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Seductively French at the “Farmyard”

I had a small window of opportunity Sunday afternoon to race to the Trocadero to see the “L’H?tel Particulier” exhibit at the Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine in the Palais de Chaillot. Within moments of stepping into the exhibit, (which opened October 5th and runs until February 19th, 2012: Cite/Chaillot), I was drawn to an enlarged photo on the wall from the turn of the 20th-century of a woman standing on a small cobblestoned street that I immediately recognized. It took my breath away.

That spot, of all the tiny corners in Paris, was the entrance to the courtyard of “Le Palace des Vosges”  – the luxury fractional ownership apartment at which we had spent all of Saturday filming segments for “Seductively French.”

A phone call to one of the owners who is there now visiting is all it took to get a photo of the entrance as we know it now emailed to me by iPhone to prove that yes, in fact, it was the same! And the description of the photo at the exhibition taught much about that spot where the apartment exists – once a stable, a carriage house, a garage and now a luxury residence:

“Vue de la basse-cour de l’Hôtel de Chaulnes, place des Vosges.” (View of the farmyard of the Hôtel de Chaulnes, Place des Vosges)

“The farmyard, where the commons were relegated, developed in the Middle Age in the Parisian hotel. This made it possible to avoid mixing reception and the service functions. First located in the vicinity, sometimes on the other side of the street, the farmyard was finally incorporated into the mansion’s general plan starting in the Renaissance (hotel Carnavalet).”

The Hôtel de Chaulnes, is the part of Place des Vosges at number 9 situated between the Hôtel de Sully and the Hôtel Pierrard, once the apartments of the king’s counselor, Pierre Gougeu-Descures and where Louis XIII stayed during the inauguration festival of Place Royale (now known as Place des Vosges). The first floor of the apartments later became the headquarters of the Académie of Architecture, still there today.

So, now we know the REAL story – that this little “basse-cour” was once the farmyard to the Hôtel de Chaulnes and it is with great pride that I can say that my staff and I had a large hand in restoring it’s rightful standard!

Seductively French, hosted by a tall beautiful blonde woman named “Slavica Monczka,” is producing segments for Eurocinema, a North American on-demand channel dedicated to European films. Le Palace des Vosges was the backdrop for several segments, including one with leading French chef, Gilles Epié, cooking on the apartment’s five-burner gas Falcon stove in the château-like gourmet kitchen. He was the youngest chef to receive the prestigious Michelin Star in Paris, having trained with Alain Ducasse and Alain Senderens at Lucas-Carton. After mastering his culinary skills in Paris and in Los Angeles as l’Orangerie and Chez Gilles, he’s back in Paris at his own restaurant, Citrus Etoile in the 8th.

While he was being filmed, with his son sous-chefing by his side, I remained silent but salivating over the aromas coming from the kitchen and was fortunate to lunch on his freshly prepared sea bass with foie gras accompanied by porcini mushroom and baby artichoke. Lots of great meals have come out of this kitchen, but this one may have beat them all.

Before being interviewed by Slavica about the apartment and what it’s like to be living in France in yet another segment, young designer Nabil Hayari showcased a few of his stunning wedding and evening gown collection on his signature models. The setting at Le Palace des Vosges for these stunning creations, more works of art than anything else, was ideal and there was nothing the models could do wrong to create perfect images for the show.

Producers of the segments seemed pleased as they were packing up their equipment and the owners were returning from their day exploring the City of Light.

When will it air? Sometime this coming Fall…so stay tuned! And btw, there are still a few shares left if you want to be a part of this exciting piece of Paris!…just email [email protected] for more information.


Adrian Leeds with Slavica from Seductively FrenchA la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
(with Slavica, Seductively French)

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P.S. Today is a big Thanksgiving Day to all our Canadian friends and tomorrow is a big day for Parler Paris Après Midi and the free Residential Property Investing Seminar sponsored by BNP Parisbas…so plan your day to be with us!

P.P.S. I am seeking someone with great administrative skills to work with me personally and regularly to help keep order at the Adrian Leeds Group. If you are interested in working a few hours a week, both remotely and ‘sur place,’ please email me at [email protected] with your resume and brief “lettre de motivation.”


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