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Showing posts from March, 2014

Winner of the Fabulously French Giveaway...

Bonjour mes amies,

I hope that you are having a fabulous weekend. I have feeling a bit disorientated as a result of putting the clock forward......but hope to catch up on lost sleep by having an early night tonight.

We have drawn a name from the hat; fabulous antique top hat that we just happen to have in stock and the winner is.....

MARY WATT Can you please email me with your address details or leave a comment below so that I can pop the book in the post to you. Mille mercis to all of you that entered into the giveaway and I am already planning another giveaway but think that the next one will be something old yet fabulously French. amicalement, Leeann x

painting with milk paint...

 Bonjour from a very windy SW France, We started the morning with a trip to a local Brocante in a nearby village. The village is perched high on a hill so you can imagine the chaos that the wind caused hence sun umbrellas had to be tightly secured and you could hear items falling to  the ground. Nice to see so many friendly faces but alas no tresors for us this morning. This week I received a surprise package in the mail from a dear guest of ours. Inside the lovely box was some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint samples. You all know me by now and how I love to paint. Our house is a shrine to Farrow and Ball and I have transformed many items in  the house using Annie Sloan Chalk paint. I have heard that Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint is currently the rage in London so was eager to try it out. I hunted in the garage for something to paint and came up with an old barometer. I decided to try Shutter Gray and as the item had been varnished instead of mixed the powdered paint mixture with water, I mi…

French Food Friday...Chicken in White Wine

recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

This recipe is an old favourite of mine and is a recipe that I use all year round. Simple and yet tasty, my favourite style of cuisine.


Chicken in White Wine
Serves 4
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 50 minsIngredients600ml (20fl oz) dry white wine2tbsp olive oil1 lemon quarter2 bay leaves4 sprigs of thyme4 free-range chicken thighs (skin on)4 free-range chicken breasts (skin on)50g (13/4oz) butter150g (5oz) lardons or 6 rashers streaky bacon, diced1 tbsp plain flour8 small shallots, peeled250g (8oz) small mushrooms1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley MethodCombine the wine, oil, lemon quarter, bay leaves and thyme in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces, cover and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.Heat the oven to 150°C (gas mark 2). Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat half the butter in a large heavy flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the lardons or bacon and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the …

Fabulously French Giveaway...

Bonjour from a very showery SW France,

Today we have Spring showers and it is the perfect weather for curling up with a good book and not feeling guilty.....

Today I am offering you, my lovely readers, the chance to win a signed copy of "The French for Love" written by local author Fiona Valpy.

I can honestly say that I’ve read lots of novels set in Provence where the descriptions bring back great memories of vacations spent in the villages and picture perfect scenery.

What I really liked about this book is that it is set not far from us and the descriptions of the area really are spot on and it made me feel like I knew the characters from the beginning.

Here is a summary of the book, as supplied by Fiona....
Gina has lost her perfect job, her boyfriend and her favourite aunt all within the space of a few months.  

So when she inherits her aunt’s ramshackle French house, Gina decides to pack her bags for the Bordeaux countryside – swapping the miserable English weather for blue sk…

week-end tresors...

Bonjour mes belles, I hope that you had a nice week-end. Ours started with a visit to a house that contained over 5,000 antique French books. Every room in the house was overflowing with books and it was overwhelming to say the least. As we are not book experts we chose a select few that we thought would be of interest to our clients and at the same time, are very decorative in nature, should we need some books to decorate with. One that I found amusing and loved the illustrations in which, is called Le Sourire, or "the Smile". It is a French satirical, risqué journal that featured top notch artistic talent. It was published in Paris on the Boulevard Saint-Germain. The journal first appeared in 1899 and ran until the final year of the Great War. Each issue included sixteen pages of large illustrations plus a color cover. The book contains 52 issues starting with 6 janvier 1927, and there is an issue for each week of the year.


