A laboratory for Art Nouveau, Nancy is still its showcase: the capital of the Dukes of Lorraine has artistic flair! From Villa Majorelle, the newly renovated first building of art nouveau design to gourmet workshops where macaroons and bergamots come to life, or walk through Place Stanislas, a jewel listed by Unesco. Come along behind the scenes of a city that cultivates a taste for French beauty and goodness!
Have a drink in Place Stanislas
With its belt of classic 18th century buildings, its wrought iron gates enhanced with gold leaf and its triumphal arch with baroque or rococo details, Place Stanislas is the emblem of the capital of the Dukes of Lorraine. To appreciate its sumptuous decor classified by Unesco, sit down on a café terrace. In the evening, the facades light up and with them comes good humor: "Place Stan" is also a friendly place where Nancy residents and travelers meet for a drink.
Imagine yourself at the turn of the century at Villa Majorelle
One of the first examples of art nouveau built by an artist, the architect Henri Sauvage designed the abode for the cabinetmaker Louis Majorelle. Now the Villa Majorelle stands as the first 100% Art Nouveau building in Nancy. Its reopening in February after a complete renovation was eagerly anctipated, and by all accounts exceeds expectations! After studies of its former glory, nearly 100 pieces (furniture, works of art, paintings, original or identical to old photos) were placed throughout the villa in order to restore the period decorations. The Villa Majorelle is a wonderful immersion in Nancy in the year 1900 and in the intimacy of an artistic family.
Dinner with a view with a Michelin-starred chef
If his restaurant is called Transparence, it is far from being a coincidence: Chef Patrick Fréchin, Michelin starred, lords over his domain in an open kitchen in front of his guests. Unless you sit on the terrace, you won't miss a beat of the incredible transformation of fresh and local produce into colorful and artistic dishes. And unexpected: here, no fixed menu, but three alernating ones. The seasons and the inspiration guide the chef, like any artist!
Go for an art nouveau lesson
At the root of Art Nouveau in Nancy lay a desire to create an "art for all", "in everything", without distinction between minor and fine arts. A clear distinction: a fascination for the plant world. You can travel through this scene during a walk in the new town, the smallest corner which transports all visitors completely. From the museum of the School of Nancy and its Art Nouveau interior, facades carpeted with flowers blossom, and in the spa district and buildings in the center, you'll spot the delicate flourishes of art nouveau. Nancy is a city full of swirls like the L'Excelsior brasserie, or collections designed by Daum at the prestigious crystal factory at the Museum of Fine Arts.
Play the lords at the Hôtel de Guise
© Hôtel de Guise - an imposing iron staircase at l'Hôtel de Guise
At the Hôtel de Guise, you change neighborhood, and era - now you find yourself in the old town - but no matter! The hotel is located in a former 18th century mansion around a charming cobbled interior courtyard. A wrought iron staircase inspired by the style of Jean Lamour, the ironworker of the nearby Place Stanislas, leads to the rooms and suites, some sporting period Versailles parquet floors. And in the breakfast room, a monumental fireplace, stone paving and lilies, promise a royal start to the day!
Succumb to the call of sugar
© Bertrand Jamot/ARTGE Destination Lorraine - Macarons des Soeurs Macarons and bergamote de Nancy
In Nancy, it's hard not to succumb to the craving for sugar: sweets are an integral part of the history and heritage of the city. Spot the artisans bearing the label "Nancy Passions sucrées" and learn about the gourmet vocabulary of the city by sampling a few specialties: bergamots from Nancy, golden and scented candies, Tokaji wine babas in the tradition of King Stanislas, or the famous macarons from the Macaron Sisters, whose tradition has continued since the French Revolution...try not to drool too much!