Saturday, 29 August 2009

Paris on my mind...

View of Paris from Notre Dame Cathedral

We are thinking about spending a week in Paris in January 2010 so I have started searching for an apartment in Paris.

I have spent a couple of hours searching yesterday for apartments and all of the diamonds that I short listed are already booked.

So I am continuing my search for a love nest in fabulous Paris, if anyone knows of a great apartment that sleeps 2 and is centrally located with WiFi, please let me know.
Bon weekend

L x
ps we are off to a vide grenier tomorrow morning so fingers crossed that we come home laden with lots of fabulous goodies!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Paris - worth getting out of bed for!



This week I have received a lot of lovely emails and I plan to share a couple with you over the next few days.

The first one was from
Jane Guidone, who together with her husband is visiting Paris in October. Paris is one of my favourite cities and it got me thinking about some of my favourite things to do.


I thought that we should help Jane out with a few ideas about what to see and do whilst in what I consider to be one of the most fabulous cities in the world. So here goes........



Viewpoint
Crowded but irresistible, the Eiffel Tower is open 9.30am–11pm (midnight in high season).


Arts and culture
The Louvre (www.louvre.fr) houses some of the world’s most famous art (open late Mondays and Wednesdays; closed Tuesdays and some holidays). The Musée National d’Art Moderne is on level four of the Pompidou Centre (www.centrepompidou.fr); Richard Rogers’ radical architecture is another draw. Musée National Picasso Paris (www.musee-picasso.fr) occupies an old house in the Marais, and is full of the artworks Pablo couldn’t bear to part with; the venue is as alluring as the art itself, also the case for Musée d’Orsay, a converted train station packed with arty treats (www.musee-orsay.fr).

Something for nothing
Follow in the footsteps of Degas, Toulouse Lautrec and Amélie, wandering through Montmartre (the bohemian hill streets that saw the birth of the can-can), and up to the Sacré-Coeur for more resplendent Parisian panoramas.

Shopping
Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré is chock-full of designer boutiques; our favourite is Colette (www.colette.fr), a celebrated lifestyle shop with fashion, books and a café. There are quirky independent shops, cafés and bars plus cutting-edge fashion in the bohemian Marais district (aka the quartier Juif) – also the only area largely open on Sundays. Porte de Clignancourt market is a fleamarket for clothes and antiques, open Monday–Saturday until 7pm. Or arrange to have a selection of Parisian vintage pieces brought to you by Ooh La La! (ring +33 6 84 76 58 65 ahead of your trip for details).



If you’re a sucker for department stores, head to Le Bon Marché on Rue de Sèvres. Splurge with a healthy conscience at Merci (+33 (0)1 42 77 00 33) on Boulevard Beaumarchais. The luxury emporium donates profits from its cut-price Annick Goutal perfumes, Baccarat crystal vases, Stella McCartney and Yves St Laurent glad-rags and hip homeware to a children’s charity in Madagascar.

Daytripper
Live out your Louis XV/Mme de Pompadour/Marie-Antoinette/Sun King fantasies at the incomparable oh so fabulous Château de Versailles, just outside Paris (www.chateauversailles.fr).

Perfect picnic
Grab a bottle of bubbly from the minibar and some pastries, smoked salmon baguettes or tarts from Gérard Mulot at 76 Rue de Seine (43 26 85 77), and enjoy them in the Jardin de Luxembourg on the Left Bank. Another good green grazing spot is the Jardin de Tuileries near the Louvre: get gourmet snacks at Fauchon or Hédiard on Place de la Madeleine.

Walks
When I go to Paris, I always stay in the very chic St Germain, it is a fabulous place to stroll around, with plenty of shops, cafés and culture to keep you occupied; thanks to its university heritage, the area has historically been the haunt of artists, poets and intellectuals, and there are still plenty of great bookshops and galleries to help kick-start your grey matter.

Activities
The Seine’s open-top Bateaux-Mouches riverboats are a popular way to see the sights; most depart from Pont de l’Alma. Stick to a one-hour trip and give the touristy dinner cruises a miss. Ramp things up a notch on a private picnic cruise down the St Martin canal aboard La Coda, a small Dutch barge (www.parislacoda.com).

US-run Fat Tire Bike Tours will whiz you round the sights on Schwinn bikes, Segways or your own two feet; the night-time tours are fun (1 866 614 6218; www.fattirebiketoursparis.com). Rollerskate through town on a Friday night (or just watch the speed-mad crowd wheel past); the city-of-light express leaves Tour Montparnasse at 10pm and rolls back around 1am (www.pari-roller.com).

