Showing posts with label france. Show all posts
Showing posts with label france. Show all posts

November 9, 2013

A day in Picardy

France is a beautiful country & autumn is the best season to experience the French countryside in all its glory. We visited the grandmother of my husband last weekend in the Picardy region & had a field day discovering old castles & military cemeteries. History is always alive in France. But here, it lives on in the land… the Somme département suffered terribly during the first World War where a few hundred thousand soldiers died heroically for the country.

Chateau de Couin.

Berthencourt Military Cemetery. It stood regal and undisturbed, nestled amongst hectares of rolling hills and farmland. Reading the tombs of the young men who fell during the war definitely lent a sombre note to the day.

Chateau de Huné, hidden deep in a forest..

And my favorite, the Chateau de Vadencourt, at the centre of a family conflict, stood forgotten and unkempt, but looked like it came right out of a fairytale!

The abandoned greenhouse of my grandmother-in-law which fed a family of 12 children! A vestige of the glorious past that no one could bear to tear down.

September 3, 2013

Wedding diary III - Attire

One thing I noticed about French weddings in general was the bride's simple approach & attitude towards the dress. It was not uncommon for a bride to wear Repettos and a loose slouchy dress, traipsing in the fields with her beau. I rather loved this attitude & while I enjoy seeing Singaporean brides with their huge princess-y elaborate gowns & grandiose ballrooms, I knew it was not what I wanted nor was it me. We just wanted everything to be simple & elegant. In fact, none of my 2 dresses had a single embellishment on them.

And instead of getting an elaborate updo, I chose to keep my hair natural. Some of my friends were worried I was being too slipshod haha.

Another thing I noticed about French weddings was the guests' attire. I have seen in Singapore, how some guests actually out-dress the bride at the dinner banquet, decked out in the sexiest gowns. I think that is pretty rude, seeing as it is the bride's day to shine.

My husband was amused & reassured me that no well-brought up French would think of usurping the bride's glory on her day by turning up in a long gown or a sexy dress. And it turned out to be true. We saw smart pantsuits, wrap dresses and sharp jackets; no one was there to see and be seen.

And with all the wedding stress, I was grateful that the dress I chose, a long simple column gown was not too simple after all :)

September 2, 2013

La Jasoupe

We were in Burgundy to attend a friend's wedding & thought to extend the stay over a long weekend because, quite frankly, we love any excuse for a holiday.

So we did some research online & found this charming holiday cottage called La Jasoupe near Beaune, the wine capital of the region. After a 4-hour drive from Paris, we were greeted by a huge shaggy dog and the owners who had just come back from holiday. They were kind enough to make dinner reservations on our behalf so we were not left stranded in Beaune on a Friday night. Which we quickly realised could have been our fate, as tourists and locals love dining out.

We were so pleased with our room that we didnt want to leave it ever! Well except to go to the pool which looked so inviting in the morning AND evening sun.

They even had chickens, rabbits and horses on the compound! 

I love the place so much. Every single detail was well thought of and perfect. Furnishings were vintage looking but modern. The breakfasts served were delicious. 

On the last day, we took a walk around the pond and felt so sad to leave!! Being Bordeaux fans, we tried to justify a trip to Burgundy the next time just to stay at this hotel again. Luckily Beaune is just nearby; it was breathtakingly beautiful. The unity in architecture was intact and well-preserved. Here we are at the Hospices de Beaune which was built by a chancellor in 1443 as a hospital for the poor.

August 5, 2013

Chateau du Plessis-Bourré

We stayed at a friend's over the weekend & had the chance to visit this very charming castle.

July 15, 2013


Once every few weeks, my husband deems the city too noisy, too crowded, too city-ish and we escape to his family's place in Normandy for a country break. Over the years, what was once just a holiday house to the family has slowly become a retirement dream for my husband. And it is easy to see why.

At 2 hours from Paris, little roads like this are aplenty in the Normandy region, where cars have to stop if another comes in the opposite direction. And one of these roads lead to our little piece of heaven. Nestled among several hectares of land, we are isolated from the city & yet Deauville is only 10 minutes away.

We stock up on groceries beforehand & breathe in the clean pure air of the country.

We say hello to the neighbour's horses and admire the hay rolls.

We pick raspberries & red currants from the garden, except that not many make it to the dining table as I am eating & picking at the same time.....

My husband has a field day (pun intended) cutting the grass, setting mole traps etc... Even though they have a gardener, nothing gives him more satisfaction than to ride the tractor up & down the fields & take care of the land himself. 

Every summer, they clear the pond of weeds & this time round, we had a lovely surprise. Besides the usual frogs, we saw many fishes! How they arrived there remains a mystery as the pond is totally enclosed. An educated guess (according to a local) is that a heron passing by swallowed too many fish and dropped one from his mouth into the pond. 

We make daily trips to nearby towns like Pont L'Evéque to buy food and I fell in love with the local drugstore and even the butcher! It's so inspiring to see butchers wearing ties to sell meat... the French really do take pride in their professions.

And of course, no trip to Normandy is complete without a Martine Lambert ice cream stop in Deauville... We were served by Madame Lambert herself and she had no airs.

On the drive back to Paris, we were both quiet, lost in our thoughts... Him no doubt wondering if the mole traps had been successful & when we would return again. 

May 31, 2013

Wedding diary II

After the official ceremony at the town hall, we held a big family lunch at my mum-in-law's house followed by a cocktail, dinner and dancing.

We were so happy to see the sun and I am grateful to my mum-in-law for graciously opening up her house and garden for our wedding.

It was a very long day. Given that lunch finished at 530pm and the first guest arrived 30mins later, I only had time to change into another dress, a simple long gown from Cedric Charlier. No shower, no touchups, no drink!

So happy that my good friends from Singapore came to attend everything!

The highlight of the day was Stefan Leyshon's performance during lunch & dinner.
He knew my husband from work and very kindly performed some magic for us... he was amazing, charming the women especially haha. 

After the sun set, we moved into a tent which had been set up in the garden for dinner and dancing.
Given that it was the only sunny day in the whole week but we were still hovering below 10degs in the evenings, it was really nice to go into a heated tent.

Our first dance!

In France, the surest way to know if your guests enjoyed themselves at a party is the length of time they spend on the dance floor.

Given that the last guest left the dance floor at 3am, I think it was pretty safe to say they had a good time ;)

Though it was freezing outside (this is an exceptionally cold spring we are having), the tent was warm with the love of family and friends. xx