Tuesday, 30 April 2013

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cordialement, Leeann

Monday, 29 April 2013

week-end tresors...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you all have a nice weekend. We had a fabulous one but we did not find as many treasures as we had hoped for but as it is a holiday here this Wednesday there are quite a few brocantes taking place so we have everything crossed that we find some goodies on Wednesday.

One of yesterdays finds was a vintage "Our Lady of Fatima" music box, which plays ava maria and when you plug her in, she is surrounded in a beautiful  multi-coloured aura.

She is adorable and in immaculate condition. You will find more details here. An unusual and rare piece.

Next up is set of 5 antique booklets which are great for decorating as they are or tied with a piece of string or ribbon.

Another find was this antique publicity wall hanging for Bougies de Clichy. Love the vibrant colours and the detail of the design.

One of the last finds of the day was this Napoleon III Benetier/ Holy water font and crucifix. 

We have had these in stock before but this is the first time that we have had a green one as the others were all in red velvet.

There is also an eglise style candelabra which needs to be cleaned, this is one of my tasks for this afternoon and a fgabulous bed cover which has never been used and is made from a 70's style fabric which is very fashionable at present, around the globe.

I have just quickly snapped a photo, so that you can see how pretty the fabric is. Note it is enormous and weighs heavy so it will be a "collection only" item.

You will find details of all new arrivals here.

I have now off to clean the candelabra....

Bon début de semaine à tous, Leeann x


Friday, 26 April 2013

French Food Friday...Red Wine Caramelised Onions Goats Cheese Tartlets

Photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I stumbled across this week on pinterest and must admit that I am a fan of this fabulous site as there is no end to the fabulous photos that one can find. For me it is one ever changing magazine and always seems to be bang up to date.....

This weeks recipe has a lot of my favourite ingredients and not only do they look great, they really are delicious.

Recipe | makes 8 medium tartlets |
  •  3 onions thinly sliced
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 3 – 4 sprigs of thyme leaves removed and a few extra for garnishing each tart
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry 23c x 23cms (1 pack of Woolies all butter puff)
  • 200g goats cheese (25g per tartlet)
  • splash of milk to brush the pastry rim
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions over a low heat until softened but not browned, about 15 minutes.

Add ½ the red wine and deglaze the pan, allowing all the liquid to cook off.

Add the sugar, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the remainder of the red wine and once again continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has cooked off.

Place your puff pastry sheets on a floured surface and cut out the circles to desired size. You could also cut the pastry into 4 x squares. This way you better optimise the pastry sheet with no wastage through offcuts. This recipe makes 8 tartlets that are 8cm in diameter.

Score the inside of the pastry with a small cookie cutter or a knife, but don’t cut all the way through, to make a small rim.

Brush the rim of each case lightly with milk, or and egg and milk mix (I find the egg just makes it a little darker but isn’t entirely necessary). and bake in a oven that has been preheated to 180C for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and press down on the inner circle piece so that it drops down, it should come away where you have scored it, and fill each pastry case with the caramelised onion.

Top with the goats cheese (you can either crumble this or cut into discs), scatter over fresh thyme leaves and return to the oven to bake for a further 20 minutes.
Serve warm or cold on their own or with a salad.

Tip* This recipe could also make one larger tart, or be made into smaller canape sizes for a party.

...bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 25 April 2013


photo from here

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

so lovely....

It has been another busy day and I am about to rush out the door but before I do, I just wanted to share one of the photos that I have just taken, with you.

How beautiful is this wisteria or as it is called in French glycine, it really is a lovely time of the year to be in France as there are many buildings covered with these beautiful flowers. It is a plant that appears to get better with age and it really enhances the old stone buildings....and on that note, I must disappear.

..amicalement, Leeann x

Monday, 22 April 2013

weekend treasure...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. Ours as normal, was a busy one and Sunday was spent hunting for tresors.

One of my first finds was this antique missal or as it is called in French Missel, it dates back to 1886 and really is in fabulous condition. 

