Tag Archives: france

La Bruyle – my stay in the South of France


Once I arrive in Paris its tough to get me to leave. Completely understandable given what a great city it is. I was invited to the South of France to a bed and breakfast by my friend Olivier and the owners of La Bruyle. A little four hours on the train south I had no idea what to expect but the towns we stopped in were more adorable than the next as we approached Saint – Michael de Bannieres Pascale greeted Olivier and me at the train station and immediately felt at ease with my host. Just a short ride away from the train station we arrived at La Bruyle.

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I was given an adorable pink room on the top floor a stunning view.

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Every room in La Bruyle has a theme and color with attention to detail like non other.

red room

I am a city girl there is no doubt but staying here I absolutely fell in love with the country simple life. Fresh air, long walks on gravel roads, and the roses growing everywhere made it just heavenly.

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Pascale and her partner Franck met in Paris and had the dream of opening up a bed and breakfast together. It took a while of searching for just the right place before they could make that dream a reality. Franck and Pascale toured La Bruyle and didn’t make an offer right away. It was not until Franck told Pascale he had news about the house that made Pascale believe it was sold and her heart sank. The news was actually that the price had been lowered and immediately she knew that it was their house. It took six years from purchasing it to creating it into what it is now. Every detail in the house was though out carefully. It was truly a labor of love and well worth it. The warmth of the house and the sweet demeanor of Franck and Pascale really make La Bruyle a little slice of heaven in the south.


One of my favorite memories of my stay at La Bruyle was coming down the wooden staircase into the main dining room. Pascale is an incredible cook and the smells from the kitchen would hit you as you came down the stairs. Jazz music or Nora Jones played in the background as the warm sunshine danced on the tiles. Meals ranged from lamb with thyme and honey and potatoes au gratin, truffle salted butter/toast, asparagus and cheese quiche, homemade yogurt and confiture from Pascales garden. My mouth is watering as type.


The closest town had a market where we picked up a few things for meals including the most amazing strawberries. Pascale paired them with fresh whipped cream for dessert.


Pascale and Franck did a wonderful job about educating me about the region that La Bruyle is in. Rocamadour is a type of french goat cheese made in the region. Just a few doors down we visited the farm and the goats to pick up some cheese. The cheese course may just be my favorite part of the French meal. Walnuts are grown all over the region as well so Franck makes a delicious liquor with walnuts and we ate them along with our cheese course. This is true farm to table living in the south of France.

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Breakfast at La Bruyle was pretty special to me. When Pascale brought out the breakfast it included fresh farm eggs, bread and homemade confiture (fruit from her garden) and homemade French yogurt. My eyes lit up as I saw the glass jars of yogurt. I added a little apricot confiture and savored every bite. The eggs were soft boiled and Franck taught me the proper way to cut and dip my toast into the egg. If you think it can’t get any better it actual did by dining in the garden.



Franck and Pascale look forward to welcoming you to La Bruyle. I know personally I can’t wait to go back. If you visit in the summer months you can take advantage of the beautiful pool overlooking the countryside. What is not to love about this place?

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Paris time… chasing the light


My days have been filled lately with chasing the light. People always ask me what my favorite thing to do in Paris and I usually say walking. I walk for hours and hours discovering new parts of the city. But lately with this morning and evening light I have picked up a new activity… simply chasing the light. If you are wondering what exactly that is. I simply follow where the light is hitting the streets and buildings. It sounds easy but its all about timing.

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You see this light isn’t so easy. Paris likes to play hiding games with the sun and can be moody at times. The sun rises around 6:15 these days so that means very early morning strolls. But they are worth it!


Then you also have the afternoon light which is so lovely when you find a hidden courtyard in St Germain de pres.


Just as the sun begins to set you can find the light hitting the buildings just right. Last night I found myself chasing the light which sun sets around 9:15. It makes for very long days but when the right is just right you can’t go wrong in Paris.


Counting Down to Paris


There are less than two weeks until I leave for Paris and I am wrapping up some projects here in the States and getting ready for my trip. So far I have a few trips planned outside of Paris including a weekend in Amsterdam, a trip to a beautiful B&B in the south west of France, and a week in Italy.


