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April and May in Paris: Chill Rhymes with Thrill. The Bagatelle!

Bagatelle: Paris's most gorgeous garden, Bois de Boulogne

Bagatelle: Racy Sphinx, circa 1777


In Paris, in the spring, chill rhymes with thrill–or is it the other way around?

Right now it's about 50 degrees Fahrenheit–maybe 10 Celcius. People are shivering as they sip hot cocoa or coffee or wine–no, not mulled wine, it's no longer fall or winter, after all.

In April for my column on I went out to the Bagatelle. Here's the story. Thing is, the temperature hasn't changed much, but despite the cold everything is in bloom… a fabulous time to visit this, one of the most fabulous gardens anywhere (period).

Here's the lede to the story. Click through to keep reading… and wherever you see "April" think "May."



"April in Paris is about spring buds, blossoms, lovers and delicate sunshine – everyone knows that. Just because the temperatures are often in the 30s or 40s Fahrenheit, branches still barren, makes no difference at all. So it was with a light heart and step that I trekked to the western edge of town the other day to revisit one of my favorite gardens anywhere: the lavishly landscaped Parc de Bagatelle.



Edging the Bois de Boulogne and posh Neuilly, Bagatelle comes complete with ponds, grottoes, fountains, lichen-frosted statues and sexy sphinxes, a miniature chateau, orangeries, a café and restaurant, and remarkable rose and iris gardens. Peacocks feathered and of a human kind saunter along looping lanes, some draped with wisteria or clematis. The exquisite whole is tied together by more tortuous history than could fit into several of my monthly columns…."




Author and private tour guide David Downie's latest critically acclaimed books are "Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James" and "Paris, Paris: Journey into the City of Light," soon to be an audiobook. His Paris Time Line app was published in April: and


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