Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Mexican Getaway (Puerto Vallarta, Part 1)

A Mexican Getaway (Puerto Vallarta, Part 1)

Note to visitors: Por favor, do not attempt to read this post if your WiFi connection is slow. This could prove a very frustrating experience. On the other hand, you could fix yourself a margarita and go with the flow… Enjoy. 

Street art, El Malecón, Puerto Vallarta

It is not an easy job vacationing in a place like Puerto Vallarta, one of Mexico’s safest and prettiest coastal towns. But someone had to do it, and our family flew over last week. You’re welcome.

The City by the Bay: Puerto Vallarta
Life is a beach in P.V.

Renowned sunsets…

Since tourism took off in the 1960s, Puerto Vallarta has become a coveted destination for Mexicans and gringos alike, especially during peak season, December through April, when thousands of tourists descend upon the once sleepy town. Sun worshippers spend lazy days soaking up the rays and surfing on the beautiful beaches along Bahía de Banderas (Mexico’s largest bay.)

The famous Mismaloya beach
Junior and friend

Others play and splash around in the expansive pools and lagoons of elegant resorts along the coast. 

Junior and Dad…

Look, Mom! I’m flying!

Foodies and amateurs of nightlife have a myriad of options to choose from, among beach and street-side stands, casual cantinas, world-class restaurants, lively bars and clubs. 

The Vista Grill: A gourmet experience above the Old Town

Thrill seekers are not forgotten, and venture out in the jungle and the mountains surrounding Puerto Vallarta. Last time we were in town – too brief of a visit while we were cruising down the Mexican coast – Les Boys loved taking a canopy tour with a local company, Los Veranos. Junior was 6 years old then. So they went back and brought our Seattle friends along. When we arrived after a bumpy and dusty ride along narrow mountain roads, French Girl and her Seattle Mom friend found a good observation point, down by gurgling Horcones river, and sipped margaritas to forget their 12-year olds were flying from treetop to treetop, securely fastened [they hoped] to a zip line, hundreds of feet above the ground. After a couple of drinks, French Girl and Seattle Mom did a great job at relaxing in the sun while ignoring the iguanas, snakes, and chatty jungle monkeys surrounding them.

Oldest zip line company in Puerto Vallarta–
Highly recommended by these French/American gringos!
Why can’t there be a place like this while we wait daily
in our school’s pick up line?

Ready for action!
When the crazy camera guy offers to take you on a “private tour”
so he can film the whole adventure,  you should be worried…
The highest and longest of the 15 zip lines
OMG! That’s my child, flying over the Rio los Horcones canyon!

Crazy camera guy insisted everyone tried it upside down!

Later on that afternoon, we all walked around Puerto Vallarta’s old town and went shopping for Mexican painted tile and glassware. My favorite find was a handmade ceramic Chihuahua  that will greet guests in my Seattle kitchen. His name is El Diablo, and I know my friends will not mind seeing him there, a few feet away from Minerva, the French kitchen witch I brought back last summer. Mes amis are very understanding of my quirky [French] ways, you see. 

Tourists in Los Arcos

The kind of kitchen
 that would brighten up the average Seattle day!

If, like this French Girl, you enjoy nothing more than walking around a city; people-watching; taking in colors, smells and sounds; if you know and love the Mediterranean culture, then Puerto Vallarta is a dream come true. The town reminded me of Spain at times, and provided daily opportunities to practice my [rusty] Spanish with friendly locals. I could not get enough, as I left the busy Malecón (waterfront) neighborhood and ventured deeper along the narrow, steep streets of the old town. 

Inside the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The recently renovated “Malecón’, Puerto Vallarta’s Champs-Elysées

The best art is not always for sale:
Sand sculptures

I prefer sand iguanas to the “real thing…”
This young guy was a few feet away from my table
 while I had lunch at the River Café…

Los Voladores de Papantla: a traditional performance,
 at the top of a 98-foot pole

There is so much more to show you, but I fear this post may already be too long. 

