Visiting Coco

Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m a magazineaholic… (You say: “Hi, Sarah”)

Yes, it’s true. I am addicted to magazines. Not cigarettes. Not alcohol. Not lattes. Magazines. I spend quite a lot of time in my boudoir thumbing through various fashion, decor and gossip magazines. Even when I venture outside of my boudoir, I like to take in a good magazine.

I have to admit, when I’m at a doctor’s office with good magazines, I sit in the waiting room hoping that they’re late to call me into the room so that I can enjoy all of them. I even get a little annoyed by cheap doctors who only have boring medical magazines…I mean seriously!

At work, I read magazines in the break room. And at my parent’s house I read their travel magazines…..wait….this is what I wanted to tell you about!


I found one of the best treasures of all time the other day in my mother’s Condé Nast Traveler magazine (August 2010). It was an editorial on “135 travel experts who can change your life”. I’m talking about the one’s that could fulfill almost any request or travel experience you could dream of (for the right price, that is). Then, it went on to list some of their specialties. (I’m so sorry, but due to overwhelming requests, and the fact that this agency no longer offers this service, I was asked to delete the contact information for the agency). Based on availability, she can set you up with a tour to visit the late Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s apartment, workspace and showroom at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris, France. Yes, you heard it right….Coco Chanel’s real life apartment (although she slept at the Hotel Ritz and used the apartment more for entertaining and meetings). Still in the original location and still with original furnishings!

(copyright conde nast archive/corbis)

I decided to contact (name removed due to service longer being offered) and get a little bit more information about the tour. You know, in case a gal like me (or you) is planning a trip to Paris in the near future. The cost is $2,000 Euro per person (approx. $2,600 USD), with a minimum of two guests. So, if you have a bestie that is willing to splurge a little, what are you waiting for? Now, you may be saying to yourself, “almost $3,000 for a one-day tour that doesn’t include my airfare or accommodations…hmmm that’s too much”. STOP…snap out of it at once! Why on earth would you have ever allowed yourself to think such a thought? Shame on you! We are talking about Coco Chanel’s actual apartment where she welcomed her many famous guests, and her workspace where, Gitane cigarette in mouth, she tailored suits and gave birth to the “little black dress”. Do you get it? This is up there with being able to visit Marilyn Monroe’s home on Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood (well, you may  have a different benchmark, but that’s mine…and no, I haven’t been there either…ok, outside the gate like a stalker, but that doesn’t count). This tour is actually better though because it is more personalized, lasts the day and is in the greatest city on earth…Paris.

Coco Chanel’s Apartment

Here is more of the information that was shared with me by the agency about the one-day tour (which can also be incorporated into a vacation package):

Beginning with the Rue Cambon where Coco established her legendary fashion house, enjoy a VIP welcome by the boutique director and a personal behind-the-scenes tour of her apartment (based on availability). Then discover the haute-couture workshops where master craftsmen still create handmade accessories for Chanel. Throughout the day your expert guide will share with you the history behind the famous names of the fashion industry.

A table will be reserved for lunch at the fashionable Maison Blanche restaurant overlooking the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.  In the afternoon you will privately visit the closed-to-the-public archives of the Fondation Yves Saint Laurent.

Afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel, where Coco lived for nearly 35 years, remains a passage obligé! You will conclude the day with a stroll along the avenue Montaigne to shop in the company of your expert fashion guide.”

It’s important to note, however, that access to Coco Chanel’s apartment is subject to both availability and also client profile.

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