Thursday, October 28, 2010

The real windows of Place Vendome, Paris

Place Vendome is a famous square, lauded for its architecture in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, north of the charming Tuileries Garden.  It used to be the luxurious residence of many famous people, including Coco Chanel (Number 15), Frederic Chopin (Number 12) and the mistress of Napolean III, Countess di Castiglione who lived in seclusion for over 20 years at number 26. Nowadays, it is home to a glittering circle of the world's top brands of couture jewellery including Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Chaumet, Cartier and Bvlgari.
And while I like a shiny bauble as much as the next girl, as you can see....what really caught my eye and imagination were the windows a few stories up from the shop entrances that provided brief glimpses into what could be the drawing rooms of well heeled Parisians, or the private room to host VIP clients of these jewellery makers. The lights are always so warm, richly yellow and beckoning, and there is always a chandelier to cast shadows on nearby ornate walls.  One can't help but wonder what kind of whispered conversations or glass tinkling peals of laughter goes on behind these windows.


  1. I loved peeking too :) There's a great place not far from there in an alleyway called A-priori-the that our Parisian friends took us for brunch to.

  2. It's the city or origin of the tea salon parties isn't it?;) sounds like a frequent haunt for you guys. I can definitely spend a few months there a year.

  3. No not at all, I was just there once but we hung out with friends who either were from there or who had lived there for a while so got the insider track. We went to A-prior-the because at every cafe we went to just had coffee and horrible herbal 'infusion'. Both Carsten and I drink only tea, and we were dying for some black tea by the third day so our friends found this place for us to go to which was walking distance from where they lived. Just came to me, it's at Gallerie Vivienne, and run by an American expat, it's a really nice place to chill out - and yes lots of good tea to drink too. Both sets of friends have moved out of Paris so now we have no one to show us around :( BUT we have a friend in Nice now so I guess that's where we're going next! I do like having the insider track...

  4. Hahaha... Paris is more a coffee city so I know what you mean! It was always cafe au lait in the morning and often an esspresso at night for me, though I prefer the lightness of tea most of the time when tea OR coffee is on offer, especially after a big meal. South of France is on my list to explore next time am visiting Paris. And Aix en Provence... Definitely the insider's track is the way to go.