travelling back to france

by Sharon Santoni
My French Country Home Brocante Tour Sept 18

A couple of weeks ago I was thrilled to host our first MFCH Tour since the start of the pandemic last year. It was only a small tour, which in view of circumstances was understandable, but it was simply wonderful to connect again with like minded souls from afar.

Our tours are about the connections that we make. From our interesting and charming clients, to the people that we meet here along the way. Life is made for meeting others, from learning and appreciating how other people live their daily lives, with their struggles and their joys and their individual talents.

We have been running MFCH Tours for several years, and our list of great addresses never ceases to grow, as new places open and new people are added to our roster of too-good-to-miss. In September, in glorious sunshine with the first hint of autumn on the air, we followed an itinerary that took us through beautiful countryside, via charming small towns, wonderful restaurants and a lot of places to shop.

mfch brocnate tour jardins monperthuis

This September tour was our brocante tour, and there were opportunities to shop for antiques every single day. Our clients bought small items that would fit in a spare suitcase to take home, and some bigger pieces that we were able to ship back for them.

After the end of the tour, a couple of our guests stayed for a few days more, and we were happy to organise day excursions for them, giving them the opportunity to get out of Paris and visit Chantilly and Senlis with a charming guide and in a chauffeur driven car, so totally hassle free!

As far as travel restrictions went, it was very easy. All of our clients flew in from the USA. We asked that they provide us with proof of double vaccination for entry to restaurants etc, and as a courtesy, we all wore masks while travelling by car. But aside from those small details there was little or no disruption to our normal tour plans and schedule.

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If you are interested in joining us for a tour next year, I am glad to say that we have three tours still available. In May we lead our first trip to Dordogne, where a beautiful luxury country hotel awaits, and will serve as home base for our five days visiting exceptional gardens, and discovering this very luxuriant region of France.

ivy covered house in dordogne france

In June we head to Provence, just in time for the lavender fields! We will be based in the picture-perfect village of Lourmarin, and from there we’ll head out each day to visit local villages, meet artisans, discover wonderful restaurants and shop to our hearts content.

house in provence

Finally in September, we offer our traditional Brocante Tour. The dates for this tour are chosen to coincide with the fantastic antique and brocante fair at Chatou. On this trip there are opportunities to buy antiques every single day, and lots of help available for handling and shipping your purchases.

mfch brocante tour chatou fair

And if you want to prolong any of these trips, or if you are simply looking for a day excursion from Paris or elsewhere, just drop us a line and we will be happy to organise a guide and chauffeur for you, tailor made!

8 comments

Helen Fratarcangeli October 9, 2021 - 12:40 am

AHHH France!!!! Sure wish I can take all 3 of THOSE great tours. They sound wonderful!

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Linda Wells October 9, 2021 - 3:12 am

Love all these photos …. My style

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Donna Lampen-Smith October 9, 2021 - 5:12 am

The brocante tour sounds marvelous but let me say that not everyone is “double” vaccinated. Those of us who received the J and J vaccine is only ‘single’ vaccinated. Does that mean we are not eligible to travel? The J and J does not have a booster widely available yet ( or even approved for distribution yet ).

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Debbie October 9, 2021 - 7:56 am

Sounds wonderful. Patiently waiting for more countries to be 80pct double vaccinated and shorter quarantines for fully vaccinated. Can’t leave the state of Qld to go to other states in Australia right now let alone overseas. Not that I mind. So far kept us safer than other states in Australia. When Qld is at 80pct or more and so is rest of Australia etc will feel more comfortable with travel. I really wish we could go back in time and all close our countries borders at right time and hunker down wherever we are and wait for vaccine.

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ABRAHAM RODRIGUES October 11, 2021 - 7:07 pm

I love France I used to live there I’d love to go back

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Katherine October 14, 2021 - 11:27 am

I am very interested!

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david terry October 17, 2021 - 8:24 pm

Oh, Senlis…….I love that little, horsey, weird-enclave of a town. For twelve years. we’d always finish our month-long June trip (which involved a LOT of driving to far-flung places such as Perpignan) by spending the day in Senlis (which is, as you’ll know, only about ten miles from de Gaulle, and a good place to stop if one has an early morning flight). These days, it seems to be predominately an enclave of weekend houses for very rich Parisians (most of whom seem to have an interest in horses), I wish that I could post a scan of a poster I got there on my first visit in 2005. The town museum (it has, predictably enough, PLENTY of money/funding) was holding a fairly glorious exhibition of Les Arts Equestrienne….basically, the perfectly preserved costumes and riding-habits of upper-class, female equestriennes….from the 17th century to about 1940. I really-really wanted this poster. I asked the docent if I could have one, and she abruptly and loudly (qwnd, frankly, qwuite French-ily) told me NO. Without thinking for even an instant, I told her that she didn’t understand…..my recently,adopted, 14 year old daughter, originally from Tours but now living with us in the USA, had stage three leukemia…missed her beloved horse, which she had to leave, back in France…and it would give her such JOY if i could give this one, simple gift to her, to hang in room at Duke Hospital while she endured another round of infusions. The woman gaped at me. She obviously did not believe ONE WORD of what I said…..but what could she do, with about ten other folks standing around the reception desk? She gave me one of the posters (they really were nice). I smiled wanly, as though I were about to cry a bit, told her (in French, of course) “Bless you, Madame….this will be a treasure for a young, dying girl who is far away from her home in France”. And THAT, Sharon, is called over-playing one’s hand. That woman loathed me, but I got the poster.
Once we got out onto the street, Herve (who is, after all, a doctor) stopped and bluntly announced (in English) “Don’t you EVER f****g do anything like that again!!! WHY did you do that?”. I said “Because I wanted the poster, and she was going all French-bureaucrat on me”. He said I was hopeless. I agreed, but also suggested that we return the rental car, go out onto the Senlis plaza for a few beers (it was hot), catch the shuttle to Charles de Gaulle, check into the Hilton, and
(as we concluded every trip from twelve years) order room-service Hilton hamburgers and fries, to be eaten while we sorted out and re-packed four suitcases after a month of travel. This was our traditional resurfacing ritual before boarding the plane to NYC.
In case you wonder?…..I still have the poster. Every time I tell the story of how I got it, everyone looks at me in horror and asks “How could you DO that?”. I inevitably reply “Because I wanted the poster and that woman wasn’t going to give it to me. What would you have done?”

Unrepentedly yours as ever,
David Terry
Virginia, USW

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david terry October 17, 2021 - 8:27 pm

P.S. There seems no way to edit my previous comment. I should, perhaps, clarify things a bit by making it clear that I have never had an adopted daughter of any sort or age or condition whatsoever. I just made the whole story up, instantly and on the spot. I did get what i wanted.
—–david terry

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