Memories of France

God gave us memories so that we might have roses in December.

~James Matthew Barrie, Scottland 1922

(Note: There are many spectacular images capturing the amazing beauty of Chateau Dumas and surrounding villages. This is the last in the series on a millinery masterclass held in southwest France. Thank you, my dear friends, for following along on this dream trip to southwest France.)

time to say “au revoir”

The clocks are ticking too quickly. There is still so much to see and do, but the Chateau Dumas masterclass in the little village of Auty is ending. Wouldn’t it be lovely to stay a bit longer? What a fantastic time we would have together!

clock faces FAV

What shall we do together if we have more time in this lovely French countryside? 

Would you like to enjoy another cup of café au lait at a sidewalk cafe in the sweet village of Caussade?

Cafe au lait

Sample another freshly-baked baguette or other delectable French pastry? Shall we take some bread home with us?

Pastry shop

croissant FAV

Bread bags FAV

Or travel the countryside to other quaint midieval villages?

Cordes FAV 2

Cordes FAV

Balcony FAV

13th cent house cordes FAV

 window, curtain and pot 

Meander the centuries-old cobble streets and see what adventures we may discover or people we may meet?

cobble street in cordes FAV

Do a little shopping at French boutiques and shops?

wine shop FAV 1

Wine shop FAV 2


Relax in gorgeous gardens amongst the roses and explore beyond the garden gates?

Bench with lichen FAV

climbing roses close dumas

Pink Roses FAV

Curved Teak Dumas FAV

to south garden2

Enjoy just one more bit of a tasty French morsel?

First Course FAV

rustic apricot pie

Alas, it is 7 a.m. and the car is packed from floor to ceiling. Hat boxes are carefully held on our laps. One last whiff of the heavenly lavender as we drive on the gravel road . . . through the courtyard . . . under the portico . . . and down the tree-lined driveway.

Lavender gardens fav 1

chateau dumas 3 under portico fav

Just down the road, up the hill and around the corner in the tiny little village of Auty, Jo is waiting at the corner to wish the first small group of travelers goodbye  — she seems so French on the bike with the wicker basket. Cheerful au revoirs are quickly exchanged as we pass by.

Racing on to Toulouse . . .

la violette de toulouse

Toulouse may be la ville rose (the pink city, so named for the rosy color of its brick buildings), but its traditional flower is the highly-fragrant double violet — Toulouse’s particular strain of Parma violet, la violette ‘Parme de Toulouse’. There is much ado about the sweetly scented, gorgeous medium purple blossom grown by flower market growers just north of the city since the 1800’s. 

violet sign

I learn that celebrations are held every year in February — when everything is accentuated with violets and the allure of it’s deep fragrance fills the air — so much so that it is impossible to resist purchasing a bouquet of the little purple beauties at the market. In celebration of the violet, even amazing fresh food are created as only the French can do — such as breads, bonbons, gateaus, salad dressings and more. Well . . . all of this is at least what my driver told me when first arriving in Toulouse. Maybe, we should return in February for the festivals to enjoy it first-hand? What fun we would have!

I find a few small jars of la violette de Toulouse and violet tea to tuck into the last small corner of the suitcase.

violet sugar FAV

Violet syrup FAV

Violette tea and tea cup

Violette The FAV 1


Violette Products FAV 1


Time to pack all the wonderful memories . . . they shall be roses . . .

Italian Rose FAV

 hats and hat boxes

Thank you all my dear friends for joining me on this lovely dreamy trip to southwest France. I am so glad we could travel together in this beautiful countryside. Let’s plan to go again, shall we? Chateau Dumas next summer?

You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.

~C.S. Lewis

Follow along on the other memories of Chateau Dumas and the Millinery Masterclass at: 

 French Dreams at Chateau Dumas.

 Inspiring Beauty at Chateau Dumas.

 Estivales du Chapeau {hat festival in France

 Creativity at Chateau Dumas

Heavenly French Lavender

Fabulous French Hat

Bon Appetite!

French Millinery Magic

POST NOTE — Upcoming Millinery Masterclass!

 Another Millinery Masterclass is scheduled at the superb 18th-century Chateau Dumas September 26-October 3 in southwest France! Even if you have never made a hat before, the adventures of hatmaking under the expertise of former Royal Milliner Dillon Wallwork are not to be missed!

The tutor is  former Royal milliner, Dillon Wallwork who for nearly a quarter of a century designed hats for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Diana, Princess of Wales as part of the team at world famous milliners Philip Somerville.

 So whether the goal is a chic shoulder-spanning hat to turn heads or a coquettish cocktail hat with a mysterious veil, or something much more practical . . .  Toulouse is the starting point, Chateau Dumas the luxury base and Dillon the expert.  As Dillon says: “A well-chosen, stylish hat works wonders. Whether it’s men opening doors for you, getting a table at a busy restaurant or just keeping warm in winter, wearing a hat gets you noticed – people will say ‘Who’s that?’ Men just love to be with a woman in a glorious hat.”

Want more information about a dream trip to Chateau Dumas and the Millinery Masterclass?

 Contact Lizzie, the Chatelaine de Dumas.




See what other’s are “hooked on” at Julia’s Hooked on Houses, and find out more about Melissa’s inspiring beauty at The Inspired Home.

Be sure to visit A Southern Daydreamer for more outdoor musings.


Filed under crafts, France, Gardening, millinery, Travel, Vintage

32 responses to “Memories of France

  1. Your son

    Lets go to the Violet festival please?

    I’m glad that you had such a wonderful time in France and maybe next summer you will be able to go again?!

