Posts tagged ‘Versailles’

July 3, 2020

Some news from France, CCCX!

And there is time to tell you what is going on in my dear belle France according to me ! We have cloudy skies and mild temps in 18C or about 66F and we did gardening !!! Now for the news from France 310! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

How about that city call Paris!

And here we are afte the latest municipal elections in France and especially in my eternal Paris. The Spaniard/French Ana (Anne) Hidalgo was officially re-elected this past Friday by the Paris Council. She was a labor inspector and also deputy director of the National Institute of Labor, Employment and Vocational Training (INTEFP). Anne Hidalgo then represented the cabinet of Martine Aubry, (now mayor of Lille and signed my French citizenship certificate!!) Minister of Labor of Lionel Jospin, within the National Agency for Professional Training of Adults (AFPA), the first portrait in Le Monde newspaper of this 41-year-old socialist, novice in politics then ,who succeeded in an unexpected breakthrough in the 15éme arrondissement of Paris, stronghold of the former Prime Minister Édouard Balladur, and who was about to join the team of Bertrand Delanoë, new elected to the City/Town Hall of Paris. This for a bit of historical background. Now elected to a second term there is the process, naming the advisers of Paris also proceeded to the election of the new Parisian executive. It is made up of 37 deputies, 18 women and 19 men. At the head of this executive, Emmanuel Grégoire (environmentalist). Already the first deputy, he filled for a new mandate and was entrusted with the portfolio of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs.

The environmentalist David Belliard joins the executive. EELV candidate for mayor, rallied to Anne Hidalgo between the two towers, he inherits the role of assistant in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Therefore , more changes to Paris coming already claimed by many opposition the end of Paris as we know it. Audrey Pulvar who takes the portfolio of sustainable food, agriculture and short circuits. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, a figure in the fight against AIDS and elected in the 12éme arrondissement, also joins the municipal team and will be in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. The communist Jacques Baudrier takes on his side the portfolio of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordination of works, a key mission while Anne Hidalgo was targeted for having multiplied construction sites in the capital. Among the new assistants also, we can quote Anouch Toranian, candidate in the 15éme, she was at 28 years the youngest of the head of the list of Anne Hidalgo. For her part, she will be in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. The many members of the previous municipal team remain in this new executive. We can cite Ian Brossat who stays in the accommodation. Olivia Polski keeps the trade and craft portfolio, as does Christophe Girard for culture and Patrice Bloche for education. Some elected deputies already change positions: Nicolas Nordman previously in charge of people with disabilities inherits the post of assistant in charge of prevention and security, he will be in charge for the establishment of the municipal police. Colombe Brossel goes from security to cleanliness, a position previously occupied by Paul Simondon who takes care of the finances and the budget. In this game of musical chairs, Pénélope Komitès sees herself in charge of innovation and attractiveness, leaving her post of assistant to green spaces to Christophe Najdovski, previously in transport.

The team according to BFMTV are

Emmanuel Grégoire, First deputy, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of town planning, architecture, Grand Paris and relations with the boroughs . Hélène Bidard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of gender equality and youth. Pierre Aidenbaum, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the Seine. Celia Blauel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Paris 2030 foresight and resilience. Jacques Baudrier, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of public construction, monitoring of construction sites, coordinating works on public space and the ecological transition of buildings. Anne-Claire Boux, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of city policy.   David Belliard, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the transformation of public space, transport, mobility, street code and roads. Colombe Brossel, assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of the cleanliness of public space, sorting and reduction of waste, recycling and reuse.   Patrick Bloche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of education, early childhood, families and new learning, in charge of the Paris Council. Sandrine Charnoz, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of mixed economy companies and local public companies. Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, emergency accommodation and refugee protection. Léa Filoche, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of solidarity, the fight against inequality and against exclusion. Jacques Galvani, deputy to the Mayor of Paris in charge of universal accessibility and people with disabilities.  Afaf Gabelotaud, Assistant to the Mayor of Paris in charge of businesses, employment and economic development. Christophe Girard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of culture. Pénélope Komites, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of innovation and attractiveness. Antoine Guillou, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human resources, social dialogue and the quality of public service.   Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of higher education, research and student life.   Fréderic Hocquard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of tourism and nightlife. Véronique Levieux, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of seniors and solidarity between generations. Dan Lert, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of ecological transition, climate plan, water and energy. Laurence Patrice, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of memory and the combatant world.   Florentin Letissier, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the social and solidarity economy, the circular economy and the contribution to the zero waste strategy. Olivia Polski, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of commerce, crafts, liberal professions and art and fashion trades. Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of the greening of public space, green spaces, biodiversity and animal condition. Audrey Pulvar, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sustainable food, agriculture and short supply chains. Arnaud NGatcha, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of international relations and the French-speaking world. Carine Rolland, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of the quarter-hour city.   Nicolas Nordman, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of prevention, security and municipal police. Anne Souyris, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of public health and relations with the APHP, environmental health and the fight against pollution, risk reduction and the fight against obesity. Pierre Rabadan, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of sport, the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Karen Taieb, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of heritage, Paris history and relations with religions. Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of human rights, integration and the fight against discrimination. Anouch Toranian, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of community life, citizen participation and public debate. Hermano Sanchez-Ruivo, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Europe. Dominique Versini, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of children’s rights and child protection. And Paul Simondon, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of finance, budget and green finance.

A team made up of mostly Socialists or center left and environmentalists coalition, already mention dangerous. For the record, Paris now has 2 187 526 inhabitants with an unemployment rate of 6,6% Local taxes are 1 150;65€ per inhabitant and there is 20% of green space in the city!

Located in the 14éme arrondissement, the Place de la Catalogne is emblematic of the district. Since June 24, it has had a two-way cycle path. However, in the neighborhood, some consider the tracks dangerous. They find that it does not change anything in terms of safety, whether for bikes or cars. In addition, some traders believe that the place is distorted by these facilities. The rivalries between cyclists, pedestrians and motorists do not help at all. And the beat goes on, as said cannot made changes without alternative solutions before implementing re routings and changes.

One good news finally!  Up to thirty months in prison for the pickpockets plaguing the Louvre and Versailles. The six men were suspected of having robbed 110 tourists who came to visit the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles between October 2017 and July 2018. Bravo !!

And if the mayor of Paris is on the changing mood, the President of the French Republic is already planning his reelection by asking Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to step down after winning the later the mayor’s office of Le Havre. The new prime minister will be announce today at 17h30 Paris time for a men of the center right (I guess for balance in winning!).   Senior civil servant, local elected official and former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy: Jean Castex, appointed Prime Minister on Friday July 3 to replace Edouard Philippe, had become a personality of choice for the majority since his mission of strategic advice on deconfinement. This 55-year-old man, who has never been a minister, cumulates, in the eyes of the president, the advantages to carry the second phase of the quinquennium: enarque, but in contact with the territories; still labeled Les Républicains (center right party), but reputed to be a man of dialogue and a perfect connoisseur of the mysteries of power since his visit to the Elysee as deputy secretary general, at the end of Nicolas Sarkozy’s mandate. Jean Castex, who has kept a slight accent of his native Gers (he was born on June 25, 1965 in Vic-Fezensac), has been mayor Les Républicains of Prades since 2008, when he snatched the town from the left. He was re-elected in this small town in the Pyrénées-Orientales at 75% in the first round, on last March 15.”Politically, I am on the right and I assume it perfectly,” he said in the early 2000s. This father of four supports the candidacy of François Fillon for the presidency of the UMP at the 2012 autumn congress. Time will tell but this is just a strategy to stay in power after all the major failures of the current administration. And bien sûr he quits the Les Républicains party so to be more team player with M Macron lol!!! They area ll on the same boat and not roaming as we are. The rentrée or re-entry in September will be tough.

And for more lighter news of my belle France, we have

The Théâtre de la Ville or city theater has been able to reopen. In the evening of June 22, it offered “la Veillée”, two nights “Planches” until the early hours of poetry, theater and music at Espace Cardin, near US embassy (see post) all for free. Then a week of shows, free again. And since this week, it’s a month of shows for all audiences combining gravity and humor, sometimes dreamlike, which starts on its two sites, Espace Cardin and the Abbesses theater. Again, free of charge, at least for those under 14 and the nursing staff. It will be 10 euros for the others.

Closed for three and a half months, Beaubourg (as we call it) reopened this Wednesday with the Christo exhibition. Please note that online reservations are compulsory for exhibitions, the modern art museum and the library. The first visitors made their entrance to the Centre Pompidou (as it is known) 4éme arrondissement this Wednesday morning at 11h. Beaubourg reopens with a very nice tribute to the artist Christo, who died last May 31. Entitled “ Christo and Jeanne-Claude Paris!” This ghost exhibition which was to open on last March 18, closed on the opening day. Dedicated to Paris and the packaging of Pont-Neuf in 1985, this event heralds the packaging of the Arc de Triomphe in the fall of 2021.

New rules came into effect last Wednesday, July 1st as part of the implementation of the rent framework in Paris. Clearly: a lessor does not have the right to rent an apartment in the capital above the maximum ceiling without justifying it … otherwise the tenant can force him to stick to it. These new ceilings relate to leases signed from July 1, 2020. For leases signed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020, the old ceilings apply (slightly below the new ones). Leases signed before this date are not affected by the rental framework. Be careful what you rent!

The île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise or leisure island reopens its beach this Saturday.(tomorrow). Access will be limited and the slides will not be accessible to avoid contact points. More info in French here: ïle de Loisirs Cergy Pontoise

It’s the return of cinema screenings under the stars. If those planned this weekend in the courtyard of the castle, in Vincennes, are complete, there are others, scheduled in Saint-Maur, Nogent sur Marne ,it is on the Terrasses de la Marne that the outdoor cinema screen, not in the park of the Maisons des Artistes. and Champigny sur Marne which should already be noted in his diary. Drive in cinemas that is, the Summer is here!

