Be In the Know

Be In the Know. Sign up to have DesignDestinations delivered right to your inbox, weekly.

Visiting the French countryside


I don’t usually do posts that are “First we did this, and then we did that,” scenarios, but in this case I’m going to string together some sights and scenes of a French village that chances are you wouldn’t go to unless you know someone who lives there.




We did….we were guests of Pascal and Jacqueline  for three days, enjoying their exquisite French hospitality. There were funny moments when the language issues got in the way.  Wine and good laughs fixed everything.

Montigny is an hour by train from Paris, but a world away from that busy and highly visited city.  We stayed in a “time stood still” area in a village of about 600 people. Over the three day visit, our hosts took us around and about  to see what this part of France is like. Packed with world charm.  Old churches. Ruins.  Charcuterie. Lovely homes. An Abby from the 1200s.


















I loved the stepped back design along the roof line of the buildings, and of course, traditional French country houses are a delight.


Enticing Proposition

The owner of this one came out when he noticed us gawking a bit. He invited us in and mentioned it might be for sale. Hmmmm. Tempting.


Military Cemetery

We stopped at a military cemetery to admire the precise rows of markers and remember those lost in battle.





Romantic Wedding Venue

At this church in a nearby village,  our hosts stopped  first to get the key so we could enter as well as walk around the exterior where we saw repair work being done. We noticed a program left behind from a wedding held over the prior weekend.  Wouldn’t this be a romantic spot for a wedding?  Oozing history, this church was originally Roman style, but converted to Gothic during its long life.


Isn’t this room cozy? We ate in the attached restaurant. I love the warm colors and combinations.  Made me want to hang out for a while but we had lots more to see.


Roman Stadium

Probably one of the most fascinating sights on the very personal tour  was an old Roman Stadium.  We drove down a dirt road, filled with pot holes (this was May) and meandered through deserted wood to find the ancient stone structure. Not a tourist in sight except us, imagining the Romans gathering there.




Thank you

And finally, thank you to our lovely hosts. They graciously shared their lives with us, making us traditional blood sausage and other French specialties. We felt ever so welcome.




Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Ann Stevenson
    Aug 3, 2015 Reply

    On this 100 degree afternoon I am in the cool of my home and most appreciative
    of being transported to the wonderful French countryside!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Aug 10, 2015 Reply

      Thank you, Ann. You would love to visit the villages of France. Hope you do sometime.

  2. posted by
    Aug 4, 2015 Reply

    What a unique and beautiful experience. The history of the area comes through louud and clear through your incredible photography!!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Sep 2, 2015 Reply

      Thank you, Kathy,
      It was so lovely to spend time with our friends and see their beautiful home and area. So peaceful.

  3. posted by
    Aug 6, 2015 Reply

    Just beautiful! Makes me want to pack and leave today!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Sep 2, 2015 Reply

      Yep….I agree.

  4. posted by
    Sep 2, 2015 Reply

    I am proud, my little cat Zumba is in your blog and also my village !!!!

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Sep 2, 2015 Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your village with us. Loved seeing Zumba so “at home.”

Leave a Reply