Hoffman Media

Food & Wine
Victoria

Victoria French Cottage 2020

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.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Hoffman Media
Frequency:
Bimonthly
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7 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
editor’s letter

Dear Friends Art and composition tolerate no conventional fetters: mind and soul soar above them,” surmised Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. Although I would agree that artists often reach beyond their surroundings to create masterpieces, in my own life, I have found that cultivating gracious environs actually prompts me to aspire to even greater heights of beauty. When my hands have made home a place of rest and renewal, my fingers find the freedom to dance across the keys of a piano, stitch exquisite needlework designs, and tend brimful gardens. In this edition of French Cottage—a perennial favorite Victoria Classics issue—Gallic homeowners invite us to explore sanctuaries where self-expression flourishes. “An Artist’s Welcome” on page 9 introduces innkeeper Sophie Darcas, whose romantic oil paintings adorn the ancient stone walls of her bed-and-breakfast. A…

3 min.
an artist’s welcome

Though Sophie Darcas was raised surrounded by antiques, her professional path did not initially involve the world of décor. Fortunately, while living in the Yvelines region of France, she realized her true vocation by restoring poetic patinas on furniture and selling them in a small shop next to her house. Some time later, she moved to Vernon, a district in Normandy, where she worked at nearby Giverny’s Impressionist museum. Here, she taught art courses and continued her practice of using ancient methods of oil painting on wood or canvas panels. After gaining decades of professional experience, completing the restoration of her home, and seeing her three children leave the nest, Sophie decided it was time for a new challenge and a change of scenery. “I happened upon a magazine that talked…

3 min.
building on a memory

When Angela Meunier spent time in Paris in 1988, armed only with schoolgirl French, she had no idea she would live much of her adult life in France. “I was attracted to the medieval stone villages, the meandering river, the vineyards, and the history of Aquitaine’s time under English rule,” she says. “I knew then that I could live there, unknowing that one day I would.” Marriage to a Frenchman brought fluency in the language and the experience of constructing a large house with her husband outside of Paris. When she was widowed in 2008, she knew she had to immerse herself in a challenging project to ease her grief. She fondly remembered a holiday spent in Southwest France years before, and her plans soon began to take shape. After viewing photographs…

2 min.
on the banks of eden

It would be difficult to find a prettier view than the one from Mary and Peter Tucker’s village house. Weeping willows dip their leafy tendrils into the Dordogne River as it meanders languidly past their gate, the sound of babbling water broken only by birdsong. When the couple first came to the region from South England to stay with Mary’s parents, they were quickly drawn to la belle vie and began the search for a property to house themselves and their catering business. The riverside home they found was in a state of disrepair—its roof leaking and brick façade concealed behind cement. Despite the dilapidation, the owner was still in residence. In fact, her direct ancestor had built the original house in the mid-eighteenth century using local stone and river clay. Her…

3 min.
with hand and heart

Light filters through pretty white curtains trimmed in scallops of faded print fabric, illuminating an oft-repeated scene. It’s Sunday—market day—in the tiny medieval village of Issigeac, and Nathalie Pède is busy baking cakes in the small galley kitchen at the back of her sitting room that doubles as a café. Tables are adorned with cloths or mats, dainty vintage china, and, always, fresh flowers. Opening her own café was a dream Nathalie realized several years ago when she moved to this history-honed town, entranced by its ancient stone and half-timbered buildings fanning out in a near-perfect circle from the church and château. She fell in love with an old house down a side street near the market square. Comprising three stories and built of stone, the structure had been a carpenter’s…

2 min.
in provencal light

When one has lived all over the world—from Borneo to Libya to Scotland—deciding where to put down roots can be difficult. Isa de la Porte had followed her husband, Max, wherever he was sent by his employers. When the couple finally decided in 1987 to make their home and raise their four children in Surrey, England, they expected to remain there throughout retirement. After several years in the British weather, however, the former interior designer had had enough. “We had lived most of our lives in the sun,” says Isa. “I wanted to move to a warmer climate.” In 1990, the couple bought a quaint holiday home in the Provençal town of Cotignac, where they regularly vacationed. A decade later, they tried remaining there for a full year, enjoying the experience…