Tag Archives: France

France tops international ranking as best place to live

France is the best place in the world to live, according to a survey released January 5, topping the list for the fifth year in a row.

International Living magazine’s 30th Quality of Life Index surveyed almost 200 countries across nine categories, including cost of living, environment, safety and risk and culture and leisure.

France topped the list for the fifth consecutive year, beating Australia and Switzerland; which took second and third place respectively.
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French designer Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix to end clothes designing

French designer Christian Lacroix

Luxury brand Christian Lacroix is to cut most of its staff and close its main clothing design business after a court approved a restructuring plan.

The French fashion house will shed 100 staff, leaving just 11 employees to manage its accessories and perfumes.

The fashion label has never made a profit and earlier this year was forced to seek bankruptcy protection after incurring €10m ($15m) in losses.

Christian Lacroix

However, prospective buyers for Lacroix can still negotiate directly with its owners – Florida’s Falic Group.

Gulf investor Hassan bin Ali al-Nuaimi and France’s Bernard Krief Consulting both indicated interest in buying the firm, but missed a deadline to provide financial guarantees.

Last night the French minister for industry, Christian Estrosi, said he “had not lost hope” for the house.

Mr Estrosi said French diplomats in the UAE would “alert the sheikh to the urgency of the situation” with the label.

Source: BBC – Photos: Getty Images

Haute Chocolate

This week, more than 400 exhibitors are in Paris, France for the 2009 Paris Chocolate Festival. The theme this year is opera.

The event kicked off last night with a chocolate fashion show where dresses are created by a combination of top fashion designers and chocolatiers.

Walking the runway wearing the chocolate fashions were models, actresses, television personalities and opera singers.
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Kenzo’s Field of Poppies

Kenzo – whose symbol is the poppy – keeps innovating following its concept of bringing nature into the urban space.

A field of 200,000 poppies will spring up in the middle of the Place du Capitole in Toulouse, France, on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 September.

The LVMH-owned brand has held similarly floral festivities in Paris, Madrid, London and Moscow to promote its Flower by Kenzo women’s fragrance.
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The Most Expensive Potato in The World

Coming in behind saffron, macadamia nuts, beluga caviar, and white truffles, the fifth most expensive food in the world isn’t some exotic fish or endangered tropical fruit: it’s a rare variety of potato.

Grown in France, the La Bonnotte potato sometimes achieves a market price of an astounding €500/kilo (US $300/lb).

It is cultivated exclusively on the Isle of Noirmoutier, where seaweed is added to the soil in which it’s grown.
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The Deauville Villa Vuitton Store Opening

Louis Vuitton’s mock Tudor store in Deauville, France has gotten a facial lift.

Renamed the Villa Vuitton, the 960-square-foot boutique is typical of Normandy architecture and carries accessories and leather goods over two floors.

To celebrate the opening Louis Vuitton launched a limited edition Neverfull bag with “Deauville” written in purple on the front with matching interior stripes.
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Radisson Blu Metropolitan Hotel, Paris Eiffel

Located just a short walk from the Trocadero and opposite the Eiffel Tower, the Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel is Paris’s newest luxury boutique hotel.

Conceived by the famous designer Francois Champsaur, the 48-key boutique hotel features ten suites, five with unrestricted Eiffel Tower views.

The signature Eiffel Suite is a 430-square-foot one-bedroom suite located on the sixth floor.
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France’s First W Hotel Will Open in 2011

W Hotels has announced plans to open their very first Paris property by 2011. It will be close to Place Vendome, in the Opera area of the city.

W Paris-Opera will feature 90 stylish guest rooms, a world-class contemporary restaurant and destination bar, a state-of-the-art fitness facility with spa treatment rooms, and W Hotels’ signature lounge experience where guests are invited to mix, mingle and relax in a chic social atmosphere.

The hotel will be inside a “quintessentially Parisian” 1870s Haussmann-era building, close to the Galleries Lafayette.

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“Le Monde de Vendome” – The refined glitter of the Place Vendome

Place Vendôme is a jewelry case for all the jewels of the world.

What is more symbolic to a tourist in search of French expertise than this Parisian square, where high-end jewelry brands intermingle?

For travelers, we present Le monde de Vendôme (The World of Vendôme), a documentary film with the “actors” of Place Vendôme, that will be broadcasted on all AirFrance long-haul flights beginning the 1st of April 2009.

Here is, exclusively for LUXUO readers, the preview to this superb film:

[vimeo 3294946 468 350]
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L’Officiel’s Diamond Give-Away

The French fashion publication, l’Officiel, has embedded three diamonds each worth 26,000 Euros ($34,000 USD) in three of the magazine’s December issue.

The three magazines have been placed in news stands somewhere in France. This may be actually a first in the history of print media !

Résidence Supérieur redefines luxury

This news is meant only for the most affluent of the society. International lifestyle designer Richard Nilsson, the founder of the extreme luxury and lifestyle company Résidence Supérieur, takes the next step in redefining luxury.

On December 8th the Black Card were introduced in an effort to redefine luxury and set a new standard for the luxury lifestyle. The Black Card will be limited to only 50 members worldwide, with an annual membership fee of 200.000 euros.

The holders of the Black Card will get access to the entire Résidence Supérieur concept, with the highest standard, quality and service when it comes to properties, cars, private jets, yachts, events, entertainment and the Supérieur Connoisseur Lifestyle.
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Diamond thieves pull off $100 million Paris heist

Police are hunting for thieves behind the biggest jewellery heist ever in France when they made off with diamonds and other valuables worth up to €80 million (102 million dollars) from a luxury boutique in Paris.

