Paris Checklist, Count To Five
3 February 2015 | VA Notes Paris

Paris Checklist, Count To Five

When I am in Paris, I count to five.

Five things that I always do, five ways to spend a day, a week or a month in Paris. Whether there is 24 hours on the clock or a lifetime, these simple pleasures are to me what Paris is all about.


Yesterday, I had one of those “missing Paris moments” and as I let my Francophilia take flight the same five words kept racing through my mind.

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Haute Couture And Paris, Made For Each Other #2
30 January 2015 | VA Notes Paris

Haute Couture And Paris, Made For Each Other #2

This season I think we all agree that Paris and haute couture are seriously a match made in heaven.


We talked of the inspiration, the ideas and the creativity that we can draw from haute couture.

The runway is not only a literal vision but also an environment to orchestrate moods and evoke an emotional response.

Couture is not so much about shopping but more a theatrical interpretation of fashion and its future.


Chanel, Dior and Elie Saab were not the only shows spreading their magic in Paris this week. Giambattista Valli took my breath away and Valentino certainly elicited a few sighs.

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Taking The Time
10 January 2015 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Taking The Time

Holidays mean time to me, taking the time.

Time to catch up with or on anything that takes our attention.

Time and having time must be one of the greatest luxuries of all.

I am taking a short break over the holidays and I wanted to leave you with some of my favourite writings this year,

in case you have time.

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Hotel Le Bristol, Paris
19 December 2014 | VA Notes Lifestyle

Hotel Le Bristol, Paris

What is the best part of staying in a hotel?

Is it the luxury and comfort? Is it the room service and total pampering at the press of a button? Is it that all our cares and woes remain outside the door? Hotel life is not the real world, so much of the pleasure must lay in the escape. Who doesn’t like to escape every now and then from the rigours of everyday life?

Last week, in Paris, I had the great pleasure to be a guest at Le Bristol Paris for several nights.

Was I spoilt? A resounding, yes.

Did I adore every extravagant moment? Of course.

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Dior + Avenue Montaigne = Paris Perfect
12 December 2014 | VA Notes Paris

Dior + Avenue Montaigne = Paris Perfect

Dior in Avenue Montaigne was Paris perfect.

The pale pink hanging chandelier was a show stopper. I couldn’t take my eyes away from this street-scape. I loved the oversize scale, the simplicity yet generosity of their holiday celebration.

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The Rue Saint Honore
11 December 2014 | VA Notes Beauty

The Rue Saint Honore

How could I resist snapping these luxurious and vibrant roses at Dani Roses on the rue Saint Honore?

I promised myself that I would search out the unknown, the new and the different during this Parisian visit, but I found myself drawn to my old haunts, snapping my most loved spots and following my familiar traditions.

Walking the rue du Saint Honore in December is magical. The sparkle, the beauty and the people watching. The Parisians, rugged up against a backdrop of glamour, there is nothing quite so atmospheric.

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Paris And First Impressions
10 December 2014 | VA Notes Paris

Paris And First Impressions

Paris and first impressions.

Imagine Paris in the late afternoon, driving along the banks of the Seine through a winter landscape. Bare can be so very beautiful, so serene.

The dappled light, thrown wide over the river, whispered sweet nothings; the scene gave me such a sense of calm and familiarity.

Familiarity in a great sense, in the warmest sense.

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Wrap Up In Cashmere
25 November 2014 | VA Notes Fashion

Wrap Up In Cashmere

Wrap up in cashmere? Yes please.

As the temperatures drop I find myself thinking “cashmere”.

Cashmere sweaters are part of my winter uniform. I like to think that I might become more creative with my dressing each morning but I always end up in the same place.

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Departure Lounge
24 November 2014 | VA Notes Paris

Departure Lounge

I have always wanted to hang a wall of travel photographs.

From the cornice to the skirtings, a visual extravaganza that reminds me of where I have been and the destinations that are on my wish list.

A prompt to remember the wonders of the world and a reminder to make those dreams happen.

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