Since the turn of the decade, the 2020s have not failed to bring us on quite the ride, and 2022 was no exception! But the world has finally started to get back to a sense of normalcy, with many of you traveling or planning travels again in the very near future. Throughout the year, here at MFCH, we have worked hard to bring you exciting and enlightening insider content on authentic French living from our little corner of France. 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! Perhaps next year you can refer back to the magazine as you dream about your own journey to France…
As we rapidly approach the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, 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) from the MFCH Boutique, and you can ALWAYS purchase any back issue in a digital* version!
*Note that print subscribers automatically receive access to digital versions.
January/February 2022 Issue
We kicked off 2022 in style with a brand-new, fresh layout design which our readers have told us they love! Our first “Discovering Guide” of the year took you to idyllic Annecy, a charming destination between lake and mountains, as well as a host of other ideal winter getaways in France. On the French table, cold weather calls for comfort food, and we provided some adorably sized recipes to make in the versatile mini-cocotte. Plus, lessons from masters of baking bread, how to create a romantic floral arrangement, a list of secret fireside spots to toast your toes in Paris.
How better to look ahead than planning a trip to a new and exciting place? Set between the lake and the mountains, this Alpine town embodies all the traditional charms of Haute-Savoie and has something to offer in every season. From luxurious hotels to Savoyard cuisine to water sports, cycling and hiking trails, we showed you how best to explore and enjoy this unique and beautiful destination!
For this edition’s “Artisans of France,” we gave the spotlight to the Manufacture Saint-Jean d’Aubusson – a legendary tapisserie producer (that was dubbed the Royal Manufacturer in 1665) that continues to weave its gorgeous threads using original techniques. We took you on a tour of this place of intricate, detailed and ancient savoir-faire, showcasing the rare work of the last remaining artisans that uphold this venerated style of woven tapestries.
Contemporary Chalet Chic
We took you inside a cozy abode that revisits traditional Alpine codes. At the chic Chalet Maj – home of interior decorator Anne Bayrou and her family – traditional materials mix with minimalist architecture and natural light to create the perfect wintertime cocoon. In this feature, you got to see the magical results of combining ancestral know-how with a modern vision to create a contemporary masterpiece of chalet living.
A Place to Reflect
From what materials to use to how to plan positioning to ideas for getting creative and thinking outside the box, our guide to garden seating – be it a simple pew or something more elaborate – helped you in creating the perfect spot for a contemplative pause, as well as a place to enjoy all your hard work!
March/April 2022 Issue
Our 2022 Spring edition celebrated the arrival of warm weather with expert tips for planting tulips, a visit to the Château d’Ambleville, and a complete Discovering Guide” to France’s glittering Emerald Coast. We also refreshed our interiors for the season with a retro millstone house turned family home in Montmartre, an old restored Norman presbytery and the refined, Regency-style house of the founder of a Bordeaux-based events & design agency.
Expert Tulip Tips
In March, we had a fever… tulip fever! And so did Edoardo Grassi, the self-taught gardener and founder of Gaspard à Table – a site that specializes in selling rare French bulbs. He taught us all the best ways to plant these sensational spring flowers. Plus, we showed you how to achieve the “tulip touch” with step-by-step instructions for creating a beautiful bouquet from our Editor-in-Chief, Sharon Santoni.
A Perfect French Dinner Party
On the table this issue, we celebrated the arrival of warm weather with some delightfully simple recipes, including some from Héloïse Brion (aka “Miss Maggie’s Kitchen”), who created a dinner party recipe plan styled exclusively for MFCH using pieces from her new lifestyle essentials collection: parsley by MMK. The perfect plan for wow-ing guests!
An Oasis in Montmartre
Of our many featured interiors in this issue was a veritable oasis nestled in the foothills of Montmartre – a three-story millstone house transformed into a charming family home with a retro city-meets-country feel. You learned exactly how the esteemed interior design firm, Camille Hermand Architectures, transformed this formerly large, uninhabited and unoptimized urban dwelling into a sight to see.