The Château de Rosa Bonheur castle in Thomery will have theater and concerts in Rosa Bonheur gardens. Marivaux’s “L’Equête” inaugurates an open-air festival to be held all summer in the park of the residence of this 19C painter. More info here in French: Château Rosa Bonheur

At Beauvais airport, the return of Ryanair and the concern of local residents. The Irish company returned to the Beauvais tarmac this past Wednesday, July 1st with 35 to 40% of its usual traffic. Local residents who oppose noise pollution fear a rise in noise power !!! Well cannot have it all lol!

The French are refocusing on essential goods, wine toast, the market plummets, minus 6% for all wine sales, up to minus 60% on champagne. In the fields, orders no longer go, wine tourism is at a standstill. However, rosé is doing well. It totals a plus 7.5% increase in sales during the two months of confinement! Well we did online purchases a couple times and the merchants appreciated.   Some of the unique opportunity were the Bordeaux Rollan de By, (visited), 2019 . Generous, this rosé breaks the codes of its region with a tall Italian-style bottle, in a feminine adornment. That said, this wine is for everyone, thanks to its roundness and delicacy, especially due to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. And Champagne Pannier, brut (visited). It is its touching delicacy that makes you want these bubbles of rosé. And then also its lightness, in the healthy sense of the term. In short, a champagne that feels good with a salad, vegetables or fruit.

Travel along the Touques, the river made in Normandy. Upstream of Pont-l’Evêque, from green hills to cheese dairies and apple orchards to castles, this coastal river and its valley conceal all the Norman treasures. The source is Champ-Haut, in the Orne. The mouth is Deauville, in Calvados, its crowd and its boards. In just over 100 km, La Touques connects two worlds that have only Normandy in common. Let’s voluntarily skip the last part of the river, between Pont-l’Evêque and La Manche, to discover the part of the valley that gives pride of place to castles and local products. The cider route, between the Dives and the Touques, attests to this. Gorgeous terrain and great foodies , enjoy it.

Perched at a height of 60 meters, a magnificent view of all of Paris, this is what the new rooftop promises, born of the collaboration between Passage Enchanté and Sodexo Prestige Venues and Events, high promises. A cocoon of greenery close to the Gare de Lyon, which invites you to enjoy the marvelous Parisian sunsets. From July 3, Laho opens its doors. An elegant green space on the 18th floor of a business center, accessible by a private elevator. Once at the top, the panoramic view of Paris is dazzling. A magical moment, where the sky changes from blue to purple, and where the sun is reflected on the monuments of the capital. Paris of course! 5-9 Rue Van Gogh, 12éme more info here: Laho roofstop

The “50 Top Pizza” classification, in Europe published by the experts of the Identità Golose committee, gives pride of place to Neapolitan pizza whose very thick dough has been making foodies around the world salivate for many years . And that’s Kalò di Ciro Salvo who comes first, a London restaurant located in Westminster and whose Neapolitan pizza signed by the pizza maker Ciro Salvo are recognized worldwide. Behind him, the first Parisian restaurant, Bijou, Abbesses pizzeria at high prices but with an absolutely delicious menu,10 Rue Dancourt 18éme, followed by 6 other Parisian addresses: Ober Mamma in 4th position , 107 Bd Richard Lenoir 11éme;   Louie Louie in 18th, 78 Rue de Charonne 11éme; Manhattan Terrazza in 19th,108 Avenue de Villiers 17éme Tripletta in 33th, 88 Bd de Belleville 20éme ,Popolare in 34th,111 Rue Réamur, 2éme; and Guillaume Grasso in 49th 45 Rue Brancion 15éme. Perfect for traveling without leaving Paris!

And one and last but not least for the memories of old Paris.

The old “Refoulons” line, 3 km long between Enghien-les-Bains train station and the former Montmorency train station, which is now gone, was in service from 1866 until July 4, 1954. It was very popular at the beginning of the 20C. It was with this line that the future Mistinguett took the train for the first time. If the cities still keep some vestiges of its activity, in particular the hall of the Enghien train station built in 1879 and which today houses the bus station, it remains especially in the memory of many inhabitants to whom it made life easier. On July 4, 1956, an official decree definitively ended the existence of the Refoulons.

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


July 3, 2020

Count of Chambord!

The story is hardly mention in France today unless you go to history circles like me. However, it is a huge personality in the history of France that was not to be but left an ever lasting royal influence. I have touch base before in my blog , but let me tell you a bit more on the men better known as the Count of Chambord, yes in that castle! (see posts) Bear with me as history is always long even if i try to condense as much as possible.

Henri d’Artois, grandson of France, Duke of Bordeaux, is a prince of the royal family of France, head of the Capetian house of Bourbon, better known by his title of courtesy of Count of Chambord, born September 29, 1820 at the Palais des Tuileries palace (now gone but see post) in Paris, and died on August 24, 1883 at Frohsdorf Castle (now part of hotel group) in Lanzenkirchen,  Austria. Grandson of King Charles X, chief and last representative of the elder and French branch of the House of Bourbon, he was a pretender to the Crown of France from 1844 to his death in 1883 under the name of Henri V.


Henri d’Artois bore the title of Duke of Bordeaux, which king Louis XVIII gave him in homage to the first city which joined the Bourbons in 1814. Designated as king in 1830, at the age of nine, in the act of abdication of his grandfather, Charles X, and renunciation of his uncle, the dauphin ,and pretender Louis XIX, will not exercise this function because of the rise of the Duke of Orleans on the throne (not with title of king of France but a minor king of the French). He then went into exile with all his family in England. From 1830 to his death in 1883, he bore the title of courtesy of Count de Chambord , from the name of the castle (see post) which had been offered to him by a national subscription. His supporters considered him to be King Henri V and the continuation of the Bourbons. He is the last legitimate male online descendant of king Louis XV and Marie Leszczyńska. His childless death in 1883 marks the extinction of the Artois branch of the Capetian house of Bourbon and the start of a quarrel ,still on going between the Bourbon houses of Spain and Orleans of France to find out which one has the more legitimacy to the Crown of France. Bearing in mind France do not like kings born elsewhere but queens yes….

Henri, duke of Bordeaux, was the grand-nephew of the king of France Louis XVIII. At birth, he was third in succession after his grandfather, the Count of Artois – future Charles X (widower of Princess Marie-Thérèse of Savoie) and his uncle Louis-Antoine, Duke of Angoulême . He is the posthumous son of Charles-Ferdinand d’Artois, Duke of Berry, younger son of the Count of Artois, and his wife Marie-Caroline des Deux-Siciles. The Duke of Berry was assassinated, in 1820, by Bonapartist Louis-Pierre Louvel who wanted to destroy the line of the Bourbons. Already the mother of a daughter, the Duchess of Berry, pregnant at the time of the tragedy, gave birth seven and a half months later to a son, the long-awaited heir to the throne!. As soon as he was born, between three and four in the morning of September 29, by his first chaplain Marc Marie de Bombelles bishop of Amiens, under the name of Henri, Charles, Ferdinand, Marie, Dieu-Donné d’Artois, Duke de Bordeaux , Henri was baptized on May 1, 1821 at Notre-Dame Cathedral de Paris; his godfather and godmother were his uncle and aunt, the duke and duchess of Angoulême. On October 11, 1820, a national subscription made it possible to give to the prince the Château de Chambord. He was first placed, like his older sister Louise, under the responsibility of the Duchess of Gontaut. In 1828, his grandfather, who became king in 1824 under the name of Charles X, entrusted his education to the Baron of Damas.


On July 25, 1830, Charles X promulgated ordinances which brought about the 1830 revolution, also known as the Trois Glorieuses or three glorious days. On July 30, 1830, a group of Parisian politicians launched the candidacy for the throne of Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orleans (not by heritage). On August 2, 1830, Charles X abdicated in favor of his grandson Henri d’Artois. The order of succession, however, gave the throne to the king’s eldest son, the Dauphin Louis-Antoine de France, who was called to reign under the name of Louis XIX. But the latter is forced to countersign his father’s abdication. Thus, the Crown would pass to the young Henri, duke of Bordeaux, who would become Henri V.   Louis-Philippe d’Orléans did not stand for regent and he was content to register the abdication of Charles X and the renunciation of his son, without proclaiming Henri V. On August 7,1830   the Chamber of Deputies and then the Chamber of Peers (again politicians not heritage) called the Duke of Orleans to the throne, who was sworn in August 9, under the name of Louis-Philippe Ier as king of the French (not king of France). However, from August 2, some legitimists begin to designate the young Henry, nine years old, under the name of Henry V. The royal family went into exile in England on August 16, 1830 as a consequence of this political purge.

The fallen Royal family moved to Holyrood Castle, Scotland. In October 1832, the family of Charles X left the United Kingdom to settle at the royal palace in Prague, in Bohemia. The first act that the Duke of Bordeaux accomplishes on the occasion of his majority is that of a solemn protest against the usurpation of Louis-Philippe. In October 1836, the old Royal family must leave Prague for Goritz, where Charles X dies on November 6. His son, the Dauphin, who bears the title of courtesy of Count de Marnes, becomes Louis XIX, in the eyes of Carlist legitimists or by heritage. In October 1843, he went to London, where he received legitimists from France at Belgrave Square, including Chateaubriand. The death of the Dauphin Louis XIX, which occurred on June 3, 1844, led his supporters to rally to the Count of Chambord, who became the eldest of the house of France and is now recognized under the name of king Henri V by all legitimists, who remain in opposition under the July monarchy, the Second Republic and the Second Empire.

