Furnishings fit for a queen
An exhibition on the life and legacy of doomed French Queen Marie Antoinette runs through June 30 at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, just off the Champs Elysees in Paris. Although the Grand Palais exhibition includes many of the paintings and busts the pretty young queen posed for, it focuses on the flowery, gold-gilded French Rococo style she promoted. Included in the show are the queen's mother-of-pearl desk from Fontainebleau Palace and a theatrical evocation (complete with bird song) of her Petit Trianon country home, created by opera director Robert Carsen. Info: www.museums-of-paris .com. In keeping with the theme, Concorde Hotels & Resorts is offering a Marie Antoinette exhibition package at seven hotels in Paris, including the Hotel du Louvre and the Hotel Lutetia on the Left Bank. Rates start at $300 per night, including free admission for two to the exhibition. A two-night minimum stay is required. Info: (800) 888-4747, www.concorde-hotels.com.
-- Susan Spano
Go ahead and coat yourself with sunscreen. But that may not be enough to avoid the sun's ultraviolet rays, which, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging. That's why Lynn Rose, owner of Soleil Chic in Marina del Rey, started manufacturing hats and umbrellas made of a special fabric that blocks 97% of the sun's ultraviolet rays. The floppy, wide-brimmed hats, which sell for $39.95, have durable chin straps and can be washed by hand; the lightweight, fold-up umbrellas, priced at $35.95, come in deep purple, white and yellow. For info: (888) 296-7673, www.soleilchic.com.