Victoria French Cottage 2018

In a frantic and hurried world, Victoria offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life. The pages are dedicated to living beautifully when entertaining, cooking, and decorating and even in artistic pursuits - and now you can enjoy every single page on your tablet! With a distinct personality all its own, Victoria personifies feminity, passion, and an enterprising spirit. Each issue features decorating and entertaining ideas, recipes, travel stories, essays from inspiring women, and much more.

United States
Hoffman Media
7 Issues

in this issue

1 min
dear friends

Each story included in this special Victoria issue tells of a family who followed their dream and created a lovely environment suited to their lifestyle. While some of these homeowners simply moved within the country, others left their native lands to pursue a life in France. Among their stories, you will find inspiring houses that range from fifteen years old to one that dates to the seventeenth century. One couple built a new residence in the Pays Basque Français region, near the border with Spain and the stunning Pyrenees mountains. Using reclaimed materials, they carefully constructed the building in the traditional style of the area, complete with a large surrounding garden. A stately, old manor house, filled with character provided by the well-preserved eighteenth-century features—including wooden floors and beautiful wall paneling—proved the…

3 min
rhapsody in blue

Eighteen years ago, when newly retired Albert Roek was offered a job as property manager for a friend’s small castle in central France, he and his wife, Clementine, were thrilled with the chance to live in the country they had long admired. While looking for suitable housing near the château, they stumbled upon a farmhouse that had been uninhabited for more than forty years. The early nineteenth-century stone structure was in fairly good shape—despite damage from a leaky roof—and a cottage next door served as living quarters while the couple made necessary repairs. “There was no electricity and no plumbing system, so that kept us busy in the first months,” explains Clementine. “It was a bit like camping, but we didn’t mind at all. We both loved to be busy creating…

2 min
a haven of inspiration

When Magali Brisset and her husband first arrived at the country house that would one day become their home, they were speechless. Nestled in the Loire Valley of central France, the dwelling, built in 1850, was the picture of loveliness. With one look at its romantic visage, highlighted by a vine-covered façade and several graciously proportioned arched windows, the couple was smitten. The pair roamed the gardens on that initial visit but had to wait another three weeks to explore the interiors. Anticipation fed their expectations to the point that stepping inside proved a bit disappointing. They discovered walls and floors in disrepair, along with plumbing and electrical systems in need of replacement. Undeterred by the less-than-stellar conditions, Magali was already envisioning the potential, not only for restoring the residence but also…

2 min
coming home to the country

A wisteria vine drapes over the front door of Tanja Paff and Tim van de Tooren’s stone farmhouse, its clusters of purple blossoms wafting a sweet fragrance with every passing breeze. Freshly washed laundry dries on the line, illustrating one of the simple joys of country life. This was precisely the scene Tanja and Tim pictured when they decided to move here sixteen years ago—although the first time they glimpsed the house, it looked very different than it does now. After years of neglect, the main building appeared to be quite run-down, with worn floors, peeling wallpaper, and layers of dirt, prompting Tanja’s mother to declare it “a beautiful ruin.” Thankfully, it was structurally sound, just in need of a good cleaning, and there was plenty of space to accommodate their…

2 min
madeleine’s dream

At a time when venerable properties are being purchased, stripped of character, and redesigned in a contemporary fashion, Maison Montaurand is a step back in time. Owners Madeleine and Jo Lee have preserved or restored all the authentic features of this circa 1890s stone structure, similar in style to a Swedish Gustavian manor. Before buying Montaurand in 2015, the couple lived in a beautiful apartment by the sea in the city of Hove in southern England, but felt eager to trade urban living for a rural setting. They were contemplating a move to Sweden—Madeleine’s mother’s homeland—when a friend showed them a picture of the house. “Even though it was only a photograph,” she says, “I immediately fell in love with it.” Falling in love was the easy part, but acquiring the place…

2 min
honoring basque country tradition

Looking toward retirement, former perfumery owner Marie Lapasse moved with her husband, Christian, to the village of Arcangues in the South of France, where fond memories of childhood holidays in the nearby seaside town of Biarritz drew her back to the area. Constructed only fifteen years ago, the house is intended to appear decades older and harnesses the traditional Labourdine style of architecture prevalent in southwestern France near the scenic Pyrenees mountain range. The Lapasses built a stand-alone guesthouse and a home, known as Les Volets Bleus (The Blue Shutters), with five comfortable rental suites and a cozy living area—all surrounded by a garden overflowing with an abundance of flowers. Marie procured the vintage and antique building materials two years before construction began. Walls and frames were designed to fit old doors,…