~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Festive France

A very good Wednesday morning to all!!

Last night was the kind of evening where you just want to linger by the fireside. No rain, just clear skies, but as the sun walked across the sky she dragged a very cold front behind her, which saw the fire blazing high at five in the afternoon. Supper was vegetable soup served with Pumpkin and Sesame Seed loaf and I found a forgotten bottle of white wine and settled into the fireside...

Now... I needed a good book, but not a novel. So, I nipped upstairs and found the perfect fireside read....

Festive France is the kind of book that can keep me occupied for yonks. It has it all...France, of course, recipes  to drool over and some good yarns told with aplomb!
What more do you need? Perhaps a Chateau thrown into the equation?? No problem...it obliges.

Image, Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds photographed from my  book.

So, let me introduce you to three adventurous South Africans, an artists , a  chef and a stylish gal. They hop over to the French Countryside and buy a Chateau, in rural France... the medieval town of Boussac to be precise. Right where the provinces of Limousin and Auvergne converge. Well, imagine... South Africans merging with the French culture... there is bound to be ... well, a few calamitous moments,  absurd recollections, intellectual discussions and can you imagine just for a moment....your taste buds being in a perpetual state of anticipation....Oui!!

So, meet Louis Jansen Van Vuuren, Hardy Olivier and Anet Pienaar...

Image, Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds taken from the book

And the lovely Anet, as you can see...wine glass aloft and fun written all over her! a women after mine own heart!

Now, lets take a look at the petite Chateau La Creuzette ....

Picture perfect, wouldn't you say?

Loving the drapes above, the tassels, of course, and the bust! I know I am a wee bit strange..but whenever I dust the busts in my  own house I can not resist a greeting...  well, someone out there will understand, it might not be you....but...

The way I love to see Fornasetti done....not to much, just enough!!

My favourite image....right out of my ultimate decor dream....

There is a very important piece of news that you need to know. If you should find yourself planning a trip to the French countryside, you can book to stay at La Creuzette. These wonderful hospitable people offer amazing holidays at their piece of paradise.

How would you choose from the following...

French Lifestyle and Shopping for Houses and Antiques


Painting amongst the Irises


The Most Beautiful Gardens of the South of France??

Take a look at their website HERE for full details

I hope that I have inspired you to start planning that trip!! I know that La Creuzette is top of my French Bucket list!

Well now that you are planning your visit,  take a look at the tub and then lets head for the most important room....

... and so, onto all things that bubble and boil,
 and  might I add, a bit of everyday theatre, as Ton Vosloo puts it in his foreword to the book.

Thus far I can vouch for the delights of the fig tart. Sublime!!

I love all things lemon and the next one to try is "Marie- Therese Amichand-debize's lemon tart". It can only be good! I will let you know in due time.

Just  to titillate your reading appetite....

I loved this story by Louis about the art of opening a bottle of champagne! He concludes the demo by saying that ... " If you have done it all correctly, you will be rewarded with the softest sigh, similar to that of a well satisfies madame"

Buy your copy HERE. Of course locally, I have seen it in most of our book stores! It is a treat!

Can you imagine the conversation here... a mix of English Afrikaans, French and much gesticulating!

I also enjoyed the story about the  complexities of French way of greeting. The ritual of cheek kissing three times has many a pitfall for an unsuspecting South African. I have a friend or two, locally who indulge in this practise as well, oddly both male, and it is a minefield of calamity... Well, which side do we start, left or right?? Now, all the while you are still talking, continuing your conversation (and we all know that the best conversation happens while you are trying your best to depart) and so, I am in mid sentence babbling away, and I loose count and leave the other party kissing mid air, my back already turned heading for the car!!! or  I forget that I am aiming for the cheek and deliver a mouth to mouth event! 

Recently I has spent time with them the night before and managed to get it all correct! Wondrously... however the next morning I met someone for coffee and messed up a straight forward one on the lips South African kiss!! Go figure...

Live Well



(three kisses...we start left, right, left...got it!!!)

Images from the book and some were photographed by me from my own copy and the decor ones are from La Creuzette's website!

comments and air kisses in the comment box below please... I am all ears and ready..starting LEFT!! or is it right???


  1. Ah I'm a true Fancophile so these pics are heavenly! Have a great day!

  2. Love this book. It is such an entertaining read. It is my dream to go there one day. X Sharon

  3. I'm adding this book to my shortlist looks fabulous.

    Fig tarte is a new one I hadn't thought of and I love me some fresh figs.

    I hope you and your lovely gorgeous followers can join us for our fabulous Giveaway.

    Bon weekend.

    Paul XO

  4. What a gorgeous book - just the thing for a dark winter night - I'll have to find it and save it for such a time (months from now!)
    Do let us know how the Lemon recipe goes - one of my favourite flavours!

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