The airport's free magazine and Air France's free magazine as well... tres' chic oui?
Luggage carts that are aesthically-pleasing as well as very functionable
Fine food and wine, flowers in abundance, fountains and monuments galore', fashion that's drop-dead elegant, fragrance displays of perfume in every other shop window and being fundamentally artistic in everything from architecture and paintings to airport luggage carts and department store packaging... yes, the French certainly DO have a truly wonderful sense of fine living!
James and I were amazed to see this aesthetic everywhere we went: from the most chic and expensive areas of Paris to the more mundane, every-day kinda' neighborhood spots and even at the Charles de Gaulle Airport and in the Metro subway as well. This is very inspirational indeed. Life is meant to be lived as Auntie Mame says, "Live! Live! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" (in the movie version with Rosalind Russell that I like best) Even if it's a humble home, constrained circumnstances or uncertain transitioning time period within one's life, enjoy such pretty simplicity as a well-made salad, freshly-ironed sheets or a bunch of roadside daisies put into a glass container... yes, life can be easily embellished for one's enjoyment without pouring money or obsessive amounts of time and energy into doing this. It seems that the French understand this well from Paris to Provence and, from what I hear, all other corners of their country.
I just loved how every corner one turned in Paris, there seemed to be, for lack of a better term, "prettiness" all about... it wasn't confined to their large museums or huge monuments and expansive public parks, beauty and a depth of visual interest was literally everywhere.
Take for instance the Charles de Gaulle Airport. Though it does need an exterior revamping, the inside however was modern, fresh n' clean feeling and had surprising elements of clever design which the above photos illustrate with the domed, sky-lit terminal and also the stacked-up luggage carts. After spending two days there trying to get out on a flight, any flight, back to the States, James and I got to "know" this place fairly well. In addition to upscale eateries and wonderfully decadent chocolate shoppes', there were also boutique stores of Dior, Hermes, Prada and so forth- talk about stylin' in the airport! These jewel boxes of designer boutiques put the Duty Free shops to shame ;)
Having traveled around the globe a bit (20+ countries so far since we added, unexpectedly Belgium and Holland/The Netherlands to this trip as well with eventually flying out of Amsterdam to get back home), a lot can be told culturally by the design, current condition and amenity offerings of said country's airport. Discounting the outside of the main Paris airport, its inside fortunately speaks volumes as to all-things about what is French Fine Living.