Ta Da! Autumn has arrived, and so has the first part of the NVD Paris Mini Guide. Jazzy things to do, see, eat or drink, selected (with amour) by this New-Yorker-turned-Parisian-designer-gal. Time to enjoy a few cultural gems in between back to work and back to school, or if you live in Portland or Prague or somewhere in between, remember to check the guide on your next Parisian getaway. This first part is a fun nod to the historic beauty of Paris, with a dash of good eating and drinking thrown in - culture is, after all, through both the eyes and the taste buds. xx Nicole

On the weekend or on a nice fall evening, play the tourist: ascend the Arc de Triomphe for a great city view.  See the Champs Elysee from above, as well as the heart of Paris. As a bonus, hunt for my French hubby's ancestor, engraved on the west pillar: General Juvenal Corbineau’s name is inscribed. He helped Napoleon’s troops get out of Russia in 1812, oh la la! Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile: www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr 

If you're going to embrace the touristy thing completely, head down the Champs Elysees on the right side of the street, and stop in at Laduree - either pick a few macaroons to go, or enjoy one of the salons, or the cool bar, straight through to the back on the street level. 75 avenue Champs Elysees: www.laduree.fr

Feeling like a little Versailles-style beauty, but want to be inspired right in the heart of Paris? Visit the Musee Nissim de Camondo, commissioned by Moise de Camondo in the style of the Petit Trianon at Versailles. The museum is actually a mansion built to showcase the owner's French art and furnishings from the period 1750-1800. In 1914 when it was completed, it was a cutting-edge, modern luxury home. Today it provides unique insight into the running of a large private mansion in the Monceau neighborhood of Paris. Before or after, take a walk in the adjacent beautiful Parc Monceau. 63 rue de Monceau: www.madparis.fr/en/museums/musee-nissim-de-camondo

Right next to the museum is a beautiful restaurant, chic-cool inside or relaxing on the spacious, quiet back patio. Lunch or dinner, reserve easily through the website. Groups are fine. www.lecamondo.fr

Musee Jacquemart Andre: swoon over this gem of a museum right on the boulevard Haussmann.  Completed in 1875, it houses the collection of Edouard André and Nelie Jacquemart, an inspired couple and passionate collectors (Nelie was also herself an artist, as you'll see upstairs). Henri Parent, the architect, had lost the bid to design the Paris opera, but got his ‘revenge’ in designing this home (that’s me in the wintergarden). Don’t miss the beautiful, intense colors in the painting ‘The Flight From Egypt’ by Botticelli, tucked away upstairs. Also on at the museum until January 2019, enjoy some painterly drama via the exhibit 'Caravaggio in Rome: Friends and Enemies'. Revive at the café, housed in the couple's actual dining room and patio. Lunch, tea-time, and Sunday brunch, although no reservations. Enjoy the 'Van Dyck' salad! (Ok, so it's named after the Dutch painter Anthony and not actually after yours truly, but it's still pretty cool...) 158 boulevard Haussmann: www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com

The Petit Palais museum was built for the Universal Expo of 1900, and is the dazzling 'little sister' to the Grand Palais, just across the street.  The gorgeous architecture leads one into the permanent collection and it’s cost-free ticket, or to a small fee for the special exhibits, like this Fall's 'Impressionists in London', showing until 14 October 2018. I often pop in to see my favorite work of art in the permanent collection: a portrait of Sarah Bernhardt painted by Georges Clairin in 1876. It oozes nonchalant glamour and timeless cool - always the mood in the NVD collection (what girl doesn't love wearing a few feathers while curled up on her sofa?). Satiated on culture, but starved for a snack? Enjoy the surprise lush garden and yummy café hidden inside the museum's courtyard.  Avenue Winston Churchill: www.petitpalais.paris.fr 

Enjoy and stay tuned for part two coming soon!

Leave a reply