La Maison Baccarat

La Maison Baccarat

Housed in a splendid mansion that was once home to Marie-Laure de Noailles, the legendary Parisian art patron and tastemaker, this most opulent of museums might be simply an excuse to showcase the exquisite collection of Baccarat crystal available in high-end shops the world over. Designed with wit, elegance and eye-popping extravagance by France’s international design star-about-town Philippe Starck, the museum is, first of all, stupendously beautiful. The second-floor restaurant vies for most gorgeous in Paris (and even the restrooms are pretty great). The museum per se, a small permanent exhibit upstairs—including pieces commissioned by monarchs, popes and presidents—is well worth the €7 entrance fee. But for no fee at all you can wander through the galleries full of contemporary crystal by top-name designers—and then take whatever you choose home with you. Stemware, vases, objects and candelabras, jewelry, chandeliers, even furniture; it’s all for sale and it’s all breathtaking.

11 pl des Etats-Unis, 16th, website

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Originally published in the February 2011 issue of France Today

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