Tag: fashion

Visit Cinque Terre

“The Golden Girls” Loving Italy: Day 13 Cinque Terre

Who knew “Cinque Terre” meant “five villages”? Before  heading on The Golden Girls’ adventure, I’d never heard of it.

The Golden Girls’ Cinque Terre visit started on a chartered bus from Florence. Our AIRBNB host set up the tour that was by bus, train and boat.

Since visiting Cinque Terre, I’ve learned that many friends have been there. Some have even gone between each of the villages on foot.

My hat’s off to you. We found it hard enough to be carried by bus and train.

Visit Cinque Terre

Tour bus to Cinque Terre

Visit Cinque Terre

The day we visited Cinque Terre, unfortunately, there was bad weather. A landslide in one of the villages and no ships sailing to another meant we had a full day exploring three of the villages — Riomaggiore, Corniglia and Monterossa.

Visit Cinque Terre

Map of Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore

After leaving the chartered bus in La Spezia, The Golden Girls boarded a train for Riomaggiore. Getting there on a foggy, cool day was a bit disappointing. We were hoping for sunny skies. However, the beauty of the quaint hillside village more than made up for the clouds and sprinkles of rain.

Visit Cinque Terre

Corniglia

By the time we reached Corniglia by train the clouds had lifted and the sun came out to give us an excuse to head for the beach. This was the ideal village for lounging at a seaside cafe and watching people, my favorite pastime.

Visit Cinque TerreAhh… the beer was tasty too!

Visit Cinque Terre

 Village and sea views in all directions were breath-taking.

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Visit Cinque Terre

Monterossa

Nothing prepared me for Monterossa. From the multi-colored houses to the dramatic coastal cliffs, this village is one to underline in the memory book. Interestingly, now that I have only photos to remind me, it’s hard to believe these came out of my camera. It is truly real.

Pinch me.

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Dare I forget about shopping?

Not as dazzling as the scenery in Monterossa, the local shops still put on quite a show.

How can you resist stopping to check out the retail here? Join me to look around.

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Hopefully when you visit Cinque Terre you will see all five villages. For me and The Golden Girls, perhaps another day.

Visit Cinque Terre

Visit Cinque TerreNext stop: Rome

 

 

 

 

For more of the Golden Girls’ Tour

Day 1-4 Uzès

Day 5-6 Nimes, Pont du Gard, Avignon

Day 5-8 Sete, Beziers and Bouziques

Family Is Visiting Uzès

Family is visiting Uzes! Nothing could make me happier than to show my son the sights and to introduce him to my new friends.

The first stop was the Saturday market in Uzès. Even though the tourist season is over, the market this week was busy. These days there are many English-speaking voices in the crowds.

Family Is Visiting Uzès

Saturday Market in October Uzes

 

Claude, the cheese man, was one of our first stops at the market. His “green” cheese with pistachios is one of my favorites. When he met my son, who is fluent in French, they started teasing with each other right away.

Family Is Visiting Uzès

Claude the Cheese Man

 

The farmer with the chèvre from the “French Farmer” post was handing out his cheese samples, as always. When I told him about my blog where he was featured, I was surprised he already knew about it! Apparently, someone shopping that morning had written the link to the site on a piece of paper for him. He pulled the wrinkled note out from under his cash box to show it to me….with a big grin, I might add.

For me, it was the final shopping day before packing up my belongings to head to the States for a visit. There were clothes I’d been eyeing for some time that now, I couldn’t resist. Oh.. that I could pass up some of these tops and jackets! 

Family Is Visiting Uzès

 

Family Is Visiting Uzès

While walking through the rows of vendors, I ran into friends I’d met last week in San Quentin La Poterie. It’s an interesting story about how we became friends.

For months I have been receiving emails from a cafe in San Quentin that puts on monthly musical events and dinner. The cafe is tiny and tucked in between pottery shops on one of the narrow streets of the town.Family Is Visiting Uzès

This particular night an English friend who is moving to Uzes was in town, so it was an excellent time to try out the dinner concert. We were early getting to the cafe, and we had our choice of seating. Instead of going to a table for two, the hostess suggested we sit at a table for six. She knew that four French ladies had reservations and that some of them spoke English. She thought it would be fun for us to get to know each other.

Fortunately, my friend speaks French quite well because when the ladies arrived, only one spoke English. For a short while, the conversation was a bit reserved since we could not all join in. However, in no time, we were laughing and communicating with broken English and French the best we could. The evening was such a success that my friend and I were invited back for a birthday party.

Family is Visiting Uzès

Thanks to the hostess at the cafe, now I have more new friends for my family to meet in Uzès… and a party on Saturday night.

