Guess Who Is Coming To Le Petit Bijou
10 October 2013 | VA Notes Provence

Guess Who Is Coming To Le Petit Bijou

It’s been an amazing week for me… The excitement of reaching 5 years of age in the blogosphere… The announcement of the giveaway… a week’s stay at Le Petit Bijou in St Remy de Provence…   I have been overwhelmed by your wonderful support, your generous comments and the many many shares… There are so

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About Beauty
8 October 2013 | VA Notes Provence

About Beauty

Funny how people come in and out of your lives and make the world a brighter place. I was thinking this morning about Lulu, ‘my’ Lulu. Those of you who have read the book French Essence may remember that I wrote of her… Lulu came to the farm in France more than ten years ago…

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There Are So Many Reasons To Come To Provence
3 October 2013 | VA Notes 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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The French Farmhouse
3 September 2013 | VA Notes Provence

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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Home Is Where The Heart Is
26 August 2013 | VA Notes Provence

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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#itstheweekend
25 August 2013 | VA Notes Lifestyle

#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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Le Petit Bijou… Part 6
21 August 2013 | VA Notes Provence

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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Le Petit Bijou… Part 5
16 August 2013 | VA Notes Provence

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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A Treasure Trove in Provence
12 August 2013 | VA Notes Lifestyle

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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#itstheweekend
11 August 2013 | VA Notes Lifestyle

#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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A Garlic Crush
1 August 2013 | VA Notes Provence

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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Thought You Might Like To See
31 July 2013 | VA Notes Provence

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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Monday Morning… Provence
30 July 2013 | VA Notes 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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