Saddle Stones

The Staddle or Saddle Stone:  It is a low mushroom shaped stone arrangement of a conical bottom (cone like shape) with a flat or slightly domed shaped circular stone resting on top.

 Many times these stones were made of a single stone, but most often the merging of the two shapes.  They date from the 17th and 18th centuries and were developed through “need”.  They were practical foundation stones which kept wooden structures from rotting, with the cap also acting as a barrier to vermin trying to gain access to stores of hay, grain or game.

These two saddle stones were recently housed at our Architectural Antique Shop -RF ANTIQUES- but, because they are quite coveted by avid gardeners or those wanting to own a piece of history and something unusual, we do not keep them long in our courtyard!

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Easter Chocolate in France!

Image result for images of vintage easter baskets

Celebrating Easter in France is very much a part of the French culture, and many of the French Easter traditions directly relate back to the fact that much of the country (about ninety percent) considers itself Roman-Catholic. Whether they are truly practicing Roman Catholics or not, Easter is a major holiday celebrated by all.

The Easter-chocolate season begins weeks before the actual date. French people start celebrating it by exchanging chocolates with friends, family, and of course they do give a lot of chocolates to the children —  In Paris a traditional cake representing an Easter egg nest is prepared in many pâtisseries and when they appear in their windows we know that Easter is around the corner.

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The French Formal Garden

The French formal garden, also called the jardin à la française, is a style of garden based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature.

The entrance to the garden begins the journey.

FIVE of the most famous and beautiful gardens in France

  • Monet’s Garden – in Giverny France (an old province of Normandy)
  • The Gardens of Versailles – in Versailles France
  • Château de Villandry – in the Loire Valley of France – formal gardens with a maze
  • Jardin des Tuileries – found right in the heart of Paris – 1st arrondissment
  • Bagatelle Gardens – in Paris in the 16th arrondissement

This post will focus only on Versailles ‘ gardens – an abbreviated nod to the  importance of  gardens,  fountains and sculptures.

The Entrance to Versailles and its Gardens

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Below you see the grande scale to which Versailles was envisioned circa 1789

1920s Leconte Map of Versailles Gardens | 1664 Franse tuin: koppeling landschaft & macht, symmetrie, Axialität/allignment -> intimidatie, structuur, natuur wordt 'aangepast' machtspel, 'touwtjes in de hand', onderwerping en dominatie:

Versailles was originally a country village with great hunting; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some 16 kilometers (10 miles) southwest of the French capital.

The palace was built to impress. “Versailles is a mirage, a sumptuous and theatrical entertainment. It is also a manifestation of glory and power imposed to a great extent by art, luxury, and magnificence.”

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Un reino de otro mundo en las maravillosas fromageries de la capital francesa: Getting to know French cheeses: 1st – GENUINE Brie

France is famously known for having more cheeses than there are days in the year. Some are very widespread and available in every supermarket, some are regionally specific, and others are local to a village or community only.

From east to west, from north to south, France’s diverse cuisine has delighted more than one curious palate. One element of French cooking exists above all others as the crème de la crème of French gastronomy: cheese.  In France, at meal time, the cheese course is typically served after the main course and before dessert and is called the plateau de fromage.

These are the French cheeses you have to taste at least once in your life.

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French Prayer Chair


A priedieu (French: literally, “pray [to] God”, plural priedieux) is a type of prayer desk primarily intended for private devotional use, but may also be found in churches. … The priedieu appears not to have received its present name until the early 17th century.  It is intended to be knelt on where one can place a book or their elbows for prayer.

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