2021… oh, what a year it has been! Wherever you are in the world, global events have mae sure it is certainly one to remember. Throughout it all, here at MFCH, we were (and remain) committed to bringing you the best of authentic and charming french living. We appreciate and thank our subscribers, both new and old, and hope that you all have thoroughly enjoyed the journeys across France that we’ve taken you on!
As we rapidly approach the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, come along with us to take a look back at some of the highlights from our last six issues…
And remember, you can still purchase print copies* of any back issue (if there is stock left), and you can ALWAYS purchase any back issue – even our first-ever edition: January/February 2019 – in a digital version! *Note that print subscribers automatically receive access to digital versions
January/February 2021 Issue
For our first issue of 2021, we brought to you extraordinary French interiors, from a restored 15th-century home in Normandy to a hidden Baroque hotel to a monochrome contemporary townhouse. We discovered secret rooftop gardens of Paris, taught you how to create your own beautifully scented botanical wax, unlocked the secrets of mesmerizing topiary, offered up a fully decked out insider’s guide to Versailles — a city that offers far more than the gilded palace it is world famous for — and so much more!
MFCH Guide to Versailles
We thought it was best to kick off with a spectacular tour of the town of Versailles and its internationally beloved royal château and gardens that are the epitome of French opulence and design. From where to eat to where to stay to what to do — our “Discovering Guide” has you covered for any future trip!
Aside from Versailles, we also dug deep into the roots of some of the most stunning gardens across France, with an in-depth examination of the amazing art of topiary clipping and shaping. Plus, we gave you tips for getting really creative and making your own!
Clothing boutiques, bakers, cheesemongers, wine sellers… a large part of France relies on its charming local stores and shops. In our January/February 21 issue, we took you on a relaxing stroll past some of our favorite French vintage storefronts to make you feel as if you were really there!
We also got to sit down with the amazing French artist Fabienne Delacroix for our feature “Little Windows Of Happiness.” We hope you got a good glimpse of some of her charmingly nostalgic and joyful depictions of bygone Paris before wandering off to browse our usual offerings of French recipes, shopping guides, columns and more.
March/April 2021 Issue
Our 2021 spring edition took us deep into traditional France with a tour of Périgord Noir – a treasured region very near and dear to France’s heart. We got to explore a special insider’s tour of one of Paris’s most famous antique markets, gushed over the life of philanthropist and entrepreneur India Hicks, offered up tips on achieving French country kitchen style and so much more.
A Unique Spring Bouquet
We gave you a glimpse into the wonderful and unique world of Emmanuel Sammartino and Christophe Hervé of Odorantes Paris, who painstakingly dye their hand-selected blooms to create whimsically elegant floral arrangements. We also offered you a step-by-step guide and tips for how to make your very own for a perfect and unique seasonal bouquet!
Discover the Périgord Noir
You joined us for an extended tour of the Périgord Noir, one of France’s most revered regions. Its deep forests are home to the world-renowned and coveted black truffle, and its rivers are dotted with majestic castles and centuries-old villages. Our “Discovering Guide” covered everything you’d need to plan a visit: everything there is to do and all our favorite places to eat, shop and stay!
The Perfect Spring Vegetable
The humble leek rarely receives the praise and attention it deserves. As such, we did our best to remedy this in our March/April 21 issue by including some outstanding recipes from MFCH Magazine contributor, chef and photgrapher extraordinaire Eve Cardi — expect fresh and creative takes on this elegant green.
Paul Bert Serpette Flea Market
You joined us in exploring the ultimate treasure trove that is Paul Bert Serpette – the internationally-renowned flagship of Paris’s famous Saint Ouen Flea Market. This is the most sought-after area of the capital’s les Puces, and the lucky few who work there are amongst the best guides that can be found. You wouldn’t want to miss this rare and special insider’s view!
May/June 2021 Issue
For our May/June 2021 edition is here, we gifted you a floral melody for the latter half of spring! This edition was all about welcoming warm weather authentic French living and celebrating the approach of summer. We embraced the outdoors with not one but two French gardens, a full guide to Toulouse, and we showed you how to make a grand bouquet from a variety of roses. Inside, we took you through both an amazing renovation in Arjuzanx and a calming mountain oasis in the heart of the Pyrénées. Plus, a riveting painted château, a specialty artisan who works with feathers, tips from a Cordon Bleu pastry chef and more.
