A FrenChic place to visit: l’Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay

To be in the middle of nature, to relax, to refocus on what is important, to disconnect from the city and its hyperactive pulse, to share our dreams on common projects, this was the purpose of this weekend “between girls” with my friend Myriam! The choice of the place was done rather in a hazardous way but that was good because we have discovered a magical and historical place … the Vaux (or Vaulx) de Cernay abbey! I did not know this place at all, but I definitely want to go back in the spring as the place goes perfectly with the desire “to be far from everything”.

Etre en pleine nature, se ressourcer, se reconcentrer sur l’essentiel, se déconnecter de la ville et de son pouls hyperactif, partager ses rêves sur des projets communs, tel était le but de ce weekend “entre filles” avec mon amie Myriam que nous avons rêvé d’organiser depuis des mois! Le choix du lieu s’est plutôt fait au hasard mais celui-ci faisant parfois bien les choses  nous  avons pu y découvrir un endroit historiquement magique… l’Abbaye des Vaux (ou Vaulx) de Cernay!
Je ne connaissais pas du tout ce lieu mais je souhaite désormais y retourner au printemps tant l’endroit s’accorde parfaitement avec le désir “d’être loin de tout”.

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While going to the abbey, I saw little hinds running in the woods because the site is nestled in the heart of the Rambouillet forest. There, we begin to breathe, to relax, to forget “metro-boulot-dodo ( french expression which literally means metro-work-sleep and which is the famous motto for the everyday routine), the crowd, the stress of the city.
Arriving at the abbey, I was overwhelmed by the dominant nature that surrounds this place, surprised by the size of the area which extends over 65 hectares and conquered by the history of the place preserved architecturally. Indeed the soul of the abbey has been preserved with charm and elegance.

En me rendant à l’abbaye, j’ai apercu des petites biches courant dans les bois car le site est niché au Coeur de la forêt de Rambouillet. Là, on commence à respirer, à se poser, à oublier métro-boulot-dodo, la foule, le stress de la ville. En arrivant à l’abbaye, j’ai été subjuguée par la nature dominante qui entoure ce lieu , surprise par la grandeur du domaine qui s’étend sur 65 hectares et conquise par l’histoire du lieu conservée architecturalement. En effet l’âme de l’abbaye y a été conservée avec charme et élégance.

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A l’intérieur, on y trouve de beaux salons gothiques avec leurs magnifiques cheminées, le réfectoire a été transformé en un superbe restaurant et les chambres ont donné leurs noms à un abbé.

Inside, the gothic style is present everywhere and especially in the two beautiful lounges with their magnificent fireplaces. The refectory has been transformed into a superb restaurant and the rooms are named after an abbot.

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It is now time to turn off the light…and dream of the next visit in this unique place!
Il est à présent temps d’éteindre les lumières et de rêver à la prochaine visite de ce lieu exceptionnel!

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Culturichic: a beautiful exhibition

I like to stay in Paris in July and August as it is a good opportunity to visit museums without queuing for hours! Most parisians are on vacation so it is easier and more pleasant to walk around in Paris. So last month I went to “Le Grand Palais” to see the exhibition called “Jardins” (Gardens) which is a collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings showing how the garden is a complete work of art. I really enjoyed the botanical prints and books but also the beautiful watercolors “Iris” from Patrick Neu. Here below is a little glimpse of this beautiful exhibition!

J’aime rester à Paris en Juillet et en Août, car c’est une bonne opportunité pour visiter les musées sans devoir faire la queue pendant des heures! La plupart des parisiens étant en vacances, il est plus facile et plus agréable de se promener dans Paris. Donc, le mois dernier, je me suis rendue au «Grand Palais» pour voir l’exposition «Jardins» qui est une collection de peintures, sculptures, photographies, dessins montrant comment le jardin est une œuvre d’art. J’ai vraiment apprécié les estampes et les livres botaniques, mais aussi les belles aquarelles “Iris” de Patrick Neu. Les photos cci-dessous vous donneront un petit aperçu de cette belle exposition!

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Le musée de la vie romantique

Last month I discovered one of the cutest museum in Paris: le Musée de la vie romantique. It is a very small and discreet museum, hidden at the end of an alley but so charming! I went there to see the exhibition called “The power of flowers” which was focused on the work of the famous painter Pierre-Joseph Redouté. I then enjoyed a coffee in their cute salon de thé in the middle of the garden! This museum is definitely worth a visit!

Le mois passé, j’ai découvert le musée le plus charmant de Paris, à savoir le Musée de la vie romantique. C’est un petit musée très discret, au bout d’une allée mais tellement charmant! J’ai pu admirer l’exposition “Le Pouvoir des fleurs” de Pierre-Josep Redouté dont je suis une grande fan et ensuite faire une petite pause, à l’ombre, au sein du petit salon de thé. A découvrir absolument!

