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Friday, May 17, 2013

In the French Countryside

Marie Antoinette's Hameau at Versailles

In my last post I told you a bit about our time in Paris in 2012.  J'adore Paris, bien sûr, but I'm a country girl at heart, and there is nothing that compares to jumping into our rental car and heading out of Paris into the French countryside.  And that is exactly what we are doing today as we join Anita's Party in the French Countryside
Simply Irresistible!!!

We headed out of Paris, down to Versailles on July 14, Bastille Day. I had read that on that day everyone wore white, with a tricolor cocarde, and that Versailles was quite the place to celebrate that day. So rather than face the crowds at the palace, we entered by the lesser known Queen's gate, where parking was a breeze. We then walked down a long allée of trees to arrive at Marie Antoinette's hameau.

This is the enchanting farm built for Marie Antoinette, where she played at being a shepherdess.

Today it has been restored and is as charming for us as it must have been for her and her children

These are not my usual edited photos, but just
snapshots.  Still, it is such a lovely spot I think you will enjoy just seeing the buildings.

All of these snaps were taken around noon, and yet,despite it being Bastille Day, there was no one there except us!!!

The Moulin

Tour de Marlborough

The Cottage

If you would like to see an article I wrote for Belle Inspiration magazine on this magical place, with some of its history and a lot more photos, you can click here

When we left Versailles, we headed out into the deep country of Normandy, to our favorite region, le parc du Perche... 

...where we stayed for a week in this romantic chateau...

...and visited many public gardens, such as this...

... and visited beautiful manoirs such as this one...

...French cottages out in the countryside are positively adorable!  Peek through any gate...

...and let out a great big sigh!

 Every house has the sweetest shutters...

...called "les volets"

I'm smitten with the heart-shaped cutouts!

This area is so bucolic, so peaceful, so visually beautiful, that I will only give you a tiny taste, and will save the rest for an entire future post...

And so, now we head even further out into the countryside, heading toward Bretagne, with a stop here...

The artist's village of Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei 

And marvel at all we see along the way

Châteaux at every turn!

and the reason why French bread is so delicieux!!

In my next post I will share some more of why we all love France and why we all love this party of Anita's!!  Thank you, Chérie for inviting us!!

Please remember that due to my Google glitch, I cannot comment on blogger, but I would love to trade comments with you on my facebook page, 

Now I'm off to visit you!  See you
 "dans la campagne"!!!

à la prochaine,

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tip-Toeing Back...

V i e w  o f  P a r i s  f r o m 
G a l e r i e s  L a y f a y e t te

I've wondered how I could ever come back to this blog after being away for 10 months.  But since my friend Anita has encouraged me, and since there will be a fabulous Fête in the French Countryside on her blog coming soon, [and there's no place I'd rather be than in the French countryside] I have tip-toed back into blogland with some photos from the two trips to Paris which I have made since my last post.

July 2012

I finally found this tiny, narrow street, 

and returned to this iconic place

Found this on l'Isle Saint-Louis in the middle of the Seine

as well as this

smiled at this...

and this.

Did not do this...[ and why not?, I ask myself in retrospect]

...but did a lot of this.[Oh. That's why.]

Went window shopping

but didn't buy a thing.

Photographed and emailed pix to strangers

Visited Jim's grave at Père Lachaise at the request of a former student

Saw lots of art...

But our favorite artist was this photographer, exhibiting in Bercy

who uses his 93 year old grandmother as a model

I love the trompe l'oeil on the sides of 
Parisian buildings

and the window boxes

we walked down rue Montorgueil

and I was shocked to see this!

I had mixed emotions... the last time I had photographed this building in 2011...

it was deliciously shabby chic!

 And speaking of buildings, we stayed in a marvelous apartment in the Marais, 

          with a huge private courtyard terrace

 and a library filled with books

            and with antiques...

and a salon filled with original art

and even a dancer's barre
[ DO NOT try this at home.
uh, that is to say, I nearly broke my neck]

If you care to watch this video, it will show you the kitchen down in the "cellar"

Since I cannot comment [ even to respond to comments on my own blog!] due to something weird between my server and Google, I have decided to disable commenting.  If you really want to reach me, I invite you to "like" my 
French at Heart page on Facebook. I can talk with you there! [I'm also adding the "follow by email "option.]

It's nice to be back, and I do so look forward to Anita's 3rd annual French Party!  It's Simply Irresistible!

à bientôt,

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