It’s been a while since I’ve written you from my cozy, little town in France. As the fall weather settles in, I thought I’d give all my friends an update on Maison des Mots in la Charite sur Loire. So here is a letter from me, in my beloved House of Words, to you, wherever you are.
The bulk of the renovations are now behind me, my beautiful garden is getting into shape and I have been busy doing what I love best: entertaining guests and showing them the many delights of the village. From wine tours to cycling jaunts, we have enjoyed ourselves immensely. Best of all, I’m cooking for friends, new and old, in my lovely, custom-designed kitchen. Maison des Mots - once a venerable work in progress - now feels like home.
I have even adopted a stray cat who became enchanted with my garden and decided to stay. Minette will often rouse herself from a favourite corner of the house to check out new visitors. She is now fat and happy and makes new friends wherever she goes.
As you know, I’ve always believed that the joys of cooking are best expressed when shared. Recently, I was delighted to welcome two accomplished chefs that patrons of Books to Cooks will remember with affection. Chef Glenys – the resident chef at the shop - joined us for a couple of weeks to share stories and work her culinary magic. She was followed by Chef Max, who joined us after his recent stint as a contestant on Top Chef Canada. Guests relished some truly inspiring meals, some lovely wines, and great conversation.
I’m finding that life as an innkeeper suits me well. It’s especially gratifying to welcome guests who cherish the memory of the shop. Thank you to all from beautiful British Columbia who have crossed the pond to discover the beauty of this region. Recent visitors from elsewhere have included cookbook author Rozanne Gold and her husband Michael Whiteman from New York as well as the Jodi and Dave McCarthy’s from Seattle. I also had a very special visit from a customer in Ontario whom I had never met - Carol Miller came and brought friends. So lovely to be able to change the relationship from technology to human connection.
If you’re wondering whether I miss being surrounded by so many cherished books, don’t worry. My home in France features a well-stocked library where I spend much of my free time. Recently a dear friend of the shop has donated a number of vintage books that now have a new home at Maison des Mots. I will enjoy perusing them as Minette purrs on the settee beside moi.
I promise to write again soon, keeping you up to date on the events for the upcoming season. In the meantime, you can keep up with my life in France via Instagram (@maisondesmots) or the blog on the Books to Cooks website. If you would like to book a spot for yourself at Maison des Mots for the upcoming seasons or receive more information you can email moi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In closing, I encourage you all to eat well, live well. And know that the rumour going around is absolutely true: kindness keeps you young.