Archive for April, 2014

Temptations of Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc

April 29, 2014 @ 8:41 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan

Poised on the tip of Cap d’Antibes

Probably two of the most popular topics in any era are the cost of living and fashion.  So today I resurrect a post that looks at one of the French Riviera’s luxury hotel jewels now….and way back when the prices and fashions du jour were quite different!

Let’s take a look at one of the most luxurious and lavish resorts delightfully positioned on the tip of Cap d’Antibes.  And that resort would be Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc, where celebrities through the ages have steadily and royally enjoyed the most elegant of holiday experiences; while no doubt, leaving a trail of interesting tales in their wake.

Words simply fail when describing the legendary Hotel.  In fact many might say, if heaven is like Eden Roc, I can’t wait to die!  From 1870, the “Villa Soleil” welcomed writers looking for inspiration, but in 1885 a Piedmontese hotelier readily envisioned the Hôtel du Cap and transformed the Napoleon III style villa into a fabulous refuge by the sea.  One of the most interesting hotel embellishments is the seawater swimming pool dug in the rock, though the seaside “cabins” (33 cabanas, in all) and Eden-Roc Pavilion are equally alluring.

Recently reopened after a €45million refurbishment, the hotel has returned to its stunning, authentic quality, while adding every modern convenience and several new amenities.  Nothing compares with the elegant, spacious rooms and luxury appointments, the sumptuous Bellini Bar, gourmet restaurant and assorted intimate bars and grills. Open only from mid-April to mid-October, the hotel rates are equally ‘handsome’ for accommodations ranging from standard, classique and Supérieure rooms to a private villa complete with your own butler.  Rates run from 350 € for the standard to 12,500€ for the villa in the highest season.

The seawater pool in 1932 – Click photos to enlarge

But I have a humorous twist to this story.  The postcard shown here was sent to my father in Paris from a lady friend staying at the hotel in 1932.  In part, her message reads, “Here I am at this wonderful place – $6.00 a day for room, bath and meals (in between seasons) … You ought to see the scanty one-piece bathing suits.  Oh, I don’t know where I’ll end – the temptations are lovely and many.”

The prices surely have changed, but I rather imagine the temptations to still be … lovely and many.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com
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A Few Fun Parisian Outings

April 18, 2014 @ 9:37 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris graffiti

Street art of Montmartre – Paris

No surprise here that I am instantly attracted to stories and articles about France, so The Culture Trip’s “Top Ten Unusual Things to Do in Paris” caught my eye.  Not only did I enjoy the article, I felt a bit of satisfaction that we have run the list … and then some.   S’il vous plait, allow me to piggyback their treatise with some of my own photos and observations.

Paris Graffiti – what’s not to love in this whimsical/political/devotional/inspirational art form?  Whatever Muse drives the artist, you catch this on-the-fly art on so many streets of Paris.  A tip of the hat to Star Trek and to a whimsical shopper on the back stairs – just a couple we enjoyed.

Canal St. Martin – on a warm August day, we set out to visit the petite atelier of Onaya jewelers.  Beyond the charming artistic creations we found, we were quite taken with the shaded banks, bridges and “Bobo” (BOhemian-BOurgeois) atmosphere along the canal.

Paris street art

Sophisticated graffiti of Bon Marche!

Roman Ruins – Literally just across the rue Monge from our favorite vacation rental in Paris, is the Roman treasure – Arènes de Lutèce.  Though it was built by the Romans around the end of the first century, the arena was rediscovered in the mid 1800s.  No less than author Victor Hugo campaigned to save what was left of the arena, and today the public park and garden greet visitors … and neighborhood children with soccer in mind.

Parties Along the Seine – Whether it’s time for the annual Fete de la Musique throughout a warm June evening or a simple tango along the river, Paris does not fall short of celebratory moments.  One of our favorites – this communal pique-nique, when the whole of Paris seemed to join the fun.

Waterways of Paris

Canal St. Martin, Paris

Paris Roman ruins

Roman arena of Paris

 

 

 

(Special hugs to our dear friends in Paris with whom we have shared so many wonderful moments and memories!)

