Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Hundred Foot Journey

Summer is the time of blockbuster movies but there are also a few small films that are making their way to a theatre near you.  One that looks very promising is The Hundred Foot Journey based on the novel The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais and produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey.  It centers on an Indian family who settles in the South of France after being displaced from their home.  They decide to open an Indian restaurant 100-feet across the road from icy Helen Mirren's Michelin-starred French restaurant and needless to say she's not too happy about it. By the look of the photos and trailer, it seems like maybe she comes to thaw in the end. The Hundred Foot Journey will be released on August 8, 2014. 

tout à l'heure !


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

London Calling

I'm currently in London for a few days to meet up with my friend who's in town from New York.  The city seems a little less hectic than it did when I was here last November. We've had great luck with the weather and played tourist in between shopping and eating.  Great restaurants to try include 34, Coya, Cecconi's, Chiltern Firehouse, and any private club where you hopefully know a member. The Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern is an exhibition I'm hoping to make it to before heading back to Paris as well. The best part of London is that most of the museum are free so you can pop in and see as much or as little as you want each trip. 

London as viewed from the London Eye

I love visiting Liberty which is a bit less crazy than some of the other department stores. Their signature Liberty London items make great souvenirs to bring back too. 

Liberty has an amazing flower shop, Flowers of Liberty, too.

I made sure I stopped by Harvey Nichols to pick up the new Bella Freud candles and perfumes.  They aren't available in the US yet. I also stopped by Boots to pick up some of their great beauty products. 

I really wish NYC taxis were as spacious and plentiful as London cabs. 

I was lucky enough to stay the first two nights at the fairly new 45 Park Lane Hotel designed by Thierry Despont. The heated floors in the bathroom might have just ruined me for any other hotel now. We also dined at the amazing new restaurant in the hotel, CUT, the first European outpost for Wolfgang Puck.  It's still a bit under the radar and definitely worth a visit. Their breakfast is also a big draw. 

We then moved across the street to their other property, the iconic and more traditional Dorchester Hotel.  The rooms were designed by Alexandra Champalimaud and the main areas by Thierry Despont. The flower arrangements in the lobby blew me away and it was a treat to stay where so many movie stars and world leaders have stayed over the years. 

Apparently Elizabeth Taylor found out she won the role of Cleopatra while taking a bath in the Dorchester and also spent five of her honeymoons at the hotel. 

We also did a little sightseeing including Aspley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington, also known as No. 1 London.  I loved this striped room and all the beautiful historic paintings. 

In Paris, all the flower boxes are up high while in London, they are able to be enjoyed on the ground level as you walk by.   The townhouses in Belgrave Square are especially lovely.  My friend Emmanuelle even named her company Belgrave Square after this beautiful neighborhood. 

I never tire of the pomp and circumstance in London.

The great weather has meant lots of walks through the many beautiful London parks like Green Park above and Hyde Park below.  I wish Central Park offered cute green and white chairs but as someone pointed out on Instagram, if they did they'd probably be stolen. I suppose the well mannered Brits would never dare which is why I love them. 



Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Les Stars et La Seine

Before I left Paris for London, I walked across a bridge I rarely walk across, the Pont d'Alma. I happened to notice that there was an outdoor exhibition of photos below entitled, Les Stars et La Seine.  As you might be able to tell from the name, it highlights stars from various decades and countries who were photographed along the Seine river in Paris. While I often see old photos of stars in New York and even Los Angeles, I don't remember seeing this many in the City of Light. If you can't make it to the Promenade des Berges de Seine to see them in person, you can check some of them out here including Natalie Wood above. 

Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg in 1969.

Alain Delon and Romy Schneider in 1961. 

Richard Brooks and Truman Capote in 1968. 

Annie Girardot and Norbert Carbonnaux in 1958.

Frank Sinatra in 1957. 

Louis Malle in 1963. 

Yves Montand, Annie Girardot, Claude Lelouch, and Candice Bergen.

Rudolf Noureev in 1962 on a lockless Locks of Love Bridge. 

 Simone Signoret and Yves-Montand in 1963.

Jean Seberg

De file sur un bateau Mouche in 1962.

Diane Kruger in 2004. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bon Weekend: 25 July 2014

I only have a few more weeks left in Paris so I'm trying to pack it all in before I go. I still can't believe I haven't made it to all the museums yet.  I'm also headed to London on Saturday for five days to meet up with a friend who will then come back to Paris with me.  As soon as she leave, designer Tommy Smythe comes to visit and I can't wait to visit chateaux and shop for antiques with him. Until then, here's a little of what I've been up to lately. 

