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.
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!
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