Tag Archives: garden

Spring invasion at Merci

Merci Paris entrance

You might have noticed on Instagram that spring has sprung in Paris. The city is abuzz with blossoms and we are blessed to enjoy warmer temperatures and rays of sunshine. Cult charity store Merci decided to fully embrace this new season with its new monthly theme. Landscapists Les Mauvaises Graines (literally translating to “The Bad Seeds”) have taken over the place with beautiful arrangements that make you wish you had a green thumb and a terrace full of lush plants.

Vous avez sans doute remarqué sur Instagram que le printemps a débarqué à Paris. Quel plaisir de voir tous ces arbres en fleur et de profiter des rayons du soleil ! Le magasin Merci a décidé de célébrer cette nouvelle saison avec un thème sur le jardin. Les paysagistes Les Mauvaises Graines y sont installés pour tout le mois d’avril et ont complètement redécoré l’entrée.

Merci Paris entrance car

The courtyard has been completely transformed. The pavements are covered with grass. The usual red Mini is replaced by a yellow truck surrounded with colorful flowers. Goats, roosters and chickens will delight the children, young and old.

La cour intérieure est méconnaissable. Les pavés sont recouverts d’herbe. La Mini rouge est remplacée par un camion jaune. Les animaux raviront les enfants, petits et grands.

Merci entrance flowers

Merci entrance animals

A giant tree house welcomes you once inside. Do climb the few steps to check out the seeds on sale and let your inner rock star inspire your choice.

Une cabane géante vous accueille à l’entrée. Grimpez les quelques marches pour découvrir les graines en vente et inspirez-vous de vos goûts musicaux pour faire votre choix.

Merci tree house

Merci seeds

Merci rock stars

If you do not have the patience to wait for seeds to grow, mini-vegetable gardens and other plants and trees are available. The pots themselves are a fun change from the earthenware that you usually find in garden centers.

Si vous n’avez pas la patience d’attendre que vos graines poussent, des mini-potagers et autres plantes et arbres sont à votre disposition. On aurait envie de les prendre chez soi rien que pour les pots, une bonne alternative aux habituels modèles en terre cuite des jardineries.

Merci potager

Merci pots

Merci Mauvaises grainesMerci green

Merci trees

Merci upstairs

Merci tree house from upstairs

To learn more about Les Mauvaises Graines, you can read the designer’s interview on the Merci website here.

Pour en savoir plus sur Les Mauvaises Graines, n’hésitez pas à lire l’entretien avec le fondateur sur le site de Merci ici.


Filed under Shop

The Palace of Versailles: visiting a royal past

Versailles has been quite in fashion this month. First, after setting its new J’adore campaign in the Galeries des Glaces, Dior released its “Secret Garden – Versailles” video.

Then Chanel showed its latest cruise collection in the gardens last week. This reminds me of my short trip to Versailles to see a fashion exhibition last summer. Papa Ritournelle had dragged me there as a child and I was too young to appreciate his encyclopedic knowledge in history. But reading Stefan Zweig’s excellent biography of the legendary queen after seeing Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette made me realize what a fascinating place the Palace is.

Let’s now push the gates to start our visit.

It is on this balcony that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette appeared in front of an angry mob during the French Revolution in October 1789. People were aiming at the queen with their rifles but were soon impressed by her bravery.

King Louis XIV, who reigned on France from 1654 to 1715, is responsible for the magnificence of Versailles. During a traumatic childhood episode, the king’s authority was threatened and he had to flee Paris with his family. As an adult, the Sun King decided to have the Palace of Versailles lavishly modernized and adorned with the most beautiful gardens. The noble elite were compelled to inhabit the Palace, consolidating a system of absolute monarchical rule in France. They lived far away from the realities of the country leading up to the French Revolution.

The chapel is one of the key features of the Palace. Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI at this altar at the tender age of 15.

Then, you are certainly already acquainted with the lavish Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) and its tall mirrors and heavy chandeliers. The gallery faces the peaceful Grand Canal. A perfect setting for balls and other festivities.

You then enter the King’s Private Apartments. The king’s awakening and going to bed were ceremonies to which being invited was a great privilege.

Likewise, the queen had her own apartments reserved for her personal use. Near the bed you can see an open door, a secret passage through which Marie Antoinette escaped in October 1789 when an angry mob marched on Versailles.

Imagine Marie Antoinette waking up to this view.

I ended my visit at Angelina which has a tea parlor in the Palace. It was my first time tasting their legendary hot chocolate, and let me tell you, it was divine! A sweet pleasure Marie Antoinette would probably have loved herself.

Have you ever visited Versailles? What are your impressions on the Palace?


Filed under Paris