Last Sunday my Italian and I took to the streets of Paris for a treasure hunt unlike any other, joined by over 30 friends and Paris bloggers. We were searching for the likes of Montaigne and Rimbaud, among other hidden gems. This hunt amidst historic Paris being THATRue, the latest creation by Daisy de Plume, mastermind behind THATLou. You can read about my THATLou adventures here.
Being a great fan of Daisy’s endeavors at cleverly educating while entertaining the masses on French culture and history, I was honored to be one of the co-hosts along with Forest of 52 Martinis and The Chamber. I designed a THATRue bag for the occasion, to be won & worn by the winning team.
Our team included Erica of HiP Paris Blog, and though we did not win, we had a blast discovering corners of the left bank none of us had known, and my Italian even sang for us, to earn extra points of course! Though he seemed to enjoy it. As quoted in the latest feature in The Huffington Post, “This new Paris scavenger hunt is the perfect way to see the city.” I could not agree more.
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.