  2. I loved traveling with you to the Chateau Dumas! I would love to go with you again, anytime! Oh, the violets are lovely! (I think I remember you posting about some violet jelly that you made? I’m thinking violets are dear to your heart, too!)
    I am surprised to see such LARGE bags of bread! One would have to make a very large bread sack for those!
    The villiages are so lovely, the colors so bright and happy! Thank you for the wonderful tour and I will be waiting for my invite for next year! ;~}
    Blessings from the Farmhouse!

  3. Ah, Vive la France! 😉 Beautiful photos…makes me wish I had taken more and paid more attention when I was there as a teen. 🙂

  4. Beautiful photos! What a dream to be able to travel to France! Thanks for taking us with you!

    ~ Pam

  5. I love those huge bags of bread!! Wow!! I’m such a carb-o-holic, I’d probably pack on 20 pounds in a week in France eating baguettes and croissants!! 😉

    The violets are beautiful… and I can just imagine how sweet the fields of lavender smell. And mmmmmm, that cherry dessert looks delicious!!

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  6. Such beautiful pictures of a beautiful place.

  7. Ok, here’s the deal. Next time you take a big ol trunk and I get to come along!!

    This looks like such a wonderful trip. I am posting here and returning to read in detail and slowly about you fantastic adventure.

    So happy for you… you lucky thAng….

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

  8. You are incredibly lucky to have experienced such a wonderful trip to such a gorgeous locale. Every single photo and memory, I’m sure, is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love all of it! From the breads to the stonework…oh! and don’t forget the lavendar. Love it!

    Thanks !

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  10. Dear sweet Debbykay,

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos and your lovely memories of France!!! I enjoyed ‘traveling’ with you so much! The quotes you shared are lovely, too! Oh, those clocks are so beautiful and the bread looks delicious. I can imagine the wonderful fragrance from the bakery! I would love a cup of café au lait, and a French pastry! The countryside is beautiful and the medieval villages are so charming. I am sure it was difficult to leave! The shopping looks like such fun, and of course I would have to sit in the garden and visit all the roses and other flowers! Oh, and to enjoy one last French meal would be icing on the cake! I do hope you brought some lavender home to your lovely Rose Cottage!

    Toulouse sounds like such a charming village. I love all the violet items, and the tea sounds wonderful. I do hope you can go to the festival! I know you love violets. The roses and hats are gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing dear friend. I would love to ‘travel’ with you again next year! You were so kind to share your beautiful trip with us! I enjoyed it so much!

    Sending you much love, your kindred heart in the south,

  11. Oh my, what an exquisite surprise to see your travels in la belle France. How I long to go again. I’ll look forward to seeing evidence of that inspirational trip in chapeaux to come!

  12. Edie

    My Dearest Sister~
    What a lovely trip we just enjoyed thru all of your carefully written words…. I am so happy you were able to enjoy this dream trip and such wonderful memories!

    you sis

  13. Francesco

    Dear Debbykay,

    Thank you for sharing with us your very insightful thoughts and observation from your magnificant adventure. I am confident that you will remmber this trip for years to come even though you will no doubt have more exciting experiences to come.

    I have enjoyed very much reading and sharing your memories, thank you so much for sharing them. I look forward to reading more from you, your thoughts, and insights.

    The way you present ideas and the words you have chosen weave a wonderful picture for us as readers.

    Best regards,

  14. I have plenty of fond memories of France. Your pictures are wonderful.

  15. Amy

    I think if I were to go there…I’d never come home!

  16. such beautiful pictures! i have an upcoming trip planned to france, and i just loved seeing your pictures. thanks for sharing them!

  17. I loved France when I was there…it was beautiful. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories!
    Emilie Kaiser

  18. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos of your trip in France, my favorite vacation spot. The flowers, the food, the scenery – all so amazing! I’m off to visit your other posts of this trip. ~ Hyacinth

  19. Lovely cyber tour. My favorite photo was of the shuttered windows.

  20. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip to France with us. I really enjoyed all the photos and even clicked over the the other related posts. Now you will have to share all the hats you will be creating.

  21. These pictures are just gorgeous. The roses are unbelievable and the pictures of the walkways and benches were really something.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. I have enjoyed all your posts of France. Your photos have been lovely and if you chose to lead a cyber tour next year I’ll be with you every step of the way. I did have a favorite picture today…the scrawny geraniums remind me of the old houses in Italy and France all tarted up with red geraniums. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  23. Wow. Beautiful place and capures. Love the baguettes. Thanks for sharing.
    Happy outdoor.

  24. Kim

    Just beautiful! Thank you for letting us “travel” with you on this trip.

  25. pk

    Such beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing your trip.

  26. It’s been years since I went to France. Your photos are beautiful, makes me wish I could just ‘pop over’ there again (which I could easily do when I lived in England) 😉

  27. Oh the photos are wonderful. We hope to visit France next year. We have neighbors that live there 6 months (3 months here, 3 months there twice a year) there & have invited us. Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing all these sites. Maybe you can give me your favorite spot s to not miss. Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

  28. bj

    OOO, this is one of the most delightful posts I’ve ever seen.

  29. Wow, how wonderful! One of these days, I think I’ll make it to France….

  30. I’ll take pastries and traveling! These are all such luscious photos! Oh, the roses are divine!

  31. Hi Debbykay
    What lovely things you say about Chateau Dumas and the surrounding area. It makes me fall in love with it all over again! Next week we harvest the lavender. You can just imagine the smell. We have a photography workshop starting tomorrow (I think you could probably teach them a thing or two). Then we have a wedding and then Dillon is coming back for more Millinery. Anyone want to join us for hat-making? A bientot, Lizzie the Chateleine of Dumas

  32. Nothing like a rose garden. Great photos.

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