Ooh La La - laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good time roll)! Travel Sister’s inaugural tour to the City of Lights was nothing short of spectacular. Blessed with unseasonably warm temps and glorious sunny skies, our bonnes femmes walked, shopped, sipped, ogled,, and tasted their way through the French capital eager for each new adventure. Check out some of our tour highlights.
La Belle Juliette,…...our tres chic hotel in the 6th arr, was a perfect home base for six whirlwind days of Parisian immersion. The hotel’s stunning modern and romantic decor pays homage to saloniste Juliette Recamier and her literary fetes of the 1800’s in every design detail. Everything from our exquisitely appointed rooms, the charming neighborhood setting, complimentary champagne, nightly chocolates, and attentive staff made us never want to say goodbye.
Bienvenue a Paris! Table-side tartare with a side of opera? Mais oui! Chef and owner, the impeccable yet incorrigible, Jean-Christian Dumonet was our host and entertainer for our first night in Paris. Settling into this cozy, luscious bistro for three hours of dining and revelry was just what we needed after a long day of travel and a hint of jet-lag. Josephine Chez Dumonet is bright and buzzing and oh so delicious. Hugely popular, frequented by locals and the lucky traveling epicures that have done their homework, this unassuming gem serves up grand portions of France’s most iconic dishes. Our group sampled beef borgongne, steak tartare, duck confit and finished with Dumonet’s signature grand marnier soufflé. Time flew and when we looked up, we were the last guests seated. Instead of ushering us out the door, chef Jean-Christian invited us to join him, his staff and bon amis pulling out bottles of homemade pear liqueur and filling our glasses to the brim. We laughed, drank, sang, and tried in our most basic French to exchange stories. What a way to begin our trip!
La Mode et Le Marais Our wonderful guide, Alois Guinut, led our insiders fashion history tour of Paris’ trendy Marais. Beginning with descriptions of garments from the middle ages and explaining the influence of religion and social strata on the evolution of clothing, Alois imparted her vast knowledge to us as we meandered the lovely streets of this formerly Jewish neighborhood whose ancestral influence has launched many current clothing lines and brands.
Lou Lou A well deserved rest and succulent lunch at the Lou Lou at the Musee Des Arts Decoratifs. Lunching al fresco in early October! Why, yes! The view of the gorgeous gardens and Le Louvre were icing on the cake.
2CV What better way to see the city than by zipping around in vintage Citroens from the 1950’s!
Sisters in The Kitchen Have you always wondered what it looks like inside one of Paris’ iconic Haussmannian apartment buildings? You know, the classic French architectural structure originally commissioned by Napoleon as part of Paris’ grand renovation back in the mid-1800’s? They usually boast scores of large windows, high
ceilings, and serpentine floors. How about what it would be like to cook a gourmet meal in the kitchen of such a wonderful place? Our Travel Sisters did just that hosted by charming home chef, Odile. We learned how to execute the perfect cheese souffle, prepare a delicate zucchini carpaccio, and bake the lightest madeleines you have ever tasted. Afterward, joined by Odile’s husband, we enjoyed a perfect lunch paired with a crisp rose and flowing conversation. Bonus: Odile’s apartment is across the street from the where Jackie Kennedy lived as a student at the Sorbonne. Magnifique!
DAY 5 Strike A Pose There was no better way to capture our Paris A La Mode experience than by having our own photo shoot session with Dutch born click-master, Jeremy Stigter. Jeremy has lived in Paris for for over 30 years and has seen just about everything. A gifted storyteller, Jeremy entertained us with witty anecdotes of the Paris of the 70’s while directing our poses, gait, expressions and backdrops.
DAY 6 YSL Privee Our private tour of the Musee Yves Saint Laurent focused on the museum’s latest exhibition L’Asie Revee (Dreams of Asia) The museum only does two shows per year and is no open in between. We were fortunate enough to take in a visually stunning showcase of clothing, sketches, and artifacts highlighting the influence of Asian culture in the designs and fragrances of YSL. We were surprised to know that he never actually visited the countries that so inspired him. The elegant and intimate Musee Yves Saint Laurent, at 5 avenue Marceau, is a beautiful tribute to the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent and the life and business he built with his his dedicated partner Pierre Berger.
DAY 7 Le Freak C’est Chic Our Paris a La Mode tour ended in over-the-top style as we sat front row for John Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freak Show at the historic Follies Bergere. This cabaret style mashup of JPG’s life story meets 80’s history flashback and couture runway show had us in stitches and in awe. It was a spectacle befitting this enfant terrible of the fashion world with all the glitz, glam and naughtiness you would expect (not to mention a killer soundtrack.) Sorry, no pics were allowed inside but we did get to meet the actor who played JPG after the show.