In 1844, the Count of Chambord and his aunt, the Dauphine, settled in the castle of Frohsdorf, located near Vienna. On November 15, 1846, Prince Henri married Marie-Thérèse de Modène, with whom he was to form a united couple. The Duchess, born Princess Marie-Beatrice of Savoy, was the heir of the Stuarts to reign over Great Britain, but excluded from the succession because of the Anti-Catholic Establishment Act of 1701. In February 1848, the revolution of February broke out; Louis-Philippe abdicated on the 24th; the third Republic (keep counting) is proclaimed. The Count of Chambord sees the fall of Orleans as a just punishment, but refrains from any public manifestation of joy. Prince Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected president of the Republic in December 1848. However, in May 1849, the elections carried a monarchist majority in the National Assembly. The prince-president soon came into conflict with it. By the coup d’état of December 2, 1851, he retained power and, in October 1852, hinted at the next restoration of the Empire (therefore a dictatorship) under Napoléon III (just like under Napoleon I).

The Count of Chambord in 1851, inherited the castle of Frohsdorf, from his aunt the dauphine. He settled there definitively and kept memories of royalty there: portraits of the royal family; white flags given to Charles X in August 1830; gifts offered by legitimists. He had two schools built on the Frohsdorf estate for the children of the staff of the chateau and the parish.

Some of the ideas of the Count of Chambord looks very modern and democratic. He wishes that the king be accessible without distinction of social rank and make compete all the talents, all the high characters, all the intellectual forces of all the French. The grandson of Charles X intends that this declaration of principle finds its concretization in the Constitution of the kingdom by the affirmation of the equality of rights between all the French citizens and the equal access of all to the offices and public responsibilities as well as to social advantages The role of the parliament is a role of control which does not go so far as to overthrow the government: it consists in the annual vote of the taxes and the budget and in the participation in the drafting of the laws. Count of Chambord fears that ministerial responsibility before the chambers is a source of chronic instability. He is also in favor of bicameralism. On the other hand, the king would have the right to dissolve the chamber without limit. Regarding universal suffrage, the Count of Chambord is favorable. The question of suffrage seems to him inseparable from that of decentralization insofar as he advocates the creation of territorial communities whose representatives would come from universal suffrage. The Count of Chambord holds religious freedom as inviolable and sacred, he intends to guarantee it but does not hear that the bishops meddle in temporal affairs, which would be no less contrary to the dignity and interests of religion itself than to the good of the state.   According to him, public authorities must keep their distance from education which must remain free. He does not see in what name the State would prohibit religious congregations from fulfilling their educational mission. He wishes to orient France’s foreign policy in the direction of a fight against the Islamists, both within the framework of the French strategy in the south and in the East. From his trip in the Ottoman Empire, he retained the idea that the Muslim world must be pushed back as far as possible. French exception, he is an heir to the throne with a real program, slowly drawn up: his work will deeply inspire the monarchists who will revive social Catholicism in France, such as by Albert de Mun and, above all, by René de la Tour du Pin.

In August 1870, when the France of Napoleon III experienced serious defeats in the war against Prussia, Henri d’Artois left Frohsdorf with the intention of enlisting; on September 1, 1870, he appealed to repel the invasion, save at all costs the honor of France and the integrity of its territory. In February 1871; the new Assembly had 240 republican deputies against 400 monarchists, divided between legitimists and Orleanists. On May 8, 1871, the Count of Chambord published a letter in response to one of his supporters, Carayon-Latour, in which he condemned political intrigue, placed events in the context of French history, affirmed his faith in eternal France and calls for rallying. The letter accelerates the process of union of the royalists and the princes of Orleans enjoin the Count of Paris to step aside before the grandson of Charles X! However, the legitimist pretender,Count of Chambord refuses to give up the white flag (this is the reason France did not continue with a King). For him, this is a question of principle, which concerns the very idea that he has of the monarchy. In a letter of May 24, 1871, Prince Henri affirms that he does not want to abandon the flag of his fathers which for him means respect for religion, protection of all that is just, of all that is good, of all that is right, united with all that demands of our time, while the tricolor flag represents the flag of the revolution in all its aspects and that in addition it fills the arsenals of the foreigner victories. If he compromised with the heritage of the revolution, he would be powerless to do good. On June 8, 1871, the Assembly abolished the laws banishing the Bourbons from France. In July 1871, Count of Chambord/ Henri d’Artois returned for a few days to his France which he had to leave in 1830.

He receives on July 5 a delegation of royalist deputies bringing together the heirs of three of the largest houses of the monarchy who try to convince him to adopt the tricolor flag; and he responded: I can not forget that monarchical law is the heritage of the nation, nor decline the duties he imposes on me. I will fulfill these duties, believe my word as an honest man and a king.I am ready to do anything to raise my country from its ruins and to regain its rank in the world; the only sacrifice I cannot make for her is that of my honor. I will not allow the banner of Henri IV, François I and Jeanne d’Arc to be torn from my hands.I received it as a sacred deposit from the old king my ancestor, dying in exile; for me it has always been inseparable from the memory of the absent country; it floated on my cradle, I want it to shade my grave. (Brave but it ended the monarchy as no support to go back to old ways). Even if still very much monarchist support! In May 1873, the President of the Republic, Adolphe Thiers, declared that monarchy is impossible and that the Republic is preferable. The royalist majority of the Assembly then puts him in the minority, causing his resignation on May 24, 1873. He was immediately replaced by Marshal Mac Mahon, favorable to the restoration of royalty. The death in January of Napoleon III whose only son and dynastic heir was exiled with his mother to Great Britain , the departure of the Republican Thiers in May, the evacuation of German troops in September created a climate conducive to restoration. At the end of October 1873, one begins to prepare the return of the king to France. On the night of November 20, the Assembly, which ignores that Prince Henri is in France, (and not told by Mac Mahon to keep the power for himself) votes the presidential mandate of seven years, thus extending the powers of Mac Mahon.


Learning of the vote for the seven-year term, the Count of Chambord returns to Frohsdorf so as not to be a subject of unrest. He did not lose hope, but the news which came to him from France only indicated to him that the decline and then the disappearance of the royalist majority, faced with the successive victories of the Republicans. The Third Republic was established in January 1875 by the Wallon amendment, and the constitutional laws of February and then of July organized its functioning. In 1879, with the resignation of President Mac Mahon, all powers belong to the Republicans. In June 1883, Henri d’Artois suffered from a disease of the digestive tract, of which he died in exile in Frohsdorf on August 24, 1883, the eve of Saint-Louis. The funeral of Henri V takes place on September 3 in the Cathedral of Gorizia (became Italian since 1918), and he is buried near his sister Louise and Charles X, the Dauphin and the Dauphine, outside the city, at the convent of Kostanjevica (in Slovenia), located since 1947 two hundred meters behind the Italian-Slovenian border. There have been efforts to repatriate but it needs the demand by France which still not done it…….

According to some legitimists, the crown was to go to the Bourbons of Spain, who were descended from a grandson of Louis XIV; the latter, mounted on the throne of Spain in 1700, under the name of Felipe V,(who built a little Versailles where he was born at La Granja de Idelfonso near Segovia see post); had indeed renounced his rights on the throne of France, for him and all his descendants, during the Treaties of Utrecht in 1713,(coerse to avoid a war he could not win), but all waiver would be void according to the principle of unavailability of the Crown (heritage by Salian laws). On the death of the prince, a minority of legitimists, supported by his widow, the Countess of Chambord, recognized as the king by right Juan de Bourbon, Count of Montizón (brother-in-law of the Countess of Chambord), descendant of the grandson of Louis XIV, now the elder of the Capetians, and former Carlist contender for the crown of Spain. The current monarchy in Spain follows this line. The current legitimist king of France Alfonso was born in Madrid and would be Louis XX.

The Château de Chambord, which belongs now to France, includes a museum where several rooms evoke the Count of Chambord; they notably contain souvenirs and furniture from Frohsdorf; There are also four cars and a coach that the Count of Damas, representative in France of Prince Henri, had acquired from the Binder house, in the early 1870s, for the entry into Paris of “Henri V”, in case he was called to the throne. At the end of the 19C, French legitimists erected a monument to Sainte-Anne-d’Auray to Henri d’Artois; a stone pedestal, decorated with statues of Joan of Arc, Bayard, Saint Geneviève and du Guesclin, carries the statue of the pretender while praying, in coronation costume. (very near my home, see post).



The graphic arts cabinet of the musée Carnavalet museum and its cabinet Numismatics keep several hundred prints and medals of legitimist propaganda to the glory of the Duke of Bordeaux and then Count of Chambord, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée Carnavalet Paris collections

The musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design de Bordeaux or museum of decorative arts and design of Bordeaux has one of the most important legitimist collections in France. A living room dedicated to the Duke of Bordeaux evokes his life, from his birth to his death. More here: Musée des Arts Décoratifs et du Design of Bordeaux

You can see his story there in the Château de Chambord on the remarkable personages page in English here: Château de Chambord on Henri

The official webpage of the Count of ChambordComte de Chambord

The official webpage of the royal reunification of France, futur king Louis XX in French: Futur royal family of France Louis XX

The official webpage of the futur Louis XX personal page: Royal family of France under Louis XX

And there you go, now you have a wonderful piece of French history seldom mention in government control media. The one to be Henri V and the possible but unlikely future Louis XX. Hope you enjoy the post on the Count of Chambord, Henri d’Artois, Duke of Bordeaux.

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

June 30, 2020


Ok so back to nostalgia lane for me. I was looking for something different to write in my blog other than the usual tourist famous destination. I was looking at some of pictures in my vault of almost 100K and came up with one little picture that means a lot to us so decided to write about it and keep it for memories’ sake in my blog.

Therefore, here is my take on Orgeval!!

Orgeval is located in the department 78 of the Yvelines in the Île-de-France region. It is very close to Poissy and Saint-Germain-en-Laye, and not far from Paris only 31 km, Mantes-la-Jolie 23 km, Pontoise 22 km and the capital of the dept Versailles at 22 km. The town is bordered by Crespières and Feucherolles to the south, Villennes-sur-Seine and Médan to the north, Poissy to the east, Les Alluets-le-Roi and Morainvilliers to the west. 

