Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weekend in the Country: Vallée de l'Eure & Giverny

We snuck out of Paris and took a few days to visit the French countryside.

We stayed the weekend at Madame Sharon's beautiful home located in Normandy, in the Vallée de l'Eure, only an hour train ride North of Paris.

I met Sharon last year thru her beautiful blog My French Country Home. It is worth a peak.

Sharon is like the Martha Stewart of France (only more beautiful and much nicer!!).
Her home (chateau) is amazing and she has the most exquisite taste.

From her simple flower arrangements and table settings, to her antique linens hanging out to dry (which are not staged!).

She really lives the French country lifestyle. She has beautiful perennial flower and vegetable gardens , along with apple trees, raspberries and strawberries, which she brought to us fresh each morning (delicious!).

Her family rides their horses and bicycles together for miles without being disturbed by traffic, congestion or the hustle and bustle of city life.

She is an antiques dealer ("brocanteur"), like moi, and her specialty is taking small groups on "brocante" tours (antique markets) to bring treasures back to their retail shops, as well as finding treasures for personal keep. One never knows what you might find in the French countryside.

People from Australia, Great Britain and even Hawaii have come to treasure hunt with Sharon.

I am coming home with a bag of china (yeah, good luck packing that), and a fabulous French enamel street sign.

We rented the little cottage on the estate in the back of the main house and barns.
The cottage sleeps 6, with an upstairs and 2 children's beds, as well as a small galley kitchen.

We were greeted each morning by her 2 dogs Gibson and Ghetto as soon as we opened the top of the Dutch doors.

Breakfast was delivered to our garden table in the back w/ coffee and fresh croissants each morning. What a treat to sit outside and enjoy this little slice of heaven.

One evening, we had the unexpected pleasure of being invited to dine with Sharon and her charming husband Eric in their beautiful garden for dinner.

Aperitif and "snacks" on the patio, then an amazing meal prepared by Eric. Bruschetta to start, then Eric cooked a whole fresh fish caught that morning, paired with a sorrel sauce served with a magnificent risotto. Wow, this man can cook!

Lemon cheese cake in verrines for dessert, w/ a wonderful Bordeaux being poured all evening.

Pinch me, cause I'm not in Kansas anymore.

We visited the beautiful gardens at Giverny, where Claude Monet lived and painted.
It was more beautiful than one could imagine.

We visited a chateau and their special gardens called Chateau Le Miserey. A garden designed by a woman in her 80's laid out with hybrid tea roses and tree specimens planted to represent heaven and hell. A special place, that most people would never find without a local person telling them about it.

This was our favorite part of our France trip, by far. Sharon and Eric made us feel welcome in their home and were warm and gracious.

We can't wait to return.

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Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow how perfect is this place - and she's an antiques dealer to boot! You may never want to come back. i'm going to check out her blog.

Ciao Chow Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

How cool that you stayed with Sharon. I follow her blog and it's beyond fabulous. Lucky you.

I'm thinking in addition to antiques, you could be a travel consultant Stacey.

The Japanese Redneck said...


I hope the china makes it but if it doesn't send it to me. I make mosaics.

I hit up all my friends for their broken stuff.

mil said...


Ah,bliss!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How beautiful.. how perfect. You sure know how to pick 'em.
with love to you and Henry,

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

The pleasure was all ours Stacey, we loved meeting you both. Thank you for your kind words about your stay

Candace said...

What a dream weekend! I love Sharon's blog, she is like Martha (but prettier!), Can't wait to see where you go tomorrow!

Joanna Brazier said...

Hi Stacey
Today on our Bellies Tour (!) in Paris I met Seth who gave me the details of your blog.

I have really enjoyed browsing your posts - my blog is

I live in Western Australia and have been in Paris for the past
3 weeks, firstly, for a fabulous photography course and then with my daughter exploring all the delights of this beautiful city.
Best wishes,
Joanna Brazier

Proud Italian Cook said...

Now that's living! Picturesque and perfect. Enjoy, and savor every second! Wow!

Bites from life with the barking lot said...

Oh the fish with sorrel sauce! Love that green on the bench and hunting with Mme Sharon has to be just the best. I wanna go! Love your sign too!

Bites from life with the barking lot said...

ps - you look very French in the picture on the bench with your wrap and bag draped across!

Atelier BE said...

Really excited to have found your blog through Sharon! I'm sure I'll be back again and again!

Carol Stevens, Atlanta, GA said...

I love Sharon's blog! I am a reader of both of you, and I am jealous you got to spend the weekend at Sharon's beautiful home! WOW!

Come visit us in Atlanta, we will show you a good time. Great food, hospitality and antiques!