my stylish and almost french girlfriend – sandra sigman

by Sharon Santoni


This morning I am in the south of France for the start of a rather special private tour, and in the company of a rather special American girlfriend, who adds a distinctly French touch to everything she does.

I first met Sandra Sigman a couple of years ago at my favourite antique fair in Chatou.   She was there buying for her store near Boston, and via a mutual friend  we had a brief chat, exchanged business cards, said all the right things then shook hands and bid each other goodbye and happy shopping.

A year later she asked me to take her shopping in Normandy and another year down the road we are about to welcome a group of her friends and clients for a week in Provence.

You are welcome to follow us along on my instagram posts and stories, but before we really get started, I wanted to share with you just how talented and ‘european’ Sandra really is.   She has a beautiful flower store in Andover, which she created in honor of her Mom who also loved all things floral.

Having lived in France when she was younger Sandra has always kept close ties to France and a special place in her heart for all things French.

In fact,  Sandra has her own list of addresses in Paris, and we thought you’d like to see her favourites.





Richard Hacker April 26, 2018 - 12:45 pm

Hi Sharon,
How did you manage to spell the bread shop’s name wrongly. Lovely pics though, thanks.

Donna April 26, 2018 - 2:20 pm

The spellcheck function did it!

Pamela April 26, 2018 - 2:28 pm

Spellcheck is the absolute devil! Every sympathy!

Dominic April 26, 2018 - 7:41 pm

Whenever an editor complained of his bloopers, however, Hemingway would snap “Well, that’s what you’re hired to correct!” ..

“slow curtain; the end…”

Kaye April 26, 2018 - 12:46 pm

Sharon, I thought it was macrons in France not
Macaroons. Isn’t there a difference?

Jill April 26, 2018 - 2:21 pm

Macron is the president of France! Macarons and Macaroons are the French and English spellings of the french delicacy.

Pamela April 26, 2018 - 2:33 pm

Hilarious! Almost as good as Trump pretending to brush dandruff off the immaculate Macron’s shoulder in public in front of the cameras during his visit to the USA. Totally crass – but could you expect otherwise, I guess! PS macarons and macaroons are not exactly the same thing at all. The English macaroon normally has coconut in the mix and maybe some jam.

ann Hodgkins April 26, 2018 - 5:04 pm

Please no politics on this blog.Some of us just want to enjoy the beauty.

Vida Snyder April 27, 2018 - 2:24 am

Thank you! Well said:)

Betsy April 26, 2018 - 6:50 pm

I love reading Sharon’s posts.
Please stop politics. Some of us are from America and it’s just not nice. I come to places like this to get away from politics.

Pamela April 27, 2018 - 1:12 am

Neither is publicly pretending to brush dandruff off a Presidential shoulder.

Terry Quillen April 27, 2018 - 1:24 am

Love Sharon’s posts, photos, and wonderful sense of taste.

But I must say that quite a few of us Americans who read it are embarrassed, especially when traveling in our beloved France, by our current White House. Recent action toward Président Macron was abominable.

Robert Rush April 26, 2018 - 1:24 pm

boy. picky picky picky

Betsy April 29, 2018 - 4:15 am

You need to find another forum for political complaints. Seriously.

Vicky from Athens April 26, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Beautiful pictures – can’t wait to visit Instagram and see the rest! Repetto and Le Bon Marche are on my list of favorites, too.

Tilly April 26, 2018 - 1:37 pm

I’m with you Robert Rush. People are too icky for words. Especially when this post is so warm and celebratory. No need to rain on this parade.

Debra Balas April 26, 2018 - 2:36 pm


Suzanne de Rothschild Levy April 26, 2018 - 3:06 pm

Totally agree…let’s celebrste the genuine warmth here

Connie April 26, 2018 - 1:38 pm

Hello Sharon, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the May/June Victoria Bliss magazine on France! So happy to see the lovely 8 pg. article about you! After your blog about St. Paul de Vence my girlfriend and I decided to go there in July. So excited to be spending 12 days in the south of France!

