Category Archives: Arts

Our Paris Bucket List


Ask anyone who has been to Paris, someone who came to visit, or someone who lived here for years and years, and we guarantee they’ll all say they wish they had done “x” or didn’t have the time to do “y.” Well, we’re going to give you our tourist bucket list, as well as an insider bucket list, of everything you should try to do before you leave Paris. How many can you cross off already?

Continue reading

SFP Presents: Widetrip


For this week’s blog post we’d like to introduce you to our newest partnership, Widetrip! Widetrip is a new hot site for walking tours with locals that are passionate about the city of Paris. Widetrip caters to all visitors eager to discover a different side of Paris with open and engaging tour guides. Meet real Parisians who are committed to their city and genuinely want to share their passion, expertise, and interests with you. Whether you’re interested in architecture, poetry, social economy, or urban legends, Widetrip has it all, available in French, English, and Spanish. Here’s SFP’s interview with Widetrip’s founders, Nicolas and Manon.

 

IMG_9034

Continue reading

Neighbourhood Guide | rue Saint-Sébastien


As there are only so many arrondissements we can write neighbourhood guides about, we decided to continue the theme, but more specifically with some of our favourite streets in Paris. Last month Samara started us off with the wonderful rue Henri Monnier in the 9ème. This week’s choice is rue Saint-Sébastien in the 11ème. For those of you who have ventured down this road, then you’ll understand why we’ve chosen to write about it. Spoilt for choice by cafes, boutiques, old record shops & delicious Asian cuisine, please allow us to take you on our favourite journey down rue Saint-Sébastien.

 

image1 (20)

Continue reading

SFP’s Top 5 Instagrams to Follow


Since 2010, Instagram has taken the world by storm. It has become the new, most relevant way to blog and share your thoughts and ideas. Some use the platform to promote their business, others to share their selfies, and others to garner attention for their photography. In any case, we’ve fallen in love with the platform and want to share some of our favorite accounts to follow. Enjoy!

 

Paris Promenade

A sort of jack of all trades, French girl Audrey works as a flat hunter in Paris, runs a website highlighting a few of her favorite things in Paris, and runs the popular Instagram Paris Promenade. Equipped with only an iPhone and her keen eye for photography, Audrey brings the beauty of the hidden corners of Paris straight to your smartphone. Continue reading

Neighborhood Guide- Belleville


Welcome to Belleville, one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in Paris! This neighborhood, situated in 20th arrondissement along the border of the 19th, started as an independent wine-making village before being occupied by Paris’ many different cultures. First the Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, and later the North Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans, and Chinese, making for quite a melting pot! Here is our neighborhood guide to Belleville:

Photo by Philip Menke http://tinyurl.com/ptqdybw

Photo by Philip Menke

The easiest way to get to this neighborhood is on the Metro line 11 to the Belleville stop, landing you in the middle of Chinatown, steps from the three dim sum giants: Le Président (120 rue du Faubourg du Temple), Le Pacifique (39 rue de Belleville), and Wezhou (24 rue de Belleville). Continue reading

La Pagode


This is a guest post by Sara McCarty at Context Travel. They have shared some of their expert advice on some fun new ways to discover the City of Light. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Paris has no dearth of historic jewel-box cinema houses where you can escape the summer heat and take in a film amidst grandeur from a former age.

Photo Credit: Mart

Photo Credit: Mart

One such house is La Pagode, a late 19th century gem commissioned by François-Émile Morin, the director of Le Bon Marché department store, as a gift for his wife. The building Continue reading

Viaduc des Arts


Paris is one of those cities where there is so much going on and so much to see in all the neighborhoods that, naturally, there are some areas that get overlooked. For me, that area is the Viaduc des Arts in the 12th arrondissement.

IMG_3405

I had been to the Bercy shopping area, to Bastille, to the Bois de Vincennes, and though I had driven by it a thousand times, I had never actually stopped and walked the Viaduc des Arts, a vast stretch of artists and artisans and cafes lining one side of Avenue Daumesnil. Continue reading

Spotlight on the Musée Nissim de Camondo


This is a guest post by the team at Context Travel. They have shared some of their expert advice on some fun new ways to discover the City of Light. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

The Musée de Nissim Camondo, located in the 8th arrondissement near the Parc Monceau, houses the once private collection of 18th century arts & decor that previously belonged to Count Moïse de Camondo. In a city notorious for its many museums, the Nissim Camondo, although less-known than the Louvre or the Orsay, still very much merits a visit.

Musee_Nissim_De_Camondo_2Like many museums in Paris, the history of the Musée de Nissim Camondo is just as interesting as the historical objects on display inside. Moïse de Camondo was born in Constantinople during the Ottoman empire, to a family of Sephardic Jewish bankers. Shortly after, his family moved to Paris in an effort to extend their business. Moïse was the heir to the family estate, which he rebuilt 1911 to house his extensive art collection as well as to serve as his family’s private residence. The architecture of this residence-turned-museum was largely inspired by the Petit Trianon at Versailles.

It was the intention of Moïse to pass down his estate to his son Nissim de Camondo; however, Nissim enlisted in the Armée de l’air immediately after the outbreak of World War I and was tragically killed in battle in 1917. Following the death of his only son, Moïse largely retreated from society, preferring to devote his time to his collection and occasionally receiving guests for dinner parties. In honor of his son he donated the estate to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and one year after his death in 1935 the Musée de Nissim Camondo was inaugurated. The tragic story of this family continued in 1945 when Count Camondo’s last living descendants, his daughter Beatrice de Camondo Reinach and her children, died in a concentration camp after being deported to Germany during the German Occupation of France during World War II.

Musée_Nissim_de_Camondo_-_Petit_BureauThe residence has been entirely preserved in its original condition and is one of the best examples of, as Moïse describes it in his will, “the recreation of an 18th-century artistic residence”. Today visitors of the museum can visit 3 floors of this once-private mansion including the kitchens (featuring a kosher design), formal rooms and private apartments, as well as the small but incredibly charming gardens. This museum also offers visitors a glimpse into the daily life of the elite upper class in the 20th century.

Some of the highlights of Moïse’s collection include Savonnerie tapestries as well as notable woodworks by Riesener and Jacob. We sat down with art historian and Context Travel docent Dr. Charlotte Daudon Lacaze to ask her favorite piece in the collection. Without hesitation, she shared what she considers to be the pièce de résistance: the small lady’s roll top desk built around 1760 by cabinet-maker Jean-François Oeben, with its “beautifully delicate inlay work of naturalistic floral motifs of precious wood and very elegant forms.” This was the first prototype of the roll top desk, and in fact, after seeing this desk in 1761, King Louis XV commissioned a larger, grander version for himself, now known as the “Bureau du Roi” (it’s on display at the Palace of Versailles).

Besides the gorgeous aesthetics of the piece, it was also functional. Louis XV kept his important documents in hidden drawers for which he had the only key, which he kept on his person at all times. We may never know how Moïse used his desk, which he acquired from famed antique dealer Jacques Seligmann in 1899, but for Charlotte, “the first and small version at the Nissim Camondo is one of the most elegant pieces of French Louis XV furniture and a wonderful testimony to Moïse de Camondo’s impeccable taste”.

Petit_Trianon_(new)The Musée de Nissim Camondo is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5:30pm.

Looking to visit the museum with an expert? Context Travel can arrange private tours of the collection. For more information, contact their Paris team directly at france-spain@contexttravel.com.
 
Check out our past posts from Context Travel here!