Journées des Plantes in Chantilly 2018
This weekend I was back at one of the biggest European plant fairs... on our doorstep! In one of the prettiest locations in my Oise region: le Château de Chantilly. I visited Les Journées des Plantes for the first time a few years ago (see here, in 2015) but this time was extra special as I was part of a small group of bloggers (Valérie, Justine, Mélanie and Gaëlle). We had the privilège to attend a hands-on workshop by Rose Nursery Delbard and taste some hand beaten whipped cream that you call "crème de Chantilly" in French. No need to say it was a delight ;)
Just as in 2015, the Journées des Plantes focuses mainly on garden and balcony plants, but lucky me: there were also quite a few beauties that would thrive in a sunny home, like the succulents and cacti from Arrée Succulentes, Pépinière Bellec, Cactées des Combes, and the amazing aroids from Pépinière Nature & Tropiques. Also, how amazing look these fantastic Proteas from Pépinière Railhet:
A fun new feature of the seventh edition of the Journées des Plantes, was the "favourite". Each nursery got to present their favorite plant to the audience, which resulted in some surprising choices on some stands.
If you're ever in Chantilly, even if you are there for plants, an exhibition at the Musée du Jeu de Paume, or a spectable at the Living Horse Museum, make sure to visit the castle as well. The Château de Chantilly is one of the finest jewels in the crown of France's cultural heritage and houses the largest collection of antique paintings after the Louvre. Make sure to look for the gallery with portraits on the pink wallpapered wall, called the Clouet room. Usually it's quite calm in this area, unlike the reading room or the princely suites, and admire the eclectic collection of 90 Renaissance portraits including all the kings and queens of 16th century France painted by Jean Clouet and his son François Clouet. There are some rather hilarious paintings amongst them!
Journées des Plantes in Chantilly - next edition October 19th - 21st 2018
Prix de Diane 2016 in Chantilly
Last week I got to wear a hat... twice! For Anne's naturalisation party, we all wore a French beret... And this weekend I was invited to the Prix de Diane horse races in Chantilly, best known for its fancy hats. Last time I visited there was a lot of wind, not very easy to wear a voluminous fedora, so this time I played it safe and wore a wax fabric bow.
The Prix de Diane Longines is all about elegance, the horses are particularly elegant (and fast!) but I mostly enjoyed watching everyone showing off what elegance meant to them through outfits and fancy headwear. From hats with entire fruit basket on top to refined lace creations, there was a lot of creative diversity to be appreciated. Not a lot of cultural diversity though, horse races are still very much "white" events. Anyway, there was sun, bubbles, music... and this was what our day looked like:
This lady probably had the best view of the entire day:
Or maybe they did:
This is what it was really all about... lightweight and well trained jockeys on very fast horses:
And a "light" picknick, à la française:
Together with Very Chantilly, students of Studio Mode Paris, showed their interpretation of traditional Chantilly lace (which is worldfamous and black!) in their very first hat designs. All students also participated in the Concours d'Élégance with hundreds of participants, but unfortunately no winners amongst the students.
Mathilde's dreamy creation included bubbles with wishes like "Turning into a flower", "Being able to fly" or "Having super powers":
And I spotted some more Wax-lovers!
Le Concours d'Élégance:
Probably the most elegant lady of the day, Anna and her pink balloon:
The design of this year's Village de Diane was particularly pastel with lots of honeycomb paper balls and ribbons:
If you follow me on Snapchat (I'm joelixjoelix there), you may have noticed that I was slightly obsessed with these ribbons ;)
Inspired by my recent visit of Maison Château Rouge (more on that very soon!), I wore a big wax fabric bow:
Merci Very Chantilly, VHT Conseil, France Galop and Prix de Diane Longines for the lovely day!
Dahlia love + a Snor giveaway
This time of the year is always a little bit special. In September it's la rentrée (back to school/work/life in France) which is usually extra busy but September has also proven to be a month full of unexpected personal adventures for the past two decades. I have no idea what this month has in store for me exactly. But I do have a few fun things planned! Like the Snor Festival in Holland in a few weeks. It will be the second edition of the festival organised by editor Snor with all kinds of creative workshops, the book launch of Zilverblauw's first book, food, music, a marketplace, bookshop and so much more. I'm really looking forward to hanging out with fellow bloggers, friends and you!
Because I'm giving away two tickets to you, if you like. Just leave a comment below or on Instagram and I'll pick a winner next Sunday (the 13th). Maybe we'll see each other at the Snor Festival very soon! Update: I picked a winner, it's Anne Kruit via Instagram!
September also brings pretty dahlias to the community gardens and flower shops here in France. Dahlias will forever remind me of our dear Inga, who passed away last year. She was a sweet lady and blogger known for her love for flowers. Together with Elodie she hosted the #2flowergirls series that helped me to bring more flowers into our home (despite our flower & plant eating cats). So when I spotted these dahlias in a pick-your-own-field in Senlis I stopped to make these photos. Do they grow where you live as well? Or maybe you have some in your own garden?
Don't you love the perfect imperfection of this pink dahlia?
Snor Festival /// September 20th 2015 /// Theme: LOVE ♥ /// Campsite De Lievelinge /// Haarweg 6 /// 4214 KL Vuren /// The Netherlands
La Plage de Lys Chantilly
This weekend I visited the coolest new hotspot in the Oise. It's one of these places that makes my heart beat faster and gets me all excited about the opportunities it holds. It's called La Plage de Lys, located along the Oise-river between Chantilly and Boran-sur-Oise, at only 15 minutes from our home. The beach of Lys opened its doors in 1933 as the-place-to-be for young Parisians to enjoy the "beach". It's not really a beach, but it was very avant-garde with a swimming pool with filtered water from the Oise-river and artificial waves to give you a real sea-feeling. How awesome is that?!
After WWII La Plage des Lys became less popular, but was still in use until the late 90s. Then it was abandoned and the city of Boran sur Oise finally buys the site in 2005. Together with their partners La Bellevilloise and la CAP, they will renovate the site and re-open to the public in 2016. But this summer you can already enjoy some eclectic concerts, DJ-sets, open-air movie screenings, performances, foodtrucks and more surprises! Just note that you cannot swim here, but there are "water-misters" to cool down. The entry is free in exchange for your prettiest smile :)
The BAR letters and the bright orange/red touches everywhere are so pretty:
I love this little historical video of La Plage, look how crowded it used to be in the 1930s!
Les Journées des Plantes in Chantilly
One of the biggest European plant fairs... on our doorstep! In one of the prettiest locations in my Oise region: le Château de Chantilly. I visited Les Journées des Plantes de Courson on a drairy Saturday and what I experienced was a big fair in the English garden of the castle with thousands of plants. With a real focus on garden plants. My favorite stand was the one where I found this gorgeous Musella lasiocarpa, a Chinese dwarf banana. The Pépinière Nature & Tropiques had a wonderful selection of tropical plants. They are based in Hyères and I'll definitely visit their nursery when I'm in the South of France.
