Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tea at Marie-Claire's

Marie-Claire is the mother of our neighbor Anne. She has a maison secondaire (a country house) not too far away from us. She invited us for tea last week and we had a splendid afternoon in her beautiful garden. Many Parisians own a country house. The French have a great love of the countryside and even if they enjoy the city, they feel the need to spend part of their time breathing the fresh air in les provinces (the provinces). Maire-Claires county house is quite exquisite! The garden has a small river running through it and, as is usually inevitable, there is a beautiful poplar grove planted next to it. Poplars are trees which drink a lot of water with their shallow roots, and the French plant them in neat rows next to streams and rivers. Anne is a script writer for television. She collaborated on the writing of a recent TV series on French television called Venus et Apollon (Venus and Appollo). It's very clever, dramatic and exciting. Anne really enjoys U.S. TV series and knows a lot more about them than we do. She often lends us DVDs of series we've never watched as she has a very comprehensive library. Tea at Marie-Claires went from 5 o'clock until almost 9! This is typical French hospitality! Marie-Claire makes the best tarte I have ever tasted anywhere. If I'm able to aquire the recipe, I'll post it here. We also had macarons, my favorite French cookie! We passed a completely relaxing afternoon. No need to hurry. We find the French really know how to enjoy the company of others over a beautiful meal. It's that joie de vivre they're so rightly famous for. I think in France stress is simply known as bad manners. Our own garden bounty was our offering to Marie-Claire:


  1. Recipe please. Post haste. Even if I'm unable to make it, I wish to drool.

    I understand the French mostly go out for their pastry. Is French flour very different from American hard wheat or southern soft wheat?

    (I'm baking with spelt these days, if at all.)

  2. I am sure the afternoon was perfect and wonderful but I must say Nancy has such a delightful way of making attractive every daily thing, even a "goûter" or a walk in the countryside becomes a dream and it is a nice way of sharing nice hours.

  3. I really like the analogy of stress and bad manners. I will have to make sure I mind my manners. Beautiful photos, aswell.