scout paris 
Preview for the Pavillon des Arts & Design in the Tuileries
The preview party for the Pavilion of Art & Design was the hot ticket on Tuesday night where art and design enthusiasts mingled over Champagne and enjoyed the show's festivities.

The show features more than 70 premiere exhibitors who are the best in modern home decor, designer jewelry, and art. I found their booths to be quite imaginative, especially the artist showcases.

The Pavilion of Art & Design opens today through April 3. The show is located in the Tuileries at Esplanade des Feuillants. It faces 234, rue de Rivoli, across rue de Castiglion. Metro: Tuileries or Concorde. Admission: 20 Euros; Students: 10 Euros.

Highlights from the Show

ECU Film Festival, April 1-3
Paris is known for many things--food, art, beauty, and architecture. From April 1 through 3, Paris will play host to the independent film community for the 6th Annual European Independent Film Festival.

The ECU Film Festival will give independent filmmakers from around the world the opportunity to showcase their films to independent film enthusiasts and the film industry.

"The beauty of this festival is that we are highlighting talent that would otherwise not be found," says Scott Hilier, executive director of the 6th Annual European Independent Film Festival. "Our main job is simply to allow storytellers across the world to tell their stories."

The festival will feature 77 films from 26 countries. And, the best part is that we are all invited to join in on the fun. The public can purchase single or season tickets. There are even student tickets available.

Your movie ticket or season pass will also give you access to film editing workshops and panel discussions about the independent film industry.

It's definitely going to be an exciting weekend where independent films take center stage in Paris.

The screening locations will be located at Parnassiens Cinemas at 98, blvd. du Montparnasse and Action Cinemas at 4, rue Christine. Don't miss it.

Spring has arrived in Paris. You can see it everywhere--the cafes are packed and everyone is in a better mood. A friend once told me that springtime in Paris is the best time to be here. She was absolutely right. 

au nom de la rose on rue cler

135, rue Saint-Dominique. Metro: Ecole Militaire.
I hate to cook. But, I do enjoy food. So, it's no surprise that going out to eat is one of my favorite pastimes. Thank goodness for my Parisian friends who share the same passion as I do.

A friend of mine introduced me to Les Cocottes de Constant—a wonderful French restaurant on rue Saint-Dominique--a pretty street in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower.

Chef Christian Constant's well-edited wine list and lunch menu has a nice selection of salads, sandwiches and soups. The light and airy modern space filled with tall tables and bar stools sets the tone for the casual and friendly atmosphere.

I suggest taking a seat at the bar and ordering the soup du jour, Caesars salad, and Chef Constant's decadent chocolate cake. Prices range from $15 to $30 Euros for main dishes. The restaurant is located at 135, rue Saint-Dominique. Metro: Ecole Militaire. 

I just love Kate Spade's new website. It's so fresh, colorful, and playful--the three things I adore most about Kate Spade. I came across this video from Kate Spade that captures the whimsical spirit of the brand. Please note the French macarons in the video--a small touch of French pastry makes every day a little brighter. Kate Spade does not have a store location in Paris, but Colette on rue Saint-Honore carries a few pieces from time to time. Either way, the shop is worth a visit. I would love to see Kate Spade open a store in Paris, since they have two store locations in London. Avec l'amour de Paris.
There was a lot of excitement and anticipation at Salon du Vintage--an annual indoor market devoted to vintage clothing and 20th Century home decor.

The mild Sunday weather brought in an overwhelming crowd of young customers and the eclectic inventory kept them busy with a mix of high and low vintage clothing, accessories, furniture, and decorative items.

I was interested to see what people were buying, pick-up design tips, and explore some of the trends. I found plenty of them including collegiate preppy style clothing, sunglasses from the 60s, interesting typography, stacking chairs, muted cable knit cardigans, breezy printed summer dresses, and short leather jackets.

Even though this market has come and gone, there are so many vintage markets in Paris. So, no worries. I happen to love Les Puces du Design for vintage clothing and 20th Century antiques. The twice-yearly outdoor market opens on May 6-8.


Salon du Vintage

Georges is located at Place Georges Pompidou. Metro: Rambuteau
For a fabulous lunch in a stylish setting along with the best panoramic views of Paris, book a table at Restaurant Georges at the Centre Pompidou.

