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Second Empire styled ball at the Musée d’Orsay – interested ?

The Musée d’Orsay is organising a series of balls to celebrate their exhibition the “Spectacular Second Empire”. Some of the balls are masked! You can spend the day learning the Polka (if you can count to 3 you can dance this) or the Quadrille from the members of the Association Carnet des Bals. Take part in the ball in the afternoon just as Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie would have, all within the spectacular surroundings of the Musée d’Orsay. You are encouraged to come in costume :  “Clothing advice : for the ladies preferably a dress or long flowing skirt to remind you of the Second Empire theme. You could also add accessories such as a fan, handkerchief, low chignon decorated with flowers, ribbons or pearls. White gloves for the men.”  Who doesn’t love dressing up ? If you are you in Paris for the Bal de Carnaval à l’Opéra on Sunday 13th November from 11am to 5pm, tickets are €27.50. I love the period of the Second Empire. What the heck is that I hear you say!  Well it is the 18 years that radically changed Paris, from 1852 – 1870. For me this period denotes all […]

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The Magritte exhibition and my poor, poor feet

I was really looking forward to the Magritte exhibition ‘La Trahison des Images‘ at the Centre Pompidou. 5 differently themed rooms (flames, shadows, curtains, words and the body in pieces) bulging with paintings from this amazing Surrealist painter who was deeply interested in Philosophy. The art bit is at the bottom 😉 A friend bought tickets and asked me what time I would like to go as they were valid for the whole day.  The whole day being anywhere between 11am and 9pm or 11pm on Mondays and Thursdays.  I was rather happy about this because in a lot of exhibitions you are given a slot, rarely more than 30 minutes, and immediately I become terrified of not being on time ….. We agreed on 3pm.  You will understand how this was a supremely bad idea further on….  So the great day arrives and I plan to be out of the house by 2.30pm. The Centre Pompidou is not far, plenty of buses would have dropped me off practically outside and this was last week, so it was a bright, clear, sunny day to be above ground.  I had even considered walking and would have arrived on time but the […]

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Find the best guided tour of Paris for you

How do you choose the best guided tour of Paris for you? There are hundreds of ways of finding out all about Paris, some free and some not so free.  You can take a tour whilst walking, running, riding a bike, motorbike or a segway, taking a bus, a tuk tuk, a boat or whilst sitting down in a comfy seat watching a theatre performance to name but a few. But if you only have an hour or three, here are my Top Choices for having fun and finding your best guided tour of Paris : I love walking so for me this is the best : A great, and (technically) FREE choice is  www.discoverwalks.com  Take one of 5 trips round the Marais, Montmartre, ‘Parisian Landmarks’ The Left Bank (the South side) or the Islands with a young, bilingual Frenchman or woman, vividly – dressed in pink waistcoats or shirts so you can’t lose them.  These are not history lessons, they are full of facts, very funny anecdotes and stories about current events.  Great fun. Your guides exist on tips. If you are a lot more energetic you could sign up as for the FREE running tours on Wednesday mornings at 10am. […]

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Gene Kelly at the Paris Opera

Did you know Gene Kelly created a ballet for the Paris Opéra ?  Did you know he spoke excellent French ? Nope, neither did I until I booked to go on one of the several morning or afternoon English-speaking guided tour groups around the Palais Garnier for my Mother and I (highly recommended).  Apart from the 2 hour long tour of the building including the real explanation of where the Phantom of the Opera story came from (and yes there is a lake but no you cannot go there) we walked through the free, Special exhibition of “American Choreographers at the Paris Opera”. In that exhibition more than 70 years of American involvement at the Paris ballet is chronologically arranged – starting in 1947 with George Balanchine who created the New York City Ballet. Until 1970 the only other person to create a ballet was Gene Kelly in 1960 and in the exhibition is a video of him giving an interview in excellent French describing his ballet “Pas de Dieux”, a play on words meaning No Gods to the ballet term “Pas de Deux” meaning 2 people dancing together. This is the drawing of the costumes drawn by Gene Kelly and below is my bad […]

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5th of 6000 so here is an August thank you offer

Yeh, I made it to number 5 this week!!    Being ranked 5th on Trip Advisor means being 5th of all +/- 6000 listings in the Vacation Rental section of Trip Advisor Paris.   Just type ‘Paris’ and then list by Traveller Reviews. No other filters needed :-). I’m so happy I wanted to thank the people who made that happen, my gorgeous guests and all those who have at one time wanted to stay with me. When I started I had no clue how important Trip Advisor was and even less clue how their algorithms worked.  My first review was a 5 out of 5 so I jumped into the Top 500 ish.    I remember I posted on Facebook just how happy I was to be ranked in the Top 100. I was over the moon when I got into the Top 50 because that was technically page 1 of Trip Advisor !   That seems ages ago but as I only started in 2012 it can’t be ! Now the B&B has 126 reviews (of which only 9 are 4* peppered with ‘wonderful’ and ‘we will return’ statements).   The apartment is lagging behind in 9th position with only 107 […]

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Teens will love Will.i.am at the Louvre

I’m a fan of the Black Eyed Peas so when I heard last month that Will.i.am (founding member of the Black Eyed Peas for those over 30) was re-interpreting his “Mona Lisa Smile” video in association with the Louvre, my interest was piqued. I love the new video which was entirely set in the Louvre.  Throughout the song Will.i.am super-imposes himself on numerous of the Louvre’s most famous paintings, half of which I should know but don’t. Nicole Scherzinger plays La Joconde / Mona Lisa – but as I am over 30 I haven’t heard of her ;-( I think it would be a great wheeze to wander round the Louvre trying to spot the paintings used in the song !  One way to interest the teens, I think. I might have to find them in the correct order sequence though just because I am waaayy too complicated for my own good… Click on the photo to see the video. How many can you name off the top of your head ?   If you need help this link shows the original painting, the video version and a bio ! Not content with this collaboration, Will.i.am has also produced a 12 […]

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What’s new ? My Luxury Getaways for Ladies

Finally, I have done what I have been talking about for years – I have created something that combines my two loves and lives ; having visitors staying with me at 52 Clichy and being able to offer colour and style advice. I have always been fascinated by how the Parisian women dress. Their ‘look’ seems so casually thrown together but it isn’t.  They have spent generations honing their sense of style, understanding intuitively how to make the most of their natural assets. After 20 years living here, and because I have trained with the leading Image Consultants, ColourMeBeautiful, I understand how Parisian women create their elegant styles and I would love to share this knowledge with you so I have designed 2 ‘Luxury Getaways’ for you. What is included in Luxury Getaways ?    Stay either 2 or 3 nights at 52 Clichy, my multi-awarded Bed & Breakfast accommodation and discover your perfect colours for your complexion, your amazing clothing styles and how to use accessories – the key to pulling together each outfit. You can also learn how to create a capsule wardrobe of versatile, co-ordinated pieces – the core of any Parisian wardrobe. Come shopping in designer boutiques and […]

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