Mimi & Me – When two foodies become instant friends…

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She is gorgeous, generous and cooks like a modern version of Julia Child. He is handsome, funny and takes the most amazing photos.

My friend Liz Thomas, one of the best photographers I know (Elizabeth Thomas Photography) introduced me to an amazing blog called “Manger“. It so happens that its author Mimi Thorisson, her husband Oddur, their four kids and 19 dogs live right across the river from me in a charming stately home in the Medoc nested between the woods, the vineyard and the ocean.

Mimi and Oddur decided to leave their busy Paris life and settle here to enjoy true French Country Living. She cooks and writes. He takes pictures and breeds the most adorable Fox Terriers you’ve ever seen (they said they’d give me one :0) Mimi just finished shooting the first 6 episodes of her new cooking show for French Cable.

Last Friday, they did me the great honor of visiting me in Saint Emilion with their friends from Iceland (where Oddur is from), his mom (the nicest and most gracious lady I have ever met), the kids (who got to skip school) and one of the dogs.

Of course we first went to the Farmers’ Market where we bought fresh foie gras and the most amazing Brie and home made truffle butter. We then went to my baker Sylvain (remember the post I wrote on him?) and bought tons of bread. I also got all of my favorite little cakes from Lopez while their backs were turned, which made for a lovely surprise at the end of our lunch.

I had prepared a very formal table in my dining room, but we started with an aperitif outside on the terrasse and ended up having our whole meal out there. What I had expected to be a formal affair turned into a wonderful bohemian style family thing, which I thought was an absolute delight…

I knew that Mimi liked garlic, duck and foie gras. I also knew her dad was Chinese. So I decided to cook, with Mimi’s assistance, my famous duck wontons in morel and port sauce (full recipe on her blog). I had also prepared my favorite appetizer (my very own salmon tartare) which I think they liked very much.

After this really great family lunch in the garden at the town house, we headed for my Bed & Breakfast and took a nice walk up the hill to the windmills. We then drove down to Saint Emilion, had a nice cool drink on a sunny café terrasse and called it a day.

They call it love at first sight when only two people are involved. I don’t know how you call it when you fall in love with a whole family…

Please go read what Mimi posted about that day we spent shopping, cooking and laughing together. I think you’ll fall in love with her style and Oddur’s incredible art work…

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65 Comments Add yours

  1. Nadia says:

    I just discovered your blog. Sounds wonderful, a perfect way to spend the day.
    I am moving from Los Angeles to the Dordogne next month and will be living my dream too.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You will fall in love with Dordogne Nadia!! Probably the most charming region of France. Very VERY different from LA though; like VERY!!! Don’t miss Domme, Beynac and Comarque…. Stay kn touch!

  2. bnbhanoi says:

    Lovely story and great photos.

    1. My French Heaven says:


  3. Hi I’ve just discovered your blog and absolutely adore it – my dream in life is to retire to France to live the Country life so your blog is a wistful escape for me, taking me away from my Soho work place to somewhere more wholesome 🙂 Look forward to your next posts.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Why thank you! I have a lot of British friends here. You know the South West of France is a destination of choice for you guys… You dream of France and I dream of London. Yauatcha is my favorite restaurant in Soho! They make an incredible Peking Duck and their orchid tea is lovely… I also like the Japan center very much. Probably not the best Japanese restaurant in London, but it’s my favorite…

  4. Great post with so many wonderful pictures! It was a pleasure to read about my 2 favourite bloggers spending some time together.
    P.S. I have been following Mimi’s blog for some time now!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I love her blog and Mimi is a gem. What you see on her blog is what you get. They are gorgeous, kind, friendly and so passionate about food… I am planning to visit them in Medoc at the end of the month. Can’t wait to share that story 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing such a lovely story. Sounds like a wonderful day and a beautiful new friendship. I am looking forward to visiting Mimi’s blog, thank you for the introduction.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      How did you like her blog? I absolutely love it. The pictures her husband takes are like paintings…

      1. I absolutely LOVED it and am very much looking forward to reading and “seeing” more as her husband’s photos are indeed magical … as are yours. Both of your blogs represent the beauty and enchantment of France in unique and wonderful ways that make each post a true pleasure! Almost as nice as being there. Almost. 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          What a lovely comment Danielle! You are such a doll! 🙂 🙂

  6. I can imagine how wonderful this day must of been. I have been reading Mimi’s blog for months now and awe inspiring as it is I can tell she must be lovely in person too. Your duck wontons were a perfect offering. I say “yes” to the new fox terrier. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Mimi is a very special person indeed and her family is a delight to be around. As for the dog, I still don’t know. It is a huge responsibility… 🙂

  7. What a lovely post. It is great how amazing food can bring people together.

    1. My French Heaven says:


  8. PS Thank you for the mention! ❤

    1. My French Heaven says:

      The least I can do considering the huge contribution you made (make) to my blogging life…

