It is not by accident--all this beauty, but rather a philosophy that permeates French culture. According to *Lucy Wadham in her book "The Secret Life of France" the two most important ideals to the French people are pleasure/beauty and knowledge. This, she says, is pursued more fervently than Truth or Duty.
Whether true or not, it certainly has had its effect on presentation and appearances in this fascinating country. We never encountered one shop or cafe that wasn't simply exquisite. Below, in amateur photo form, is just a small sampling of the beauty we have observed in our travels through Southwest France and Provence.
*Disclaimer: While Wadham's book certainly gave a fascinating view of French life and thought, and helped validate what we saw and experienced, I would not be able to recommend it due to its sexual content.
Loved their intertwining of fruits and vegetables in planters--here, Swiss Chard.
The French art of window dressing--a
feast for the eyes! (You'd love it Lindsey!)
The French seem to find a wonderful balance
and playfulness of airiness, texture and lightness with colors--though hard
to capture on film.
I saw so many wonderful containers I wanted to take home!
Notice the fresh flowers on our morning breakfast tray at
La Bonne Etape in Provence
Even amongst a coliseum's ruins a beautiful little cafe emerges in Orange!
Fields and fields of sunflowers dot the Provence countryside.