Postcard From France

Mes Chers Amis

As a child, family holidays were so rare as to be an endangered species. We had precisely two – one in Wales and the other in France. The French holiday near Albi was a revelation. I discovered Francoise Sagan, Toulouse Lautrec, grenadine, espadrilles, file paper with grids instead of lines, flat peaches, Sartre’s Roads to Freedom trilogy and aubergines.  Apart from the novels of Sagan, an embarrassing teenage aberration, I love them all still.

I’m in France with two of my oldest friends and our combined total of eight children. Sartre and Lautrec have been sadly thin on the ground, but we’re doing wonders for the local peach and aubergine crop. The recipe I’ve cooked three times already is this one, a feast I first ate on that French holiday all those years ago.

A bientot




  1. I just love the grapes around the door and the boy cutting cheese! Your obviously much further south then us, autumn is setting in here in Brittany.

  2. There's a scent of autumn in the air in the early mornings, but summer returns after breakfast. The boy cutting cheese was taking his job so seriously – and doing it really well.

  3. Here in the Charente Maritime we have glorious hot weather today, if a bit muggy! Lovely photos and all very familiar! Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  4. I was chased across a field by a herd of cows in the Charente Maritime once – I still love it though!

  5. Your photos are making me jealous, wistful and hungry….and really anxious to run out and get a plane ticket 😀

  6. Hi Gretchen The aubergines are so beautiful. The striped and white ones don't taste any different, but they look amazing.

  7. File paper with squares instead of lines – I've been buying that every time I've been to France since I was 16 – along with packs of paraffin wax for sealing jam, preserving jars, little tins of fish stock powder,boxes of fecule…I am very jealous. Have a great holiday Charlie.xLiz

  8. Oh, you are in France just when I am not! That is too sad! We must meet up some day! The photos are gorgeous and you paint a picture of a France that I don't see often enough. Lovely. ANd my mother-in-law lives near Albi and it is a town I love.

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