Sleep in Saint-Exupéry’s room…

Perhaps you have been lucky enough this summer to have visited the exhibition dedicated to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry at the Cour du Capitole in Toulouse. The exhibition pays tribute to Saint-Exupéry as both pilot and author, featuring unique items such as an edition of Terre des Hommes (Wind, Sand and Stars) printed on aircraft canvas, or the famous identity bracelet recovered from the Mediterranean a few years ago.

Should you be passing through the “pink city”, try and make time to spend the night there… but not just anywhere! Whenever he visited Toulouse, Saint-Exupéry always made a point of staying at “Le Grand Balcon”, a modest family hotel run by the Marquès sisters, a favourite with Didier Daurat’s pilots and mechanics of the day.

The hotel still exists, but nowadays as a luxury hotel rather than a  modest pension. Room 32, renovated by interior decorator Jean-Philippe Nuel, offers every modern convenience while retaining its period style. A screen conceals an old-fashioned toilet and bidet (there is also a full modern bathroom adjoining), and a desk stands in one corner. Such is the “Saint-Exupéry” suite, and very popular it is, too!

“Fans of the writer call from as far afield as Japan to book the room, and aviation enthusiasts fight to book it,” reports the hotel’s receptionist.

So when is your turn?

Reminder: the exhibition runs from 1st July to 30th September 2011 at the Cour du Capitole (Cour Henri IV). Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. In French, English and Spanish.

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