Vivez Bien * Live Well

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Perfect in Paris

After my post on a virtual getaway to Barcelona, my friend and fellow Francophile, Trish, has been nagging me to do a similar virtual trip to Paris. Not that I really needed persuading. Any trip to my favourite city in the world, virtual or otherwise, is an opportunity not to be missed. I decided to look for romantic 1 bedroom apartments, so if you are in the market for a second honeymoon, are celebrating an anniversary, a milestone birthday or just need some time out with your partner sans enfants, here are some places you might love.

This apartment is in the 7th arrondissement on the Left Bank. Just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, the Champ de Mer gardens, the position is perfect. 

Beautifully furnished in my favourite French style, you could imagine for a few days that you were a sophisticated Parisian couple instead of harassed suburban parents (or is that just us?)

La perfection....

And you can dine a deux with this as your view. 

Go here to see more info on this apartment.

The next apartment I found is also situated on the Left Bank and has views of the Eiffel tower from nearly every window. If you are a foodie couple, Rue Cler, one of the most famous streets for food,  is just 3 blocks away. Pont del'Alma is 5 minutes away and has the largest open market in Paris every Saturday morning, so make sure you are here over a weekend. 

The living area is attractively furnished in shades of grey with touches of red. 

I would ditch the Paris cushion. When you can see the Eiffel Tower from your window you don't need a cushion to remind you of your location!

Pretty dining area and compact kitchen

The romantically furnished bedroom. I just love all the pretty balconies!

More info on this apartment can be found here

The third apartment is in the same area as the other two and just 1 minute away from the Eiffel Tower.

This one feels just a bit more spacious than the others, I think because of the kitchen being more open plan.

The bedroom is beautiful with its own fireplace....

and it leads onto a spacious bathroom...

...that has a view of the Tour Eiffel from the bath! Mon Dieu!

Très romantique....

And finally, the most expensive of the four, this one has an extra bedroom so you can invite your best friends along on your romantic escape if you would like to. 

The attractively decorated living area and, below, the kitchen/dining room with fireplace, gilt mirror and gorgeous chandelier is so appealing!

 I would be so at home here, it might be a battle to get me to leave!

There is a passage leading from the living area to the bedrooms.

The bedrooms are gorgeous with white bed linen and touches of brown...

...and finally, the pretty bathroom.

For more information on this beautiful place go here.

So there you go, Trish, and whoever else is interested, I have found the most romantic places for you to stay in Paris. Perfectly located with all the main attractions of Paris on your doorstep, self-catering, so you have an excuse to visit those inviting food markets, and then coming home to a beautifully decorated Parisian pied-à-terre. What more could you ask for?

Till next time

Sharon x

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Maison du Cap

I recently took you on a little trip to Barcelona and then on to California (you're welcome) and now when you see this picture, you could be forgiven for thinking that I was now taking you on a visit to the French countryside. 

We are actually not even in Europe, but on my home turf, in Cape Town, South Africa. 

The lucky owners of this beautiful home, Marlbrook, in Constantia are Graeme and Shelley Wilson. The Wilsons were relocating from Johannesburg to Cape Town some years back and after viewing about 50 houses, none of which appealed, saw this house online, fell in love with it, and bravely put in an offer without even seeing it in person. Clearly their instincts were spot on! 

The house was originally designed and custom built in 1996 and the Wilsons took ownership in 2010. They have made a quite a few changes over the years, including significant changes to the garden which was overrun with ivy and old oak trees which cast most of the garden in shade. They removed the ivy and trimmed the tree canopy, They re-landscaped the garden, creating specific feature areas and pathways including a play area for their young children. They also invested a lot of time and effort on the grass and are now reaping the rewards of a lush rolling lawn.   

With not another house in sight and those expansive views, it must feel like living in the countryside.

Moving inside, the spacious entrance hall leads through to the dining room which has French doors leading out onto the garden. 

The dining room is simply and casually furnished, perfect for a young family, and the flow out onto the garden makes it a magical setting for entertaining.

The living room leads off the dining room to the right, and is beautifully furnished in shades of stone, pale blue and grey, off set by a rich red Persian carpet. The decor was conceived by Shelley Wilson with assistance from Linda Savage Interiors.

Here is another view of the living room which also has beautiful big French doors leading outside.

The kitchen was gutted when the Wilson's first moved in. They transformed it from "farm style" to something a bit more contemporary, but still in keeping with the style of the house. They moved the appliances and sink to the renovated scullery so that the kitchen could be more of a living area where they could spend time with friends and family, cooking and relaxing. 

The kitchen/ family area leads out onto this lovely patio which overlooks the pool.


The main bedroom is upstairs and also overlooks the pool and garden. Last year, the Wilson's made major changes to this area, knocking down walls and creating this huge, beautiful, open plan bedroom, bathroom and lounge area which has become their sanctuary and where the children also love to spend time.

 The Wilson's share their home with their 3 children, a 10 year old daughter, 7 years old twins, a boy and a girl as well as 3 Labradors, who are all lucky enough to have the run of the expansive home and garden. 

 The children's rooms are all sweetly decorated for their respective occupants.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to this gorgeous home in my neighbourhood. 

If you are interested, this home is available for film and stills shoots via

Till next time

Sharon x

All images courtesy of  Shoot My House