Judi Castille

A Soap story from Marseille | Savon de Marseille

Written by on December 18, 2018 in French Icons, French Style
A Soap story from Marseille | Savon de Marseille

Genuine Marseille soap is made by artisans with the provenance, passion and long-standing tradition in their blood to lay claim to makers of genuine Marseilles soap. A bar that contains 72% olive oil – and once tried, you will always be loyal to its soapy concoction. History of Marseille Soap In 1688 Louis IV passed […]

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The fabric district of Paris | buttons, baubles and beads

Written by on June 13, 2018 in Paris, Quirky
The fabric district of Paris | buttons, baubles and beads

On a cold, crisp April morning, with numb fingers, and an almost feverish determination I searched for buttons. Muscling locals aside I pounced on another matching set. My fingers became blue, nose snuffly, but the button search went on and on, till every button had been turned and either discarded or bagged as a treasure […]

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Some of the best cheese shops in Paris

Written by on February 6, 2018 in Paris
Some of the best cheese shops in Paris

It’s said that Napoleon first tasted Camembert in Normandy and kissed the waitress who served him. Great cheese can make people very happy! Presidents Obama and Hollande were offered the best of French cheeses at the Climate Change Forum in 2015 from a Parisian fromagerie – Alleosse. This great honour demonstrates just how much the […]

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Spending a day in Paris: boats, books and baking

Written by on November 17, 2017 in Guest Blogs
Spending a day in Paris: boats, books and baking

The anticipation of warm, thick, hot chocolate in little expresso sized cups was alluring. Indulgent pastries and a huge array of chocolate and candy to choose, persuaded me to rise from my slumberous bed and cross the river Seine to the South Bank with my friend. I wanted a spirit of Paris without all the […]

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Chateau Du Rivau Loire Valley: pumpkins, roses and fairy-tales

Written by on October 24, 2017 in Museums and Châteaux
Chateau Du Rivau Loire Valley: pumpkins, roses and fairy-tales

Over twenty years ago I visited the Chateau du Rivau. In its first stages of renovation by owner Patricia Laigneau, a Versailles trained garden designer with a passion to restore the chateau to its former ancient glory. The chateau remained in my memory as an enchanting place. Reminiscent of fairy tale castles, the gardens were […]

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DIY in France: How to point a barn

Written by on August 30, 2017 in Property in France, Renovating in France
DIY in France: How to point a barn

So how did you learn to point a barn? My neighbours looked impressed and wide eyed as they spotted me up the local farmer’s ladder, balanced on a timber decking, tapping away at the crumbling stone jointing. But pointing a barn is not so very technical and needs no special courses or experience – just […]

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