our july magazine – the story behind the cover

by Sharon Santoni

I am excited to tell you that our July edition of our MFCH Magazine launches today. Our magazine is like a baby to me, and although I’m not meant to have favourites, I admit to having a soft spot for this cover.

I was lucky enough to style and organise the shoot for the cover for the july magazine, with my friend and photographer Franck Schmitt, and I thought you may like to hear the story behind the images.

This beautiful photo is taken in the greenhouse at the Domaine de Primard, a boutique hotel close to my home in Normandy. You may have heard that this small country chateau used to belong to the French film star Catherine Deneuve, and was converted to a luxury hotel two years ago.

The gardens at the chateau were very important to Deneuve, and a rather wonderful fact is that Gerard the head gardener today, was also her gardener, and helped her design and create the stunning grounds.

As a garden lover, she was the very happy owner of this gorgeous greenhouse. Ideally situated in a rose garden, it provides perfect growing space in the winter and come spring, becomes a delightful setting for a lunch or dinner.

I have been coming to Primard since it opened as a hotel, and had been eyeing the greenhouse (just slightly green with envy) since my first visit. When we knew that we wanted to create a special summer tablescape for our July August edition of the magazine, I immediately thought of the blue glasshouse.

Permission was granted to shoot, and a date fixed with Franck Schmitt for the photos – all that was left was for me to pull together the elements of the shoot. I filled my car to the brim with all the accessories required for the afternoon. This included hundreds of flowers from a local florist and huge swathes of branches from my garden. I knew that the style had to be luxuriant, colourful and elegant.

When I arrive early afternoon to install and style the shoot, it was so hot that I didn’t even dare put the candles in the greenhouse, let alone the flowers! I made the bouquets in the shade of a nearby cedar tree, filling my vases and trying not to think about the heat.

A large bouquet was created and placed on a side table; with two smaller vases holding flowers on the table. In addition I placed tall branches of viburnum snowball in a jar in the corner of the room. The greenhouse boasts a grape vine that grows inside and out, its soft tendrils winding their way along the wall and adding a natural softness to the decor.

I laid the table as if it was a dinner with friends. Tablecloth, cushions, placemats, candles, knife rests and pretty glasses. Primard loaned me their Gien tableware which matched perfectly with the blue wall of the greenhouse and the spirit of the shoot I wanted to create.

By the time Franck turned up with his cameras and tripods, nearly everything was ready to shoot. We have worked very often together, and I know I can rely on his sure eye to spot anything I missed. By the time he started to take pictures, it was nearly 6 in the evening, and thankfully the temperatures had dropped. We worked quickly together, finding the best angles to shoot the table, and creating additional vignettes in and around the rose garden.

I was in my happy place for sure. I’ve often said here how vital it is to do something creative everyday. We are grateful to Primard for letting us use their beautiful space.

JARDIN POTAGER DU CHATEAU DE MIROMESNIL

Of course the rest of the july magazine is wonderful too! In this July edition we include a guide to Porto Vecchio on the island of Corsica; we take you inside several stunning French homes and gardens. We invite you to walk around a typical French farmer’s market and also share delicious recipes for the best French dishes.

Thank you to everyone who buys our magazine, and for all the amazing messages that we receive. It is such a joy to create this content for you. Please help us spread the word and tell your friends about the magazine and how easy it is to subscribe.

And finally, if you own a store or a brand that is French, or that has a French twist, we currently have some spaces open for new advertisers. As you will have noticed, we keep the number of advertisers in the magazine very low, and we choose carefully, and we are always happy to chat with brands about how we can help them find new visibility for their products.

Wishing you all a lovely month of July, and thank you for reading!

Subscribe to the magazine HERE

13 comments

Rebecca Chapman July 1, 2022 - 7:39 pm

Can鈥檛 wait for my copy. Coming to Normandy in October by myself.
XOR

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Sharon Santoni July 1, 2022 - 9:13 pm

Ah October is a lovely month to visit here, full of the autumn colours :). have a wonderful trip

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Concepci贸n July 1, 2022 - 9:26 pm

Me encanta!

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Leslie July 2, 2022 - 12:59 am

Rebecca you are living my dream 馃檪

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Barbara July 1, 2022 - 7:40 pm

Hi Sharon….Interested in some tours. Where can I get more info. & prices?

Thanks, Barbara

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Sharon Santoni July 1, 2022 - 9:15 pm

Hi Barbara, we are putting together the 2023 schedule right now, and will publish them here next week. If you send us an email at [email protected], we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
Look forward to meeting you on a tour very soon ! x

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Sandra Roques McCartney July 1, 2022 - 8:19 pm

Sharon, i subscribed to the magazine and absolutely love it, however, i cancelled it last week because i get your boxes and you’ve been including the magazine in them. Will you continue to do so or should i subscribe to the magazine again?

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Sharon Santoni July 2, 2022 - 9:03 am

HI Sandra, we included a complimentary copy of the magazine in our February and May boxes but that offer is now finished. If you wish to continue receiving the magazine, the best thing would be to resubscribe, or pay the additional price and have it included with your box.

Thank you for your custom! KIndly, Sharon

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Concepci贸n July 1, 2022 - 9:28 pm

Soy pintora y me encanta la revista!

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Simone Pasquariello July 2, 2022 - 10:25 pm

I want to continue ordering a digital subscription. Please tell me how to do this.I am currently a digital subscriber.

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Simone Pasquariello July 2, 2022 - 10:27 pm

I want to continue as a digital subscriber.Please I form me as how to do this.
Thank you.

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Lucia Donahower July 3, 2022 - 7:34 am

Hi Sharon,
This issue promises to be as beautiful as all the others. Love your magazine and congratulate you and your team on creating it.
So much inspiration!
Thank you,
Lucy

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Emm July 4, 2022 - 6:01 am

What a wonderful story of talent and creativity and timing. I’ve worked on things like that, and having a great photographer is a joy beyond measure. Well done, both of you.

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