Family Is Visiting Uzès

Friends meeting Pete for lunch after the Saturday Market at Le Provencal. Check out those yummy salads… even better with fries on top!

 

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Arles: Feria du Riz Food and Fashion

In Arles there seems to always be a party going. Arles’ Feria du Riz is one of the best.

Arles, a town less than an hour down the road that’s mostly famous for being one of Van Gogh’s “hangouts”.  The Feria du Riz, the annual Rice Harvest Festival, celebrates one of the region’s top crops — rice.

Rice in Arles

Arles is on the northern edge of the Camargue which has been the subject of a few earlier blogs. Just as bulls, white horses and flamingos are indigenous to the area, rice has been produced in the Camargue since the Middle Ages. Today there are some 200 rice producers in this small area, representing about 5% of rice production in Europe. Camargue’s “red rice” is a popular local souvenir.

 

The Feria du Riz is, interestingly, a very Spanish celebration to be in France. The food and the fashions are straight from Spain.

Before I get much farther, though, let me set the scene for Arles’ Feria du Riz

When you drive into the old city of Arles, there’s a long avenue with cafes and shops that leads to a lovely park with a walkway that leads to the ancient areas of the town — the arena and the amphitheater. For the Feria, the avenue is spread with carnival-like booths with food vendors and souvenirs.

Arles' Feria du Riz

 

Arles' Feria du Riz

Arles' Feria du Riz

At cafes along the way, the ohm-pah-pah bands are warming up the crowd for the afternoon festivities.

Arles' Feria du Riz

Road barriers lined the street for the running of the bulls scheduled for the early afternoon.

Arles' Feria du Riz

Since this is a Rice Harvest Festival the food booths along the way were showing off their take on  — a Spanish favorite that matches with the theme of the Feria.

I was starving when I hit town and this was the first paella stand in line, so it was my pick.

Arles' Feria du Riz

I sat on the steps of a fancy hotel and restaurant and gulped down the serving of paella with a bottle of water. It hit the spot on the already hot day.

Arles' Feria du Riz

Arles' Feria du Riz

As I walked down the street, I wasn’t certain the place I stopped was the best choice. It all looked so good!

Arles' Feria du Riz

These photo-perfect folks were putting out some fabulous kebab dishes.

Arles’ Feria du Riz is about food

One popular food offering was kebabs — in all varieties. There were kebabs in sandwiches and kebab “stew” served over frites (french fries). The kebab mixtures were steaming away in huge pans, just as the paella.

Then there were the fish specialties — a Fisherman’s plate with calamari and pots of steaming moule (mussels).

Arles’ Feria du Riz is about fashion

My favorite stop of the day was a sidewalk shop with the Spanish dresses, skirts and all the frills. I had to hold myself back from buying one of the skirts. Imagine a holiday party wearing one of these!

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Arles’ Feria du Riz is about the scenery

Beyond the vendors I walked to the entrance to the park and walkway to the old town.

Arles' Feria du Riz

Arles' Feria du Riz

When up the steps and around the town building, there lay before me the beautiful village of Arles, with buildings and roadways centuries ago. People were everywhere, in every square, eating and enjoying festivities and socializing the warm September Sunday.

One of the famous squares in the city, during the Feria, is a showcase of artisans and regional foods.

Arles' Feria du Riz

To my surprise, one of the new products being displayed was barbeque sauces. In France? I could hardly believe my eyes. Of course, I had to strike up a conversation with the owners to tell him I’d been to Memphis in May — the barbeque event of the year. He knew it well and hopes to make it there someday himself.

Arles' Feria du Riz

 

After spending most of the afternoon walking around the town and checking out the food stands, it was time for the bulls running in the street. This time I knew how to get up close and personal. For the next post, though. Along with all the fanfare that surrounds a bullfight in the south of France. Stay tuned!

 

Arles' Feria du Riz

 

French Bobo Fashion for Fall: A New Look from Long Ago

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As published in France Today

There’s a dress shop in the village square of my adopted home in France where finding what’s new in fall fashions takes you back a century or two.

A visit to the store reminds you of rummaging through your grandmother’s closet, or uncovering an old trunk that’s filled with brown tweed jackets and checkered woolen blankets from somebody’s past.

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You walk through the front door of L’Atelier des Ours and hear jingle bells tingling behind you. When you look down at the sand covered, tile floor, it’s hard to know exactly why you’re there. Yet you have to take only a few steps to discover there’s something special in this tiny place, waiting to be discovered.

 

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L’Atelier des Ours, translated “the teddy bear’s workshop”, caters to a unique clientele of European women, mostly from France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany.