Pam April 26, 2018 - 3:33 pm

Now that’s what I love to read!! Sharon’s beautiful blog and getting to know France through her, you now are going to visit France. Have a super great time!!

Sharon Santoni April 27, 2018 - 11:09 am

Thank you so much, Connie !

Tilly April 26, 2018 - 1:39 pm

…and that should read picky not icky! So don’t go picking on me and my unreliable spell check!

AJ aubrey April 26, 2018 - 1:55 pm

I’m going with you on your next trip!
Lovely photos!

sharon santoni April 28, 2018 - 6:11 am

You are most welcome AJ!


MaryD April 26, 2018 - 2:13 pm

Picky or icky, I think they both work.
Lovely post Sharon. Thank you.

Donna April 26, 2018 - 2:18 pm

Hi Sharon,
As you know macarons are the lovely pastel sweets so popular in Paris, while macaroons are the rather homely, yet delicious coconut sweet. I believe your spellcheck function failed you…

Kim April 26, 2018 - 2:19 pm

I can’t stand if someone criticizes one for their grammar or spelling just rude

Kathi K April 26, 2018 - 2:22 pm


You add much-needed beauty & inspiration to our hurting world. Ignore comments that are unkind & please continue to share your creative gifts with us.

Bebe April 28, 2018 - 10:50 pm

Spelling, grammar and political nannies are ubiquitous on the internet. Makes them feel special. Whatever. Best ignored. Stick with the beautiful and the positive.

Donna April 26, 2018 - 2:29 pm

Your writings and presentations within your blog & books are so superb. Your artistic sensibilities are what have lured us, your long-time readers,
to return time and again. Thank you for continuing to add a bit of the joy of life in France to my life❤️

Pam April 26, 2018 - 3:36 pm

Beautifully put!!

sharon santoni April 28, 2018 - 6:11 am

Thank you Connie, you are very kind 🙂

Gayle April 26, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Simply Devine !

Bev Cook April 26, 2018 - 2:55 pm

Whatever the spelling, Laduree and Jardin De Luxembourg are two of my fave spots in Paris. Now I want to go back❤️

Dominic April 26, 2018 - 3:05 pm

Why pay a compliment when you can undermine a good intention by criticizing one’s spelling of foreign name?

Margie Gostyla April 26, 2018 - 4:01 pm

Well said.

Rita April 26, 2018 - 3:20 pm

I love your blog, as always! These pictures are divine, absolutely beautiful! I could care less about the spelling; it’s all about the beauty for me. And the info. Jardin De Luxembourg is my favorite.
I hope to see you this year – either over there or over here.

Beth April 26, 2018 - 3:33 pm

Thank you for introducing us to Sandra. I am now following her on instagram. The pictures in this post are so lovely! One day I will make it to France. In the meantime, I will enjoy and learn about your beautiful country from people like you and Sandra. I received your book, My French Country Home, a few days ago and can’t put it down! It is absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy your day~

Pam April 26, 2018 - 4:01 pm

Hi Sharon!!

You are human, wow. Here I thought you were perfect. Some people can’t look beyond the spot on the wall. Oh well, pity.

Once again you’ve taken us on dreams of going to France to see the beauty ourselves. I really love how you embrace people and they become part of your life.

Keep on bringing us France’s beauty!!

Have a great weekend Sharon!!


Lydia April 26, 2018 - 4:01 pm

Spelling is overrated, but your photo’s at the end are gorgeous. I loved them.

Patricia April 26, 2018 - 4:23 pm

I agree with Robert.
Picky and more Picky.

But a thoroughly lovely post. I love macaroons whatever the spelling.

Andi April 26, 2018 - 4:25 pm

I absolutely adore your blog!! As always, I was in my usual dreamy state while reading your lovely post. Some people love to point out other’s errors. Other readers, like me, simply enjoy the post too much to even notice!!

Lisa April 28, 2018 - 2:17 pm


Colleen Taylor April 26, 2018 - 5:02 pm

Such a beautiful post Sharon. Your girlfriend sounds like a lovely person.

