This & That: August 18, 2023 – French Week!
Friday August 18, 2023

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Nearly every find this week is French-inspired, so Francophiles, this is your post to savor! Three delicious and beautiful cookbooks, books of all genres, travel, décor, mystery and more. Two cooking schools to keep in your hat if you have always wanted to take a proper cooking class (English speaking), both recommended by Patricia Wells, a French film from a couple of years ago now available on Netflix that looks like a fun watch. French décor and linen companies to definitely know and shop for adding a luxurious French touch to your home, and if you love to paint, I have a French painting class that is a must-enroll. Plus, much more.

Books

A Chateau Under Siege: A Bruno, Chief of Police novel, book #16 by Martin Walker

I know many TSLL readers enjoy Martin Walker’s series set in the Dordogne region of France. He mixes the sleuthing expertise of Bruno, chief of police with the French country’s natural beauty as the background and food often as a regular returning cast member. His latest book in the series, the 16th, will be released on August 29th, so a bit of a heads up, but I thought this week would be the best time to share the good news. What is this caper about? “The town of Sarlat is staging a reenactment of its liberation from the British in the Hundred Years War when the play’s French hero, Brice Kerquelin, is stabbed and feared fatally wounded. Is it an unfortunate prop malfunction—or something more sinister?” Enjoy sleuthing in France!

Four French Holidays: Daphne du Maurier, Stella Gibbons, Rumer Godden, Margery Sharp and their novels inspired by France by Anne Hall

Released this past June and a book I have been saving to share until now, Anne Hall includes “four popular novelists of the same generation [who] each wrote a novel inspired by a holiday that the author spent in France. In the nineteen-fifties, Rumer Godden based The Greengage Summer on her recollections of her family’s 1923 battlefield-tour manqué in the Champagne region. Margery Sharp’s 1936 holiday in Southern France led to Still Waters and The Nutmeg Tree, both the short story and the novel are set in and around the region of Aix-les-Bains. In 1955, Daphne du Maurier first visited the department of Sarthe to research French family history; the novel The Scapegoat was the immediate result of the holiday. And in 1966, Stella Gibbons’ last trip to the continent took the form of a visit to an old friend in her summer home near Grenoble. The stay is obliquely reflected in The Snow-Woman, in which a similar holiday leads a never-married septuagenarian to experience a renaissance of sorts.”

I have linked the books if I could find them (all but one I could). Already, after reading the synopsis of The Scapegoat, I am most intrigued and have placed it in my shopping cart. Happy reading books all inspired by France! So many choices. 🙂

Inspired by Paris: Why Borrowing from the French is Better Than Being French by Jordan Phillips

While an older book (released in 2016), I wanted to share Jordan Phillips Inspired by Paris, partly because I know so many of you love visiting France, and also because it is enjoyable to see France, and specifically Paris, through other travelers’ eyes who love it as much, if not more, than we do and explore their thoughts. “Filled with historical tidbits, motivational nuggets, and honest insight, chapters such as ‘La Vie Est Belle,’ ‘The Paris Syndrome,’ and ‘Jacques-in-the-Box’ reveal the truth of what it’s really like to live in the most beautiful city in the world”, Jordan, who is most definitely a Francophile, writes honestly about her love and observations about this fascinating culture.

Summers in France: Beautiful and Inspirational French Homes by Caroline Clifton Mogg

A décor book to take you vicariously to France and peek inside some of the most beautiful quintessential French country homes. Released this summer, Caroline Clifton Mogg’s book Summers in France “visits 15 glorious homes that display the legendary French sense of style and evoke all the sensual appeal of summers spent in this beautiful part of the world. Throughout the book, she also explores the elements of the French country look, from the color palette and materials typical of rural style, to cosy and chic soft furnishings and decorative accessories and antiques sourced at local markets and brocantes.”

Cookbooks

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taste of France: Recipes inspired by the cafés and bars of Fitzgerald’s Paris and the Riviera in the 1920s by Carol Hilker

Another book from a handful of years ago, Carol Hilker’s F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Taste of France is part cookbook and part travel book. “Take a culinary tour of Paris and the Riviera in the 1920s, a time when American writers and artists flocked to Europe. Carol Hilker has collected over 60 recipes inspired by the decadent food and drink enjoyed by F. Scott Fitzgerald and his fellow expatriates. Transport yourself to a café on boulevard Montparnasse and breakfast on Croque Monsieur accompanied by a Bloody Mary, or lunch on Caviar sandwiches and Champagne.”