Seine, Paris

Paris celebrations!


Fired Up for France: The Promise of Paris – now available!
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We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Porcelain and Trompe l’œil” in Limoges

April 5, 2014 @ 1:40 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Limousin France


Hôtel de Ville, Limoges

We arrived in Limoges, after a meandering kind of day in the French countryside.  What better place to stop for the night than the veritable throne of porcelain!

As the proud owner of my grandmother’s elegant Haviland Limoges china, I certainly was familiar with the name; yet we had no idea about the character of the city.  We followed our ‘norm’ and visited the Office of Tourism, checked into a hotel and set off to discover the city.

We wound our way down to the Vienne River and along the grassy remains of the town ramparts.  We found our way to the exceptionally beautiful Hôtel de Ville, a 19th-century Neo-Renaissance building, designed by Leclerc, who also was the architect of Trianon and the Palace of Versailles.  A clock with the image of Limoges is in the center of the stately façade, and two figures represent the goldsmith and enamellist.  It is simply one of those breathtaking sights that make you marvel at the combination of intricate design and excellent craftsmanship.

So often the case as we explored a new city or region, we happened upon a delightful square – the historic Place de la Motte, home to the sprawling Les Halles central market.  And what a remarkable view, as we enjoyed lunch beneath a canopy of canvas umbrellas.  Across from our location,  “trompe l’œil” paintings transformed buildings with flat, expressionless lines.  They came to life under the artist’s brush, creating windows and shutters and alcoves that did not exist.  In fact, we enjoyed and felt familiar with this Place; and after more exploring along pedestrian lanes and porcelain shops, we returned for dinner and dessert.

Limoges France

Remarkable “trompe l’œil” in the Place

After spending so few waking hours in the city, we really weren’t able to define Limoges in our minds, as we can with cities we have come to know – like Aix, Lyon, Avignon and – mais oui – Paris!   We will simply have to return for a longer stay, to walk more along the banks of the river, to discover little gardens among the half-timbered homes, to let Limoges reveal her personality.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Le Pâques – Easter in France

April 3, 2014 @ 12:49 pm
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Paris Easter

Gorgeous tulips line Parisian walkways

The Lenten season is a delightful time to be in France, beginning with the grande Nice carnavale and ending with Easter Sunday … and Monday celebrations.  A blend of Spring awakening, religious and cultural traditions leave you twirling about in a sensuous overload!

Tulips explode from the soil like elegant dancers in the bold jewel-toned colors.  Window displays never fail to evoke a smile for the whimsical characters and settings the creators deliver.  Absurdly delicious chocolates abound.  Children gather with parents in the parks, and elder stroll arm in arm before the Eiffel Tower.  Whether you celebrate the Resurrection of Christ or the happiness of the Easter season, the sights and scents are glorious.

Paris Easter chocolates


Stunning chocolate creation for Pierre Hermé by Swiss artist Beat Zoderer

One religious tradition in France that differs from the United States is the “delivery” system for all of those eggs and candies that mysteriously appear in homes and around yards.  No rabbit involved in France!  Tradition calls for silencing of all church bells – Les Cloches Volants – in somber remembrance of the death of Jesus.  They are quiet from the Thursday before Easter, when children believe the bells have flown to Rome to see the Pope.  The return of their resonant pealing on Sunday morning signals that the flying bells have returned to deliver chocolate chickens, eggs and bunnies.

Eggs represent another favorite French tradition, symbolizing a departure from the hardship of Lent.  Perhaps no French town or village takes this egg celebration to a greater extreme than in Bessières in the Midi-Pyrénées near Toulouse.  On Easter Monday, the village celebrates with a giant omelette festival. (Watch festival preparations here).

Bessieres near Toulouse

The giant omelette preparation in Bessières

In a phenomenal 12-foot pan, weighing a ton, Chefs create a giant omelet of 10,000 eggs, providing a plentiful meal for all festival attendees.  It is a tradition begun nearly 40 years and has now spread to the United States and Japan.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@luxeeuro.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

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