Last week I was in Paris for work... first off, let me pause and pinch myself because I can't believe I got to go to Paris for work! I was attending a tradeshow in Paris to find new brands and lines to bring in for the shop, so naturally I also spent a great deal visiting shops in Paris and making a trip out to Versailles to gather inspiration from France's most famous queen, Marie Antoinette.
I had always wanted to visit Versailles and when we went to France for our honeymoon a couple of years ago, we didn't have time to visit Versailles, so this time I made a point to make time for it...and well, I STILL haven't been to Versailles because my friends, it is a MASSIVE place and we were heading out to Versailles on our very last day in France.
We had been averaging about 8-9 hours of walking a day in Paris. Do you know HOW MUCH walking that is and how painful it can be when you're a gal like me that refuses to wear sneakers whilst in Paris...or anywhere really unless I'm exercising? So, as you can imagine, I was not very keen on walking the massive grounds of Versailles...
Travel Tip: Versailles, the main palace and grounds, is VERY crowded and attracts so very many tourists. Opt to go to the smaller palaces, Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon and there are moments you can even have a room all to yourself.
We arrived at Versailles around 11 AM and had previously purchased our tickets online. There wasn't a big crowd at Grand Trianon so we were able to waltz in rather quickly after a brief Security check. Grand Trianon is very luxurious and features a lot of pink marble. Also, the rooms all featured different colored drapes in luminous silks and the furniture varied in color too. Some of it was a bit too garish for my taste (I have a strong dislike for fuschia, any green that resembles lime, and any yellow that looks like orange-ish brass... three rooms featured some hues and it made my skin crawl a little...)
This one room had beautiful off white curtains... oh these curtains were luscious. I wanted so very badly to reach out and touch it, wrap myself in it... but the docent of the palace (is that what they're called?) was eyeing me and so I have one photo of me near the curtains that my husband snapped but my face clearly looks like "I'm PISSED I can't be enveloped in these curtains!"
We didn't spend too long at Grand Trianon, because like I said, bit too gaudy for me. I did quite enjoy the gardens and took notes of which flowers were planted there..(lots of cosmos!) to inspire a future garden bed for our home.
Afterwards we walked to Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's little palace that was gifted to her. Must be nice. Here was where Marie Antoinette could escape from the pressures of court life (I know...so tough!) and apparently no one else could go here unless you were invited by her majesty.
Petit Trianon I much preferred over Grand Trianon since the style was much more simplistic, less gold details. The detail photos above are from Petit Trianon and I was so inspired by many of the colors here. Marie Antoinette's bedroom had a wonderful view of the fountain outside and I really loved the floral print on her bed. I kept thinking that would be a lovely print for a vintage inspired dress...
Travel Tip: You can walk from the train station to Versailles if you really want to. It is about a 25-30 minute walk or otherwise you can take an Uber (about 7-8 euros), however, cars are not allowed through a certain point without having to pay 3 euros... so an Uber will only take you to the main front gate and you have to walk the remainder 15 minutes to get to Grand Trianon itself or pay the additional 3 euros. The walk is lovely and lined with trees, so if the weather is nice and you're up for a long stroll... by all means, walk the walk!
Did you know at Petit Trianon, the Queen had her own theater? And also this charming little place called "The Cooling Room" which was where her and her friends would dine on hot summer days. It featured beautiful green latticework on the outside. I wish I had taken more photos here, but my camera battery was dying...so there are some photos on my i-phone... by the way, the pot above with the little daisy looking flowers I was SO OBSESSED with. I have about 6 photos of it on my camera front different angles. I really want one of these for the up and coming Adored Vintage brick & mortar shop!
A short walk away from Petit Trianon (the photo above is the back of it) is Le Hameau de la Reine... The Queen's Hamlet. Ahhh, this is what I was WAITING to go see. I'm not really drawn to the palatial life... I wanted to see the country inspired goodness!
Oh...and may I be honest with you? Of course, of course! We are friends, oui?
Oh my dears, I was so disappointed with The Queen's Hamlet! Is it charming? Yes... but it felt so much like Disneyland that I felt so let down! I think I had built it up so much in my head... and well, in all fairness, the last time I was in France for our honeymoon, we had visited REAL, AUTHENTIC beautiful old villages from the 13th-16th century in the Midi-Pyrénées so naturally this fabricated village built for Marie Antoinette just felt...well fake. Because it was FAKE even during her time. It felt like a movie set almost...or a giant village playground for a naive young Queen of France to play "Peasant Life" in...
Ahh...le sigh. I still do recommend going, but I suggest visiting ACTUAL old villages in France if you can instead!