Sunday, 28 September 2008

Fountains and florals

What a marvellously sunny day it’s been. Very unexpected for the time of year and almost warm enough to swim Brideshead-style in a fountain. I’ve already mentioned the incredible Brihi-Riachi wedding that I attended in the South of France a few weeks ago, but I thought you might like to see the beautiful floral arrangements … and the fabulous display of fountains.

Villa Ephrussi overlooks the bay of Villefranche, but it’s on a headland giving spectacular views out across the water in two different directions. The website says that ‘nine heavenly gardens are adorned with patios, fountains, ponds, flowered and shaded paths.’ There was also a sculpture exhibition on at the time, by an artist called Nathalie Decoster. Her sculptures of man and nature depict ‘souls balancing on the edge of time’ and lead us to question the headlong rush of modern life and ‘focus anew on the essential values of life’.

We arrived in this picture of perfection with its large calm and still pools of candlelit water, to strains of a jazz saxophonist and the distant popping of champagne corks. As guests were still arriving, I managed to take a few snaps – but, when modern life allows, I’d rather like to return and take some time looking around the gardens properly.

I walked through the stylishly set tables with their designer floral decorations to the main house, where I popped in to visit the ladies powder room (shame the French still haven’t mastered the luxury loo) – and when I returned everyone was saying “you missed the fountains!”

A wonder of gushing and burbling water had spluttered into life in my absence and enormous arcs of refreshing water were now dancing before me.

Ross mistook this for champagne.

Influenced by Ms Decoster’s curious creations, I took a moment to reflect on ‘man’s unequal struggle with time’. Yes, this is a location far from the realities of everyday existence where one can easily escape into a place that ‘hovers somewhere between lightness and awareness’. Better zip back to frenzied, fast-paced London life and get on with some work so I can afford to spend another moment in horticulturalists’ heaven.

You might even be inspired by our stylish floral designer vintage fashion to buy something beautifully unique from ShopCurious and help towards my next trip.

Will you?

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