Friday, February 08, 2013

L'Heure Bleue

bourbon & pearls
*This isn't Castel Saint Claire, but the house she lived in before that, it's privately owned.

I took this blue stained  picture at Edith Wharton's old house in Hyeres last year. L'heure bleue is my favourite time of the day, it heralds cocktail hour, soothes the soul with its cool languid palette and mysteriously hints at the witching hour to come.


I love the  panoply of cocktail hour...old matchbooks and swizzle sticks.


This is one of my  favourite glass swizzle sticks, don't all rush to twirl him off his tail at once, he asks that you form  an orderly queue in wait for his benevolent shimmy.

Now that he has shaken his tail feathers, all that's left to say is bottoms up and enjoy the weekend!


90 comments:

  1. My red cardinals have fallen deeply in love with your Swizzle Stick!

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  2. I'm drinking in, absorbing that image, hours before we are to receive over 2 feet of snow! Swizzle sticks up.

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    1. Lane - oh that would bring this country to a halt.

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  3. Chateau M is one of my favourite places, everything it should be, where you can't tell the stars from the wanna bes and the Mums look like the daughters and everyones having a cocktail.

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  4. We're just about to head out for cocktails, so even though we're a bit past l'heure bleu here, there's a swizzle stick in my near future.

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  5. Heading out for a girls night .. so I'm sure cocktails and swizzle sticks will be involved:) Gorgeous images. Such a beautiful place!

    leslie

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  6. Great post... Love the things you wrote!

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  7. Gorgeous picture! I hope you have a great weekend.

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  8. Yes, l'heure bleu is one of my favourite times of the day:

    http://corcol.blogspot.com/2012/07/blue-view.html

    one of my commentators used the expression, and I wished I'd called it that too. I do now!

    It's only 9.30 am so it's a bit early to think of cocktails in the normal sense, but I did just finish making and drinking my carrot, celery, apple and ginger juice and shortly I shall just be popping down for my morning swim. My sort of l'heure bleu, (well the pool's aquamarine). L'heure aqua?

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  10. So evocative as always. That pool is magical. Very enticing, especially as we are anticipating a blizzard. I am always so intrigued by all of accoutrements sold for fancy drinks. Intrigued, but far too practical to purchase them. But, I am sure that all of those amusing cocktail napkins, stately decanters, and industrial looking shakers are all going to good homes and that their owners are having more fun than I am!

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  11. Ahh, the cocktail hour...my most favorite time of the day!! How much nicer would it be with a little pseudo feathered friend to mix my drinks for me!
    Hope you have a smashing weekend!!

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  12. In my early 20s, I desperately wanted L'Heure Blue to be my signature perfume. Sadly, it never worked on me.

    Wish I could just dive into that pool!

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  13. I'm really into that pool shot. Can't say that's my favorite hour of the day but it is so picturesque.

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  14. Are those swizzle sticks at the hotel or are they your own? I love them as I love all bird items, I'd love them for our house!

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    1. K: They're mine, they're art deco but I can send you a link for similar later today.

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  15. Tabitha
    Lucky you to have visited Edith Wharton's house and garden at Hyeres! Only a few weeks ago finished reading a massive biography of EW and would love to see her houses and gardens. Brilliant photo! Did you take any other pics there?

    The pool during l'heure bleue looks magical and the perfect place for a cocktail while enjoying the fading of the light. Could be a bit melancholy with all those blue tones but I'm imagining the scent of her flowers and the refreshing breeze from the Med. Have a great weekend! Ours got off to a good start with a great Italian lunch served by a cute waiter who comes orginally from Bellagio. Best wishes, Pamela

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    1. Pamela - I stayed there for a few nights, I didn't really like it, I don't know... it was a house with too many ghosts. Yes I have a few other pics of it.

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    2. Hope you'll post more of those some time. Sorry to hear you weren't happy there. On the basis of the swimming pool picture it looks fabulous. But understand, places can be like that, some have a very happy ambience, others can make you feel uneasy or sad. Would still like to see her houses and gardens though. Best wishes, Pamela

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    3. Pamela, I had a look but there are all just us and friends hanging out, this isn't the house that's open to the public but the one she lived in before that just down the road.

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  16. Hello Tabitha:
    All so very dreamy and divine. We have a thought to revive the cocktail party here in Budapest - last seen, we think, sometime in the years before the war.

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    1. Dearest Hattatts, the dinner party is dead, long live the cocktail party!

