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!
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?
Sample another freshly-baked baguette or other delectable French pastry? Shall we take some bread home with us?
Or travel the countryside to other quaint midieval villages?
Meander the centuries-old cobble streets and see what adventures we may discover or people we may meet?
Do a little shopping at French boutiques and shops?
Relax in gorgeous gardens amongst the roses and explore beyond the garden gates?
Enjoy just one more bit of a tasty French morsel?
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.
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.
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.
Time to pack all the wonderful memories . . . they shall be roses . . .
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.
Follow along on the other memories of Chateau Dumas and the Millinery Masterclass at:
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?
Be sure to visit A Southern Daydreamer for more outdoor musings.