Follow Your Dreams…With Jane Webster
Last week I went up to Paris to do a workshop called Follow Your Dream with Jane Webster, an Australian who bought a château in Normandy back in 2000.
Jane, her husband and 4 young children moved to France for 2 years and while they were there, Jane created her business The French Table. She hosts cooking enthusiasts for a week’s gastronomic experience at the château, taking them to farmers’ markets to buy fresh produce for the meals they’ll cook in her industrial sized kitchen and also invites guest chefs to share their skills and experience. She also wrote two coffee table/cook books based on their life in Normandy and restoring their château. The books are filled with beautiful photos of their home as well as seasonal recipes (the French markets and supermarkets generally only stock fruit and vegetables that are in season so you’re out of luck if you want to make an asparagus dish in winter).
They’re now back in France full time for 2 years and Jane has just started her Follow Your Dream workshops, helping others to follow their aspirations and goals. Obviously, I’m partly doing this having already moved to France but I was keen to meet Jane in person as her books are 2 of my favourites and I was ready for some inspiration.
We met at the Medici Fountain in the Luxemburg Gardens (the palace Marie de Medici had created for her so she could have an Italian style garden to remind her of home) and did a ‘mindfulness walk’ through the gardens and on to Les Deux Magots for breakfast. This café is a Parisian institution and has been in its current location in the upmarket Saint-Germain-des-Pres arrondisement since 1873. It was the local hangout of Ernest Hemingway and other literary figures and is still very popular.
We then walked through the Jardins des Tuileries and visited the Orangerie Musée, which is filled with Impressionist paintings, including Monet’s famous Water Lilies.
The Hotel Crillon, located just on the other side of the Place de la Concorde, was where we had lunch and then did the workshop…yes, there was actually some work involved, including mind mapping and setting action plans. Fortunately for me the other 2 participants were sick and couldn’t attend, so I had Jane’s attention all to myself and it was a fantastic opportunity to talk with her about what I’m planning to do and get her advice. She also offered to do an article on my château in her upcoming online magazine La Review, which is really generous as she has a large following on social media and to her newsletter.
I love any excuse to get up to Paris but it was a lovely day, as well as good for moving forward with my plans for the future.