As my grandmother always said, if you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all. Too bad some people have responded here without acquiring a few manners.X

Etta Boettger April 26, 2018 - 10:02 pm Reply
Sheila in SF April 26, 2018 - 5:02 pm

We all make spelling errors-what’s more important is Sharon’s avenue for bringing The French lifestyle and reading about it. Thanks Sharon. You have one of my favorite blogs.

Sarah April 26, 2018 - 5:33 pm

For those splitting hairs over Macaron vs. Macaroon:
“A macaron or macaroon is a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food coloring. Outside France, a typical macaron is presented with a ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two such cookies, akin to a sandwich …”
I will always default to the woman who lives in France…

Betsy April 29, 2018 - 4:16 am


Grace April 26, 2018 - 5:42 pm

No matter the spelling, I understood what you were saying.

pamela bedell April 26, 2018 - 6:03 pm

” Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others; cannot keep it from themselves.” by James Barrie That is you Sharon !!!

Thank You!

Gudrun April 26, 2018 - 7:17 pm

I must say, I am astounded by the overwhelming time spent on a single human error. I hope that those of you who were so quick to criticize will be given the gift of awareness one day to realize that there is no perfection in life and THAT is EXACTLY what makes it so wondrous! There is no perfection in nature and we happen to be all part of it.

Our French Oasis April 26, 2018 - 7:31 pm

Personally, I just love personal recommendations, I jot them down as even though I live here, I would always rather go somewhere that someone has suggested based on their own wonderful experiences. Hope the two of you have a fabulous time in the South.

Sharon Santoni April 27, 2018 - 11:07 am

Thank you Susan!

Freddie Ann April 26, 2018 - 8:00 pm

Oh my, I will probably never be in France (one never knows though) so I went to the site of Le Bon Marche – oh my goodness, I would never leave. So many beautiful shops. Tomorrow I’ve traveling to Jardin De Luxembourg (by way of the internet) – looks wonderful.

Carol April 26, 2018 - 9:21 pm

I almost feel as though someone should apologize for ALL of the mean-spirited and ignorant Americans! Some of us believe that your personal politics should be more “private.” I just enjoy reading your beautiful blog and seeing how the French live. I love everything French and would love to be able to pick up and move to France!

Bronwyn April 27, 2018 - 12:10 am

Thank you Carol I think you have the right idea in this case. We should be applauding Sharon and giving thanks to her for the time and heart felt words and ideas that she puts into this most wonderful blog. Americans do not appear to have any filters at all, and other nationalities just sit back in wonder and sheer disbelief on a daily basis totally gobsmacked at their rudeness, lack of finesse and good manners.

Dottie Monta April 27, 2018 - 12:12 am

“Mean-spirited and ignorant American” comments? I’ve seen none but did note Pamela’s use of the word “crass.” N.B.: Americans adore and appreciate all things French, evidenced by the Trumps’ flawless reception of the Macrons to our land. This site, Sharon, is no place for criticism of our leaders. Do continue to discourage this.

Dominic April 27, 2018 - 5:43 am

Mean-spirited? Who? How ? Where?

Bebe April 28, 2018 - 10:54 pm

So now all Americans are being tarred with the same brush? Seriously?

Noreen April 26, 2018 - 9:39 pm

Absolutely fabulous post Sharon! That is all I shall say! Hopping over to IG now!

Sharon Santoni April 27, 2018 - 11:06 am

Thank you, Noreen!

Kameela Hays April 27, 2018 - 12:12 am

Can’t believe all these comments about spelling errors. Surely what is important is that Sharon is sharing her experiences of her life in France via her lovely blog and that is much more than correct spelling. You all know what is being conveyed.Enjoy

Judith April 27, 2018 - 1:05 am

hope you will post details of your travel in South of France?

