i’m not a palace person. i’d much rather see how the peasantry or the middle-class live. real stuff, not rich peoples’ houses. but after urging from my friend monica (you need to go!) i figured on this, my third time in paris, i was ready to see the grandiose palaces of versailles.
i decided to watch sofia coppola’s marie antoinette, which i had been meaning to see forever, and i fell in love. it quickly moved up the ranks to one of my favorite films that i know i can watch again and again. initially, the movie was panned for having too many costumes and not enough substance, but i found it was much more than that… a lot of subtlety to the character that is easy to miss. my favorite scenes were all the ones around the palace gardens, like when marie and her friends drink champagne and watch the sun come up from the foot of the giant pool.
i found clearly, the best way to enjoy versailles is from the point of view of marie antoinette.
glide through the gold, gilded rooms and gaze at the paintings, sculptures, and admire the views from the windows.
take tea in the palace! nibble eclairs and milles-feuilles in the dining room at angelina.
stroll through the gardens and gasp at the perfectly manicured topiaries, the pure grandness of the gardens, the way you could spend hours there in the parks and still not cover it all.
“i just feel like a queen!! don’t you?!”
“no. i feel like the person who is visiting the queen.”
be enchanted by marie antoinette’s picturesque hamlet and take notes for your future house by the sea.
marvel at the pink marble and black and white tiled flooring outside of the grand trianon.
even in the height of autumn, sit outside (next to a heat lamp) in the garden at la flotille and enjoy an ice cold hoegaarden and a pizza! (one of my favorite meals of the trip)
a visit to versailles, to me, was like a disneyland intended for 18th century french royalty. it was absolutely one of my paris area highlights and is appropriate all year long, although i would particularly love to see it during the special fountain lights evenings in the summer. but don’t miss these royal experiences! i can’t recommend it enough.
(just don’t forget to buy your ticket online before you go!)