Friday, 9 October 2009

Miniatures, Traveling Together and Paris at Night

Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of meeting up in the centre of Paris with a tour group from America.

This particular "Traveling Together" tour was dedicated to miniatures. With an intense itinerary which, in the space of three days had already taken in Birmingham Miniatura, London, and a trip through the "chunnel", we were delighted to be able to spend an evening with some seriously addicted miniaturists before they continued their tour down through Burgundy and on to Lyon.

We arrived more or less on time in the lobby of the Novotel Hotel situated at Les Halles in the centre of Paris and were greeted by the smiling face of tour organiser Barbara Spohn. After a very welcome drink in the Hotel bar, we were invited to set up in Anita Mills' room. You can find out more about Anita here.

Emmaflam & Miniman's improvised miniature standAs you can see, the presentation was basic, but with a group of collectors chomping at the bit, installation time was very short! With a knock on the door came, in came the tour party with wide eyes and large, friendly smiles, grateful to have all the time and space they needed to move around and choose. If only all miniature shows could be like this!

Les Halles, Paris, seen from the Novotel HotelIt's not very often that we find ourselves in 4 star hotels, so we took full advantage of it to enjoy the views of Paris that the room offered us. Above is one of the entrances to Le Forum des Halles, and below is Sacré Coeur, both visible from the same window of Anita's room. Nice!

Sacré Coeur seen from the Novotel Hotel, Les Halles, ParisOnce the group had made their purchases, we took up their kind invitation to dine with them in the hotel restaurant. We enjoyed a lovely three course meal, were looked after by some incredibly helpful staff, while accompanied by some live piano playing. Towards the end of the meal, the intense tour schedule combined with jet-lag was understandably starting to take its toll on some of the party, who returned to their rooms for some much-needed sleep. They had been on their feet since 6 am, and had earned it!

So it was about half the group who decided to go on the short walk towards the Seine and the Pont Neuf bridge. They were delighted when we said we'd join them.

Paris in the daytime is gorgeous, but at night it takes on a whole new look...

Illuminated Parisian apartment windows at nightYou'd probably never notice these apartments during the day, but at night, you can't miss them!

Samaritaine Department Store at Pont Neuf, ParisThe Samaritaine department store with its art deco architecture looks out over La Seine.

The Pont Neuf Metro Station Illuminated at Night
The Pont Neuf metro station entrance.

Rue Pont Neuf, Paris at night
The rue Pont Neuf with its cobbled surface. That's some of the tour group leaning on the wall.

The Pont Neuf bridge at nightAnd the Pont Neuf bridge which spans the Seine river. Off in the distance is...look at the next picture...can you see it?

A streetlight on the Pont Neuf at Paris
Look, it's there behind the Bateaux Mouches tour boats too!

The Seine river at night with a Bateau Mouche and the Eiffel Tower flashing in the backgroundYes, visible from here, at over two mile's distance, is the Eiffel tower!

The Eiffel Tower at night seen from the Pont Neuf bridgeAnd to cap it all, at the moment we arrived, it started its hourly flash! We filmed it...

We thoroughly enjoyed our few hours with the group and it was all over far too quickly. At the time of writing they're still in France, enjoying the sights of Old Lyon. Hopefully we'll have the opportunity to meet up with them another time and find out if one particularly sprightly 83 year-old has added to her collection of 250 dollhouses! Go Dolly!


  1. Wow...that just sounds like way too much fun...and having your own miniature showing... I'm sure the presentation wasn't foremost on their minds...I think we need to know more about the 83 yr old lady with "250" doll houses....did I read that right? You must show her how to blog!
    The photos of Paris are wonderful, but they only unsettle me...I really need to live there for a while...and soon!!

    Regards, Linda

  2. How lovely! I was in Paris a couple of years ago and hope to return next spring.

    I didn't find too many mini shops there, mostly just mass produced stuff, no hand made. :(

    I'd like to know more about the 250 houses as well, sounds like the beginnings of a museum!

  3. The whole experience sounded wonderful! Thank you for sharing :D