A view of my world in Central Illinois and places we go.

Musee D’Orsay, Paris

A view of the Musee D'Orsay from the footbridge, Pont de Solferino


Some weeks ago, I promised a fellow-blogger that I would post something about our experiences visiting Musee D’Orsay and especially eating in its extraordinary salon. We have enjoyed meals there on three occasions that I can recall, each visit an exploration of senses and tastes. The food is excellent, the service exceptional, but the surroundings are what bring us back. It is pure splendor and harkens back to its days as the dining room of the hotel when this building was a grand railroad station (Gare d’Orsay). I highly recommend the museum’s web-site for information about the building PLUS detailed information about all of its holdings (if you want to know the name of a painting or sculpture in the museum, or the name of the artist, with a little poking around, you should be able to find the info you are looking for – isn’t the internet great?). This post also gives me the opportunity to post a bunch of photos of the Musee (inside and out). Now, if you don’t like ornate interiors, might as well not go any further…

Dining in the Musee d'Orsay Salon

Another view of the Salon…I think I was shooting from the hip so as not to disturb the patrons. I could staighten in in PhotoShop, but what the heck.

Pastries lined up for viewing (and consumption).

The ceilings are a wonder…

Ceiling tondo by Gabriel Ferrier overlooking the south portion of the Salon

Close-up view:
Wider view showing how the pieces come together:

Champagne, anyone?

One must have champagne when dining here…as we did to celebrate our 25th Anniversary in October 2009 – our treat for the day before we headed into the museum to look at the Impressionists (we ate first and then, fortified, took on the art!). As I recall, I had risotto (it was a cool day and this warmed me nicely) and Kathy had pissaladiere (a Provencale onion tart with anchovies). If you go to the Musee, make reservations and take the time (and a few Euro) to dine in elegance.
On a previous visit, we were allowed on the terrace overlooking the Seine. Perhaps because it was later in the season, I don’t know, but on our most recent visit, the terrace was closed. I hope that is not a permanent decision.

A view upriver to the Louvre from the d'Orsay terrace.

Finally, my favorite photo from the day…it is a bit cliche, but instantly recognizable.

View of Sacre Coeur through one of the clock faces on Musee d'Orday

Last and least, Woody Allen has produced a new movie, “Midnight in Paris“, just shown at the Cannes Film Festival and opening in the U.S. next week. Looks interesting, if only for the views of the City of Lights.

4 responses

  1. kasia

    I just returned from Paris, and am suffering serious withdrawal. though the d’orsay was high on my list, long wait times made me miss it. thank you so much for posting these photos and blurbs. it helps me get over my disappointment and encourages me to return as soon as i can. thanks again!!!


    May 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    • Sorry to hear you did not get in…the lines can get inordinately long, but it is definitely worth the wait. In my post, I didn’t even touch on the art, deciding instead to talk about the salon which is one of our favorite Paris eating establishments. But, really, the art is the reason to go, especially for the impressionist collection. In posting the images, along with those for Musee Rodin, it made me immediately nostalgic, and like you, I will always be anxious to return.


      May 31, 2011 at 6:01 PM

  2. Thank you for this post! I was away when you first posted it and have been meaning to comment. The pictures are so beautiful. I love the one from the terrace.

    The salon looks like such a magical, elegant place. I can’t wait to be able to see it in person. I’ve been seeing a lot of references to Paris this week and I can’t help but feel a pull back there as well. Ah, nostalgia! I love knowing that there’s so much new, wonderful places to explore. Some champagne and pastries in the salon are high on my list!

    Would you mind if I posted a link to this post from my blog?

    Oh, and did you ever end up seeing “Midnight in Paris”? I was able to see it just before it left theaters and I fell in love completely. I would have stayed in the theater and watched it a second time if I could. What did you think?


    July 22, 2011 at 7:22 AM

  3. Erin, you are free to post a link – I would be honored. And, no we have not seen Midnight in Paris yet. We have a new puppy in the house and he is taking up our evenings, delightedly so. I will have to post some pics of him.


    July 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM

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