Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Palace Distinction"...La Reserve Paris Hotel and Spa

Located in the 8th arrondissement, which is referred to as the "symbol of Parisian lifestyle" district, sits a breathtaking Haussmann - style mansion at 42 Avenue Gabriel.  Just off the Champs Elysee, this spectacular residence is now the La Reserve Paris hotel and Spa.

Front Entrance

  Since opening it's doors in January 2015, La Reserve Paris has already been recognized as one of Europe's finest hotels. 

Library(photo courtesy of La Reserve Paris website)

It was recently took the #2 spot in Travel Leisure's 2017 top 10 luxury hotels in Paris.  The photos prove why! The style, colors and details are described as "classic imbued with a delightfully extravagant twist" by Traveller Made.

     It is no wonder the French Ministry of Tourism rewarded the property with it's coveted "Palace" distinction award.  This is a rating above the  impressive 5 star honor which is only given to the country's very finest hotel.

Reception Parlor((photo courtesy of La Reserve Paris website)0

     The property offers 40 lavishly appointed rooms; 26 of those accommodations are suites.  Rates start around $1,000.00 Euros for a double/standard room.

Bar(photo courtesy of La Reserve Paris website)

Many have views of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais.  All rooms include a private butler.

Le-Gabriel(photo courtesy of La Reserve Paris website)
The property includes a Michelin 2 star restaurant, Le-Gabriel.

Reception Parlor(photo courtesy of La Reserve Paris website)

This superlative boutique hotel was originally the residence of Charles de Morny, Duke of Morny.  He was a prominent and influential figure during the Second Empire.

Reception Parlor

Duke de Morny was Napoleon III's half brother.  He began construction of his home in 1854.  The de Morny family owned the property until 1888.

Imperial Suite

Since that time the estate was divided into several large apartments. Then it became the operating and finance location for Pierre Cardin.  Ultimately it was acquired by hotelier and vintner Michel Reybier.

Grand Palais Suite

Reybier commissioned renowned French Architect and Interior Designer Jacques Garcia.  The two worked together on La Reserve Geneve.  I am a big fan of Garcia's work.  I haven't seen a project of his that did not take my breath away.

Premier Junior Suite

Garcia is noted for his ability to narrate with opulent and timeless atmospheres.  French painter and illustrator James Tissot 's art was the muse behind Garcia's vision for the La Reserve Paris.

16m indoor pool/spa

The thoughtful reconfiguration of the property left only the original fireplaces intact.  All thought was give to the design with the aim of providing ultimate luxury.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Holiday Outdoor Mantel Surround

Seasons Greetings!  A delicious vodka martini with 2 olives this past Sunday evening before dinner to toast a fun weekend of holiday decorating.  Both Saturday and Sunday we joined our neighbors on the block for our 2nd street lighting party stringing connected holiday lights along everyone's tree. To add to the holiday spirit, Daniel had his annual Christmas piano recital and our new backyard mantel surround was ready(enough)to be decorated for Christmas.

After 10 years(when the addition was built)I finally got around to having a mantel surround installed on the exterior side of our two sided fireplace between the family room and backyard.

The exterior side is primarily for a visual effect, however, if you are close enough you will definitely feel the warmth.

I found a very budget friendly mantel surround online.  I used the Olioboard design application to get an idea what the mantel would look like installed before purchasing.

First day of installation. Notice the surround does not go to the ground?  The space is for the concrete or stone hearth we will add during the spring time.

The hearth will definitely be Daniel and the fur babies' favorite spot.  Our little guy loves laying next to a fire with his Chuweenie, Loki,  in his arms and his Chow Chow sister ,Rococco (Cocco), next to his side.

Applied the same outdoor semi-gloss black paint used on the french doors.

The bottom are is painted in the same black paint for now until the hearth is added.  

Painted and added 3 of this decorative wood applique for additional architectural detail.

Time for the fun part which is decorating the mantel!

Finally, the space is ready for an intimate gathering with a glass of wine(or martini in my case) in the evening, or a piping hot cup of cocoa or coffee in the morning.

Thank you for visiting.  I will be joining "Feathering My Empty Nest" Share your style party this week where you can find lots of wonderful and creative decorating and cooking ideas from several talented bloggers.    Enjoy the holiday season!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Thanks In Blue & White

Another memorable Thanksgiving celebration with loved ones! The past few years we have celebrated Thanksgiving at the Dacha. This year our Thanksgiving was at home instead.  We celebrated with Papa Dan's family.  His parents,  his sisters Dana and Kerry and Dana's husband Steve joined us.  A party of 8.

Rather than use the dining room, I  decided to set the table in the family room for a change of pace.   I also wanted to brighten up this year's dinner with a vibrant blue and white color scheme as opposed to the classic Fall palette of browns and burnt orange hues.

