Archive for April, 2012

Florida Celebrates French Heritage

April 30, 2012 @ 1:01 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
“Ribault’s Landing” – Artist Lee Adams’ 30-foot mural

Florida has a long, rich maritime history, but the arrival of the French in the Jacksonville area is a major cause of celebration.  Northeast Florida will be alive with festivities and events commemorating the 450th anniversary of the French expedition, under the command of Huguenot Captain Jean Ribault, landing in Florida.

The Huguenots were French Protestants who sought the right to worship freely and with the support of King Charles IX, Ribault anchored along the North Florida coast, arriving on April 30, 1562.  The following day, they sailed north and discovered the mouth of a grand river, dubbed River of Maye by Ribault and known today as the St. Johns River.  To this day the Mayport village and Naval Station derive their names from Ribault’s River of May.

Planned celebrations in the area include rededicating the Ribault Monument at the Fort Caroline National Memorial and reenacting his landing and meeting with Chief Saturi of the Timucua Indians.  In downtown Jacksonville, the French Navy will moor two goélettes – handsome schooners used for training French Navy cadets.  The events began April 26 and run through May 6 in the inaugural “French Week” in Jacksonville.

L’Etoile – French Navy

In a bow to historical perspective, Ribault’s arrival occurred 58 years before the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth.  Ribault and his crew planted a column in honor of the King and claimed the land for future settlement.  Two years later, Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere commanded a second expedition to establish the first French colony in America, named “la Caroline” for King Charles IX.  A fort was built in the colony to protect the French settlers, today operated by the United States National Park Service as Fort Caroline National Memorial.

And so began a significant, long-lasting relationship between Florida and France, one nurtured through consular relationships, cultural exchanges, the French Consulate and Trade Commission in Miami, the French American Chamber of Commerce of Florida and the Florida – Caribbean Section of the French Foreign Trade Advisors. To Florida’s distinct advantage, the active presence of the French has enriched trade, culture, history and heritage.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.


“Ribault’s Landing” – Artist Lee Adams’ 30-foot mural

The Story of Paris

April 28, 2012 @ 1:01 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Elegant interiors throughout The Hôtel Carnavalet - © DAC - Antoine Dumont

Slip on some comfortable shoes and step with me into one of the remarkable jewels of Paris – The Hôtel Carnavalet.  Together we will experience the history of Paris in the magnificent architectural setting in the Marais district.

For me one of the most appealing of the museum characteristics is the unfolding of history through 100 rooms, each recreated in specific styles that range from the 17th to the 20th century.   Dating to the mid 16th century, The Hôtel Carnavalet itself is a rare example of Renaissance architecture in Paris and was built for the president of the Parliament of Paris.

The evolution of Parisian interior design takes us from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune and reflects the private lives of many famous Parisians. Imagine the Marquise de Sévigné at her Chinese laquer work desk with famous thoughts in mind and pen in hand.  You will just as easily envision Marcel Proust resting on his brass bed or tending to his table covered with notebooks and pens.

The lovely works of art, sculpture, gardens and galleries simply surround you with their stories and images.  Sculptors Jean Goujon and Gérard van Obstal created many of the figures on the façade and in the courtyard, while the architect François Mansart designed the hotel.

Renaissance building and intricate gardens

The Hôtel Carnavalet opened in 1880, and in 1989 the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau was annexed to the museum. After we have absolutely sated our appetite for elegant design, we shall slip around the Marais to one of their many wonderful cafes and reflect on the day over a chilled glass of wine.  Sound good?

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.


Le Tour Eiffel Under Coral Clouds

April 26, 2012 @ 4:14 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan

When you think you’ve seen it all, dusk paints her own picture.

Today has been one of those very busy “brain drain” kind of days.  We are working on quite a large project for a real estate development firm, and each page, each figure seems to squeeze the brain.  If I began with 30,000 viable brain cells, I think I’m now down to about 118.6; so aren’t you delighted that I chose to share them with you!

Enjoy these lovely sunset photos of one of the most beautiful of all structures.  Imagine yourself just sitting on a bench absorbing the peace and pleasure of Paris. And don’t forget the wine!

Tomorrow, we’ll go another place….who knows where?



Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Enticing Scents from France

April 25, 2012 @ 10:05 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

A bow to color from BOUGIES LA FRANÇAISE

Back in the days when I felt chained to the ‘corporate mule’, I had a simple but delightful formula for relaxation.  Play light French music.  Prepare a warm bubble bath.  Pour a glass of chilled white wine.  Light some scented candles.  That little routine had the amazing ability to transport me from teeth-grinding tension to the relaxed appreciation of all those things I value in life.

And candles were no small part of that scenario.  They’re like characters in plays.  They lift the spirit with sweet scents of lavender or aromas of fresh linen. They deliver a romantic glow to a dining table.  They transform a simple bathroom into a welcoming spa.

I distinctly remember the most expensive candle I ever purchased.  It was my first visit to Bergdorf Goodman in Manhattan.  I was on a rather humble budget, but I had to buy something from this fabulous department store.  Voila!  A memorable, exotically scented candle from D. Porthault of Paris.  In one purchase, I was able to indulge my love of France and candles.

And so I know where I shall shop for my daughter-in-law’s birthday and Mother’s Day.  My French Neighbor carries a lovely line of French candles from BOUGIES LA FRANÇAISE, an esteemed company that has been in the candle making and home fragrance business since 1902.  Innovative designers team with candle artisans and perfume specialists to awaken the senses and add a touch of ‘je ne sais quoi’ to any room.

Perfect gifts for discerning ladies

We happen to live in the Orlando area, so we can indulge ourselves with a visit to My French Neighbor’s store in Baldwin Park.  It will be a very cold day in Miami, when I fail to enjoy wandering among bistrot décor, charming country French furniture, savory foodstuffs and striking ceramic lamps.  If you aren’t so lucky to be local, shop on line to find just the right gift for Mother’s Day or other occasions.

We’d love to hear from you!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.