Love the gold leaf detail on the pages and the clasps are gorgeous and rare nowdays asmost have beenbroken so it is rare to find one complete with original clasps.

The inside cover, so ornate.....

Every page features incricate borders.......

From the same antique dealer, were 3 antique extra large antique rosaries which were worn by monks when completing the pimgrimage to Lourdes.

Next up was this gorgeous lamp which I am keeping for me....

At the last brocante of the day, I found these fabulous candelabras which have lovely opaline flowers, these are for sale but collection is preferred due to the fragile nature of the glass flowers.

The last find of the day was this fabulous florentine style picture which is a lovely decorative piece. 

I am now off to update the fabulously french online shop 

très bonne semaine à tous.....Leeann x

Saturday, 20 April 2013

très bon week-end à tous...

photo ma cusine 9h30, 20 avril 2013

Bonjour from a very sunny SW France,

Just stopping by to wish you all a très bon week-end....

Leeann x

Friday, 19 April 2013

French Food Friday...White chocolate crème brûlée

 photo and recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I am happy that it is Friday as this week has been a particularly challenging week and not one that I want to repeat in a hurry hence I will be happy to get this one out of the way and start a fresh one.
Hence I feel that some chocolate is required and as a lover of white chocolate this is exactly what is required after a hard week at the "office".

White chocolate crème brûlée 

 Serves 8


  • 568ml pot double cream
  • 100g good quality white chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 1 vanilla  pod, split or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6  egg  yolks
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar , plus extra for topping


  1. Heat the cream, chocolate and vanilla pod in a pan until the chocolate has melted. Take off the heat and allow to infuse for 10 mins, scraping the pod seeds into the cream. If using the vanilla extract, add straight away. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
  2. Beat yolks and sugar until pale. stir in the chocolate cream. Strain into a jug and pour into ramekins. Place in a deep roasting tray and pour boiling water halfway up the sides. Bake for 15-20 mins until just set with a wobbly centre. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hrs.
  3. To serve, sprinkle some sugar on top of the brûlées and caramelise with a blowtorch or briefly under a hot grill. Leave caramel to harden, then serve. 
...bon appetit à tous, Leeann x

Thursday, 18 April 2013

this made my day...

Bonjour mes belles, 

I had a lovely and very unexpected surprise this morning....a local lady who I had given a few bits and pieces of antique fabric and lace arrived with this beautiful gift that she had made for me. So beautiful that I wanted to share it with you...

Love the attantion to detail, so beautifully made.....

I have already decided where I am going to hang it, on the side of my armoire in my bedroom.

Such a kind and beautiful gesture, it really made my day.....

à demain, Leeann x  

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Love this colour...

photo from here

Bonsoir mes belles,

It has been a busy day so please excuse the lateness of this post. I have a thing about purple and think that a little of this gorgeous colour goes a long way....

Hence it will come as no surprise that one of our new colours for Spring includes a lovely French Lavender colour. These lovely vintage monogrammed napkins are the first arrivals with more on the way.

 I am now off to cook dinner, tonight it is a moroccan chicken tagine for us....

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 15 April 2013

Passage St Michel Bordeaux...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a fabulous weekend. Yesterday it was hot and sunny and perfect weather for antique hunting in Bordeaux.

Unfortunately we did not find the items that we were searching for which is often the case but we had a great day in the sun and managed to get a table at our favourite restaurant which is reason enough to visit Bordeaux.

It is not the first time that I have mentioned this restaurant, it is set in the Passage st Michel antiques centre....food is superb as is the wine and I always manage to find something to buy.

Yesterday was no exception, we found a fabulous mirror which I have yet to take a photograph of but will take a photo of it tomorrow.  Back to work I must go...

...très bonne semaine à tous, Leeann x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

bon week-end à tous...

fab photo from here

The weekend is for lots of lovely sunshine  here, so I am sure that we will spend a lot of our weekend outdoors.

Where ever you are, what ever you are doing,  I hope that you all have a très bon week-end.....

