Les Journées du Patrimoine: the British Embassy and Musée de la Vie Romantique during Paris Heritage Weekend


In the garden of the British Embassy, Paris

 

Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, European Heritage Days, are taking place all around Europe this weekend.

Many historic buildings and sites normally closed to the public are open to visitors. In France, many museums are free. Paris offers a wealth of wonderful possibilities in every arrondissement, or district.

The British Embassy

My Englishman on line by a British Embassy sign

Since Clive and I have not yet received an invitation to dine with the Queen at her Paris residence, we thought we would take advantage of today’s opportunity to visit.

The Embassy located is at 39 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (almost directly behind the U.S. Embassy). The line was long but kept moving, and from what we could hear, we were among a tiny number of English-speaking visitors. The majority were French.

line for British Embassy Heritage Days

Once past security, we walked through a typically grand courtyard to the main entrance.

On the steps of the British Embassy

Inside, we were greeted by friendly staff, picked up a welcome brochure and watched the ambassador’s video-welcome message.

Clive between the Queen and the ambassador

We thought the rooms were elegant but not over-the-top ostentatious. In the Salon Bleu, the blue room, we managed to take another mirror-selfie.

Salon Bleu

Several rooms had beautiful views to the garden.

Salon Bleu room view

Clive said the Throne room with all its crimson splendour reminded him of Christmas and taking the kids to see Santa Claus. All that was missing, he said, was a sign saying, ‘Gone to feed the reindeer.’

The throne room

This may be as close to a State Dinner as we are likely to experience. Like the other rooms, the dining room was elegant but not pretentious, just sparkling with silver and flowers and chandeliers. It must be stunning when the candles are glowing.

Dining room at the British Embassy, Paris

We walked to the end of the garden, where Clive picked up a few conkers from among hundreds that had fallen from a chestnut tree. There we found an almost-hidden bench and relaxed there, before heading back to Place de la Concorde.

Garden of the British Embassy, Paris

Redouté’s Flowers at la Musée de la Vie Romantique

In the afternoon, we viewed the exhibit Les Pouvoir des Fleurs (The Power of Flowers), Pierre-Joseph Redoute, at the Musée de la Vie Romantique.

The museum entry is indicated by a modest banner on rue Chaptal.

Banner for la Musée de la Vie Romantique

One then proceeds up a cobblestoned path to the museum, once the studio of Ary Scheffer and gathering place of Frederic Chopin and George Sand, among others.

Pathway to the Musée de la Vie Romantique

Redouté, a Belgian artist, was known as the Raphaël des fleurs. He possessed not only great scientific knowledge but also great artistry, and worked with many leading botanists, including Joseph Banks.

Watercolours by Pierrre-Joseph Redouté

Watercolours by Pierrre-Joseph Redouté

The exhibit recounts Redouté’s legacy that inspired not only other painters but also creators of wallpapers, textiles and porcelain. My favourites were his delicate watercolours and the works he painted himself.

The artist and one of his works, Pierre-Joseph Redouté

0 5 Redoute fleurs

Flowers by Redouté

Clive and I have been to this wonderful small museum a number of times. Today, as part of the Journées du Patrimoine, admission was free. The rooms and garden café were more crowded than we’ve ever seen them, but I was so happy finally to make it to this exhibit. It runs until the end of October.

A popular spot today, the garden café of the Musée de la Vie Romantique

Le Pouvoir des Fleurs, the Power of Flowers

Merci, Paris, for a weekend of opening so many doors.

Cheers from the City of Light and thanks for reading.

 

3 Responses

  1. Beautiful, interesting and informative blogs on your latest Parisian visite. Can well see and imagine you had a very well deserved and delightful birthday. Don’t let Trump see the British Embassy as he will want to buy it for a summer residence or another Trump Hotel. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy and safe travels. Chris

    On Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 4:44 PM My Sydney Paris Life wrote:

    > Carolyn posted: ” Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, European > Heritage Days, are taking place all around Europe this weekend. Many > historic buildings and sites normally closed to the public are open to > visitors. In France, many museums are free. Paris offers a ” >

    • Merci Chris! We missed you at the British Embassy. Appreciate your good wishes and we’re looking forward to seeing you and Sandy soon xx

  2. Really lovely pictures; I enjoyed looking at them. I have always wanted to go to New Zealand and see the Banks Peninsula–Akaroa area, but I don’t know if I could stand another flight across the Pacific!

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