There’s nothing like summer in the Rhône–Alpes region of France. The images of sky blue tablecloths, crystal wine glasses filled with rosé wine and pure lakes will stay with you long after you return home. Not only do the French have fabulous food and wine, but they have great style and flair.
Here are five easy ways to bring French style and the feeling of southeastern France into your home and dinner table.
1 Pop of Colour
Much the way the French focus on one colour in their window boxes (hello red geraniums), adding a splash of brilliant red to a dish stimulate appetite and creates a feeling of excitement and energy. So go ahead and go rouge.
2 Landscape Layering
The beautiful medieval village of Annecy is known as the “Venice of the Alps” due to its network of canals, historic buildings and alpine lake. I loved how this pretty lunch salad echoed the colours of the town itself. Try using landscape as the inspiration for your next dish.
Check out our post about Chef Martha Ortiz who uses images of Mexico City to inspire her culinary creations at Dulce Patria restaurant. Each plate is a work of art.
3 Flair on a budget
The French know that chic doesn’t have to be expensive. Whether it was a row of bright red umbrellas against the backdrop of the French Alps or a magenta pink napkin that echoed the beet gazpacho at the Rest’o de la Plage, a beachside restaurant on Lake Annecy, I learned that big style doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It should look effortless as though it just happened by chance. .
French style can be summed up in one word, composition. This might sound as though it’s the opposite of the effortless look. But even a simple post-lunch coffee can be presented with drama if you consider the artistic elements of line, space and texture when arranging spoon, cup and sugar.
5 Garden inspiration
The Garden of Five Senses in Yvoire is the former kitchen garden of the medieval Château d’Yvoire. It changes with the seasons and offers inspiration for sight, sound, smell, textures and colour. I loved how local restaurants in the village used vegetables to hold salad. It’s an easy idea that offers instant French style for the home. I plan to try this gardening season– assuming I can convince my husband to grow zucchini at a size somewhat smaller than my thigh.
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