On the entire fair I looked for carnivorous plants (that I didn't find by the way) but I found some other pretty varieties, like this Black Tree Aeonium:
Or these gorgeous Proteas flowers:
A night in a straw bale house
Before heading to the biggest Plant Fair in Europe that took place on our doorstep this weekend (more on that soon!), we spent a night in a straw bale house. Without running water and with an outhouse, a sauna, a lovely Orangerie and a nice table d'hôtes. La Chaise Verte, the green chair, is the only straw bale B&B in France and it was surprisingly nice! My entire experience will be on the blog of the Oise Tourism Board later this week, but I wanted to show you these images of the Orangerie, the little glass atelier in the garden, next to the straw house. It was decorated with lots of recycled objects but I particularly loved the end-of-the-day sunrays.
A très bientôt !
A floral carpet in the Oise
It's one of these natural phenomenons of early springtime here in France: the ground in the forests around our home get covered in wild narcissus and anemone nemorosa. In almost thirteen years I never actually went to see it up close. So yesterday was the day for a little lunch break on the floral carpet ;) Enfin!
And when you're there anyway, you make a little movie. Mais bien sûr !
Have a great weekend everyone!
A glorious Saturday walk
Last week was so dark, with short grey days and I spent a little too much time in front of the screen. On Saturday I couldn't wait to get out of the house, so we went on an early Sunday walk and it was just glorious. Fresh and sunny: I loved it so much. We walked around a little village called Litz, not from from where we live in the Oise. As usual we didn't see a single person, it still surprises me that so very few people enjoy our countryside, while the shops are so crowded at this time of the year. Anyway, I'm all charged up for a new week. Did you have a nice weekend?
My favorite plane trees:
Sunshine after a foggy week, means more fog:
Beautiful pink winter berries:
And freshly chopped wood:
A small mirrored lake near Litz:
hihi that's mistletoe ;)
September means maize
Remember how I told you I loved working this summer while everyone seemed to be on holiday? Well, people are back and it's very busy/. Back to school (or work) means that soon the maize will be harvested. As a teenager I biked past these same kind of maize fields every day to go to school. In September the crops would be high and you would spot many maize ears between the leaves. And then suddenly, after the first few weeks at school, the fields would be empty again. It changed the entire perspective.
Everyone always told me these kernels aren't edible (they are used as fodder) and I always believed it. But I also always have the urge to peel a few ears and eat them... do you know if you can? Are these edible or not? Could I even turn them into popcorn? If so, I'll go back to these fields nearby and pick some for this weekend's movie date ;)
By the way, did you enter my running giveaway yet? I know many of you are not into running at all, but you can enter and try to win a pair for your partner, friend or a family member. Always a nice surprise... in September!
Wandering around Gerberoy
While I just told you I was working while everyone seems to be on holiday, these pictures have a pretty real holiday vibe, right? Well... my stepson and stepdaughter spent a few days with us in France, so we decided to visit the prettiest village in our Oise region: Gerberoy. The village is part of this national ranking with the most beautiful French villages, just like Roussillon that we visited last fall.
Gerberoy is really small with a population of only 115, and no traffic lights or billboards. It's known for the Rose Festival and the famous impressionist painter Henri Le Sidaner who created a wonderful garden on the remains of the castle. From the top of the monochrome gardens (in white, red & pink, blue & yellow) we appreciated the view over the rooftops on our countryside. A stunning view!
The people of Gerberoy really love their village, it looks pristine and very well maintained. I don't think I could live in a small village like this with so many tourists visiting all year round, but at night when they're gone it must be rather special to live here.
We wandered around the village with cobbled streets and timber framed houses, watched the geese and sheep in the surrounding fields and walked up to the Temple de l'Amour:
Rose loves roses and the love temple too: <3
There were very few roses left, but in June Gerberoy probably smells (and looks!) amazing. We may have to come back during the Rose Festival next year...
Les grandes vacances
Not going on holiday in the summer months is such a joy. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel and would hop on a train, boat or plane in a second. But it's nice to work while life slows down around you. Many of my French clients are en vacances, which means my phone doesn't ring as often. The harbour in front of our home is empty, the school and the snackbar are closed. The cordonnier is on holiday and we find cheesy postcards in our mailbox from dreamy destinations. And I love that my instagram timeline is filled with sun drenched holiday pictures.
It also allows me to sneak out of the house and spend a random weekday at the Castle of Pierrefonds and eat violet & liquorice icecream. Or to make lots of ice cream myself and work on nice projects for La Rentrée. Because life starts all over again in September ;)
These are a few of my favorite details of the Château de Pierrefonds, a half hour drive from our home. The BBC series Merlin was filmed here and really, it's how you'd imagine a real fortified castle. I'm particularly fond of the hand painted hedgehogs with golden details. There are thousands on the walls in one room, they're all slightly different and the reflections of their gold stripes in the light is so gorgeous.
Are you working this summer? Or did you already enjoy a little break? If not: at least enjoy the weekend!
Blueberries and pinkberries
It's August! Can you believe it? These are some pictures of the 63 blueberries before I turned them into yogurt granola bars. We picked almost a kilo of blueberries at the wonderful Jardin de Montplaisir. I loved their pink, blue and purple hues and the way my sister's dress matched ;)
Have a wonderful weekend! (Oh and there's still time to join my giveaway and win a Flower Power!)
Les Jardins de Montplaisir
Remember when I mentioned that I wish we had a Farmer's Market around here? Well we still don't have one, but we do have a garden in the Oise where you can pick your own fruit, veggies and flowers, called les Jardins de Montplaisir. All seasonal, natural, although not 100% organic. I loved it, it was so much fun to to pick our own strawberries, blueberries, wander around and of course I finally (!) got me some more green peas!
There were a lot of families with small children around as well. It's a nice way to make your (urban) kids more aware of how fruit and veggies grow and to introduce them to the taste of freshness. Growing your own fruit and vegetables makes you super proud, but picking your own is a good second ;)
Can you spot the melons here:
The first blackberries of the season:
The flower beds had many colorful Lillies and Gladiolus:
Les Jardins de Montplaisir /// Hameau de Montplaisir /// 60680 Jonquières (near Compiègne)
all current products are updated on the website!
Is there a pick-your-own garden near your place? Do you ever go there?
On a quest for peas
I wouldn't suggest it's the secret to a happy marriage, but our Sunday walks are pretty good. Robert and I tend to walk somewhere between 12 to 17 kms and bring water and snacks. Usually I whip up some sugar-free cookies or little cakes and we always bring some fruit too. Although it's so much better to pick them straight from the trees, like these delicious plums:
A few weeks ago, we spent a weekend in a chambre d'hôte at 10 minutes from our home, where we tested a new sports program (including balance ball yoga which was a lot of fun!) and where I received a blissful massage. In stead of having a siesta afterwards (I felt SO relaxed!), we went for a randonnée in the fields and forests and I picked some of the most delicious things I've ever tasted: these fresh green peas. Ever since, I've been wanting to go back for more. But unfortunately it was mostly cereals and corn this time:
I'm totally guilty of digging up plants along the side of the road to see what it is. Which was relatively easy because the soil was soaked by the rain:
Not sure if it was because of le 14 Juillet, but I loved these colorful buntings:
I've never seen any fresh peas at our grocery store or even at our market. Makes me wish we had a Farmer's market around here: the only local fruit comes from the Strawberry Man... I hope the peas I potted will sprout somehow. If not, my goal for 2015 will be to grow my own peas!
► A few pictures from previous walks: here, here and here.
Les carrelages de Saint Samson
Last weekend was pretty eclectic. While we spent an afternoon at the races in Chantilly, we also drove to the western part of the Oise, to visit an old factory where they produce terracotta floor tiles.
