Saturday, July 05, 2014

monet's garden at giverney

Well, we had a false start to attending Giverney on Thursday. It requires a LOT of serious metro work, and the trains to Vernon only leave every two hours. 

We didn't make it.

Instead we explored a new area of France and had a divine lunch.

Then we went to the Musee D'Orsay for dinner.


But today we left home at 8.30am for a 10am train to Vernon. We made it with plenty of time. Enough time for a baguette and a coffee at Gare St Lazare. 

It was so worth it. Look at it.

Is it any wonder that Monet apparently painted these waterlillies 175 times? Did you know that Monet employed a gardener whose sole role was to polish the waterlillies every day before Monet came down to paint? The house is right by a road, which used to be unsealed, and the dust would settle on the lillies. Before Mr Dust-remover came along.

After a few years Monet offered to go halves with the local council to seal the road. No more dust-polishing required.

I reckon I'd be inspired to paint if I lived here. The gardens are sublime. A rambling array of colours, textures and shapes.

Look at this. How divine are these pink pretties lining the lilly pond? Divine.

Oh, you want to see the lillies again? Don't blame you - they're glorious.

LOOK at these borders! LOOK!

 Dahlias were the queens of the garden at this time of year. Just stunning.

Oh, and did I mention we rode bikes out? We did. What a ride. However, a warning, if you're used to a very upright bike with a lovely soft, squishy, wide seat you may be in for a painful 6.5km trek. It was beautiful, but man, I am saddle sore.

Now we're in our apartment for the final night. Drinking champagne. This one actually, and watching France vs Germany. Tomorrow it's a road trip to the South. Seatbelts on?


Thursday, July 03, 2014

musee rodin and a spot of shopping

Today the sky was bleu, so very bleu, with not a cloud in the sky. A perfect day to visit the gardens at the Musee Rodin. Look at how the dome of Les Invalides glistens in the sunshine.

The sculptures were utterly magnificent, but photos never do them justice. Instead, look at these glorious trees. Glorious.

Rodin gifted his entire collection of sculptures to the city on the proviso that he could live in this hotel for the remainder of his life and that it would become the Musee Rodin and always open to the people.

Good move Auguste.

Apparently when Rodin moved in the gardens were a shambles. Now they're utterly breathtakingly beautiful. Look at these white hydrangea.

If you look carefully you can spot three awesome things in this shot, Les Invalides dome, the Eiffel Tower and The Thinker. Oh, and lots of awesome conifers.

Here's The Thinker up close. Stunning. Simply stunning. And doesn't he look just gorgeous against that blue sky?

We discovered the other day that there was a Robert Mapplethorpe/Rodin exhibition and I was uber-excited. It didn't disappoint. While Mapplethorpe works with photographs, and Rodin with sculptures, there was a syncronicity with their work. It was a breathtaking exhibit.

Afterwards we had to take the girls shopping, so we stopped for a spot of lunch under this.

Looking at this.

How gorgeous is Galleries Lafeyette? {Very} I kept with tradition and bought a Tom Ford lippy. This one's a glorious deep red called Vampires Kiss. Swoonworthy it is. I shall wear it tonight.

Paris sure knows how to make a pretty department store doesn't it?

We're back home now, I've showered and have my feet up. No matter what it's impossible to get your feet and ankles Paris-cobblestone-ready. Not even ugly joggers would work. Oh well, nobody's ever died from sore feet have they? We're about to get dressed again and head out to the Louvre for a quick tour before dinner at Café Marly. I shall wear my new lippy! Luckily it's just a few metro stops from our local Bastille metro station.

Have I mentioned yet how in love I am with the Metro? Once you get a feel for it it is ridiculously simple to use. And cheap. 1 euro 30 per ticket to anywhere, trains every two minutes (sometimes three), fast, clean, efficient. Paris does just about everything perfectly.

Oh, and tomorrow it's cycling around Giverney and Monet's Garden. Bliss.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

paris on velo

So, today we had to visit the Champs Elysee to do a little business. Which was exhausting, so we needed to stop and have some lunch. We went to the Trocadero which has a lovely view through the trees of le Tour Eiffel. Oh yes it does.

My friend G had kindly taken the two gals to Disneyland Paris, so my husband and our friend T and I rented Velib bikes and went for a bit of a ride.

Best one euro seventy I've ever spent!

