When you think of France, what do you think of?

Paris? Provence? Bordeaux?

Today, the lovely Anita from Castles, Crowns and Cottages invited me to share what my France is.


My France almost always is the High Savoy.


One of my ancient family seats is the village and the Castle Allaman in Switzerland, on the north side of Lake Geneva, (Lac Leman).


As a matter of fact, my maiden name is Von Alemann, a gentle spelling deviation thru the centuries since my family began with a strong Saxon tribe in 1218, but the same name none the less.

I’m drawn back to Geneva, where I’ve lived for great lengths of time in the past and each time I do, I spend every second day in France. France is just a short drive across a simple open border and then suddenly you are in the glorious Haute-Savoie.

I’ve been dragging my children around from village to Alps and back to village since they were very little. Hiking, swimming, eating… living.
I think Chloe’s fondest memories might be of a great big St Bernard named Lou-Lou and raclette, (it’s a long story).

The French side of Lake Geneva has two special villages so close to my heart. Yvoire and Thonon-les-Bains.


Yvoire, the magical, medieval village with the spectacular le Labyrinthe Jardin des Cinq Sens, and Thonon, in which there is a pool right beside Lake Geneva, is where I can be, normal to me, and suntan topless with the other moms while our children play in the crystal waters. Chloe still has a friend she made at that pool when she was nine who she corresponds with today.


But then it’s always into the mountains we go. La Clusaz, Chamonix, Mt Blanc. Where the most delicious mountain air makes for the most delicious hikes and small chalet lunches.


My most favorite has always been the complex salads of that region and a baked potato, lardons, reblochon dish called Tartiflette. I make it where ever I am and instantly bring my France back to me. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll make it tomorrow and post the recipe.


So please go dig up your treasured memories of France and tell me about them. :)

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Veronica sophielipatoff Anita Rivera Chloe Belanger Jeannine Bergers Everett nantucketdaffodil vastlycurious.com Sabra Bowers Maggid JoAnn Bayne Patty jlynn sheridan lyurlynn Kristen Zayon Lynne Sara v

The bookstore and a Sunday Whirl
Playing with something new in the studio


  1. je suis ravie que tu aimes autant la France!
    et ses bonnes recettes!
    et une petite fondue?
    belle journée
    bises de Paris

    • Veronica says:

      Hi Sophie, my first guide into the world of cooking was at Cordon Bleu. I’ve loved French cooking since I was 19, (that’s when I got my diploma). Off to visit you now and see what’s new in your world. Bises. :)

  2. Anita Rivera says:

    WOW WOW WOW! Veronica, you have a SPLENDID POST HERE! Your photos are of superior quality; I love the one of Chloé at the pool and of course of each structure! I thank you kindly for getting your post ready and when you have a chance, visit the others via my blog. Everyone is really having a lovely time! MILLE MERCIS! Anita

    • Veronica says:

      Bonjour Anita. Thank you so much for hosting. I’m making my way thru the wonderful blogs enjoying every second. :) Bises and Bonne Journee!

  3. How beautiful! It is so nice to have actual memories, as mine are all drams….thanks for visiting!

  4. Simply beautiful

  5. The red flowers are beautiful against the old charming building. You have some amazing photos here.

    I”m glad I stopped by. It’s nice to meet new friends.

    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

    • Veronica says:

      Thank you Sheri, I’ve had practice. :) But if you start with this lovely part of the world you can’t help but have beautiful photos. :)

  6. When I think of France I think of how much I want to go! I bookmarked your page in hopes that I will one day. Your gallery is beautiful. The High Savoy makes me sigh. : )

  7. So beautiful, I’d love to see these places in person!!!
    Your images are lovely. Thanks for joining in the party!
    ~ Violet

  8. Enchantée de te rencontrer, Veronica. Your wonderful post brought back memories of fun summer trip with my family… So lovely to have met you. A bientôt, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    • Veronica says:

      Bonjour Veronique. I’m so glad you spent time in France. We should go back, don’t you think so? :)