There is something about old factories, the beautiful decay, old signs, red bricks, the history. Remember the Sugar Factory? Well, this terracotta factory is very different, because it's still "alive"! Two young brothers fell in love with the place and decided to develop its activities. They still produce traditional French tomettes like they did in the 19th century. Can you believe they even produce their own electricity?
While we're currently still in the middle of choosing the tiles for our bathroom (and more particularly the wall finishes) it was nice to see how these 100% natural and 100% French tiles are produced. It's really just "earth". I really loved their wall plaster in beautiful colors like mouse grey, honey and liquorice. Unfortunately it's not suited for bathroom walls...
Before hitting the kiln, the clay needs to dry for a while. In French these clay balls are called: pains d'argile, clay breads:
It's so nice (and romantic!) that somehow there's not a better more way to produce these tiles than how they did over a century ago. And even though the craftsmen master their skills, when they open the kiln after firing the tiles, it's always a surprise. As one of the workers says: "we don't make custom made, we make something old and traditional". All of these tools are still used on a daily basis:
Les Carrelages de Saint Samson /// 4, rue de la Briqueterie /// 60220 Saint-Samson-la-Poterie
more info in English here
Prix de Diane in Chantilly
This weekend we had a little break from our bathroom renovation and spent our Sunday at the Prix de Diane Longines in Chantilly, at ten minutes from our home. It wasn't my first race course, but my first Prix de Diane. So I brought my biggest hat (an oversized Yohji Yamamoto fedora) and had lots of fun people watching. Pick nicking with heels, hats and bubbles is something else!
Oh and actually I planned to shoot some fresh faces for my Styloise series, but the people I approached were all from Paris. Bummer!
The other day when visiting a vide-grenier with my sister, we bumped into these giant papavers in one of the community gardens. I was tempted to bring them home, but she insisted on only taking their picture. So I did. Always listen to your little sister, right?
In the past months I photographed quite a bunch of different flowers (anemones, snowdrops, hyacinth, more anemones) but poppies are still my all time favorites. Unfortunately the petals fall off once you pick them, so I had a few fake ones in my wedding bouquet. These pale pink and orange giant poppies were almost as big as my head and looked gorgeous after a fresh spring shower.
Their flower buds were equally giant, about the size of goose egg:
Happy Labor Day... or as some say in France: Joyeuse fête du Muguet (lily of the valley)!
Yesterday when working behind my desk I sneaked out to take these pictures of the blossom in our garden. From what I can see in my blog archives, the tree is blossoming 3 weeks earlier than previous years (see here). I can't wait for the petals to fall, because I love me some blossom snow ;) Don't you?
Five tips to keep running
Ten months ago I started running every other day and I still do. I never considered myself a sportswoman and when someone recently introduced me as "sporty", it made me laugh out loud. Me? But of course: my instagram feed is filled with pictures of my running kicks and I really run very often. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy it and want to share some tips with you today to keep or start running.
► TIP 1 Start an Instagram series. My virtual cheerleaders are the best! And thinking about creating an image helps to focus on something else than minutes, speed, acceleration and personal records.
► TIP 2 Invest in good running shoes and don't succumb to cool brands or colors. I tried many "pretty" sneakers, but my Decathlon Kalenji shoes support my feet perfectly well. I wish they'd be prettier, but well... function over vanity ;)
► TIP 3 If you're a woman: invest in a good sports bra. I see so many runners with painfully bouncing breasts. Don't risk breast tissue damage and painful back & shoulders! I warmly recommend this Panache Sports bra (it comes in many cool colors too!)
► TIP 4 Find your rhythm. Don't compare yourself to marathon (or 5K/10K) runners and runners that overtake you. No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping the people on the couch. Also find a rhythm in your schedule. Maybe you like running before the world wakes up in the morning or just before dinner? I usually run during lunch breaks, which is easy as I work from home. But when I have meetings, I try to fit it in at another moment. Every other day works for me.
► TIP 5 Don't push too far. I once did and ended up with painful shinsplints (still recovering...). Simply enjoy being outside while improving your health. Don't feel like running today? Simply go for a short run and run a little longer next time.
And above all: enjoy! (and if running is not your thing: don't waste your time!)
You can collow my runs on instagram. And if you already do: thank you so much for the support! xx
Weekend inspiration #13
The other day during Golden Hour: a beautiful magnolia tree exagerating its spring feelings. No filter needed ;)
By now it's a tradition: our sunday walk. Last weekend we went to see the sea, yesterday we walked closer to home, between Senlis and Crépy-en-Valois. Certainly not the prettiest area in the Oise, but when the sun is shining and the company is pleasant, the location doesn't really matter. In the sunlight, filtered by a slight layer of smog, the blossom looked pretty & bright:
I hope your weekend was just as bright & sunny and that you're ready for a new week? Maybe you even styled a spring or easter setting with green plants for this Thursday's Urban Jungle Bloggers challenge? I'm very much looking forward to it!
Eleven months ago the blossom looked like this!
la Baie de Somme
Like everyone else we spent this super sunny weekend outside. Our goal was to walk 15km in the Baie de Somme, France's largest estuary in the North East of the Picardy department. From our home it's the fastest shortcut to the sea, just what you need when the sun is out!
The light was particularly nice, very pale and white. Next time I really want to go see the seals in the bay and taste fresh salicornia, a salty succulent. In the high season you can also take a steam train along the bay, we did that 10 years ago, but it wasn't particularly impressive. If you're a birdwatcher, you'll love the Parc du Marquenterre. Not only to feed swans & ducks ;) The other day someone spotted a stork!
Beachclubs and restaurants were still closed:
And as a reward after our walk, a beautiful sunset over Le Crotoy:
How was your weekend?
Forsythia at Studio Sapique
The other day I took a break from work and this is what it looked like: spring! The forsythia is blooming and the winter sun was just warm enough. Bliss!
I hoped to show you the result of my little painting project today, but that will have to wait. The paint looked great in the can, but once applied it's weird: too green, too flashy, too pastel maybe. Eau de Nil, or turquoise is a new color in our home, but unfortunately it's not the beautiful color I hoped it would be. So I'll be adding a little blue to the mixture and hope the 6th layer will look better. Wish you a great (sunny!) weekend!
Eau de Nil
I love paint... and painting! And ever since the make-over of our yellow door, I'm dreaming of doors in all colors of the rainbow. But for now I'm only painting 1 kitchen accessory (and maybe more if I can't control myself...). For color inspiration I looked around our city. I love this bold green color, it's so vibrant:
Remember this color discussion? In the 50s a pale and blue version of the above color was used in many public buildings. I loved all your name suggestions for this very specific color: aqua, tooth paste green, linden, carta da zucchero, duck egg blue, emerald, sage green. But I think the best-fitting name was Eau de Nil, although the above color would be a perfect emerald right?
Somehow I also took quite a lot of pictures of blue & green shutters in the past few months:
Because our home loves bright colors so much, I decided upon this "updated" version of Eau de Nil, simply called bleu turquoise. I'll show you the results later this week, once the job is done!
What do you think? Do you like Emerald green or Turquoise?
