Anglophile & Francophile Holiday!

When Marty decided he’d like to spend his birthday in London and Paris he didn’t have to twist my arm too hard! One of the reasons we chose the San Pancras Renaissance Hotel was because it is next to the Eurostar station, another was we kept hearing about how amazing the restoration was..

Here’s Marty out in front of George Gilbert Scott’s Victorian Gothic masterpiece! His first present was a stuffed corgi with a spy hat (handmade by Leohat)! Our last Halloween party “Spooks and Spies” has inspired a new Brit-loving print collection!

Here’s a shot of the Gilbert Scott Bar – which quickly became our favorite morning spot!

Hard not to swoon over these lovingly repainted ceilings and fabulous bell shades..

Here is the Gilbert Scott restaurant – we learned from our tour guide that the ceiling which looks like plaster is actually iron!

For some contrast we headed to South London to Aquashard (in The Shard) for a very special lunch with an amazing view from the 31st floor!

When you turn around and walk a bit in the other direction you get a great view of London Bridge (with funky modern sculptures like that big black egg)!

While we were in South London Marty and I also saw a wonderful exhibit at the Fashion Textile Museum called Artists’ Textiles 1940-1976 organized by Geoffrey Rayner, Richard Chamberlain, and Annamarie Stapleton. The dress above was made with fabric by Joan Miro for Fuller Fabrics in New York. The shape is quite similar to a dress Ramona Ponce I created with one of my vintage inspired floral prints last year. The exhibit which also featured fabric prints by Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and many other talented designers ended there May 17th but a Frieda Kahlo show starts up June 6th..

Our next stop in that neighborhood was the London Eye!

It was Agent Corgi’s second mission but the hat wouldn’t stay on..

We loved the views from our London Eye bubble..

including the Houses of Parliment!

Marty got this shot as we were leaving and the clouds moved in..

Discovered this fabulous cheese place in Notting Hill called La Cave!

Since we were in transit we opted for the cheese macarons which mixed fruit gelee & fromage – brilliant!

Here’s Marty after a bit of sci fi shopping & “dodging the rain” lunch on Portobello Road.. Our great concierge Mathius at San Pancras helped us plot our path to Forbidden Planet through Bloomsbury!

Had to get over to Kensington to the V&A – “The Glamour of Italian Fashion” is terrific! Just walked into Knightsbridge and had to take cover at

Harrod’s of course!

I had forgotten how beautiful the tile in the food halls was!

And since we needed a bit of something to go with our cheese macarons what better excuse to find the Harrod’s champagne bar? They have their own bubbly made for them – here we show the regular and rose!

The next morning we were all off to Paris on the Eurostar!

We had such a good chat with the couple across from us who were moving to Paris – they took this shot of us with Agent Corgi!

When we arrived in Paris our poodle Bon Vivant (better known as BV) was waiting for us at the historic and whimsical hotel Saint James! We got the lovely boudoir room #501 which was perfect for a photo shoot to show off BV’s coat made with my “Bon Vivant” Paris map fabric print! If you would like a custom dog coat don’t hesitate to let us know. We have several fabric prints available upon request.

Another reason we chose Saint James is that it’s located in the 16th arrondisement within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower and L’Arc de Triomphe! We quickly unpacked and headed up Rue des Belles Feuilles..

I took this shot from the Palais de Chaillot, the gold statues flank The Museum of Man..

Marty took this shot looking straight up!

Serious renovation is taking place so that more viewers can be accomodated in enclosed glass spaces when the weather is cold and wet..

The frequent rain is often followed by vibrant sun like this.

Crossing the Seine to the right bank I got this vintage-like shot.

It’s always fun to see what’s new at Gallerie Lafayette including their newly opened home store Maison Lafayette

Here is the view from the top of the Pompidou Center (one of the few museums open on Monday). We saw an incredible exhibit of Henri Cartier Bresson’s work here!

And yes you can sometimes spot goats in the Tuilerie Gardens..

We were on our way to the Dries Van Noten show at Les Art Decoratifs and it is fantastic! It is really a textile designer’s dream and beautifully installed. The show is there until the end of August.

Our wonderful concierge Christian Garot at Saint James got us a reservation at Le Comptoir de Relais (many thanks to Robbie at Showoffs for telling me about it) which is almost impossible! The food was perfectly seasonal, superb and if you should try to book as soon as possible if you are visiting anytime soon. The restaurant Rech has been revived and updated by Alain Ducasse and if you like seafood – it’s a must!

After seeing the Dries exhibit we headed towards rue du Mail for some lunch at Chez Georges but they don’t serve past 2pm. Across the street we found this great cafe pictured above. I had the tartine of my life on fabulous bread with melted goat cheese and paper thin slices of pear and perfectly fresh batch of mixed greens! Since they were installing a new bar top the host sent around a glass of bubbly on the house – darn!

We continued down rue du Mail and checked out various high end decorator fabric houses and found some interesting furniture galleries as well.

Meanwhile AC and BV were scoping the 16th for unusual suspects..

Here they are happy to be back at the Saint James in the entry way of #501.

AC and BV love the Saint James honey cakes! They’re perfect for tea parties and picnics.

AC and BV kept begging to see the Eiffel tower. On our last morning was gorgeous so we each took one and headed over.

AC and BV were in a heavenly daze and completely distracted from their mission. The case continues here in New York..

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