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  17. Ah...l'heure bleu...so sedcutive palette of colors so charming atmosphere...Your words are so poetic
    Happy weekend
    Ciao ciao

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  18. my favourite time of day too- filled with SO MUCH PROMISE!! x

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    1. As is so often the case, FF and B&P share my own long held views. That time when the business, the busy-ness of the day is starting to slip away, and the light is shifting and magical, hinting at possibilities that we are in the just the mood to contemplate, languorous as we sip something that somehow both stimulates and relaxes...

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  19. Cocktail hour is the best. Kids in bed, feet up, G&T in hand. Excellent.

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  20. If he's looking for full-time employment send that cute little swizzle stick over to me.

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    1. Sulky, did your shiny shoe-button black eyes notice there is a second little feathered friend perched behind the colourful cocky chappy? A bird in the paw worth two in the bush.

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  21. Oh magic, I read your post, look out the window to see l'heure bleu is upon me. Cheers!

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    1. Sarah, Claire & Sulky - we all need so little encouragement.

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  22. I've never met this phrase, blue hour, and it is such a lovely name for a beautiful time of day. I love it here in the North of England for the amazing shades of blue that appear. Makes a nice change from all the amazing shades of grey (nothing to do with the book). Mom and Dad had swizzle sticks and other paraphernalia. As a kid I loved the name 'swizzle stick'. So love how your rooster shakes his tail feathers! Cheers.

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    1. Oh Shelley, in autumn/winter, we never have cocktail hour until l'heure bleu, I love looking out at the sky at that time, so magical.

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    2. In Scotland it is called the gloaming. Correct me if I'm wrong. I was reading an old book.

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    3. Sheree - it is, "roaming in the gloaming"

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  23. L'heure bleu...You'll be telling us about le cinq à sept next Tabs!

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    1. C: I'm fickle - I like froggy things this week!

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    2. Tabs, I like froggy things every week!
      No choice. London being the 6th largest French city and all.

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    3. Ought to come over to Montreal (after winter.)

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    4. I love Montreal, I used to go all the time when I lived in New England for a European fix.

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    5. GetFresh, the Canadian-French accent is very different to the 'Pardon' (Paris-London) one that's for sure!

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    6. True, useful for poutine-free menu reading, but don't open my mouth much across Channel (Caribbean French same.)

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  24. Also my favourite time of day and one of my very my favourite perfumes.

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  25. Love this picture and I would like to line up for a little stir please - he is quite cheeky and I like my bartenders cheeky and good-looking and he fills both bills!

    Have you read the last book by Joan Didion - she writes very movingly about this hour of the day in her moving and sad memoir about losing her daughter. Bring a hanky. But the writing is equisite and I had never heard this term before I read the book and I love it as I think it is one of my favourite times of the day as well - not twilight, more dusk, which is what I have heard it called around here.

    Okay - have my drink ready! Here I come!

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    1. WMM, I don't remember that particular but what a stunning book that was.

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    2. David and I were living in NYC, at dinner and at the next table were Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. They had just come from visiting their daughter at the hospital, who was in a coma at the time. Like us, they were having cocktails before dinner, and talking about it. The next day, JGD unexpectedly died. It's one of the more vivid memories of my life, and I haven't been able to read her last two books, as I think I'd sob endlessly.

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  26. Only way I am getting any l'heure bleu around here is at the Guerlain store - at the moment it is very much le jour and le bloody weekend gris gris gris. But here's hoping and so cheers!

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  27. STIR IT UP Tabs you had me at Chateau. Even our stark grey concrete corner is blanketed in sleek white at this hour, punctuated by the scraping of the snowplow. Here's to l'heure de l'apero.

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    1. Get Fresh - the house was a but weird, I felt uneasy there and really nervous going to bed at night, but daytime by the pool made up for it.
      Ach that first but should be bit - iPhone clumsiness

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  28. What a gorgeous image. I'll make that my happy place.

    I remember my parents getting dressed up and going out for the evening. I still recall the scent of Evening in Paris which was apparently only worn when going out. They brought me back all their swizzle sticks. There were the usual swords, but I loved the ones topped with little monkeys or lion heads. I honestly wished I'd saved them!

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    1. DF- oh I wish I had kept them too, they were such fun.

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  29. Well done, Miss Tabitha, I will toast to your post, when the time comes, oh, in about ten hours.

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    1. Ten hours? Just five for me, not that I'm on a countdown or anything!

