24 December 2013


happy christmas

The tree is decorated and the presents are piled underneath.  Lulu has sniffed every one and is absolutely sure which ones are for her.

The cake is made and has its marzipan icing on, ready for the royal icing which will be applied lovingly this evening, or possibly on Christmas morning.  Last minute as always. A new mini herd of reindeer has been purchased to add to the forest of Christmas trees, the snowman and Santa Claus that adorn it every year.

happy christmas2

The mince pies are made and I tried a different recipe this year.  They look promising.  OK, I admit it, I felt obliged to try one and they taste good.  (Recipe here.)

The house is decorated beautifully and as minimally as I could get away with.  The tinsel factor is lower this year because I managed to hide some of it before Nick found it all.

All that remains is for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  I hope that Santa Claus visits your house, that the turkey is cooked through and that you have a truly wonderful time !!

4 December 2013


More photos from our day out at Chaumont.


This restaurant was closed when we were at Chaumont that day.  Luckily the little snack bar was open. so we were able to have a coffee. 




1 December 2013



During our October holiday Nick was “working at home” half the time and the rest was an actual holiday.  On his days off we decided to do some proper touristy, holiday activities, such as visiting a few châteaux.


The Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire was due to come to an end so we trotted off to see what was happening before it was too late.


It was one of those beautiful, sunny autumn days when the air is fresh but the sun quite warm.  There were lots of other visitors making the most of the good weather and the last chance to see the gardens in all their glory.


There were huge, imaginative and elaborate garden displays, although the meaning of some of them were lost on us!




For example, I didn’t quite get the point of these artificial flowers, but can see that they had taken a lot of work!


I quite liked the quirkiness of this wardrobe front over a path.  In fact it would make an interesting feature in any garden.  Sans the lingerie, of course !!


There were displays with peep-holes that were most inviting.  This one caught us out.  Each peep-hole was a mirror so all I saw was……me !!


Sadly, many of the plants in the displays were well past their best.  As indeed most people’s gardens are by the end of October, but it looked like a lot of it had simply been left without any attention for quite some time and looked very sad.  We should go earlier in the year to get the full benefit.


Having said all that, we would definitely go back another year and possibly splash out on the full tour of the house and garden, treating ourselves to a nice lunch in the grounds as well.  More photos soon. 

Bon Dimanche !!