Last week I met with Liléko, which was a true delight. She's a fashion student from Chartres, so technically, not a true Isarien, but she lives in Creil during the week, so I count her in ;) She's currently working hard to finish her studies and prepare for a year abroad in the US. I think she must be working really hard, because she didn't really know a lot of cool places or restaurants in the Oise. But Liléko's smile made up for that. It's her best accessory, don't you think?
Every since I joined Instagram last year, I discover the coolest things. Not only #urbanjungle inspiration, but I also found out that there DO live some fashionable folks in the Oise. Théo, a fashion student from Bury is one of them. He was so kind to meet me last week for a little photo shoot and proved that you can be a fashion victim ànd live in the Oise. Even though he spends a lot of time in Paris, he likes going for a walk near the lake of Saint-Vaast-lès-Mello and loves visiting the Emmaüs (charity shop) in Amiens. When I asked him for his favorite restaurant he replied that he's not very gourmand. I suspect him to prefer spending his money on a nice thrifted jacket rather than on food ;) Merci Théo!
Sunday in Canada
On Monday Megan from The Fresh Exchange wrote about the importance of the Sunday walk. I can totally relate to that! Ending the week with some fresh air and exploring before the next week begins is just wonderful.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent the last few hours of the weekend in Canada. Or that's what I saw. I've never been to Canada, but the colors, the lakes and the light of our Oise region, totally looked like Canada to me. A different kind of traveling without moving ;)
I know what I'll be doing tomorrow, and you?
Weekend inspiration #11
The darkest days of the year...
Running Anniversary giveaway!
Today I'm celebrating my running anniversary! In June I started to run and in a few days I'll be strapping on my running shoes for the 100th time. On the same day that I started running, I (finally!) joined Instagram and thought it would be a good motivation to post a picture after each run. I can't believe I spammed my followers with almost 100 running pictures!
To celebrate my running anniversary with you, I've teamed up with Printic to give away a set of five Printics to 3 of my readers. A few weeks ago I tried the Printic app, choose a few running pictures straight from my instagram and three days later I received my set of glossy polaroids in this cute orange envelope:
To win a set of 5 Printics:
Like JOELIX.com on facebook
► Follow me on instagram
► Tell me your favorite photo subject in the comments below
I'll announce the 3 lucky winners on Monday, December 16th so that you can order & receive your Printics in time for Christmas. This giveaway is open for everyone worldwide: Printic has free worldwide shipping.
This giveaway is now closed. The 3 winners are: Malincha, Elise and Lena. They will be contacted shortly! Thanks everyone for playing and the running support!
Oh and did you know you can now even print only 1 Printic and send it to a special someone (or yourself!)? Wouldn't that make a sweet Thank You note? Or use them as gift tags or table seating cards during the holidays. I know I'm using mine to keep me motivated to carry on running ;)
Printic offered me a set of Printics for free, but all opinions and pictures are my own. Merci Printic!
Yayy! It's December! How do you like it so far? Here in the Oise it almost felt like we had the first sunshine in decades. Last week was so grey and dark: no wonder why they call it the dark days before Christmas. So in stead of decorating our home for the December festivities, we made a walk through the fields during the Golden Hour...
We didn't recognize these crops. Any suggestions? Potatoes maybe?
And then, the show was almost over...
Wish you all a wonderful and sunny week! I'm preparing a little giveaway that I think you will like, so you may want to check back later this week ;)
Oh and if you want to get into the mood for some REAL winter, I'd suggest to read the Winterharvest issue of Oh Marie! and watch the sneak preview of the upcoming sisterMAG xmas special... It makes me want to go ice skating right away!
2 Dahlia girls
My grandmother had dahlias in her garden (click here for a peek) and I think that's the only memory I have of these flowers. As a little girl I liked the colors but not their spikey petals. Through the #2flowergirls project I rediscovered them, not far from our home in one of the community gardens. Like in my grandma's garden, there was a small flower bed along the border of the garden with numerous kinds of colorful dahlias. Some even look a bit like bundled "rolled tongues". That made me smile :)
If you want to join and spread some dahlia love in October, it's easy: read more about it on Madame-Love and Glomerylane.
A few days ago on one of my runs, my eyes caught a glimpse of bright pink in the bushes along the path. Wow: gradient berries! Or what they are usually called: pokeweed or Phytolacca americana. Their pink stems are so bright, the calyces look like LEGO flowers and their berries have the most beautiful gradient colors, somewhere between lime green, bordeaux and dark plum.
I took (too many) photos and they all look extremely romantic. But who cares: sharing a bit of softness doesn't do any harm. Except these berries are very poisonous, so don't eat them!
My first giveaway
Today I'm hosting my fist ever giveaway! But, not on my own blog. As you may know, especially if you follow me on instagram, I started running in June... and I became addicted. I discover new things in my neighborhood and I feel so much fitter! Currently I pick blackberries on my runs and enjoy the empty streets during this everyone-in-France-is-on-holiday month. This morning I went for my 42th run and honestly, I never thought I would have liked it so much.
For years I thought I couldn't run, because I never found a good sports bra. I have large breasts due to terrific genes (oh yeah...) and most regular sports bras don't work for me. Until I found this awesome Panache sports bra. I'm so excited about it, that I want to tell every female runner about it. And what better place to do so, than on a blog focused on running, written by young women, called Just Keep Running.
Panache Lingerie liked the idea and generously offered a bra & shorty to give away to one of the readers. The giveaway at Just Keep Running is open to Dutch and Belgian readers only, but you can also purchase Panache sports bras online. More info here.
running snapshots from my instagram
Did you have a nice weekend? Here in the Oise we enjoyed a super sunny Saturday and decided to visit a random place. Along one of the roads leading to our place, is a sign that points to a castle where we had never been. We Google Streetviewed the sign, tried to see what it read (as you can see it's very pixelized), found out and drove to the Château de Raray.
We were in good company, so no matter where we'd end up, we would have a good time. Turned out: the surrounding village was cuter than expected and the very well maintained castle overlooked a huge golf course. Perfect for a nice little walk along the green, where I spotted this cool trash bin.
There were also 40 hunting dog statues, some with quirky tails:
The castle itself is used as a conference center and hotel, there's also a restaurant and sunny terrace, but above all: it's a really nice and quiet place to play golf (which we didn't).
I liked that they used the deer and dogs in the logo too:
It was a very random visit, at less than 25km from our home, that felt like a mini-vacation. Do you ever go on trips like these?
A playful week
When Tina and I were playing around with Google doodles for her Vive la Différence series, she mentioned that both our homes are full of toys even though we don't have kids. I guess we both have a playful spirit!
This week I stretched the limits of my playfulness by going on a little tour through the park on a miniature steam train. The Friends of Steam, organized an afternoon of free rides for everyone, which turned out to be a great dose of unexpected fun! I loved it!
And later this week I was invited to the oldest theme park in France: La Mer de Sable. Fifty years ago it started as a playground near a natural dune in the forest, where retired circus camels enjoyed a calmer lifestyle. Many Isariens visited the park during their colonies de vacances, but recently it was completely updated.
For younger children (4-12) it's a great alternative to bigger parks like Asterix and Disney: hardly any lines, it's very clean, spacious, well decorated and I never heard so many laughing kids in other parks. The stunt show with Cowboys and Indiens was also a highlight. And a big plus: no It's A Small World tunes on repeat the entire day ;) La Mer de Sable is located at 45 mins from Paris. More info here.
