Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Once again, for the tenth straight year, I am making the pilgrimage to Chablis to join up with friends to celebrate Saint- Vincent Tournante du Chablisien 2013.  One of my friends has vineyards in Chablis and he invites his close friends to come and enjoy.  We always go to his vineyards and then afterwards to the Dampts to buy some of his gorgeous Chablis.  It is the best white wine ever. In between are lunches, dinners, banquets and wine, wine, wine.


SAINT VINCENT'S PHILOSOPHY- Taken from their publicity which says it better than I do.

Saint Vincent, patron saint of winemakers, represents solidarity.  For example, if a colleague becomes victim of an accident or an illness, he or she will receive help from other winemakers.

It is to honor Saint Vincent and to share moments of conviviality between all of us,that the Brotherhood of the Knights of Tastevin created this Festival in 1938.

Since then, the festival runs in all the villages of our wine region for the rotating St.Vincent of Burgundy Celebrations , and, in parallel, in each area of the appellation.

It is in this spirit that the Brotherhood of local Chablis Pillars launched the first celebrations in 1966. Thus, year after year, each of the 19 villages of Chablis takes over to organize this festival which brings together tens of thousands of
participants from around the world!

I will write more after the weekend with details of all the events.

The six hour drive from my home in Southwest France is well worth the time I spend there.

A Bientôt mes amis

Monday, January 28, 2013

Flea Market shopping in two countries

London Flea Market

Portobello Road on a rainy, cold day.  Not too many people out so I had my choice of anything I wanted.  The first thing I bought was some gorgeous silver for French Vintage Home.

The food stalls were also fabulous and I bought some beautiful purple broccoli for dinner.

Notting Hill is such a great place to visit.  These pastel houses are spectacular.

And then I return to France and go to the Vide Greniers here

No shortage of food here either.

Don't you love the vintage chocolate candy advertising  ribbon I bought to tie onto a gift? I am always searching for  vintage advertising ribbons and they are getting harder and harder to find.  This one is a treasure.

Wishing you all good shopping.

A Bientôt


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

La Petite Robe Noire

Ah, the little black dress.

Heidi Klum looks gorgeous in this little black dress.
Take a peek at her nails and then see below.


While in Paris I think you would enjoy visiting the shop of Didier Ludot called "La Petite Robe Noire"
at 125 Galerie de Valois in the 1st.  He has quite a great collection of vintage black dresses, the best.

Book by Didier Ludot

Elie Saab dress

Guerlain..La Petite Robe Noire

Golden Globes

Ralph Lauren

This perfect black dress has a bit of stretch making it so comfortable to wear.

Stella McCartney

Essie Licorice Nail Polish

A must have to go with your new gorgeous robe noir

   Edouard Manet understood the little black dress

    photo by

To see the things I love, click on the blue letters above.

A Bientôt


Saturday, January 19, 2013

London Bound

I am off to London for a few days to meet up with my daughter Debbie and my granddaughter Lauren to celebrate Lauren's birthday.
Debbie is flying in from NY, I am flying in from Bordeaux and Lauren is living and going to school in London.

I would like to share some of my favorite places to eat and drink in London. 
There is no better place to stop for a cocktail than the Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel.

Ottolenghi on Upper Street in Islington is a wonderful restaurant with lots of healthy options.  It is small so you must make a reservation well in advance.  I know you will love it.

Ottolenghi cookbook

Delicious options from Ottolenghi Notting Hill

Fabulous Burberry Hobo Bag

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of the iconic Burberry brand.  I love it.

If you have never worn By Terry, you are in for a delightful surprise.  It is wonderful.

By Terry is incredible lipstick

I expect to do a little vintage shopping for our French Vintage Home web site while I am in London. More to come.......

A Bientôt


Friday, January 18, 2013

Marie Antoinette

There was never a time in the French Royal Court as well known as when Queen Marie Antoinette reigned supreme. 

In 1770 at the age of 14 she married the 15 year old boy who was later to become King Louis XVI.

In 1789 France was declared a republic and the monarchy was stripped of its power. Both she and her husband were murdered, he first and nine months later she was killed.

While it lasted, it was a time of great extravagance.

She might have looked like this

 SGA Events, Amy Punky Photography, Vera Wang


If you ever visit Versailles and have an opportunity to see the private apartments of Marie Antoinette, I would highly recommend that you do so.  They are quite amazing and can only be seen by appointment.

You might enjoy this book.....

Becoming Marie Antoinette

I have been looking for this dress since I saw it last year at the Oscars.  Voila here it is.
Maybe not something you would wear to Versailles but it would cause a wow everywhere else.

