Summer at Lalande

Each season at Lalande has a completely different feel. It’s not just about the weather getting warmer or cooler outside our granite walls. The whole pace of life changes in time to the rotation of the Earth.

To me, the thought of summer here evokes many things. People laughing, radiant flowers, intense heat, the smell of herbs and the crackling of dried pine needles underfoot in the forest.

Summer is by far our busiest time of year. We have many people visiting for bed and breakfast, and often we host workshops that occupy the entire chateau. At that time of year, guests first see the chateau fronted by a mass of tiny red roses.

We do all of the catering for the workshops, so we’re usually running between the vegetable garden and the kitchen, choosing the best produce of the day and planning our meals around it.

All of the French doors are opened and the boundary between indoors and outdoors becomes blurred – flowers come into the house and furniture goes out. We have day beds outside, and, if I wasn’t so busy, that’s where I would choose to spend all of July and August!

In the rare moments that we’re not filled with guests, my friends descend on Lalande and we spend our time having picnics and parties. I love making incredibly decadent picnics, and we move carpets, cushions and decorations to make outdoor rooms to lounge in all day long.

On very hot days, the opposite happens, as we close the shutters to protect ourselves from the intense heat. Luckily metre-thick granite walls are the best air-conditioning, and we can always find a cool spot.

We don’t have a swimming pool (yet! – it’s definitely on our list), so the fountain starts to look very appealing on those days, and we always end up turning it into the world’s most glamorous paddling pool!

I feel very lucky to live in a part of the world which experiences four distinct seasons. They all bring different pleasures, though maybe none more so than the glittering summers at Lalande.

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