The palm trees at La Mer de Sable made me dream of summer holidays in the sun, chilled drinks and the sound of cicadas...
Probably I won't hear any cicadas during this upcoming Bank Holiday weekend, but it will be a festive weekend, that's for sure! Hope your weekend will be sunny & festive too!
By now you probably know that I have been discovering plenty of new things in my neighborhood during my runs. A few weeks ago, I ran across these amazing flower beds full of the most bright and colorful flowers. So rich & diverse that I couldn't stop taking pictures with my phone. Of course I had to come back with a proper camera. Only to find that the flowers were starting to fade. That's why I allowed myself to pick a little bouquet:
The person responsible for these flowers deserves kudos. I counted over twenty colors & varieties of cornflowers, daisies, poppies and gerberas! Also, I'd love to know where he/she got this flower mix: it would be so awesome to fill our entire garden with these beauties next summer! And create a true bee nirvana!
What are the rules for picking flowers in public spaces? Do you ever pick flowers outside your own home or garden? Do you feel guilty?
The other day when I was in Chantilly for a cocktail déjeunatoire, we also had the opportunity to visit the André Le Nôtre exhibition at the Salle du Jeu de Paume. Right along the Auberge du Jeu de Paume where we stayed this winter.
André Le Nôtre (1613-1700) was a landscape architect and gardener who created some of the most famous gardens in France. For example he designed the gardens of Versailles, Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte, les Tuileries and also Chantilly. He was particularly proud of the jardin à la française in Chantilly because his client, le Grand Condé, gave him carte blanche. I think he had more fun in Chantilly, and it shows. The exhibition ends this weekend and is really nice: it includes beautiful sketches of seesaws & swings and a giant 11m2 scale model of the entire domain. Very impressive!
As formal garden style gardens are all about symmetry & perspective, I played around with a kaleidoscope:
Below is one of my favorite spots of the Domaine de Chantilly: right there in the back; behind that statue, in the forest. From there you have a beautiful view on the castle and on the spectacular fireworks festival that is held every few years:
Wish you all a great weekend! What are you up to? Here in the Oise it will be warm and sunny, so I hope to spend lots of time outside... maybe even in Chantilly.
Filles de l'air
You may wonder if I changed the editorial calender of my blog to become a flower blog, but I can reassure you: I'll be back to posting other things than flowers and plants soon. But today I'd like to show you some pictures of these Tillandsia plants that I saw at Les Journées de la Rose. Amongst all the bright colored roses, it was a breath of fresh air to see something pretty and "just" green. You may know that I love succulents & cactus plants more than flowers, so these air plants really appealed to me.
Tillandsia air plants don't need any soil to grow, they get their moisture and nutrients from the air. So no need for planters!
Last month Kreetta hosted a giveaway where you could win some Tillandsia plants. The lovely Gudy from Eclectric Trends won those beauties and ever since I'm really curious about how she styled them in her home.
If you like these air plants, how would you use them in your home? I'm thinking of making some kind of curtain of air plants in my jungle.
Oh and if you'd like to buy some Tillandsia online, Filles de l'Air proposes a large variety, as well as some accessories.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I simply like these plants!
2 Peony Girls
Last week I headed to Compiègne for a photo shoot at a florist called Argevil. While I was taking pictures of some very pretty summer flowers (and chatting with the adorable owner Loïc), I couldn't help but capture these peonies for this month's #2flowergirls challenge.
The shape of these particular peonies are so delicate and look somewhat like the wings of a swan, don't you think? The spikelets and of course the chandelier make it also very French, with a twist.
If you want to join us to spread some peony love in June, it's easy: read more about it on Madame-Love and Glomerylane.
The other day when we drove to Ermenonville for the Rose Days, I spotted this huge field of poppies. I asked my husband to pull over and jumped out of the car to snap a few pictures. Poppies are my absolute favorite flower: they seem to grow almost everywhere, are so floppy and fragile. I love poppies so much that I added a few fake ones to my wedding bouquet. And I still dream of the enormous field of poppies somewhere between here and Paris. A few years ago it was entirely red. I guess the farmer must have loved poppies as much as I do...
Have a wonderful weekend!
On the run
Recently I decided to start to run: I bought the most flashy running shoes (aqua + neon green anyone?), a simple outfit and the perfect sports bra. Today I went for my 6th run and I'm really enjoying it! Running every other day also means that I get to explore my vicinity extensively. I challenged myself to take at least one picture during each run that I'll post on Instagram. It motivates and helps me to see the beauty in my neighborhood.
This tiled wall was one of these things that I spotted while running. I came back with my camera and snapped a few pictures. Can you believe that I had never seen it before?
For any of you runners: is it really so addictive to run? I never thought it would be, but after a run I'm already looking forward to the next one. On twitter Johannes suggested that it's only in the first weeks... is it?
La vie en rose
This weekend we visited the Journées de la Rose at the Abbaye de Chaalis. Near the ruines of the ancient Abbey everything involved roses. Rose lovers, garden enthusiasts and rose professionals presented their products and savoir-faire in a fragrant environment. And of course: we were accompanied by a true Rose, which made it extra special.
The weather was wonderful, the rose garden wasn't blooming yet due to the cold spring, but the rose ice cream tasted really good! Oh and did you know that the French wear pretty hats to these kinds of events? I spotted so many wedding-proof headpieces but completely forgot to shoot any for my Styloise series... oops!
For a fun "rosy" outtake, check my Instagram :o)
On the Oise
This weeked, I did something that I've been wanting to do for over a decade. Do you see the above picture? That's the view from our home: we live along the riverside of the Oise. Every day we see transport ships, rowing boats and swans go by but we had never made a boat trip on the Oise, ever!
During this l'Oise Verte et Bleue weekend (an event to promote outdoor activities in our region) we joined about 50 Isariens for a tour on a small péniche. The absolute highlight was to see our home from the water. From the inside we have a clear view over the river, but seen from the water it is actually pretty much hidden behind all the greenery:
We passed by the transport ships...
...and the rowing boats (look at that happy Weimaraner dog!):
and the swans:
Now all I want to do is take a boat and make a long trip: over the Oise to the Seine (through Paris of course!) then to Burgundy and its famous Canal, onto the Saône... to the South of France... just dreaming out loud ;o)
Have you ever been on a boat trip?
Weekend inspiration #4
Pas de pub / No publicity
The sweet cure
Eleven years ago, when working in fashion with lots of fabrics, I started sneezing. And I never stopped: I became "allergic". Allergic to dust, to synthetic perfumes, to dark chocolate, to alcohol, to eucalyptus... After a few years I started taking antihistamines, which keep me from sneezing all day long.
Last week I realized that I'm sneezing more since the pollen season started. Which makes me wonder whether I suffer from hay fever... Anyway, I don't want to complain (paper hankies are my best friends!), but maybe eating local honey will help me reduce the sneezing?
A happy coincidence: I met a beekeeper this weekend who was selling his honey at a brocante. His beehives are located at only 2km from our home, pretty local, right? I bought one of his jars and asked him if I could come and have a look next time he'll harvest honey. He agreed and I'm really looking forward to that. I wonder if his beehives are just as colorful as the ones we saw in Burgundy...
According to Ian Douglas, honey is not a cure for hay fever, but hey: eating honey every day sounds like a pretty sweet idea to me ;o) Do you think honey can be a cure for hay fever? And do you like honey?