Brittany’s True Gem
You joined us along France’s Côte d’Émeraude (Emerald Coast) with its soaring cliffs, turquoise waters, endless sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns. This spring “Discovering Guide” took us to seven different enchanting destinations, with an insider lowdown on where to stay and eat and what to do and see!
May/June 2022 Issue
The garden was filled with color at this time of year, so we took you on a tour to two spectacular country gardens. Our “Portfolio” highlighted a chance meeting with the famous white horses of Camargue, while the “Discovering Guide” flew you over to Monaco — a hedonist’s paradise — and Molly Wilkinson shared how to master the macaron from one simple recipe! This issue also shared exclusive tips on how to crack “French country” style.
The Horses of Camargue
When subject, light and circumstance collide…the result can be pure magic. Photographers live for such rare opportunities and without knowing where or when this might happen, they are always prepared — never leaving home without their cameras. Yann Villaret, a photographer from the South of France, had one of these fortuitous experiences with the famous horses of Camargue and we were thrilled to show you the results of this serendipitous moment.
Spanning only 3 and a half miles from end-to-end, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world behind the Vatican. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in, well… everything else. Our “Discovering Guide” at the start of the summer season brought you to the glamorous coast of Monaco with plenty of insider tips to vacation like the French.
What better way to ring in the start of summer with light and colorful treats? Macarons are a cornerstone of French pâtisserie, and mastering them is facile with Molly J. Wilk Online Pastry School. Molly shared with us five delicious varieties made from one simple recipe.
Finding French Country
The quest to attain the perfect “French country” is a style hunt that can take years… In this issue, author Sara Slim gave us a glimpse into how she found hers with her newly published book “How to French Country.”
July/August 2022 Issue
In France, summer was well underway by July! We celebrated the longer days with a magical dinner – complete with a floral tablescape and décor – inside a greenhouse at none other than the Domaine de Primard (the former country home of beloved French actress Catherine Deneuve). You took a seasonal dive into Provence’s most-loved traditional recipes (plus a rainbow of gazpacho ideas) and a deep dive into a top-to-tail renovation of an authentic mas. Plus, you traveled with us (and all the other French vacationers) to the seaside town of Porto-Vecchio on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, also known as the “Île de Beauté” (“Island of Beauty”) – one of the French’s best-kept secrets.
A Château Kitchen Garden
Tucked into the Normandy coastline, nestled within its own forest, Château de Miromesnil is the definiton of “hard to reach.” But the magnificent wall potager (“vegetable garden”) that lies within this historic, 17th-century property is well-worth the trip… in this issue, we gave you a detailed peak inside!
Summer Bliss in Corsica
The French have long known the splendor of this mountainous “mini continent” set in the sparkling sea (which has been described by prolific novelist Honoré de Balzac as “a French island basking in the Italian sun”), but to the rest of the world, Corsica has remained a largely well-kept secret. With this issue’s “Discovering Guide” – we exposed the secret!
A Rainbow of Gazpachos
We offered you an array of fun gazpacho recipes from chef and regular MFCH Magazine contributor Eve Cari. Colorful, delicious and fool-proof, these chilled soups were among the summer’s best dishes. Our Jul/Aug 22 edition also featured a handful of traditional Provençal recipes, to inject some southern French sunshine, wherever you are.
Not Your Average City Dwelling
This summer’s interior feature gave you an extra-exclusive, rare tour! In the heart of Paris’ 9th arrondissement, architect Marie Deroudilhe transformed a private 18th-century mansion into an elegant and ethereal space that you just do not typically find within a bustling city.
September/October 22 Issue
In France, la rentrée is a time of renewal, and we offered up tips for fresh touches on homes & gardens. We spotlighted the home of former model turned landscaper Suzanne Meijer and a legendary haven in Vendée created by the composer, William Christie. Indoors, we toured three different houses that have succeeded in retaining their original charm while adding modern updates for contemporary living. The end of summer often comes with the best of intentions to eat healthier — but life is too short to deny ourselves a slice of cake! Frank Adrian Barron (aka “Cake Boy Paris”) is a creator of sweet treats as delectable for the eye as they are for the palette, and we were thrilled to share some recipes from his very first cookbook. Finally, we gave you a weekend detour from Burgundy to the bustling gourmand food scene in Dijon with a look at the stunning local architecture.