        1. My French Heaven says:

          I was wondering what that meant for a second… 🙂 😉

  9. I am so thrilled that you met Mimi and her family! I knew you would love her blog! No surprise that she wanted to meet you! Wonderful! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m answering all my e-mails, facebook, Instagram and wordpress messages all at once and I’m making a mess of it all… Sorry! 🙂

    2. My French Heaven says:

      When you come here, we’ll go visit her! She has the most beautiful bohemian chic château in the vineyards of Medoc, right between the mighty river and the ocean… Can’t wait for you to meet her 🙂

        1. My French Heaven says:

          Me too! It seems she has it all…

  10. Such a lovely post!

  11. Wow, sounds like you made some special memories that day and some very special friends.

  12. I’d already discovered Mimi’s blog and you are right, she’s wonderful! How great that you live so close to each other.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Great indeed. Now she wants to give me one of her puppies. I still don’t know if I should do it…

      1. Oh wow, that’s a big decision!

  13. Treedson says:

    The title of the blog had its impact, indeed is heaven, even the photos is wonderful.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much and welcome!

  14. Patty Latimer says:

    thank you for sharing this lovely story. the photos are stunning.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Patty. Can’t wait for the day I get to share OUR adventures 😉

  15. Farmgirl says:

    The photography in this piece is stunning.. I can’t take my eyes off their lovely family and Mimi is gorgeous! What a wonderful day that must have been. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are too kind Katie! Mimi is a very special person indeed

  16. Heather in Arles says:

    Oh I loved this! I have been enjoying “Manger” for some time now and it is wonderful to know that Mimi and her family are as wonderful as they are on the blog. I am sure that they were all as delighted to meet you in return, the lucky ducks! It sounds like you gave them all a wonderful day. Am popping over to read her post now.
    With all of my Best from Arles,

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks my dear Heather. We had a wonderful day indeed. There is something very special about meeting a fellow blogger in the flesh… It has to do with the fact that we are all passionate about the same things I guess… 🙂

      1. Heather in Arles says:

        So true, Stephane. I have had the good fortune a few times now and I am NEVER disappointed! We “know” each other so well already…Bon Weekend!

  17. amberlife says:

    Lovely photos as always. Have just come back from a trip to Paris and finally saw the garden at Giverny. If I could have packed it up and put it in my bag I would have. And as always the French people were friendly (yes even the Parisians) and the wine flowed :0)

    1. My French Heaven says:

      French people always seem nice when the wine flows 🙂 More seriously though, I am glad you had a great time in my French heaven 😉

  18. tracyvalentinawood says:

    Lovely story. I enjoyed both posts, looking forward to more.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Tracy! Look out for my coq au vin recipe later this week… 😉

  19. Lilia says:

    I just discovered your blog thru Mimi’s Manger and I have to admit I love it! Your photos are just as beautiful as by Mimi’s husband, the food is excellent, the stories wonderful. All the best, Lilia

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are way too kind Lilia! I’m an absolute fan of Mimi’s blog too 🙂

  20. Steve says:

    Terrific blog and photos. Very impressive. Recipes also look wonderful but very time consuming for the most part; great for when one is either retied or very, very, rich! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:


  21. Clanmother says:

    You have the nicest friends – life is remarkable!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Remarkable indeed Rebecca! It’s funny, I was just leaving YOU a comment asking if I could find you on Instagram. I just started using it and I am nuts about it…

  22. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Oh Stephane! Fabulous. I felt like I was right there with you. Your writing is very evocative of a time and place I thought was just found in literature. Thank you for introducing me to Mimi and Manger. What a life you live.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Believe me, I DO NOT live the life every day, but I must admit I did on that day… The most perfect day… Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Thanks for being your usual wonderful self my dear Janet! 🙂

  23. anita says:

    Bonjour Stephane,
    The best thing about Mim’s post of your wonderful day together is that I’ve now found your fantastic blog. I look forward to reading past posts…..mais mon francais est tres, tres mauvais!!!! J’essaie.. Your photos and recipes of your day together are delightful. Bonne Journee Anita

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I’m so glad you liked both our posts Anita! We had such a great time. It’s always so great when two bloggers get to meet. Mimi is a gem of a woman. 🙂 I hope you enjoy reading more of my posts… 🙂

  24. acrusteaten says:

    Loved Mimi’s post and love yours. You two are so lucky, you seem to be living the dream. Keep up the great posts, they whisk me away to rural France and always bring a smile to my face.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks for a great comment. I just think we both love what we do and always try to present it the best way we know how… 🙂

  25. Also… so glad to have found Manger. Mimi’s blog is absolutely stunning and as with your’s, I’m so happy and inspired to be following! 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Two very different styles really. Hers reads very much like a magazine and I really love the art work…

      1. Agreed. I adore them both. 🙂

  26. I just read Mimi’s post earlier today! It looks like you had such a wonderful time, not to mention amazing food!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      The food was pretty good indeed 😉

  27. What a wonderful post and stunning photos! Just love it. 🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks a lot! We had such a wonderful time…

  28. Wonderful photos and post!

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