Our 1st Host – A Continuation

I decided my last post was getting a little bit too long, even though I still had a few more things I wanted to share! Thus I give you: ‘Our First Host: Part 2’ – a few little odds and ends about France that stood out during our initial time there.

In case you were curious, during our stay we were in the region of Tarn. 

Our Discoveries


1. The French like their shutters. It’s a bit of a funny thing to be Point #1 – but it stood out pretty much the second we got off the plane. They give the houses a very distinctive look, especially because they are often painted in lovely colors, and when you’re not used to them, you can’t help but notice them absolutely everywhere you go!

Pastel blue is a particularly popular colour!

2. Succulents.  They are such a different look from the type of potted plants that I would typically see at home so they really stood out for me. They are also everywhere… there are enough of them to make my sister jealous!


She uses them to make gorgeous arrangements and getting her hands on different varieties can be an absolute chore. Here, you find them in nearly every single window box and garden. They propagate very easily and every time I see them I wish I could just pick a few leaves and send them home to her!! 

This is one of my sister’s brilliantly artistic creations!

3. We learnt that in France the world shuts down on the weekend. Sundays in particular – nearly everything but restaurants are closed. If by chance a larger supermarket is open, it will only be for a few hours so plan accordingly!

This is a village square in the early afternoon on a Sunday. Usually it would be full of life, but as you can see – it’s like a ghost town! (c) Beth Hobson 2016

4. The French take food very seriously and eat at 12:00 on the nose. Business are pretty much all shut down between 12 and 2 during the week and the restaurants start booming. You have to plan your day around this phenomenon or you will find yourself in town with absolutely nowhere to go! Also, if you plan on enjoying the fantastic ‘meal of the day’, you’ll want to do so before 2pm. 

The most amazing Italian creation… ever.

5. This little device makes some of the absolute best coffee that we have ever had. It’s a little stovetop coffeepot and though they are technically for espresso you can easily vary the strength of the resulting coffee. I’ve found it turns ordinary beans into a good cup of coffee and good beans into a great one. Of course I am going to perform many more in-depth tests once I get one of my own.

It is one of the few things that we have seen which we are absolutely determined to have for ourselves the very second we get home! We highly recommend it, especially if you often just need one or two cups of coffee and not just a whole pot. They are ridiculously easy to clean as well.  

Note: When you see them for sale they might say they make 4-6 cups of coffee. These are European cups, not the mugs that a North American might expect, so think of their ‘cups’ more like shots of espresso and you won’t be surprised by the size if you ever decide to purchase one. ;) 

Every time we go to a new host we keep our fingers crossed that they have one of these beauties!

We were able to see a bit more of France once we moved on to our second host – I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I can. Now, this isn’t all about me you know. If you’re curious about anything or have any questions about the trip, I’m happy to answer them! Just leave me a comment below!

See you soon!


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