It was a very cold and rainy start to the day yesterd…

French food Froday..Chocolate pudding fleur de sel

recipe and photo from here
Author of the bestseller Chocolat, Joanne Harris has another fabulous book for us and it involves chocolate and recipes so is sure to be another best seller...

Many of you may already know that the  word ‘pudding’ comes from the French word boudin; for sausage or blood pudding – though this pudding has little resemblance to that. Here, the sponge is given a twist with butter caramel and fleur de sel, an artisan sea salt – although any flaked sea salt will do.

Chocolate pudding fleur de selServes 6-8
Butter for greasing tin
100g (3½oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
150g (5½oz) butter, soft
150g (5½oz) unrefined caster sugar
3 eggs
25g (1oz) cocoa powder
¼tsp sea salt
150g (5½oz) self-raising flour
2tbsp milk
For the caramel sauce
75g (2¾oz) butter
150g (5½oz) unrefined brown sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
150ml (5fl oz) double cream
A pinch of fleur de sel (from delicatessens)

Butter a 1kg (2lb 4oz) pudding basin generously.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmer…

jardin de printemps...

Bonjour mes belles,

Yesterday afternoon we paid our lovely "flower man" a visit as I needed more flowers to put in the apartments.

I managed to get some photographs of his lovely garden before he started picking.


Almost too lovely too pick but that said, the house looks lovely with it's burst of Spring colour.



Re the tablecloth and serviettes I have had a few emails overnight asking if I would split the tablecloth and napkins up, the answer is yes, the price for the napkins would be 90 euros and 60 euros for the tablecloth. If you are interested, please email me.

à demain, Leeann x

Chateau Chic...Monogrammed Linen

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. Ours was a lovely sun filled weekend and today we have more of the same.

As you know, I have a passion for monogrammed linen as it is something that we use a lot chez nous whether it be a monogrammed sheet on our bed or a fabulous damask tablecloth in the dining room complete with matching napkins.

Yesterday whilst treasure hunting with French Boyfriend, I bumped into a couple of friends who are specialists in antique french textiles and I jokingly asked if they had any goodies for me.  

They mentioned that they had a fabulous tablecloth and matching napkins that has come from a local chateau if I was interested.....as if they needed to ask.

It really is a stunning set  and at the same time, it is rare to find a tablecloth of this size 300 x 200 cms in immaculate condition. They feature a lovely, fine monogramme with the initials "A R".





There are 12 matching napkins which are all immaculate and feature the same mono…

French Food Friday...French Crepes with apples

recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

This week's recipe is a classic but a favourite of mine and always goes down well when served with vanilla icecream.

French Crepes with apples
Serves: 4
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time:  10 minutes

You will need

For the pancakes:
125 g plain flour
1 vanilla pod, split in half
2 large eggs
200 ml whole milk
15g butter, melted plus extra for cooking

For the apple topping:
150 ml orange juice from 3-4 oranges
grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 cardamom pods, crushed
30 g butter, melted
2 apples, cored, thickly sliced and then cut in half Method
1. Put the flour and vanilla seeds into a bowl and add the eggs. Gradually whisk in the milk and butter until a smooth batter.
2. Heat a large frying pan and brush with the melted butter for cooking, pour in a ladleful of the mixture, swirl the pan to make a thin large pancake and cook for one to two minutes, turning halfway until golden and cooked.
3. Fold into qu…

j'adore le printemps..

j'adore le printemps ! les journées plus longues, la douceur, les fleurs, les oiseaux, le soleil ...c'est magique.

Living in France, a country which has very distinct seasons has made me appreciate each with my favourites being Spring and Autumn. Spring is the awakening of the senses; the days grow longer, there is a mass of flowers everywhere, birds appear from nowhere and there is lots of lovely sunshine...and for me it is like magic and one day it is cold and wet and the next as if someone has waved their wand and we have light, colour, warmth along with birds and butterflies darting backward and forth.

On this note I will leave you with a clip of one of my favourite songs....click here to listen.


à demain, leeann x

Do not judge a book by it's cover...