Discover la Ville Rose
We kicked off with a tour of beautiful Toulouse, otherwise known as la Ville Rose (“the Pink City,” after the hue its brick buildings take in the evening light). One of our favorite getaways for authentic French living, it is a town filled with ancient homes, secluded squares, popular Parisian-style docks and beautiful sites – like the famous Capitole, with its giant dome overlooking the Garonne River. It’s also a gastronomical destination, offering up iconic traditional French dishes made from fresh local produce. As always, our guide detailed everything you’d need to plan a visit: things to see and do and places to eat, shop and stay.
A Painted Château
The captivating artist Claire Basler draws both art lovers and general admirers far and wide to her magnificent home – the Château de Beauvoir in central France, fondly nicknamed “The Painted Castle.” And, if you got this issue and saw our exclusive look inside, you’ll know this is a spectacular fit. Claire has made her surroundings a living canvas.
One of France’s more remarkable yet unsung places to visit… The Castle of Ainay-le-Vieil and its spectacular jardins have been in the same family for centuries, and its current generation owners are carrying out some of the most profound changes in the property’s history. For this edition, we took you into this gorgeous and stoic haven and delved into its impressive evolution over time.
French Pastry Made Simple
On the table, we had the pleasure of chatting with Versailles-based baker Molly Wilkinson. Molly, who originally hails from Texas, traded in a career in digital marketing to follow her dream of studying French pastry at Paris’s prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. For this edition, she shared four sweet, fool-proof recipes from her brand-new cookbook, French Pastry Made Simple, so you could try them out at home (for more, check out her top three tips!).
July/August 2021 Issue
As always, our July/August 2021 edition was our chance to bring you the best of summer in France – from a sustainable rosé wine vineyard to a tour of a Bohemian hideaway to all the must-visit openings in France to add to your next trip’s itinerary. For our “Discovering Guide,” we headed down South to the lesser-known Gard region with tips on everything you’d need for a great getaway. While we were there, we saw inside the showroom of Atelier Vime – a beautiful wicker French homewares brand to know. We also paid a visit to Le Petit Bijou, the timeless home-away-from-home of Provençal-style fan Vicki Archer. In the kitchen, we honored the simple pleasures of seasonal food with an ode to family dining and summer recipes from chefs Rachel Baker and Eve Cardi. We also took you on a tour of Gerberoy, the “town of a thousand rose bushes,” as well as the hidden Italian-esque paradise that is the Jardins Abbaye Saint-André. Vive l’été !
A Parisian Decorator’s Norman Home
Our readeres accompanied us to the Normandy coastline to discover Estelle Quilici-Tournier’s charming stone Bohemian home on the furthest tip of the Cotentin Peninsula. There, the esteemed Parisian decorator has created a flower-filled family retreat amidst a stunning scenery, and she was delighted to open her doors to us for an exclusive look inside!
The Source of Good Living
Crisp, fresh and delicious. On the table this edition, we highlighted the honest tomato with a collection of five wonderfully refreshing recipes from contributing chef and photographer Eve Cardi that are ideal for warm weather entertaining. From mini-stuffed tomatoes to a summer carpaccio to a whole tomato preserve, you learned everything you needed to experiment with the summer season’s star fruit!
A Guide to the Gard
For our “Discovering France” feature, we traveled down South to one of France’s lesser-known regions: the Gard. Filled with quaint villages, lovely accommodations, exquisite gastronomic delights and a whole lot of history, it’s the epitome of French charm – and without the tourists! As usual, we shared our favorite things to do, places to visit, eat and stay, plus all our other tips for having a great getaway.
The “Town of a Thousand Rose Bushes”
French summer also offers a lot more than what’s down South; the warm-weather season is the ideal time to visit areas of the country with a typically cooler climate. As such, we took advantage of this and headed North to Gerberoy, fondly nicknamed the “chocolate box” village, to discover why this “town of a thousand roses bushes” is one of France’s most charming havens.
