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Posts Tagged ‘Nature’

Lotusland: Ganna Walska’s Garden of Dreams

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Since all of Paris closes shop in August, I’ll be posting “by appointment” discoveries made during my summertime travels back home in the USA this month.  Hope you enjoy this special summer edition with content from New York, Los Angeles and Maine.

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Appointment: To follow a 2-hour guided tour of Lotusland, the  37-acre estate and private garden created by Madame Ganna Walska.
Where
: Ninety miles north of Los Angeles in Montecito, an affluent suburb of Santa Barbara
When
: July 2nd, 2009
Time
1:30pm

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An international celebutante and irresistible beauty, Madame Ganna Walska loved plants. And opera. And seducing wealthy older men. (Don’t you love her already?) All accounts from her era speak of a captivating creature with a preternatural proclivity for exuberance and glamorous excess. No one batted an eyelash at the outrageous title of her memoire, Always Room At The Top, published in 1946 because, what the hell else would she call it?

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Truffle Hunting with Titeuf

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Like most, my truffle hunting knowledge is quite limited. In fact, it could easily be summed up in a single image: old men in wellies tugging hogs on ropes.

So when some visiting friends and I decided to take a trip down to the Périgord—a ravishing, rocky region about a six-hour drive from Paris, well-known for its truffles, foie gras and Medieval castles—we couldn’t think of a better activity than ratcheting up our “black diamond” IQ with two of the area’s connoisseurs.

A few hours of research and a couple of phone calls later we had a time and date set to meet two of this elusive edible’s leading experts: Edouard Aynaud and his truffle-sniffing associate, Titeuf the golden Labrador.

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