Orgeval is traverse by the departmental road D113 (known as the Route de Quarante Sous ), formerly the N13 just below it, the Autoroute de Normandie A13. In the north of the town there is the interchange which links the A13 and the D113, and also gives access to the A14, a toll road which leads directly to La Défense. Of course, all these roads are very familiar to me.You can go from the D113 or Route de Quarante Sous on the D45 to city center along the rue de la Gare.

The town of Orgeval is served by 10 bus lines which connect Orgeval to the poles of Les Mureaux, Plaisir – Grignon and to the towns of Poissy, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, La Défense, Verneuil sur Seine and Versailles. The most common lines I recalled were the Line 14: Maule <> Orgeval <> Poissy Gare Sud (bus and train station to Paris) .Line 20: Poissy Gare Sud. The Express line 19: Les Mureaux bus/train station <> Orgeval Art de Vivre <> Versailles Europe (very close to the castle) .Line Express A14: Vernouillet-Verneuil train station <> Orgeval “Conforama / Art de Vivre” <> La Défense Terminal Jules Verne (believe me took this one on business trip from Verneuil sur Seine to La Défense!) . The nearest train station to Orgeval as it has none is in Villennes-sur-Seine, then Poissy and St Germain en Laye as far as distance. The Villennes sur Seine takes to Paris too.

The transdev bus network for Orgeval is here:

For the Express line 14 to La Défense is here:

For the Express line 19 to Versailles Europe , which also stops at shopping center Parly II and very walkable to the Hameau and Trianons of Versailles both ways , line here:

A bit of history I like

The first mention in history of Orgeval was the foundation of the Notre-Dame d’Abbecourt abbey in 1180 by Gasce de Poissy, suzerain of Orgeval. This men’s abbey, which belonged to the diocese of Chartres, located near the Hôtel du Moulin d’Orgeval, was destroyed around the beginning of the 19C. Orgeval nowadays has a church of Romanesque architecture from the 11C with an spire and an octagonal tower. The nave is from the 16C. Joan of Arc went there to deliver Poissy and gold was searched there in the early 17C.

More on things to see here: Parc de la Brunetterie . The demolition of the castle of Brunetterie in 2017 and the restoration of the park on the domaine de Brunetterie. The Church of Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul. The Royal Abbey of Notre-Dame d’Abbecourt was closed during the French revolution of 1789 and then used as a stone quarry. Only the toponym remains, “Allée d’Abbecourt”. The current study, carried out thanks to donations from members, individuals, the participation of the town of Ogeval , Heritage associations, already allows them to have a good overview of what was the Abbey of Abbecourt. Also, the Chapel of Saint-Jean.

The city of Orgeval in French, on its heritage: City of Orgeval on its heritage

The city of Orgeval history webpage on its heritage in French: City of Orgeval history site

We love to come shopping and eating here just to get out of Versailles and see our new surroundings; as if Versailles was not enough, lol!.

The 40 Quarante Sous business zone in Orgeval is one of the largest in Ile de France with about 160 establishments spread out along the road. However, one of the reason we came here often was the Centre Commercial Art de Vivre, this indoor and two-stories shopping mall was an essential shopping stop for many inhabitants of the region. Several times redesigned, it had as much as 42 stores with a very diverse target: furniture, decorations, leisure, games, perfumery; and large brands known such as Darty, Animalis, Casa, Maisons du monde, Nature and discovery, Game, l’Univers du livre, and Bricorama. There were also several dining areas, including a Japanese restaurant. And even if the car park has nearly 1,000 parking spaces, it was sometimes difficult to find a place to park. Yes indeed!! Very popular!!! However, sad to read in the press, the place is in free fall. In fact, of the 25 brands that composed it when it was created in the 1970s, and after more as above, by last read in 2018, there are only six remaining. The Gilbert Joseph bookstore (who took over from the L’Universe du Livre) and the video game specialist Micromania (who took over from Game) have just lowered their curtain. Now it is the Guy Degrenne tableware store which had stopped its activity. A new complex composed of shops and housing could be created by 2025 at the Art de Vivre site. Still in discussion with the town folks. There is a Facebook page still with some reminicents of what it was , FB on the CC Art de Vivre here: Facebook page on the old Centre Comercial Art de Vivre Orgeval

However, the main reason we found out about Orgeval, was that my twin boys first job was at the restaurant and kitchen of the Ibis Budget Hotel right next to the shopping center Art de Vivre. And voilà , we saw the shopping so therefore, wife and the gang attack it!!! The experience for the boys was very nice with very friendly staff at the hotel , one for the memories even if by then photos were not important. And one reason we came to Orgeval to shop at the Centre Commercial Art de Vivre. And as memories goes never to be forgotten and one reason to put it in my blog. The Ibis hotel still there, ver good stop on your rounds Paris to Normandy. Webpage in English: Accor Ibis Budget Hotel Orgeval


And there you, I feel better now, to give credit to another nice spot in my world. Orgeval, as others all appreciative of knowing them and remember well. Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by on your rounds of Paris to/from Normandy on the Autoroute de Normandie A13!

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

June 28, 2020

Versailles: Avenue de Saint Cloud!!!

And here I am again on my beloved Versailles. Oh yes wonderful to walk its architecturally and historical stunning streets. Versailles is the capital of the Yvelines dept 78 of the ïle de France region. However, for a capital city is very managable and even with a great bus network , walking would do the trick. Especially if you lived central in Notre Dame district like we did for almost 10 years, and one nice big avenue that separate us from the rest.

I like to tell you a bit more on the Avenue de Saint Cloud in Versailles, of course.

The Avenue de Saint Cloud (road D185) is in the Montreuil district bordering Notre-Dame district of Versailles. It was created in 1804. Former Avenue de Paris in 1665. Named after the town of Saint-Cloud (see post) whose avenue was the road to go to. At the time of Louis XIV the north of the avenue, in place of the Lycée Hoche, was occupied by a menagerie and stables, and behind these installations by the park of the former Château de Clagny (done for Madame de Montespan, mistress of king Louis XIV).  It has remarkable plane trees malls with bike paths on each side of the avenue.


At 33 Avenue de Saint Cloud about corner with Avenue de l’Europe parking Indigo, convenient for those daring to enjoy the thrill of coming by car, is right next to the flower market or Marché aux fleurs (see post). The Flower market is between rue Clémenceau and Avenue de l’Europe, under the plane tree mall, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, from 8h to 19h30(see post). Easy spot in and out of Versailles and central for walking all over too.


Some of the remarkable buildings to see in Versailles, and of course now many under different ownership but I put the old history here are:

At No. 3: Former Hôtel de Langlée; at No 5 and 7: Former Hôtel d’ Estrée; No 6 to 16: Houses demolished in 1848 to build the Borgnis-Desbordes barracks, destroyed in 1944 again and see follow up. No 9: First building used for the Israelite worship during the French revolution; at No 10 to 16: Current General Treasury (DDFIP) ; No 18 to 20: Entrance of the Avenue de l’Europe constructed in 1963. At the corner of the Avenue de Saint Cloud ,and rue Carnot: the Café Amaury was in 1789 the meeting place for the Jacobins club. Today the BNP Paribas Bank. No 22: Former Salon de Flore hall a dance hall. No 25: Purchased in 1897 by La Ville stores in Paris, then in 1924 Printemps de Paris, Le Printemps in 1960, and Eurodif since 1991, then Bouchara at the corner of Rue du Maréchal Foch. At No 31 it was the building of Protestant worship from 1828 to 1836. No 34: Former Hôtel de Richelieu built in 1738. At No 35, the picturesque Passage Saladin ,named after the family who owned neighboring properties in the 18C. No 36: Former Synagogue until 1886. At No 38 former Hôtel Saint Simon b. 1686 not much left than some pieces of the cellar.   No 52 and 52 bis: Former Hôtel Dutoit, named after the head of the King’s goblet and small voyages, completed in 1785. Beautiful facade and neoclassical interior courtyard with horizontal lines and interior staircase with canopy. Former Protestant school: the Bertrand Institution (precursor of the Lycée Jules-Ferry high school) operated there until 1923. No. 56: Old gardens, today the City’s technical services and administrative court.

Further at No 71: Land bought and built by the architect of King Louis XV, Richard Mique. No 73: Lycée Hoche. Created in 1803 as an imperial high school. The name was given in 1888 by a government decree. In the center of the current school is located the old convent where the canonesses of Saint Augustin (Carmelite convent) settled in 1772. It was built by Richard Mique for Queen Marie Lesczynska, daughter of the King of Poland and wife of Louis XV, between 1767 and 1772 ,next to the destroyed Château de Clagny . Its neoclassical chapel, completed in 1773, is comparable to the Pantheon in Paris (1757 see post) ) and the Saint-Symphorien Church in Versailles (1764 see post) There is a museum inside worth the detour . In 1792, despite the presence of 500 pupils (poor young girls), the nuns were expelled. Restored, the chapel was inaugurated in 2012.

More in French on the museum Hoche  here:

Moving right along ,at No 83: Facade with porch, balcony and pediment. Built by Jean-Baptiste Brucker, butler of the Count de Noailles, in the 1770s. Madame Babois’ literary salon (Ducis, Talma, De Saint-Pierre) in the 1790s. No 85: House built around 1780. No 87: House built in 1787. No. 89: The pavillon de l’équipage du cerf   or aka green dog kennel. Acquired in 1868 by the farmer Louis-Emile Bertin.

The city of Versailles on its heritage in French: City of Versailles on its heritage

The Versailles tourist office on the Montreuil district in French for more info: Versailles tourist office on the Montreuil district

And there you go, another wonderful spot in my beloved Versailles, a lot more than a Palace/museum I said. Hope you enjoy the walk on Avenue de Saint Cloud, and recognise these buildings as you do, great fun indeed and very educational.

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

June 28, 2020

Versailles: Avenue de Sceaux!!

Let me tell you about a dandy in my beloved Versailles. This is one of those streets you find by chance even if lived in the city. While ,there we walk, but then we had visitors and took them on a car ride into the palace and others and needed parking. Therefore, there is an excellent parking at the end of Avenue de Sceaux and voilà. We walked further around it and got to know the street. After later visits, we parked here to do our walking and its great.

