Secret streets - villa Léandre
s, No doubt, like me, when you think of Paris you envisage long sweeping tree-lined boulevards. Each boulevard straddled by majestic stone buildings. The buildings, whilst most constructed with the same white stone and of similar height and style, are each individual - no two are the same. Some doorways may be grand coach gates decorated with wrought iron and glass, others may be large heavy wooden entries adorned with elaborate brass door knocks. Windows may be square or arched, some full height some small. Then, look up higher and you will see the rooflines with their carved stonework are just as elaborate and varied as the rest of the building.
It is this constraint in the Haussmannian architecture that gives Paris her rythm, her comfort, her familiarity. But it is her detailing that gives her her intrigue.
I love it all. I never tire of roaming the streets of Paris. And on days when I might be fatigued or feeling hard done by, all I need do is look up and take in the beauty of the stonework, the intricacy of the roof line. Try it, it works wonders. In minutes my spirit is lifted and imagination buzzing.
On a number of occasions, it has been when I have been doing just that and enjoying my reverie that I have chanced upon something quite extraordinary - streets that defy all of the Haussmannan constraints. Little pockets of wonder that beg exploring.
I would like to share one such street with you in this post.
Most of us have enjoyed meandering around Montmartre, taking in the sights, perhaps stopping for a bite to eat. In your stroll, if you have adventured along the Avenue Junot you may well have stumbled upon Villa Léandre - a haven of English Normand houses. Yes, that is right, English style houses, one prettier than the next, all stacked up against one another. What a delight!
This street was built in 1926 on the site of an old mill. Why it was built in this style and still stands today is a bit of a mystery. At least the former is. The latter may be due to the fact that this little pocket of paradise happens to be one of the most expensive streets in the city. That reason alone is sure to keep the developers at bay.
Each house is different, most made of brick with a variety of decoration - tiles, wooden carvings, wrought iron. Owners certainly take their gardening seriously with each little patch in front of the houses well kept and inviting.
As you can see from the photo below, one resident has taken the English theme further with a Number 10 Downing Street sign!
I hope you make it there one day and if you have already visited, do share your experience with us below.
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Very well travelled, Tricia has spent many years in the Tourism Industry and in France, and is perfectly placed to guide you on your own French journey into lifestyle, fashion and more...Stay tuned!