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fit for a king

by Kasia on October 15, 2013

A few weeks ago a dear family friend was in town. Since she’s already seen much of Paris, I planned a day of historic elegance in a landscape not too far away. We boarded a bus on an overcast morning, and soon arrived to the legendary, and now private estate, Château de Vaux le Vicomte.


Here began our adventure into the life of Nicolas Fouquet, who created this 17th century castle.


This majestic masterpiece was a collaboration between architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun and the landscape gardener André Le Nôtre. A ‘home and garden’ to be admired by all.


Yet the story behind Monsieur Fouquet and his château is a unique and tragic one.


In brief, after throwing a lavish party in his new home, Fouquet was arrested by Louis XIV (who had plotted against him out of jealousy), and spent his remaining days behind bars, unlawfully so.


In the famous words of Voltaire, “On 17 August at 6 in the evening, Fouquet was King of France; at 2 in the morning, he was nobody”.


As we wandered the château and landscape, the gray sky set a sobering mood. At once in awe and aghast at the history lesson upon us. Certainly a castle fit for a king, perhaps even too much so.


Château de Chantilly

by Kasia on July 18, 2013

During my mom’s recent visit to Paris, we decided to take her for a day trip. Where else but to a château? Less than 30 minutes by train lies the town of Chantilly, home to a spectacular château spanning the 14th to 19th centuries, not to mention chantilly cream, which in itself is worth the trip!


Our first stop was the Grand Stables. Yes, horses do still live within this admirable structure!


At first sight the Château de Chantilly exhibits an air of serene magnificence.



The Musée Condé boasts the grandest collection of paintings in France, after the Louvre of course.





I could not stop admiring (and photographing) the château from every angle, both near and far.




A idyllically regal day spent beneath blue skies and the historic charm of France.


36 hours in Lille

October 8, 2012

TweetI decided to visit Lille on a whim, to meet a dear friend and her 5 month old baby who were traveling via Eurostar from London. What better place for a rendezvous, a city I knew little about, and a place often referred to for it’s history and art. Only one hour by train yet […]

lost in Normandy

July 13, 2012

TweetSeveral weeks ago my Italian and I decided to explore the coast of Normandy, beginning (with umbrellas) in Cherbourg. At the exact spot where the Titanic left port exactly 100 years prior. Guided by a rainbow beneath a gray sky, our adventure began. Our last trip to Normandy was to the D Day beaches and […]

weekend away

May 16, 2012

TweetI’m a great fan of surprises. Particularly when they have to do with travel. For a recent birthday my Italian surprised me with a trip to Tuscany. Now it was my turn. Where did I choose? The Loire of course, one of our favorite getaway destinations. Beneath a moody sky and through fields reminiscent of […]

weekend in the Loire

December 18, 2011

TweetThe Loire Valley is quickly becoming one of my most beloved areas of France. Ever since our first Loire by bike trip amidst the grand château earlier in the year. Last weekend we planned another Loire adventure, this one to the scenic village of Amboise, festive and calm in it’s off-season charm. A perfect escape […]

down south

September 1, 2011

TweetLast weekend, after spending several days with my dear cousins from Poland, both in the sea and on land (I dared yet again to hike from Vernazza to Monterosso, this time with 3 kids under 7), my Italian and I left Italy and headed back to France. All along the coast, via train. A journey […]

Loire by bike

August 17, 2011

TweetLast weekend we set off to explore the Loire Valley. A regal French landscape rich in history and architectural splendors. What better way to breath the royal air and discover the hidden treasures and grand Châteaux than by bike? Our journey began in Blois, a quick 2 hour TGV ride from Paris. A charming city to […]

Monet’s masterpiece

May 30, 2011

TweetGiverny is a place I had often envisioned during my romantic musings. To walk amidst it’s gardens, surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colors and history. Considering it was recently our two year anniversary, (and we were in need of a little getaway) it seemed the ideal escape. Forty-five minutes via train, into a world created […]

the rise of Fall

November 5, 2010

TweetFall has arrived to Paris. The chilly air a prelude to months of hibernation as night falls early and life begins to be lived indoors. But not before a little outdoor adventure. It’s the changing hues of the leaves, the feeling and vision of the earth shedding a layer in preparation for a barren winter. […]