Cook in Julia Child’s French Cottage Kitchen in La Pitchoune

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions and encouraging words in the comments of yesterday’s post. The hibiscus are now safely tucked into the garage for the winter. I’m sore today but not from moving the hibiscus. I spent at least two hours (probably three!) crawling around on the floor trying to get the lower branches of the tree to light up. I checked all the bulbs and even changed out 8 fuses trying to find the issue. I’m not giving up, though! There has to be an answer!

Instead of sharing my decorated tree as I had hoped to, I have a pretty amazing house to share with you, instead. We’ve all heard the story of Julia Child who found herself (with husband, Paul) living in Paris back in the late 1940’s. Paul was stationed there with his job and during that time Julia fell head-over-heels in love with French food, even taking classes to learn as much as she could. Those classes led to making friends with two ladies, Simone Beck and Louisettte Bertholle, who Julia eventually collaborated with to write, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Paul’s career led them to move to many different countries over the years. They eventually settled down in Cambridge, Massachusetts and though they loved it there, they could never quite let go of their love for France. They dreamed of having a holiday cottage there, a place to go and stay for long periods of time during the year.

Julia Child with husband, Paul

 

Eventually they acted on that wish and leased some property near Grasse, France in the village of Plascassier. They leased the land from their friend, Simone and her husband, who was also their business partner. In 1963 they built a darling stucco cottage that they named La Pitchoune, which means “the little one in Provencal.

While building the 1,614 sq ft. home, they designed a kitchen that was almost a replica of the one Julia had back home in Massachusetts. Julia was 6’2” tall so she needed a custom-built kitchen to be able to work comfortably for long periods as she tried out new recipes, worked on her cook books and filmed for her TV show. By the way, Julia’s famous Massachusettes kitchen can be seen on exhibit in the Smithsonian Museum. Have you ever seen it in person?

Julia promised her dear friend, Simone, when she and Paul no longer needed the house, they would give it to her family. That’s what ultimately happened and now, for the very first time ever, the home is available for purchase!

Julia Child's French Cottage in Plascassier

 

The article I found about Julia’s home doesn’t say if any of the furnishings are original. After Julia’s husband, Paul began to have health issues and Simone passed away, the cottage became the home to the culinary school, “Cooking with Friends in France.” American, Kathie Alex having personally known Julia Child and studied under Simone Beck, ran the school.

Living Room of Julia Child's French Cottage Home

 

The info for the listing of the home states that Julia wrote to Alex and told her, “I’m counting on you to teach Americans about butter and cream!” That sounds like something Julia would say, doesn’t it?

Julia Child's French Holiday Home

 

Here’s the most important room in the home…the kitchen where Julia Child cooked for family and friends. I wonder if they filmed any of her TV shows here?

Julia Child's Kitchen, France

 

Have you visited the Smithsonian and seen her kitchen there? Does this one look a bit like it? Notice how there are no cabinets above the countertop. Everything is just fully out in the open.

Julia Child's kitchen in her home in France

 

I personally prefer stuff hidden away, but this is definitely very functional. Anyone could walk right in and get to work, finding everything they needed in full view.

Kitchen in Julia Child's home in France

 

I love the fabric in the bedrooms shown in the listing. So charming!

Julia Child, French Cottage Home

 

Even the light in this room coordinates with red toile bedding.

Red Toile Bedroom in Julia Child's French Cottage

 

I don’t think I’d be spending much time in the kitchen with this just outside the door.

Julia Child's French Cottage Garden, Pool

 

Wow, the view! I’m in love with this view!

View from Julia Child's Home in France

 

Julia’s home is on the market for around $860,000 USD. You’ll find additional photos and information about Julia’s home where these pictures were found here: Julia Child’s French Holiday Cottage Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a holiday getaway in France with this view! It’s fun to dream! 🙂




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Comments

  1. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    What a fun surprise! And that house is lovely and so livable, even with today’s lifestyle. Did you notice the tiny closet (?) in the room with the blue twin beds? It even has a little door above. That must be the tiniest closet I have ever seen (I’m sure there was another one, but that one is just so cute.)