You see, this trip was not just about sightseeing and playing at the beach. I still have to tell you the story of the famous movie, filmed in Puerto Vallarta, that changed the town for ever; I have to tell you about that school where Junior and his friend spent a morning with Mexican children; I have to tell you about les chiens, the dogs… 

So here is the thing. Why don’t we agree to meet here next week; same day; same place; same time? I hope you can make our rendez-vous.

A bientôt.

All photographs by American Frog Photography. 
A heartfelt merci to the artist otherwise known as Le Husband.
Do not reproduce without permission, please. 


9:30pm. This is a last minute update to cheer the crew and cast of the little [French] movie that could, “The Artist.” Jean Dujardin, merci for a fun and… ahem… spontaneous speech 😉 Cocorico! Bravo les Artistes!

59 Responses to A Mexican Getaway (Puerto Vallarta, Part 1)

  1. Veronique,
    This was a delightful first installment. I loved it! Three things I’ll take away:
    1-your son zip lining upside down. c’est cool!
    2-the incredible violets and pinks in that one sunset photo-stunning
    3-le husband is tres fit!
    and one extra
    4-i think you’re fabulous and can’t wait for the next pv post.

    aidan xo

  2. You must have had such a wonderful time in that glorious warm weather! I have only been there once and it was a long time ago. I love the older architecture – I too would love walking around exploring back alleys and watching people~
    Glad you are home,

  3. Wonderful post. Love the sunset pic and tranquility.
    And with all those uber elegant white and grey kitchens flooded the blogosphere and Pinterest the orange kitchen is a color relief, simply fab! Love it.
    I’m craving a ceramic shopping while my les boys would have their boys’ fun.
    Congratulations on Artist Oscars!

    • Bonjour Natalie. Thank you for stopping by. I agree with you the “minimalist look” is ok for a while, but I do enjoy bright colors at home. Could not bring that gorgeous kitchen back with me, but that little ceramic Chihuaha brightens up my kitchen countertop now 😉

  4. We went to a wedding in PV last May and loved it – our hotel and the site of the wedding was just up the hill from Our Lady of Guadeloupe, so we had that lovely spire in our sites much of the time. Glad you had such a wonderful trip, and congratulation to Uggie and all his Artist cast-mates!

    • Bonjour Jeanne. I would love to stay downtown for a couple of nights next time I visit. We were in Nuevo Vallarta, the “posh” new suburb where many resorts are located now. It was lovely, but I could not walk to town, and that was a bit frustrating.

    • Ah. La Casa Kimberley. That’s for the next post. It is not open to the public anymore, sadly, and in bad state of disrepair, but with a little bit of imagination, one can still picture Liz and Richard, hanging out in Puerto Vallarta with their friends…

  5. Veronique, I cannot wait to hear about the rest of your trip. If I’m being honest, I’ve never had the desire to go to Mexico, but this post and those lovely photos changed all that! It looks beautiful, relaxing, and colorful!! It sounds like everyone had a fabulous time! Hopefully you have come back refreshed and well-rested. Can’t wait to hear (and see!) more details of the trip!

    • Bonjour Katelyn. In my [limited] experience, Mexico is a beautiful and friendly country. Unfortunately, several regions are plagued by drug-related violence. Puerto Vallarta is not one of them, thankfully. I always felt safe there, and used common sense whenever I walked around on my own. This applies to all cities around the world. I would go back in a heartbeat. There is so much to see, and learn there.

  6. Words cannot describe how envious I am of you right now. LOL! What a perfect vacation. It sounds like your family had a blast and these photos are stunning. I’ve never been to Mexico. I hope to change that some day!

