Hot Hot London

We’ll take a little side trip from France as I had to make a quick two-day business trip to London where they were setting  record heat.  I have to admit the weather was miserable as was my hotel – it did not have AC.  The hotel itself was cute and they have BIG heaters for winter stays, but just a tiny little fan (which did nothing).

However I did have a few hours to do something fun and chose to go see the Balenciaga exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum- It was  WONDERFUL. Go HERE to see some highlights. I’ll share my pictures here too.

Les Butors

les butors arrive

During the summer in France (and really all the other seasons too) France makes cultural events available to ALL. Most events are free or very nominal and we have seen the best theater, dance and music here.

will she fall in love?

We recently had the pleasure of going to see an amazing  performance of The Butors. It is one of the best things I have ever seen. A combination of theater ,mime and circus.

We drove about a half an hour to the little village Lautrec where Toulouse Lautrec’s family owned a large manor house. Set up outside the village walls were benches and a ferris wheel type construction.

the courtship begins
and goes on and on

Soon a strange man wandered on the set, followed by a wild woman and the play started.  Delightful, laugh out loud funny, poignant, wonderful music and Oh that Ferris wheel- the courtship that ensued was hysterical. I ask you to enjoy the VIDEO on their website along with my pictures!

I’ve been cooking alot lately as the food  here is so seductive. The stalls at the Revel market are  filled with fresh fruits and veggies and even the supermarkets inspire me to try new recipes. I also buy a couple French food magazines- not only for the beautiful pictures and relatively easy recipes- but it’s a way for me to learn new French words- like bouillir- to boil- and tranche- slice- and  potiron- pumpkin.

My two fave mags are the French Saveur and one called Regal.

Tarts are my thing so far this summer. You can buy prepared crusts that are outstanding!  Different ones for sweet tarts, savory tarts, pizzas, puff pastry and filo. They are so inexpensive and delicious. You just roll out and place in one of the large French-style tart pans and fill with your imagination.

Favorites so far this year have been:

An Almond/Raspberry Tarte

Cherry Crumble Tarte

Zucchini and Boursin Tarte

Chorizo, Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Tarte

and Grilled Eggplant and Parmesan


our neighbor village

street in Soreze
timbered houses on streets

About three minutes away (by car) is our neighbor village Soreze– a charming medieval village plentiful with photo-ops at every turn. Many of the houses are half- timbered with the second floor protruding over the first floor. One explanation for this was that taxes were based on the square footage of the ground floor- hence more space was gotten by building the upper floors “out”.





the Abbaye Ecole

The cultural center in Soreze is the The Abbey-école. This monumental building has a history dating back to 754 AD with the founding of a benedictine abbey.  In later years it served as a military boarding school and as a center for education until it closed in 1991

favorite fountain in Soreze
the glorious tapestries of Dom Robert

At that time it was transformed into the cultural hub of Soreze.  The former stables became individual art and book shops. The former school now houses a lovely hotel and restaurant and most notably- The Dom Robert Tapestry Museum. I cannot speak more highly of this treasure of a museum so close to us!

Each year in July there is a three-week music and opera festival held in the large courtyard of the Abbaye Ecole called Festival de Musiques des Lumieres .

Time flies

patisseries- yum

After a cross country move and many personal challenges, I have landed in France for the workshop summer. I will be so happy to welcome my group to our sweet village!

strawberries all over the market and many different kinds

The day afterI arrived I started off with a trip to the Revel market which has been going on for 400 years! The sellers come from all over the region-even the cheese makers come up from the Pyrenees- and it has been named one of the 100 Most Beautiful Markets in France– and lives up to that reputation. The market right now is chock full of asparagus, cherries, strawberries and


gorgeous tomatoes are starting in too.  And of course beautiful pastries abound.






The next day- off to the Camon Rose Festival. This is a tiny little village -nary a cafe- but every house is surrounded with roses- many which have been growing for decades. Once a year this lovely village really comes alive for this festival.




Speaking of festivals, our little village Durfort has already racked up 2 since we got here. The first weekend was a crafts-persons festival and the second  Copper City Rock n Roll festival . Great music all Saturday night along with antique cars and motorcycles and this year the addition of Country Western Line dancing- say what?!?  After the first shock, you can see how passionate the French are about this, and it all makes kinda sense- well kind of.

This weekend is our annual village flea market (Vide grenier- Empty the Attic)  which in the past  brought 7000-10,000 people- not bad for a village of 200. I’ll report in on the treasure hunt next week!