A very easy day trip from Paris is to visit Monet’s home and gardens in the small village of Giverny. We took the early train on a beautiful September morning and as had been recommended by many sources, rented bikes from the café directly outside of Giverny’s train station (Gare de Vernon-Giverny) for the few kilometers-long ride to our destination. We honestly wish it had been a little further away, because the bike ride was so scenic and pleasant; once you get through the town, there’s a bike path the follows along the Seine, then over to the little village.
Claude Monet, the great impressionist artist, spent the last 40 years of his life at his beloved home in Giverny where he painted his stunning gardens. Visiting in September, they were awash with vibrant, late-summer color, especially the dahlias, and I would love to return to see even more seasonal iterations. As impressive as the gardens are, it is the interiors of this home which captured my attention — namely the kitchen and dining room. There is a hint as to Monet’s bold use of color as seen on the exterior of his house with the pink stucco and emerald green trim (the same green as his iconic Japanese bridge spanning the water lily pond). When you enter the house from the garden, you are met by a cheerfully bright, lemon-yellow dining room. The walls, armoires, trim and chairs are all painted in this luminous tone for maximum effect. The yellow is offset by the burnt sienna and cream-checkered tile floor, green and blue pottery, and blue-and-white porcelain and tiles around the fireplace. His collection of Japanese woodblock prints, great sources of inspiration to him, hang on the walls. The blue-and-white tiles are carried into the kitchen which is again offset by a burnt sienna-tiled floor and the warm glow of his copper pots and utensils. My jaw practically hit the floor when I saw that over Monet’s stove was a pot filler! It is unsurprising that this master of the color wheel would create such stunning interiors as well!
On our way into our tour, we eyed a charming little restaurant with a pea gravel terrace, Au Coin du Peintre, for lunch on our way back. We enjoyed a glorious, rosé-filled few hours in the warmth of the sun promising to return again.