    • Well, you can save up a bit and fly there. Mexico is still relatively cheaper than other destinations, especially if you go outside of the busy tourist season. I heard prices drop drastically in the summer. Something to keep in mind. I can already see Jennifer Fabulous walking along the Malecon! 😉

  7. Oh boy ! Looks like a wonderful place to have a wonderful time, which evidently you did… can’t wait to see part two, and good to know it is still possible to travel to Mexico without gettting caught up in the narco wars…

    And EXCELLENT news for The Artist, we loved it, la Grenouille and I…

    • Bonjour Owen. Thank you for your visit, Monsieur Toad. Yes, it is still safe in PV (see my comment to Katelyn, above.) Truth be told, we heard a bus carrying cruise passengers had been highjacked the day before we left. They were unharmed but all their possessions were stolen. Sad, but this won’t stop me from going back. The police is everywhere in PV and I take this as a sure sign they intend to keep the place free of drug-related violence.

  8. Interesting.. not surprised to hear this as the home was open to anybody and tourists were touching things. I have a picture of myself on Elizabeth T. bed.

    Thanks for visiting me today! My daughter speaks French very well and is studying accounting and french at UW. My husband and I will be visiting Paris at the end of June to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Looking forward to that – our first time!

    • You will love Paris, Leslie. Is your daughter tagging along as your interpreter? — I would love to see pics of Casa K. Could you email me a couple? I promise not to publish them. I would love to take a peek though 😉

  9. Hum, rien qu’à voir les images, je me sens en vacances!Quel curieux melange, au fil des decouvertes , on se sent à Cuba, en Espagne, puis en Méditerranée. . Ce qui est sur, ce que c’est Muy caliente!Chaud, coloré, vivant!J’ai hâte de voir la suite! surtout que je me demandais de quel film tu parlais. La nuit de l’iguane?..
    A lundi prochain!

    • Bonjour Malyss. Il ne faisait pas si chaud que ca, environ 25 ou 27. C’est une ville tres changeante, coloree et vivante. En temps qu’Europeen (et mediterraneen) on s’y sent bien… Et pour le film, oui, tu as devine (et il y a une histoire sympa autour, bien entendu 😉

  10. I love your French twist on a delightful holiday. Such fun seeing your family. I love getting to meet the families of my dear blog friends. And a good time was had by all!

  11. Bravo et merci, Véronique! Tu sais nous émerveiller, nous donner l’eau à la bouche, par tes récits et tes belles photos.
    Et cette région que je ne connaîtrai probablement jamais, me donne pourtant bien envie de la découvrir!

  12. I love a holiday destination where there is something for everyone and PV sounds like one of those places! Bali was like that for us when David and Aimee were young, but we haven’t been there for years now, after the Bali bombing it never felt safe anymore. Thankfully Aimee loves Paris as much as I do! Looking forward to part two Veronique see you next Sunday.

  13. Well, Véronique, I’ll certainly be back for more – same time, same place next week. I loved this post – what a wonderful holiday – so much more than a beach! Places like this are the perfect holiday spot for me – sun, vibrant colours, beautiful buildings and of course margaritas…
    A bientôt!

    • Bonjour miss b. I tend to stay away from destinations that offer “just a beach.” Call me picky, but since I am not a sun worshipper, I’d rather walk around and explore rather than lay in the sun all day. Puerto Vallarta enabled me to do just that. Lovely place. Bonne semaine!

  14. Ummm you’re having a little bit too much fun. I’m officially jealous. 😉 Looks like and sounded like a blast. No picture of the ceramic Chihuahua? I’m looking forward to next week Veronique. Have a fantastic week! =)

  15. Enjoyed going along on the spectacularly colorful visit with you & your family to PV. Gorgeous pix! My child on a zip-line would make me need a Margarita, too 😉 Looks like he and Dad had a terrific time. Was also thrilled for ‘The Artist’ win. What an entirely fabulous story…and a lovely mid-winter boost for La Belle France! Look forward to the next installment!

  16. Oh my goodness Veronique! I too visited Prt Vallarta recently – just this past October. I loved it so much. It actually reminded me a bit of France because of the cobble stone streets. It was like a tropical European San Francisco to me. We visited a small art school while there, and I loved it. I’m so happy to see that you had a wonderful time!


