3 Oct 2013
There Are So Many Reasons To Come To Provence

There Are So Many Reasons To Come To Provence

5 years of French Essence… Do you know what that means?   It means nearly 1000 posts… how could I ever say that much! And we chat… nearly 40,000 comments…   That’s not counting our conversations by email… or Facebook… or Twitter… and now, Instagram Did I mention that I adore our discussions… especially our

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3 Sep 2013
The French Farmhouse

The French Farmhouse

Crumbling and chaotic, mayhem and madness, destruction and despair….these are only some of the words that sprang swiftly to mind when I drove past this Provencal wreck a few weeks ago.The French farmhouse, the stuff that dreams are made of…mine in particular…sitting there in the wilderness begging for someone to love her and resuscitate her

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26 Aug 2013
Home Is Where The Heart Is

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Do you ever have one of those light bulb moments? When something so obvious, something that every body else has understood aeons before… becomes clear. As I was preparing our guest room the other day… filling it with flowers… hydrangeas from the garden… at that perfect stage… when the colours are mottled,  sepia-like and turning…

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25 Aug 2013
#itstheweekend

#itstheweekend

Once again it’s the weekend… I feel as if summer is winding down. The days are shorter and the nights cooler… I want to make the most of country life before real life scoops me up and plonks me back in the city. This weekend I am going to eat at a favourite restaurant, Potager

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21 Aug 2013
Le Petit Bijou… Part 6

Le Petit Bijou… Part 6

Upstairs, on the landing at Le Petit Bijou is an old commode… to the right is a smaller bedroom with a terrace overlooking the historical centre of Saint Rémy de Provence. To the left is the main bedroom with the same pretty views overlooking the Musée des Alpilles and the Hotel de Sade… The second bedroom…

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16 Aug 2013
Le Petit Bijou… Part 5

Le Petit Bijou… Part 5

Le Petit Bijou, our village house is up and running… The planning and restoration have taken some time… finally, the doors have opened and we have welcomed some wonderful guests already. I have loved every moment of this project… and although one part of me is sad that the building work is over… I am

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12 Aug 2013
A Treasure Trove in Provence

A Treasure Trove in Provence

  There is a shop… and within this shop there is another shop… a place where treasure abounds… that is, if your idea of treasure is vintage everything… linens, laces, buttons, quilts, trims, tassels and bows… A non-descript little enclave in the non-busy part of town…. but at the same time an Aladdin’s cave and

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11 Aug 2013
#itstheweekend

#itstheweekend

Going back to the flea market in Villeneuve -les-Avignon… Last week I found the birdcage pictured above This week I am hoping to find a garden table… maybe the one above will still be there…    Browsing interior books… I need a fix… Thinking about Kelly Wearstler’s Rhapsody  Time for some opulent interiors and inspiration…

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1 Aug 2013
A Garlic Crush

A Garlic Crush

It’s years since I had my first garlic crush… and I don’t mean the little gadget that squeezes out all that delicious goodness… I mean a crush on fresh garlic… the violet and grey bulbs that are stacked in every Provencal village market and vegetable shop at this time of year… Fresh garlic bunches  are

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31 Jul 2013
Thought You Might Like To See

Thought You Might Like To See

Saturday morning on our way to Arles… it’s market day… I had to stop…   Like the lavender, sunflowers are a given in Provence… And yet… How could I ignore their sweet faces… Their smiles, their worship of the sun… They caught my attention… xv  

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30 Jul 2013
Monday Morning… Provence

Monday Morning… Provence

Nothing is ever half way done in Provence… Especially the weather… Freezing cold… Boiling hot… And the storms… Last night we had thunder and lightning that would waken Rip Van Winkle from his deepest sleep. Mad dashes outside at 2 in the morning to rescue cushions… impossible to sleep with the light and sound show

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19 Jul 2013
La Chassagnette… A ‘Must Have’ Lunch In Provence

La Chassagnette… A ‘Must Have’ Lunch In Provence

Have I mentioned La Chassagnette to you? There are so many reasons why La Chassagnette is one of my favourite places to have lunch in Provence…   Super relaxed… Located on the edge of the Camargue… All organic… Fabulous outdoor decor… Pretty gardens and a totally inspiring potager… And then there is the menu… I

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15 Jul 2013
Le Petit Bijou… Moving In

Le Petit Bijou… Moving In

Finally after what seems like forever Le Petit Bijou is taking shape… I am slowly forgetting the time delays.. The lengthy wait for planning permission, the exhausting renovation process and the inevitable hiccoughs along the way. The builders have all but finished.. A few little touch ups and last minute changes.. All in all Le

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