10 Dec 2012

Paris… A Wander Around The First

the windows in chantal thomass are always seductive… yet this time my camera caught the beauty of her building…

I feel right about now… two weeks before Christmas… it’s time to take a breath.

A big deep, therapeutic breath that will last all the way until the 24th December.

The focus should be on enjoying the lead up to the holidays… not worrying what hasn’t been or what can’t be done.

royal carriages, horses and livery… miniatures in the windows of the palais royal…

Last week in Paris, in the first arrondissement … these are some of the images I captured.

Pretty moments, French moments that caught my eye.

i can’t remember how many times i have snapped this daniel buren installation at the palais royal…

When I see the candy striped blocks in the Palais Royal I am always reminded of, My French Life.

for me, this is one of the most scenic cafes in paris….

When I wander past Cafe Nemours… I remember penning my thoughts for the chapter, ‘Weekend in Paris’.

I had a little Moleskin notebook that I carried with me everywhere… and I started to write down all the thoughts that came to mind.

It wasn’t hard to be inspired in such a glorious location.

the view from cafe nemours…

I looked across at this fountain and watched the world pass me by… I reminisced about all the reasons why Paris was so unique.

Amazed that I should be trying to write about it… worried where the words would come from.

They did and they still do… xv

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What a lovely post! It brings back great memories of my Paris trip this spring. I can’t wait to visit Paris at Christmas….



We stayed in the first a few times. It wasn’t until our second visit, that we realized we were staying directly across the street from the Palais Royal. What a jewel!

La Comtesse Lola


In this hectic lead up to Christmas, I thought what I needed most was a dry martini…I know now that I was wrong! Thank you for the lovely reminder to stop and “breathe”!

…I feel better already (and no headache!)!



What a lovely post. Paris is a magical city, I have only visited once, but the memories linger. Photo’s like these reawaken my joy at being there. Thank you for sharing.

French Girl in Seattle

… and you did France (and Paris) justice! French Essence sits on my coffee table, and I often flip through pages when I finally get a minute to sit down mid afternoon before Junior walks home from school. So, “grand merci,” from a French expat who feels a little closer to home when she looks at the beautiful photos. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)


It’s always the beautiful old buildings that capture my eye and heart in Paris. Covered with snow makes them even more glorious, like a fine dusting of powdered sugar on a beautiful cake. Lovely images, Vicki.

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Vicki, seeing a couple of my favorite Paris spots is bringing a few tears to my eyes this morning. Oh to be sitting at Cafe Nemours sipping an aperitif and gazing at that fountain. Love hearing about your memories! Thanks for sharing them. Enjoy that big deep breath – I think I’ll be able to fit one in later this week.
Enjoy the holiday magic! XO


Dear Vicki
Thank you so much for the wonderful images you’ve capture of my favorite place in the entire world. I’ve been to Paris many times in different months, but have never seen the beauty of Christmas. I think it’s time I spend December in Paris.


Paris calls us back again and again, doesn’t she? I can’t wait for my next trip, but in the meantime, I’ve enjoyed these pictures and love how current they are.
Lovely, thank you!


When I think of Paris, I think of Vicki Archer and her tender passion for the place. Your images are so so beautiful. Give Paris a big kiss for me and tell her I will bow before her in a week or so! A-M xx


Vicki, there is so much to treasure and enjoy during the holidays. I am slowing down to take it all in!

2012 Artists Series,
Art by Karena


After having read your book, My French Life, I just HAD to visit Palais Royale and Cafe Nemours on my next visit….loved it and it has become MY must do each trip. Thanks for sharing :) Jill

Mary Jo

Gorgeous photos as always Vicki. So glad that you decided to write, it is something you were obviously meant to do!
xo Mary Jo

Heather in Arles

This brought back lovely memories for me too. I don’t know why it worked out that way but not long after I moved to Paris to be with Remi, he had a story that was coming out in Figaro Magazine but he had headed out on another assignment and had asked me to pick up a copy to see how it had turned out. Why I was there I don’t remember but I will always associate sitting on la terrasse of Nemours with opening up those pages and seeing the photos that he had taken when we had just fallen in love!


Hello Vicki
Thank you for your lovely blogging this year. It is part of my daily routine to click on it each morning! And … I am visiting Paris again next year with friends and working with all the wonderful suggestions and information you have given in your blog to plan our trip! Happy Christmas Vicki. Mary-Jill xo

Karen in CT

.. another lovely post that draws us all to Paris … I thought I would never get over the stripes in the Palais Royal and the Louvre pyramid, but at best I’m used to them … what troubles me still is that I can’t be there and take in the same site that someone in history did … I remember when I was young, worshiping the Louvre building. I would sit and watch it and imagine all the stories it could tell … and all the people who lived in it … and what they wore. I still want to learn about all the things that happened there, before it was a museum. Thank you Vicki …. I too love Nemours

Anita Rivera

Dearest Vicki,

A big sigh is being expelled at this moment, as I enjoy your pics for the day, and as I spend quiet time here in my little chateau. That horse and carriage miniature is exactly like the antique one I have under a cloche on my sofa table. I am really enjoying a much more simple décor this year, but one with choice pieces to express the loveliness of the season.

You always make me long for Paris once again. Anita

Carmel Fauth

Thankyou for such a lovely, inspiring post.
I am flying to France next Friday for my first time to spend 5 weeks with my “adopted son” and his family. I have never been to the Nth Hemisphere and this will be my first cold & perhaps first white xmas as I live in Australia. I can’t tell you how excited I am and how grateful I am that I’m going in the first place as my flights were paid for me. So 2012 is coming to an amazing end in a most beautiful place:)

Fraussie Grouet

And I am lucky enough for it to be my neighbourhood! There is nearly always a symphony orchestra on Place Colette on a Saturday afternoon as well that you can catch while having a coffee at the Nemours.


I’ve just come back from Paris and it’s sooo beautiful before Christmas. Miss it already.
Thanks for your posts and beautiful photos :)


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