Designs in Place…Furstenberg

Imagine a single square, or “place” in Paris, bordered on all four charming sides by all the gorgeous design and decor brands seen flipping the pages of your favorite glossies.

Place Furstenberg in the 6th, is just this magical square.

It is a tiny, quiet corner in the heart of St-Germain des Pres left bank “chic adresse”.  It has set the scene for several favorite movies – the end of “The Age of Innocence”, is one of the best.

All around, you are surrounded by the prestigious stores of design, materials, decoration and antiques.

This window has my mouth watering.  The color trio of apricot, chocolate and white is just divine, delicious, and one of my next parties!

Same here – the blush, raspberry, fuscia combination c’est parfait.  It is the color palette in play this weekend for our gorgeous Peninsula wedding – and  cannot wait.

I don’t know that I have ever wandered into the place without at least one artist at work on a painting or sketch.  Many artists have painted this romantic Place, and it has been the subject of many famous paintings throughout the years.

One such artist is Eugene Delacroix.  Musée Delacroix is a beautiful respite in the square.  This Musée is where the artist lived and worked until his death in the 1860s – and it is totally preserved with his studio in place.

This lovely little square was named after the famous Prince of Furstenberg, a descendent of the Emperor Napoleon.  Of course I always think of Diane and my favorite wrap dresses and prints…

The square and the entire surrounding Rue Jacob, Rue de Buci neighborhood itself truly evokes the feeling of romance that Paris is so well known for.

It is a place, perfectly Paris.

Debi Lilly,

Romantique en la Rive Gauche

In Paris you are either a Rive Gauche/Left Bank or Rive Droite/Right Bank girl.

You just can’t have it both ways.  Pick one and let loose.

Well, I for one am a Left Bank-alholic.

The historical nucleus of Paris is the Ile de la Cité, a small island largely occupied by the breathtaking Notre-Dame de Paris.

It is connected by a tiny bridge (always filled with accordian players – straight out of a film) with my favorite, smaller Ile Saint-Louis, occupied by elegant houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries.  A walk along Rue d’Ile Saint Louis is like walking through a period film (albeit with une cornet avec Caramel au beurre salé de legendary – not to be missed Berthillon in one’s hand).

The Left Bank is so quiet…so magical…and refers to the Paris of an earlier era; the Paris of artists, writers and philosophers, including Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and dozens of others.

They often spent their days whiling away the hours and submerging into “cafe life” at Les Deux Magots, a favorite haunt for both food and drink (I highly recommend the gazpacho with menthe sorbet).

Enjoy my favorite yummy video here:

The tres charmant Latin Quarter is so named because originally Latin was widely spoken by the students at The Sorbonne.  Who knew?

Why do I love River Gauche?  For so many reasons, much too numerous to list.

Just a few off the top of my head…

cafe life – truly – seriously – a way of life in Paris

its tree-lined quays along the Seine River

the darling open-air bookstalls, as shown above…I could shop their brocante all day

the historic bridges that span the river (30 in all of Paris – so romantic)

the tiny narrow rues (streets) that twist and turn along history, most seeming much too petite for cars

lively Rue de Buci – where I somehow, mysteriously, always meander toward at any point in the day

After all this wandering, meandering, and tres chic window shopping (to say the least) one needs a cozy little spot for champagne pour deux.

I can’t get enough of the tiny Bar at L’Hotel – a secret rendezvous for over two centuries for bohemians and celebrities alike nestled into the heart of the Left Bank.

It is quintessentially french, glamourous, and Oscar Wilde’s final home, as well as the heart of Parisian society in the swinging 60s.

Recently remodeled by Jacques Garcia, it is one of THE original hip hotels – remember when that fabulous trend began years ago?

A bientot,

Debi Lilly,

La la love le Meurice

Where en Paris, can you be surrounded by total divine gorgeousness, while sipping une coup de champagne, you may wonder?

Just a few bocks west of Kong, directly down Rue de Rivoli, to Le Meurice, bien sur.

And what exactly to do when you get there?

Well…first I sit and soak in each and every detail of the divine decor…which is just astounding.  Photos cannot do it justice.

The lobby is simply sumptuous – designs to surprise and delight – with all every design rule turned right on their head.

Do you see above the black and white hand painting hanging on the ceiling?  How fabulous is that?

I love the swing in scale – from alice in wonderland oversize to french renaissance petite (everything was so teeny tiny!).

How beautiful would a pair of those white urns be at a wedding altar or entrance to an event?

The flickering candlelight from inside the glass armoire, reflecting off of the hanging vintage hand mirrors, is really too much for words.  Non?

And from one enchanted fairy tale to another, like Goldilocks herself, I want to sit in each and every hand carved chair.

From painted wings and clawed ball feet…

To a caned and gilded chair pour deux…

To setting mon coup de champagne Nicolas Feuillatte atop gilded tables with muscled legs wearing chaussures tres chic…

Would any special occasion not rise to new heights in this petite prive dining salon…

Restaurant Le Dali is an irresistible temptation to relax and enjoy various delicacies throughout the day…definitely a place for encounters and a moment to savour.

Settle down beneath the keystone of the Philippe Starck’s project, involving a giant canvas painted by his daughter Ara Starck.