Since my first solo trip to Paris in 2010 I have stayed in various arrondissement. The 7th, 16th, 18th,1st, 5th but I always find myself in the Marais. This year I will be staying close to the pompidou just 10 minutes walk to my favorite cafe in the marais and 10 minutes the other direction to rue montorgueil. You may be wondering why I always stay in a different area. The truth is I absolutely love my morning walks. Walking the streets in the early morning with the sun kissing the buildings and streets before everyone is awake is really beautiful. I love exploring hidden streets and courtyards and the more I see of Paris the more surprises I discover. I hope you will join me as I travel to Paris starting April 20th. You can follow along on Instagram 

Fete de la Chandeleur – French Crepe Day


If you visit Paris you will find street vendors selling crepes all over the city. They are at the eiffel tower, the Marais and there are a bunch on every corner in Montmartre. Two years ago arrived in Paris for my original 3 months stay and was thrilled to find out it was French Crepe Day. If I could love the city any more on a cold February day they celebrate the eating of crepes with a holiday? Sign me up! I celebrated a day early yesterday with my friends Alexis and Bree and their adorable babies. My favorite it banana and nutella. What’s yours?

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Nous sommes Charlie


“Je suis Charlie” I am Charlie has become a trending hashtag through twitter and instagram quickly after the events in Paris unfolded. 12 people were killed and 11 people wounded as 3 men walked and fired shots at Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters. More details directly from cnn here.

My Mom woke me the news via text. I then heard quickly from my Dad asking if I had heard the news. No, I am not french I am American but if you have read earlier blog posts or know a little about me I have spent the last two years traveling back and forth between the US and Paris. Paris has become a second home to me. I waited before watching any news because I knew it would suck me in and it would be hard to turn off. Late in the evening I watched CNN as they reported from Paris. Tears continue to stream down my face last night through today as I hurt for the families of those that were wounded and killed.

I have always felt Paris to be a very safe place. Sure there are pickpockets wondering around metro stations and high touristy areas but that’s really it. If you ask an expat why they moved to Paris they will tell you a few reasons: they uses Paris as escape or a place to heal. People come to Paris looking for something that is missing. This is just from my experience and talking to other expats I have met. I first went to Paris alone in 2010 after I lost my job. It instantly drew me in from the very first day and I knew I wanted to live there. In 2013 I packed up my Chicago apartment and made the move to Paris. I boarded the plane completely terrified and didn’t know anyone in the new country I was about to call my home. The thing is Paris gave me exactly what I needed. As cheesy as it sounds I found myself in Paris. Through getting lost on the streets, language struggles, and meeting friends in a new country I was able to shed the damaged layers I had been holding onto. At the same time I was able to build a business. Paris continues to give to me and surprises me through continuing to explore the city even 5 years later.

The reason why I am telling you this is the 3 men that shot and killed 12 innocent people tried to burst my bubble. They have shaken Paris up in a way they haven’t experienced in years. But the thing is the people of Paris are uniting.  The people of Paris are out on the streets supporting each other, remembering those who they have lost and spreading the love. Together Paris will remain strong. Please keep Paris in your thoughts and prayers and the two remaining suspects are found before they do any more harm.

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Happy Monday – 40% off sale Extended


For those of you who aren’t blog readers or email checkers on Sunday I do apologize if you missed the 40% off sale in the etsy shop. Lucky for you I extended it until tonight at midnight. That photograph you have had your eye on can be yours! Enter code JOY40 at checkout www.rebeccaplotnick.com

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Treat Yourself – 40% one day only


Holiday Shopping is in full swing! My last show of the year wrapped last night at West Elm so its time to start shopping. When it comes to holiday shopping don’t forget to treat yourself. I am offering 40% off prints in the etsy shop this Sunday. Use coupon code JOY40 to take advantage of the discount. Happy Holidays to you all! xo

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Brownie Box

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Clever & Pour


Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

A Matter Of How You See It Photography

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HiP Paris Blog

HiP insider tips and insights on dining, shopping, culture, renting, and living in Paris, France & Italy from Erica Berman & her Haven in Paris - HiP Paris team.

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