Let me tell you a bit about the Avenue de Sceaux in Versailles!

The Avenue de Sceaux is a very much used traffic street in Versailles, one of the three streets which radiate in a fan from the place d’Armes, in front of the Palace/museum of Versailles, with the Avenue de Paris (see post) and the Avenue de Saint-Cloud (see post). Avenue de Sceaux is the most southerly of the three. It goes south-east for about 700 meters and ends at the place des Francine. Part of the avenue is currently occupied by a paid above ground car park managed by the city of Versailles. There are also parking spaces on a niche or on the cob, paid for by parking meters, along the entire length of the track. Very nice place to park and start you walks around the city. Our favorite.

versailles avenue de sceaux 2007


Initially it was planned that the Avenue de Sceaux would extends in a south-eastern direction, in order to be able to reach the Château de Fontainebleau passing through the town of Sceaux. But the project was aborted and ultimately the avenue will remain in its current state and will end in a dead end. The project will notably be thwarted by the installation of two immense reservoirs on the heights of the Bois Saint Martin forest by the engineer Gobert to receive the water from the Buc aqueduct. Located at the end of the avenue, they close it permanently.

The Avenue de Sceaux borders the following buildings, the  Petite Écurie, Court of Scents, the Square des Francine, also called Louis XIV abreuvoir or watering place, at no. 10: Hôtel de la Marine et des Galères; and Jardin des étangs Gobert or pond garden of Gobert.  You can, also, walk from the parking above on Avenue de Sceaux directly into the left hand side of the palace/museum or commonly call the Château de Versailles!

The Avenue de Sceaux in the district of Saint-Louis created in 1710. Former allée des Bois and avenue du Parc-aux-Cerfs. Named after the town of Sceaux south of Paris to which the avenue and then a road lead. Access to the Jardin des étangs Gobert, the Palace second hydraulic system which brought water from the Rambouillet ponds, from the Saclay plateau, via the Buc aqueduct, to the Gobert garden ponds (Thomas Gobert was  intendant of buildings for King Louis XIV).

One of the ponds is abandoned (filled with reeds and willows, it was regrooved in late 2014) and the other was fitted out by the city of Versailles in 2013 as a public park as part of the construction of the transport hub multimodal of the city. An alley built in 2013 joins the rue Edouard-Charton and the gare des Chantiers.  These areas will be linked to Avenue de Sceaux by a new route drawn between the two old reservoirs. In the northern part, the avenue was limited under the old Regime by the gardens of the Hôtel du Grand Maître (current city/town hall or hôtel de Conti), then by the Hôtel de Limoges, replaced in 1854 by the barracks of same name, then by the current buildings. A residential access to the Étangs Gobert gardens via Place des Francine. Do not miss the outdoor exhibition on the walls to the east of the garden, telling the story of hydraulics in Versailles.

Further on this Avenue de Sceaux you have at no 2ter  Former brasserie du Nord; no 4, 6 and 8: Former barracks, then Hôtel des Chevau-Légers and printing works; rented to Edouard Aubert at no 6, Bains Saint-Louis or baths until 1918, and cinema of the Alhambra in 1970. The Guards pavilion on the avenue has been restored. At no 6, rehabilitated, the former hôtel des Gabelles 17C, became at the beginning of 2016 the Hotel de Beauté. No  10: Barracks of the Coches, Major seminary from 1808 to 1833, then barracks of CRS (special riot police) .No 12: Part of the old Cheval Blanc inn courtyard at rue Royale. No 14 Former restaurant with the Coing d’or, then café de la Bourse (gone) opposite the café de la Réunion on the other side (gone in the 1990s).

At no 1 to 46: Former Hôtel des Gardes du roi in 1740. There remains a monumental door where the Decroy residence was installed (derived from the name of the Croÿ barracks). No 30: Former stables of the King’s Guards, which became a barracks in 1730, the Duke of Noailles being Governor of Versailles. The barracks, which accommodated the 32nd regiment of Dragons until 1919, became then the military circle of Croÿ. The other monumental entrance on rue Royale was built after 1778. Creation at this level of La Rotonde new annex of the Saint-Louis district house in 2015. Place des Francine at the top of the Avenue de Sceaux, an old drinking trough for horses, fitted out at the end of the 18C and refitted in 1812, with the current hemicycle wall, was replaced in 1954 by the Square des Francine (named after a family of fountains men in charge of water stewardship and royal fountains from 1623 to 1784 or from King Henri IV to Louis XV), which included a pool surrounded by four play areas. at the former Étangs Gobert reservoir converted into a public park and at the Chantiers train station. A small sports field has replaced the square and the hemicycle wall has been rehabilitated. A new playground for kiddies accompanied by ‘a 345 m2 plant labyrinth and an esplanade with water jets was inaugurated in June 2016. The fountain with two lion heads has been put back into service.

Sublime my Versailles, full of history on every turn. And of course , Architecture to dream on. Hope you enjoy the walk of this wonderful Avenue de Sceaux in my beloved Versailles.

Just for reference, the city of Versailles on its heritage: City of Versailles on heritage

And with more info, the Versailles tourist office on the district of Saint Louis in French: Versailles tourist office on Saint Louis district

Again be at Versailles, breath Versailles and enjoy Versailles. Hope it helps you enjoy the Avenue de Sceaux.

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

June 23, 2020

Le Parnasse Français ,Palace of Versailles!!!

And I have to come back to my beloved Versailles and the wonderful magnificent Palace/museum of Versailles. I have given you so many articles on it and so many stories, general and personal ,that I rather go straight to the matter on this post.

As a friend of the Domaine de Versailles I walk around, in and out. However, my most vivid memories are the walking and jogging in the gardens and especially stopping by the Petit Trianon. Nevertheless, there are many curiosities anecdotes especially in the Palace of Versailles. I like to tell you about the French Parnassus! or Le Parnasse Français!!! I like to describe it from personal brochures.

Le Parnasse Français or the French Parnassus in the apotheosis of the poets and musicians of king Louis XIV. a bronze and wood model, completed in 1718 is kept at the Palace of Versailles in the aile du nord or north wing, ground floor (1fl US). Its measures are: 260 cm high, 235 cm wide and 235 cm deep.


The monument was to be a personification of Mount Parnassus with ornaments of laurels, myrtles, palm trees, surrounding and emphasizing the climb to the summit where a statue of Louis XIV was to triumph, in Apollo at the lyre. On the floor immediately below, the three graces embodied by Antoinette Deshoulières, Henriette de la Suze, and Madeleine de Scudéry, the best known of the three. Still below, on a sort of terrace crossing the mountain, Pierre Corneille surrounded by   Molière,Racine and Lully who wears a medallion. La Fontaine, Boileau, and other lesser-known characters completing the empty spaces of the muses. In various places were to be hung on the laurels medallions of poets and less famous musicians.

All is on a formidable wooden base, very worked with its marked rocks, its waterfalls from which the water flows and its many plant species easily recognizable by a good gardener, appears bronze with its swarming of various characters. They are all of very fine carving, well taken up. On the upper level you see a young Apollo enthroned at the lyre, behind him are a child blowing in his trumpet and a winged horse about to fly away. At her feet, three women wear long garlands of flowers, preparing to crown the god as soon as he stops playing. Beside them, little loves wear medallions where the heads of very chiselled men are seen. On the level below the previous one are many standing figures, standing or seated, in costumes and wig hairstyles typical of the Sun King era. Going down, the mound widens and, still below, you see some effigies, located at the corners, of men known to the time.

In the second plan, in height, an energetic olives branch, with reinforced masculinity, indicates to the serious Monsieur Pertinent and to the crowned Lion the direction that the small troop should take. Just behind them, the ruffle great step, master of fantasy and the joy of living in dreams, the land of all happiness. Above the trees with massive trunks in the midst of which the scarecrow of the olive branch took place. Set back, at the level of olive and relevant master, the tamer, the chimney sweep, the dwarf with the wheelbarrow containing an Easter egg, the dancer in tutu, the gendarme, the animated bell, etc. All members of the brilliant community of Hallucinaville. They are looking for their way out. Oh yeah those feerie artists of my belle France!

 All this beautiful world is situated on the sides of a mound of green grass, with blooming flowers of all colors, the top of which is crowned by two grandiose trees in which small birds fly. In the background, hills on the right, one of which carries a fairytale castle with a floating banner. Everywhere else a wonderful azure blue sky without the slightest cloud. The perfection of the illustration is total, the painting is a masterpiece of a unique balance between drawing and colors, truly a moment of classic eternity.

This is not in the official public Domaine of Versailles webpage nor the tourist office of Versailles. You can read up my post on the Italian musicians of Louis XIV on their former house in Versailles and their performances back them as the closest to what this statue represent. Hope you enjoy the novelty Le Parnasse Français of Versailles!

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

June 22, 2020

Shopping in the Domaine of Versailles!

Well, I think its time I tell you about the shopping inside the properties of the Domaine de Versailles, which includes the palace, trianons, hameau, etc in the city of Versailles, capital of the department 78 Yvelines and in the region of Ïle de France. Happy to say it again, my old home.

I have told you plenty on the palace and also, that Versailles is a lot more than it. However, it is true 98% (according to survey by City of Versailles) come here for the palace alone. Therefore, feel it is the time to tell you a bit about the shopping available inside the properties of the Domaine de Versailles! Here is my brief introduction as the subject can be long….

However, first, let me tell you some practical information base on many sources and my own experiences.

Some ideas to ease your visit to the Domaine de Versailles is to schedule your visit from Wednesday to Friday. Buying a ticket online allows you to go directly to entrance A, without going through the ticket office! Arrive early and start with the visit of the Palace, then go to the Trianon which opens at 12h30. The rest of the day, enjoy the gardens and the park.