Escape to France and then be inspired to step into your kitchen. A perfect book for the Francophile and the Bibliophile (or English major 😉).

Let’s Cook French! The Alsace French Bistro Cookbook by David Weiss

Released last fall, a cookbook that steps away from Paris, but keeps us in the famed French bistro. Described as “more than just a cookbook, Let’s Cook France covers the journey of a french Chef who became successful in the states. After owning a french Bistro for several years, David Weiss decided it was time to reveal the secrets of some of his most classic dishes”. Sharing simple and delicious classic French cuisine, if you want to have some fun in the kitchen, this may just be the cookbook for you.

Where the River Narrows: Classic French & Nostalgic Québécois Recipes From St. Lawrence Restaurant by J-C Poirier 

French cuisine isn’t just found in France as we all know, so when I stumbled upon chef J-C Poirier’s new cookbook (released last fall), and poured through some of the pages, I knew TSLL readers would love it as well. “With over 125 beautifully photographed recipes, J-C provides a full look at French and Québécois cooking with classic dishes like Tourtière, Pot-au-Feu, Tarte au Sucre, and Tarte Tatin, along with bistro favourites like Steak with Peppercorn Cream Sauce and Chocolate Mousse that your friends and family are sure to love. For those who are devoted fans of St. Lawrence, where J-C showcases time-honoured traditions in a transportive dining experience, readers will find his signature dishes, like the famous Pâté en Croûte, Coquilles St-Jacques à la Parisienne, and Tarte au Citron Flambée au Pastis.”

Cooking Classes

Plate Full of Dreams, cooking classes with Suzanne Kay

My heart sank a bit when I learned that Patricia Wells is no longer offering her in-person week-long classes, both in Paris and Provence, the latter being a class I greatly enjoyed and will never forget. But she goes on to recommend two English-speaking cooks that rightly deserve the recognition for their incredible cooking expertise and love and knowledge of French cuisine. One of these people is Suzanne Kay, and her cooking classes can be found on her website Plate Full of Dreams. “Located in Séguret, Provence, surrounded by the vineyards of Côte du Rhone, olive trees, and the Mont Ventoux, [her] cooking classes offer an experience learning culinary techniques, and exploration beyond the kitchen walls.”

Dancing Tomatoes! Susan Herrmann Loomis Cooking Classes, Louviers (Normandy) and Paris, special and limited 20% off!

The second person she recommends is Susan Herrmann Loomis’ cooking classes taught in both Paris and Normandy, and having had the opportunity to take two of her classes, I completely concur. And I wanted to bring these classes to your attention as she has refreshed her offerings and created a variety of different specific focuses. AND, if you know you are going to be in France, be sure to book a class and save 25%! Use the promo code TASTEOFFALL through the end of August to save 20% off.

Décor

Alexandre Turpault sheets, tablecloths and bath linens

If you are looking for high quality linens for your bedroom, bathroom or dining area, be sure to explore Alexandre Turpault. Established in 1847, and described as a luxury brand that is “inspired by nature and ennobled by culture, [they] offer a style that is both simple and sophisticated, and [always] choose the most beautiful materials for lasting comfort and uncompromising aesthetic pleasure.” Currently they are having a sale (30% off) on many of their products. Be sure to explore them all.

Yves Delorme coverlets

I have mentioned this luxury bed linen company before, but it bears repeating so that when you decide to completely redo your bedroom (or simply your bed linens), your primary bedroom (or guest room, etc., etc.), the items you will find at Yves Delorme will be an investment that will last and be enjoyed for your lifetime. Offering different lines, including a couture line, the colors and fabrics are sumptuous, and to sleep on one of these beds would no doubt bring a deep, restful night’s sleep.

It is their coverlets I have my eye on as I eventually will be redoing my guest bedroom, and wanting to make the space inviting, yet rich with a touch of warmth, I think this addition would be the icing on the cake.

Film

La Grande Classe (Back to School), Netflix

Released in 2019, a French comedy that can be found on Netflix is La Grande Classe. When the middle school reunion decades later is set, two boys (now men), having found great success in life, are eager to flaunt how life has changed and do so in front of the bullies that tormented them during school. But all doesn’t go to plan. Have a look at the trailer below.

Painting Classes

Perigord Retreats

I recently learned of these painting classes that take place in France for a handful-of-days duration as I follow Inspired by Charm, Michael Wurm Jr. His experience looked absolutely amazing and undoubtedly memorable. If you, like Michael, enjoy painting or are beginning to dabble in the art form, be sure to explore these opportunities. They come highly recommended.

