Category Archives: France

Autumnal Notre Dame

Notre Dame spire and Ile de la Cite life…



Rooms with Views: L’Hotel

In the heart of Saint Germain lies a jewel box with a history…

Blink and you will miss it. The discreet door to L’Hotel, one of the few truly luxury 5 star hotels in Paris’ Left Bank, is tucked away on a side street not far from Place Saint Germain. Upon entering into this small hotel a gilded jewel box reveals itself. Plush velvet sofas behind sweeping curtains, a domed spiral staircase, Empire moldings, are all fanciful and opulent. And incredibly romantic which is exactly how you want to feel when you are in Paris.


By now you will know that Oscar Wilde stayed here. There are homages to him, his letters framed, and you can stay in what was his room, though it has been refurbished and restyled to fit the more glamorous surroundings of the hotel as it is now. The hotel has a distinguished history,  gone through several owners and updates, and has kept its cache through many generations of celebrities. The hotel went through a major refurbishment in the 60s and from then on L’Hotel became the place to be seen.  Serge Gainsborough and Jane Birkin stayed here in their heyday only adding to its mystique.


The bijoux hotel boasts 20 gorgeous bedrooms of varying size and design, each one entirely different and unique yet all glamorous and luxurious. Antique styled bathtubs, marble bathrooms with lavish satin drapes and bedding accented with a few antiques depending on your room. There is a very stylish apartment suite, the Oscar Wilde suite, and 4 different sized bedrooms categories, all quite deluxe. It all feels quite decadent and you just want to lounge on the bed and drink champagne.


For all its small spaces, the hotel packs a lot in limited areas and makes the most of creating creative drama in every corner. There is a fine dining restaurant and romantic bar area where on occasion live music is played. The bar is the star here as it is intimate with low lit corners, dark marble. Front and center is a small yet opulent bar serving elegant cocktails. If all that isn’t enough, they even managed to put in a Hamman pool in the basement which is private and can be reserved in advance. It will be hard to step out the door and see Paris… but you must!


So stylish, and completely Parisian, a stay at L’Hotel is a posh treat. It has an authenticity of place. Paris, especially the favourite Left Bank is at your feet, if you can get out the door.

Please note, I paid for my own stay and my review is based on my personal experiences while staying at the L’Hotel.

Pre-Autumn Getaway

Not done with summer travel just yet? Have a few extra days and want to get away for one last easy going trip? Here are some ideas…


Ostuni and the Valle d’Itria Puglia with its whitewashed houses and blue Adriatic coastline holds onto summer well into September. Ostuni is one of a handful of idyllic villages in the Valle d’Itria which include Locorotondo and Martina Franca. A long weekend here of quiet exploration combined with good local wine and cuisine offer a sun kissed cultural holiday.


Amsterdam That time between summer and full blown autumn with lukewarm breezy days and cooler nights are best suited for the charming streets and bright canals of Amsterdam. The city has a great way of mixing the trendy with the traditional and offers the best of European lifestyle in many of its cute cafes and diverse museums. And now with Eurostar train service between London or Brussels to Amsterdam it has become that much easier to get there.


Normandy Calvados and Camembert among other gastronomic delights can be enjoyed in many of the towns in Normandy. Picturesque villages of Honfleur and Bayeux mix charm with history still very much present in the landscape of this area. Lesser known but worth doing is La Route des Moulin or the Windmill route. Countryside mill houses are dotted around the area not far from Bayeux and make for cozy views into authentic country living. Last but not least is not to be missed Mont St. Michele which is church and village in one.