Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Duralex Glassware

One of the delights of holidaying regularly here in France was rediscovering Duralex glasses.

We used to drink from them at school, and they were so reliable, you could knock them over, drop them on the floor, bump into someone whilst carrying a tower to be washed up (on table duty!) and they never smashed.

They are the only glasses I know that don't eventually discolour in the dishwasher, and because they can deal with heat are ideal for a Whisky Toddy, in deep Mid-Winter, (or when you're feeling really run down with the flu).

Ideal for a holiday home,
 both robust and lovely to look at

Dishes for snacks, or for puddings!

Ideal for cooking and pre-measuring ingredients

Lovely big (nesting) salad/fruit bowls

A glass for every occasion,
simply perfect for a picnic or barbecue

They stack away so neatly

They do  what it says on the box!

I have some as part of my soon to be ....FIRST GIVEAWAY... over on my other blog, A Trifle Rushed.

Do look out for it, I should post it in another day or so!  A lovely giveaway for the beginning of autumn!

The giveaway... Please look out on A Trifle Rushed!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Market Day in St Pol:- Maison de l'Artichaut and a Creperie

Tuesday is market day in St Pol.  I published a post at Easter about the market, but it's such a typical part of a French holiday, I thought a re-vist would do no harm.

We spent a happy hour wandering around looking at all the stalls,  we then went to sample the artichokes, before an early lunch, at a sweet little creperie in the  town.

NB Two useful points about Creperies:-

1. It can take a long time for your meal to arrive, so I advice arriving early, especially if you have young children with you!

2.  The cider is very strong, so only a sip for the driver.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Local apples, apple juice and cider

An onion stall

Where did you get that hat?

Handmade baskets

Dried flowers

Fruit for jam, and more onions


Did you forget the onions?

Lovely, rich, buttery cakes and bread

The House of the Artichoke

Just in case you miss it!

Wonderful to go in and have a little taste...yum!

Beautiful dried artichoke heads

Petit violet artichokes

A simple, but very tasty ham, cheese and mushroom galette

A simple table setting

Delicious, but very strong cider

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A simple table

When we first bought our Breton  house I was delighted!  The window frames were blue, the floor was  tiled with super large white tiles and best of all the downstairs was open-plan!  The scrapbook I had at home full of blue and white cuttings and ideas, (which I called My French Dream House) was about to come true!

I spent a year or so finding things for the house, none of them were expensive, but  I think all of them are lovely.

As a result I love entertaining here.  The table always looks inviting when it's set for a meal.

I prefer white crockery, this set has a simple sea motif

The chairs are shades of blue and aqua-green

A fish shaped dish, blue runner and Breton napkins

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I See Seaglass on the Sea Shore

The first holiday we had in our beautiful Breton house, was one of those wonderful, bright Easter holidays, when the sun shone every day! (because it was April not August!)

My husband came back from an early morning walk on the beach with a nugget of sea glass, and I suddenly had a new interest and holiday hobby!

I found myself looking for seaglass on each beach walk I took, and very quickly discovered the best "spots", which often had huge quantities of old glass.

Over the last 6 or 7 years I have collected a great deal of this fascinating glass.  (Some of it I hope to use in jewellery, but that's on hold until my little girl is older.)  Most  of it I  have in glass jars and bowls around the house, there is something so seasidey about it , I really love it's texture, the light it creates and the fact that every single piece of glass has an unknown history behind it.

Seaglass with shells and shards of pottery

In a lovely clam shell

In an old cookie jar

In a blue china boat

an old parfait jar

a wine glass full of glass

A square vase and a tea light with sea glass
(I do love French yoghurt pots- so much more useful then plastic!)

Sea glass is getting rarer as we recyle more.  This is, of course, a good thing, but it makes these lovely fragments all the more precious to me.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Rock Pooling!

 I thought, yesterday, as my younger son is still  here in Brittany, with us, and the tide is still very low, it might be fun to go rock pooling.  ( I was inspired by Tabiboo's lovely post Wildlife, here.  Unfortunately, we didn't see any starfish!)

My little girl, donned her wet suit, we set off laden with buckets and nets.  We had a simply delightful couple of hours of really good old fashioned fun!

I'm still not good at taking outdoor photographs,  particularly when there is lots of sunlight, and I am still at the very early stages of learning what all the dials on my camera mean.  I do hope to improve in time!

We saw shoals of tiny fish, hiding in their rock pool nurseries, and little prawns gadding about in the seaweed.  There were baby crabs and hermit crabs scuttling and digging for shelter.

And my son was delighted to discover a baby octopus.  We have (an old school) photo of him holding one in his hand (same group of Breton rock pools) when he was 8 years old, and now I can print out a copy of him at 22 years, happily holding another baby octopus.

Beautiful, calm and safe rock pools

Great for exploring mini worlds

a whole shoal of fish escaped under the seaweed

A very tiny crab, scuttling away to safety

The beach at the far end, is where we usually bathe

A very cross octopus,
 he had just squirted some very black ink!

If your near the sea, and the tide is low, it's a really great way to spend the afternoon.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A Walk by the Breton Sea

This evening there was a really high tide,  it was beautiful.

We'd been out for dinner, (as I had been jam making all afternoon.)  When we got home, the sun was just trying to peek through the clouds and  an evening stroll along the sands seemed a great idea.  The beach was pretty much deserted, it was peaceful watching the seabirds and listening to the beat of the waves on the sand.

I'm just learning how to use my new camera.  So here are a few photographs, to give you an idea of the loveliness of this evening :-)

Looking down at the beach,
from the sand dunes

The tide covering rocks that can usually be climbed