I am always on the prowl to find an undiscovered courtyard, a hidden garden, or intriguing passage.
Last week I hit the jackpot at 75 rue Vieille du Temple. As a workman was painting a fresh coat of royal blue on the door of this 17th century hotel particulier that I have passed hundreds of times but have never viewed beyond the imposing doors, I quickly scampered inside.
First my eyes feasted on the entrance courtyard covered with cobblestones, more bright blue lacquered doors, at least 15 ft. high windows, and square blue planters brimming with spring plants. Beyond the initial courtyard was an closed iron gate and inside was a garden with meticulously manicured shrubs in the greenest green and ivy-trimmed stone walls.