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My 10 favorite coffee table books

After nearly two weeks spent on the kenyan beach and savannah enjoying a temperature of 33 degrees (Celsius) I am now back in Paris where it is freezing and snowing. As today is my last vacation day before going back to work on Monday and as I feel nostalgic about my wonderful vacations ( I really want to go back!!! pictures will soon follow)  I needed to do something relaxing, inspiring and uplifting so I had a look at some of my coffee table books. Here below are my top 10….

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1. “Life and work” from the Danish fashion designer Malene Birger.
The book contains beautiful pictures of Malene’s homes in Mallorca where she used to live and in Copenhagen.

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2. “Move and work” from Malene Birger.
It again contains pictures of her homes but also of her arts, showrooms as she stopped as fashion designer and started an art and interior collection few years ago. I personally find her graphic ink drawings very inspiring as I am drawing and painting with black ink as well.

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3. “Pierre Soulages“.
This is a catalogue exposition about the french painter Pierre Soulages, known for his black and abstract work and it is a great source of inspiration for me as I have a passion for black ink and other techniques used by the artist.

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4. “Elle decoration country“.
I display these magazines as coffee table books as they look like it and illustrates beautiful homes in the countryside.

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5. “The Kinfolk home.
I already mentioned this book in this previous post and I appreciate it as it is encouraging us to create homes where we can “slow down”.

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6. “Cereal“.
Like number 4, I display them as coffee table books and I enjoy their invitation for travel through astonishing pictures. I also have their Copenhagen and Paris city guides.

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7. “The natural home” from stylist Hans Blomquist.
I’ve had this book for many years now but I can spend a lot of time looking at it again and again and still be in awe of the fantastic pictures showing still life, homes with natural look. This book is a “must”!

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8. “Bringing nature home” from lifestyle photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo
I love flowers and I love this book for its simplicity and practical tips. It includes inspiring pictures and tips about floral arrangements, seasonal bouquets in order to “bring nature home”.

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9. “La botanique de Rousseau”.
This book is in french and I don’t think it is actually available in other langages. As botany is a source of inspiration for my drawings and paintings I find great “models” in this book. The book reflects the passion of the french writer Rousseau for botanical science and includes paintings from Pierre-Joseph Redouté.

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10. “Claire Basler“.
As you can read in my previous posts here I visited the beautiful Château of the artist Claire Basler where she lives and also exposes her work. The book is a reflection of this beautiful place and amazing work.

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I have many other art books about Caillebotte, Picasso, Braque, Hopper…. but that will certainly be the subject of a new blogpost!

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Have a nice weekend!

Volez Voguez Voyagez

Last Sunday I went to the beautiful Grand Palais in Paris to see the exhibition called “Volez Voguez Voyagez” (“Fly Sail Travel ” in English) about Louis Vuitton.
I must say  that I was a little bit sceptical about the exhibition thinking that it will just be a display of luxury goods…. but I was wrong!

The exhibition is an ode to a passionate, dedicated, hard-working, innovative, courageous, talented person.
The exhibition is an ode to quality craftsmanship. It is so good to see, in our industrial world, what human hands can do with beautiful natural materials such as wood!

This luxury brand started with a simple man coming from a modest family who had talents, who was visionary and innovative and who had a passion. I personally admire people with an entrepreneur spirit, with a passion, with a taste for quality and who starts something from scratch. It was definitely the case for Louis Vuitton!

The scenography of the exhibition is well thought and beautifully executed! It is all about travelling as the products from Louis Vuitton was first of all travelling accessories.

When you go around you have this feeling of going  back to the 20’s, which is my favourite period in history as I find that women were chic, classy and elegant.

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So everything started with this guy… Louis Vuitton.
He comes from Anchay, a small village from the Jura Mountains in the East of France. He arrived in Paris when he was fourteen and worked as a box maker/packer apprentice for Romain Marechal who had a small company manufacturing boxes in which  women could have their voluminous wardrobes.

He learned how to use wood which was the most important material for him. Wood reflected Louis humble origins and reminded him of the forest of his native area.

Louis Vuitton founded his own company in 1854, creating trunks made of wood, leather, textile, etc….and having “high class” customers such as the Empress Eugenie.

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At the request of André Citroën who organised expeditions through Africa Louis Vuitton created trunks adapted to explorers (tea sets, toiletries, etc…)

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The rise of yachting, aviation, train inspired Louis Vuitton to create accessories such as steamer bags…

Louis Vuitton died in 1892 and his son and grand-son continued the Vuitton adventure. The famous monogram LV will be officially the emblem of the company in 1896.

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Volez Voguez Voyagez!