On the third floor of an 18th-century building in a great Marais location near the corner of rue Charlot on rue de Poitou, La Fleur de Poitou has been fully transformed into a regal home away from home. Renovated from stem to stern in 2011 by Interior Architect Martine di Mattéo, the apartment is a colorful and shining example of what is possible when good taste and savoir faire are combined.
It wasn't April in Paris on Sunday, May 1st, but we were with "April in Paris" -- April Pett, that is.
April Pett is one of those young North Americans (Canadian, actually) who landed in Paris, fell in love with the city, got to know it well and then wanted to share her love and knowledge with the rest of us.
April in Paris, the song from which the expression comes, was composed in 1932 for a Broadway musical "Walk a Little Faster" and recorded by 20 different artists, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone, with Count Basie's 1955 recording as the most famous of all:
I never knew the charm of spring I never met it face to face I never knew my heart could sing I never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom Holiday tables under the trees April in Paris, this is a feeling
That no one can ever reprise I never knew the charm of spring I never met it face to face I never knew my heart could sing I never missed a warm embrace
Till April in Paris Whom can I run to What have you done to my heart?
April doesn't let the month stand in the way of showing off her town. She'll be happy to guide you through the streets of Paris any day of the week or month, regardless. It was our good luck to choose May Day-May 1st-Labor Day and one of the most beautiful spring days we've had in the City of Light.
Taking a tour of the city I've lived in 21 years is a funny thing to do. It felt weird being the "tourist," standing among a group of people listing to a tour guide tell you things you thought you already knew. Then, it was a jolt to learn how little I really did know.
On this customized tour, we started at Place de la Concorde, wound along the "quai de Seine" along the water's edge, up the stairs to the Pont Alexandre III, past the two Palais (Grand and Petit) to Rond Point and up the Champs Elysées before landing at Ladurée for a dessert break. It was along that stretch of "quai" that I'd never been before, all the while April filling us in on historical tidbits.
April's tidbits are the kind one might never have known -- those little juicy bits of history that the average historian doesn't tell in books or tours...and she tells them with such enthusiasm and vivid imagery that to hear her tell her tales is pure magic. (Of course, the story about the amount of blood left to soak into the earth at Place de la Concorde as a result of the number of beheadings that took place there and the dull blade used to cut off Marie-Antoinette's twice was a little TOO vivid for my taste! Ha!)
She had no notes that I could see...just a lot of information in her young head. That was amazing, especially to someone like me who slept through history class all through high school and can barely remember the date of my own birthday. She's a walking 'fountain of information.'
By the time we got to Ladurée, our bodies telling us it was time for a break, it was so busy on this glorious Sunday afternoon that we opted on taking our tea in the Bar, another surprise for us. It's as beautiful a spot on the planet as is their desserts. I ordered tea named after Marie-Antoinette (fitting it seemed) that was velvety delicious. April claimed their "pain perdu" was the best in the world, so we HAD to try it. She's right, it's absolutely sinful.
April is game to customize your tour or take you on one of her usual routes, but with your special requests in mind. Some of her most popular tours are:
Half Day Historic Walking Tour Half Day Highlights Walking Tour Half Day Highlights Tour with Private Chauffeur Full Day Walking Tour with Lunch Versailles Tour Paris Gourmet tour
And this is just the beginning. Give her a challenge and she'll create the tour! Visit her Web site for more information and be sure to tell her Adrian sent you.
P.S. Tujague’s, New Orleans’ second oldest dining institution, and part of my family (owned by my cousins, Mark Latter and family), celebrates its 160th anniversary this year. In celebration Tujague's will offer a variety of special events and offerings. Kicked off this past Sunday, May 1, Tujague’s is offering an $18.56 three-course "prix fixe" lunch available Monday through Friday, and additional celebrations will include guest chef dinners, contests and more. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum will launch a special exhibit on Tujague’s in May, featuring artifacts and memorabilia from the restaurant. The restaurant will also be added to National Culinary Heritage Register, which honors historic establishments that have contributed significantly to the development of American foodways.
The ADRIAN LEEDS GROUP Apartments
Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the "seal of approval" from ALG, Paris Sharing and me, Adrian Leeds.
Le Petit Bretagne studio, is located on the quiet courtyard of a very charming 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais. There isn't an apartment in Paris more charming and cheerful...ask all who have had the pleasure of staying here. It is completely equipped in spite of its size with a queen size bed that converts to twin beds, a washer/dryer, espresso maker, microwave, toaster-oven, two-burner ceramic stove, refrigerator, high speed Internet with WiFi, flat screen TV, DVD player, stereo, free(!) long distance phone service and more!
Copyright 2016 Adrian Leeds® The Adrian Leeds Group® Adrian Leeds® is a registered trademark in France. INPI: March 10, 2006, #063416238. Adrian Leeds Group® is a registered trademark in France. INPI: December 22, 2014, # 14/4144068. Anyone using these brand names or any kind of advertising without permission may be prosecuted. AdrianLeeds.com, AdrianLeedsGroup.com and AdrianLeedsEnterprises.com are reserved domains for exclusive use of Adrian Leeds® and Adrian Leeds Group®.