Two weeks in My French Heaven with Melanie – Deux semaines de rêve avec Mélanie

(En Français plus bas)

I must apologize for the past two weeks during which I did not write for you my dear friends. I also want to thank the dozens of readers and fellow bloggers who sent me e-mails wondering what had become of me: “Is everything OK Stephane? I hope you’re not sick! I miss your posts”… You guys are the best!!

I must say that I had a good reason for not posting. I have spent the past two weeks taking care of a full B&B and spending the better part of each day with my new friend Melanie. Melanie is a lovely lady from Florida who had asked me to teach her the basics of French cuisine and show her my favorite spots in the South West of France. She stayed with me for 12 days during which we cooked, went on several wonderful excursions, had passionate discussions about food and life, and laughed to tears many times a day.

We went to the market almost daily and we tackled a few of our favorite recipes: sole meuniere, roasted chicken with green olives, quiche Lorraine, salads, crumbles, coq au vin, cold and hot soups…

My blogger friends Steve (Kafeneio) and Paige (Cupcaketravels) also visited, and that was VERY special to me…

Two beautiful weeks filled with sun, happiness, friendship and laughter. Here are some pictures:

Je me dois de m’excuser pour ces deux semaines passées durant lesquelles je ne vous ai rien écrit. Je remercie les dizaines de lecteurs qui m’ont envoyé ces e-mails affolées qui m’ont fait chaud au coeur. “Ça va Stéphane? Vous n’êtes pas malade? Vos articles nous manquent…”

Je dois dire que j’avais une bonne raison de ne rien écrire. Le temps m’a en effet manqué  allors que mes chambres d’hôtes étaient complètes et que j’ai passé le plus clair de mon temps avec ma nouvelle amie Mélanie. Mélanie est une Américaine adorable qui m’a demandé de lui apprendre les bases de la cuisine Française et de lui faire découvrir mes lieux favoris en Aquitaine. Elle est restée avec moi pendant 12 jours durant lesquels nous avons cuisiné, visité, discuté et ri à en pleurer.

Nous sommes allé au marché presque tous les jours et nous nous sommes attaqués aux bases: persillade, vinaigrette, sole meunière, poulet aux olives, quiche Lorraine, salades, crumbles, coq au vin, soupes et crèmes de légumes…

Deux belles semaines ensoleillées et pleines de bonheur!

73 Comments Add yours

  1. I am sure we could become Best Blog Friends, if it means a lovely stay in your beautiful B&B – and lots of time shopping at the market and of course cooking! LOL! We live in Atlanta, so if you ever visit, please let me know so we can meet for some nice wine. Take care!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I used to live in Atlanta. One of my favorite (if not my favorite) city in the US… My appartment was at the Parlane on Peachtree (what’s not on peachtree right?)… Next time I’m in the US, I will call 🙂

  2. Juliette says:

    Bonjour Stéphane,

    Je découvre votre blog grâce à celui de Mimi que je lis assidument.
    Et déjà c’est un régal pour les yeux! Magnifique photo de Commarque où j’ai eu la chance de fouiller pendant mes études d’archéologie!
    Je vis désormais à Londres mais mes parents sont à Bergerac et je ne manque jamais de faire le plein de bons produits à chaque visite!
    Je serai inspirée pour la prochaine…

    Juliette

    1. My French Heaven says:

      J’espère que vous passerez me rendre visite la prochaine fois que vous êtes dans la région! Notre maison de famille était près de Sarlat. C’est comme cela que j’ai eu la chance de découvrir Commarque quand j’étais tout petit. Ce château à nourri mes rêves depuis la plus tendre enfance, surtout qu’à l’époque il était encore perdu sous les ronces et les hautes herbes… Je suis aussi fan de la Filolie près de Saint Genies. Ces châteaux sont les meilleurs car les touristes ne les connaissent pas 😉

  3. Leilani says:

    Simply breathtaking! I look forward to a trip like this some day. Glad you are back to share all this beauty with us.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I hope you come visit one day Leilani!!

  4. My visit to your French heaven was very special to me too – and I am also busy catching up on all of my blogging (and have my house full of visitors now too) – my posts will be coming very soon 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was so great to meet you guys in person! Truly special!! Please give my best to your man 😉

  5. What a lovely post. Thank you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😉

  6. gotasté says:

    What a lovely and fun two weeks! Wish I was there. Stunning pictures too!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I hope you do me the great pleasure to come visit someday!!

  7. ohlidia says:

    Looks like you had a grand ol’ time!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We really did!! 😉

  8. juliabarrett says:

    How wonderful! Lovely photos!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Julia! I hope we get to do it together someday 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Lucky me you mean 🙂 She was such a joy to have around. A true gem of a woman!!

  9. hollykaann says:

    I am so glad you are back and had such a great time. You are certainly on my bucket list!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks darling Holly!!

  10. So glad you’re back! I was going into withdrawal! The photos look like it was an ideal time. She’s very fortunate to have been able to spend twelve days! I will get there. I’m saving my pennies! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Save away my darling! You know I cannot wait to meet my little sister!!

  11. glossnroses says:

    Super ! J’ai également visité Rocamadour ainsi que le gouffre de Padirac, c’est vraiment quelque chose ! Merci pour ces belles photos. Vous avez l’air de vous être bien éclaté !

    1. My French Heaven says:

      C’est toujours un plaisir de recevoir du monde. Cela m’oblige à prendre le temps de vraiment revoir ma propre région. Il ne faut jamais devenir blasé… 🙂

  12. radhika25 says:

    Missed you Stephane! What fabulous pictures!!!

