I’m Chloé from near Dijon in France and I’m currently working with Louise at French Vintage Vie. I’ll be blogging here occasionally alongside Louise. I love interior design and of course I adore France !
Firstly, let me introduce myself – I’m 26 years old and I settled in Belfast a couple of months ago. My partner is finishing his studies here and I was more than happy to follow him to this lovely country that is Northern Ireland. The stunning landscapes, pubs and the Irish people and their kindness has seduced us. I never thought I would write about my home country of France here in Ireland, but I guess you can’t escape the French spirit ! That’s why I’m here today, on the other side of your computer, to tell you some stories about my French life !
Louise is definitely passionate about France and knows so much about French interior style and antique furniture, but I will try to tell you a little bit more about my country with descriptions and memories from my 26 years of my « French Way of Life »! Travelling abroad has allowed me to fall in love with France again. I’m aware of how lucky I am to live in a country which enjoys life as no other does. There are probably many things you find funny or weird about France but undoubtedly this is also why you love it !
I guess style and antiques are two things that perfectly relate to France, thanks to our great heritage, our stunning castles, private mansions and great artists. The world is full of beauty but France embodies beauty itself thanks to its 18 regions, which all represent something specific about history and art. I come from a region in the middle east of France, called Burgundy. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you will probably have heard of « Dijon Mustard » or even better, our wines! Burgundy has some of the finest wines in the world, some of the most famous are Batard-Montrachet, Pommard 1er Cru, Chambolle-Musigny, and Corton………I couldn’t count how many walks I had in those vineyards with my family and how often I went cycling after school.
French life is full of little things which sound « normal » to us but which might be humorous from your point of view. I realize that now that I’m abroad, we have a love affair with our bread, cheese and wine! My sister and I were in charge of the bread and we loved to go down the road, clinking the change in our little hands, counting it again and again and trying to remember which bread we had to buy that day « petite baguette », « grosse baguette », « baguette farinée »… On Sundays, we usually had a huge breakfast with bread, butter and marmalade and croissants (« pains au chocolat » or « croissants au beurre ».) In France, you always take time to sit at a table, eat and talk. Fridays and Saturdays are evenings for friends – our parents would always have someone coming over, sharing wine and a delicious meal. In Burgundy, you can eat tasty « bœuf bourguignon » (beef and vegetables marinated in red wine.) We also have our famous cheese such as Epoisses, Chaource, Brillat-Savarin (I mean, how could it be any different with all of our wines ?) But you probably know France is not only great for food but also for its heritage. Sundays were also days to visit old castles, private mansions, walking in the cobble streets of Beaune. Beaune is the city I grew up in, where I went to school and met one of my best friends. I left it after high school to study away from home but l always love to go back to walk in the tiny cobble streets, have a glass of wine at a café terrace, eat platters of cheese and charcuterie with friends facing the stunning museum of the Hospices de Beaune (one of France’s favourite museums) This is an ancient hospital with an unusual stunning roof and its original old furnitures. You would love the antique furniture you can find there ! Beaune is also home to a lot of antique dealers thanks to plenty of old houses, castles and hotels, overflowing with antique furnitures. Louise would definitely be able to source the perfect antique piece for you there !
On Saturday mornings, you can shop and try fresh food on the street market, just in front of the Hospices de Beaune. When you’re done and your basket is full of fresh vegetables, a baguette, some « saucisson », cheese and delicious pastries for all the family, take some time for a coffee in a café terrace, enjoy the sun and watch market traders pack up their stalls.
France is probably not as famous as Ireland for its nightlife, but young people usually go out on Friday and Saturday nights. We head out much later, around 8/9pm and the party can last all night long with pubs, bars and discos closing at 5 or 6am most of the time. That’s how you end up buying croissants in a bakery which hasn’t yet opened its doors to public ! They know a few tipsy all-night revelers will end up there starving ! If your party ends at 7am, you might even go straight to the market, saying hello to the traders, buying bread and croissants or cheese if you feel like it !
I could talk about France for hours (and I promise I don’t miss my country, except for the sun and a café terrace.) If you don’t mind though, I’ll leave you here, in the middle of Beaune, facing the Hospices de Beaune with a glass of wine in a café terrace, on a cobble street. I’m sure you’ll have a great time tonight, getting lost in these tiny streets, ending up in some delicious restaurant where you’ll have 3 courses and a bottle of wine. Don’t forget to buy some croissants tomorrow morning or you won’t have had a proper French week-end ! I’ll be back soon with more memories and stunning places to visit around the Burgundy region and France.