The sleek design and colorful surroundings is something you must experience in person. And, it's a great way to spend the afternoon.

Choose to sit inside in the super modern dining room or on the expansive deck. Either way, you are in for a treat.

The modern art museum's sixth floor restaurant has a delicious selection of salads, sandwiches, and main dishes including salmon, pastas, and steak. Popular dishes include the crab salad (30 Euros), club sandwich (19 Euros), and spring rolls (19 Euros).

Georges is a bit pricey with main dishes ranging from 19 to 40 euros. Come anyway! Share some dishes with your table or sit in the bar area and order a drink. It's definitely worth the splurge.

The museum itself is time well spent because it has an incredible collection of modern art. The Centre Pompidou also features a library and a moderately priced cafe.

The building is located at Place Georges Pompidou. The museum is free for adults under 26 (starting April 4). And, the museum is free on the first Sunday of every month. If you plan on only going to lunch at Georges, there is no entrance fee. Closed Tuesdays and May 1. Metro: Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville.

Inside Restaurant Georges

Les Arts Decoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli. Metro: Palais-Royal.
It was the 1990s. It was the age of the supermodel when Christy Turlington, Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell became huge stars. It was also the time when the artistic directors of luxury fashion houses took center stage and crafted the most exquisite pieces of couture art.

Les Arts Decoratifs
explores an exciting time in fashion's history--the 1990s through the 2000s--with an exhibit of 150 couture pieces by Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel), Tom Ford (Gucci), Helmut Lang, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Lacroix, Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Nicolas Ghesquiere (Balenciaga), and more.

Visitors will not only view these amazing pieces in person, but they can also watch the original runway shows that feature the collection via flat panel screens. This exhibit is an intimate look at a pivotal moment in modern fashion design and its evolution.

Les Annees 1990 & 2000 is on-view through May 8. Admission: 9 Euros (about $12). Free for students under 26. The museum is located at 107 rue de Rivoli. Closed on Mondays. Metro: Palais-Royal.
Laduree at Versailles
I love period films. So, I was in heaven when I arrived at Versailles on an early Saturday morning. It was my chance to spend the day exploring the grand chateau and serene surroundings.

I was first introduced to the beauty of Versailles in the classic 2006 Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. The movie was beautifully shot at Versailles and I couldn't wait to see firsthand the magical Hall of Mirrors, the King and Queen's apartments, and the pretty gardens.

The Cityrama tour guided us through Versailles, the Trianon palaces, Marie Antoinette's village, and expansive grounds. Even during a dreary winter's day, Versailles is absolutely breathtaking.

We took a break for lunch at a restaurant on the grounds. We were served a few glasses of red wine, along with a three-course meal, which included salad, a generous entree, and a decadent chocolate tart.

If you visit the chateau, stop by the Laduree shop where pastel confections and small gift items are in abundance--perfect souvenirs to take away after an idyllic day away from Paris.

Even if you only have a short time in Paris, a day trip to Versailles is worth it. And, if you don't like tours, Versailles is easy to access via the RER train. You can also purchase your Versailles admission tickets online.

A Tour of Versailles...

Inside the Petit Palais. Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau
Everyone talks about the awe-inspiring Grand Palais, but the Petit Palais--located directly across the street--is the palais to visit.

Not only is it free, but visitors will marvel at what's inside--paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and furniture.

Take a walk inside the interior courtyard where the garden offers an escape from the noisy streets of Paris.

Have lunch at the moderately-priced cafe and enjoy the richness of the architecture and design of the Petit Palais.

I was able to catch the last viewing of the Reporters sans Frontières exhibit of 100 photos by Pierre & Alexandra Boulat. I was enamored with the intensity and raw images of war, fashion, and women.

The photos were so personal, I felt like I was actually present when they shot some of the images. At times, I felt the need to pause and reflect on what I was seeing. 

It's not an overwhelming museum, but the perfect cultural experience for those who want to spend an hour or two surrounded by beautiful art and architecture.

The museum is located on Avenue Winston Churchill. Metro: Champs-Elysées Clémenceau. Entrance to the museum and special exhibits are free.