A PARISIAN LANDMARK REIMAGINED: LA BOURSE DE COMMERCE–PINAULT COLLECTION

La Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection. 

Over the last two years, despite the severe COVID restrictions, Paris somehow managed to work on a number of extraordinary cultural projects, most of which have now opened.  These were not small-scale ventures by any means.  As I’ve mentioned previously, two of these were the complete refurbishment of the enormous Musée Carnavalet, now re-opened, and the massive restoration of the Grand Palais, which is still ongoing.  Last post, I looked at the new Christian Dior museum, La Galerie Dior.  This time I’ll explore a huge project, the Bourse de Commerce, and next time another: La Samaritaine department store.

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LA GALERIE DIOR – A HOMAGE TO THE ARTISTRY OF THE ‘MASTER OF DREAMS’

Poster of the 1947 Bar Suit from the ‘Corolle’ collection by Christian Dior. 

Near the top of our list of must-sees on our recent visit to Paris was the Christian Dior museum, La Galerie Dior, which I briefly mentioned in the last blog.  I had read about its official opening, just 3 weeks before we hit town.  A good friend of ours, the manager of the beautiful Zegna menswear boutique on Ave. George V, urged us to make a visit a priority, as word was spreading fast.  This was also a great sign that things in Paris had re-opened, and that COVID was well and truly behind them.  The museum is located in part of the original couture headquarters at 30 Avenue Montaigne, in a magnificent Haussmann-era stone building.

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PARIS—AND THE REST OF FRANCE—ARE BACK IN BUSINESS!

A perfect spring day in the Upper Marais. 

As some of you know, we have just returned from 5 weeks in France.  It was a truly wonderful trip, spending 3 weeks in Paris before heading down to the glorious Burgundy district for almost 2 weeks.  Like everyone for whom travel is an essential part of life, we were anxious to spread our wings and head back to our favourite destination after the COVID-induced lockdowns of the last 2 years or so.

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MUSÉE NISSIM DE CAMONDO – A MAGNIFICENT MANSION DEDICATED TO THE 18TH CENTURY

The design of the mansion was inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles. 

There are so many wonderful museums in Paris, selecting which ones to visit when you’ve got limited time is a challenge.  We certainly have our favourites, and we also keep an eye on websites of Paris cultural institutions to check if there will be any special shows on during our next visit.  One of our favourites since we first discovered it some years ago is the Musée Nissim de Camondo, which backs onto the beautiful Parc Monceau, and has a number of embassies and discreet 5-star hotels as its neighbours.

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A NEW WAVE OF MUSEUM RESTAURANTS IN PARIS

Girafe Restaurant at the Cite de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Palais de Chaillot. 

In a city that boasts over 140 museums, and a food culture that’s worth travelling from the other side of the world for, it a natural fit that there are going to be cafes and restaurants in certain Paris museums that are as worth visiting as the museums themselves.  Some museum restaurants have become icons of good food and great ambience, such as the Café at Musée Jacquemart-André, and more recently, Alain Ducasse’s ‘Ore’ at the Chateau de Versailles and the Café Littéraire at L’Institut du Monde Arabe.  Lately, there has been a quiet culinary revolution happening in the city’s museums.

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