The style of clothing, shoes and accessories they purchase in the shop can be called “bobo”,”bourgeois bohème”, or “bohème chic”. The look isn’t for everyone, but for those who define themselves by these flash-back fashions, it is irresistible.

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David Brooks, New York Times columnist, identified and named “bobos” in his book, “Bobos in Paradise,” published in the year 2000. Quoting from his review of his own book, Brooks says about bobos: “These are highly educated folk who have one foot in the bohemian world of creativity and another foot in the bourgeois realm of ambition and worldly success. The members of the new information age elite are bourgeois bohemian. Or, to take the first two letters of each word, they are bobos.”

According to Brooks, bobos are identified by having “rebel attitudes and social-climbing attitudes all scrambled together.”
Helen Bonham Carter, actress and wife of Tim Burton, is the poster child for extreme “bobo” dressing with her unconventional style. The Olsen twins’ non-conformist, bohème fashions could be considered “bobo” — somber colored, layered, and heavily laden with scarves.

For the bobo chic who shop at L’Atelier des Ours — in the store and online — the style is neither “hippy”, nor dull and frumpy, nor make-believe. It is elegant, eccentric, and smart. In fact it is so “smart” that it takes an understanding of each piece of clothing to put together the perfect outfit.

Start with a ruffled organza petticoat

A multi-ruffled organza petticoat is the basic element of “bobo chic” for daytime. Add a tee-shirt that’s delicately fringed around the top and cover it with a dotted swiss tunic. Wrap it all in a soft pewter sweater and shawl; pull on cotton stockings and mary jane shoes; and voilà!
A simple little dress and scarf

Grab one of the dresses with tiny stripes or granny checks off the rack. Slip on an crinkled organdy petticoat underneath (not to be confused with “organza” which is netting). Swirl a matching scarf around your neck; a floppy handbag over your shoulder; and there, you have a dashing afternoon ensemble.

Smocks, frocks and pantaloons

Heavy cotton smocks and baggy linen pantaloons are the mainstays of a “bobo” wardrobe for all types of occasions. Worn with a woolen shawl and crocheted beret you’re off to market. Add a long, flannel, three-button jacket with knee-high, black boots and you’re ready for cold weather.

Poplin dresses and taffeta skirts

When visiting L’Atelier des Ours, I can never leave without trying on one of the “fantasy” dresses and ruffled skirts.
Picture a very pale gray, ankle-length, crushed poplin dress with a scooped neckline and long crinkled sleeves. Below the hemline of the dress are layers and layers of off-white ruffles showing off from the taffeta skirts worn underneath. To complete the fairy-tale costume, a lushiously soft scarf is tied loosely around the neck and shoulders.

I feel like a princess.

Another place and time

Around my little village the “bobo chic” ladies are easy to sight. Occasionally, I put on my checkered frock, tee-shirt and pantaloons and join them among the crowd of towns people and tourists. No one stops and stares.

Fall and winter 2014 bobo style is neither glitzy nor glamorous. It’s more like comfort food and a warm fireplace. A new look from long ago. A different attitude. A way of life.

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Fashion elements for “bobo chic”

A short list of the items that “bobos” stock in their wardrobe doesn’t vary much by season, just by color and weight.

Loose, layered clothing made of natural fabrics
Smocks, tunics, loose trousers, pantaloons
Ruffles, organdy, and lace petticoats
Stapped shoes, boots, and sandals
Mixing patterns of prints and flowers
Simple or no jewelry
Basic-colored scarves in a variety of soft fabrics
Lacy bloomers
Simple tee-shirts, long and short sleeved
Sweaters, wraps, jackets and long coats

For a virtual visit of L’Atelier des Ours, visit the website and catalogue. Better yet, treat yourself with a stop at the store in Uzes, France.

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French Fashion for Summer: Bobo Chic Style

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original_411433__L51bZZIfra_ZNZaTxDkpaZE1There’s a magical space

just steps from my door

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with Teddy Bears,

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

Teacups,

and Flowers

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

Galore.

 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 

 

Button-eyed dogs with long floppy ears,

 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 

Stuffed Rabbits, 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 Baby Slippers ,

 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

…  and  more,

 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 Live together, in Harmonyimages

 

 

Of one accord.

 

 

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  I mean, can you imagine?

 

Rompers …

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

… and rooms filled with Lace,

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

… Dresses and Petticoats,

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France  

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

All in one place?

 

 

 

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Perhaps Pinocchio makes all the rules?

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 … so that Ruffles and Skirts,

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

… Ribbons on Hats 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

… and Frilly Night Shirts

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

… are Here …

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

… where Time 

 

 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

… stands Still.

