We're pretty sure we've made our love for all things French clear on this site. The food, the culture, the beauty products, even the way they do laundry—Francophilia is a very real thing, and we're here for all of it.
One of the things we most admire about the French way of life is the simplicity in enjoying the small pleasures of the everyday. Whether that's taking in an early evening apéritif or a more leisurely Sunday supper, the focus is always on slowing things down a bit to take it all in.
I had a chance to chat with Elisa Marshall, one of the two founding partners of the popular, highly Instagrammable French café, Maman, about her favorite low-effort ways to bring French country charm into her home during this time of year, when temperatures begin to drop and the convivial start of the holidays can just be seen on the horizon.
"The standard for French fashion also applies to French home decorating and entertaining," she tells me. Here are a few key rules to keep in mind:
And if you're short on time (quick―last-minute guests will be here in 20 minutes!), relax, uncork your favorite bottle of wine, and get going on just a couple of tasks:
Elisa shares more fondue tips: "Comté is one of my favorite cheeses, so I use mostly that, and then I often like to mix in some Tomme de Savoie for some extra kick, along with some Emmental for a creamy rich texture. With Ben (Sormonte, my fellow Maman partner) being French, this dish is traditional for him and close to his heart, so we like to stick with the classics: brioche cubes and boiled potatoes, but I also love incorporating vegetables and meats, and having fun with creative ways to present them.*
"When it comes to the chocolate, you can really use your imagination. I love making homemade shortbreads, macaroons, and having any and all kinds of fruits to dip in. I also love adding a large tablespoon of sour cream to my chocolate fondue, which helps to maintain a smooth texture and also counteracts the sweetness of the chocolate, which is especially nice when dipping in already sweet cookies and fruits. This is one of the easiest meals to prep and 90% of it can be done in advance, leaving a 10-minute or less pre-dinner prep!"
Wine, melty cheese, flattering light... channeling our inner Parisians never felt so easy.
Are you planning your own get-together? Share your favorite party planning and hosting tips with us below!