Bonjour à toutes et tous,

We are busy sourcing stock for the shop and  I am planning to spend the morning photographing a lot of the new items.

One of the items that I have already photographed, is this antique book.



When I first saw it, I picked it up to put with the others, French Boyfriend advised that it would be best to look inside before doing so....


I opened the cover and it looked the same as the other books but at the same time I was worried as there have been a lot of normal looking books sold for thousands of euros.....hence it pays to be careful when it comes to books.


A few pages later and I realised why it was different to the other books, it is a Livre à secret which was and are still used today in France,  to hide precious items.



You will find it here



à plus tard, Leeann x

bon week-end....

Just stopping by to wish you all a très bon week-end from a very sunny SW France.
Leeann x

French Food Friday...Pêches "façon melba", cerises et sorbet citron

photo and recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

This week's recipe is an easy but delicious one.

The dish was invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London, to honour the Australian soprano, Nellie Melba.

The French version is followed by an English version below.....
Ingrédients500 g de cerises8   demi-pêches au sirop25 g de beurre 100 g de cassonade 1/2 sorbet au citronRecetteÉgouttez les pêches en réservant la moitié du sirop.
Lavez et dénoyautez les cerises, poêlez-les avec le beurre et la cassonade.
Laissez cuire 5 minutes en remuant délicatement de façon à ce que les cerises restent entières.
Puis ajoutez le sirop de façon à arrêter la cuisson, retirez du feu.
Dans le fond de chaque coupe à glaces, disposez 2 demi-pêches ouvertes, laissez tomber les cerises sur les pêches en conservant le jus.
Ajoutez une boule de sorbet citron, nappez de jus et servez aussitôt.

Ingredients500 gof cherries
8peach halvesin syrup
25 g butter
100 gbrown sugar
1/2c…

Mirror, Mirror...

Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

Yesterday we went and picked up this fabulous mirror from very large house in the country.It is large and would look stunning when hung above a firerplace or simply hung on a wall. 

A friend came into the boutique this morning and said how could I sell an item like this? Unfortunately I can not keep all the lovely items that we find and my garage is full with items that I have bought with a view of using them later.....hence I am looking for a loving home for one fabulous and very French Mirror.


Speaking of the shop, it smells lovely at present as I have had a lot of new candles delivered this morning, all of which smell lovely. The new fragrances include Vanilla and White Ginger, Grapefruit and Green tea, Gerannium and Rose Petal and a new favourite  of mine; Fig and Wild Pear.

I love the packaging as the lettering on the tins has a vintage feel to it.

Also back in stock are best sellers Antique Rose and Linen and White Pepper. Back to the unpacking of…

c'est magnifique...

photo from here  I just had to share this photo, I have seen most of the other photos of this stunning Château in the Gers but I have not seen this particular photo before today.....c'est magnifique n'est-ce pas?

Leeann x

love old postcards....

 
Bonjour from a sunny SW France,

We were hunting through lots of old postcards yesterday when we came across these antique cards relating to Eymet, the village that we live in and that French Boyfriend was born in.


We no longer have a railway station in Eymet, this building is now the Notaire's offices.
This is the village square which has not changed in over 100 years apart from the trees that no longer exist as it is now parking. I prefer it with the trees....

Love the card pictured above which features the words "a thought from Eymet"......

I am particularly fond of postcards that feature people as I think that it makes them more interesting and funnily enough old postcards with people in them, often have a higher value than those without. Unfortunately I did not find any of my house, which used to be an old hotel, but will keep looking. à demain, Leeann x

my favourite tree...

Bonjour from a rainy, sunny and windy SW France,

Printemps has well and truly arrived, this morning we have had rain followed by sunshine followed by rain....I think that you get the picture hence it is not a good idea to leave the house without carrying both a pair of sunglasses and an umbrella. 

I just hope that the rain and the wind does not spoil the flowers of my favourite tree, which is situated a few steps from our house...J'aimele magnolia.

Très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x