  17. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. We spent a week in Puerto Vallarta a couple of years ago and loved every minute of our time there. I was struck by the seaside location and wealth but how seemingly just a few blocks away was the jungle and immense poverty. We missed out on the zip lining and will have to add that to our itinerary next time.

    • Welcome chez French Girl in Seattle! I agree with you on the topic of “colliding worlds” in PV. Everytime we left our [admittedly extravagant] resort, I was fascinated to see how quickly the “real” PV caught up with us. Come back next week as I am taking my readers on a trip in a poor neighborhood South of town…

  18. I just could not stop reading and scrolling, and by the time I finished, I had forgotten about fixing that beverage – rats!

    Love your photos and the tour of PV. I did some pretty exciting ziplines at Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Out of the 8 of us taking the tram to the top, only my sister and I really “jumped.” Too funny, but we did scream like little girls on that first plunge 700 feet over the rainforest – eeeeeeeek!


  19. Great post – are you working for the Puerto Vallarta Tourist Board?
    Loved your “note to visitors” and I could certainly do with a margarita or 4 ……..
    I will definitely meet “you here next week; same day; same place; same time”………… and from memory…………….. “same bat channel”. (Now that’s telling my age!)

  20. Welcome back Elizabeth. I imagine it would be rather easy to work for the PV Tourist Board 😉 Hope you are “hanging in there” while renovating your “French Folly!” — It will all be worth it, in the end. See you next week.

  21. Your Mexican holidays look lovely. Thank you for sharing some of them with us. I especially liked the photo where the boy appears to be flying through the air 🙂

  22. Bonjour Véronique. I am also happy you found my Blog. We do have a great deal in common, including the fact that I, too, spent many years teaching French to adults and loved every minute of it.

    I will be “Following” your Blog as well. Let’s do keep in touch. You can e-mail me “en direct” any time.

    Your son is adorable and the pictures on your blog are beautiful. Le Husband is very talend.

    I really love your profile picture. Very French.

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A la Maison Fournaise

A la Maison Fournaise

Funny what happens when you let a story take you by the hand. This little tale started with a photo I found online a few days ago. I looked at delightful Audrey Tautou, impersonating the great Coco Chanel, and I wondered how anyone could look this good, dressed as a man and wearing a black canotier…

58 Responses to A la Maison Fournaise

  1. What a lovely post, French Girl in Seattle! I see I’m going to learn a lot from your beautiful blog. Thank you for saying Hi over at my place ~ it’s great to meet you, having read many of your comments over the time at Virginia’s place. À bientôt…

  2. I enjoyed this lovely post in so many ways particularly the beautiful photos and those Renoir paintings. You certainly had an amazing view from your office window and it’s so nice to learn about these lesser known areas near Paris. Incidentally I wore one of those straw boaters as part of my summer school uniform!

  3. BEYOND WORDS…. yet again….this is one of my favorite places, although i have never stepped foot there…the love and dream of which i speak grew from my love of Renoir…i have often pondered “what were each of the patrons of the boating party thinking-doing-talking about-the whole impressionist movement and resulting art sets me all a flutter with my own daydreams and feelings of light and movement..if that makes any sense…and now on my next journey to gay paris this is on the list of MUST SEE-MUST DO! oh and one final question …how on earth did you get any work done with a view like that from your office….my days would have been spent gazing out the window wondering ….if this place could talk-with all my heart thank you for a slice of history coupled with your personal histoire-love love and love it! HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY too and a wonderful week to follow!

