I usually spend my summers in Canada, preceded and followed by some British cultural atmosphere in Glyndebourne.

Needless to say, this year, to paraphrase the Passover saying, is not like any other year.

We had to stay in Europe and despite the sorrow of missing our lovely Canadian island, I have to say that we are thoroughly enjoying the luxury of visiting amazing museums and castles almost on our own. We realise that that it won’t last, but meanwhile we were able to visit in an incredible intimacy some of our old continent famed treasures…

We first spent an enchanting weekend in Touraine to discover the Beauval zoo which I adored, but also the magnificent castle of Clos Lucé, Amboise and Chambord.

Back to Paris, we attended the Cézanne in Italy exhibition at the Marmottan museum,

then the wonderful James Tissot exhibition at the Orsay Museum. An enchanting discovery for the cosmopolitan Anglophile French!

and, as soon as it reopened, we marvelled at the Egyptian antiques on our own…

there’s no word expressing this sheer delight of having these masterpieces almost to our exclusive enjoyment…!

We took the opportunity of early mornings due to Marc’s son’s exams to visit as well the Chantilly castle neither of us knew… a very unique opportunity again to enjoy some of Raphael’s best paintings and world’s most exquisite masterpieces in peace, quiet and absolute beauty….

Then we treated ourselves to a few days in the north… Arras (total discovery)

Roubaix’s Piscine

and the fabulous Villa Cavrois by Mallet-Stevens

Then we arrived in Lille where we found a lovely accommodation

and a charming host who recommended an unforgettable restaurant The Bloempott …

and of course we marvelled at the Lille Museum of Fine Arts…

We then crossed Belgium on the Flemish National Day, on a very busy road till The Hague and the rather crowded beaches of Scheveningen!

It was a fabulous opportunity to meet again my lovely Iranian friend and scholar Sima. She not only welcomed us with her amazing hospitality but also fed us with spiritual and intellectual priceless insights. Her PhD will mark a whole new area of Persian linguistics!

We had a real thirst for art and and culture which the Mauritshuis and Kunsthaus fully quenched with our beloved Vermeer and so much more !

and exquisite Delft

where we intended to have a mere coffee on the Plein

upon Sima’s suggestion and after a few hours visiting the “New” and “old” churches, a few more drinks and meals, as we were on our way to retrieve our car we found the perfect nest and spent a wonderful night in Vermeer’s hometown.

Covid is still rampant and we got scared at the rude and careless behaviour of people at the Grand Palais Pompéi exhibition

And our thirst for other horizons was partly quenched by the interesting Claudia Andujar exhibition at the Cartier Foundation,

… and after a superb lunch at Le Duc,

and the old peoples from the ´new world’, the ancient populations of Paris medieval graveyards gathered in the Paris incredible ossuary, wrongfully called the Catacombs. A good way to remember how frail we are in these times of Pandemics….

A perfect transition for the final farewell to Vincent whose ashes were immersed in Cancale, whereby producing a series of parties « à la Vincent and our discovery that there are two Cancales, le Bourg where ship owners used to live, and La Houle where fishermen did…

We then took the opportunity of a lesser number of foreign tourism to enjoy Le Mont Saint Michel, Dinard and Chausey. We celebrated Marc’s son brilliant results at the École Polytechnique, the world famous Xand his own success in a tv show, Versailles Night Fountains show, Medieval Vézelay … and I ended this weird summer with a wonderful weekend with my parents and daughter in Sanary on the French Riviera. It gave me an opportunity to read the report of French magazine Society about a killer who combines every aspect of a thriller on the verge of unrealism (normality, aristocracy, bankruptcy, adoption, cold blooded murders, lies, homosexuality, satanic sect, betrayal, friendship….). Time to close with a few pictures this (mostly ) French summer and to hope that the doom of a second waive is… washed away! In the meantime, I shall look after my blooming crop!


Lieux de culture


Chambre troglodyte Aux Vernes

Maison d’Hotes Au Cœur de Lille +33 (0)6 50 04 02 87 (Veronique Goubet)

Hotel Printania Dinard


Bloempot resto Lille

Le Duc Paris (fabulous fish restaurant with a 70s flavour).

blueberrymakibar (incredible sushis)

Le Ralph (devenu un peu trop snob….)

Café Marly

Resto et hôtel Du Guesclin, Mont-Saint-Michel

La Mère Poulard

Restos Castelbrac à Dinard: Pourquoi pas? Et le bar l’aquarium (petite restauration délicieuse!)

Resto Le Bistrot d’Henri, rue Princesse

Resto La Véranda (Trianon Palace)

Restaurant Le Clos des Acacias à Signes

Restaurant de l’hôtel de la Tour, Sanary-sur-Mer

2 thoughts on “Europe after all…a window on humanity and beauty

  1. eh bien… quel épopée !!! magnifique, poétique, gastronomique, culturelle (ô combien !!!), amoureuse, familiale, merci du partage !


    1. J’ai fait ‘le plein’ et continue, comme lorsqu’en mars dernier, consciente qu’avec tous les inconscients qui jouent les rebelles à deux balles, on va droit dans nos pénates pour une resucée de confinement!


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