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  30. I have been magically transported from early morning coffee and an impending snow storm to your photo. Alas, we're a long time and a potential foot of snow away from cocktails, with or without your pretty birdie guarding the libations. Cheers!

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  31. Curator: should my blue have an e at the end?

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    1. Pfff...I can't spell in many languages Tabs.

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    2. Hmm, I think maybe but I'm not sure, oh well someone can pull me up for it.

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    3. All correct, no J. Crew French today - Canuck knows that much spelling ;-)

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    4. Eeep I should have checked actual header, I thought based on comment you did have the "e". So you are a JC speller.

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  32. It is my favourite time too, melancholy yet full of promise. And I also thrill to the fragrance, which captures the indolence and tristesse of that brief barely-hour.

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  33. Oui, madame, it is "une heure" so "bleue".

    Though "l'heure bleue" is also twilight at the other end of the day, early morning, who thinks of that as romantic, unless you are still up from the night before>

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  34. So true it is the best and most festive time of day. That photo is gorgeous.

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  35. I read this post at L'Heure Bleu yesterday, and instead of commenting, went down and poured a scotch to sip by the fire instead. Thank you, it was lovely. My favorite time of day as well.

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    1. Kathy: Scotch? You sexy woman!

      Dani: It fits your colour story today.

      Get Fresh: My dunce's cap is on.

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    2. Anything to trial a chapeau huh. Now get a drink and hop on the stool. Since it's Friday we won't make you write lines.

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    3. Get Fresh - phew I got off easy, no lines?

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  36. I have not been to Castel Sainte-Claire (I wish) but I have been to the Mount. The house was beautiful and the gardens are delightful. Old Edith had a great eye for this kind of thing, I think I liked it better than her novels ;) They have jazz concerts on the terrace overlooking the gardens and the pound. It is also a perfect place to sip cocktails at the blue hour in the summer.
    Something fun to think about right now, sitting in the middle of the blizzard...

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    1. ajc - it's not castle saint claire, it's a house that she lived in before moving there, it's a private house now.

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    2. Oh I spelled that incorrectly too, oops. I also meant to add, it's just a few doors down from CSC.

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  37. Lovely view...would sit there for days :) Have a gorgeous weekend x

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  39. As soon as I read the title, I immediately thought of the Guerlain perfume. Beautiful photo too - I have always been fascinated by Edith Wharton and her life. Martin Scorsese's movie version of "The Age of Innocence" is one of my favourite movies of all time. We might enjoy a cocktail or something stronger today, there's a terrific snow storm coming down right now and we are completely snowed in. Hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. Louise, I've been hearing about that, you are a hardy lot, not sure we could cope with that.

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  40. A million and a half years ago when I worked in the film industry there was a time of day called magic moment ..just a fraction before twilight..I well remember the scramble for film crews to be ready to catch that light

    I'm off now to check out Hyeres ...with my fingers only

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    1. smr: Hyeres was a bit of a disappointment to me, I'm happier further along the coast.

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  41. Gorgeous images Tabs. Have a lovely weekend with or without swizzle stick ;-) xx

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  42. Excellent post Tabitha. My now very deep appreciation of Mrs. Wharton began January 2010 with a hastily arranged trip to Haiti just after the earthquake. Among the ruins & misery, I was loaned the excellent R.W.B. Lewis Wharton bio by a UN staffer which took me away on reveries of beauty and refinement among her circle of celebrated literati elite. I believe she rescued the house & grounds from utter ruin. Any fantasy dinner party of mine begins by making her the presiding hostess.

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    1. GSL: Please tell me that you've saved me a seat at the dinner party?

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  43. What an elegant name for a beautiful time of day! I'm enjoying mine with King and Elijah,,,thanks so much, Tabs. All are welcome to join me :)

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  45. Oh dear, my head is reeling from what started out as cocktail hour last night and kept on going into the wee hours. Now, where's my coffee?

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  46. The Age of Innocence is one of my all time favorite books - one of about 5 that I read every few years. Had a scotch again last night - getting ready for Scotland!

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    1. Kathy: It's a tremendous book. I know, can't wait to meet you two!

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  47. Just makes me think of the great gatsby

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  48. And to add to all the other wonderful comments...L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain was my mother's favorite perfume and remains one of the great perfumes of all time!

    April

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  49. I was right around the corner from Hyeres yesterday - I should have popped into Edith's house! x

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