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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to France...where was I..?

G e r b e r o y

A  S t o r y b o o k   V i l l a g e  i n   F r a n c e   

...Oh, right...I was going to tell you about the rest of the trip.  It wasn't all Châteaux and Chandeliers, but it was all magical, just the same.

We picked up our rental car upon landing at CDG, and drove 30 minutes north up to the medieval town of Senlis [you pronounce the last "s"], the pretty town where over 100 movies have been filmed. Maybe I was delirious from jet lag, but I really forgot what century I was in. What an atmospheric place!  It rained while were there, and we all loved that.  It truly added to the romance of the cobblestone streets, the market in the town square, the majesty of the beautiful old cathedral.

t h e   b r o t h e r s

And in addition to all the cultural and romantic beauty, there was also this most wonderful antique boutique...

Look at those zinc garlands!  I could have fit them in my suitcase!!!! [ Slaps forehead.]  Well, we are planning to go back to this town in November, and maybe they'll be there then.  And maybe I will find out the name of this sweet shop.  Because, although I took a business card from the charming owner, I gave it to my darling husband to hold, and he put it in his jacket pocket.  Then proceeded to lose his jacket at our dinner restaurant. And the card.  So if the charming owner ever sees this post, [ and I gave her the name of this blog] I hope she will get in touch with me and tell me the name and address!!!!!

After lunch in Beauvais, we headed deeper in the lush Picardie countryside to arrive at the Storybook village of Gerberoy. I gave you a link to Gerberoy in a previous post, but I had only read about it then.  I had no idea that it would be such an enchanting place...

                                                 A village festooned in flowers...

and filled with the sweetest cottages...

Hollyhocks and Cobblestone lanes...

I could live here...

This is the most iconic house in the village, and it was right opposite the window of our cozy B&B,Le Logis de Gerberoy owned by Cécile et Olivier Gréboval

This is part of the gardens of Henri Le Sidaner

And this is the ruined chateau which he bought in 1900 and eventually turned into a dreamy garden filled with roses. Every year the entire town hosts a Rose Festival in honor of him and these roses.  I edited this shot below to make the opening photo to this post, because I felt like I was truly in a fairytale.

Despite our luxurious bed and comfortable room, I was too wired to sleep.  Couldn't get over this view, so I hung out the window for quite a while...

What is it with French houses that they don't need screens? Here at home I have moths beating themselves senseless on my screens all the while I'm reading in bed.  Don't they have bugs in France?  Don't a few bats want to get in bed with you?  I pondered these deep questions for quite some time, and soon it was morning...

After a wonderful walk in the woods...

And the most delicious French breakfast of freshly baked,flakey croissants, homemade confiture, and cafe au lait served to us by our sweet host, Cecile[we all loved her]...

...we were ready to head out to Honfleur and la Mer!

Je reviendrai bientôt, doux amis,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Wonderful French Artist...Jean Boccacino

A few posts ago I  mentioned the French photographer who had photographed the collection of "reliquaires d'amour", here, Jean Boccacino.

Well, Jean is also one of my favorite Mixed Media painters 

There is something so ineffably French about his paintings...

Can I just say that I LOVE this work of art? 

He is also a wonderful art photographer.

I have put together a Gallery of his work, which you can see

To see more of Jean's work, and learn more about him, check out these links:

Thank you, Jean, for allowing me to post your work!

plus tard, mes amis,


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back From France...the rest of the chateau

It's time to leave the chateau, but I must share some final parting shots

My favorite bathroom in a visual sense, was this one that I saw posted on Sharon Santoni's wonderful blog My French Country Home

Her photo came from the Mires Paris website, and as soon as I saw it I recognized it from the La Verrerie website.  But you'll notice that the towels are not rolled up in the urn. I mentioned that to Bruno, and he seemed surprised that I would notice that.  But not half as surprised as the Brothers,  who looked at each other as if to say "Who IS this woman, and how does she notice this stuff?"
But seriously, I missed seeing those rolled up towels!

The bedroom that goes with this bathroom is the Yellow room

the dream kitchen

Look at the size of those two chandeliers...
and that's a Lacanche under that hood...

a peacock in the morning room

But as splendid as the inside of the chateau is, it's the neighboring outbuildings that captured my heart.  Arranged like a petit hameau, such as one would find at Versailles, each barn, cottage, stable and folly was...well, if not decorated, then at least "arranged" in the most fascinating way, with artful vignettes to be peered at through the windows.  Like this view

of the workshop

or this view through the window

of this sweet little unoccupied cottage called "la petite verrerie"

...little hidden corners...

Amuse Bouches with Bruno and the boys...

And then there's the potager...

...but I must stop.  I feel I'm being a bit unfaithful to my own humble, but beautiful 
Everafter Farm. It's not a chateau, but it's a warm and cozy home.  God gave us this farm, and living here has been a joy for the last 9 years. Maybe these words say it best

Off to Boston tomorrow to visit friends, and then I'll be back with more of our trip to France!

Au Revoir, mes amies,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Back From France...Part 2: Les Chambres

Night in the Marais [in Paris, naturellment! ]

Yes, we did get to Paris...eventually.  But that story comes later.  Today I want to show you our bedrooms at the Chateau.

We chose to stay in the Parma, mainly because it was in my favorite colors, lilac and lavender...

look at those dear lamps, that sweet bust...

the parrot sconces were special...

...our bath was pure luxe,

 and I almost drowned in the tub [ too short to reach the other end to brace myself!]

There's another chandelier [sconce] on the back wall. 3 in one bathroom! The silk pouf curtains made me want to play Scarlett, and rip them down and wear them to dinner...

But my favorite part was the tiny "chapel" that separated the bedroom from the salle de bain. I'm stunned that I didn't photograph the 

prie-dieu, with the antique Bible open to 1 Kings, but it looked a bit like this

You can just see the cross peeking up at the bottom of the image. [At the back, behind the gorgeous silk curtain is the cooler/bar. A chapel and a bar! whoa!] I did a video of this and posted it on my Facebook page, and at the time I couldn't remember what the Globes de mariée, "reliquaire d'amour" were called. I did

remember seeing, a year or so ago,[and becoming smitten with], a wonderful set of photographs
of these wedding bouquets on Flickr, 
photographed by Jean Boccacino, which you can 
see here.

Also the lovely blog Fete et Fleur has a post on the Globe de Mariage here.

Now, what I found interesting is that Jean photographed them at a market in Angers, and that city is but a hop and skip from the chateau.  I wonder if Bruno bought his in the same place?  As a member of a family of wedding photographers, if I could collect anything, it would be these!![ I do have a collection of vintage wedding cake toppers, but they pale in comparison.]

So, I had the lilac room, the chapel, the globes de l'amour, AND, while I was bathing for dinner, the FM station played one solid hour of "Amazing Grace", as performed by a variety of artists!  Was I blessed, or what!!! Merci, Dieu!

Our brother Bob stayed in the Blue Room

with the spectacular bathroom in the turret...

Here's another little "jerky" iPhone video of the room and bath.

Coming Soon:  The rest of the rooms!

Adieu, mes amies,

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quid.di.ty The real nature of a thing; the essence; the essential nature or quality of something that makes it distinct and different from other things and establishes its identity

Some words on art, photography, beauty, nature, travel, Everafter Farm, friends, family and God.

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