From London to Paris - what an exciting holiday vacation for me and my family!
Paris, the capital of France, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, food and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is filled with bustling boulevards and breathtaking landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Although it was too foggy for us to see the views from atop La Tour Eiffel, we all had a spectacular time, especially my grandchildren, Jude and Truman. Here are photos from our first day in Paris, including a few snapshots of the beautiful and newly refurbished Hotel Ritz Paris, where we stayed.
The majestic Eiffel Tower, or Tour Eiffel, is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It’s named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. It has become a global cultural icon of France and the most-visited paid monument in the world – nearly seven-million people ascended it in 2015. http://www.toureiffel.paris/en.html
The tower is 1,063-feet tall, the tallest structure in Paris. With the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than New York City’s Chrysler Building by 17-feet. The French name for the Eiffel Tower is La Tour Eiffel. It also has the nickname La dame de fer which means the iron lady.
Our guide to the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris is Nicole Salinger, widow of the famous press secretary to Kennedy and Johnson, Pierre Salinger. She now lives in Paris where she is president of the museum. http://www.marmottan.fr/uk/
This looks a lot like our friend, Douglas Friedman.
Actually, it is a marble Buste de Joachim Murat by Antonio Canova, 1757-1822.
This is called Manufacture de Sevres Vase, 1904.
The children wanted to photograph everything in the museum- we gave them our iPhones to do so- actually they got some good photos!
The Marmottan Monet Museum owes its creation to Paul Marmottan who left his art collection and his two town houses to the French Academy of Fine Arts in 1932. His immense knowledge of the First Empire and financial means allowed Marmottan to bring together an incredible array of paintings, drawings, sculptures, furniture, bronzes, and pieces of porcelain, etc.
This was my favorite painting, Berthe Morisot painted by Manet. Berthe was married to Eugene Manet, brother of Impressionist artist, Edouard Manet. Edouard’s portrait of Berthe hangs in a small salon off the dining room.
The exhibit currently on at this gem of a museum is one comparing the art of Monet, Munch, and Hodler. This is a Claude Monet self portrait.
And here is a Ferdinand Hodler self portrait, 1914.
And, an Edvard Munch self portrait, 1919
This is called Bouquet de Fleurs 1897, an oil on canvas painting, by Paul Gauguin, 1848-1903. Our tour at the Musee Marmottan Monet- it was wonderful.
We admired the special nail head trim work at the top of the staircase.
And the beautiful hard wood floors.
The Museum features a collection of more than 300 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac and Pierre-Auguste Renoir – and everything meticulously maintained.
The mansion is very beautiful and full of Monets! Jet lag was starting to take effect – look closely – Alexis is carrying her sleeping beauty, Jude.
On the way to our hotel, we passed the Grande Roue de Paris, or the Paris Wheel, part of the Christmas village on the Champs-Elysées. Each year, it welcomes 300-thousand passengers – a great symbol of the festive season in Paris.
The “Paris Eye” as my grandson, Truman, named it, is right in front of the Louvre! So colorful. So crowded!!!
We could barely see the elusive Eiffel Tower the first night because of the fog – and the view got worse.
Here are the rusticated arches of the Louvre walls. The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, and Musée du Louvre, is the world’s largest museum and a historic monument in Paris.
Here is the I.M. Pei pyramid in the Louvre courtyard.
We stayed at the Ritz Paris. The hotel was founded by the Swiss hotelier, César Ritz, in collaboration with the chef Auguste Escoffier, in 1898. The new hotel was constructed behind the façade of an 18th-century town house, overlooking one of Paris’s central squares. It established a reputation for luxury, with clients including royalty, politicians, writers, film stars and singers. http://ritzparis.com/
It was among the first hotels in Europe to provide a telephone and electricity for each room. Several of its suites are named in honour of famous guests of the hotel, including Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway who lived at the hotel for years.
Its recent renovation took four years and 200- million dollars to complete. During our stay, it was decked in beautiful holiday decorations.
There were flowers, fresh fruits ad chocolates for all its guests.
And beautiful holiday trees adorned the lobby.
Each of the 71-bedrooms have kept the old cream-dominated color scheme. French fabric house, Pierre Frey, was tasked with designing the hotel’s custom fabrics and carpets.
About eight-percent of the previous classical and Empire furniture and period paintings remain, and many glass chandeliers, damask curtains and embroidered bedheads were restored.
The renovation allowed for slightly larger bathrooms. According to Cesar Ritz, the peach-colored towels and dressing gowns “best flattered women’s skin.”
Here are the whimsical gilded swan taps.
The hotel’s staff includes at least 600 concierges, sommeliers, chefs, maids, room service personnel, laundresses, and voituriers – we got the best care.
All the room details were so stunning.
Even these light switches, which offered not only dim-up and down controls, but a button for ambient light.
On the first night, we had dinner at the highly recommended Verjus- first course- oysters wrapped in steamed cabbage leaves.
Located in the Palais-Royal neighborhood in Paris, Restaurant Verjus serves a daily seasonal tasting menu as well as an optional cheese course and wine pairing. There is no à la carte menu.
We also had rutabaga tacos filled with greens.
Of course, our meal was paired with a delicious wine.
These are sunflower seed wafers filled with sunflower root butter.
So interesting, and so delicious.
Sunflower roots are like Jerusalem artichokes – and, tasty. The Jerusalem artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus, also called sunroot, sunchoke, or earth apple, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas.
We met a very cute couple at the next table- she from the US, he from Ireland.
Here is our delicious dessert meringue, lemon curd, custard.