Dedicated two way cycling lane lined with plane trees along the Seine. Hello. And yes, no helmets in Paris, they live very dangerously those Parisians. However, even when we had to ride on the road it was in a dedicated cycling lane, and the motorists were very considerate of those on bikes.

We FINALLY saw the Tour Eiffel today. Magnificent structure that it is.

We'll be coming back tomorrow night to do a night climb and drink at the champagne bar at the top. I think I'll convince the girls to ride on this two-level carousel. If not, I'll have a go myself.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

le jour trois

There is something fabulous everywhere you look in Patis. I spent all my time pointing out something fabulous, and stopping abruptly in my tracks to take pics of all the pretty things I see. Like these lamps.

 Even the graffiti is cute, with a serious sense of humour. No entry or let's go surfing?

Look at this building all covered in vines - do you think Madeline lives here? 

How adorable is this bike? Answer: adorable.

Loved this sign outside one of the shops where the husbands shopped up a storm. Love.

And look! I bought a handbag! From the EXACT same shop on Ille St Louis that I've bought handbags from the last two visits. It's so pretty and red and pretty!

I don't think I can leave this place.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

when in paris

So, this is the exterior of our apartment on Rue de la Cerisaie. Pretty non? Well, wait till you step inside. C'est tres magnifique!

I just adore an apartment block with an entrance such as this - and we are staying here. Continually pinching ourselves mind.

Here's a closer view of the interior. And that's our apartment on the fourth floor! Don't you adore the pots of fleurs and the bikes parked just-so?

Our apartment actually has TWO hallways, as there are two wings! One contains a powder room, kitchen, dining room, living room and two bedrooms, the other two bathrooms and the girls room. All rooms (except the bathrooms) have french doors with a wee wrought iron railing. And we have shutters. Faded, peeling white ones which are a glorious contrast to the creme walls.

This is our living room, complete with Picasso on the wall. And yes, those are panelled walls, and a parquet floor. It's divine. And so centrally located. We're a mere stroll from the Bastille and Rue St Antoine. We greeted our friends with a chilled bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne and lots of cheese and meats before heading out to a lovely bistro for a steak and frites dinner where we watched Brazil beat Chile in the World Cup. Oh, and that was after seeing the Pride Parade wind its way down Paris streets.

And this is the view from our living room and bedrooms.

I could live here.

paris c'est belle

People often say to me "What is it that you love about Paris?" Allow me to respond.

It's just so terribly, terribly, terribly good looking.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

in notting hill

Today we went to Notting Hill and strolled up Portabello Road. There may have been swooning at all the pretty coloured houses. Interspersed with the odd squeal.

Why can't we have pretty things like this in Australia? Can we make it a law that people have to paint their houses in pretty pastels?

Don't you feel sorry for the beige jobbies in the middle here? Sure, they're pretty in a jersey caramel way - but I prefer the bright sweeties on the edges. Even when the sky's grey they bring happiness!

Speaking of happiness, is this the cutest taxi you ever did see? It is isn't it? I need to adorn my car's bumper bar with flowers!

And this is the interior. I couldn't help thinking of my friends Alex and Alastair when I saw this!

At the end of our walk we sat down at a café for a coffee and a croissant and who should be behind us but Kirsty Allsopp! We love her! My husband had to take about 15 photos of our gal before he finally got a clearish shot of Kirsty with her fabulous frock and divine shoes.

What a day!

We're off to Paris tomorrow so we need to repack our bags, print out boarding passes etc and generally get orgainsed. I can't believe we've already had one week in London. It's flown by, but we've loved every second and packed a lot into it. Oh, and have boosted the British Economy tremendously. So now it's off to spend up big on euros in France for two weeks.




Friday, June 27, 2014

flower power

Yesterday we went to two utterly gorgeous nurseries. The Medicine Garden in Cobham, and Petersham Nurseries, in, well, Petersham. Hello photogenic places.

Now, I may have had a Veruca Salt moment when I saw this "I want a vintage silver airstream café in my garden and I want one NOW!"




No. You haven't.
 The medicine garden is very pretty. And very zen.


 And have you ever seen a cat choose a more perfect spot for a snooze? Her name's Fifi.

And here's Petersham Nurseries. It's just sublime. I'm not going to add words - who needs them? Just drool over the pics for a while.

I need all of this in my garden. ALL OF IT.

Today we're off to Notting Hill for a wander and a shop. It's a bit grey today, and we had rain overnight. But I shan't let that dampen my spirits. It's NOTTING HILL! We even watched the movie again before we left to get in the mood.