Behind The Scenes With A Festive French Loaf
We love the festive season at French Loaf and were more than happy to play Christmas in advance for our winter photoshoot (shot back in September). Here’s a glimpse of what we got up to behind-the-scenes…
It’s all in the preparation
A lot of planning goes into sorting a property photoshoot, particularly a Christmas themed one. Flights booked, housekeeper in, decorations ordered, fresh flowers arranged… Our properties are always kept to the highest standards though, so other than an all-over clean and a quick walk round to plan our shots – we don’t need to do much to get a property photo ready, bar add a few beautiful extras.
My favourite Christmas additions are the beautiful Hydrangeas in this year. And our amazing tree from Balsam Hill. It’s a fake (but very realistic) European Spruce – gorgeous, and perfect for around little children who are tempted to pick up needles from a real tree.
How the day unfolds…
It’s a super busy few days on a French Loaf shoot, but we treat it like an added holiday in the calendar. We may have business to do, but we make use of all the luxuries we offer our clients – like a private chef! Helping me on the shoot is Claire Ashman Smith - Florist & Stylist from Waterbaby Flowers and the amazing photographer Sara Platt. I’ve worked with both of them for the last four years and they are both fantastic at what they do.
- 3.30pm – Quick check all is in order (Helen, our housekeeper, always does a fantastic job at keeping our properties spotless).
- 4.30pm – Claire and I go on our market trip for the essentials – fresh bread, marshmallows, hot chocolate, fruit, cheese, flowers, soaps, and a few extra props we’ll need.
- 7pm – Home for supper! We always have something delicious pre-prepared by our French chef.
- 8pm – Start putting decorations up.
- 11pm – Time for bed.
- 7am – A bright and early breakfast.
- 8am – Finishing touches to decorations.
- 10am – The shoot begins… I’m always clear about the shots I want but there’s a lot of playing around and trying different things to suit the light and time of day.
- 11am – Once the main house is decorated Claire moves on to the cottages and starts styling/decorations here.
- 2pm – Lunch time! Pates, cheese, a French loaf – you know the drill.
- 3pm – Review the photos so far then keep on shooting the cottages.
- 9pm – Dinner time. Another delicious French homemade meal – yum.
- 8am – Up and breakfast.
- 9am – Take all the decorations down and pack away.
- Noon – Trip to Eymet for a stroll around the market and take some local area shots.
- 2pm – It's a wrap! Time to head home to our familiies.
- As you can imagine, we’re pretty tired afterwards but it’s worth it to remind ourselves and our customers how beautiful a French Loaf Christmas is.
What you can expect on a festive break with us
There’s so much to look forward to on a Christmas holiday booking with French Loaf. All the decorations, the gorgeous welcome basket of food and goodies, and a little present for everyone…
Not to mention the local Christmas markets. We love the amazing Christmas market at Bordeaux. You’ll find little wooden huts selling great presents – I love the French linens.
Sarlat Christmas Market is gorgeous for foodies – cheese, meat etc. And Bergerac is a must for wine lovers.
Fabulously French Festivities
If you asked me what my favourite thing about a French Loaf Christmas is – it’s the fun our boys have! They love the French tradition of giving presents on Christmas eve – for them its usually some Christmas Pyjamas and a little gift. Plus, they’re always fans of the pool being heated well into the winter!
I love the sunny yet cold days come December. The early morning mist across the fields. The long walks, fire in the wood burner, and copious amounts of wine.
We always try and have the traditional Galette des Rois (the cake of the three kings) around Christmas/New Year too. It’s a scrummy almond cake which is sooo buttery. Baked inside is a small figurine or coin – the lucky person who finds it gets to be the king for the day and wear a paper crown. Well, this is just my boys’ idea of heaven!
Fancy booking yourself a festive French escape with the whole family? Browse our French holiday villas and cottages for availability.