  9. I have not been . . my idea of France is limited to movie scenes – well, until now – I see there is So Much More – Thank you for sharing this wealth. love & love, -g-

  10. Marie Antionette says:

    When I think of Paris France…I think of lavish food, gothic catedrals,exquisite gardens…and gorgeous people,
    its been a pleasure,
    Marie Antionette

    • Veronica says:

      Bonjour Marie Antionette. I also spent a lot of time in Paris. There isn’t a lovelier city. :)

  11. Merci de nous dévoiler un peu de tes jolis souvenirs.

  12. Welcome in France…nice to see you here…….love to do this together…Anita is such a good friend to all of us…enjoy the weekend love Ria…xxx…

  13. Bonjour! Beautiful post and stunning pics!

  14. Bonjour Veronica,

    I left a message from my ipad and don’t think it went through, so will write another.
    Was great to discover your blog and meet you and many thanks for visiting me.
    I loved seeing all your gorgeous photos of France and isn’t it the most beautiful place.
    Also love the picture of the Lily of valley in the previous post and your altered book.

    Happy weekend

    • Veronica says:

      Hello Carolyn, thank you so much for persevering. It means oodles to me. Happy Sunday to you. :)

  15. Veronica, I am so pleased to meet you on this journey! Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories and images!
    You are such a gracious hostess!
    I have subscribed to your delightful blog!
    Thank you for your visit and sweet comments!

    • Veronica says:

      Oh Lynne, you are so very sweet. Thank you so much. I’ll be visiting you very often to see what’s new. :)

  16. super post, interesting history..France for me was Simone de Beauvoir (crazy I know) the ubiquitous baguette, berets, all the cliches however I live here now and I’m older so my appreication has expanded…what lovely memories you’ve bene able to share with your children…my hubby makes a to die for Tarteflette..

  17. I have only seen a little countryside on a the train zipping from Amsterdam to Paris. Your photos are so enticing – I want to be in France, just wandering about.

    • Veronica says:

      Hi Carol, I also want to be in France right now. We could get to know each other over a lovely steamy latte. :) Oh, but it’s 7pm there right now…hmm, maybe a nice glass of wine. :)

  18. What a wonderful post, Veronica! A whole different take on Anita’s subject, which I find delightful. And YOU too.
    I’ll be back for certain.

  19. Beautiful photos! Lucky you to be able to experience this all first hand and with your family. So cool…my relatives from hundreds of years ago were from a small town in Switzerland – Locarno. I’d love to go there…and all over Europe.

    Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment about my son. 😉

    Heidi @ hi-d’s place

    • Veronica says:

      Hello Heidi. I hope one day you do get to go there and experience where your family came from for yourself. :)

  20. Such an enjoyable read! Love your photos! Thank you for your kind comment on my post.

  21. Veronica,
    Your France looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your view with us!

    • Veronica says:

      Hello Di. Thank you so much. It’s wonderful getting to meet all these lovely people, isn’t it? :)

  22. Fun to find family history and places, when I’ve dug around in mine I have found so many new facts and paths that I didn’t expect.

    It’s been great visiting so many wonderful blogs thanks to Anita’s fabulous party.

  23. About 2 years ago, my husband and I first visited France–Paris, Epernay, Reims and Ay–LOVED the countryside and the Eiffel, but the city didn’t do much for me (I know blasphemy!! But I’m not a city girl)–lots of cigarette smoking that ruined the outdoor cafes. Still had a wonderful time and great stories–eating apple tart and sipping cognac at midnight next to the Arc de Triomphe–yum and wow. Staying in a chateau near Epernay–double triple wow. Walking along the Seine with golden leaves scattering the sidewalk…and St. Chapelle–those stained glass windows take my breath away…(the gargoyles were Really cool too) :-) You have fabulous memories and photos all those years! You and your kids are really blessed (great memories are the best gifts we can give them, right?)

    • Veronica says:

      Sara, I know what you mean; all of Europe smokes…it’s awful. I end up holding my breath way too much trying not to breathe the second hand smoke. I’m glad you got to go to Paris. Hopefully you’ll be able to return soon. :)

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