Sharon Santoni April 27, 2018 - 11:06 am

Thank you , Judy ! I’m putting daily pictures up here on the instagram : )

Hazel April 27, 2018 - 2:00 am

Hello Sharon ,
Well !! Come one now ladys !! And gentleman . Pray thanks for Sharon for a lovely post !!
And in the uk we call them macaroons and they are made with desiccated coconut and egg white and suger ……
Love Hazel ( Manchester uk ) x

Sandra April 27, 2018 - 3:14 am

I love your blog with it’s beautiful pictures of France that I can’t seem to get enough of. Silly that some would try to make your posts into their own political beliefs when your blog is all about taking us away from what is going on in the US. So unecessary. While some of your readers will be planning exciting trips to France, I will be heading to the lovely town of Andover, Massachusetts and visit Sandra’s floral shop twenty minutes away.

Jo in New England April 27, 2018 - 5:41 am

I, too, live 20 minutes away from Andover, and look forward to a trip to Sandra’s shop to see what lovely things she has available. It seems so wonderful to me that something mentioned on a favorite blog originating from the beautiful country of France is located in my “backyard” here in the US. We are all truly connected.

Sharon Santoni April 27, 2018 - 11:03 am

I’m so glad you’ll be able to check out Sandra’s shop ! it’s really lovely . best wishes , Sharon

Gail April 27, 2018 - 5:16 am

Dear Sharon, please ignore the few negative comments which have appeared in this gorgeous post.
I would like to say a huge “thank you” for all of your wonderful posts. I love France and insider knowledge is priceless. I’m going back to France later this year for the third time and as well as re-visiting my favourite haunts, you have given me a great insight into many more interesting places to visit. I especially loved your post on St. Paul-de-Vence. As well as a week in Paris, my husband and I will be staying in St. Remy for a week and on our way from St. Remy to Nice, we will be stopping to explore all the beautiful places you talked about in St.Paul-de-Vence. I can hardly wait!

Sharon Santoni April 27, 2018 - 11:04 am

Thank you, Gail 🙂 Sharon

Carol April 27, 2018 - 5:39 am

As someone who almost never comments on blogs, I was moved to respond to today’s post. These words are written by someone who is far from perfect and makes her share of mistakes on this journey of life with all of you.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if each of us could try harder to leave this world a bit better than we found it? This can be done by our selected actions and our chosen words. None of us is flawless and if we can be more accepting of others unintended errors then hopefully others will also be more understanding of our own honest mistakes.

It is sad that the only way some folks can feel better about themselves is to point out others faults and mistakes—-and too often in extremely snarky ways. Some people may not even realize what his or her own motivation is.

Thank you to all who wrote such positive and thoughtful words and stayed away from negative and petty remarks and also left politics out of your comments. No matter how we look at life, any way you cut it, life is way too short and there just isn’t enough time to waste by being unnecessarily cruel with remarks that really are unimportant in the grand scheme of things. The spelling of the name of a boulangerie (bread shop) or the correct spelling of macaron or macaroon–and on and on—are hardly worth all the time that was expended here today.

Let’s all just try to be a bit kinder, more tolerant, and less critical of each other. The more we are able to give to others even when it is not reciprocated the better off we will feel by knowing we have tried to go high.

Sharon, please let the negativity here today just roll right off your back. You are someone who brings so much joy to our lives with your deeds, words, pictures, creativity, and appreciation of beauty. I thank you for your authenticity and your willingness to share so many special aspects of your life with us. You make the world a more lovely place and I am very grateful for your giving spirit.
P.S. As I mentioned in the beginning, I am far from perfect and am the first one to admit this about myself so if I have misspelled words or grammatical errors here it was not intentional and I hope you will just overlook this and spend your time being extra kind to someone else today.

Elsie April 27, 2018 - 7:46 am

Haven’t you all heard of auto correct??
It will take a word you’ve spelled correctly and change it into something totally different. I despise this feature but don’t know how to get rid of it.
I love your blog Sharon! Beautiful pictures and beautifully written!!
Wishing you a wonderful weekend coming up!

Mar April 27, 2018 - 8:45 am

Sharon, your blog is lovely and I enjoy it!

