May 21, 2015
Buying property in a foreign country can be a logistical, cultural, and legal minefield. When I started house hunting in Italy, I was a complete novice, and with hindsight would have done many things differently – learning to speak Italian at least semi-fluently would have been number one on my to-do list!
I’d passed through Italy briefly on an Interrail trip years ago and seen Gladiator enough times to mistakenly consider myself an expert, but Italy is a diverse place and it’s important to have a feel for the country as a whole before you consider making a purchase.
April 15, 2015
Settled amongst the vines of the Rhone Valley, where the fresh air is perfumed with the scent of the surrounding fruit orchards and olive groves, you’ll find Nick and Sabine’s slice of paradise in France’s Côtes du Rhône region.
November 12, 2014
Salon, Julien Hausherr
Haven in Paris’ newest four-bedroom apartment, Victor Hugo Luxe (emphasis on the luxe), is found on a quiet street just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and the Bois de Boulogne. The owner and interior decorator took the HiP Paris Blog through the nine-month renovation process of this spacious, Belle Époque gem.
Kitchen and Balcony, Julien Hausherr
Built in 1903, the apartment was owned by the same family for 50 years and had not been remodeled since 1970. The design team wanted to revamp the out-of-date 70s-style interior and revive its elegant, turn-of-the-century charm.
Dining Room, Julien Hausherr
July 8, 2014
You know the story. Disillusioned ad exec flees rainy London for the sunshine and lavender fields of Provence. Hilarity ensues in the shape of a dilapidated stone house, a village populated by idiosyncratic Frenchmen and lots of good food and wine.
Indeed, Peter Mayle’s Provence seduced many dreamers to set off in search of their own little piece of France.
And as it turns out, I’m one of them.
May 29, 2014
It started on a whim. We were vacationing in the South of France near the idyllic medieval town of Roquebrun, about an hour’s drive from Montpellier. Its sun-baked stone facades are built up into a cascading hillside; a smattering of cafes and merchants dot its central tree-lined street. At the foot of the village, the Orb River meanders through the densely green valley, inviting swimmers, fishermen and kayakers to partake.
It’s a hidden gem in the Herault region of Languedoc-Roussillon, affectionately known to locals as Le Petit Nice.
Glancing up the hillside at Rocquebrun’s ancient buildings — from my perch on a sunny cafe terrace — it was impossible to miss the sign hanging on a nearby iron balcony: A Vendre. The house faced the river offering what appeared to be an unbroken view of its lazy waters, arched stone bridge and the rugged valley beyond. It looked too good to be true. I had to see inside.
January 28, 2014
When we decided to move to Paris, one of the things I was most excited about was decorating my own Parisian apartment. It would be classic Haussmannian with herringbone floors, marble mantels, high ceilings and moldings – the works.
Scrolled iron balconies and a rooftop view were also on the wanted list. After a few weeks of scouring (and drooling over) listings from afar, I fell hard for an appartement familial in the 7ème. We negotiated with the rental agent and sealed the deal even before laying eyes on our future home.
It was better than I’d imagined: a light-filled double salon and a killer view of the Dome des Invalides, even a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in all its iconic beauty. But the fun was just beginning. It was now time to decorate.
January 15, 2013
This year, you could spend Valentine’s day the way you usually do. Or you could go to Europe. No, really.
If you were thinking of surprising a certain special someone this Valentine’s Day (yes, even if that special someone is you), we would love to help. Book any Haven in Paris apartment over Valentine’s day and enjoy our special Valentine’s Day Romantic Getaway Package:
- Up to 40% off your Paris or London apartment rental
- Complimentary champagne & chocolates waiting for you in your very own Paris or London apartment
- 10% off massages by HiP approved massage therapists Beatrice Marzana and Desbina Collins
- 10% off on airport transfers from our recommended private drivers
- 10% off concierge services from Complete Paris for the duration of your stay
- 15-20% off cooking classes at La Cuisine Paris and Cook’n With Class
- Discounts on personalized Paris walking tours from Context Travel
An added bonus? Come a few days early and take advantage of les soldes, the twice annual city-wide fashion sale (running until February 12).
These discounts aren’t reserved exclusively for couples. Take a group of friends and make it the trip of a lifetime! Contact us today to start planning your trip.
November 14, 2012
The Dordogne river (Doni Belau)
I’m often asked why we bought the house (in France) that we did, in this tiny town whose name we can barely pronounce and that’s even harder to find on a map. What about your first love, Paris? People ask.
Well, I was fortunate enough to have a deliciously beautiful apartment in Paris for six years from which one could hear the bells of St. Sulpice. We eventually had to sell it because the value had gone up considerably and we used what we made to help pay for our children’s college educations.
February 24, 2012
After many horrendously unsuccessful attempts at trying to find my first pied-à-terre in Paris, I had one last shot before I would literally be living in the metro. My lead was a long one — a friend of a very distant acquaintance who could show me her place on the very last day of my Paris apartment search trip. On my way over, I practiced feigning excitement over the minimalistic lifestyle I seemed destined for, as moving back home couldn’t win out over my storybook fantasy of living in Paris, no matter how bleak my accommodations might be.
I walked into the courtyard and started the 50-stair climb to the apartment up a narrow, twisting wooden staircase that leaned to one side. I was sure that after drinking enough wine, I would hardly notice the sideways slant.
January 26, 2012
Pssst… Don’t tell anyone, but we’re making a move.
A move to London, our other favorite European city, just as full of great shopping, architecture, art, history, and (almost as much) great food. Francophiles need not fret, though — we’ll still cover Paris’ best hidden secrets, but with a little British flair thrown into the mix.
If you’re planning a trip to London, take a peek at our brand new Chelsea vacation rental flat, Brompton. With its private garden, two bedrooms and plenty of space to lounge and cook, it’s the perfect home base for exploring all that London has to offer.