The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 28

This gorgeous issue is stuffed full of fabulous features from beautiful Annecy to the sunny southern Basque country and the city of Pau, the Canal du Midi and much more. There’s a fabulous photo essay of the four seasons of Provence, practical guides and recipes galore with a focus on the gastronomy of the Touraine region in the Loire Valley - from an ancient recipe for macarons to more-ish nougat cake!

This time of the year in

This time of the year in my little French village, the fields are filled with cows. There are certainly more cows than people – this is farming country. My favourite cow-keepers are Monsieur and Madame Pepperpot. Not their real names of course but they are very petite and ancient. Lifelong farmers, they are too old to keep a large herd but like to keep their hand in, and have just three very spoiled, much loved black and white creatures called Marie- Antoinette, Blanche and Marguerite – all named after famous Queens of France. I met them by accident as they live in a rather hidden part of the village, down a woodland pathway off the beaten track, though since there are just 150 residents, it’s hardly beaten anywhere around here. One early spring morning, a damp sort of day, mist hanging over the village like giant cobwebs, the dogs, instead of going our usual walking route, ran off down the wooded pathway and didn’t return when we called them. Following in their footsteps we encountered a very large cow eating the flowers in a tiny cottage garden. Our dogs loud barking did nothing to move the cow but out of the cottage came a tiny old lady with white hair tied in a bun. Together we heaved the cow back to its field at the back of their home. Since then, we’ve become firm friends. Madame Pepperpot loves to cook – robust stews, pies, tarts and flammekueches – the local pizza. Eaten straight out of the oven, it burns your fingers a little but, she says that’s how it should be enjoyed. She is famous for her rice puddings made with milk from her queenly cows. We often walk past her cottage these days and wave to her as she stands at her kitchen sink at the window which overlooks her little front garden. Always she has a big smile and will laugh as she watches our dogs run about, excited at the prospect of finding another cow. It makes me think of a quote by Victor Hugo “laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face”. Wishing you well from a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, rural northern France, Janine Janine Marsh is the author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream and My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life, available on Amazon.