Life In A French Country House: Entertaining For All Seasons

© Life in a French Country Houseby Cordelia de Castellane, Rizzoli New York, 2021.
Photography© Matthieu Salvaing

As we cautiously turn the corner on the pandemic, people across the globe are traveling again. But if you’re sticking close to home, at least for the time being, there’s plenty of wanderlusting to be had in the pages of LIFE IN A FRENCH COUNTRY HOUSE: ENTERTAINING FOR ALL SEASONS, by Cordelia de Castellane, published by Rizzoli New York.

“This is the landscape looking out from the house. I like the idea of being high up. I can stay here for hours, simply thinking and staring at the horizon. It is also a quintessential spot for admiring the sunset and having a drink at the end of the day.” Photo credit © Matthieu Salvaing
“I set my tables outside at the first sign of spring, at the last minute, with garden flowers. They set the tone and I match the rest to them.”
Photo credit © Oleg Covian

As France’s most prominent host and the artistic director of Dior Home and Baby Dior, de Castellane is a notable ambassador of the Gallic lifestyle. In fact I’m told she is to French entertaining what Inès de la Fressange is to French style (quite a distinction!) and there’s plenty of evidence to support that conjecture in the pages of this lush new book.

The four seasons serve as the framework for the volume, with captivating inspiration for living and entertaining in effortless French style throughout the calendar year.

“This winter table in the boudoir is another expression of my love for setting plates against dark-colored tablecloths.” Photo credit © Matthieu Salvaing
“Under the magnolia, the blue table with the blue Toile de Jouy tableware and sunflowers from
the vegetable garden evoke the colors of the Majorelle garden, making it a delightful place to
have lunch.” Photo credit © Matthieu Salvaing

In sections devoted to flower arranging, table settings, interior design, menus and beyond, the book invites the reader into the author’s effortless lifestyle in the French countryside, with archival photography illuminating the history de Castellane’s home and its generations of familial inhabitants.

“The house was built in three parts between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. On the left is a little guest house. In this part of the garden, I went for a very French, quite classical look, whereas the garden in the back is very English, more Bohemian.”
Photo credit © Matthieu Salvaing
Photo credit © Matthieu Salvaing

The end of 2021 is upon us. With bucolic garden, romantic tablescapes, time-honored recipes, and blossoming wallpapers galore, I can’t think of a better gift for the Francophile on your holiday shopping list.

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LIFE IN A FRENCH COUNTRY HOUSE: ENTERTAINING FOR ALL SEASONS

By Cordelia de Castellane 

Rizzoli New York, 2021

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