Tag Archives: Editor’s Picks

Inside the Lost “Harvard” of Paris

Inside the Lost “Harvard” of Paris

Gustave Eiffel, the Michelin brothers, the Peugeot family– they were all educated by one of the oldest, most prestigious universities in France– which no longer exists. In its heyday, this ‘Harvard of Paris’ was housed in an extraordinary 17th century Parisian mansion, one that if you’ve been to Paris, you’re most likely very well-acquainted with. You see, I happened upon an album of photographs in the archives of the French National Library, which allows us a glimpse through the windows of perhaps the grandest école in French history. I’d never heard of this École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, but as I began looking closer at the architecture, I realised I’d been here before!Read the rest

The Disappearing Membership Cafés of Provence

The Disappearing Membership Cafés of Provence

The village of Gordes in Provence is one of the most beautiful & charming in a part of France that’s teeming with small towns that are … well, beautiful and charming. Perched high on the slopes of the Monts de Vaucluse, Gordes is a treasure trove of narrow, winding cobbled streets, crammed with old homes that cling to the mountainside, and lead up to an old medieval castle. But in one corner of this magical village overlooking the Calavon Valley is a tiny bar that’s one of the last of its kind in France– the Cercle Republicain! The what now?… Read the rest

The Transgender French Spy History Forgot

The Transgender French Spy History Forgot

The Chevalier d’Eon knew how to turn heads. She was charming to boot, and an unmatched swordfighter; an impeccable spy for the French government, and capable of dazzling the Empress of Russia. Above all, she found the courage to publically affirm her identity as a transgender woman ­— an especially intimidating task in 18th century.

Note:Read the rest

Amsterdam is Turning its Bridge Houses into Tiny Hotels

Amsterdam is Turning its Bridge Houses into Tiny Hotels

© Mirjam Bleeker, courtesy of SWEETS hotel

Well that’s it for me. I’ll never stay in a normal hotel in Amsterdam again now that 28 of the city’s bridge houses have been transformed into charming little hotel rooms. For over a century, these canalside gate houses accommodated the storied bridge keepers whose task it was to conduct the city’s water traffic and allow boats to pass.Read the rest

The Diva Who Grew Her Own Exotic Kingdom

The Diva Who Grew Her Own Exotic Kingdom

Madame Ganna Walska

“Don’t touch. And don’t eat what you touch unless you want to die” are the first words you’ll hear upon entering Lotusland, the exotic, 37-acre kingdom of plants tucked away in the quiet town of Montecito, California. Its roots run three owners and 135 years deep, but it’s the touch of its final, failed opera singer patroness, Madame Ganna Walska, that makes the legacy behind its pink walls so magical…

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Lunch at the Forgotten Rothschild Party Palace

Lunch at the Forgotten Rothschild Party Palace

© MessyNessyChic

I stood looking up at the gates, hands on my hips, wondering what forgotten chateau I’d stumbled upon this time. We’d taken a detour to avoid the traffic back into Paris and suddenly pulled over into the ditch by the side of the road at my absolute insistence. What I didn’t know then, peeping through the iron bars, was that I was standing at the back entrance of the largest and most luxurious 19th-century château in France.Read the rest