    • Dear g– Once again, thank you for the enthusiastic and heartfelt comment. I did not know you admired Renoir and his famous painting, the Boating Party. I can see why you enjoyed this story. To answer your question, it was not too difficult to work AND admire the view outside, as I was a telephone service Rep when I started working at Amex. It was actually quite fun to be able to chat with Cardmembers while amiring the peaceful view– especially during conflictual calls 😉 Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  4. J’adore quand la “petite histoire” (= la notre) rencontre la Grande. Par un fil que tu tires , te voilà reliée à Renoir, à Coco Chanel et tant d’autres.. Quelle merveille!Quelques petites reflexions: je ne m’y connais pas autant en histoire de la mode que toi, mais j’ai longtemps pensé que Coco Chanel avait choisi le canotier surtout parce que c’etait un chapeau d’homme, donc plus leger , plus simple que les “monstres “feminins portés à cette époque; Elle aimait l’élégance “pratique”, et donc masculine de cette époque.Bravo pour ton incitation à aller voir un peu ailleurs qu’à Paris.C’est vrai que les rives de la Seine sont une merveille.J’ai vécu à Rouen, j’aimais le côté tres bucolique, calme et ondulant du fleuve.Le “dejeuner des canotiers”, tableau mythique, j’aime son utilisation dans .. Amelie Poulain (nous revoilà avec A. Tautou!), et le vieux peintre fragile qui s’interroge sur ce que pense la demoiselle au fond, celle qui est la seule à ne pas s’amuser, les yeux dans le vague..Et enfin, un grand merci aux amis americains qui aident à sauver ou a restaurer des monuments français! comme je leur suis reconnaissante, à mon petit niveau, de pallier aux carences ou aux impossiblités de l’etat français..
    Bref, encore un post magnifique qui donne beaucoup à réfléchir, un grand merci à toi!
    Promis, si tu viens dans mon coin, je t’emmène à Antibes! :o)

    • Ah Malyss… Quel plaisir en effet de s’insérer [modestement] dans une telle histoire… Tu as parfaitement raison au sujet du canotier et Chanel. Elle devait certainement apprécier son côté pratique et dépouillé, mais a aussi réalisé le “potentiel” de ce petit couvre-chef insolent. Rouen est une bien belle ville, et j’aimerais bien y retourner un jour, dans un de nos périples, malheureusement trop rares, en France. Marché conclu. Nous irons faire une ballade ensemble à Antibes quand je reviens sur la Côte d’Azur.

  5. Oui, the view from your office window was très joli! I didn’t realize Maison Fournaise is where Renoir got his inspiration for that wonderful painting… Le Déjeuner des Canotiers! That is really neat. You have to admire a woman that can dress as good as a man and even better as a woman. Fun post. =)

    • Merci Sandy. I do admire “Mademoiselle,” her career, and sense of style, as you know. I am actually quite pleased about the fact that I, too, got to sit in a Renoir painting. Wish I had realized at the time how cool it really was. 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness! This post is sooooo wonderful. ‘The Luncheon of the Boating Party’ is one of my favorite paintings ever. So festive and beautiful, and i’ve always wished i could step into it. (and would were that possible!) Would love to go back in time and go canoeing with Renoir and his friends. I adore your blog. And thanks for visiting and following mine! 🙂 Now i must go out and find myself a straw boater. Afraid i can’t live without one now.

    • Bonsoir Mary. Who does not love that painting, right? Well, you know where to go now if you want to “step into it,” or at least sit on that beautiful terrace like Renoir and his friends used to do. Let me know if you find a decent straw boater in Seattle. I might get one myself (it certainly beats a baseball hat if you ask me.)

  7. What a nice blog. I love and know all the old faces, have to come back to read your whole story. Just want to say I am your new follower.
    Have a happy Valentines day
    Riet, Holland.

  8. hello Sister,
    “de rien” for the pictures, it was funny to ride on snow, juste before go to restaurant with Johanna and the parents!
    Don’t forget that just in front of “Fournaise”, there is an old house (historical)”la maison Gicquel”. It is not on the Chatou Island, but on the Rueil Side.
    La Maison Giquel located at 49 quai Adolphe Giquel in Rueil-Malmaison. It was a former open-air dance hall frequented by the impressionistic painters.(une guiguette). It was also a small factory to build small specific boats to cross the river…. and a small “Auberge” at the biginning
    Best regards and kisses From my “little” favorite town. Tell to your readers, that near from my house, we have a golf, a closed and opened swimming pool, 6 good restaurants around the “impressionnist place” in front of the Chatou island and “FOurnaise” restaurant!

