The Musée d’Orsay was a short stroll from our hotel through the Tuilleries Gardens. It had been a while since visiting this guardian of the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces. I was looking forward to gazing upon Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh and Sisley once more.
The walk through the Tuilleries is rather interesting as one is reminded that this 23- hectare site which links the Louvre to the Place de la Concorde has been in existence since the 16th Century and is over 300 years old! It was also the first garden to become open to the general public in Paris. Originally designed by Catherine de Médicis, the gardens were later modified in 1664 by André Le Nôtre and more recently by Cribier and Benech.
image via pariscentral.com
image via vitra nostra
I loved walking through the gardens on this cold grey day. The scattered iconic green chairs, were silent reminders of sunny, warmer days.
The stark beauty of one of the many walks in the gardens
The Musée did not disappoint. Time seemed to stand still as I visited old friends and I was astounded once more by their beauty.
Vincent van Gogh
We visited Musée Cluny and saw La Dame à la licorne – The Lady and the Unicorn. The six tapestries which make up this collection held a special interest for me as they were re-discovered, rolled up and damaged, in the Chateau de Boussac. We have visited this Chateau as it is situated in the small town where we own a house. George Sand, (a woman) the French writer who used to visit this Chateau regularly, and who had a relationship with Frédéric Chopin, wrote of these tapestries, describing their sorry state. She correctly dated them to the end of the fifteenth century and her references brought their plight to public attention. They were restored and now hang in a special space designed for them in this museum.
Some of the beautiful plates and bowls I saw at La Tuile a Loup, a beautiful destination for those who love tableware with a difference. All the pieces are hand made by French artisans throughout France and are truly beautiful. I will write more about this delightful store later.
Food always becomes an important part of our holidays! We returned to Bistro de Paris in Rue de Lille and once more enjoyed good food and excellent service!
Staying with good eating, we made a new discovery. A very good friend recommended this restaurant and we were very lucky in securing a lunchtime booking. Hiding quietly in the charming Passage des Panoramas, behind white curtains, is Passage 53. The dining experience was one of ‘surprise’. There is no menu and the wines are selected for you. The food was exquisite – both in taste and in the presentation. A very small restaurant, all in white, but packing a punch of perfection with every course.
Passage des Panoramas
The unusual ceiling lights
The utterly delicious wafer thin vegetables covering a cervice of scallop
Cod with spinach three ways.
The chef is Sinichi Sato and the restaurant has 2 stars! The lunch was very reasonably priced at E70 per person excluding wine. It was an experience I can highly recommend.
On a more frivolous note – Owen Wilson and his brother Luke were staying at our hotel – on our floor actually! One morning, he barged out of floor as we were getting in and said “Excuse me” most politely!!
Finally, we visited Château de Fontainebleau, 55 kilometres outside of Paris. We spent a few perfect hours in this magnificent palace and gardens and you can read more about Fontainebleau here on the fabulous Quintessence Blog.
This image above is of Napoleon’s campaign tent which I found intriguing!
Thank you Therese – I have corrected the caption – it was obviously a 'typo' !
It is not Ro noir…mais Re noir
From a Frenchie!
Thanks Heidi.. like you, Paris was often a passing through destination – for 2-3 days at a time. This time cemented the fact that one could easily spend years in Paris and still not know it all.. I loved every minute! xx
I'm just catching up… and loved this post. The restaurant looks divine. Also love the photos of Fontainebleu. I feel like I'll never get to Paris!! Last time we passed through train stations, and it's been around 17 years since I last spent any time there. But I enjoy visiting vicariously through you x
Venice would be very different, my daughter spent 6 months there in the winter completing university studies – the lack of tourists make it far easier to get around, however living through Acqua Alta made for its own challenges – wherever it is I'm sure you will make the most of it and we will enjoy you blog posts
hi Kim – they certainly do and Michael and I were just wondering which city to visit next during the winter months… perhaps Venice or Rome! Thanks so much for stopping by xx
Hi Noreen – Thanks so much – the gardens were so beautiful in a stark, quiet way.
lovely photos, especially the walk with the bare trees, beautifully captured!
My pleasure Stacey – and thanks for stopping by!