The Skirted Round Table
22 December 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

The Skirted Round Table

One of the great joys of the internet is the chance to make friends all over the world. I haven’t met the girls from The Skirted Roundtable, but after listening to their podcasts and reading their blogs for sometime, I feel as if I know them well. Sitting down and chatting to them a week or

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Heartbreaker
16 December 2010 | VA Notes Uncategorized

Heartbreaker

 I have to tell you about the cutest French film. It has everything to do with breaking hearts and falling in love. The French know all about this. Heartbreaker or L’Arnacoeur, starring the gorgeous Vanessa Paradis and the very handsome Romain Duris. I would be surprised if Heartbreaker  didn’t make you laugh and smile and feel like

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The Wedding Anniversary
30 November 2010 | VA Notes Lifestyle

The Wedding Anniversary

     Although I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in ‘the pumpkin pie and good old roast turkey kind of way’ I do have a fondness for this holiday… it’s around the same time as our wedding anniversary. The idea of thanksgiving and a wedding anniversary feels simpatico because there is a multitude to be thankful for

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‘Different Links On The Same Chain’
21 November 2010 | VA Notes Uncategorized

‘Different Links On The Same Chain’

  I received this beautiful letter from one of my readers who lives in Bengal. We have shared a correspondence for some time now… but this one particular note touched me and gave me cause to reflect on the serendipitous nature of connection in our lives.  “Vicki, please may I share something with you –

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French Essence: Ambience, Beauty And Style In Provence
5 November 2010 | VA Notes French Reads

French Essence: Ambience, Beauty And Style In Provence

  It has seemed like an eternity to wait but I am very pleased to be able to say that my new book, French Essence: Ambience, Beauty and Style in Provence, with photographs by the superbly talented Carla Coulson, is available in the United States. It is an exciting moment for any author to have a

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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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