  9. Wondeful and so complete! I posted more or less on the same issues in a number of posts and can only confirm all your sayings! 🙂 … and have had lunch at La Fournaise a number of times. Always a special feeling!

    • Dear Peter. Thank you. All I need to do is go back to your site and go through your archives. I can only imagine your photos are a lot better than the ones I found online… La Fournaise is a wonderful place. People are sometimes disappointed in the food and service, but never in the view and astmosphere!

  10. Hello Véronique,
    First, merci beaucoup for visiting my blog, your kind comments and for being a follower, you are very welcome!

    Because of the freezing weather here, very low interior temperature, I was not really able during the last 2 weeks to spend enough time at the desk to visit the blogworld and writing comments. So, since it gets milder today I try to catch up with everybody.
    I need a bit more time to read your posts more proper, don’t like to overfly.
    But for now, this post is very interesting, beautiful pictures, a lovely story, and you made a good piece of research.

    It would be lovely to meet you one day, whenever you’ll be in the Périgord again, you are welcome at La Pouyette, near Riberac in the Périgord blanc/vert.

    For today – all my best wishes for a lovely St. Valentine’s Day.

    Warmest greetings et a bientôt,

    P.S. I’m a native German and neither my English is perfect nor my French 😉 :). Sorry for any mistakes.

    • Bonjour Karin, and thank you for stopping by today. I will make sure to contact you when I go back to the beautiful Dordogne. I had no idea you were German so your English can’t be that bad 😉 Come back anytime. My stories tend to be long, and that is why I can only post once a week. I like to pick a topic, research it, and then see where it is going to take me… A bientôt.

  11. Veronique, What a lovely reminder of this actress…I adored Audrey Tautou in the Coco Avant Chanel movie. I actually had rented it last year and then my friend from Vancouver, CA sent it to me as part of my Christmas Gift.

    I love the pics of the hats…and I recall from the movie I had seen & how she began to create them…she was definitely the first of her kind in her ability to step out of the box and do something so different for the women of her day. She had no fear; and if she did, she hid it well!

    The pics and narration of them all from France were so yummy! Thanks for sharing your experiences…
    Makes me long for France in the worst way.

    ~Merci, ~CC

    • Merci CC. I remember you are a fan of Mademoiselle Chanel, too. Yes, Audrey Tautou was lovely – and perfectly cast – in that movie, wasn’t she? This has been a fun story to tell. Fashion, art, history, personal memories: they don’t come any better than this! I am glad you have enjoyed it too. Come back soon! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  12. What a delightful post! I feel like I just traveled down a lovely river, seeing something beautiful at every turn and stop! When I was painting in Monet’s Givernt years ago, we spent a Sunday in Vetheuil and took a boat down the river. With the sun reflecting on the water, I suddenly felt like I was seeing the world just as they saw it. I’d love to do it again someday! Happy Valentine’s!! XO

  13. What a delightful post. You’ve shared some of my favorite art, not to mention the gorgeous images of the countryside. You know how to make my heart sing. ~ Sarah

  14. What a lovely post with such interesting information. The paintings are so familiar and it is very nice to know the background details. I agree with you that it is too bad that so many people don’t go outside of Paris. I know several who only go to Paris – that is like coming to the US several times and only visiting New York. There are so many interesting places not far from Paris and with the good fast trains one can go in a different region very quickly. I am pleased that this historical place was renovated – many historical places don’t get a second chance like this.

    • Vagabonde– Thank you for your visit. You will have to go to La Maison Fournaise next time you visit Paris. It’s really fast to get out to Rueil Malmaison with the RER train as you know, and from there, it is only a short walk away.

  15. WOW! So interestingly told. The history is fascinating and the way you weave a post is so captivating. My husband and I were fortunate enough to get to see Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party when it was on loan at the Phillips Collection Museum in Washington D.C. many years ago. The original is astonishing as it is the size of an entire room wall. I was so moved by his works (it was an entire special exhibit) that I found a lithograph copy of The Boating Party and have had it hanging in one of my homes ever since. Hope you are having a wonderful week, my friend.

