Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Fab French Shop Update...

The latest Mathilde M order has arrived with another due mid September.
Included in yesterday's delivery were lots of lovely fragrant items including:

Gorgeous gift sets containing a hand towel, packaged soap and fragrant smelling angel.

There is something special about the packaging and the metal boxes that these come in are so pretty, love the attention to detail.

These rose shaped soaps are a personal favourite and they smell gorgeous, hence the name of the perfume "Rose Ancienne".

This is the box that they come in, complete with dark grey ribbon.

Lots of little soaps which I think make the perfect gift, we sell a lot of these and package them in lovely Mathilde M paper carrier bags complete with angel and Mathilde M logo.

We also have more cushions in stock including these large rectangle shaped cushions with angels kissing.....these look great when displayed on a day bed.

New for 2011 are these fabulous canvases, click on the photo and you will see how detailed they are....

Love these hand towels and again these make for a gift with a difference. We also have matching cushions and curtains in stock. This design is a personal favourite and the cushions have been one of our best selling items in 2011.

Hope that you enjoyed the update, I am now off to update the online shop.

A tres bientot, Leeann x

Monday, 29 August 2011

love this photo....

{fabulous photo from here}

I am supposed to be measuring and photographing new stock but got distracted and stumbled across this fabulous photo.

Love the attention to detail in this room, so many interesting, lovely French items. For more loveliness click here.

I had better get back to the measuring......a tres bonne semaine a tous Leeann x

p.s. This morning I received some more of the toile de jouy lingerie/linge bags in some different and very pretty colours!

Friday, 26 August 2011

French Food Friday....

For the next few French Food Fridays, I will be sharing with you a few recipes from a book that belongs on the book shelf of any lover of French food.
This is a cookbook with a difference as the recipes do not contain as much fat as the original recipes but equally still retain the French flavour that made them famous in the first place.

The book is called the Skinny French Kitchen and is written by Harry Eastwood, alovely English girl who grew up in and continues to work and live in Paris.

Harry has recently launched petits pois cakes, a company that makes very yummy cakes with a catch - one of the main ingredients in the cakes is a vegetable.

Moving right along, the first recipe that I have tested this week is Asparagus, Fig and Crispy Ham Salad, you will find an extract of the recipe from The Skinny French Kitchen.

Asparagus, Fig and Crispy Ham Salad
This salad is a bit like me: it sounds French, but it’s not! I made this recipe up because I so badly wanted a salad that combines these flavours and colours. The various Frenchies for whom I’ve cooked it have loved it, so I don’t feel too bad about including it here.

serves 6

161 calories per serving


•800g fresh asparagus, wooden ends snapped off

•6 slices cured ham (such as Bayonne, Parma or prosciutto)

•6 handfuls rocket leaves, washed and dried

•30g fresh pine nuts, toasted

•6 fresh figs, cut into quarters

•a small handful chives, very finely chopped

For the dressing

•4 tsp balsamic vinegar

•2 tsp olive oil


1.Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and run under the cold tap until cool. They want to be barely cooked and very green in colour for this salad.

2.Cook the ham in a dry frying pan for 5 minutes each side, or until crispy. You will probably need to do this in two batches. Set aside to cool and crisp up.

3.Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the rocket and asparagus, then give them a good toss.

4.Pile the salad on to a serving platter or six individual plates and scatter the pine nuts, fig segments, chives and shards of crunchy ham over.
Cooking Tip - If you want to make this ahead of time, blanch and refresh the asparagus and keep them in the fridge. Cook the ham ahead of time too and keep it on a plate (not in an airtight container, which would take away the crunch). Rocket is not a good candidate for sitting
out ahead of time, however, since it wilts really fast. The best way to keep rocket super-crunchy (and also to neutralize its pepperiness) is to keep it in a bowl of cold water with ice in it and pat it dry just before serving. When doing this, you will also very likely find that your rocket goes really, really curly! I love it when rocket does that.

Skinny Secret - I think that one of the (many, mysterious) reasons that French women are slim is because there is such a salad culture in France. The salads over here are huge and so full of different ingredients that it’s common to have one for lunch and not eat again until dinner.


Je vous souhaite a tous un "French Food Friday" fabuleux...L x

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Yummy time of the year...

It is a yummy time of the year here in SW France, if you a lover of figs or figues as they are called in French.

I adore them and as you can see, we have a basket full of lovely ripe figs. I am thinking about making jam but any other ideas would be gratefully accepted.....

Leeann x

Monday, 22 August 2011

New arrivals....

Bonjour from a VERY warm SW France - 36 degrees,

It was another busy and also very hot weekend. Saturday we woke early to attend a local Brocante and found a few things including a fabulous old mirror frame which I plan to paint and some very old toile de jouy, which I will list on the shop this week.

Speaking of toile de jouy, it must be the toile de jouy time of the year, as we had a delivery of some fabulous and very large toile de jouy "linge"/washing bags......

and these lovely lingerie bags.....

these are perfect for popping into your suitcase and would make great gifts or stocking fillers.

Not only are the bags made locally, all the components used to make the bags are all sourced within France. Something that is rare these days and many items sold here in France are made elsewhere and I personally think that it is important to support local businesses.