Shopping

Asceno Prague Blue & White Stripe Cotton-Silk shirt & short pajamas

This is the type of pajama I want to have packed when I am traveling. Comfortable, cool, yet presentable.

Yield French Press

If you love coffee and want a touch of sophistication when it comes to making coffee, be sure to explore Yield’s French presses. Available in a variety of different colors and either in glass or ceramic, give as a gift or welcome one into your daily routine for the new season as we step back into the regular schedule of our days. 😌


Hello Friday! Or should I say, Bonjour Vendredi!

Already 12 posts have been shared during this week’s Semaine de Française festivities here on TSLL and three more still are to come! In fact, I was just nibbling on the recipe with a cuppa that will be shared on Saturday as the final post of this year’s French Week. I won’t give too much away except, chocolate 😉.

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by so far and all of the conversations that have been sparked and ideas shared along with your enthusiasm for what you have discovered this week. Thank you for your time and sharing your love of France with TSLL community.

Today (Thursday), we woke up to drizzle which was oh so very welcomed as the previous day had been smoky and hot. All morning, it drizzled and refreshed the entire town of Bend. With the temperatures now dropping, the garden – while clearly the peaches enjoyed the high temps as I swear they finally began turning the color of their namesake in the past three days with the heatwave (see them above) – the rest of the garden is breathing deeply, and I look forward to pottering about in it this weekend (I spied this second blooming of a new favorite rose a couple evenings ago – see below)..

But not before revealing the Grand Giveaway for this year’s festivities! Be sure to stop by in 12 hours time (so Friday evening Paris time) to enter the giveaway worth $300 in value and to be given to a lucky TOP Tier member. You will only have 24-hours to enter, so be sure to do so! (Learn more about becoming a TOP Tier Member so you too can enter this giveaway.)

Also, TSLL’s Shop Sale is currently in full swing and notepads and books are being scooped up at savings of 10% with the special promo code (an opportunity that only happens a couple times each year). For non-members, be sure to read this post to find the promo code, and for TOP Tier Members (who can also exclusively apply the savings to the two new notepads), be sure to check your inboxes, as I sent the promo code on Tuesday. But don’t be late as the sale ends this Sunday and the two new notepads will no longer be available for the rest of 2023 (returning next French Week in 2024).

Look for a special post to be shared on Sunday evening as I take a quick four-day holiday (Monday Aug. 21st through Aug. 24th) of my own away from posting, but I will not leave you without timely content to prepare you for the changing of the seasons as inspired by the French culture.

And with that, I have quite a few articles below for you to peruse and one new upcoming film that looks absolutely fantastic – the trailer was just released and I have included it below. Until later today, bonne journée!

~The 35 best places to shop in Paris [Leonce Chenal]

~Tour this 17th-century Provençal farmhouse, thoughtfully renovated to retain its history [House & Garden UK]

~As we look ahead to fall, how to avoid over-scheduling, especially if you are a sensitive introvert [Introvert, Dear]

~Take a tour of Marie Antoinette’s Private Chambers at Versailles, captured by Habitually Chic during her visit this past spring.

~13 Things that tourists do that get strange looks from the French [Oui, in French]

~A helpful, simple and direct reminder to just be you and look straight ahead rather than comparing your journey with others, Ride Your Own Bike [Seth Godin]

~What is the sensitive ‘boost effect’? [Sensitive Refuge]

~This article made me chuckle this weekend while reading – Americans in Europe during a heat wave, bumping against cultural norms and asking ‘why’? [NYTimes, gift article]

~This was awesome news this week! Montana Youths won a landmark climate change case this week. [NYTimes]

~Bringing both of TSLL’s loves together this September – France primed for King Charles III’s first state visit [Connexion]

~And just because it’s French Week, we cannot forget about the Lionesses in the World Cup Final this Sunday! Good luck to both England and Spain! How to watch, via the BBC.

~8 Tips for getting cheap train tickets throughout Europe [CN Traveller]

~A lovely article – Never underestimate the power of speaking French (while in France). [NYTimes, gift article]

~Do you love shopping brocantes in France? 10 tips from someone who spent 17 days doing just that. [Domino]

~A recent episode on Julia Child’s Kitchen as they celebrated what would have been her 111th birthday (August 12th).

~A cerebral fun read – How Burgundy explains life [The Financial Times]

~And because I have been eager to know when this film would finally be released, we now know and the trailer was just released earlier this week, Maestro starring Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein and Carey Mulligan as Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. Have a look at the trailer below.