The Passport ticket, for one day or two consecutive days, is the sesame that opens with a single ticket all the gates of Versailles: Palace, Trianon estate, temporary exhibitions, gardens, park, Galerie des Carrosses or carriage wagons gallery museum, not to mention events like the Musical Fountains or the Musical Gardens.


To visit the entire Estate in peace, the petit train or little train in the Parc de Versailles is the ideal ally for families. Trains run between the palace and the Trianon estate. The palace gardens are free to access, every day, from 8h to 20h30 however, the gardens close at 17h30 during the evening Fountains water Show.

The Domaine de Versailles is easily accessible by train or RER from Paris, from Saint-Lazare or Montparnasse stations and by RER C from Les Invalides. Arrived at one of the stations of Versailles (rive droite from St Lazare), (rive gauche château from several or les invalids on RER C ) and (Chantiers from Montparnasse), a few minutes on foot are enough to reach the palace.

The palace of Versailles practical information in English: Palace of Versailles practical information

And now ,that you are here, let me tell you about the shopping!

The Cabinet des médailles du roi or the king’s medal cabinet. The museum’s stores house many medals that testify to the history of Versailles over the centuries. To publicize these collections, the Palace invited Maison Arthus-Bertrand to delve into its numismatic archives. The workshops thus created 17 medals reproduced identically or reinterpreted after old engravings. Freely accessible via the Palace’s main courtyard.

The Librairie des Princes or princes’ bookstore. Located on the left in the courtyard of the Palace of Versailles, this space offers walkers and art enthusiasts the opportunity to make purchases outside the Château tour circuit. Freely accessible via the Palace’s main courtyard.

The Comptoir de la Chapelle or the chapel counter. Located opposite the Royal Chapel in the upper vestibule, this shop offers a selection of derivative items around the Palace of Versailles. Accessible with an entry ticket to the Palace.

The Boutique du pavillon Dufour or the Dufour pavilion shop. Located at the end of the Château tours, this new store occupies the historic space of the old cisterns of the Bouche du Roi, under the courtyard of the Princes. Accessible with an entry ticket to the Palace.

The Boutique cour de Marbre or the Marble courtyard boutique. Located at the foot of the Queen’s staircase, at the end of your visit to the Grands Appartements, the boutique offers a wide choice of gifts and merchandise around the Palace of Versailles. Accessible with an entry ticket to the Palace.

The Boutique des jardins or Garden boutique. Come and discover the Garden Boutique located in an old farmhouse in the parc of the Palace of Versailles, a place with authentic decor made up of old wooden feeders. The garden shop offers a selection of quality products around Versailles and its great figures, but also on plants and gardens. Freely accessible through the Parc.

The Boutique du Grand Trianon or the boutique of the Grand Trianon. The boutique of the Grand Trianon, located at the exit at the end of the visit, offers a selection of books and gifts linked to the collections and history of this place, nicknamed the “little Palace of marble” by its architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Accessible by small train or on foot, 15 min walk from the Palace.

Ladurée – Versailles .The taste for sweet treats at the court of France foreshadows the success of Maison Ladurée a few decades later. The story of Macaron Ladurée begins with Pierre Desfontaines, little cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who in the middle of the 19C had the good fortune to pair the macaroon shells two by two and garnish them with a tasty ganache. The shop is accessible with an entrance ticket to the Palace, from the cour Royale or at the end of the Grands Appartements circuit, at the bottom of the Queen’s staircase.

Angelina – Versailles . Renowned for its hot chocolate, the favorite drink of queens and kings of France since its establishment at the court in 1615, Maison Angelina has perpetuated the tradition of chocolate makers from the 17-18C. Founded in 1903, the tea room has established itself as a gourmet and refined place from its opening, an unmissable event for the Parisian aristocracy. at the Palace and the Petit Trianon. The two shops offer the possibility to eat on site with a wide choice of pastries and chocolates, but also to buy many delicatessen products from Maison Angélina, including the famous hot chocolate in the bottle, as well as products around brown, a sure bet for the house. At the Palace, the restaurant is accessible with an entrance ticket, from the cour Royale or at the end of the Grand Apartments circuit. At the Petit trianon ,the take-out counter and the terrace are accessible without an entry ticket. Yes!!

The shops at the Palace of Versailles in English: Shops at the Palace of Versailles

Well, can’t find a photo on these shops ,and the ones i have already did a post on the Petit Trianon and Angelina as this is where I gather after a walk or jog in the garden when lived in Versailles; wont repeat them here.

Nevertheless, hope you enjoy the post on the wonderful shopping inside the Domaine de Versailles. I leave you above with one photo of the entrance to the ticket office once past security.  Enjoy the shopping at the Domaine of Versailles.

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

June 21, 2020

Some news from France, CCCVIIII

And now picking up in these troubled times of medically incurable  sickness that the medical profession is still trying to solve as always. When they talk of life expectancy of 84 etc, ask them how many years you will be dead? oops enough of my rant for a Father’s Day Sunday (happy Father’s day to all Dads out there!)  in my beautiful Morbihan, lovely Bretagne and in my belle France.

That time again to tell you about the latest some news from France.

Important update cannot wait: Since last Monday June 8, 2020, rope access technicians have had the difficult task of withdrawing one by one! the thousands of molten tubes from the scaffolding that still surrounds the Notre Dame Cathedral. The metal structure, consisting of almost 40,000 pieces and 200 tons heavy, was previously consolidated and stabilized so that no collapse could damage the Cathedral. The next phase, that of restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral itself, should be able to start, at the earliest, at the very beginning of next year, in January 2021. The duration of this new phase has not been specified, but the President Emmanuel Macron’s wish to see the Cathedral completely rebuilt for the 2024 Olympic Games seems to be disappearing day by day, the construction site having already fallen far behind, especially due to the covid19 virus.

A bad for a good. Foreign tourists and their purchasing power have deserted Paris, which is not good for the economy lol!. No more bus ballet in front of each monument. And if it was up to us to take advantage and admire the most beautiful city in the world that we just cross, hurried and tired, not even in the open air.  Paris awaits us, like a sleeping beauty: Since the reopening, there are more people in the great monuments of the provinces, such as Mont Saint-Michel, the City of Carcassonne or the castle of Azay-le-Rideau, which in Paris, where we see a breakdown in tourism, according to Philippe Bélaval, president of the Center des monuments nationaux (CMN), which manages the Pantheon, the Arc de Triomphe, the Conciergerie, etc. Of course, more space in the regions!!!

Still Paris, some luxury hotels in the city and the region reopen in July, with attendance of 15% in the best of cases, pending the return of international customers and the resumption of major events. At 31 avenue George-V  (hotel George V) in Paris 8éme arrondissement, the ballet of luxury sedans has stopped. The heavy doors leading to the bright and flowery lobby are closed, the top hat doormen absent. Like the majority of Parisian palaces and high-end hotels. From Montmartre to the Petit Palais, passing through the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées, you will notice in news reports all those who enjoy the city of Paris without foreign vacationers!!!. No American to order a croissant or a buttered toast with coffee, so french. I have never seen this quiet corner in my time here judging from TV news. How beautiful Montmartre is without the crowds, without the noise. The Sacre Coeur really invites you to meditate. As you can   seat out of two to enforce the distance when there are five of us in the basilica!. Yes Paris is always better like this, numbers wise however with the economy so used to tourists, it will be hard not to bring the crowds back and some visitors complaining it is too crowded hahaha!

The Eiffel Tower will be disinfected every 2 hours! as soon as it reopens as the countdown is launched so that the monument finds its public on June 25, in compliance with sanitary measures.

The by now famous Fête de la Musique or music street festival will present a special face this year. A certain number of performances will only be translated on the Internet, which is still the best way to ensure compliance with barrier gestures. Others will still be done in the street, with formulas most often ambulatory. And today is Father’s Day in France, happy day to all Dad including me!!!

And we even have new business venture ready for tourists, unfortunately just before the wuhan virus hit us. The Lakana Paris Cruise is a venture of two young men who decide to embark on the entrepreneurial adventure and take the plunge a few days before the confinement. Created last April, the activity was stopped dead by the Covid-19. With their two small boats, Quicksilver Classic 20s with a retro look, the young captains imagined embarking couples or families of foreign tourists for romantic strolls on the Seine, around Île Saint-Louis and at the foot of the Iron Lady. Initially, they were targeting the Americans and Australians, and finally decided to focus on the Parisians. They also hope to reach the passing provincials (from the regions), via social networks. Lakana Paris Cruise offers two formulas from Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine dep 92) or Beaugrenelle (Paris, 15éme district). The first lasts an hour, and you   go around the island of Saint-Germain in Issy-les-Moulineaux, people love it because does not expect to see this bucolic landscape so close to   Paris, and when you leave, you have the direct view on the Eiffel Tower, indeed sound like a good cruise The second route of about 2 h30, begins with the tour of the Ile Saint-Germain and continues in the heart of historic Paris to the port of Arsenal. More info in English here: Lakana Paris Cruises

Now, as not a dangerous radical eco dude, this one democratically makes sense. The bottom of rue Mouffetard is already pedestrian, when will the zero car in its upper part, up to Contrescarpe? the mayor of the 5éme arrondissement Florence Berthoud (DVD no official party but member of center right), openly unfavorable to permanent pedestrianization . However, Rue Mouffetard should therefore be closed from noon to 22h ,when the barriers will be provided by the Paris city hall. At the end of the week, assures Florence Berthout. But no question of perpetuating beyond September 30. This is an old narrow street full of people and tourists abound, so if made pedestrian it makes sense. Not just the barbaric closing of roads when there is little or no space left in Paris as claim by the radicals.

