Monday, 13 May 2013
When one thinks of refreshments in France
one automatically thinks of coffee or aperitivs, such as Pastis
But as these images show,
the salon de thé is an art form that the French take very seriously
Indeed an afternoon tisane is as traditional in France as it is in England
Except perhaps that in France
thé is always taken in the finest cup and saucer
And often with a little sweet delicieuse gaterie
Salon de thé, as ever with the French,
an opportunity to display French culinary flair
Friday, 10 May 2013
Thursday, 9 May 2013
I'm a great fan of the eclectic in both interiors and sartorialism. In particular I enjoy the mix of the contemporary and the classic. Recently talking to a French lady about a black dress she said "ah c'est classique" and it made me ponder on the point when does the contemporary become the classic? After all isn't some contemporary already classic?
Living in France one is regularly aware of the classical, the antique or even the retro. But the contemporary classic is less available - at least outside Paris. And yet, as these pictures show - from a French book I hasten to add - the mix of the contemporary structure in the form of architecture as a backdrop for the classical or antique furnishings works really well.
I am not a great lover of contemporary homes - ultimately preferring the classical or old world, but if one is forced to live in the contemporary there are ways of mixing it successfully with vintage. The modern divan bed together with an ancient bust or classical architectural prints is a clever way of making something that has the potential to be very bland - as many modern interiors are - into a more imaginative aesthetic. But it takes an artful eye to get it right.
In many ways it is much more pleasing (and creative) than a contemporary home just filled with the cliched modern pieces such as Eames chairs or black leather and chrome. The simple lines of some modern interiors can offset the classical beauty of heritage items.
Sometimes in France homes can be overwhelming displays of "good taste" of antiques layer upon layer. However, Coco Chanel - a modernist if ever there was one - created a subtle and harmonious blend in her Paris apartment - a modern camel suede sofa mixed in amongst Chinese screens and other antiques. C'est tres chic!
I like the idea of mixing it up a little - it brings a new freshness, a uniqueness and a surprise.
The beauty of the classic and the contemporary.