~Explore last week’s This & That: August 11, 2023

A sale NOT to miss if you love a favorite luxury skincare brand (25% off!), a handful of wonderful books – three novels – one an Editor’s Choice, another debut that is getting high praise, a décor book to linger over for inspiration for a renovation journey that is uniquely yours, two fun and engaging rom-coms just released, a British drama based on a true story, an art exhibit not to miss in Paris before it closes later this month, new collections and items on sale to shore up your wardrobe for both the start of fall and conclusion of summer, and still, there is more. Much more!

~Please note: TSLL is supported by you, readers who take the time to stop by (merci!), peruse and sometimes welcome into your life mentioned and recommended finds. Affiliate links are present in today’s post and may earn commissions for TSLL when you purchase. View TSLL’s full Privacy Policy here

Explore all of TSLL’s posts shared during the 8th Annual French Week here.

44 thoughts on “This & That: August 18, 2023 – French Week!

  1. Just loving French Week so far, especially this week’s French inspired, “This and That” and the lovely picture above, I believe, of peaches.. Merci!

  2. Ohh your peach look delicious! I hope you enjoy the cooler weather. Here in upstate NY it has been a very rainy summer and smoky too from the wildfires in Canada. I can hardly wait to see what the grand prize will be.

  3. A lot to peruse. I’m sure you will enjoy your peaches. Peach cobbler is an especially good summer treat. Peach pie is a favorite, too. I have really felt for all those travelers experiencing such extreme weather throughout the world. It can have a big impact on a much anticipated trip. I had not heard about the movie Maestro and have noted it on my calendar. Merci for all that you share with us, Shannon 🥐🥂🌳

    1. Thank you for stopping by Judy and doesn’t the film look intriguing. As a classical musical lover, I am definitely intrigued, but even if I wasn’t, I think with this leading cast, it will be worth watching. 🙂

    1. So happy to hear! There were some great finds in it. The dress I purchased was exactly what I had hoped and I popped it by the tailor to hem to my preferred length. Such a great price for the quality. Tickled you found things that you liked as well. 🙂

  4. So much to explore !

    Thank you Shannon , I hope you will have a wonderful petite vacances 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend, tout la monde

    x Anne x

  5. I look forward to each Friday’s ‘This & That” post as a way to enjoy my morning cuppa and greet the weekend! After perusing the articles pertaining to speaking French while in France coupled with conversations spurred from your previous post from this week I am more certain I will begin my lessons to learn the language – accent and insecurities be damned!

    1. Meg,

      I do hope you will step into the lessons, and yes, it will get uncomfortable, but that means you are actually making the progress you signed up for the class to accomplish! You can do it. 🙂 Thank you for sharing how reading this weekly posting is a ritual for you. I am delighted and chuffed that you have made it so. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Again you do not disappoint. My first French week has been such a delight. I am excited to have learned of the cooking show Julia Child’s Kitchen! Thank you! As a long time Francophile I don’t want French week to end!!

    1. Rebecca,

      So happy to hear you have enjoyed this weeks’ post and celebration of all things French. 🙂 Thank you for sharing what spoke to you. And rest assured, French Week will return next year! Same time (second full week in August) and same place. 🙂 Wishing you a lovely weekend!

  7. A full T & T to explore later in the day. Thank you, Shannon, and have a great weekend! Pats to Nelle and Norman. 🙂
    P.S – Gorgeous peaches and lovely rose!

  8. Shannon quelle semaine fabuleuse. Your peaches are way ahead of mine. I sadly lost an older tree in some high winds but the two younger ones have enough fruit. Again you’ve beaten me to it I was going to recommend Martin Walker’s book to you. Can’t wait to read this one. Sarlat( Sarlat le Canéda) is a beautifully preserved 14th century medieval town. There is an annual film festival and gorgeous narkets like the truffle and Xmas. Lots of foie gras ! Love the sound if the gour holidays in one. What an inspired idea.
    Shannon you will not be disappointed with your Yves Delorme bedspread. I have two and they still look good after many years.
    The next time I get off at la gare Montparnasse and walk down the boulevard I shall imagine Mr Fitzgerald sipping his coffee.
    La Pitchouine a culinary retreat run by Makenna Johnson in Julia Child’s old house offers cooking classes but not cheap.You can stay in the house et voilà.
    Bonnes vacancies Shannon. Kameela😊

    1. Kameela,

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience with the bed linens. They look extraordinary. ☺️So sorry to hear about your peach tree. And the markets you describe sound wonderful! Ahhh France. 😌🇫🇷❤️

  9. Shannon,
    My thanks for this wonderful week, I am feeling inspired and renewed. Today is a little too busy to completely enjoy “This & That” so planning a quiet start to the day tomorrow and time to really savor this latest post.
    One last thing, I am really grateful that you reference older posts. Although I have been part of this community for awhile, I so enjoy going deeper into a subject as I have done this week with some of your past essays. Merci!