La Belle Vue
This issue showed you the magic that can happen with a renovation. In the picturesque village of Neffiès, Occitanie, Swedish couple Yvonne and Micke live in and run “La Belle Vue:” a charming B&B renovated with love and attention. The house, built in 1854, was in a terrible state, but the floors, doors, windows and original details were still in place and could be salvaged; the couple is proud of having carried out almost all the work on the home themselves.
Detour to Dijon
Dijon — the Côte-d’Or capital of Burgundy, a region in northeastern France — is a mecca of culture, history and gastronomy that offers much more than mustard… Every year, foodies, oenophiles and culture-seekers from far and wide flock to get a taste of the Burgundy region’s myriad riches. And not to be missed on any tour of Burgundy is Dijon: the district’s capital. We gave you the list of the best addresses in our Discovery Guide this issue.
Treasure Island: A Guide to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
We uncovered the secrets of the inland island that travelers in search of French antiques stream to year-round: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. This small Provençal town has a vintage treasure for everyone — no matter how small your pocket or large your shipping container. The “island” is a haven for art and antiques and beloved for its wealth of vintage shops and weekend markets, attracting hundreds of thousands of hopeful hunters each year.
A Timeless Garden
In the Seine-et-Marne region, on the periphery of Fontainebleau forest, we took you to the dream garden created by former model turned landscape designer Suzanne Meijer. Nestled in the heart of a park filled with free-roaming deer, this is where Suzanne Meijer honed her green-thumbed talent to experiment with shape, color and the region’s hardy plants.
November/December 22 Issue
And last but certainly not least… our final issue of the year was created with the intention to fill you with holiday cheer and inspiration for the new year! On the table, we offered up unique and festive recipes to celebrate les fêtes from l’entrée to le dessert, including a spotlight on everyone’s favorite side: potatoes. We also featured a Christmas tablescape at the stunning Château de Baronville! Our “Discovering Guide” took you to the royal town of Fontainebleau, we toured a light-filled, renovated 18th-century apartment in Bordeaux and saw inside a sublime 17th-century Norman mansion near Deauville. Outdoors, we visited the garden of Michel Bonfils, who transformed his family’s property in the Dordogne into an exotic, otherworldly oasis, plus – we gave you tips on how to put your garden to bed for the winter with flower growing aficionado Edouardo Grassi.
Our final “Discovering Guide” of the year took you southwest of Paris to fabulous Fontainebleau, a destination deeply rooted in French history, from its royal château to its famous forest. Just an hour’s drive of the capital, we gave you all the best addresses — from where to stay and eat to all the best thing to do – to prepare a trip fit for royalty.
Winter is Coming
The colder months required careful planning, for even the most seasoned of gardeners. For our winter edition, flower grower extraordinaire Edoardo Grassi (who you may recognize as the expert behind our tulip tips from our March/April 22 issue) was on hand with his best tips & tricks for protecting plants through the overwintering period and beyond.
Les Toits de Paris
Paris by day is spectacular. Paris by night is even better. But Paris by rooftop is the best of all… Jérémy Pritchard is a man who is willing to take risks, and we couldn’t wait to showcase his photographs in our winter portfolio. In love with his city, he has always taken photos of Paris’ architecture, but a few years ago, he upped his game — quite literally. Tired of shooting from street level, he took to the skies, discovering that photographs taken from the City of Light’s rooftops lend an entirely different perspective…
An American in Provence
In 2016, American photographer Jamie Beck left New York to live in Provence for a few months. Five years on, she is still there, and has no plans to leave. During the pandemic lockdowns, Jamie launched her now-famous “Isolation Creation Series,” where she challenged herself to produce a piece of “photographic art” every day for 60 days. It was not long before her stunning images captured Instagram’s attention. We sat down with her to learn more about her about living in the South of France, her new book An American in Paris and how it feels to share her life so openly on social media.
We hope you enjoyed this year’s exploration across all corners of France, and we look forward to another fabulous year with you with even more intriguing, insider content in 2023… à l’année prochaine!