|Credit to Musèe Jacquemart-Andrè|
The Musèe Jacquemart-Andrè was once a private home of Èdouard Andrè (1833-1894) and wife Nèlie Jacquemart to display the art they collected during their lives. For us, it was the chosen evening location for the Awards Dinner in Paris. Èdouard spent most of his fortune buying works of art and then exhibited them in his new mansion built in 1869. He married a well-known society painter, Nèlie. Every year the couple traveled to Italy collecting large amounts of art for their collection, now one of the finest collections of Italian art in France. The mansion, with it's spectacular art collection, was bequeathed to the Institut de France as a museum and opened to the public.
|Credit to Musèe Jacquemart-Àndre|
Actually, once we entered the gates leading up to the curved stone pathway that led to the grand entrance, I was entranced by the tiny sparkling tea lights that lit up the pathway on both sides. Up lights strategically placed along the pediments, sculptures, and fountains highlighted their beauty. Lush gardens, dotted with cocktail tables where free flowing champagne and d'oeuvres were being served by waiters in black suit coats. There was even a violinist to serenade the party guests as we waited to tour the mansion's rooms and then be led to the banquet hall for dinner.
Our tour was short, but included all of the rooms. Breathtaking art including Botticelli, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Gainsbourough, Bernini, and Canaletto, just to name a few, were distributed throughout the many rooms of the museum. It is simply spell-binding to be reminded that this extraordinary collection was once a private collection in a home. Today, they would be astounded by the wealth they amassed by purchasing so many masterpieces.
By this point, our group was feeling rather overwhelmed both with the extravagance of the art and the beauty of the mansion. Our tour leader then guided us into the banquet hall to begin the Awards dinner.
Here is another couple seated at our table trying to decipher the menu (not an easy task!.) Below is what was served for the first course. A Crab and Navet Daikon on Gazpacho--don't ask me,,,,, but it was delicious!
Next came the main course, Filet of Duck with Chantrelle Mushrooms and Vegetables.
More wine....2006 Chabis 1er Cru, Domaine JP Crossot,,, Burgogne, France and 2004 Medoc, Chateau La Fleur de By, Bordeaux, France, both impeccable.
Before dessert, which was a Dessert and Cheese Buffet, we were entertained by a cabaret singer accompanied by a pianist and an accordion player. Think Edith Piaf and you can imagine her voice and style of music.
And here are a few of the lovely desserts at the buffet. How to choose?
As the evening drew to a close, there was only one thing left on the program--the Awards! Here is a photo of hubby receiving the "2010 Patent and Innovation Award" for his recent research and development of a stronger, thinner, more flexible, anti-reflective solar glass that will be much more affordable to produce. (Now that was a mouthful.)
Congratulations, sweetheart! You are most deserving! And thank you for your brilliance that enabled us to attend this unbelievable weekend in Paris. I will be looking forward to see what 2011 brings (no pressure, sweetie.)