La vie de Chateau.

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In my career, I had the chance to work for a family who owned a Château in the Loire vallee in France. This property is huge and five persons were there working all year long. Three of us who travel from the US to manage and help in summer as they invited some guests.

We would be there in June, July and September. Of course we did a few trips during the year as our base was in Philadelphia.

On site, we had an organic garden with not less than 30 different kings of tomatos from white to black ones. A barne for 8 horses with a fantastic ring. Their son was at the time a horse rider specialised in jumping. We had around thirty hens, chicken, guenea hens, quails and so on. None of the animals were for cooking but just for fun as they were rare for some of them, and of course for fresh eggs.

Horses were oftenly hosted, of course extremely nice champions.

The whole property is 74 hectares and the main part are woods where in the season we could find mushrooms and one year we got over 150 kilos of Portobellos.

We had to prepare a lot of flowers arrangements in this home and had a flower garden were all sorts were available. Of course regarding the season…

All the cooking was home made, pastries and sweets as well. Only the bread was not, but extremely good bakeries are in the village next to this place.

During our stay, some Nobles, ex President and lots of family and friends were welcome. Dinner was a bit sofisticated and lunch was not so casual.

As the owners were American, we use to celebrate the 4th of July with a big party for them and the whole staff. After the dinner, some nice fireworks at the ring {to avoid a bad surprise}…

Tables were always nicely organised and realy rich, Superb Fine China, some antics, cristal glasses and siver plated cutlery. Linen was very precious and I had so much various kind that changing tables setting everydays was easy.

It was a long and hard day everytime we stayed at the Château, but we had a lot of fun and every time we had no guests, my boss would take us out to the restaurants around.

I must say that with twelve bedrooms , three salons and two dinning room plus a tv room we did have some work to do !

I had a two bedrooms appartement in the attic and three homes for staff were available for the permanent employees.

It is not possible to visit this superb Château as it is a private home.

Orchids, what a nice flower.

In these days you can even purchase some comestible orchids and this will make your salad really interesting. Still Orchids are delicate flowers that will make your home precious.

Orchids prefer high air humidity, but their roots will rot easily in wet compost. Water them about once a week, ideally using tepid rainwater. Water from above and tip out any water that collects in the saucer under the pot. Alternatively, plunge the container into a bucket of water and allow to drain thoroughly. Many orchids need a rest period, usually during the winter months, when watering and feeding should be reduced.

Most cultivated orchids are native to the tropics. In their natural habitat, they attach themselves to the bark of trees, or the surface of other plants. Their thick, white roots are specially adapted to absorb moisture and dissolved nutrients. Because these tropical orchids usually grow high in the trees, rather than on the forest floor, they are accustomed to good air circulation and plenty of light. They prefer a 12-hour day, all year-round, and require a high intensity of light — about the same as midsummer conditions in temperate regions.

Most tropical orchids prefer humidity levels of 60 to 80 percent. With the winter-time humidity level in most homes hovering closer to 30 percent, orchid growers often use a humidifier, or set their orchids in special humidity trays or gravel-filled trays. Some orchids also benefit from being misted.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster was capital of Pennsylvania from 1799 to 1812, after which the capital was moved to Harrisburg. The city of Lancaster was home to several important figures in American history.

Lancaster was home to Democrat James Buchanan, the fifteenth president of the United States. Buchanan arrived in Lancaster in 1809 to practice law. He took up residence near the courthouse on N. Duke Street. In 1848 he purchased Wheatland, a Federal style mansion in the suburbs. He was elected President in 1856.

In 1879, Franklin Winfield Woolworth opened his first successful “five and dime” store in the city of Lancaster, the Woolworth Company.

Lancaster city has a thriving art community. Gallery Row on the 100 block of North Prince St. features a block of art galleries, and the city proper has over 40 galleries and artists’ studios. The alleries host a “First Friday” each month, extending theirbusiness hours to exhibit new artwork and new artists to the public.

The Lancaster County Quilts and Textile Museum, completed in 2007, celebrates the art of the hand-sewn quilts and other textile items produced by women of the region’s Amish and Mennonite communities. The Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society Museum and the Heritage Center Museum display artifacts and interpret the region’s unique history. Children can have a hands-on experience with educational learning at the Hands-on House, also known as the Children’s Museum of Lancaster. Nature and geology-minded visitors can view the exhibits of the Louis Arboretume Arnold Tanger and the North Museum of Natural History and Science.

There is a rich history of theater and music in Lancaster.

Walking in Lancaster today gives you the feeling of a sleeping city, however you can see the rich past of this nice town.

Saint Tropez

The sex symbol Brigitte Bardot came to St-Tropez in the ’50s to star in Et Dieu Créa la Femme (1956) and overnight transformed the peaceful fishing village into a sizzling jet-set favourite. Tropeziens have thrived on their sexy image ever since: at the Vieux Port, yachts like spaceships jostle for millionaire moorings, and infinitely more tourists jostle to admire them.

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Le Domaine des Hauts de Loire.

Located on the wine road and at the heart of Loire castles in the midst of greenery, the Domaine des Hauts de Loire welcomes nature lovers that dream of retiring in a haven where a cosy and warm atmosphere dominates. A four star establishment, this “Relais & Châteaux” has become a true institution of French tourism.

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