Leeann x

Friday, 12 April 2013

French Food Friday...Coeur à la Crème with Raspberries


recipe and photo from here
Bonjour mes belles,
This week's recipe is a classic and a romantic dessert, perfect for two; coeur à la crème. This adorable, creamy heart — the name literally translates into "heart of cream" is rich, sweet, and has to be shared. 

Note to make this, you will need a heart shaped mould which can be made of either porcelain or plastic. 


  • 1 cup of mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
For The Raspberry Sauce
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Set a small cooling rack inside of a small, rimmed baking sheet. Line a coeur à la crème mold with four sheets of cheesecloth, one of top of the other. Set the mold on top of the cooling rack and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine mascarpone and crème fraîche, beating on medium-low speed until creamy. Slowly add powdered sugar, beating until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Add vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Beat until well mixed. Drizzle in heavy cream, in a thin stream, and beat until the cream has thickened to soft peaks.
  4. Scoop the cream into the lined heart mold, making sure to push it down into the corners of the mold. Fold the edges of the cheesecloth over the top of the mold to cover the cream. Make sure that there is space between the mold and the pan beneath it to allow for proper drainage. Slide the baking sheet into the refrigerator and let drain for eight hours, or overnight. Once the cream has drained, discard the runoff liquid and unmold the heart onto a plate.

    For the raspberry sauce: Combine raspberries and sugar in a bowl and stir well, gently mashing the berries to create a little added texture. Cover the bowl and allow to sit for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over unmolded coeur à la crème and serve immediately (with two spoons!).
...bon appetit à tous, Leeann 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


photo from here

I just had to share this with you.....it certainly made me smile!

Leeann x

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

a watchful eye...

This is one of French Boyfriend's latest finds which is now hanging on the wall in the new boutique. I adore him and think that he looks equally as good displayed on the wall or on an easel.

He has rather a majestic air and at the same time is keeping an eye on what is going on.....

Speaking of going on, I had better get going as I have beaucoup de travaille....

à demain, Leeann x

Monday, 8 April 2013

weekend in one photo...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you had a nice weekend, our as normal was a busy one.

Saturday morning was spent at the new boutique, it makes me smile when I write this as I think of when my sister and  I were little girls playing shop, taking turns with what used to be my grandfather's old cash register.

Yesterday was spent sorting out stock for the shop as we have a lot of stock stored in garages and the such like.

My plan for the week is to try and reorganise my garage.....it sounds so easy when I write these three words but think that in practice it will not be so simple.

....bon début de semaine à vous tous !!, Leeann x

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Friday, 5 April 2013

French Food Friday....Baguette Recipe


Makes: 4 Preparation time: 45 minutes plus rising time Cooking time: 15 minutes
You will need:
600g all-purpose white wheat flour
400g water
1 ½ tsp instant yeast, 2 tsp dry yeast, or ¾ cake fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt

1. Make a pre-dough on the first day. In a bowl, mix 200g of the flour, 200g of the water and half a teaspoon of the instant yeast (or ¾ teaspoon of the dry yeast or ¼ cake of the fresh yeast). Cover with a clingfilm and allow to rest for 12 to 24 hours.