And...last but by no means least, marvel at Paris’ unique layout from atop the 200-year-old Arc de Triomphe, one of France’s most iconic monuments and the epicentre of bravura city-planner Baron Haussmann’s star of boulevards; it’s worth clambering up its many internal stairs to peer down the Champs Elysées and enjoy photogenic views down to Place de la Concorde and up to La Défense. Open daily, 10am–10.30pm (11pm in summer), excluding 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. Tickets cost €8 and must be bought 30 minutes before closing.

Now its over to you, I am sure that you all have a favourites place in Paris, so do not be mean and keep it to your self, let Jane and the rest of us into your secret world....

A bientot,
L x

Two girls in Avignon...

Photo: Two girls in Avignon

As you know I love all things french, so I was over the moon when I found a wonderful website that sells beautiful towels and pillows that feature beautiful antique french linen.

The website is called two girls in avignon and the products that they sell are beautiful and almost too good to use.

Photo: Two girls in Avignon

They sell lots of pretty vintage french linen towels and are so fabulously french.


Photo: Two girls in Avignon


Hope that you all like them as much as I do.


Bon mercredi et a demain,


L x

Monday, 24 August 2009

French beds...


There is just something about antique french beds that I love. I love the crests on the beds and each one seemsm to have its own story.

I love them painted and unpainted.......


I love the side rails and I adore the carving on the bedheads.


I also love the capitone/corbeille louis style padded beds.......



Infact I think that it is safe to say that I just love french beds and everything about them.

A demain
L x

Friday, 21 August 2009

Friday flowers....

Hope that you have all had a good week. Mine has been another busy one and also very hot. Temperatures have been in the late 30's so we are looking forward to some respite from the heat.

These flowers are for each of you to say thanks for all your lovely comments and also especially for my Nana in New Zealand who has been quite poorly and send all our love for a speedy recovery.

Heureux week-end à vous tous
L x

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Oh la la Lacroix

When I saw this photo by Christian Lacroix today, I thought how fabulously french,
..................c'est parfait!


L x

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

..c'est un pâtisson

Photo: Chocolate and Zucchini website


You are all a lot cleverer than I as I had no idea when I first set eyes on it. Style Redux, not only are you a lady of style but also a domestic goddess!

I think that I have lived in big cities for 2 long and now I am taking time out to notice things around me. I have always been a city girl hence living in country France is proving to be educational........

"The patty pan squash (in French: le pâtisson) is a member of the blended summer squash family. Shaped very much like a UFO with undulating edges -- each bump a tiny cockpit with an alien inside, presumably --, it can be conical or squat, and comes in shades of yellow, green, or white. The flesh inside is the color of clotted cream, its heart studded with edible seeds like the center of a zucchini."

Description courtesy of the fabulous Chocolate and Zucchini website.

The plan is to roast it tonight then serve it with herbed chickpeas, thanks to a wonderful recipe I found here on the chocolate and zucchini website.

A demain
L x

Monday, 17 August 2009

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Photo: "Mystery white object", Maison No. 20


On Friday night we went to see a local lady who is going to be supplying me with some lovely cards for my wee shop. She lives in the heart of some of the most scenic vineyards in this area hence inspiration is not a problem and I found it very hard to choose a selection as they were all fabulous and I plan on showing you some of her designs later in the week.


Like many locals they grow all their own vegetables and at this time of the year have a surplus so we were given a few to bring home. One of which was the lovely white object that I have photographed and plan to cook tonight. I had never seen one before, can you guess what it is?

I will reveal the name tomorrow but in the interim, happy guessing!

L x

Friday, 14 August 2009

Fairies in France

Photo:"Tinkerbell and the admiral" - Kees Terberg


I am not sure about you, but ever since I was a little girl growing up in New Zealand I have loved fairies and have always believed that they lived in the bottom of the garden.


So it was like all my dreams come true, when I stumbled across these beautiful photos taken by local photographer Kees Terberg, who I have featured in an earlier blog.




Photo: "Bee Orchids" - Kees Terberg


I think that this myabe my favourite photo - I love the colours.



This one is also very pretty, I love the wings.........




Photo: "Reflections" - Kees Terberg

This one is also gorgeous, I have a thing about waterlillies.....

For more beautiful photos of very fabulous and of course, french fairies please visit this website.

Bon weekend,

L xx

Thursday, 13 August 2009

And the winner is.........

Photo: Dan Marty

The winner of the lovely Petit Coterie burlap pillow, according to random.org is lucky number 32 which is rue who lives in Ohio, USA.

Rue, can you please email your address details so that Michelle can post the lovely pillow to its new home.

Thanks to all of you for entering and for the very entertaining comments that you left.

The one thing that I do not get is why burlap has not reached Europe but is so fashionable in the US.

