Entries by admin8800

Foie Gras, France’s Favorite Holiday Delicacy

France takes its gastronomy extremely seriously, and this is especially true when it comes to the end-of-year holidays. Of all the holiday delicacies that might feature on the festive menus in French homes and restaurants, foie gras is a must. Despite the controversies surrounding it, there’s no denying that it is highly cherished by the […]

Vaux-le-Vicomte and the Famous Fête which Sparked Versailles

Of the dozens of castles around Paris, the château de Vaux-le-Vicomte holds a very special place in French history, not only because of its innovative design, but also for the legendary palace it inspired: Versailles. Commissioned by Nicolas Fouquet, the Superintendent of Finance under Louis XIV, for the first time a castle’s architecture, decor and […]

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Surprising Stories: Marie-Antoinette at the Hameau de la Reine

One of the most unexpected visits when touring the gardens of Versailles is the discovery of the Domaine de la Reine where queen Marie-Antoinette commissioned a fake village, called le hameau or the hamlet. Built to resemble vernacular architecture with half-timbered houses, thatched roofs, and stucco walls, the queen entertained friends and family, sometimes impersonating […]

,

Surprising Stories: Chantilly Cream

Chantilly cream is a crowd-pleaser: from a dollop on fresh summer berries to a transformative spoonful that makes a cup of coffee into a tantalizing dessert, Chantilly cream is a world renown gastronomic delight. This week’s Surprising Story looks at the history of this Chantilly cream—whipped milk combined with sugar—and how it was concocted for celebrations at […]

, , , ,

Surprising Stories: The Buttes-Chaumont: A Model for a Green City

As we leave our homes after two months of lockdown in Paris, our Surprising Story this week visits the Buttes-Chaumont, one of the city’s first public parks and urban renewal projects. Part of Baron Haussmann’s mid-19th century designs for modernized Paris, we’ll see how one of the most noxious places in Paris became one of […]

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Surprising Stories: La Place Des Vosges: Fashion and Architecture in the Marais

When King Henri IV arrived in Paris in 1594, after thirty years of war and destruction, he faced a momentous challenge: how to restart the economy and rebuild the capital city? A Renaissance prince with an eye for profit, he imagined a spectacular open square, la Place Royale, today known as la Place de Vosges. […]