Designing beautiful packaging for honey would be one of my dream assignments as a graphic designer. Honey inspires many fellow designers, so I started collecting lots of their designs on my honey bee bee pinterest board:
Les carrières de Montigny
When we ride 50km south-west from our place, we are in the middle of Paris. And if we ride 50km up north-east, we're in the middle of nowhere. Well almost but not quite. Near a small village called Machemont, there is this huge stone quarry site called Montigny.
As of the 19th century stone was excavated from Montigny and transported (via the Oise river) to Paris and beyond. That's why many Haussmannien houses in Paris are built with limestone from Montigny!
Workers used their environment to its full potential by digging their homes directly into the rocks. These troglodyte cave houses stay at a constant 12°C, which makes them convenient all year round.
Les carrières de Montigny are best known for their function during the WWI: the French army resided in the cavehouses and even opened an army hospital. Up until the 70s families actually lived here and today an Association is taking care of its renovation and nomination for inscription on the World Heritage list of Unesco.
We visited during the Nature & Garden fair, which was cute because the crew and exhibitors were very enthusiastic. The man of the Mushroom Truck showed us in detail how they used to grow mushrooms in the quarry. Unfortunately the subterranean galleries and tunnels were not open to the public that day, so we need to come back soon and discover what everybody is so excited about!
On our way back home we passed by this Manoir. The gently sloping countryside of the Oise is so pretty:
Inside la Sucrerie
Last week I showed you some pictures of the Sugar Factory in Francières. The weather was rather gloomy and like for our first visit, I photographed in black & white. Today I'll take you inside where it's a little bit more colorful (but also colder than outside!).
I really liked the color of the walls in the factory's chapel. It looks rather contemporary, but old pictures of the chapel before the renovation, show exactly the same colored walls! The minty blue ( or how would you call this color? ) goes perfectly well with these tiles:
In the factory's school they used a slightly different shade of minty green/blue. I never knew it used to be such a fashionable color!
In the main factory, which now houses a permanent exhibition on today's agricultural industry in France, the architects cleverly re-used this color:
Minty green/blue, jungle green, toothpaste green, jade, aqua blue... What would you call this color?
Weekend tip: la Brocante
My favorite season started: brocante season! Visiting a flea market on Sunday is like a national sport here in France. After visiting numerous marchés aux puces, I must admit that I became quite addicted to the art of junk hunting. It's a nice opportunity to visit new places in the Oise, discuss (or negotiate!) with locals and maybe find that one thing that I've always wanted but didn't know I needed.
The best online resource to find out if there's a marché aux puces going on somewhere nearby is vide-greniers.org. The site really hurts my eyes, but has very up-to-date info on brocantes all accross France. You simply select the region or département of your choice and off you go. I always prefer the vide-greniers (empty your attic) over the brocantes, because it's more exciting when there are less professionals selling their overpriced antiques. Simply strolling around the streets, watching people and their old stuff... aahhh I love Sunday mornings!
My best find ever was a pair of near new Ann Demeulemeester riding boots for 10 euros. Unfortunately they were too small for me, so they were sent off to a lucky Australian eBayer...
Do you like visiting flea markets? And what's your favorite brocante treasure?
the Sugar Factory of Francières
This weekend we went back to the Sugar Factory. Ever since our visit last summer I wanted to go back and go inside. Apparently visiting la Sucrerie de Francières isn't easy: it's closed most of the time... but not this weekend!
The sugar industry played a prominent role in the economy of my region and that's why it's so cool that local volunteers decided to save and restore this factory. The school, the chapel and main factory hall are in great shape again... but the untouched buildings were even more intriguing:
I really wanted to climb these stairs and have a look on the first floor:
For obvious reasons they wouldn't let me...
The 34 meter high chimney is a beautiful landmark in the middle of nowhere. In the 19th century the nearest village was situated at 4km and the workers' families formed a self sustaining community. One third of the sugar production was used for themselves, kids went to a private school and the families lived in houses accross the street. The factory shut down in 1969, but one of the children that grew up here told us that life was "tough, but happy and good".
Check back soon as I'll show you the more colorful inside of la Sucrerie...
Chambre avec vue
Last night Rose and I had a soirée at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume, the brand new hotel at 10 minutes from our place, in Chantilly. The promise of champagne and a chocolate fountain immediately convinced Rose to join me. I was very curious to see what the concept of a "personal dressing" by Chambre avec Vue was all about.
After Venice and Saint Tropez, Mélissa and Taya, founders of Chambre avec Vue, decided to show a feminine & elegant collection of prêt-à-porter de luxe in Chantilly. I liked the upcycled pieces of Semi Couture but the best part was the glow of one of the models: a woman, probably in her 30s like me: so confident and powerful. The younger models were pretty and cute, but she lit up the room and made everyone smile. So cliché, but beauty isn't about looks :o)
Have a wonderful weekend!
An industrial spring
Although it obviously doesn't feel very much like it, it's officially spring. Here in the Oise region a very particular "spring" started as well: Le Printemps de l'Industrie. Through exhibitions, workshops, lectures and company visits we get to discover our region's industrial nature. For example, did you know that the nose of the Airbus A350 and the famous Cocotte by Le Creusot are produced not far from here?
So, last weekend I visited this "industrial" photo exhibition by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre at la Maison de la Pierre in Saint-Maximin. A surprisingly modern building for its location (a rural village) and the perfect space for these huge photos. Yves and Romain documented the ruins of the Detroit automobile industry in a series called the The Ruins of Detroit.
What struck me most about the photos, was the scale of these industrial remnants. Massive buildings were abandoned and everything is still there: tools, books, machinery, the clothing of the workers... In these pictures from Detroit I recognized "our home". Certain colors of walls and machinery were exactly the same as here at Studio Sapique:
I found the mint green walls in one of "our" factories so very pretty: they would have been the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot. But before I realized this part of the property was torn down some years ago.
Not quite like these abandoned factories in Detroit, which are still there and rarely demolished. I totally see the beauty in these abandoned spaces. The colors, the structures, the history. Do you see it too?
An afternoon at the race course
My stepdaughter Rose is a so-called Horse Girl. She has been riding horses for over 12 years and now that she lives with us, she really misses her dear Dutch Warmblood. As we live at 10 minutes from Horse Capital Chantilly, we had to catch one of the race courses.
On this overcast (and freezing!) saturday we found ourselves a bench at the stands near the race course. As the 3-minute race started, gamblers cheered their favorite horse. While we appreciated the lean long bodies of the race horses with names like Jason Bourne and Amuse Gueule, Rose was glowing with enthusiasm ;o)
I must admit I didn't quite understand the game of betting, neither do I understand why the jockeys wear these ridiculous outfits with stars and weird color combos...
But it's really impressive to watch the horsepower and to see how the jockeys seem to stand still on a horse in movement.
Have you ever attended a race like this? And did you like it?
Styloise: Suzy & Chris
Suzy was dancing in the middle of the street when I spotted her and Chris. It made me smile, but as soon as I took out my camera both their smiles almost disappeared! Suzy and Chris are two students from Creil and were wearing some funky mismatched laced sneakers. Their favorite place in the Oise is the Pathé Cinema in Montataire. Chris loves going there to watch a good action or comedy movie. They're both big fans of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Merci Suzy & Chris!