I am on the hunt for an old grain sack and will let you know when I find one.


Merci à vous tous, et bonne journèe


L x

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

More burlap...

I have some chairs similar to this at Maison de Poitiers in the dining room and bought a couple of spares just incase one broke.

After seeing this photo, I am tempted to cover a couple in burlap. Trouble is that I have never recovered anything before in my life, so may need a hand. Any volunteers?

Bon mardi,

L x

ps there is still time to enter the giveaway for the burlap cushion, details here.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Fabulous burlap GIVEAWAY



Hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. After 3 weeks of sunshine we had a rainy day on Sunday, which was nice as it has freshened it up a bit here.

Today as promised, I am offering one lucky reader, a fabulous burlap pillow courtesy of the lovely and very kind Michelle, owner of the gorgeous and almost french online store, petit coterie.


Prize courtesy Petit Coterie

All you have to do, is leave me a comment, stating why you deserve to win and I will announce a winner on Thursday morning.

Also a little good news for those of you in Australia, Michelle's pillows will be stocked by simple things small joys a new Australian shop which is opening soon in Highfields, Queensland.

Bonne chance

L x

Saturday, 8 August 2009

It's the weekend..


Finally, it is the weekend! Hope that you all have a fabulous weekend.

L x

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Finally I found her.......

As many of you know I have been searching for an old antique mannequin for some time now. The search was proving somewhat difficult as antique french mannequins are becoming more and more sought after by the day and the price is increasing with demand.

Yesterday we started to clear out the ground floor as Mr FF is getting ready to start work on my wee shop which will contain gift type items that guests can take home with them and I will also use it as a showroom for my online shop, which has been neglected of late, as all efforts have been concentrated on getting Maison No. 20 up and running in time for the start of the summer season.

We were busy loading items into our car,bound for the dechetterie (rubbish dump) when our neighbour Bernard appeared. He asked what we were doing and I told him that we were having a clear out and also mentioned that yesterday morning, I had bought a lovely picture to go in the hall of Maison No. 20 from a newly opened antique shop in the village, for what I thought was a good price.

I guess that now is a good time to mention the fact that Bernard is an antiques dealer and that we rent space in a building that he owns across the road.

He uses part of the building to store all his fabulous and of course french items, then sells at the brocantes during the summer months. There are 2 parts to the building; the part where we park our car and the other part which is always locked off.

He took me by the hand and said come with me, inside was his lovely partner Nicole, who is also a collector of all things french.

I think that this must be somewhat of a disease in our street! Whilst kissing Nicole, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a group of mannequins huddled in the back corner. The majority are fairly recently but tucked behind them and almost hidden from view was the object of my dreams! So a deal was struck and home I trotted with "my girl".

And to think that all the time that I had been searching around France, she has been right in front of my nose..........

Bernard's parting comment was, the next time that I am searching for something I should go to him first! Note I did ask about an antique bird cage but he does not have one but maybe could find me one.

A bientot,

A very happy L x

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

And the winner is......

Photo: Rodney Smith


.....................Shaz in Melbourne, Australia. Shaz is the owner of two lovely blogs Time Framed and It's What I love.Many thanks to all of you that entered, I really enjoyed reading all your fabulous comments.

It is ironic that Shaz won as this is what she wrote "Congrats on your 100th post. Lovely cushions, they are calling my name!. I didn't realise just how much I love pink (and duck egg blue) until a friend of mine was looking at my blog and pointed out that most of my posts have these colours in them - can't argue - it's there in black and white (well pink and blue actually!!!)".



I was going to use Mr Linky last night but as we were pushed for time, I found it quicker to create numbers for each entry and then got Mr FF to pick one. He picked No.11 which was the number of Shaz's comment so the pretty stripey pillows will be winging their way to Australia very shortly.

Yesterday I received a lovely email from Michelle,owner of Petit Coterie. She is the creator of the fabulous burlap pillows that I featured on Monday's blog.

Michelle has kindly offered one of her new pillows as a giveaway so that means that next week there will be another giveway. Just don't go expecting this every week..........

Bon mercredi,

L x

Monday, 3 August 2009

Today I am loving......

Photo: Petit Coterie

............these burlap cushions. Aren't they fabulous? I love them and I am now wondering where I could use them.

And to think that I found them due to the fact that the maker, Michelle, left a lovely comment on my blog.Michelle's blog is called petit coterie and the cushions are available to purchase on etsy.

I have started work on the interior design for apartment 3, so I am currently collating pictures and ideas at present.




I love the lettering on this one........but love the first three the best.

I had better go as I have a meeting with the mayor and I need to get off this blog!

a demain et bon lundi

L x