  16. How funny, this is the first time I’ve visited your blog only to find you are writing this week about the area we are living in right now. We live just down the road from Rueil Malmaison but not on the river. I had no idea there was so much to explore there. Can’t wait to visit – that snow is all gone now! In another coincidence, I just visited the Musee Marmotton Monet last week and my love of the impressionists was re-ignited. Thanks for such a lovely story.

    • Welcome Nicola. So you live near Rueil-Malmaison, eh? I guess this post will get you started, sightseeing-wise. I am sure you have visited the Château de la Malmaison built by Napoleon for his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais? If not, you should rush there… There is a lot to do and see in your neck of the woods!

  17. Véronique

    Magnifique !
    Au -dessus de tout compliment! Je suis conquis d’autant que je connais parfaitement ces lieux, je suis natif de Saint Germain-en-Laye, et j’ai une habitation à Louveciennes,à 3 kilomètres de Chatou.

    Un chaud et grand merci.
    Rémy Clauvel

  18. Véronique,

    Tout ce que vous faites est formidable.

    excusez mon enthousiasme débordant.

    Amicalement à vous.

    Rémy Clauvel

    • Votre “enthousiasme débordant” me fait chaud au coeur. Il est toujours agréable de voir ses efforts appréciés. C’est la plus belle récompense pour quelqu’un qui, comme moi, écrit de belles histoires sur un blog depuis tant d’années. Merci, Rémy.

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The Ritz Paris

The Ritz Paris

After an unprecented 4-year renovation, the Ritz Paris re-opens on June 6, 2016. Here is a story I wrote about the iconic hotel a few years ago. — French Girl in Seattle, June 2016   The Ritz Paris, has been named “Europe’s greatest hotel, and an enduring symbol of elegance,” by Frommer’s. It has collected…

50 Responses to The Ritz Paris

  1. Tu nous fais rêver, aujourd’hui, Véronique… Que d’endroits prestigieux et de rêve! On se mettrait bien dans la peau de ces gens célèbres pour quelques minutes magiques…
    Bon début de semaine!

  2. Tres belle evocation de cet endroit mythique! J’aime la façon dont tu clos le post, sur ton rêve..Moi, qui aime partir sur la trace des écrivains, et les cherche partout, au Ritz, je serais sans doute ravie de suivre les mêmes couloirs que Scott et Zelda, ou de m’accouder au même bar qu’Hemingway.Comme tu le dis, si les murs pouvaient parler…En tous cas, je te souhaite de réaliser ton voeu, et de passer une bonne nuit au Ritz!

  3. Merci beaucoup! I really enjoyed this post in so many ways – the history and photos in particular. The Windsor Suite is so elegant and that’s one of my favorite pictures of the late Princess Diana – stunning! A visit to the Hemmingway Bar and that beautiful terrace is definitely on my must-do list (and of course an overnight stay would be absolutely magnifique!)

  4. Wonderful post as always, Veronique. I love learning about the histories of all these French icons, especially the unattainable ones (sigh). Beautiful writing and wonderful choice of photos. If I ever win the lottery, the Ritz will be my first stop!

  5. The Ritz remains a dream firmly embedded in the collective imagination of the world. Your lovely post does it honor. Hopefully, the renovations only refreshen it. Thanks for the trip there!

  6. Wow I love the history of this hotel…only if these walls could talk! That’s where Madame Chanel was hiding. 😉 I always enjoy the photos you pick for your blog Veronique. I’m a sucker for history too. Very intriguing place. Have a fab. week! =)

  7. Thank you Veronique for a lovely written post and a great photo selection. Ritz is somewhere over the rainbow, at least we can have a glimpse.
    Please stop by my blog I’ve just awarded you The Liebster Blog Award.

