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Showing posts from October, 2013

Bonne Fête de Halloween...

Bonsoir mes belles,

Just stepped outside to snap a photo of our scary looking "Fabulously French" window....

Bonne fete de Halloween à tous, Leeann x

last day...

jour de marché àCastillonnesce matin

Bonjour mes belles,

It is a bit of a strange day for me  today as this morning was our last morning in the shop that we have in the nearby village of Castillonnes. We have made a lot of friends in the 6 months that we have had the shop and enjoyed being part of the weekly market as we had a stall outside the shop.

Love the banter between les commerçants du marché  and we had slipped into a Tuesday routine, quite a contrast to when we first opened the shop.

We will start emptying the shop tomorrow and we are at present on the lookout for new premises closer to the village in which we live.

The Fabulously French Boutique will continue to open Thursday mornings and is also open by appointment.

As they say one door closes and another opens, so am hoping that the other opens soon.....

à demain, Leeann x

shop update...

Bonjour mes belles, This post is a bit later than I would have liked but I have a good excuse for being late. We had a RDV to collect some furniture for the shop and unfortunately it rained this morning which was not the best of conditions for moving furniture. First up is a set of 6 Sarreguemines Napoleon III plates which are and very decorative. They come from a local château and have been well looked after, with all in immaculate condition. I am selling them individually, they are 20 euros each and would look fabulous displayed on the wall. You can find them on the new arrivals page. Another newbie is this rocaille style candelabra, again very decorative and with only one branch it does not take up a lot of room. This lantern was one of a pair but unfortunately the other had a panel of glass that was broken so I thought it best to leave it where it was. Collection only as I would hate to post it only to have it arrive broken. This is a stunning rare vintage French original senior Officer…

French Food Friday.:::..Pissaladiere parcel

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

This week's recipe is a speciality of southern France that's a bit like pizza. Made with goat's cheese, onions and garlic - it really is delicious.

Pissaladiere Parcel Serves: 6

Total Time: 3 hrs 25 mins

Prep Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 45 mins 900gram(s) onions3 garlic cloves200gram(s) goat's cheese8 anchovy fillets (see Cook's Tips) 90ml (6tbsp) olive oil1sprig(s) rosemary or 5ml (1 level tsp) dried375gram(s) strong, plain white flour 2.5ml (½level tsp) easy-blend dried yeast 5ml (1 level tsp) salt Flour for sprinkling1 beaten egg Rosemary sprigs and sea salt to sprinkle
Method Peel and finely slice onions and garlic. Crumble the cheese; chop the anchovies. Heat 60ml (4tbsp) oil; add onions, garlic and rosemary. Lay greaseproof paper over the onions; cover pan with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer over a low heat for 45min, stirring occasionally, adding water if onions look dry. Drain onions, reserving…

a burst of colour...


Today was another hot and sunny one so perfect for planting Bruyère or heather as it is called in English, in my window boxes at Maison No. 20.

Love the colour as it goes perfectly with the colour of our shutters...

A close up of the lovely burst of colour.....

à très bientot, Leeann x

new arrivals...


I hope that you had a fabulous weekend, ours was a lovely sunny and very warm one.

Meteo advises that the heat is going to stay with us all week long and I for one am not complaining as it gives me a chance to leave the windows wide open and let the house respire, before we are obliged to keep the windows closed in order to keep the warmth in.

I have added a few new items to the shop including this fabulous clock....

 a pair of candelabras painted in the same colour......

a rocaille style pot also painted to match......we have 2 of these available

 plus a very decorative vintage style clock which is in perfect working order.....

and another pair of silhouette prints.....

Note I have a couple of antique style quilts but have not had a chance to photograph them yet. ...très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x 

French Food Friday...Caramel-Croissant Pudding

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

This week's recipe involves croissants and at Maison No. 20 we go through a lot of these, 90 a week in high season....hence this recipe is handy for using left overs.

Merci to the fabulous Nigella Lawson for coming up with this one.

Caramel-Croissant Pudding
2 stale all-butter croissants, coarsely torn
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 1-quart shallow baking dish and arrange the croissant pieces in the dish. In a small saucepan, stir the sugar and water over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves; wash down any crystals on the sides with a wet pastry brush. Cook without stirring until a medium amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, milk and bourbon. Cook over low heat just until any hardened caramel dissolves. In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Gradually whisk in the hot caramel. …

Wishing I was here...

photo from here Coco Chanel's suite, Ritz hotel, Paris, looks like the perfect place to spend a day or two.....or perhaps three. Leeann x 

Buon giorno....

Thought that we would start with Buon giorno which is Italian for Good Morning. The reason for this change is a result of finding this vintage Pinnochio toy who was made in Italy.

He is adorable and I cannot help but smile, each time that I look at him.

You will find him here.

à très bientot, Leeann x

a bit of bling....

Bonjour mes belles,

As you know I love a bit of bling and this fabulous pair of vintage candelabras would certainly add a bit of bling to your dining table. The finishing touch perhaps for a festive table.
You will find them here.

à plus tard, Leeann x

new arrival....

Bonjour from a rainy and cold SW France,

I do not know what has happened to the weather as it is normally sunny in October but at least this weather is good for the plants and at the same time, gives me an excuse to cosy up inside the house.

I am feeling in an indulgent mood so have put a lovely fur throw on our bed and am thinking about lighting lots of candles, candles and rain....almost as good as lanterns and snow!

The light is not the best for taking photos but I have managed to take a couple of photos of this lovely, very decorative clock that has just arrived and tomorrow I will try and take some photos of the other new arrivals.

You will find details here.

