Archive for January, 2016

Chance Moment by the Panthéon

January 29, 2016 @ 8:19 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Pantheon Latin Quarter Paris

Isabeau d’Abzac spectacular paper sculpture

Just as I do with memories, now and then I sift back through posts to linger over words and moments that have held special meaning.  And so it is today.  This delightful ‘chance moment’ not only crowned an already wonderful day, it has stayed with me – the wonderful pieces of art simply there for our wonder and enjoyment.  I hope you find those kinds of gifts and moments today and every day….

Planned events. Chance moments. It was the latter that found me walking with my friend around the Panthéon in Paris, when a sign or sight caught our eye – what appeared to be a lamp on the sidewalk. Before we knew it, a friendly young lady invited us inside to an extraordinary exhibit in the “Marie du Vème – salle Capitant”. It was the occasion of an exhibit that focused on six artists working with paper – “intentionpapier” – women who “sow the molecules of lightness of being before metamorphosing into fireflies.”

I’m one of those who try everything and master nothing, so I embrace and appreciate those who specialize and reap the rewards of their hard work. This exhibit evoked sighs and exclamations around every corner!

Designed by Isabeau d’Abzac, delicate ballerinas were regal and playful at the same time, stepping this way and that in their paper skirts. Some served as lamps that would undoubtedly stimulate conversation in any room. If one were in my home, I’m sure I would feel as if a friend watched over me. Whether dressed in color or in red or yellow, they simply dazzle in the elegant Mayor’s domain. Isabeau’s paper sculptures are in private collections in Paris, Geneva, Bilbao and beyond.

Isabeau d'Abzac

Featured in Art & Decoration

On the walls, handsome decorative panels by Elisabeth Loesch echo the art nouveau era – so inviting in their intricate designs and subtle colors. Her unique pieces blend wood inlaid with paper and partially painted in god and silver leaf to create stunning works of art.

Our day has been entirely transformed with the beauty of our ‘chance moment’.

Pantheon Paris exhibit

Elisabeth Loesch panel

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Guimard’s Historic Art Nouveau – Paris

January 21, 2016 @ 7:50 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Guimard's Entrance to Le Castel Béranger

Stunning Guimard doorway

I love the museums of Paris … and the rest of France, but I don’t need them.  Down this path and around that corner, I find one visual feast after another – a charming door, a flower-covered trellis, a stunning window, the ever-enticing Seine.

And real works of art adorn so many buildings!  After an enjoyable Sunday brunch at a friend’s apartment in the 16th arrondissement, we wandered around the corner for an incredible visual treat – Le Castel Béranger, an apartment building designed by Hector Guimard. While the architect’s fanciful wrought iron designs accent many of the building’s features, this front entrance demonstrates his distinct, swirling designs. Read more

Touches of Shangri-La in Paris

January 14, 2016 @ 8:22 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
Five star hotel, Paris

Shangri-La dining in Paris

Oh, let us dream a little.  We love Paris.  We plan to take a trip … soon.  Shall we plan to visit the home of a Bonaparte relative?  Don’t be too hasty or negative with your reply!

The fictional Shangri-La emerged in Lost Horizon, the 1933 novel by James Hilton; but there is a real Shangri-La in Paris – one every bit as appealing as Hilton’s harmonious valley.  Said to be “a royal reception in the legendary city of lights”, the Shangri-La Hotel once was home to Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew, Prince Roland Bonaparte, proving absolutely that rank indeed has its privilege.

In our favorite city, with a multitude of fine hotel offerings, the Shangri-La Hotel represents a beacon of refined style with an attentive staff that mirrors their good taste in serving guests.  Reflecting European Empire taste with subdued ecru, blue and white décor; the hotel is beautifully appointed with a stunning mix of textures and custom furnishings.

Paris France

Deluxe rooms with view of the Eiffel Tower

And I didn’t even mention the spectacular views of the Seine and Le Tour Eiffel.  Paris obviously enjoys quite a number of five-star hotels, and the Shangri-La well deserves its ranking among the best.  When the weekend approaches, isn’t it delightful to imagine remarkably beautiful places?

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“>A little boutique of French gifts………

Exploring Magnificent Paris

January 13, 2016 @ 11:10 am
posted by Sandra Sheridan
the charm of Paris France

Joie de vivre, Place Contrescarpe, Paris!

Nearly twenty years ago, I enjoyed my first trip to Paris and other parts of France. Love at first sight!  It’s that simple.  

Naturally sharing that beauty with my children was my burning desire.  I even went so far as to concoct a “when I die” scenario that would have them carry my ashes to Paris and casually anoint my favorite places – by the Seine and on Ile Saint-Louis, in the Jardin des Plantes and by the Eiffel Tower.  I’m sure they would have enjoyed following my directives!

Fortunately I remain on this earth, if for no other reason than to spread the wonder of Paris and her environs. I did just that in my book – Fired Up for France: The Promise of Paris,  written in the hope that others would make their dreams of Paris happen.  I also have managed to introduce my favorite city to my daughter and am still working on my son.  How can you not want to share the most magnificent sights of your life with your precious children?

Paris Tour Eiffel

Nothing like your first view of the Eiffel Tower

My daughter and I set out on our adventure in March of 2000 – imagine the wonder of a brand new century in the City of Light. We filled our time with my very special friend in Paris, our hostess/tour guide/partner in laughter and crime.  We reveled in the sights, sounds and smells along rue Mouffetard; where the flowers, vegetables, cheeses and chocolates represented every color of the rainbow.  Just after Christmas this year, she served me wine in the glass that was given to her at L’Ecluse wine bar – boatloads of laughter and joie de vivre was ours that evening!

During our too-short trip, I cherished seeing Paris through her eyes – the astounding Eiffel Tower, the Ferris wheel along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, lunch at my favorite crêperie and dinner at Le Soufflé, charming boutiques and museums. You who have enjoyed the feast of Paris understand only too well that memorable sights greet you around each and every corner.  Even getting drenched in a sudden rain storm after our bateau ride on the Seine was a memory to tuck away.

If you are doing the “should-I-or-shouldn’t-I” dance in planning for your next trip to Paris, might I be so bold to suggest you get on with it? Others might counsel you to “smell the flowers along the way”.  I add “… in Paris” to that recommendation.

I also can offer a suggestion for a charming, comfortable and hospitable vacation rental right in the heart of the Latin Quarter – our very favorite place in Paris to stay. If you take the time to read some of the guest comments, you will readily understand the warm welcome and ultra-convenient furnishings that await you.

Stop dreaming and start traveling, my friends!
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Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved

Take a peek! … a few charming French gifts!

Please take a moment to browse through … and, if you please, order … my book:

Autographed copies with notecard gift