Très bonne semaine à toutes et tous, Leeann x

Friday, 19 August 2011

FFF = French Food Friday

As I promised last week I have decided to take a break from Friday flowers and today makes the first of a series of posts all of which will be based around one simple theme " French Food".

As you know from yesterday'spost we went to a fabulous restaurant on Wednesday night where I enjoyed a fabulous and very French dessert called "Fondant au chocolate".

Translated “Fondant au chocolat” means “melting chocolate”. The cake, which is melts away in your mouth with its liquid chocolate heart, was created in 1981 by the French cook Michel Bras.

1 bar of dark chocolate
70g of flour
100g of butter
60g of sugar
2 eggs

1.Preheat the oven (180 °).
2. Melt the butter with 2/3 of the bar of black chocolate and add the sugar, the eggs, and the flour to it.
3.Then cut the 1/3 of remaining chocolate in big pieces and put them to the bulk. Put now the whole bulk into a buttered and floured mould and only 10 or 15 min in the oven.

You can eat it straight away whilst warm or put it a short time in the refrigerator then eat......either way it is delicious.

Bon week-end a tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fabulous dinner...

Last night we had the most fabulous dinner at a restaurant not far from the house, situated in the charming village of Issigeac.

I just wish that I had taken my camera, as the setting was stunning. The garden was magical with candles everywhere. It was a spur of the moment thing, I said how about taking me out to dinner and French boyfriend said okay.

You can see photos and also menu details here.

A demain mes amies, Leeann x

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

New in...

How was your weekend? It was a long weekend here in France with lots of activities all taking place at the same time.

The activities included a couple of vide greniers and a fabulous oyster and white wine festival, held in the village square.

Fortunately we saw some sun yesterday but Sunday was the opposite with many that attended the vide grenier in the nearby village of Lazun looking like drowned rats. Despite the mauvaise weather, we managed to find some treasures including the candelabra that you see pictured above long with 2 zinc platters complete with matching cloches. I personally think that these are great for cheese but a friend has one similar and she has plants displayed on hers.

More details about these new arrivals can be found on the fabulously french website.

Leeann x

p.s. I am placing a Mathilde M order on Friday so if anyone has any special requests please email me!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Merci beaucoup Ivy & Piper

I just want to say merci beaucoup to Ivy and Piper; an online decoration magazine for including a piece about what style means to me.

Here is a link to the latest issue, happy reading.

Leeann x

Friday, 12 August 2011

vendredi fleurs...

{photo taken by moi this morning }

Another weeks has passed tres vite.... I hope that it was a good one for you. Here it was a busy one with everything happening at once.
The weekend promises to be a busy one with more guests arriving along with a vide grenier taking place on Sunday and another on Monday. Fingers crossed we find lots of tresors.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend/ Je vous souhaite a tous un week-end fabuleux...Leeann x

p.s. next week we will be starting a new series on a Friday and all I can say is that it includes a word begining with F...

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Spot the difference...

{photo taken by moi in Apt, Provence}

The french call it Trompe-l'œil which translates to deceive the eye.
I think that this is a great example of this kind of art work.

The volets/shutters that you see to the right of the photo are real and the man on the balcony and the tree are not.

I adore it and think that it transforms a blank wall into something special. What do you think? Do you agree....dites-moi!

A tres bientot, Leeann x

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Fabulous idea...

This weekend was the weekend of the medieval festival in our village and part of the festival included a market.

One of the store owners, who had the most fabulous roulotte (gypsy style caravan), was selling these.

I could not resisit buying a branch, they are small apples attached to tree branches. What a great idea, this is first time that I have seen them. I adore them....

A demain mes amies, Leeann x

Friday, 5 August 2011

vendredi fleurs

This week passed quickly, was it the same for you? I cannot believe that it is August/aout already, that said I adore August as there are always lots of events including the medieval festival which is taking place in our village this weekend. There will even be guided tours around the village with candles in both English and French so I am hoping that the weekend is nice and sunny.

This week's photo comes direct from my kitchen and the flowers come from my lovely "flower man" who lives in the village and always has the most amazing flowers and plants.

Wishing you all a fabulous Friday/ je vous souhaite a tous un vendredi fabuleux....Leeann x

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

love these colours...

As many of you know I have a white bedroom, which I adore, but once and a while I feel like a "pop" of colour hence the cushions that you see resting on the chair above, are a new additon to my bedroom.

Unfortunately I do not sew but have asking my lovely French friend; Nicole to make me a cover for my quilt in the fabric with the roses and look forward to using it in the Autumn months.

There is something about roses that I adore, is it just me or do you adore them as much as I do?

Dites-moi, Leeann x

Monday, 1 August 2011

coup de foudre..

It was a case of love at first sight or as the French say coup de foudre. Yesterday morning French boyfriend set off early bound for a local vide grenier. For me it was not possible to accompany him as I had to stay and attend to guests.

You can imagine my surprise not to mention, delight when he walks into the kitchen carrying this very fabulous creature. She is adorable and now has pride of place in my bedroom.

Fabulous and oh so very French. She has the word pavot written below here, this is the flower used to make opium and these bustes were were made at the begining of the 20th century and she is one of a set of "femmes fleurs", style Alphonse Mucha.

Wishing you all a fabulous month/Je vous souhaite a tous un mois fabuleux, Leeann x

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