  13. You did the right thing by shutting down the blog and being a true gentleman and host for the lady from Florida. A bientot!

  14. What a fabulous time you had! Your photos are amazing. I have such fond memories of holidays staying in a little village house in Beynac, half way up to the castle, somewhere near the Hotel de la Post, if it’s still there. I remember the breathtaking view from Domme as if it were yesterday and Salat…Salat, I just loved it, particularly the market, it was so spectacular!

  15. So glad you’re back and posting!

  16. saucygander says:

    Is that truffles in one of the photos? Super jealous!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was! I couldn’t believe it myself. It was covered with it. This area, the Dordogne, is where the best French black truffles are… Truly one of the top 5 meals I’ve had this year…

        1. My French Heaven says:

          🙂

  17. Sofia says:

    Its funny because I was visiting your blog thinking oh I hope you´re busy having a great time and not sick.I´m happy to see you had a wonderful time!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much my dear Sophia!!!

  18. WhiteTrinity says:

    Wow! How I wish I could visit you now! Gorgeous photos! Cheers, Mrs. J

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m only a plane ride away darling! 😉

  19. chef mimi says:

    What beautiful photos! I will come next spring, and perhaps I can steal you away for a couple of days – you all to myself! With food, of course!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That would be a dream come true for me!! I will have to up my game though. You are quite the chef… 😉

  20. Elita Y. Pacho says:

    This was your best blog ever. And the photos!! However, I wish you included the recipe of the roast chicken with olives. Ha ha! Thanks Stephane!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Elita! For the roast chicken, simply stuff it with green olives, fresh thyme and rosemary, garlic. Pour canola oil on top + salt and put it in the oven. Et voilà 😉

  21. Lucky Melanie. Two whole weeks to explore the French joie de vivre. I had wondered if you were on holidays, it being summer iover there. Have missed your wonderful posts. Gorgeous photos. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was work but truly felt like a holiday. The sign of a well chosen field I guess… 🙂

  22. We have all missed you so much! Nice photos. Buen ambiente.
    Saludos, Rosa

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Oh thank you darling Rosa!!

  23. Sarah Jane says:

    I too, was wondering where you were. 🙂 Glad everything’s good. Looks like you had a wonderful time!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      We really did Sarah. It is so lovely to be able to share ones passion with people who love life at least as much as I do… 🙂

  24. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Excellent post. Melanie looks like she had a great time. You are an excellent host. Well done and welcome back!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you my darling. I am hosting a big brunch on Sunday and thought of you. Foie gras and Salmon tartare will be the stars on the menu… 😉

      1. Janet Rörschåch says:

        Sweet! Sounds yum. Wish I could be part of that fun!

  25. ary says:

    bien content de te voir de retour ! voila deux semaines très bien remplies !!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Bien remplies en effet. C’est tellement bon de faire ce que l’on aime dans la vie… 😉

  26. Looks and sounds like an amazing couple of weeks!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It really was! I hope I will get more people to come over and visit…

      1. It’s on my to do list!

  27. hélène BOIS says:

    merci de cette reprise de contact éclatante comme un été ensoleillé ! Vous vous êtes régalé et votre amie américaine va sûrement garder un souvenir inoubliable de votre région. N’est-ce pas votre vraie vocation que de faire découvrir le beau et le bon aux autres ?

    1. My French Heaven says:

      C’est en effet ce que j’aime le plus. Cuisiner, manger, partager… A très bientôt j’espère chère Hélène 🙂

  28. Yay! You’re back! I was so glad to see the little email notification in my inbox 😉 But wow I’m super jealous, you guys went to some places that I’ve been dying to go to but can’t because I don’t have a car (Beynac castle, Rocamadour)!! Love the photos 😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Don’t be jealous Annie! Come visit me someday soon!!

  29. well…i knew you were having good reasons that kept you away from blogging….now we clearly see it! blogging brought me a special person too, one month ago…Elena Levon. The experience was exactly this: passionate discussions about food and life, laughing to tears many times a day…and hanging around my places…
    Some people like wrapping presents and others much prefer unwrapping them!…you were the one wrapping this “gift”..the reportage you’ve published today! Thanks for sharing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      What a sweet heartfelt comment! Thank you so much. You make my day 😉

  30. Farmgirl says:

    It looks right out of a storybook. I hope to join you in the kitchen one day myself! What a wonderful two weeks for you. Beautiful!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I hope you do too!! We’d have such a great time… 😉

  31. Oh serious? This just looks magical. She is one very lucky lady. You did a perfect job showing her the ropes.

    1. chef mimi says:

      Maybe we can both go next spring?!!!

      1. My French Heaven says:

        Oh I sure hope so!!!

    2. My French Heaven says:

      I hope you come visit one day too so I can share my favorite recipes and locations with you too 😉

  32. Steve says:

    We had a terrific time, and your “insider” recommendations made every experience amazing; no wasted time falling into tourist traps. And we absolutely loved the B&B, especially your parents, who made it a very authentic family experience.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      My parents could not stop talking about the breakfast they had with you! I hope we get to meet in person again soon!!

  33. cathynd95 says:

    what a wonderful two weeks! LOVE the pictures – just makes me want to come visit all the more!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I hope you come one day soon Cathy!!

  34. Glad to hear from you and wow… it looks like you all had a fabulous time! Beautiful photos, gorgeous views, incredible food and enviable fun! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are welcome! I hope you do me the honor of visiting one day… 😉

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