 The china is Blue Canton.  In addition to the its color, I chose these dishes since they are dishwasher safe!  Only the dinner and salad/bread plates were required for the menu.  Parklane crystal water goblets by Mikasa.  Blue Hungarian crystal stemware by Ajka.

The floral fabric used for the table cloth was designed by Sarah Walden, owner of Peacoquette Designs. I purchased 8 yards then I cut it into 2 equal pieces.  I took the 2 pieces and put them side by side and then sewed them together so had I the proper sized cover to  drape a couple inches from the floor all around the table.

For a little dramatic chinoiserie flair, I added a pair of ceramic Chinese guardian lions(Foo dogs)and small ming vases.  I set another Chinoiserie themed table for Christmas in 2015 which I used the very same foo dogs.  Although I have quite a few collections of Chinese guardian lions, these are my favorite.  I just love their deep rich blue color.

This year I wanted a photo of the turkey taking center stage on the table before it was whisked away to be carved for the buffet table. So, I placed the turkey platter at the center to reserve its space as I layered the table.

Voila! Papa Dan's 16 lbs turkey turned out beautifully. I embellished it with fresh sage,rosemary, slices of lemon,  slices of oranges and grapes. The fabulous enameled pagoda flatware was designed by the talented Tina of the Enchanted Home.

Lemon leaves,key limes and miniature pears adorn the ming vases and candlesticks.

The Menu

Buffet Table

Buffet Table

Carved Turkey

Sausage Stuffing

Green Beans sauteed in butter topped with deep fried onion rings

Vegetable Stuffing with Custard and Goat Cheese

Whipped Mashed Potatoes

Fresh Cranberry sauce

Dessert was the traditional vanilla ice cream with Papa Dan's moms delicious homemade pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Now, it's time to bring on the Christmas decorations. Happy Holidays!

I will be submitting this post to the "Share Your Style" blog party and Susan's Tablescape Thursdays where you can find wonderful and creative ideas from many talented bloggers.  Visit The Vintage Nest  and Between Naps On The Porch for more ideas.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Best Dressed Turkey(platter)

How many of us still put the turkey on the table? If you're the designated chef for Thanksgiving and also want to impress your guests with more than just a delicious turkey, here are some great costume ideas.
William Sonoma
Adding edibles on the platter such as fruits and herbs are a great way to visually enhance and prepare everyone's taste palette.
Suggestions:  Rosemary,sage,basil,tarragon,mint,lavender,lemons,limes,oranges,sage,cranberries,grapes,pears & walnuts.

I know its a challenge for me to find room on the table for the center attraction(Turkey) by the time I have brought all the supporting actors to the stage. 

The flowers, the candles, the stemware, the plates, the napkins and tabletop embellishment steal the show and crowd the space.

Here is a little a teaser of this year's table.  Although the Turkey platter will not be the main centerpiece for this year's table, it will take centerstage when the guests first arrive and before the traditional carving ceremony.  Please stay tuned for more photos and details of our Thanksgiving dinner celebration.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ashford Castle

Another fairytale property on my bucket list. An aristocratic residence turned resort! This is the Ashford Castle in Ireland.  Located 27 miles north of Galway.  It is distinguished from a palace not by its lack of grandeur but by the fact it was originally constructed to be a fortress as well as a residence.

The castle dates back to the 1200s when its original structure was built by the Anglo Norman House of Burke. The de Burgos (who surname became Burke) lost the property some three hundred years later to England's Lord President of Connaught, Sir Richard Bingham.

The property passed to the Browne family in the 1670s.  The Brownes established the estate of Ashford in 1715 and added a French style Chateau and a hunting lodge.  In 1852; the Guinness family (yes, the brewers of the beer; still loved today), purchased the property.

 Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness; started shaping the estate into its present form by adding a Victorian wing to the residence and purchasing an additional 26,000 acres.

Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness

He also had roads constructed and planted thousands of trees.  His son, Arthur, who was the first Baron Ardilaun, made numerous additional improvements to Ashford castle.

Connaught Room

He hired architects James Franklin Fuller and George Ashlin who designed a new east wing that connected to the early 18th Century part and added battlements to the entire structure. Lord Ardilaun's nephew, Ernest inherited the estate and he in turn transferred it to the Irish Government.

In 1939 a hotel was opened by Noel Huggard.  In 1970 the castle was purchased by a young property investor John F. Mulcahy who doubled its size with a new wing and building a golf course.  He continued to operate a resort at Ashford Castle until he sold it in 1985.

After a series of owners Ashford Castle was purchased by its present owner, The Red Carnation Hotels in 2012. Major renovations, including new windows and a lead roof and repaired stonework were completed and the property reopened in April 2015.

Luxurious pool-spa added in 2015
 On its website, the hotel boasts almost a new window for every year of the castle's 800 plus year history!  For more information, visit

The 32 plush velvet seat cinema was added in 2014