Of course, plenty more in my blog but just found older photos like to show them here as additional information on these wonderful mansions. This is  a wonderful huge property seen best from the side of the ave de Versailles, by the Porte Saint Antoine. Taking Bus 19 from ave St Cloud corner with ave de l’Europe to stop Arboretum/Parly II, and walking about 300 meters to the gate. Versailles is it!!!

Going over the rooms of which the pictures are let me start with the Grand Trianon.

The Galerie de la Cotelle or Cotelle gallery was done in  1687. It was ordered 24 paintings illustrating the groves and fountains of the gardens of Versailles. 21 of these paintings are of the painter Jean Cosuch. The room is 52 meters long and 7 meters wide. It communicates with the so-called Trianon-sous-Bois wing. It was built to serve as a reception room. Under the Empire, it housed a collection of model boats; under Louis-Philippe, a collection of bronze and art objects.   As in the past, this gallery is now and then used for official receptions. So it is quite often closed to the public.

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The Salon de Compagnie or companion lounge is adorned with Louis XV monogram paneling, composed of flowers. Marie-Antoinette gathered her friends here to chat, sing or play.

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The Salon de famille de Louis Philippe. This large living room was created by Louis-Philippe from two existing pieces. The king and his family, who loved to stay in Trianon, met in the evening in this room furnished in the spirit of the times: game and work tables, upholstered seats and sofas covered with yellow cane with blue pattern.

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The Château de Versailles on the Grand Trianon: Château de Versailles on the Grand Trianon

The city of Versailles tourist office on the Grand Trianon: City of Versailles tourist office on the Grand Trianon

And will give you one nice room I like in the Petit Trianon which must say was my favorite as did a lot of jogging around there with the family with lunch at Angelina terrace bar!

In this Salon des Billiards corner room on the ground floor originally stands the billiards of Louis XV, who has disappeared. The one ordered by Louis XVI in 1776, a dimension of 414 by 219 cm, is made of solid oak and ivory, with fifteen turned feet. It is accompanied by twenty iron plates for the candles, twelve ivory balls for the War or the Carambola and some thirty tails. In 1784, Marie-Antoinette had it transferred to the first floor and it was replaced by another billiard table, of less elegance, for the officers of the guard. It was sold to a second-hand dealer by the name of Rouger in 1794 during the Frenc revolutionary disposals. The original billiard table was never found, a restitution was undertaken, in 2005, within the framework of a patronage of competence by respecting the materials of origin and the initial colors. After being exhibited in the King’s Small Apartments of the Palace/Museum, it finds its original place in 2008. The walls are fully panelled and the Hungarian point parquet has also been restored according to the original plans. On the fireplace is exposed a bust of plaster of Marie-Antoinette after the marble work of Louis-Simon Boizot,( agreat sculptor of his time, born and died in Paris)  which had been commissioned in 1781 by the Count of Vergennes, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Two paintings are hung on the wall: one, by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun ( a great portrait painter born and died in Paris having been baptised at the Church of St Eustache), representing the Queen and the other, the Royal family.

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And there you go, some additional information on of course my favorite Domaine (including palace, trianon, hameau etc) of which I am lucky enough to call it my town for almost 10 years before moving to the Morbihan Breton. Hope you enjoy the Trianons of Versailles.

The Château de Versailles on the Petit Trianon: Château de Versailles on the Petit Trianon

The city of Versailles tourist office on the Petit Trianon: City of Versailles tourist office on the Petit Trianon

And there you go a dandy in beautiful Versailles, the most Royal of all French cities and the base of the new French constitution. Hope you enjoy it as we do

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

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