It's been a while since I introduced you to one of my stylish french girlfriends. Today I am especially pleased to present to you Cécile; a girl after my own heart. Living in the countryside, putting her family first, yet living as creatively as she can.
I first met Cécile this summer when I walked into her gorgeous boutique and brocante: Chez Nous Campagne. It's amazing that I even found her; she is out in the middle of the countryside, miles from anywhere, and suddenly HOP! there's a barn packed full of amazingly beautiful furniture and treasure.
In her store Cécile combines brocante with new designer pieces, and particularly likes to showcase the furniture and accessories of local craftsmen.
She also has a delightfully light-hearted approach to taxidermy!
Visitors to her shop can also pause to enjoy her little teashop. Here she serves an amazing range of teas and fabulous home made cakes, and if you ask nicely she serves an outstanding brunch!
This week, Cécile invited me to lunch with her and her husband, in their lovely homely kitchen. Cécile's husband, Franck, works as a writer and photographer, specialising in cookbooks, so you can imagine that the meal was fantastic!
As we chatted before lunch, and I clicked away on my camera, Cécile laid the table and quickly made her tiny signature chocolate fondant cakes to accompany our coffee at the end of meal.
In true French style, she is very slim even though she spends so much time baking cakes and testing recipes for her husband's books!
I loved the fact that we had lunch in the kitchen; the hub of the family home. As we ate a delicious onion pastilla with a simple salad, followed by this pretty pear charlotte, our conversation wandered from raising a family in the countryside; to the pros and cons of living in Paris; to children and their music bands, to training naughty dogs to raising chickens .... you know, the essentials!
In the middle of lunch Cécile's mail was delivered .... through her kitchen window .... that's country life for you!
Their home is colourful and fun, furnished tastefully with a mix of vintage and designer pieces alongside antique paintings. A home designed for comfortable living, for Cécile, Frank and their boys, with always an open door to friends.
Had to love how their sweet dog Fifties, blends into the colour scheme so perfectly!
And the big bonus to Cécile's lovely home is that she has a guest house, which she charmingly calls the chicken coop.
Positioned in the garden; the only sound that guests can hear is the gently cot-cot-cot of the chickens at the other end of the yard!
So if one day you find yourself near La Ferté Vidame in La Perche, then I suggest that you knock at Cécile's door, visit her store, taste her cakes and if you want to stay a little longer in the area then why not book yourself into her chicken coop!