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I’m back with the second instalment of my trip to France earlier this year, where I taught and attended this gorgeous workshop

You can catch up on the first part by hopping over here…

Let’s talk about the food… the delicious, soulful food. Each mouthful so lovingly prepared, with fresh vegetables dug from the veg patch that day, to the delicious cakes & desserts baked by my new favourite people Gillian Bell & Sophie from Sistersjunction.

As someone who finds it tricky sometimes to eat when out and about, because of an intolerance to wheat, dairy and various other bits & bobs. It was delightful to be so well catered for.

I won’t share details of every meal (even though they were all stunning) for fear of boring you terribly. But I will share a few of my favourite experiences.

The first lunch under the Linden tree…

This was the welcome for everyone and straight away you had a flavour of what was to come. We said our hellos and noted where in the world everyone had travelled from, then we gathered in the sunshine and ate salads and a walnut cake that I’d watched Gillian make the night before.

Now as I mentioned because of a wheat and dairy intolerance, I don’t often get to enjoy cakes… So when Gillian told me that all the food was going to be suitable for me, I said surely not the cakes. She said, yes of course. I should’ve realised this, for she is a cake extraordinaire!, travelling the world with a whisk, baking cakes for all sorts of people.

So with every meal there was a cake (or dessert), and fortunately they were always large, so there was always seconds and often, leftovers to have with a cup of tea at breakfast or in the afternoon. I was very happy. I do hope the opportunity to eat one of Gillian’s cakes comes up again, I can totally see why she’s invited all over the world… there’s nothing quite like a cake made with love.

So there were other meals in the barn, in front of the house and in the drawing room, each one so memorable, so tasty and styled beautifully, with a different themes like woodland rustic or the night everyone dressed up for a 1920s cocktail evening.

Food is such an important part of gathering people together and I think Flore and everyone helping, did such a fantastic job of nailing this important part of hosting a retreat.

And finally… The lunch under the apple trees is something I’ll never forget.

Now the tree-lined path was already a favourite spot of mine. But when I saw it that lunchtime… blankets on the floor, smoke wafting from the barbecue, wooden stools scattered here and there, jam jars of flowers and delicious salads waiting for us.

I felt like I was on a magazine shoot, or something you would only dream of pulling together, but here it was, a reality.

The mackerel grilling on the barbecue, was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. We then sat on blankets, chatted and ate, with the sun beaming through the leaves of the trees and the smell of the smoke passing by.

It was wonderful.

And of course there was another divine cake!

I’m salivating now just thinking of all those delicious treats we ate…

Let me quickly mention Sophie’s pavlova… it was exquisite, just the right mix of melt in your mouth and chewy sweetness. YUM!

Lucky for us – the amazing recipe is HERE

I think I have to go and have a cup of tea now and rummage around to find something sweet to accompany it.

Au revior for now…

Do check out the workshop hashtag #francewiththefloshow to see more from this extraordinary event.

1 Comment
  • Bella
    Posted at 15:18h, 21 October Reply

    Omg, Xanthe . . . this looks like an exquisite gathering! I’m so glad you got to indulge in some good for you sweets. Awesome. xo

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