    The kitchen is probably a true “cook’s kitchen,” being all open like that. But that beautiful tile floor would be hard on the back! I agree about the pool, it’s lovely.

    I had no idea Julia was 6’2″ tall! I can still hear her distinctive, sing-song voice. I remember catching a few minutes of her program when I was a little girl and thinking that cooking must be the most boring, tedious thing to do in the whole wide world, lol. As it happens, I turned out to be a pretty decent cook. 😀 Thanks for a fun break, Susan.

  2. Wow I have never seen pegboard in a kitchen before and am somewhat surprised to see it in Julia Child’s kitchen! I think of pegboard as a workshop thing but in her line of work this totally makes sense – everything is visibly and handy!

  3. I’m like you and prefer things tucked away, but her kitchen is iconic. I have not seen the exhibit in the Smithsonian but will be sure to check it out next time we go there! Did you notice how strange the furniture placement is in the that living room, just beyond the fireplace, with that hug counter/bookshelf island in front of the couch? I had to look twice to see if it was the opening to the kitchen, but it wasn’t. Fun to dream of a cottage like this to run to, yes.

  4. Julia had pegboards in all her kitchens for easy access to everything. They even outlined what utensil/pot/pan when where so they were always put back in the same spot. If you’ve seen the movie Julie and Julia – they re-create her Cambridge kitchen very accurately – including showing “Paul” drawing on the outlines on the pegboards. I met Julia years ago at a book signing in Cambridge for her “Way to Cook” book that I was giving my Mom, a huge Julia fan. I have the book now. I used to work for WGBH and paid her her royalties on the programs. The kitchen they shot her early cooking shows in was in a studio.

    • I can see how it would make it so easy to find everything. That is so interesting about how they outlined where each pot went. I need to watch that movie again, haven’t seen it in a long time. That would have been so amazing to actually meet her…what a fun experience!

  5. Gayle Maestri says:

    I was fortunate to see her kitchen on display at the Smithsonian just after it opened there. I was impressed that this lady is very, very serious about cooking. All her tools of the trade out and on display, ready to be picked up at a moment’s notice as she whipped up scrumptious food.

  6. OK –

    Al the people on this blog let’s pool our finances and buy the place! Wouldn’t it be fun for all of us to go there and party and……..cook of course!

  7. Marlene Stephenson says:

    You always think of someone famous with beautiful rooms but,her kitchen is so plain but super easy to find whatever needed when you are cooking. When it came to cooking i think her kitchen was her workshop. She enjoyed it a lot.

  8. Love the bedrooms and the pool and THE VIEW. The living room is a puzzlement and the kitchen a nightmare for those of us who like simplicity and order (I know there is order now, but it is truly unsettling for the non-gourmet cook!) — but I surely would enjoy rolling up my sleeves and making those two areas as dreamy as the rest of the cottage. As I usually say re these tours: When I win the lottery….

  9. Such a sweet home. It must have been a happy time for them.

  10. Hi Susan,
    My hubby and I grew up in a Bahstin suburb and have driven past Julia’s Cambridge home a lot. And we did see her kitchen in the Smithsonian! Both her kitchens were heaven for the cook. As a gal who loves to cook and bake my dream house has always had two fully stocked kitchens….work in one then move on to the next so the maid, drone, robot, whatever can clean clealn up the first.
    Glad you got your big things moved. Usually after all that searching for the wrong light you can go back and the next one you touch is it.

  11. Susan
    Thanks for sharing, that is so neat !! I loved the movie Julia-Julia !!

    Yes, the pool and view is amazing !!

    Paula

  12. I find the pegboard a brilliant idea for an active cook. No wasting time to open and close and re-open and etc etc.
    A very charming place, glad you took us for a visit. 🙂

  13. This is the first time in over a week that I have stayed up past 10. I need that pool to relax right now.

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