Le Tour de France - French Country Kitchens

I'm engrossed in le Tour de France, the fabulous cycling event which takes place across France each July for 3 weeks, ending in Paris on the last day. I watch it every day it's on (truthfully, morning and night) and am emotionally transported to the beautiful small villages, the stunning landscape, fields of sunflowers, majestic mountains, and amazing 11th century chateaux...and, the fierce cycling competition too! There are few sights as beautiful as the peleton racing across the French landscape.

Image by Graham Watson

So, what if one were to visit le Tour and rent a Chateau as many do? It's on my list to do one year. Take a look at some of these wonderful, authentic, French country kitchens found in homes and chateaux scattered across the Loire Valley, in today's Stage 8. These are beautiful homes to rent (but I'd also like to rent a chef to cook French cuisine, right?) Images from Luxury Retreats

Below, a classic French style - the hood blends into the architecture in a seamless way, the cabinetry is traditional with mustard color on the island as well and is sort of built into a sort of foundation which defines the kitchen. 

Below, this one may be my favorite. It's SO gorgeous yet simple. The white (and white hood) form a light and spacious backdrop. The red tile backsplash is a perfect focial point to the cooking area. The wood beamed ceiling is beautifully graphic and other simple lines update this otherwise traditional French Country look.

Below, another traditional kitchen. Creamy, dreamy, warm monochromatic colors with minimal contrast. Of course, who would not want a cooking fireplace/oven in the kitchen? The sink is sensual and the terracotta tiles, while out of fashion right now, are classic, timeless, and wonderful.

Below, this dining room is: (pick your adjective!) Again - that creamy color throughout all architectural surfaces in various textures creates perfect flow. Even furnishings, doors and trim blend in seamlessly. Defines a timeless look in my opinion. 

Below: Fabulous. The shots of red are the glam that many French interiors incorporate so effortlessly - it's like it's in the dna of the population! Here we have warmth, coolness, color, texture, clean surfaces - an interesting mix of contrasts.

Below, I think when dining in this room, the conversation MUST be stimulating, don't you? It certainly sets the scene for joy, frivolity, and good times. The open doors to the outdoors add the element of nature and light.

Below, a small but awesome kitchen! Wow, just look at these elements - the copper pieces above the integrated hood, at one with the architecture of the room. The built in rotisserie and fabulous cooking center. A rustic sink and rustic built in/inset cabinetry. And that mustard colored striped table linen - love!

Below, some drama is clearly going on in this kitchen - the dark, rich, brown/black tones of tile surround built in cabinetry in this traditional design. Not the most beautiful kitchen, but the simple shapes, forms, colors and textures do bring style to this kitchen.

Somehow, I think I'd be happy with any meal that is prepared in these kitchens! They look like cooks' kitchens. I'd also love to tour each one to look closely at all materials used and to just sort of drink in the feeling of an authentic French Country kitchen. A cultural authenticity is the thread across these kitchens - can't you just feel it?

To see other posts I've done on le Tour in previous years, take a look at this post on French Country kitchens and this one on kitchens in French Chalets. This is such pure pleasure for me, I may add more throughout the Tour in the coming weeks. Do you like the French Country style?