My cousin Francoise is the mistress of the interior and Nicolas is the master of the exterior. As I have written before, Francoise is one of my role models, she is talented in so many things and her photography as well as her eye are another example of the incredible creativity that lies within this woman.
I have had the pleasure of staying with them twice and I have always felt so comfortable in their home. Francoise designed her home with an architect and one of the best features of her home is the central vacuum. Every room has a cover that resembles an outlet that upon opening, reveals the suction hole that you fit the vacuum hose and off you go. No more dragging the vacuum canister, this week as I was wrestling with my cheap vacuum cleaner getting clogged up and the plastic parts coming apart, I was thinking of the brilliance of central vacuum and her foresight for design.
I tell you, it all comes down to the design. The kitchen flows into the dining room which leads into the living room and if we were to eat out on the terrace, the flow isn’t interrupted because the door to the outside is in line with the dining room and kitchen. That is good design. I also wanted to show you a picture of one of the best chocolate caramel beurre sale tarts that the baby girl and I had ever eaten, thanks to Francoise. The interior of her fridge wasn’t really indicative of our normal eating habits, normally there would have been more homemade yogurt in the fridge, but I had eaten almost all of them. The chocolate custards were for the youngsters and Francoise hadn’t yet had time to replenish the vegetables and fruit when I had taken the picture. Chocolate is good, don’t get me wrong and the chocolate goodies that we had were delectable.
I really went all out with the pictures of Nicolas’ garden because I love gardens. What really impressed me was that his fruit trees were all put to good use. I got to eat Nicolas’ homemade raspberry/apple preserves, he also made his own peaches, apples and pear preserves. I got a huge kick out of his kiwi shrub crawling up the balcony right outside of the baby girl’s room. Walking the garden with Nicolas, I also learned that the French word for hydrangea is hortensia and the hollyhock is called a rose of something or other. His pruning techniques were also impressive, I have written about my pruning adventures and I have never been able to show the restraint and precision that Nicolas does with his shrubs.
I am hoping to visit them again next year, it is really lovely in their part of the world and they are very welcoming, I hope that next time they come back to the States they visit here again, we had a lot of fun entertaining them with paella Valencia and homemade “egg Mccmuffins”, I had also made a butternut squash and sage soup and rillettes de saumon. There is nothing more fun then reciprocating invitations with wonderful food.