Thursday, December 13, 2012

Walking in the Footsteps of Josephine Baker

Those of you who are familiar with Entrée to Black Paris tours know that we have a tour dedicated to Josephine Baker called "The Black Pearl Walk."  It covers two different areas of Paris and includes the sites where Josephine began and ended her career.

Today, I am thrilled to inform you that Entrée to Black Paris has created a new Josephine Baker walk called "Josephine's Suburban Paradise." It unfolds in the Paris suburb of Le Vésinet, where Josephine lived during the height of her long and illustrious career.

With a population of about 17,000, Le Vésinet lies a mere 20 minutes to the west of Paris on the RER A line. Charming, quiet, and dotted with lakes and parks, the architecture of its private homes is magnificent. One of its prizes is Le Beau Chêne, the mansion that Josephine owned for eighteen years.

Le Beau Chêne
© Discover Paris!

Though there are not many stops on this walk, we think that you will thoroughly enjoy the leisurely stroll through this idyllic town. We begin with a private lunch at Villa La Riante, a 19th century mansion that has been transformed into a beautiful bed and breakfast by Americans Jim and Kristie Worrel.

Kristie Worrel at Villa La Riante
© Discover Paris!

Kristie is the chef and she lays a magnificent table!

Table set for lunch at Villa La Riante
© Discover Paris!

Over dessert, our guide will present an overview of Josephine's life to whet your appetite for what you will see on the walk. After lunch, you'll be ready to stretch your legs and walk off a bit of Kristie's scrumptious cuisine.

The highlight of the walk is the visit to Le Beau Chêne. The property is private, so we are limited to a view of the mansion from the gate and a stroll around the perimeter of the 3.7-acre grounds. We provide detailed descriptions of the interior as well as anecdotes about events that took place at the mansion. You'll be transported inside by virtue of your imagination!

Front gate at Le Beau Chêne
© Discover Paris!

Other points on the tour include a plaque featuring a photo of Josephine at the opening of the Tour de France in 1933. At the town hall, you will learn about Josephine's efforts to re-establish residency in Le Vésinet when she was facing eviction from Les Milandes, her chateau in the Dordogne.

This combination private luncheon and walk is designed for groups of 10-15 persons and is available only on special request. For more information, contact us at info[at]discoverparis[dot]net.


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