It is not often that reality turns out to be better than one’s fantasy. For example those red croc stilettos from Fratelli Rossetti are great, but they have yet to change my life. And a cream cake rarely tastes as good as it looks. But here I am, in the Savoie, in a cottage called La Clementine and I couldn’t be more chuffed.
I have had my eye on this little place for a couple of years. It is close to our friend’s Norrie and Mary’s house. It sits in the dip of a valley, surrounded by rolling hills and mountains. It is made of stone and wood and extremely simple.
“What if it’s not as lovely as you imagined inside?” asked Rupert as we drove towards it. There is no pool, the bathroom is tiny (I have had to spread my three suitcases of products around the house) and the kitchen is the size of our bathroom at home. Compared with many of the luxury places I have stayed on our travels (thanks to being a journalist, there has to be some upside) you could describe it as spartan. But I totally love it. Who needs all that marble and people running around after you anyway? This is the most magical place I have ever stayed in. It just feels like home, exactly what we need now that we’re homeless until we get to Abu Dhabi. Come to think if it, we’re homeless once we get there as well. Have you tried to rent an apartment in downtown Abu Dhabi recently? Well, don’t. It’s a nightmare, worse than London and more expensive.
We arrived here yesterday afternoon after almost 10 days of travelling. We unpacked the car and as I write the coffee machine is warming up and my yoga mat (much missed during our trip as it was hidden in the top box of the car, which by the way has split under the strain of all my creams) lies on the floor ready for me to do sun-saltues with a mountain view.
The children have all run up to Norrie and Mary’s for their morning “flying biscuits” ritual and in the distance I can hear farmyard sounds. I will shut up now as I run the risk of sounding like one of those dreary people one wants to murder because they’re always droning on about how marvellous life is. But right now, it is.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008