A few days ago saw the end of the third tour of the year, which means that our MFCH Tour season is half way through! So far we have welcomed guests to Provence in April and in June, and to the beautiful Dordogne in May.
Our tours are always a moment rich in encounters, in exchange, in discussion and in sharing. There is something special about gathering a group of people who have never met before, but who share a love of France and the wish to see behind closed doors and get a deeper understanding of the country.
On our April tour, the days were a blend of discovering Provence; creating with flowers; shopping for antiques, browsing local markets and enjoying many wonderful meals. As you may expect from an almost uniquely feminine group, there was lots to talk about. I was co-hosting the tour with my friends Sandra Sigman and Lucy Hunter, and several of our guests were interested in the way that Lucy, Sandra and I have come to create and grow our businesses. The theme of reinvention and creativity was very present. Some ladies had existing business structures, others were on the brink, and several were simply trying to work out their next steps in a new non-business direction. The conversation was lively and interesting, and I couldn’t help but smile at this very feminine phenomenon.
One day, as we finished up breakfast, five of us were the last to leave our tables, and one lady asked if she could have our opinion. She explained that she had hit a stumbling block on a project that was dear to her heart, and was having trouble finding her way around it.
Each person carefully considered, before asking a question, or making a suggestion. There was no judgment or comparison; the whole discussion was about encouragement and brainstorming in the most positive manner.
I said to the ladies “do you think it would be possible for five men of our age, who hardly know each other, to sit around and share this way?” Everyone laughed. We had to agree that Women supporting Women is a real thing. There was no showing off. That we are privileged to be able to share without fear of being judged or made to feel foolish.
Creativity and passion are leitmotivs to our tours. We are fortunate to meet people who are passionate about their daily lives and their own projects. From a garden owner; to a wine maker; to a ceramist to an artist. We love to enjoy these snapshots of people’s lives, and gain real insight into the local culture.
Gardens that have been created by passionate owners over the past decades; artists working to live mindfully and be creative everyday; and owners of beautiful properties who were kind enough to open their door, and give us an insight into their daily life.
Good food and wine are also very important factors in our daily schedule. We include Michelin starred restaurants, we like to introduce our guests to local organic wines, and whenever possible we love to include a cooking class.
Antiques are on our minds too. We all love to hunt for our own piece of French treasure to take home and display. On every tour there are several opportunities to shop for brocantes and antiques.
If you are tempted by our tours, you may like to know that we have a couple of places remaining on the Loire tour at the end of August. We are also finalizing details of our 2024 tours, and we will include several totally new destinations, and special themed events.
We will return to Provence with a new creative retreat tour; we take clients to the gorgeous Brittany coastline; and of course we will return to Dordogne and Normandy which I love so much.
If you are interested in any of our trips, and you’d like to know more, please feel free to send us an email HERE, and Natalie or I will be happy to get back to you.