  8. Ah, the unforgettable memories of my dejeuner there avec Marita! Surprising about the remodel. I hope I return to Paris again and would love to do lunch in the bar next time.

    Excellent and entertaining blog as always! Merci –

  9. I loved this post, just like everyone else I suspect. Paris, Chanel, Hemingway, Princess Diana and Windsor suits … what more can you ask for to capture the imagination. I’ve never stayed there but like you I shall one day. Right?
    pas de probleme!

  10. Dearest Véronique,

    Lovely post! You know that Christofle did equip the Ritz in Paris with all the flatware? Indeed, things back than looked so elegant! There has been a drastic change and often I fear that too much has been abandoned of the former style!
    Love to you,


    • Bonjour Mariette. I did not know about Christofle being at the Ritz Paris. I am not too surprised. I can assure you things are still very elegant there as our lunch at the Hemingway bar confirmed a few months ago… Quite impressive, really.

  11. Well thank goodness you found my blog today through the fabulous Heather – because I have now discovered this absolute treasure trove of fascination. What a glorious post this was, I loved every sentence and fact. Was just deciding whether I should prefer to attend high tea in 1957 or dinner in the 1930s, when you now tell me the place is closed for, what, are you serious, 27 months? That’s one helluva makeover. It will no doubt be something extraordinary (again) when it opens. Hope it remains true to the original spirit of glamour.

    • Thank you for your visit. You see, you are not the only involved in a massive remodel these days! 😉 High tea, brunch, lunch, dinner, or just a drink at the Hemingway bar. I will take anything I can get until I finally spend a night at the Ritz Paris 😉

  12. Such an elegant and eloquent post Veronique, yes that is definitely one for my ‘bucket list’ also, even more so now after reading your post!As you say, there are so many luxurious and fabulous hotels around, but the Ritz Paris is ‘la pièce de résistance’.

  13. Vero, I don’t know why this didn’t pop up for me on my dashboard! So thanks for the rendez-vous, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it! The Ritz. Sigh. When I lived in Paris, I would cross the Place once a week and it always sparkled with energy. Sometimes fans would be lined up waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite star, sometimes it was just a lone doorman but always…that effervescence like…chamapagne!

    • Bonjour Heather. My dashboard has been acting up too. I found your two most recent posts by chance last night. Sheesh. I suppose we can’t complain too much, since good old Blogger is free to use. I knew “une coupe de champagne” at the Ritz Paris would warm you up… body and soul! A bientôt 😉

  14. Bonjour Veronique, I loved reading this post on the Ritz Paris. I was fortunate enough to have stayed here back in 2001 with my daughter on a trip of a lifetime that I earned with the company that I was working for at the time. It is truly everything you write about here in your post.

    Thanks for refreshing my memory on what helped to make Paris so special for me!

    Also, can you please email me your mailing address? I’d like to send you a little something in snail mail. Your contribution to the Love Auction for Amelia before the holidays was so kind and generous. We raised a total of $200 and it was sent out a number of weeks ago to the family.

    I look forward to hearing from you. is my email address.

    ~CC Catherine

    • You lucky dog (no pun intended as I know you love dogs,) but seriously– you stayed at the Ritz Paris. Impressed. Mildly envious too. 😉 I sent you the address you requested, but you do not need to send me anything. I was happy to help. Bonne journée! Veronique

  15. What a magical and fascinating post! I had heard of the Ritz before, obviously, (who hasn’t?!), but I did not really understand the extent of the luxury it represents. These photos are awesome and I enjoyed learning all the history behind it. I can’t imagine staying there for one night, much less living there Chanel-style. Wow.

  16. Every time you make a post about French icons, it is a special event for me. All the information is compiled in such a way that I read this post while holding my breath. I especially liked this post; I even watched the clip of Fred Astaire. Thank you for your comments throughout this whole time.

  17. Oh this was a most delicious post my dear. I heard while in Paris that it was closing. Can ‘t even imagine the prices they will charge when it’s been “done up”! we’ll see won’t we.

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