    1. Thank you for this feedback Julia. It is much appreciated, especially from readers who know TSLL and over the years. Wishing you a leisurely, restorative and most enjoyable Saturday ritual tomorrow. Grateful TSLl’s T&T is included. 😌❤️

  10. Shannon, thank you for a lovely French week! Also, I appreciate the Maestro trailer. I was wondering when the movie was coming out. Now I know thanks to This & That. I’ve read a lot about Leonard Bernstein and I love his music. The idea of being able to create such soul absorbing music is amazing.

    1. What a talent he was. I so look forward to learning more. And thank you stopped by! Wishing you a wonderful weekend and so grateful to hear you are enjoying French Week! ☺️🇫🇷❤️

  11. Shannon,

    Twelve posts! Really??? It seems as though the week s’est dépêché!

    All of the books appearing in Four French Holidays sound interesting. I have heard the buzz around Maestro and it looks wonderful. Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper make a fine pairing.

    One of my favorite rituals is preparing my coffee every morning using a French Press and the glass ones you shared are fabulous!

    Like the French (as mentioned in the Oui in France article), I have often given strange looks to fellow Americans talking loudly in restaurants, and don’t even inquire how I feel about the use of mobile/speaker phones in public spaces!

    Your peaches look so scrumptious, I believe I will pick one up at the marché. Afterward, I will return to La Tanière Des Lapins, pour a glass of rosé, and make a Croque Monsieur while listening to The Hot Sardines.

    Looking forward to the remainder of French Week, and will be cheering on the Lionesses Sunday {although not at 3am. Thank goodness for streaming).

    ~Michelle

    1. Michelle,

      Aren’t those French presses trés chic and Uber sophisticated? They immediately caught my eye too. ☺️ And i promise not to inquire about the public faux-pas of which we will not speak! I am right there with you. 🙃

      I So love thé name of your house and I hope you had a lovely afternoon/evening relaxing. You plans sound magnifique. 😌 (Thank you si much for your kind and generous share on IG Stories of these moments captured reading the weekly T & T post + i greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness💛).

      Enjoy the weekend and thank you for stopping by and sharing all that you have. 😌

    2. Michelle, yes same here . It irritates me no end. Not just Americans but the British can be loud as well in confined spaces. In France you walk in to a bar or restaurant and yes people are having animated conversations but at a level that’s respectful. Your peaches rosé and Hot Sardines is a perfect combination.. That sounds perfect. Hope you found some delicious peaches at the market. Have you tried a Croque Madame ?😆. Sadly the Lionesses did not cut it but congratulations to Spain. Never expected that. Enjoy the rest of August. Kameela😊

      1. Kameela,

        I actually made a croque madam instead, and it was delicious. I caught myself in a moment with my eyes closed and a smile on my face savoring every morsel. My husband even made a comment about how much I was enjoying my food.

        Sad about the Lionesses. But what a game!

  12. Shannon,
    Another French cooking school run by an American mother & daughter is The Cook’s Atelier in Burgundy, France. Their cookbook is one of my favorites as well as their website and Instagram. They have a wonderful aesthetic style as well and I love seeing the enchanting family life they are creating for themselves. Taking a class from them someday is on my list.

    https://www.thecooksatelier.com

    1. Sally so agree with you about the Cook’s Atelier. I live in France and love Burgundy so do a few visits yearly to stock up on wines. I have not done the cookery class but have bought wines from the shop. So charming.Hope you realise your dream soon . Kameela .

  13. Fantastic T&T, Shannon, and wow, what a whirlwind of a French Week! So many wonderful introductions, conversations, discoveries…whew!Yes, indeed, PLEASE take a few, well-deserved, days to re-charge! Kudos to the teens in Montana,(I’ve been following that story with great interest);go Lionesses!;and the peaches are absolutely AMAZING–can’t wait to see what you concoct with them😋! Love and ear rubs to Norman and Nelle~xx

  14. Those peaches though! LOL. What is more beautiful than a fully ripe peach? A pleasure to look at, to touch and to taste. The most luxurious colors too–truly decadent.

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