Entertaining France

Slipping into French Routines: 4 Habits to Bring Home

July 9, 2018

Habits to bring home from France - Playtime with the little man!

We are rattling up the hill in a twenty year old Land Rover, my childhood car.   The late afternoon sun bathes my bare legs and the warm wind whips through the open window.   My son is in his car seat in the back, happily eating a basket of freshly picked blackberries.   The juice dribbles down his chin and arms, one of which he is swinging in the air to the raspy music which comes in and out through the thick haze of white noise; it’s a good song and he’s repeating some of the words.  

Next to him sits a wooden crate with tonight’s dinner in it, fresh from the market: pasta, vegetables to grill, a bottle of cold salmon pink rosé, arugula, avocado, tomatoes and milk.     There’s enough time for a play in the garden before I prepare his dinner, which he will eat outside, followed by a hot bubbly bath and a few books before bed.   The sun sets late here and he will fall asleep in the last bit of light.   With the onset of evening, the mood will shift.   Music is on, perhaps a bath before dinner?  I will slip into something more special, add a spritz of perfume, a swipe of lipstick and a pair of sparkly earrings.    The table is set, the candles are lit.   Evenings are for the adults, and will carry on far too late…

Habits to bring home - Always making the effort to dress up in the eveningsHabits to bring home - Make every evening special

1/2/3/4/5/6  and not pictured but used very often, see here.

Habits to bring home - Candles as always!

Perfume, earrings and a quick change for dinner.   Not every night was this dressed up, but it was fun on occasion.  Here I am wearing a fun sparkly number from  Cabana Vintage and my favorite new strappy heels which are on sale:

Habits to bring home - Lucy Cuneo

I am taking note of our rhythms here and marking the small habits to bring home:

A Morning Bath.   There are no showers to speak of.   It is surprisingly relaxing and energizing at the same time.

Simple, fresh meals, exceptional ingredients.   Croissants and fresh melon for breakfast.   Cheese and baguette and tomato salad for lunch.  Bread always picked up and eaten on the same day.  A slew of little salads, grilled vegetables, local sausages or fish for dinner, topped off with the most delicious gelato, a different flavor each night — pure pleasure!

Disconnecting.   With very little service, and inconsistent wifi (especially because we had lots of unseasonal storms), we found ourselves on our phones less and focusing more.   My husband doesn’t have an issue with this at home but I do.   I couldn’t believe how often my phone went without charge, and how my anxiety level dropped.   More time to take in the view,  exercise,  and most importantly, spend time with friends and family.

Habits to bring home - Local fresh produceHabits to bring home - Lucy Cuneo

Making the effort in the evening.    Whether it was cozied by the fire in an intimate group or a long, candlelit table in the balmy evening air, every night held a touch of magic.   Even our dinners for two were properly set up and enjoyed.   We celebrated one another’s company, phones were left behind and laughter-filled conversations ensued.   We dressed up, we danced, we drank too much and sometimes we cried.   The excitement of being in such a beautiful places with wonderful people was reason enough to make each night special but there’s also the subtle hint the way the houses are set up.   The kitchen and dining area, as well as the outside (which is where we ate every night save three) are at the center of the home.    The making of the meal is the event, the TV is outdated, upstairs and never even crossed our minds…

Habits to bring home - Always making the effort to dress up in the evenings

Will & I made a habit of eating very late, and always set the table, even for the two of us alone. 

Habits to bring home - Lucy Cuneo

Although eating outside was always first preference, even on cold evenings by the outdoor fire, there were some nights which were so rainy that eating in was necessary.    On this particular night, we candle-lit the whole room to create the ultimate cozy environment.   The flowers from the Saturday market in St. Tropez were a superb touch.  I will be sharing a dinner party playlist soon, too!! XX 

15 Comments

  • Reply Faith July 9, 2018 at 6:21 am

    So magical. Every bit of this!

  • Reply Sarah July 9, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I love the simple elegance of your blue and white dress. Would you mind sharing the details?

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo July 9, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Hi Sarah! It’s by a french brand called Senes…I cannot find online but I am trying to stock in the US! Very cheap and cheerful! X

      • Reply Jenifer July 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm

        I would love it if you stocked this blue dress. It’s gorgeous and your taste, as always, is delightful.

        • Reply Lucy Cuneo July 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm

          Thank you!! I will work on it … seriously…!! XOXOX

          • Sarah July 10, 2018 at 3:17 pm

            Me too! I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

      • Reply Alex July 9, 2018 at 7:20 pm

        Agree! I love that dress!

  • Reply Anna G. July 9, 2018 at 10:18 am

    Wonderful memories to treasure!
    Sometimes we need to be disconnected from WiFi and enjoy simple pleasures of life!

    • Reply Lucy Cuneo July 9, 2018 at 10:25 am

      Totally! So hard for me to do but managed it quite a bit this trip. Know it’s not new news but still XXX

  • Reply Aurelia Paquette July 9, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Your writing is so evocative, and this post is a wonderful reminder to be present, well-timed as I begin my trip to Charleston 🙂 Thank you for sharing – your content never fails to inspire me!

  • Reply Sam July 10, 2018 at 3:39 am

    This sounds perfect! I’m currently in Copenhagen for 3 weeks and see so many similarities! We haven’t turned the TV on once and have just been enjoying each others company and eating such fresh and wonderful food. Like you, I hope I can take part of this routine back with me to the states!

    xo Sam
    http://www.thecurrentclassic.com

  • Reply Christine Ingram July 10, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Beautiful! I agree about making dinner being the event. It’s how we are in our home as many nights as we are able. Can’t wait for the playlist!

  • Reply Cate July 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

    You set the scene so well! Absolutely enjoy your writing dear.

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