2. If you are using instant or fresh yeast, put the remaining 400g flour, the remaining 200g water, the remaining 1 teaspoon instant or ½ teaspoon cake fresh yeast and all the salt in a big bowl. Add the pre-dough. Mix the ingredients together, then scrape them onto the counter.
3. If you are using dry yeast, put the remaining 400g flour in a big bowl and make a well. Sprinkle the remaining one and a quarter teaspoons dry yeast in the well and add 100g of the water. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. You may or may not get a beige sludge on the top of the water, but don’t worry – what is important is to dissolve the yeast. Add the remaining water, all the salt, and the pre-dough. Mix the ingredients together, then scrape them onto the counter.
4. Knead well for 10-15 minutes adding water by hand to keep the dough soft and pillowy. Pop the kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover with a dry tea towel. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
5. With the dough still in the bowl, pretend the blob of dough is a clock. Starting at noon, gently pinch about one centimetre of the edge of the dough and pull it up and out, stretching it as far as you can without breaking it. Don’t worry if you do, just try not to. Fold that pinched bit over the blob of dough and gently lay it down. Repeat this action all round the blob of dough.
6. Cover again and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough this way once more in the bowl. Cover again and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Pull the dough out onto an unfloured surface. Stretch and fold it once as you did in the bowl. Roll it into a loose sausage. Cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
7. Divide the dough into four equal portions. Stretch and fold each portion and shape them all into loose balls. Cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
8. Stretch and fold each portion again and roll up into tight sausages. Cover and allow to rest for five minutes. Meanwhile, either grease baguette proofing pans, or heavily flour a tea towel and place it in a roasting pan with deep sides. Please make sure the tea towel comes well up the sides of the pan.
9. Pick up one sausage and move it away from you. Roll it toward you as follows:  start with your hands together in the middle of each sausage, thumbs completely touching; roll toward you as you move your wrists – not your hands – apart – so that the fingertips of the index finger of each hand meet and then the fingertips of the middle finger of each hand meet. As you do that, the palms of your hands travel effortlessly over the surface of the dough, stretching it out without applying any downward pressure. Once that has happened, you can move your hands apart as you roll; pick up the dough, move it away from you and roll again as above. Do this as many times as you need to get the length you would like.
10. Be aware that long baguettes are harder to handle than short ones, so if you are a novice, you may want to opt for shorter ones at first. Don’t use any downward pressure, just gentle outward pressure. A true baguette is the same diameter from end to end and is not pointy. Repeat with the rest of the sausages of dough.
11. Lay the baguettes one by one in the prepared proofing pan(s) or on the towel in the roasting pan, making sure there is a deep fold in the towel between each baguette so that they do not stick together as they rise. Remember, they will double in size. You may need to use a second towel as you go and that is fine. If you do not have enough baguettes to fill the roasting pan, wedge them together with something like an upturned loaf pan or a book so they rise up and not out.
12. Flour the tops of the baguettes, cover with a dry tea towel and allow to rest for 30–45 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 230˚C/gas mark 8.
13. If you are using proofing pan(s), make slashes in the tops of the baguettes with a sharp knife or scissors and spray with fresh water from a plant sprayer to help achieve a crispy crust. Transfer the pan(s) to the oven. If you proofed the dough on tea towels, gently pick up each baguette and lay it down on the prepared baking sheet. Make slashes in the tops of the baguettes with a sharp knife or scissors and spray with fresh water from a plant sprayer to help achieve a crispy crust. Transfer the sheet to the oven.
14. Bake the baguettes for about 15 minutes until golden brown. To check whether they are done, tap the bottoms of the baguettes. If they sound hollow, they are done. If not, pop them back for another three to four minutes or so. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.

....bon appetit à tous, Leeann

Thursday, 4 April 2013

love this...

photo from westwing.fr

Love the red drawers, they really pop out at you.....I have just finished painting a console table which has two drawers and to be honest I like the old white colour that I have painted it but am thinking of painting the inside of the drawers a different colour...just need to decide on a colour!

à demain mes belles, Leeann x

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

a delight....

That is what I am calling this fabulous vintage sewing box, that I found at the weekend.

There are two fabulous layers of compartments and each is filled with lots of lovely vintage buttons, zips, cotton etc.

Did I mention that I also have 3 old tins full of lovely old buttons in all shapes and sizes?

I think that I may need a sewing section on Fabulously French bientot...

trés bonne journée à tous, Leeann x

Monday, 1 April 2013

hello sailor...

Bonjour mes belles,

I hope that you are all having a fabulous break. We picked up a few tresors over the weekend which I have yet to photograph but just had to share a quick photo of one of them with you. 

It is a vintage hat from the marine nationale and according to French Boyfriend people use to touch the red pom pom to bring them luck.

I also have the trousers, shirt complete with anchor and jacket should anyone fancy dressing up.....

à demain, Leeann x

Gluten free

Gluten free raspberry and lemon muffins Bonjour mes belles, I cannot believe it has been over a week since my last post. I have b...