Meeting fellow bloggers is always fun. This time I met one of the only fashion & beauty bloggers in the Oise: Héloïse. She's a student from Creil with a passion for beauty and shares her finds on her blog, called Beauthela. Héloïse prefers spending time in Paris, but also enjoys a walk in the Ermenonville forest every once in a while. Her favorite restaurant is Chinastar in Creil and she likes the local Irish pub for drinks with friends. Merci Héloïse!
For an additional picture of Héloïse, check JOELIX.com on Facebook.
A whipped weekend
In French Chantilly also means whipped cream. So, besides the Chateau and the horses, that's what Chantilly is known for as well.
Last weekend, Framboise invited* me & my husband for a romantic get-away in a brand new hotel in Chantilly, called l'Auberge du Jeu de Paume. I think it was the first time that we spent the night somewhere so close to our home (at only 10 minutes) and it felt a bit weird. But the venue made it all worth it.
In complete opposite to our all-white bedroom at home, our Suite looked like a classic French fairy tale: with a toile de Jouy headboard, mirrors in Murano glass and Musée Condé reproductions everywhere.
Highlight of the weekend was a treatment in the luxurious Spa. I didn't get a simple exfoliation... but a "Crème de Chantilly wrap". In other words: I got covered in whipped cream! Cleopatra bathed in donkey milk to hydrate her skin and that's exactly what whipped cream does as well. The application of the cream feels sensational: it's very cold and milky. It made my skin feel super soft & smooth.
My favorite decor in the hotel were the original (!) 18th century wooden panels with monkey scenes, lent by the Musée Condé. They are over-the-top kitschy (see first photo), but the monkeys' faces are hilarious!
The hotel is a located at 30 minutes from Paris and at a stone's throw from the Château, its park and the Grand Stables:
Auberge du Jeu de Paume /// 4 rue du Connétable /// 60500 Chantilly /// +33 (0)3 44 65 50 00.
* We stayed at the hotel and received a Spa treatment free of charge, but all words and images are my own. We had a fabulous stay :o)
The Chateau of Chantilly seems to be the favorite spot of many fellow Isariens. All the people I've met for Styloise mentioned it. Chantilly is actually Versailles' lesser known little brother and is at only 10 minutes from our home.
We come here often for a walk around the famous racecourse or through the primal forests. Or we visit the Musée Condé with it's extensive art collection ( second after the Louvre! ) and the precious library. I can't get enough of the portrait paintings in the portrait gallery: the faces are so quirky, detailed and unique!
Walking around the racecourse, where many kiters practise their skills, is always fun. If you love horses ( like Rose! ) you should definitely visit Chantilly, as it's known as the Horse Capital. The Living Horse museum is famous for its horse shows and its expertise in Haute-Ecole training.
Chantilly covered in snow is extra magical... and even a bit romantic:
Some Oise news!
A while ago I was invited to meet Framboise, the mascot of my region in France: the Oise. She knew my blog and wondered if I would like to share some of my adventures on the blog Paroles d'Isariens Bavards, "blog of talkative people from the Oise". And to become an ambassador of the Oise. Sounds like fun, right?
I can't wait to go back here ( and to go inside this time! ) and to find out if they make cheese here, as I've never eaten a Oise cheese in 10 years... and... and...
French readers can find me here, but of course I'll continue to share my stories here on my blog as well.
A ridiculous bike trip
Last week I did something quite ridiculous: I joined au5v on their annual bicycle trip around the neighborhood to see the local xmas illuminations. That doesn't sound very ridiculous in itself but we wore Santa hats, our bikes were decorated, and 2 xmas trees were in the bakfiets and bicycle carrier. And we also played loud xmas music.
It was raining & cold and the streets were empty. But we spotted a few kitschy & over-the-top decorated houses! Completely different styles than the illuminations at the Place Vendôme where I was the night before...
Of course dog Léla joined us on this trip too. With her owner Aurore she will be traveling through South America next year to give support to handicapped kids. Read more about their plans here.
After 2 hours in the cold & rain, it was time for some hot chocolate ( or whisky for some ). It was nice meeting some new fellow Isariens and visit a few neighborhoods where I had never been before.
Oh and did you see au5v's new logo in the first picture? Made by yours truly :o)
Vincent, a high school student from Précy sur Oise, was on his way to meet some friends when I bumped into him. He told me I found the right guy for getting to know all hotspots in the Oise, as he likes to hang out here a lot. His favorite place in the Oise is the city center of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée. And he loves drinking a beer or two at the Irish pub in Grandvilliers, called Le New Grange. Merci Vincent!
On a beautiful sunny afternoon, I met Aïcha. She's originally from Toulouse in the South West of France and only recently moved to Creil in the Oise. She works at City Hall and loves to take her two young daughters to Verneuil-en-Halatte for some park & playground fun. She recommends Café Noir in Chantilly for drinks and Le Flora in Creil for a delicious dinner. Merci Aïcha!
This is what caught my eye at one of the least stylish places in the Oise. I liked the contrast between the grungy place with garbage trash all over & the YSL label...
Weekend tip: Atelier ABC-Vélo
In this week's Styloise I already told you about ABC Atelier-Vélo. Besides repairing your bike under the supervision of volunteers, you can also join them every first Sunday of the month for a bike trip through the Oise. On previous outings, they have been to Fleurines and Chantilly for example. They usually leave at 9:00AM from the Place Carnot in Creil. Next trip will be on September 2nd. So why not join them?
And if you decide to go biking next weekend, you might consider wearing this invisible bicycle helmet called Hövding! Basically Hövding is a collar for bicyclists, worn around the neck. The collar contains a folded up airbag that you'll only see if you happen to have an accident. How cool & impressive is that?
Last week I went out on a small bike trip & passed along this "bike workshop". As most Dutch people I love riding my bike and this workshop made me curious. I went in and met Frédéric & his fellow association members, who explained me how the ABC Atelier-Vélo works. Here you can repair your own bike with the help of volunteers. You can also purchase a used or refurbished bike & learn how to keep it in shape with recycled spare parts. And important to know: no they're not a bike-repair shop! You'll have to get at it yourself!
It was so nice seeing such a nice local initiative alive & kicking that I completely forgot to ask for Frédéric's favorite spot & restaurant in the Oise. Anyway, merci Fred!
Oh and to see Frédéric at work, please like JOELIX.com on Facebook!
Weekend tip: La Sucrerie
For the past 10 years I've been living in the Oise: a French department situated 35km north of Paris. Of course Studio Sapique is a remnant of (recent) industrial heritage, but not far away from here, is the old industrial Sugar Factory of Francières. It's an impressive site with red bricks, which was recently renovated & opened to the public.
Surrounded by sugar beet fields, now mostly converted to cereal crops, La Sucrerie was active from 1829 to 1969 and is one of the oldest sugar factories of the Picardy region. The sugar industry has always played a prominent role in the economy of the region & that's why a local Association decided to save this place and turn it into an interactive Center of the Sugar & Agro Resources Industry.
Quirky detail: La Sucrerie is located near the rue du Bout du Monde ( the street at the end of the world ), which is exactly what it feels like: desolate but intriguing. Unfortunately La Sucrerie was closed when we visited, but I'll definitely check back in a few months. I'm curious to see what it looks like from the inside & to learn how a raw sugar beet becomes sugar.
