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Showing posts from November, 2016

The brocante bug..

I think that the brocante is one of those things where you either love it or hate it, there is nothing in between. It rerminds me of when we moved to India and people said the same thing about Mumbai.
It was one of the best years of my life and I learnt a lot from living and working in India. We lived in the Taj Mahal hotel and it was there that I came to appreciate the work and love that goes into running a hotel.

Back to the brocante bug...French Boyfriend & I spent Sunday in beautiful Bordeaux. There were antiques partoutas there was the weekly flea market taking place along with the  Antiques fair that takes place twice a year at the Place des Quinconces, which is one of the largest city squares in Europe (approximately 31 acres or 126,000 m²)

The weather was fabulous, not a cloud in the sky. There was over 200 stands and it is a great place for anyone looking to buy good quality antiques or vintage objects.

 Whilst in Bordeaux I stopped at my favorite shop to buy some of my favor…

French food Friday...chutney de figue

recipe from here
Bonjour mes belles,

I defrosted a large quantity of figs and realised that I would have to do something quickly but what, I asked myself. I am not a huge fan of fig jam but I love fig confit. The trouble is that we eat a lot of fig confit and I feel like a change so I decided that I would try and make chutney.
Yesterday I made a batch using the recipe below which has rasins and onions in and it has turned out okay.
I have another couple of kilos of figs that are taking up a lot of space in the congélateur so I am thinking about making a port and fig chutney which we could eat with cheese or pork. It may even make for an unusual gift for our French friends depending on how it turns out.

Here is the recipe that I used yesterday and once I have tried the other one, I will let you know. Note you can use dried figs if you do not have fresh ones.
Fig Chutneybrown sugar: a generous cup (250g)
figs: 8 large (about 2 1/2 pounds / 1kg)
malt vinegar: 2/…

The hunt is on...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. Yesterday was lovely and sunny and a perfect day to be hunting for tresors.  The Dordogne was looking particularly splendid yesterday, basking in the lovely sunshine.

As you know Autumn is one of my favorite seasons and you will understand why after looking at these photos.

A lovely day for a walk along the river or in our case, a browse in one of our favourite antique warehouses...
The shop is overflowing with treasures and you never know what you may find...
Looking at all of these fabulous garden objects makes me wish we had a garden. 

Inside the warehouse is literally overflowing with treasures and I love the fact that you never know what you are going to stumble across as you move between the aisles of furniture. 

Arranging objects is an art form and one that the French Antique dealers do well and have been doing for a very long time.
I love this sign and forgot to ask how much it was but I will ask when we return at th…

French food Friday...Linzele

recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,

Sorry for the lateness of this post but I hope the delay is worth it. I am not sure about you but I have started to prepare for Christmas. This recipe was recommened by a friend who lives in Alsace as these biscuits are a speciality in this part of France.

Linzele ou boules de Linze
For 25 biscuits

- 250g of flour
- 75 g of sugar
- 125 g ground almonds
- 125 g of butter
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of  cocoa powder
- 75g of raspberry jam

MethodIn a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and ground almonds.
Mix well and make a well.In the middle, pour the soft butter and the beaten egg mixture. Mix well until a ball is formed. 
Wrap the dough in cling film and leave it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Remove the dough from the fridge and form balls of about 20g. 
Place on a baking sheet lined with a sheet of baking paper.
Flatten ball…

attention to detail...

Bonjour mes belles,

French Boyfriend is busy sourcing stock for the shop and I love it when he gets new items in. 

New in is an antique set of drawers, each drawer is lined with this fabulous toile de jouy fabric. 

Love the attention to detail and the  way that the edges have been finished off with ribbon and studs. I normally line mine with wallpaper but I may have to try this as it really looks fabulous...

à demain, Leeann x

Chateau de at first sight!

Bonjour mes belles,

Whilst in Normandy we got to visit a chateau that I have been wanting to visit for a very long time. Chateau de Vendeuvre is has been on my "wish list" ever since I stumbled across their fabulous website.

Fortunately for us it was the school holidays, which meant that the chateau was open daily as opposed to just on Sundays afternoons in October.

You are not allowed to take photos of the interior but you will find a lot of photos of the interior on their website.

The attention to detail is amazing in each room and the collection of minatures is one of the biggest in Europe. We also loved the display of pet beds, which were amazing and very luxurious.

photo from here
Here are some photos that I took out of the exterior and the fabulous gardens....

I particularly loved the unfusiness of the gardens and how they draw your eye to the chateau.

The chateau has a lake complete with swans,the gardens have a special tranquility about them and there is even a magical grot…

French Food Friday...Fleur de Sel Caramels

recipe and photo from here

Bonjour mes belles,
Apologies for the lack of posts this week but it has been a crazy week and everything appears to be happening at once.
It must be something to do with the super moon, we are looking forward to seeing this next week.
I have also started to think about Christmas and what I am coming to make for the festive period.
I love caramels but have to be careful as I have already lost a temporary crown whilst eating one.
Hence this recipe comes with a health warning...
Yield: 12-16 caramels Fleur de Sel CaramelsSweet, simple and oh-so-delicious homemade treats! You will love this Fleur de Sel Caramels recipe!
Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 20 mins Ingredients:1/2 cup sugar1/4 cup light corn syrup1 1/2 cups heavy cream5 tablespoons unsalted butter1 teaspoon fleur de sel, plus extra for sprinkling1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractparchment paper or wax paper, for wrapping Directions:Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan (or loaf pan) wit…

French food Friday...Calvados Rice Pudding

recipe and photo from here
I am still in Normandy mode so I am planning of stealing some more of French Boyfriend's calvados to make this very yummy desssert.

I first made a similar dessert a few years ago, and this now takes on a whole new meaning having stayed in the area where calvados comes from.

Calvados Rice Pudding
Serves 6 people15 min preparation 40 min cooking


600 mlmilk 600 mlpouring cream 2vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped 240 gmcaster sugar 6egg yolks 240 gmshort-grain rice, such as carnaroli Calvados apples 200 gmcaster sugar 6Granny Smith apples, cut into wedges 80 mlCalvados (see note) MethodHeat milk, cream, vanilla beans and seeds, and half the sugar in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add rice, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until thick and rice is tender (15-20 minutes). Whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and pale. Remove rice mixture from heat and whisk in egg mixture,…

French caramel anyone...

I can honestly say that should you visit Normandy, you will not be short of gift ideas as there is something for everyone and most of the products are made locally so you are really taking home something that was made with love and is local.

Not only do the products taste good  they all look amazing thanks to the time and effort that the French put into their displays....the devil is in the detail as we all know.

à plus tard, Leeann x

In love with Honfleur...a few photos!

Bonjour from a foggy Eymet,

Finally here are some photos from our recent trip to Normandy. It is a 7 1/2 hour trip from where we live as opposed to only a couple of hours if you live in Paris.

It was the first time that I had visited Honfleur and I loved every minute that we were there and fortunately for us, the gite that we rented was only a 10 minute drive from Honfleur so we were able to visit on a regular basis.

We purchased lots of seafood from the local poissonnerie...

Ate a few gateaux.... Drunk and cooked with quite a lot of calvados, it seemed rude not to....

Became addicted to this local delicacies, very yummy when heated for a few minutes in the oven! 

Loved the variety of shops and galleries on offer and just the ambiance in general...
Cidre was everywhere we looked and now wish that I had bought a couple of cases but there is always next time, this gives us an excuse to return.  

We also ate a lot of cheese and I have never seen so much cheese in my life, unfortunately I forgo…