The gold and ochre hues will transport you to a captivating world of interpretations.  In this grand space where Dali’s spirit still reigns supreme, discover the  many references to Dali’s work, such as a Daliesque chair with feet in the form of ladies shoes, a lamp with drawers, or Le Meurice’s recognizable lobster on a telephone.

These elements all add to the mystical aura of the place and makes it totally Daliesque!

Or inside the sparkling silver prive wine cave?

And for fine dining at its very, very best – mon dieu – say no more.  Once seated, I absolutely NEVER want to leave.

The original Parisian palace hotel, for almost 200 years Le Meurice has entwined its own stunningly gorgeous history with the history of dear darling France, and with the cultural and gastronomic evocations of Paris.

Day after day, Chef Yannick Alléno applies himself to elevating Cuisine to the rank of fine art. In doing so, he confirms Le Meurice as the expression of French Genius for the art of living.  The gorgeous restaurant shown, Terroir Parisien, is a true tribute to the land of Paris and its region, and to all those who serve it so well.

Chef Alléno’s love of Paris, its flavours and colours is such that he has sought out the origins of its cuisine, to remind us of why it is so unique.

The first restaurant opened here on Rue des Poulies (now Rue du Louvre), around 1765. For several years now, the history of Paris has occupied his thoughts: the history of its cuisine, from simple fare to cuisine bourgeoise and dishes for royal tables; the history of its market gardeners, breeders and regional specialities: saffron from Le Gâtinais, mint from Milly-la-Forêt, Houdan chicken and the leafy purple ball of Pontoise cabbage.

Farmers, market gardeners, breeders and beekeepers have accepted the chef’s invitation to revive the traditions of one of France’s richest agricultural regions. Reawakening Parisian cuisine… Chef Alléno has set himself the task of reawakening old, forgotten or obsolete recipes by adapting them to today’s tastes with all the talent and savoir-faire of his team.

Normandy sole, first served in the early 1830s at a restaurant on Rue Montorgueil nearby..

Lobster à l’américaine, invented by Pierre Fraise…

Anna potatoes and puffed potatoes with Bearnaise sauce, created in Saint-Germain-en-Laye..

His fricassée of Le Gâtinais chicken with artichoke and potatoes is his tribute, with a modern twist, to the dish served at Au Cabaret du Père Lathuile in 1790.

History lives on… Yannick Alléno refuses the notion of an outdated, static cuisine. And so he is writing his own Parisian history of inventive and appetizing dishes made with ingredients we too often overlook.

Tres chic…non?  Parisians really know how to dress a room, oui?

And now – bar de l’hôtel.  Bar 228 is named after the hotel’s address on 228 rue de Rivoli, and is “THE rendez-vous” of Parisians.

The cosy atmosphere has the warmth of British clubs, perhaps due to the many british guests that visited hotel Le Meurice in its early years. Totally reinterpreted by Philippe Starck in 2007, the warm and hushed decor remains faithful to its origins with wooden bar stools and leather chairs. The atmosphere is subtly warmed by the crackling glow of tobacco shades and highlighted by the sparkle of rare crystal decanters, to be filled at leisure.

Like the festive night scene at Château de Fontainebleau portrayed in the three restored Lavalley paintings hanging on its walls, the bar offers guests an ideal respite, complete decadent cocktails and lavish décor. The evening sky gives the bar a cozy-but-rich feeling. This  setting combined with a selection of over 50 whiskies and malts will keep guests warm throughout the year.

300 drink references are available, among them 17 exclusive creations, including mon prefere Cocktail Starcky or The 228.

Every evening, enjoy delicious live piano or jazz with your cocktail, who thrill the soul of Le Meurice, from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Rooftop dining pour deux anyone?  With a view de la Tour Eiffel at sunset?

Tired feet?  A bit of sun?  This is the rooftop deck pour vous.

And in case you are too tired to move…like me…just retire upstairs into one of the most picturesque rooms you have ever seen in your life.

From beyond grande in the penthouse…

To cozy and sweet in the rafters…

And don’t forget petit dejuner en la terrasse…

And a hot soak pour les pieds en la bath…

I could be very, very happy just spending my entire stay in the bath…and never leaving.

Bon nuit et a bientot Le Meurice…

Debi Lilly,

Dining Decor et more…

So much to scout, sip and see – hardly anytime for posting from Paris.

Always a first stop, Kong ontop chic Kenzo headquarters at Pont Neuf is one gorgeous dining bar scene.  The view inside rivals the stunning city outside…

The portrait ghost chairs – j’adore.  It would be so fun to do for a wedding, bridal shower, engagement, or baby shower.

The glass walls showcasing Paris below – divine.

The glamorama ceiling – tres belle.

The silver leather banquets and portrait backed armchairs are the perfect residential lounge ensemble.  I love the repetition in the portraits – on chars, on the glass banquette dividers, on pillows, and throughout the space.

If there is one element of Kong that makes it memorable – it is the lighting.  As with any event space, it completely sets the tone and creates an ambience that pull you into the party.

This communal glow table really rocks.  It fills the entire length of the bar – for a fun, funky first impression.  It appears to be filled with floating petals – adding texture and romance to the ultra mod decor.

The silver ghost bar stools mix perfectly with the soft apricot warm glow, the hot pinks and silvers, and of course the sparkling interior – with Paris waiting just outside.

PS – I leave Kong for cocktails – post dinner – when the Seine and landmarks are fully lit outside.

A bientot,

Debi Lilly,

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