The three armed robbers burst into the Harry Winston jewellers on the exclusive Avenue Montaigne in the centre of the French capital yesterday. They made off with almost all the valuables in the shop.

The value of the diamonds and other precious stones and metals taken was first placed at €50 million by French police, before being revised to €80 million.
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The Triangle Will Pierce Paris Skyline

A few months ago, we mentioned potential plans to change the Paris skyline. Now the first project, is moving into more serious planning stages.

Indeed, Paris council has unveiled plans for a 50-storey glass pyramid following an official decision in July to break the ban on buildings higher than 37m.

Proposals for the Projet Triangle, designed by Swiss architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron (who designed the Olympic stadium in Beijing), include offices, a conference centre and a 400-bed hotel as well as restaurants, cafes and gardens.
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Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle Gift Set

Here’s a rather elegant and understated alternative to some of the more ostentatious champagne accessories and gift sets we’ve reported on in the past.

The Grand Siècle Coffret is designed to showcase Laurent-Perrier’s delectable multi-vintage prestige cuvee, Grand Siècle. The cleverly-constructed black case contains a magnum of the good stuff and six hand-blown Baccarat crystal champagne flutes in separate compartments.

This isn’t something for lovers of bling, as there are no diamonds or precious shiny metals But, those who know pure class will enjoy everything about the case, magnum, spirit and flute. The Coffret costs $3,100

Laurent-Perrier, founded in 1812 and located in Tours-sur-Marne, France, is the world’s largest family-owned champagne house.

Grand Siècle is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, with the latter being slightly dominant. The grapes are supplied by twelve of the most prestigious crus or villages, all of them Grands Crus classified at 100%, such as Ambonnay, Verzenay, Mailly, Avize, Cramant, Chouilly and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger.

Within the vineyards of these crus, only the very best plots are selected, as are the finest musts from the pressings. The blended wine is then aged for about 5 years.

Via Luxist

Summers Macarons at Pierre Herme

Recently, I discovered an incredible pastry-shop in Paris, Pierre Hermé, where you can try some interesting flavored macarons, such as caramel with fleur de sel , passion fruit with chocolate or even rose petal cream.

(Macarons are French, meringue-like cookies made with almond flour – sometimes called luxembourgers – while Macaroons are cookies made with coconut)

Pierre Herm̩ is an artist Рan artist of pastry making Рand he is known for his innovative recipes. He began his apprenticeship at Gaston Len̫tre at the age of 14, where he discovered his passion for pastry making.
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French Luxury Concept Phone

French people are well known for their Luxury taste, and this brand new concept phone is another proof of just that !

MobiFrance has recently partnered up with Sony Ericsson to develop a concept cell called the French Luxury.

The FL is designed to commemorate France’s Independence Day (July 14) by bearing a strong resemblance to the Eiffel Tower, the most recognizable French landmark.
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Plans For Paris Skyline

One of the world’s most beautiful city skylines could be changed dramatically after a ban on high-rise buildings in Paris was scrapped last week.

The Paris city council voted Tuesday to consider erecting tall buildings on the rim of this historically low-rise capital. Plans to build towers of up to 220m at six sites in the French capital will now go to public consultation. They will contain shops, offices and childcare centres.

Socialist mayor Bertrand Delanoe also wants new blocks of flats to counter a housing shortage.

The ban on buildings exceeding 40m was introduced in 1977. Many believed that the 350m Eiffel Tower should be the only building dominating the skyline.
Building height limits have changed little in Paris since Baron Haussmann redesigned the city during the mid-19th century, with caps now at 121 feet.

Only a handful of exceptions have been made for high-rise projects in recent decades
The new decision means that six new sites, under consideration for completion between 2012 and 2014, could host buildings reaching as high as 656 feet, or a little under two-thirds the height of the Eiffel Tower.

The city is currently home to only a scattering of towers, notably including the Montparnasse Tower, which, at 690 feet, stirred controversy when it was built in 1972 and is still considered an eyesore by many Parisians today.
Mr Delanoe insisted the new rules would not blight Paris, saying the administration would not repeat the mistakes of the past.

La Leopolda becomes world’s most expensive house at $500 million

The saga of world’s most expensive house started over at luxuo with Updown Court, the most expensive mansion in the world and the100 Million Dollars Trump’s Palm Beach Mansion.

As a matter of fact, one of our reader, who left a comment, was right : some villas on the French Riviera might be even more expensive !

Various sources said Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich and his girlfriend Daria Zhukova have just bought a home in France for $500 million. The home in question, La Leopolda, is an elaborate villa located on the French Riviera… which has become the world’s most expensive house !
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British Airways buys France’s l’Avion

British Airways is going to buy the French all-business airline l’Avion for 54 million pounds ($107 million) as it steps up efforts to take advantage of the recent liberalization of transatlantic travel.

The privately owned airline flies two Boeing 757 aircraft with 90 seats each between Paris and New York. L’Avion has flown 65,000 passengers since its January 2007 launch.

The deal, which includes £26m of net cash on L’Avion’s balance sheet, will allow OpenSkies to raise its Paris Orly-New York flights to three per day. Both carriers use reconfigured Boeing 757 aircraft.
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