I’m an American who spends half the year between homes in California and Catalonia, Spain. I love Europe and love how you’ve captured the essence of France in particular.

On another note, it’s interesting to read the comments of those perfect “none human” critics, who have never made spelling errors. Certainly never with that crack feature, Spell Check…of course not! As for the comment regarding refraining from making political comments to this blog because, “some of us are American and read this blog”. Well, the truth hurts…we Americans certainly DO have a Crass, Tasteless, Dufus for a President, and people should be completely appalled. He has given a new meaning to the label “the ugly American”.

Thus, this ends my rant on all those ugly people who feel entitled and lack manners, because they’re perfect!

Pay no mind Sharon, love your blog and keep moving forward bringing a little class and culture to the ignorant few.

Bebe April 29, 2018 - 12:27 am

Not all Californians drag their ugly biases onto beautiful websites. I am embarrassed for those who do.

/s/Native Californian who also loves France

M May 4, 2018 - 8:47 am

Absolutely agree…Sharon’s blog is beautiful. Unfortunately, there are those who lack manners, and choose passive aggressiveness to make a point. In this case, a misspelled word and political comment. If you put your ignorance out there for all to read, you should be prepared for another opinion or truth. I’ll agree to disagree and savor the beauty of this blog. Let’s avoid ignorance and the lack of manners from this wonderful blog…peace 😀

Dagmar April 27, 2018 - 4:16 pm

Dear Sharon,
Thanks for this lovely blog and all the specialized posts you publish everyday.
Loved the one of the Marchė aux Puces in París and all the other beautiful flea markets throughout France. You take us, France lovers, to places that we may only dream of, as me.
Thanks for letting me dream!
Have a great time in Provence.

Sandra April 27, 2018 - 4:30 pm

Thank you Sharon from the bottom of my heart for this beautiful post. I am grateful for your friendship and it has been an honor to be with you this week.
So sorry for the misspelled blooper, it came from my own personal blog…Sharon had no part. You and your blog still inspire me everyday.
Les Fleurs

Lorrie April 27, 2018 - 5:19 pm

I always enjoy coming here and seeing what you are up to, although I don’t comment very often. I’ve followed you from the beginning of your blog and am in sheer admiration of all you’ve accomplished. Thank you for your generosity in sharing the beauty of life in France with us.

Petra Matthew April 28, 2018 - 9:29 pm

Omg, here you were….just introducing a stylish girlfriend……hope you and Sandra can have a laugh about all this……..

Bebe April 28, 2018 - 11:01 pm

A visitor and poster her from almost the beginning, I’ve been away for a while due to illness and decided it was time to return. What a shock. I am appalled. Please, ladies and gentlemen with the critical gotcha mentalities, you just don’t seem to get what Sharon’s beautiful blog has always been about. It sounds as though some of you are at the wrong place. Very sad for Sharon and those who have loved this refuge.

To the others, it is nice to see you again…

Joanie Sweeney April 29, 2018 - 12:26 am

Thank you Sharon for the most beautiful photos, information and delightful stories I will look forward to following along on Instagram !! I enjoyed your beautiful article and home in Victoria I am from Boston area and will be sure to visit Sandra in her Andover store !!

Caryn May 1, 2018 - 9:16 pm

I’m an editor, and do tend to notice each of these errors. I have also been the victim of them in my own writings, by an undereducated “AI” spellcheck!

Basic good manners once included not pointing out others’ mistakes publicly. It also included not discussing politics in a non-political arena.

I’d like to see this blog remain the civilized, polite, and beautiful resource it has been since Sharon started it. We each need to do our part, and that includes being kind, and keeping political opinions to ourselves. Anything you say will offend someone; why ruin the experience for everyone coming to this site for peace and beauty?

on book tour this June - MY FRENCH COUNTRY HOME June 4, 2018 - 4:59 pm

[…] My first destination is Les Fleurs in  Andover, Massachusetts, in the company of my friend Sandra Sigman (you may remember her as my stylish almost-French girlfriend)! […]


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