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

French Food Friday...Hot Chocolate Soufflés with Chocolate Cream Sauce

recipe and photo from here 
Bonjour mes belles,

Autumn has arrived in SW France and I cannot think of anything nicer than a chocolate soufflé with a chocolate sauce.....if you are going to indulge you may as well do it properly...light as a feather, these chocolatey melt-in-the-mouth soufflés are sure to please

Prep:20 mins
Cook:10 minsPlus cooling
For the hot chocolate sauce 142ml pot single cream25g caster sugar100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces25g butter For the soufflésmelted butter, for greasing50g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp extra175g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into pieces2 tbsp double cream4 egg yolks5 egg whites2 tbsp double creamicing sugar, to serve Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and place a baking tray on the top shelf. For the sauce, heat the cream and sugar until boiling. Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate and butter until melted, then keep warm.Brush 6 x 150ml ramekins with melted butter, sprinkle with the 2 tbsp caster sugar, then t…

Fabulous news...Tour de France in the Dordogne

Bonjour mes belles,

Fabulous news, the Tour de France is returning to our area, please see below for détails......

Tour de France in the Dordogne     NEXT year’s Tour de France is returning to the south-west after missing it from the 100th race – with riders heading from the Pyrenees to Bergerac on July 25 and then a time trial to Périgueux the next day.

Newspaper Sud Ouest says the Dordogne will host the two final stages of the 101th before the peloton heads to Paris for the final day and the finish on the Champs-Elysées .

Périgueux and Bergerac have spent tens of thousands of euros to get the Tour de France to visit the Dordogne – but the potential returns for tourism are immense with the race being televised worldwide.

The 101st race starts in Yorkshire on July 5 with a 190km stage from Leeds to Harrogate followed by a 200km stage from York to Sheffield. The third stage is 170km from Cambridge to London on July 7.

Details of the rest of the Tour route are being kept secret until the …

Film Review:Les Sauveurs du Palias (Haute Cuisine)

Bonsoir mes belles, The film that we watched last night was fabulous and what made it extra special was the fact that it was inspired on a real life story of a woman that lived  in the Périgord area, which is where we live and worked as the private cook of ex-French President Francois Mitterand.  . A bit about this fabulous film.... Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot), a renowned chef from the Périgord, is astonished when the President of the Republic appoints her his personal cook, responsible for creating all his meals at Elysee Palace. She cooks from her private kitchen but she has to face opposition and jealousy from the staff of the main kitchen that provides all her meat, vegetables and raw materials as well as other amenities such as a larger freezer.   But thanks to her fighting spirit, she charms the President and eventually gets to source her materials outside on her own. This is French comedy as its charming best.  An underdog who makes good, set in the French culture of haute cuis…

so charming....

Bonsoir mes belles,

How charming is this petite fenêtre?    As we all know the devil is in the detail and détail is something that the French do well without even knowing that they do so.....

I am now off to watch a film which was made nearby, will tell you all about it tomorrow.

amicalement, Leeann x

très bon week-end...

Bonjour mes belles,

It is turning out to be one of those days where it is hot and sunny one minute and then all of a sudden the sky darkens and along with it the temperature cools.....I said to French Boyfriend let's go for a walk, was only out for 15 minutes before the sky turned a menacing black colour. 

I managed to get this photo in the nick of time as I wanted a photo with the grapes and reddish colour leaves and had to be quick as the vendange is taking place this weekend.

très bon week-end à tous, Leeann x

French Food Friday...Coq au Vin with Plump Prunes

recipe and photo from here
Bonjour from a still warm SW France,

The weather is set to cool down for the weekend and since we have a lot of freshly dried prunes on hand, I think that this calls for a recipe that not only tastes great but it smells delicious....

It is a very  tasty  dish with a rich red wine sauce which  can be made two days in advance

Prep Time: 1 hour; 15 mins
Cook : 2 hours
Serves: 4
Ingredients750ml bottle full-bodied red wine (needn't be expensive, just gutsy)4 large chicken legs, halved (or 8 thighs), preferably free range3 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil25g unsalted butter2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped25g plain flour1 bouquet garni with 2 bay leaves and 1 large sprig of thyme, optionalzest of 1 orange removed with a vegetable peeler (so it doesn't dissolve completely)20 very plump prunes, stonedcornflour, if neededsugar, to taste For sprinklinggrated zest of half an orangehandful of parsley, roughly chopped MethodReduce the wine by half over a high heat – this t…

2 new arrivals...

Bonjour from a drizzly SW France,

I am not complaining as it gives me a chance to concentrate on my ever growing list of indoor type tasks......such as photograph a couple of new arrivals and start thinking about a Halloween style display for my wee boutique.

The first of todays arrivals is a vintage French double inkwell, a very decorative piece that would look great displayed on either a modern or an antique style desk.

The other new arrival is this huge Antique late 1800's French Lourdes hand carved pilgrims rosary.

It is a large Priests style rosary traditionally worn on the journey home around the waist or girdle by pilgrims and hung on the walls or doors of the practising home. A simple cross with a brass Christ and the scored engravings in french: Mère de Jesus N.D de Lourdes je Vous Consacre. Ma Famille.
On the back of the cross there are some simple scored engravings of the tools of the crucifixion and in French "servire domino Christo". There is a…

Shabby Chic French Style...

Bonsoir mes belles,

I hope that you are having or had, a fabulous day.

Ours was spent sorting through boxes in a garage that we need to clear and it took a lot longer than I thought that it would.

Hence this post is a lot later than I would have liked but I wanted to share this photo with you. It is a photo of an old advertising panel painted on a wall of a building in our village which has been preserved and I think, looks fabulous. So much nicer than looking at a plain wall and at the same time reminds of what this buildings purpose used to be. In a previous life it was a place where conserves were made, a bit different to it's use today.....fabulous loft style apartments....if only the walls could talk, they would surely have a tale or two, to tell.

à demain, Leeann x