Lunch with the Impressionists

In the small village of Giverny, France, a few hundred yards from Monet’s famous house and garden, one can still feel the atmosphere of the pastoral hamlet with glorious light that first captured Monet’s imagination as he glimpsed it from a passing train in 1888.

A stroll from the gardens down Rue Claude Monet brings you to a Giverny landmark: The Hotel Baudy.   The celebrated hotel, in great measure due to the industrious nature of its landlady, became an artistic and social center for a colony of impressionist painters, mainly from America, who were attracted to the area in the 1880s. Pissarro, Sargent, Cezanne all visited or worked in Giverny.

On the hotel’s shady front terrace you can dine alfresco under a canopy of lime trees, overlooking the countryside, and revel in the views that drew so many to the valley over a hundred years ago.

D and I had lunch here – salads and cheeses and onion soup with generously buttered, crusty bread. Simple country fare with exquisite flavor, enhanced by a playful breeze and gently shimmering light.

The hotel’s well-known rose garden is reached by going through the restaurant, its rooms themselves worth the journey to Giverny. The burnt ochres, faded blues, soft greens and sun-bleached yellows of the decor showcase the many paintings along every wall. You can almost hear the conversation and laughter and smell the whisky from those lively times as you make your way out the back doors.

Outside, you are enveloped in a quintessential French country garden filled with roses, shabby bistro chairs and blooming hydrangeas.

We were most taken with the artist’s studio, built during the hotel’s heyday.

The Impressionists were radicals, rule-breakers, outward thinkers, and were criticized and ridiculed before they were embraced and admired. They changed the way we look at the world, and we’ve been fascinated ever since.

I end with a grateful salute to dreamers and thinkers, the mad geniuses and imaginers who dare to see the world their way and are brave enough to challenge, inspire and encourage us to see it, too, and to think differently.

Wishing you an inspired weekend.


– g

p. s. In case you missed it, there’s a new post over at Paris By Two. :)

September Blooms and Winners

Hello everyone and happy new week! Stopping in to share a few images from Septembers past and to announce the winners of the second giveaway.

Last night wind and rain awoke us but the day unfolded with piercing blue skies and scudding clouds. Autumn is poised for an entrance but so much is still summery here. Rose bushes arrayed with new buds, hydrangeas with starry clusters of petals and dahlia blooms dazzling with bright color. Although the storm sprinkled the lawns with leaves, all but a handful are still deep green and we skipped among them during our game of badminton, the shuttlecock dancing around in the breeze.

And now, the winners of the second giveaway are: Gill and Michela!! Congratulations! (David himself pulled the names out of my French straw hat.) Please contact me with your addresses. Thank you again to everyone who entered. What a fantastic turn out. Shall we do it again soon? :)

A few quick notes:

We invite you to enjoy breakfast in Paris with a new post “Le Petit Dejeuner” at Paris By Two, now live!

And the 20% discount on all 2012 calendars and mini calendars ends September 30th.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you’ll visit later in the week for “Lunch with the Impressionists”!

xo – g

p. s. I share some other news on Twitter and Facebook. Let me know if you’re there, too!

French Blue with Red Roses

My friends, D and I are infinitely touched and exceedingly delighted at your supportive response to Paris By Two. I mean, honestly, who could ask for better chums than you? So, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to each of you who stopped by, commented, wished us well and are following along. You encourage me that perhaps starting another blog wasn’t such a crazy idea after all.

And I promised to let you know – there’s a new post there now, with another scheduled for Thursday night and one for Sunday morning.

And for today, a collage on a theme of blues and reds from various French locations: cottages and an art exhibition in Gerberoy, watered silk wall covering in our Paris hotel and the cloisters at the top of Mont Saint Michel.

(Don’t forget that you have until Friday night to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already. Winners  announced on the weekend.)

I hope your week has had many lovely moments so far with many more to come. Again, thank you, thank you!


– g

p. s. I didn’t respond to several of you who left lovely comments on the last post as I had no link back to contact you. Hopefully next time.

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