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Paris

Peninsula paradise

by Kasia on July 2, 2014

In 1908, at the height of the Belle Époque, one of Paris’s most luxurious hotels opened at 19 Avenue Kléber in the 16ème arrond. Hotel Magestic was among the most elegant addresses in Paris and certainly a place to see and be seen! In the decades to follow, this late 19th century Haussmanian building lost it’s luster as it’s hotel doors closed and instead it housed various organizations.

Historical - Exterieur Historical - Lobby Historical - Terrace

It was in 2008 that Katara Hospitality group decided to restore the building and create in it’s grand space the Peninsula Paris. I was lucky enough to be invited to the preview of this, the first Peninsula Hotel in all of Europe, and the 10th in the world.

Kleber EntranceI arrived to a red carpet, jazz musicians and champagne flowing! Following a presentation on the building’s history and the meticulous attention to detail in the restoration and modernization process, we met the highly skilled chefs & pâtissiers in charge of the hotel’s six dining options. Executive Chef Jean-Edern Hurstel’s “farm to table” philosophy is certain to please many a palate.

L'Oiseau Blanc Terrace copyPerhaps my favorite of the restaurants is L’Oiseau Blanc (The White Bird) situated on the rooftop. Is it here where I met the Marchand brothers, the hotel’s fromagiers, and tasted an exquisite goat’s cheese with a hint of rose. Following this dairy decadence I was served a dessert that I cannot even begin to describe, a creation by award-winning Chef Pâtissier Julien Alvarez. With a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower, I could envision the many lavish evenings that were soon to come to life in this new found paradise.

Dancing Leaves - LASVIT copy

As I toured the hotel, I took note of the many historic details. Some of France’s finest artisans were hand-picked to restore this grand structure to it’s former glory. Needless to say, what resulted in the 6 years of restoration is the ultimate in French craftsmanship.

Lobby ceiling detail Lobby column detail

Roof

On August 1st the Peninsula Paris will welcome it’s first guests, in regal style. And in the days to follow I will certainly be one of them, at the least sipping a cocktail on a familiar terrace.

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The King and I

by Kasia on June 27, 2014

When I was ten, my mom took me to see the Broadway musical Annie. That was the beginning. From Phantom of the Opera in NYC to Les Miserables in London… any chance I could get, I would lose myself in a magical, musical setting. Theatre, opera and ballet quickly followed. When I learned that The King and I was on in Paris (and in English) at the Théâtre du Châtelet, I didn’t think twice. This famed production by Rodgers and Hammerstein is based on the 1944 novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, taking place in Siam in the early 1860s. A love story ensues.

king 053king 079 king 111 king 214 king 240 king 363 king 382 king 417 king 426 With powerful performances by Susan Graham and Lambert Wilson, and breathtaking set designs and costumes, not to mention the musical score and choreography, I was completely enchanted! Following a standing ovation, we left the theatre smiling and filled with melody. Encore!

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Dîner en Blanc

June 13, 2014

TweetThis year I finally made it to the annual Dîner en Blanc. This invite-only secret dinner party began 25 years ago by a man named François Pasquier. He invited a few friends to the Bois de Boulogne on an evening in June, and asked that everyone bring another friend. All the attendees wore white in order […]

Lights Out

June 9, 2014

TweetJune 6th marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the day on which Allied forces invaded northern France via beach landings in Normandy. In commemoration of this day I joined a new Context Tour, Lights Out, Paris Under the Occupation, accompanied by my Italian and a few friends. Following are several of the relevant spots, including […]

blogger collective

May 30, 2014

TweetThere are many advantages to being a blogger in Paris. Most of all, the contacts you make with fellow expats and Parisians, which often lead to friendships. There too, are random events. But a collective for native English and international bloggers in France? Now THAT is a brilliant idea. Native Native is just that, started […]

USA à Paris

April 15, 2014

TweetIn mid 2013, I met a French journalist who had in 2011 spent 6 months living in New York City. This experience changed her life. Upon returning to Paris she was filled with new ideas and dreams, having gained the “we can do it” attitude from life in the big apple. In September 2011, Noélie […]

THATRue launch!

April 4, 2014

TweetLast 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, […]

wine on the Seine

March 26, 2014

Tweet What better place to sample French wines than in a boat on the Seine? On a recent overcast afternoon I experienced Wine Tasting in Paris, started by wine connoisseur Thierry Givone. Admittedly, I didn’t know too much about the many wine regions of Paris, other than which regions produce my favorite wines, namely Bourgogne and […]

curating inspiration

March 2, 2014

TweetAs anyone in Paris is well aware, given the amount of fashion forward (and fashion faux pas) walking the streets of Paris these days, it’s Fashion Week. Rather than attending crowded shows to catch a glimpse of new trends that are often only seen on the catwalk, I chose a more inspired path. Friday night […]

year of the horse

February 27, 2014

TweetThis is the year of the horse. In the Chinese zodiac, that is. The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Returning to Paris just in time enjoy the local celebrations, living close by to […]