Sunday, 31 July 2011

jul, 31st - provence: afternoon light....

day 533:

i love this series from an afternoon in looks exactly like what that afternoon felt like....soft light...beautiful space......small family....banana eating and toe comparing.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

jul, 30th - provence: brocante....

day 532:

while we hunted for treasures in a brocante (French antique and vintage objects) yard just outside Uzes.....Limi hunted for her new the sky above.

we found plenty of things for our future house.......

and fell head over heels for this tricycle. isn't it perfect.

alas, the proprietor was adamant that this bike is not for riding and therefore burst the image in my head of Limi tearing around the Shoebox on simple metal and wood. i would happily look at it as a sculptural object but our London space just doesn't allow for objects that cannot be perched on, eaten off or slept in. 

sadly, i can't post the address, name or directions to this place. 
i would have to be in the passenger seat next to you counting traffic circles.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

jul, 27th - provence: windows and walls....

day 529:

i have a photographic obsession with doors. i could spend hours in the medina in marrakesh {see day 487} photographing every metal studded door....and in provence....the same. the colours, sludgy greens, greys, blues, pinks and the door-jewellery: sturdy knockers, lace metal surrounds (yes, i know that these are not the technical terms), floral curtains....just stop-you-in-your-tracks-and-cause-mass-queue-of-people captivating.

keen to meet the bizarre dog, above {chien bizaar}. although this guy......

stopped Limi in her tracks....a dog in the sky.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

jul, 26th - provence: uzes, market day....

day 528:

our first morning in South of France and it's market day. Uzes is not strictly in Provence but hey, Languedoc is close enough. it's a sweet, plain tree filled village with a matching dappled central square where the market is held every saturday. we wandered the square enjoying sights of juicy fresh produce, nuns selling liquor and plenty of prodding, tasting and gesticulating...... 

sadly, we got so carried away with sensory overload that we forgot to stock up as we should have and only left the market with some salami, ginger syrup and bread.....not quite the makings of a Provencal picnic.....yet.

Monday, 25 July 2011

jul, 25th - provence: le tracteur....

[edited post, due to a rambling first attempt and overuse of the word rustic]

day 527:

a village restaurant that had been recommended by many sources, including the incredibly stylish owners of our guesthouse, was Le Tracteur. set in the tiny village of Sanhilac and described as 'eating in your French grandmother's garden', i was expecting rustic, home-cooked food in a rural, slightly wild setting. Le Tracteur is neither of these.......

it is more rusti-chic or rusti-glam or chic-ly-rustic. the red vintage tractor under the sign outside, sets the theme for carefully placed farm implements and machinery....that look sculptural against the bare stone walls. combined with sand floors  outside and rough wood tables and floors inside, it provides a refined farmyard backdrop. 

the very pretty food looks beautiful against the grey, brown and black backdrop.

before i describe what we ate, it's worth explaining that our dinner was not as serene as it looks in the pics....A. and i only managed to eat one course together.....dessert. the other courses were a team effort of wrangling a 17 month old and trying to stop her from joining the fast paced staff in the open kitchen or tripping up the waitrons and ending up with a radish headpiece......although Limi is generally good in restaurants and she was brilliant for the rest of the trip....on this particular night.....she did not want to sit still. must have been the fresh mountain air.

we started with vibrantly flavoursome guacamole (i was expecting a more French sounding name for the dish but A. assured me that it was presented as the Mexican dip)....delicious. it was followed by a Veloute D'Aubergine which wasn't what i expected (the consistency of aubergine 'gazpacho') and yet was amazingly tasty, the smoky aubergine incredibly fresh against the crunch of raw radish and pistachio. so good.....and luckily for us both cold dishes not ruined but taking Limi on a tour of the village to meet the local cats (obsessed). 

the lamb main that we both went for was meltingly soft and again had a lovely contrast between the robust meatiness and tart apricot (wow, now i'm really getting into my restaurant review stride.)....but the main star was for us, the chocolate ganache. accompanied by tart berries is was pure gooey, chocolate heaven. (hmmm, not sure that i'll ever make it as a restaurant columnist....but that was our meal)

Le Tracteur is certainly not the rustic experience that i was expecting but i can assure you that it is worth travelling across countryside to find. it gathers an eclectic crowd and has a lovely buzz and on a warm Summer's evening the outside courtyard is a blissful place to be. it's wonderfully welcoming....which is more than i can say for the local cats.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

jul, 24th - london from the back of a cab....

day 526:

back in London and so much to share from Provence: incredible boutique hotels, amazing restaurants and shops, wonderful time with family and a truly beautiful wedding to start editing all the pics.

ps. loved our route home...evening sunshine and a welcome back to London and some of its' magnificent icons.

and finally.....i was named one of babble's top baby photo blogs. thanks!! it's worth taking a look as there are some incredible blogs in the write up. especially this one.

Friday, 22 July 2011

jul, 22nd - blue skies in provence....

day 524:

my 10 favourite things for today......

1. the bride's lunch at maison bru (more to come)
2. floating in blue water
3. Limi growing hair at different lengths
4. lavender marshmallows....fantastic taste but even better colour....(at no. 1)
5. delicious muscat after an alfresco dinner with A.
6. bare feet on soft lawn
7. holding hands with A. whilst strolling down stone lanes
8. a gathering of friends all in one place for a bride and groom
9. the perfect grey shutters
10. a cool breeze

Thursday, 21 July 2011

jul, 21st - cobbled lanes in provence....

day 523:

we are halfway through our summer holiday in provence and loving every second.....even the bits like putting in petrol (that usually bores me to tears) and unpacking each time we move.....i have so many pics that i am desperate to share but these will have to wait till London...for now, Hipstamatic gives you a sense of the blue skies, stone buildings and lovely light....

top 10 favourite things for today:

1. watching Limi look at her cousins with complete's going to be bleak at the end of the summer when they head home
2. a bit of shopping in the fantastic shops in st remy....still contemplating some vintage children's school chairs.....and contemplating how to carry them home too
3. lunch at le bistrot du paradou (more to come)
4. the silly graffitti above that says, 'sorry about your wall'....probably just the fact that it's written in french makes it seem chic
5. beautiful avenues of plain trees
6. fountains in hidden squares (more to come)
7. sleeping with windows wide pen and covers thrown off
8. french linen
9. freshly made crepes for breakfast
10. beautiful evening light

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

jul, 20th - market days in provence....

day 522:

my ten favourite things for today........
(so many things to share when i get back to London....Provence is the sludgy-shade-on-shutters-perfection that i expected....)

1. Limi's face when her cousins have never seen someone so kick-your-feet-excited
2. crusty bread fresh from the artisinal baker at the end of the lane
3. lunch with the beautiful bride (we are in town for a wedding)
4. market day in st. remy (more to come)
5. siesta's
6. my sister arriving with samples from our project (more to come)
7. watching the cousins hold hands and skip down stone-paved alleys
8. twirling to ben harper with Limi
9. time with family...sitting outside...nowhere to be
10. the perfect shade of grey....everywhere
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