And this is what I mean radicals, not comptent to close roads for cars, now they want bus out too! I told you eventually Paris will be run by horses! Or bikes/scooters like in those crowded Asian cities you know…The street around the train station such as rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis is only   400 meters of pavement, and an incessant ballet of RATP buses, which cross all day long, and until the evening. This is in the 10éme arrondissement, on the small portion of the track located between the Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord train stations. A linkage road descended and reserved for public transport vehicles only!, which are in total more than 1,600 bus crossing with lines 35, 38, 39, 46, 54, 91, but also ,Noctilians night lines 43 and 44. Even if the mayor (PSocialists) of the 10éme, Alexandra Cordebard announces improvements for next September, after negotiations with IDF Mobilités (transport org for Ïle de France region) for better traffic regulation. the number of buses passing on rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, the Régie (managed roads) has revised the route of 2 bus lines: that of line 35 will be limited to Gare du Nord and that of line 46 to Gare de Nord to Gare de l’Est, ensures the RATP. These two lines ,which represent 500 bus crossings per day will no longer run on this street from next September, and this will reduce the number of buses in circulation. Yeah and the people will move how???.

And Paris is trying to be back with new things. From July and throughout the summer, you can meet at the Bar à Bulles (or bubble bar) for a film program not to be missed. The Bar à Bulles, this place that we like to frequent so much after dark, on a hot summer evening. It is now possible, but in addition, watching a nugget of the seventh art. From comedy to drama to indie film, so much variety to enjoy, without having to pay anything. Every Wednesday, from July 8 to September 9, you can enjoy a unique cinematographic projection in an exceptional setting with a breathtaking view of Paris at the outdoor cinema Bar à Bulles , La Machine du Moulin Rouge , 4 bis, Cité Véron   18éme arrondissement.

And another wonderful spot to enjoy in my eternal Paris. Nestled in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, a festive tavern has just opened. La Petite Mutinerie is rosé, quality food and music by Bon Entendeur that made it its summer home. It is 800 m2 of garden; that’s good, not only is the spot surrounded by nature, but you also find yourselves on eco-responsible furniture imagined by Triple D to sip our rosé. A little joy to share with friends, coupled with environmental values that are important to them. Bon Entendeur has set its sights on this green playground for its summer residence! On the program, playlists and DJ sets will punctuate your afternoons and summer evenings. You particularly will love the hot dog with poultry sausage, red cabbage, apple, carrot, crispy onion, honey mustard and homemade ketchup as well as the Veggie cheese burger with Beyond Meat vegetable steak, vegetable cheddar, molossol pickle, raw vegetables and homemade sauce. Deliciously surprising. For sweet beaks and ice-cream fans at snack time, the chef has prepared 3 flavors of Eskimos for us: watermelon / pastis-strawberry / basil-vanilla / choco. Otherwise, there are also the incredible giant cookies; for each cookie purchased, a second is offered to hospitals. La Petite Mutinerie, Carrefour du bout des lacs 1, route de la Muette-à-Neuilly ,16éme arrondissement. Open every weekend, public holidays and more if affinities…Enjoy it nice area indeed! No web yet but in French more from the cultural Breton site Unidivers: Unidivers on la petite Mutinerie

And my fav airport (sorry folks) the Roissy CDG Airport (not in Paris), work has resumed and the planes are starting to return. Although the traffic level remains very low, it is starting to rise. ADP(aeroports de Paris)   is preparing for the future, notably by completing the rehabilitation of Terminal 2B. With life gradually resumes in Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle. If the planes are only making their return for the moment on the tarmac at the airport, the work sites are well restarted. The works should be finished at the end of 2020 for an envisaged opening in second quarter 2021 depending on traffic development. Indeed, with just its three terminals still in operation (2A, 2E for the station hall part and 2F), Roissy can absorb only 100,000 daily passengers. The reopening of Orly airport (dept 94 Val de Marne,not Paris), scheduled for June 26, will also help absorb the restart of domestic flights.

And here comes my big Versailles ! yes it’s a good time to visit the Palace/museum! The current average attendance, six times lower than usual due to the health crisis, makes it possible to discover the places in unequaled comfort. It is the first time that the galerie des Glaces it’s almost empty, it’s great. The premises normally welcome nearly 8 million people each year. But since the arrival of the Covid-19, everything has changed. In June 2019, 27,000 visitors came here every day. There will hardly be 4,500 on this weekend entering the King’s apartments and salons. There are so few people that it is still possible to buy tickets online only for this weekend. Once the formula has been chosen (from 8 to 20 € and free for those under 26), visitors must reserve a 30-minute slot on the website. During this time, they undertake to discover the castle. The formula is more flexible for gardens or the animation of water fountains play.

And as well , every Monday, Bernard Draux, inspects the palace/museum 80 clocks, most of which stopped working during confinement. This watchmaking expert also works for those in the Senat and the Sorbonne. He went every week from confinement to the Palace of Versailles to keep them running. When most of the 80 clocks of the castle are at a standstill, as in May, there is no noise, it is like an empty, lifeless museum. And noise is what allows him to practice his art: his priesthood is only a quest for the wrong note. It is by ear that he recognizes faulty clocks. And they are spotless working!! And now you know, thanks to Monsieur Draux!

In my dear Meaux, Seine et Marne dept 77 : the tourist passport makes you want to go out. The Dept distributes this small notebook in which the places visited are recorded. After five stamps or stickers, tourists receive a diploma gift. And much more to go to ten. The project was designed by the Seine-et-Marne departmental council, which this week launched its new tourism brand: “Seine-et-Marne vivre en Grand”  or live big in S/M. After five visits you become ambassadors and after ten super-ambassadors. This is done in other regions as well like my new Bretagne and is a good idea, we use it and benefits from free admissions ! More from the dept in French here: Seine et Marne Vivre en Grand project

For reference, the Seine et Marne tourist office in French here: Tourist office of Seine et Marne dept 77

In the park of the château d’Ermenonville, (Oise dept 60 Hauts de France region) nature seems to have regained its rights since the confinement. So much so that dinosaurs have found refuge there. Twenty of these gigantic animals from Amsterdam (Netherlands) have indeed stormed the 18 ha park. Some move, others make sounds. Throughout the summer, many cultural and educational events will be offered to target families. The festivities will start this weekend with the Fête de la musique. Then, starting next week, visitors will be able to discover an exhibition with 50 reproductions of works signed Leonardo da Vinci, in the Orangerie. The castle, bordered by the Launette, will be open on weekends so that families can make getaways in the park. More info in French here: Domaine Chateau Ermenonville

Something wonderful and needed to be told more to the general public here and to visitors. Very near my old home. In the middle of the Marly forest in the Yvelines dept 78, the Désert de Retz, an amazing landscaped area, immerses you in the philosophy of the Enlightenment and the life of its extravagant creator. Welcome to the Desert of Retz. From the neighboring court of Versailles, at the end of the 18C, you hurry there, piqued by curiosity to discover this unusual place. Marie-Antoinette, the Duke of Orleans or the Countess of Barry were regulars. Thomas Jefferson, future president of the United States, or King Gustav III of Sweden are among its visitors. Three centuries later, the cave has disappeared. But this atypical 40 ha domain located in the town of Chambourcy (near St Germain en Laye), in the forest of Marly, can still be visited. And it just reopened for the season. The history of this largely unknown Anglo-Chinese garden is fascinating. It immerses you in the height of the Enlightenment. And also reveals the personality of a man, François Racine de Monville, a brilliant jack of all trades, who acquired the place in 1774. You come here for a bucolic, philosophical and melancholic stroll in the spirit of Rousseau. The master of the place, keen on philosophy and art, plants essences from all the continents and gives great gallant parties here, with concerts, readings, plays by actors from the Comédie-Française. We even whisper that Marie-Antoinette, seduced, is inspired by the place to create her famous Hameau at Versailles!. Here Monville erected factories, scattered throughout the park. These constructions, very eclectic, represent the different civilizations of humanity, dear to the erudite man that was Monville. They also house the libertine loves of this extravagant owner, who multiplies amorous conquests. There are a dozen of them: among them, a real Chinese house, now extinct, a temple dedicated to the god Pan, an open-air Roman theater, a cooler topped by an Egyptian pyramid, a Tartar tent, a Gothic church in ruin, or an obelisk. Wonderful indeed. Open every Saturday from 14h to 18H until the end of October. Guided visits with reservation at tel +33 (0) 39 22 31 31 at 14h30 and regular visits check for fees, you will need to wear a mask and no picnics allowed. More info in French here: Le Desert de Retz

And two of my favorite Summer splash in the Seine et Marne or Yvelines departments of the Ïle de France region of old for us. Lying   just 50 km from Paris. 73 hectares of greenery, including 8 for swimming, picnic areas, sports fields, and especially water! A mix of greenery and beach, the leisure island of Bois-le-Roi is the all-in-one ideal for summer indecisives. l’île de loisirs de BoisleRoi , Rue de Tournezy , 77590, Bois-le-Roi. From 9h to 21h. Free admission. More info in French here: Leisure island of Bois le Roi

 And one we went several times as it is in the town my boys first went to school in France this is a huge beach on the horizon! 260 hectares of woods, with huge ponds and water bodies laid out on the beach. And for athletes, there is something to enjoy with water skiing or pedal boat. You just have to close your eyes and you feel like you are in the South! L’ïle de loisirs du Val de Seine, Chemin du Rouillard ; 78480, Verneuil-sur-Seine .From 10h to 19h and 3.80€ admission. More info in French here: Leisure island of Val de Seine

And the beat goes on all over, even in fabled Champagne. Champagne is hurting too, of course.   The Champenois may look in their registers, never their bubble wine had experienced such a brutal crisis for more than a century. Everything that calls for it has stopped since the pandemic: events, gatherings, restaurant dinners, birthday parties, weddings etc. The first assessments are staggering: up to minus 80% of sales in France during confinement ,and minus 60% for worldwide shipping. Rather than trying to sell what has been produced, the 16,000 winegrowers and 300 champagne houses are adapting upstream to the market. In other words, they collectively decide on the quantity of harvest, to come in late August and early September, in order to avoid an overflow, which would lead to expensive stocks, aggressive destocking, promotions and product devaluation. The Champagne houses buy three-quarters of the harvest from winegrowers who own vines but do not make Champagne. By reducing the production of bottles, they will suffer. This very delicate maximum authorized yield will be decided on July 22. It will be fraught with consequences. On average, over the last decade, it was 13,500 kg of grapes per hectare. Mathematically, it should be fixed below 9,500 kg to find a balance on the volumes. But economic viability then becomes very fragile for many. We no longer speak here of economic breakage but of human breakage. All will be different from now on….

