Bistro Du Paradou
22 October 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Bistro Du Paradou

We all have a well loved local restaurant; a restaurant that we frequent for all sorts of reasons at different times of the year. I often ask my friends in Provence this question, “If you could eat at any restaurant in our area, which one would it be?” The answer is more often than not,

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The Dressing Room
21 October 2010 | VA Notes Fashion

The Dressing Room

I have always thought that a large dressing room would be the ultimate in luxury. In my fantasy there would be a proper place for all of my clothes and space would never be an issue. The sweaters and tee shirts would be colour coded, the handbags arranged by size and style, the dresses (hung

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Brocabrac
19 October 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Brocabrac

If you are a lover of a French flea market then click HERE to save this site for any future trips to France. Brocabrac is a website that lists all the local markets in France – the times and the dates. The photograph is from French Essence of my collection of old night dresses that were found in

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The Sunday Lunch
29 September 2010 | VA Notes Provence

The Sunday Lunch

    Sunday lunch is the best meal of the week – whether it is a roast in our local London pub or a picnic of leftovers at the farm in Provence. Sunday is the one chance for our family to eat together – it doesn’t happen every Sunday because life isn’t like that anymore,

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Paris….Chez L’Ami Louis
13 September 2010 | VA Notes Paris

Paris….Chez L’Ami Louis

Chez L’Ami Louis is famous, it is almost a Parisian institution. Last Friday night was my first visit and I loved it. It could have been because I was pretty excited to be in Paris – that clouds my judgement every time – but I don’t think so. Chez L’Ami Louis has all the ingredients I look

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Operation Escargot
29 August 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Operation Escargot

  Thursday morning, bright and early, I awoke with that glorious feeling of anticipation…a day at the beach. We were headed to St Tropez to soak up the gorgeous and the glitz, bask a little in the sun and enjoy a delicious lunch at Club 55. It is a bit of a trek from St Remy

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The French Encounter… With Snails
24 August 2010 | VA Notes French Tales

The French Encounter… With Snails

  Friday morning means a visit to Eygalieres, one of my neighboring villages. It is market day and I like to food shop for the weekend, take my guests for a browse and meet a friend who lives nearby for coffee.  As we pulled in to park, an older woman walked out of the field

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The French Tractor
6 August 2010 | VA Notes Provence

The French Tractor

  I always find it a rather strange thing that scent can trigger particular memories; for me scent is the most powerful tool for recollection.   This morning I as I picked a generous bundle of mint, the sweet potency transported me back in time and I was assailed by memories of my first French

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Ou Ravi Provencau
30 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Ou Ravi Provencau

  Ou Ravi Provencau restaurant in the village of Maussane les Alpilles makes the best macaroni and cheese. I know that sounds like a strange dish for a place like this but believe me there is nothing but foodie heaven after this taste sensation. I am sure the chef Jean Francois Richard would prefer that

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Apricots, The French Way
27 July 2010 | VA Notes Uncategorized

Apricots, The French Way

. Apricots are at their best in Provence this very moment and I am finding every opportunity I can to enjoy them. Like all fruits – fresh is best – but if you feel like indulging in a little caramelised fantasy of mine… xv Apricots, The French Way wash, split and de-stone the apricots (allow

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La Vierge Marie
25 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

La Vierge Marie

  When we first found our farm in St Remy de Provence there wasn’t much to call a garden. There were some established trees, an orchard of abandoned fruit trees, a few gnarly old olives and a whole lot of broken down buildings. There was nothing of value and everything of value. Amongst these ruins

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Moules Et Frites
9 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

Moules Et Frites

You either like them or you don’t. Me…I love mussels with an accompaniment of pommes frites. You may notice that I am resisting using the English words…fried chips, french fries, just plain fries, hand cut chips, match stick potatoes or any other derivation of deep fried because pommes frites just sounds so much more delicate, so

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The TGV… A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Avignon
7 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

The TGV… A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Avignon

    Have you ever taken the TGV train in France?   This high speed train travels from the North to the southern tips of the country in record breaking time….hence the name train a grande vitesse. It is a sleek machine that snakes it’s way through the countryside, reaching average start to stop speeds

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The French Supermarket
1 July 2010 | VA Notes Provence

The French Supermarket

  French life, like all life, has to revolve around the everyday some days.   Yesterday was one of those kind of days . As much as I would like to gaze at beautiful surroundings and wile away the hours there are things to be done and they are the kind of things that can

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The Londoner
23 June 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

The Londoner

In the words of Britain’s esteemed author Samuel Johnson, ‘No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.’    June is the month when the sun shines, the roses are in full bloom and the gardens and parks are heady

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