Stella McCartney

A Bientôt


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Warm weather leather

The French were the first to make fashion important.  It started in the 17th century and hasn't stopped
"Haute couture" originated in Paris in the 1860s.
The extravagant, luxurious and evanescent styles of the French Royal court led the courtiers to run up enormous debts to keep up the pace, at the peasant’s expense. Such fashion sprees notably ruined Marie Antoinette’s reputation, and were one of the many factors paving the way for the French Revolution.

Though these styles did fade away, fashion has not.

We have come a long way since that time, and thankfully our clothes are more comfortable.
From the streets of Paris to the shops in Dallas, leather is as popular as ever.  No matter how much we have, we always have room in our closet for another piece.  The styles are simple and don't change much from year to year.

Here are a few of my favorites.

From Estelle....blogger

Photo by the
From the runway

And now from your self appointed personal shopper,the looks that I really adore. Just click on the blue descriptions and see details.

Catherine Malandrino Stretchy Leather Pants

Lambskin Lemon Drop Top

I try and tell my readers a bit about me and my life here in France as well as my life in the States.  There are so many things I love to do and I hope you enjoy sharing them with me.  I love to cook, I love to shop, I love my family so much and from time to time will write about all these things.  I am a "new" writer, "new" photographer and fairly "new" blogger.  Thank you for following.

A Bientôt


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thé ou de Café

Afternoon Tea a la Francaise

Kusmi tea

Lovely tea available all over the world

It would be hard to find a culture that did not drink tea.  In Europe it is an important part of every day.  It is normally served with a piece of cake or a sandwich eaten between lunch and dinner.

                From gothicteasociety blog

Along with the tea, it is nice to serve a delicious tea cake or finger sandwiches.  Better yet serve both.

I found these "ultimate finger sandwiches" hilarious. The Daily Goodie Bag has posted a recipe for Hand Sandwiches, delicious “handwiches” that use frozen dinner rolls to create a hand-shaped bun. They call them the “ultimate finger sandwiches.”

More traditional ones would be made on crustless bread and filled with thin cucumber slices, smoked salmon, cream cheese/chive or anything your imagination allows.

Don't forget to add some special sugar, like this rock candy on sticks.

Little bird tea cup

Set of 4 different printed chintz tea cups

The gorgeous stores that sell fresh ground coffee are everywhere, even in the mediaeval town of Perigueux, close to where I have my home.   The beans are freshly ground from these beautiful storage containers.

Have you tried Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee?  If you are a serious coffee drinker you can't get much better than this.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness. Over the last several decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

I only write about things I love.  I am lucky that I love so much.

May you recognize the small pleasures in life and take the time to enjoy them.

A Bientôt


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sticky, gooey, delicious homemade marshmallows

Making my own marshmallows never, ever occurred to me until several years ago friends of mine had Thanksgiving dinner at Martha Stewart's home and she made her own marshmallows.  I was very, very impressed. No one I knew ever made these lucious, sugary treats but now I know how.

Yes, you can make your own marshmallows.  It's easy.

I made these using this French book.

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside. 
The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source.
The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. It is a dessert most identified with the summer time, but is eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.

Lindsay at Ultimate Foodies supplied this picture and recipe for the most delicious Pavlova with a soft marshmallow interior.

This pavlova has a crisp meringue encasing a soft marshmallow centre. and is sure to please. If you want a large pavlova (like the one pictured) then double the recipe.


4 egg whites
8oz caster sugar
4 level teaspoons cornflour
1.5 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

600ml double cream
Little bit of sugar to sweeten (about a teaspoon)

Dark chocolate to grate on top 

Line a baking tray with baking parchment and pre-heat oven to 130 degrees celsius.

Start mixing the egg whites (using freestanding mixer if possible, or hand beaters otherwise).

Add the sugar tablespoon at a time and beat.

When thick, add the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla extract.

Beat until stiff, then dollop out in a circle onto the baking tray (make a slight dip in the middle).

Bake for 50 minutes until crisp on the outside.

Turn off the oven and let it cool inside the oven.

Whip the double cream with the sugar and spread on top of the pavlova. 

Decorate with raspberries and grate a little dark chocolate onto them.

A Marshmallow recipe from my childhood is  Heavenly Hash.  I made it for my children, as my mother did for me, and they loved it.
It couldn't be easier.  Delicious.

1 c. whipped cream
1 sm. can crushed pineapple
6 chopped marshmallows
6 maraschino cherries, chopped

Mix all ingredients together and chill well.

Another great way to use marshmallows, only this time you can buy the cake instead of baking it.  It is a S'mores cake. It doesn't get better than this.

Neiman Marcus S'mores cake

If you would like to learn more about the highlighted items, just click on the bold blue letters.

I hope you like these recipes and will try them.

A Bientôt........