September/October 21 Issue
Our September/October 2021 edition launched as la rentrée descended upon us… a time of year with changes that affects our gardens, our homes and our kitchens, offering the occasion to turn the page with a new season. What says fall more than rich colors? We visited a 17th-century orangery to meet the talented Edoardo Grassi, a man who dedicates his life to cultivating jewel-toned dahlias. We discovered three exceptional properties: a serendipitously-found apartment in Bonnieux, an old maison de maître that was reborn from ruins and a stately home with sprawling, statement-making interiors. We also sat down with model turned fashion designer Inès de la Fressange to chat business and joie de vivre…. and so much more!
We visited a plentiful potager that produces and brings joy all year round but is especially abundant in autumn. We took a tour of this ripe and wondrous vegetable garden at the grand Château de Lude, a gorgeous property lovingly cared for by Barbara Nicolay and her family.
Paris is filled with curiosities, but few can say they form part of the city’s landscape. One such case is les bouquinistes de Paris – the classic booksellers on the River Seine, with their distinguishable, regulation green metal boxes that open up to display treasures from the past: antiquarian books, prints, posters, artwork and more. Paris would not be Paris without them, and we were honored to feature them for this edition.
A Foraged Supper
On the French table, we discovered the flavors of fall with a variety of sumptuous mushroom recipes by MFCH Magazine contributor Elise Dumas. Delicious, earthy, heart-warming and surprisingly versatile, inside this issue you’ll find five ways to enjoy their woody flavors.
Petite but impressive, Honfleur creates everlasting memories for all who visit. For this edition’s “Discovering Guide,” we broke down the best of this charming port town, the perfect pit-stop on the Normandy Coast (and well-known place of inspiration for the French Impressionists!) – from where to stay and eat to the best things to do.
November/December 21 Issue
And last but not least… our final issue of the year — the November/December 21 edition — was created to celebrate the best of the holiday season in France! As such, this issue is all about les fêtes, and from the tree to the table, we had a host of festive treats in store. We revisited traditional holiday décor ideas and suggested gifts all Francophiles will love (plus fun, creative & eco-friendly ways to wrap them!). Stylist and chef Eve Cardi thought up some wonderful, nature-inspired ideas to impress guests — from savory edible place settings to theatrical chandeliers. We headed down south to see the stunning Château de Moissac outfitted for Christmas and also toured the magical Jardin Plume, whose sculpted topiary is beautiful all year round but is particularly breathtaking graced by frost and snow. Our “Discovering Guide” took us to Champagne, with its world-famous Maisons and vineyards. And on the table, we honored the French tradition of le Réveillon with indulgent recipes and show-stopping desserts.
That’s A Wrap
Our favorite kind of gift wrapping is fun, sustainable and just begs to be opened! For this edition, we were happy to offer up five different creative (and eco-friendly!) ideas for how to wrap your presents this year. And we hope you didn’t miss our MFCH Holiday Gift Guide, where we suggested items from some of our favorite French brands that every madame or monsieur on your list will adore!
Is there a better way to celebrate than with French fizz? This issue, we discovered the origins of the world’s most celebratory drink with a trip to the birthplace of bubbly – an abundant landscape that offers history, heritage and more than a bit of sparkle. From where to stay, eat and sample the best Champagnes, to the best things to do, we got you covered for a trip this year, next year or years to come!
It wouldn’t be the holidays without indulgent sweets. We learned about the internationally beloved French sweet shop, Maison Méert, founded all the way back in 1761 by master chocolatier Sieur Delacourt. Centuries later, visitors from all over the world continue to flock to the luxurious green and gold shop, one of the most sumptuous architectural designs that the city has ever seen, to try his famous waffle (and other elegant treats).
All is Calm
Tout est calme en hiver. We headed the South of France to the Château de Moissac, a restored 17th-century castle near Aix-en-Provence. The ideal backdrop for a gorgeous and quiet Christmas spent with family and close friends, you came along with us for a tour of this sparsely yet elegantly detailed destination, all outfitted in traditional décor foraged from the surrounding nature for exceptionally special seasonal festivities.