La Sucrerie de Francières /// Route Nationale 17 /// 60190 Francières
Open on request. Contact the Picardy Region: +33 (0) 8 00 02 60 80
Weekend tip: Pierrefonds
One of the most impressive castles in the Oise, must be the 14th century Castle of Pierrefonds. It's in excellent condition, was beautifully restorated in the 19th century & has beautiful graphic wall decorations!
After a visit to the castle, or in case you're in need for a more laid-back activity, there's nothing more refreshing than a pedalo ride on the Pierrefonds lake. And that's exactly what we did! For added coolness, you can choose to ride the swan, like us ;o)
From the lake you have a beautiful view on the castle and the sourroundings of Pierrefonds.
Hihi my sister & I really liked our swan:
This is a first: I photographed someone for Styloise who doesn't appreciate living in the Oise! Simon, a student from Mouy, prefers hanging out in Paris or Lille, because to him the Oise is boring & "just suburbs". Besides Chantilly he couldn't name another place that he really liked. One of his favorite restaurants is Le Relais du Jeu d'Arc in Mello. Merci Simon!
Weekend tip: Grimp a l'arb
In stead of buying her a gift, we invited my sister to do an activity for her birthday. My sister is a true dare devil ( not! ) so climbing trees in the forest was just the thing for her. In the middle of the forest of Pierrefonds lies this tree climbing adventure parc called Grimp a l'Arb. Their website is oldskool with Comic Sans & a pointer mascot, so be prepared, but the parc is pretty cool.
Through different courses criss cross through the treetops you "get in touch with your inner monkey". Well, something like that ;o) Obstacles are suspended between trees and while being attached to a safety cable you hop from 1 tree to another. The trails have zip lines, suspended bridges, scramble nets, swinging logs, a cool surf board, and much more...
We first walked through the parc to take a look. The children's courses looked easy, so we were all pumped to start the adventure. But when my sister saw the higher trails for adults, she totally chickened out... She's not such a monkey after all!
Anyway, the warm & sunny weather had ice cream & café terrace written all over it, so we opted for a different activity. But if you're looking for a cool adventure, I could totally recommend Grimp a l'Arb. Everyone we saw climbing through the treetops had so much fun!
Kévin from Creil was waiting for his girlfriend to go grocery shopping as I met him. He works as a delivery man in Paris & told me Isariens smile a lot more than Parisians. He can't help himself for smiling all the time and says it even works in his professional life. His favorite spot in the Oise ( after Chantilly ) is the Parc Hébert in Nogent sur Oise. And he loves eating crêpes at Crêperie Michelet in Creil. Merci Kévin!
To see a smiley outtake of this shoot, please like JOELIX.com on Facebook!
Styloise: Marie Line
I love it when people try their best to look good, even when it's hot. While most Isariens wore flip flops & uninteresting tees, Marie Line dressed up to go shopping with her husband and kids ( look who's hiding there! ). She's a saleswoman from Nogent sur Oise and loves spending time in the city center of Chantilly. Her favorite restaurant in the Oise is the newly opened Flunch in Nogent sur Oise. Merci Marie Line!
To see a fun outtake of this shoot, please like JOELIX.com on Facebook!
Last week my stepdaughter Rose kindly accepted to model for this week's Styloise. She studies Marketing & Communication in Amsterdam and stayed with us in Nogent sur Oise. Her favorite spot besides Studio Sapique is the Fôret d'Halatte where she likes to go for a walk (with us haha). Her favorite resto is Chez Watashi in Nogent sur Oise. Merci Rose!
To see a fun outtake of this shoot, please like JOELIX.com on Facebook!
Adélaïde was the only woman in Beauvais wearing high heels on a very hot day. She's a creative seamstress from Beauvais and sells cute vintage inspired baby & kids apparel in her webshop. She also has a blog called Made in Moi. When she's not creating new designs for Made in Moi, she likes to take her family to Chantilly to feed the carps in the pond. Her favorite restaurant is Les Vents d'Anges in Beauvais. Merci Adélaïde!
Around lunchtime I spotted Sandra who was about to grab a sandwich with some friends. She's a desktop publisher (and aspiring webdesigner & photographer!) from Gouvieux. She moved to live in the Oise only 1 year ago and absolutely loves it! Her favorite place in the Oise is the forest of Gouvieux where she likes to walk her dog. And her favorite resto is La Petite Auberge in Lamorlaye. Merci Sandra!
Impossible to miss this smiling man with the hat in the streets of Creil. Guy was coming home from his work as a swing manager at Mc Donalds in the Val d'Oise department. Even after more than 15 years at Mc Donalds, his favorite place to eat is still Mc Donalds (the one in Saint Maximin). And a Big Mac his ultimate food. He loves spending time near Chantilly's Hippodrome and the Living Horse Museum. Merci Guy!
Styloise: Cresus & Claude
Cresus and Claude were hanging out in the sun with some friends and were all smiles when I asked to take their picture. They're both students from Creil and very much into basketball and football. Cresus' favorite spot in the Oise is the basketball center in Chantilly while Claude prefers the football spot near the swimming pool in Nogent sur Oise/Villers-Saint-Paul. Their favorite restaurants are Le Golf in Saint Maximin and Sun Self Grill in Creil. Merci Cresus & Claude!
I spotted Brian, a High School student from Nogent sur Oise, running errands on his cool espadrilles (!) with his mom and sister. As a theater enthusiast, his favorite place in the Oise is La Faïencerie in Creil. His favorite resto is l'Essentiel (32, avenue Aumont) in Chantilly. It opened only a few weeks ago and he told me it's very good. Can't wait to check it out. Merci Brian!
Accompanied by her grandfather and her huge sunnies, Anaïs, a student from Saint-Leu d'Esserent, was doing what she likes best besides practising athletics: shopping! Her favorite spot in the Oise is the Jennyfer shop in the Cora shopping mall in Saint-Maximin. Her favorite resto: Sushi Sushi in Nogent sur Oise. Merci Anaïs!
It's been 10 years that I live in the Oise department in France. The Oise is a department in the North of France, named after the river Oise and is situated 35km north of Paris and part of the Picardie region.
When moving to France 10 years ago, it wasn't my intention to live anywhere outside Paris. But by chance, we found this spacious parkview apartment with beautiful forests nearby. Situated in the Oise department, at 25 minutes by train from Paris. And it wasn't so bad at all! I've discovered some beautiful places around here, met some incredible people and enjoyed some great food.
As of today I'm starting a new series here, to discover much more about the Oise and its people. While improving my photography skills, I'll learn more about the favorite places & restaurants of my fellow Isariens (natives of the Oise). Welcome to Styloise!
Last week I met Pétula. She's a fulltime mother from Chantilly, who takes care of her two lovely daughters. Her favorite place in the Oise is the Bois Saint-Denis neighbourhood in Chantilly. And her favorite resto: Il Gritti in Chantilly. Merci Pétula!
Cranes without fuses
Our neighbors with the cool logo dismantled their main crane. Two workers were high up in the sky to remove the nails from part of the construction which was taken down by another crane. Without any safety fuses or ropes. Nothing! How brave!
Our neighbors are moving. Their entire space is almost empty. No photogenic yellow construction cranes anymore. How cool is their logo with the Eiffel Tower!
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