The top photo is a bit hazy because it was taken through the glass at the Centre Pompidou.  It's a terribly ugly building but I was shocked at how run down it's looks now.  It is in serious need of a little TLC but at least the art inside still looks good. 

I have been wanting to visit the Musée Carnavalet for a long time and finally made it this week.  It's the free museum in the Marais dedicated to the history of Paris.  The garden and the artwork inside are equally beautiful. You can read about my other small museum suggestions other Paris related articles in my eBay Guides too. 

I also had a lovely lunch at Ralph's at Ralph Lauren on Boulevard Saint Germain.  It's always filled with lots of French people which is a good sign. The outdoor terrasse is beyond gorgeous too. New York will finally get our own Ralph's later this year when the new Ralph Lauren store opens on Fifth Avenue. 

Everyone keeps asking me what women are wearing here in the summer.  The young girls wear sundresses and K. Jacques sandals. The older women wear black dresses with a little sleeve and sandals like this woman.  I loved her chignon and the puff of her sleeves and her shoes.

She was even better from the front too.  She was carrying an Hermès Kelly purse and a pink bag from Monoprix.  This pretty much sums up Paris.  I wish her cane has been wooden but if it had I probably would have passed out from the perfection. 

I'm not trying to offend anyone by saying this but honestly the men in Paris dress better than the women.  They all wear slim tailored suits and great shoes.  Most have a motorcycle helmet slung over their arms but this is the only one I've seen with real driving gloves.  This is definitely what I'll miss when I go back to New York. 

Speaking of Monoprix, I just love their packaging.  My friend bought some cute kids clothes as a gift and their home section is pal mal too.  The one near the Opera has better stuff than mine on rue de Rennes but c'est la vie. 

I will also miss shopping at Le Grande Epicerie and seeing their beautiful egg display.  I just found out that eggs in France are not washed thus preserving the outer layer that keeps them fresh and able to be left out.  American eggs are washed and must always be refrigerated. 

I also live near the amazing Hermès store on rue de Sevres that is located in the former pool of the Hotel Lutetia.  It is worth a special visit since it's never as crowded as the rue de Faubourg Saint Honoré store and they sell the petit h products.  

The Hermès store on rue de Sevres also has a cafe and a little bookstore.  I love these little illustrated sketchbooks by Philippe Dumas that are only 8,50 euros each.  I bought a whole set of the nine for myself and plan to bring them back for all my friends.  Hope they're not reading this post. 

I also stopped by the Village Saint Paul in the Marais this week.  I've already bought flatware this trip but I was serious tempted to buy more looking at this table. 

Last week, I visited the Musée des Arts Decoratifs to see the Dries Van Noten exhibit and ogle the view from the upper floors.  Even if you don't have time for the museum, definitely pop into the gift shop. They have so many great items including the plate that I bought that you saw in a previous post.  It's called Plan de Turgot by Site Corot Limoges. 

I also finally saw the Paris Plages, the beaches the city has set up along the Seine.  It wasn't exactly beach weather on the day I walked past but people were still having fun. 

Bon week-end ! 


Photos by me via iPhone 5 and Intagram.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chic in Paris: Atelier Brancusi

I love that two months into my stay in Paris, I am still discovering new places.  But I can't believe I've not seen one person or article that has ever suggested visiting the free Atelier Brancusi exhibit next to the Centre Pompidou.  The artist Constantin Brancusi bequeathed his studio along with the entire contents to the French State on the condition that it would be reconstructed as it stood on the day of his death in 1957. 

During his lifetime, Brancusi spent much time rearranging his sculptures in his studio and even photographing them.  He often refused to sell his work in his later years so as not to disturb the unity he had created in his studio.  When he did sell a piece, he would replace it with a plaster cast. 

The studios and display of his tools make it feel as though Brancusi has just stepped out and might be back at any minute to continue his work.  The whole space seems almost a cross between a shrine and a chapel.  It's quite moving and definitely worth checking out on your next visit to Paris. 

Atelier Brancusi 
Place George Pompidou
near rue Rambuteau 
75004 Paris
Hours 2:00-6:00pm 
Closed Tuesdays and May 1st
Free Entrance

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

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