Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A special find!

For those of us who adore antiquing and rummaging through antique markets (Brocantes), a visit to Isle Sur La Sorgue is a must.  This little town in Provence, near to Avignon, has two markets a week - Thursdays - mostly fresh produce and Sundays - antiques (Brocante).   If you have visited this town you will remember that all of the shops/markets bars and cafe's are situated  on both sides of the Sorgue river and there are many water- wheels throughout the town  that are still in good working order.  

It was during a Thursday Market visit that I discovered La Cachemaille!  This delightful little shop looked so inviting and as it was beautifully air-conditioned, we had such fun trying on hats, tunics, linen dresses and their beautiful scarves and pashminas.    The delightful Dominique and Patrick Holvoet, owners of La Cachemaille were both so enthusiastic and proud of their lovely shop.  

Most of the clothing, hats and scarves are sourced from India.  Dominique who is originally from Belgium, explained that it was during a stop-over in India many years ago when she was an air hostess, that she fell in love with the exotic colours and textures of India, which resulted in a dream to sell these beautiful things in a shop.  How lovely that this dream has now come true!  

Their magnificent scarves, cut from old saris and hand-stitched together were irresistible as were the beautiful linen shirts and dresses.  

The "Sari" scarves.. double-sided in contrasting colours

Panamas in piles - necklaces made from the seed pods of palm trees, all so bright and colourful.  

Dominique is very excited about a new fashion range she has ordered from India -  anupamaa - have a look! 

There are pashminas and then there are Pashminas - incredibly soft and pure - the very best quality.  The link on You Tube  is so interesting and explains the manufacture of these exquisite pieces.  They are really beautiful.

The Pashminas...

Beautiful hand-made bags

Piles of beautiful linen dresses and shirts

Showing both sides of the scarf

You cant miss this colourful sign.. the shop is just off the main 


Friday, 13 July 2012

A holiday in the Luberon

We have been enjoying a holiday in the Luberon, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees for the past two weeks.  Beautiful weather... lots of lying by the pool - the warm air caressed by the "shish-shing"  of the Cicadas, and the minor melodic tones of French songs on the local radio station "Nostalgie". 

The day starts early!...The baby girls, Isabel and Kitty are our alarm clocks and usually get the entire house-hold up with their shrieks of delight and chatter!    

Sliced local melons - sweet and delicious,  boiled eggs,  yogurts, baguette and of course croissants,  accompanied by freshly squeezed orange juice and excellent coffee.  As breakfast comes to an end,  the little girls begin looking expectantly at "Oupa" (Mr R-I) who then takes them off in the double pram for a stroll around the estate.  The little girls sometimes put up a fuss about sharing front position,  and a "bishy" (rice-cake) is then called for!

Mornings are usually earmarked for the daily markets in the region,  and how wonderful these local markets  are,  so colourful, selling wonderfully fresh produce and a huge range of scarves, dresses, shirts, soaps, spices etc etc. 

It is usually very hot when we get back to the villa and everyone heads for the pool.

We always have lunch inside to avoid the mid-day heat.    A huge green salad,  often a bean and potato salad,  "poulet roti" or cold cuts from the butcher.  

Tonight the boys are BBQ-ing two spatch-cock chickens. I have assembled a large beef tomato/mozarella salad and there are potatoes baking in the oven.  As a family,  we are rather obsessed with food and seem incapable of just grabbing a sandwich for lunch!   It's been such fun having everyone together in one place and the little girls have been adorable.  

Absolutely delicious!