Easy Day Trips from Paris: Château Vaux-Le-Vicomte

You arrive in the village of Maincy, turn down a long tree-lined avenue, and find yourself in the parking lot of le château de Vaux-Le-Vicomte. Entering through the gift shop, you really have no idea the wonders to come. Another easy day trip from Paris has brought you to one of the great French châteaux of the 17th C.

Could this be the property so luxurious that Louis XIV threw its owner into jail for life? Even as you walk through the stables, it’s not until you’ve stepped round to the gardens do you understand.

Vaux-Le-Vicomte is not just a study in French Baroque architecture, but also a study on what not to do if you are Minister of Finance for the King. Nicolas Fouquet, its owner, assembled, […]

December 1st, 2017|Destinations, France, Paris|0 Comments

Easy Day trips from Paris: Le Petit Trianon Versailles

For those who follow the oeuvre of Mel Brooks, it will be obvious what I mean when I say, “It’s good to be the King.” For those not acquainted with the comic’s masterpiece, A History of the World, Part I, you will find Mr. Brooks embodying King Louis VIX, skipping his way through Versailles Gardens, flirting with all the girls.

Looking straight into the camera from Louis XIV’s newly built second home, Chateau de Versailles, Mr. Brooks exclaims, “It’s good to be the King.” Stepping through the gates of the Palace of Versailles, I can tell you that for Louis XIV, it was pretty great. For his grandson, Louis XVI and famed, cake-eating wife, Marie Antoinette, things didn’t fare so well.
LE PETIT TRIANON

To be honest, Versailles […]

November 25th, 2017|France, Paris, Versailles|0 Comments

A Day Out in West Sussex: Cowdray House, Polo, Shooting and Sun

What a glorious day! I had been to Chamonix and it rained, Piemonte and it rained, Kefalonia and it rained, Thailand and it rained but West Sussex in England? The country known for its rain? Well, surprise, surprise – the sun was out and it was the most beautiful, autumn day.

I think Zephryus was on to hassle someone else at least for one day, and what a day. I was off to spend it at Cowdray House playing polo, clay pigeon shooting and driving around in a Bentley.

Originally home to the Viscount and Viscountess Cowdray, this stunning property is not only the seat of British Polo, but also can be hired in its entirety for events, parties and stays. We were there to celebrate its […]

November 3rd, 2017|Destinations, United Kingdom, West Sussex|1 Comment

More than just a hotel in Piemonte, Italy!

Why hadn’t I returned to Piemonte? After my first year of university, I lived with an Italian Professor of Philology who was eager to perfect her English. It was a great trade-off. She received daily lessons and I lived with her in this magnificent part of the world. Claudia, her boyfriend and I would pop into her car to visit libraries all over the country from Ferrara to Bologna, even as far as Munich. Needless to say, not only did my Italian improve, but also I ate so well. Lucky for me, she was a brilliant home cook. How could she not be with the produce that was available right at her doorstep? […]

October 26th, 2017|Destinations, Italy, Piedmont|3 Comments

A Visit to the Whitney Plantation in Louisiana is a must!

Following our guide, the ten of us shuffled into the cramped cabin, leaving us barely enough room to breathe without bashing into each other. Sweat slowly dripped down my forehead into my eyes and I struggled to wipe it away, trying not to touch the person next to me.

Before our leader had a chance to speak, a young voice shouted out assuredly, “That’s the chimney Santa comes down!” Still adjusting from the bright sun, I jerked around to see who spoke, losing my balance in the process. My boyfriend caught me just before I fell into the lady next to me. Tightly grabbing my arm, he flicked his head in the direction of a little boy in the corner.

I could feel the whole group shifting, […]

October 6th, 2017|Destinations, Louisiana, USA|2 Comments

A Two Night Jaunt in Normandy, France – Fécamp and Honfleur

A three hour boat trip from Newhaven to Dieppe might not be everyone’s idea of luxury, especially if you have ever been to Newhaven or Dieppe port – no business class lounge here. Just a corrugated hut with a small café serving coffee if you’re lucky.

Still, you have the luxury of not getting to an airport, not having your luggage lost, not being told the flight is delayed. Once on board, snuggle into one of the comfy tables by the window and watch the White Cliffs of Newhaven merge into the Falaises Blanches de Dieppe.

Fécamp
I was heading there for a drop of that honey, spicy spirit that put Fécamp on the map: Bénédictine, and her glamorous home, the Palais Bénédictine. As true of most outings, […]

September 29th, 2017|Destinations, France, Normandy|0 Comments