I was very honored when Christina of Greige Design suggested that I could be a guest blogger while she enjoys time away. Blogging has become a very personal journey as I am able to share ideas, design inspirations, travel stories via words and images, an electronic common place book of sorts. My blog Francine Gardner Art De Vivre is a synopsis of who I am, someone who just loves family, life, nature, far away cultures and brings all these experiences into my design work.
I left the South West of France at the age of 18 to study in United States (Boston), a country that has fascinated me to the point that I am now a US citizen. But I will always love PARIS. I believe if there is a "place one must see before you die", please make it Paris.
You may, if you wish, follow me on my stroll through my favorite part of this extraordinary city.
Arrive early morning at the small Lenox Hotel on Rue de l'Universite in Saint Germain where I always stay, shower, clean clothes and off I start my free day before meetings, shows etc.. breakfast at Cafe Flore where wealthy locals and tourists meet to chat , see and be seen. Then a long magnificent walk along the Seine to my favorite museum, Musee du Quai Branly.
Then on to some shopping, all Streets of Saint Germain are filled with art galleries and boutiques but I always end up at the Bon Marche, their food emporium is a treat to all senses, their hip women's fashion department irresistible, let's not mention the shoes....there, you see french women at work...shopping.
Back to the Flore for a chevre chaud, dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, alone or with friends, then, my nightly walk, through Place de Furstenberg, magical at night, getting lost in the small streets of the quartier latin and crossing the bridge to Isle Saint Louis. Along the way, I spend hours browsing the shelves of the bookstores which stay open until midnight. The french love to read... I usually end up buying boxes of books that I ship back to New York.
My free day is over, off to sleep.
My dear friends Monique Duveau, food critic and style editor at Cote Sud, and artist Jose Esteves have introduced me to their favorite restaurants, numerous memorable diners that still tease my taste buds.