So not a rosy picture of France nowdays as the world goes in the same boat. Hopefully, the scare and govts included will go away after the rentrée here in September. Remember, I know, 385 000 folks died from cancer in France (league against cancer) in 2018 (including my wife) but it goes unnotice!!! why so much news on the wuhan covid19? I need to start another blog for these socio political scares!!!

In the meantime, stay safe, and enjoy your Father’s Day if celebrating as different part have different dates, one world lol! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

June 14, 2020

Some news from France, CCCVIII

Ok folks, things are kicking again and we all should be glad. I am , already making  plans to go out into my belle France. For now, let me give you the latest on my series Some news from France already in its 308th post; thanks to all!!!

Let get the serious matters going on today with the virus wuhan covid19 coronavirus as you wish.

Spain will reopen its borders to the countries of the European Union on June 21, next Sunday. Except with Portugal for which the border will only reopen on July 1.
The Spanish government had already announced that foreign tourists would be allowed to stay in Spain without quarantine from July 1.  The appearance of two Covid-19 foci in intramural Rome has raised concern, while Italy is cautiously emerging from deconfinement. One declared himself in a squat in Garbatella, a popular district in the south of the capital. The second outbreak – numerically the largest with 109 cases including five fatal , is located at the San Raffaele Pisana hospital, on the western outskirts of the capital. The European Union has signed an agreement with the AstraZeneca laboratory. 300 million doses of the vaccine, expected for, perhaps, the end of the year, would then be sold, notably to France.  A rebound in China: after eleven sectors of Beijing closed on Saturday, China is recording an increase in new cases of covid.  The President of the French Republic speaks this evening at 20h (8 p.m.) French time. President Emmanuel Macron will probably announce the end of the confinement for June 22 in restaurants. Changes to the reception protocol in schools should also be formalized. And the beat goes on………

” No justice, no peace “. Knee to the ground, fist raised, this is what the protesters chanted in unison Place de la République this past Saturday. Thousands of people gathered again in Paris against police violence and racism at the call of the Adama Traoré committee. Right-wing activists of Generation Identity tried to disrupt the march by hanging a banner with the inscriptions: “Justice for the victims of anti-white racism”. Local residents hastened to tear it to the applause of the crowd. Adama Traoré has been portrayed as the French George Floyd of the USA. Life is the same and we go on……

And now for the lighter side of things in my belle France.

The new attraction of Futuroscope, which reopened this Saturday, the public is also setting out to conquer space. The objective of these roller coasters, the first for the park: to reach the planet Mars. In the waiting area of ​​”Objectif Mars”, you would think you were transported to a NASA training center: white sanitized walls and yellow lines on the ground, equipment of astronauts, robot voices and sounds of rockets adorned for takeoff. We were there several years back and looks similar to EPCOT in Orlando Fl.

With more than 1.6 million visitors last year, the Arc de Triomphe remains one of the star monuments of Paris. The Pantheon, with its 875,000 entrances, is not far away. This coming Monday, after three months of closure, like the Château de Vincennes, they will once again welcome the public. We will even have to wait on the 17th for the reopening of the Chapelle Expiatoire chapel, on the 21st to find the Basilica of Saint-Denis and on the 23rd for the Sainte-Chapelle which has benefited from dust removal works. Especially since the expected returns from July 2019 with the planned opening of the Hôtel de la Marine, whose construction did not resume until April 27, 2020 fall into the wate due to the virus. Its inauguration will have to wait until the beginning, or even mid-2021.

Open on Saturday March 14 and promptly closed on March 17 due to the virus, the Jardin des Arts, Albert Schweitzer or garden of the Arts 4éme arrondissement has been accessible for a few days. Bringing together these three plots along the Seine to make it a green space of 5,000 m2, in the quadrilateral formed by the streets of rue Nonnains rue d’Hyères, rue de Jouy, rue Geoffroy l’Asnier and rue de l’Hôtel de Ville, was not a sinecure. Dominated by the silhouette of the Hôtel d’Aumont which appears in the overhanging background, looks great, that of a French garden with its paths winding between lawns and flower beds  see it very central, the Jardin des arts – Albert Schweitzer,  18, rue de l’Hotel-de-Ville – 4éme. Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

The museums managed by the Hauts-de-Seine (92)  departmental council will reopen their doors, as planned, this Tuesday, June 16.  The jardin du musée départemental Albert-Kahn,in Boulogne-Billancourt, the Maison de Chateaubriand, in Châtenay-Malabry, and the Musée du Domaine Départemental de Sceaux will offer “an exceptional program” for the occasion, with new and free tours and entertainment until mid-July. The Albert-Kahn museum, under renovation, remains closed for work. Visitors will however be able to stroll through the superb stage garden of Boulogne-Billancourt.

This past Saturday noon (yesterday) , picnics were well done here and there, in the green grass in front of the Château de Champs-sur-Marne. But it was on the lawn bordered by rue Paul-Bert and avenue Victor-Hugo, outside the grounds of the estate. Indeed, since Wednesday and its reopening after almost three months of closure, the Château de Champs-sur-Marne allows its visitors to have a snack in a few dedicated places inside the 85 ha park, during opening hours of it  or 10h to 18h. These are the two large meadows located between the fountains and the Orangery.

Since this past Saturday morning, the site that houses the Musée vivant du cheval or living horse museum in Chantilly, has been welcoming visitors again, only on weekends for now, after more than three months of closure.  They were lucky to be able to take the horses out in the grounds of the Château de Chantilly. The return of the equestrian shows will be for later.

The Jardin d’Acclimatation were back open since  May 30, the leisure park adored by Parisian families … for free! An attractive offer, which you can take advantage of until June 22; beware of the disappointment, because the amusement park rides will remain closed until this date.

For the 9th edition of “La Nuit aux Invalides”, Paris returns to the heart of its own history. Lutèce traces 3000 years of the history of the city of Paris, to the rhythm of the sounds and lights projected in the courtyard of the Invalides. An exceptional show for a superb evening, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until August 30. History to spend beautiful summer evenings in Paris! 129, rue de Grenelle  7éme. Wonderful beautiful event if in Paris go see it. More here in French: A night in the Invalides spectacle

Go a bit further from Paris, take real air of the countryside only 1 hour from Paris, there is a veritable eden of greenery at the water’s edge … a little corner of paradise where stress and routine disappear for a weekend. This green Eden is called Montigny-sur-Loing, nestled right next to the forest of Fontainebleau. Swimming in the tranquil river, swans, canoeing, waterfall, rest and extreme calm … Paris seems far, far away, and yet! Opposite, the pretty half-timbered building catches the eye of bathers, and for good reason! this is the legendary La Vanne Rouge hotel-restaurant, which is looking for a buyer ! Any takers?

Some foodie news cannot be far from me! A little over a decade ago, Grégory Marchand fell in love with this small cobbled street where all the iron curtains were down.  It was abandoned, but he felled good there. Fresh from New York and London, where he trained in warm Anglo-Saxon cuisine. Located just behind rue Réaumur, a major Parisian artery, rue du Nil is a stone’s throw from rue Montorgueil, already surveyed for its bars and well-stocked hardware. Yet here no one has passed. Frenchie was born in 2009. Eleven years later, with a Michelin star and international recognition, Grégory Marchand has developed his restaurants as opportunities arise, all located on rue du Nil. A wine bar, a wine shop, a “fast-good” eating places. What unites its three addresses is the desire to share good and comforting in their most sparkling form. See try it believe, French international cuisine at its best.

And for a lighter meal ,huh? ::) you have The Brooklyn Pizzeria, opened by the Little Italy team, is a true ode to the gastronomy of the Boot (Italy). Farandole of antipasti, crispy pizzas cooked in the impressive wood oven at the entrance, pasta served directly in their copper pan, here the dishes are cooked with products from Italy and the pizzas are made from 100% organic flour, which does not spoil anything. On the decor side, the address is a mix between traditional trattoria and Brooklyn coffee, Special mention for the Margherita at 4 € and the lemon tiramisu, real little slaughter served directly in the dish. The Brooklyn Pizzeria, 33, boulevard Beaumarchais 3éme, open every Saturday and Sunday from 8h to 16h. As told by Parisians friends as me not tasted yet.

And for those coming next and renting apartments/hotels etc. Make sure it follow these principals for safety given by the Union nationale pour la promotion de la location de vacances or the National Union for the promotion of vacation rentals. webpage: UNPVL

For owners who are going to rent accommodation to tourists this summer. Among the main principles, it is indicated that the household must be started so as not to have to enter a room already cleaned and disinfected and that one must always clean starting with the cleanest area and ending with the dirtiest area. The principle is also to wash the floor from the bottom of the room to the exit. If there is a floor, it is necessary to start at the top first and then continue below. Inside the accommodation, it is best to use overshoes, or leave your shoes outside the accommodation and wear gloves to clean. It is also compulsory to disinfect all contact surfaces and floors, using a virucide complying with standard EN 14476 or bleach diluted with 0.5% active chlorine, i.e. 1 liter of 2.6% bleach and four liters of cold water. Finally, to avoid spreading the virus, the vacuum cleaner must be fitted with a very high efficiency filter for air particles – Hepa filter (high efficiency for air particles) -, otherwise, it is better to use a single-use impregnated headband detergent. The mops and cloths must be disposable or washed each time at 60 ° C in the same way as household linen. If they follow these principals , you will be safe in your apartment. Hope it helps.

Hope you can enjoy your vacation wherever it might be, and especially if in France! And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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


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


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



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!!!

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