Belle Provence Travels

A South of France Blog

Greetings dear readers and friends. I hope you’re all safe and well in your corner of the world. Well, it’s an exciting day on the blog. What could be better than an escape to France at the moment? Even a virtual one… I had the pleasure of reading the delightful travel memoir / ultimate escape book, My French Platter, by Annemarie Rawson, and I’m thrilled to share it with you. Stuck at home myself, it was a great way to do some armchair travel and live vicariously through Annemarie’s French adventures.

Living a comfortable life in New Zealand, Annemarie gets itching to try something she’s always dreamed of… living and working in France. With no shortage of courage, and an impressive background in business and design, Annemarie applies to manage a private country home in southern France. Excited, overwhelmed, and filled with doubts, she garners the support of her husband, Steve, and decides to accept an offer to manage a stately, elegant home in the countryside about 45 minutes from Toulouse. Or so she thinks…

Between spotty communication with the London-based owners, and a home which, while beautiful on the outside, has layers of grime and dust that would make even the saltiest Frenchman weep, the couple’s arrival at the farmhouse leaves a lot to be desired. Not one to throw in the towel, Annemarie and Steve roll up their sleeves and begin fashioning their new digs into a proper holiday home. Scrubbing the kitchen bare, and enlisting the help of a friend’s cousin, who happens to be a chef in Montpellier, Annemarie learns the essence of hospitality work. Steve busies himself in the vegetable garden, and takes his high school French to the next level – helping the couple make friends with locals and navigate home improvements (no easy feat in any language!).

Annemarie and Steve in New Zealand.

What starts out as a bumpy road for the pair, turns into an unforgettable adventure. Annemarie and Steve experience the sights and sounds of the bustling French farmers markets, visit beautifully-preserved medieval towns and villages, and learn to savor every minute of the sunwashed, southern France lifestyle. Annemarie becomes quite a whizz in the kitchen, garnering compliments from holiday guests (she’s included a sampling of French recipes at the end of the book), and the couple enjoys lively dinner parties with their new circle of friends.

Unfortunately for the couple, one of the owners turns out to be quite a pest, to put it kindly, and sends the couple packing with no notice and no explanation. Crestfallen, but not beaten, Annemarie vows not to give up on her French dream just yet. After a dreamy trip down to Provence and Tuscany, Italy for a much-needed break, Annemarie and Steve are completely swept off their feet by an offer to manage a magnifient estate property. And it turns out, this is the real deal. The dream property Annemarie had been longing to find.

Thus the couple’s next chapter in France begins, which we’ll all be eagerly awaiting in Annemarie’s follow-up book: My French Platter Replenished. Just lovely!

-My French Platter on Amazon

-Annemarie Rawson’s website and blog

-Annemarie Rawson on Facebook and Instagram


Giveaway:

To enter to win an e-book copy of My French Platter, please leave a comment below and tell us about your ultimate travel escape fantasy – to France or another destination.

One winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) on Saturday, November 28th at 12:00pm EST.

Thank you for your participation and bonne chance, good luck les amis!

13 thoughts on “My French Platter… Book Review & Giveaway

  1. Sherievon says:

    I have just started reading this book and love it already!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tuula says:

      That’s great, Sherie! It was a really fun read and made me want to look for another job 🙂 Best wishes from Provence, Tuula

      Like

      1. Sherievon says:

        Go for it I say. The book’s author is a New Zealander like me – inspiring, but at 69, I think I have left it a little late to look for a job like that! I shall just have to keep coming back to France, and especially to Provence – our favourite destination, apart from Paris.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tuula says:

        It’s definitely inspiring… I content myself with travel for the moment, like yourself… who knows for the future! Bon dimanche, Tuula

        Like

  2. Joann says:

    This sounds like a wonderful book! My husband and I would love to spend our retirement traveling and staying 3 months in France, Spain and Italy. It would be a dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Deb Campbell says:

    The south of France would be my choice. I’ve been twice, first was a whirlwind, see-as-much-as-possible, driving trip, which was wonderful but exhausting. The second, in 2018, I spent 2 weeks in Bandol, and while we had a home base, it was still very busy as we day-tripped every day. My ultimate fantasy would be to stay a year, immerse myself in the culture, learn to speak the language (beyond what I call “cereal box French”!) and experience all the seasons and celebrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anne Marie says:

    My dream: stay 6 months in several locations….Dordogne, Burgundy and Savoie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathleen Hurder says:

    I’d LOVE to read about the adventures! i miss Provence!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Patricia Hagan says:

    I had always dreamed of experiencing living in Provence – and in 2013 my dream came true. I had an apartment in Aix and was taking language lessons at IS Aix-en-Provence. Unfortunately, a little over a month in, I began experiencing extreme pains in my head that didn’t let up. Eventually, I decided to come home. I’m fine now and am more determined than ever to give it a go. Hopefully, Covid will be conquered before too long and we can all get back to living our best lives and seeing the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary says:

    Our trip to Spain was cancelled due to Covid, but visiting the south of France is also a dream, especially Provence & the Dordogne!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Megan Higgins says:

    My Dream would be to live 6 months a year in the south of France and 6 months in Normandy. Having time to immerse myself in both regions for extended periods would be a wonderful life, indeed! Thank you for your review, Tuula, this book sounds like a lovely adventure to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Constance Sable says:

    It sounds like my kind of book!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Val says:

    What a heroic story, set in a beautiful setting. The courage to follow one’s dreams with persistence & resilience.

    Liked by 1 person

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