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

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L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France
L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

 

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A return to the Romance Era of French fashion is not a dream. It is alive and more appealing than ever for summer. Thanks to L’Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France for the inspiration for this post on Bohemian Chic style. 

L'Atelier des Ours in Uzes, France

For more information on L’Atelier des Ours, visit the blog and Pinterest. 

Does anyone wonder why I love France? Am Living in France? Love the Fashion in France?

 

 

Christmas Market in Uzes, France

Christmas Market in Uzes is an annual event that residents and visitors eagerly await. It’s the time when everyone knows they can find favorite holiday foods and unique handmade gifts.

Mid-December Uzes stages a Christmas Market that no one wants to miss. In addition to food and wine tastings for the adults, children are treated to a day of free games and fun family time. This year’s event was blessed with sunny skies to make it even more special. Hopefully these photos will give you a sampling of the market atmosphere and Uzes surroundings you many want to visit the Christmas Market in Uzes at the town’s most magical time of year.

My Name is Deborah

For years I’ve wondered if I should be called “Deborah”, not ” Debby”. It seems like “Deborah” is a name more fitting to my age.

Now that I’m in FrancDeborah, the Barefoot Bloggere, I think I will switch. The French don’t get “Debby”. They say: “DeeDee” or “BeeBee.” Also, taking a new name when I’m trying to “hide out ” among the locals seems appropriate. “Hide out” is a joke, of course. At 5’10” tall and with blonde hair, I hardly look French. Plus, the new clothes I’ve fallen for — all ruffles and flowers–are definitely tourist duds.

In spite of looking and acting like a tourist, I’ve begun to make friends here. Mostly, because I was fortunate to meet one very special and talented lady, Unity. I met her a few days ago at the “popup” gallery on the main avenue of town where she is exhibiting her artwork. We hit it off immediately.

Unity the artist and friend in Uzes, FranceSince meeting Unity, I have been introduced to several of her friends, mostly British ex-pats like Unity and her husband, Tom.

One of the new acquaintances, in particular, has made quite an impression on me. The most eccentric “Geoffrey”. The first time I met Geoffrey was at Unity’s gallery. He was wearing an extremely broad, black beret. Even though it was close to 90 degrees in the shade that day, he also had on a black suit, black vest and tie, and a crisp white shirt. Around his neck, huge headphones were hanging down, tuned to Led Zeppelin, he said.

We didn’t strike up a conversation that day, but we ran into each other the next day, again at Unity’s. This time he was decked out in a dapper pinstriped suit and a canary yellow shirt and yellow straw hat. He said he has over 60 hats. I’ll have to admit, I was enthralled with his flamboyance.

Friend in Uzes, France

That day Geoffrey, Unity and I had time to chat a bit. Soon we were carrying on like old friends. The conversation came around to their suggesting places I should visit during the rest of my stay in the south of France. Geoffrey offered to let me drive his car to nearby Nimes where he would give me a guided tour of the city. The invitation seemed perfectly ok and safe to me, especially because of his friendship with Unity.

He then invited me to join him on a short walk from the art gallery to his home so that he could check his schedule. I said “yes” knowing that Unity was expecting us both back at the gallery shortly. Geoffrey had committed to taking photos of her paintings.

So off we went, down the wide, stoned-paved alleyway to Geoffrey’s house. it was less than two blocks away. When we arrived at his four-story stone house, Geoffrey stopped to point out the posters that were plastered on both sides of the front door. He explained he had put them there as a ruse. The place was supposed to look abandoned, or lived in by gangs, “to ward off intruders,” he said.

It sort-of worked. It did look unpretentious. But then he opened the door. I was first surprised, then amused. I had walked into Goldielocks’ cottage!

Friend in Uzes, France

The front room was a big kitchen with a large table, chairs and big wooden hutch with glass doors. Inside the hutch and hanging on almost every inch of the walls was one of the most delightful and collectible assortments of pottery and china I had ever seen– outside of an antique shop.

It was then I learned where this interesting person had come from. Geoffrey is a retired professor from Oxford. His specialty was pottery and ceramic arts. I almost melted in my tracks. Pottery and china collecting is my passion.

For nearly an hour I toured through Geoffrey’s home, viewing his life’s collection of art and ceramics. He showed me rare platters made from a unique type of clay found only near Uzes. I saw magnificent majolica pieces and early flow blue china. Some of his most prized possessions are family pictures, including one photo that particularly struck me. It was a picture of his grandmother — a showgirl in the early 1900’s — dressed in her show business finery. i knew at once where Geoffrey got his flair.

But wait… it gets better than that. Geoffrey’s grandmother married a circus lion tamer. Now, that’s a story I’ve got to dig into.

Today’s best sound byte

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