A stolen afternoon hour with Mimi Thorisson’s blog, Manger, is a given among a certain set of urbanite creatives. All the ingredients for a compelling read are there—gorgeous landscapes, charming family, a quaint set of neighbors… and then there’s the food. Thorisson, based in France’s verdant Médoc region, represents online escapism of the highest order, and now is branching out: Her first book, A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse, was just released by Clarkson Potter, and she and her husband are soon embarking on the creation of a pop-up restaurant in an old villa. Below, 10 essentials to put a taste of refinement in rural living.
1. Yves Saint Laurent “I always admired my mother's wardrobe, especially her YSL dresses. They represent a strong, affirmative woman—so Parisian, so feminine.” Pictured, a look from the Saint Laurent Spring 2015 runway collection.
2. Sophia Loren “She’s sexy, flirtatious, confident, and a great cook.”
3. My Staub Cocotte “The foundation of my cooking—I can't live without it.”
4. Babette’s Feast “Such a delightful film, filled with contrast and surprises. I often think of this movie when I prepare a meal in my old stone-walled kitchen.” Image © 1987 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.
5. Smooth fox terriers “They’re our mascots and our friends. I get so much pleasure watching them run in the fields.”
6. The ocean “I grew up by the sea. I live by the sea. I need the ocean; it makes me dream.” Photo by Oddur Thorisson.
7. Sweet peas “They were in my wedding bouquet: timeless flowers with a country freshness.”
8. The soundtrack of Atonement “The movie has left a scar on me. It’s inconsumable and tragic, and I love the dramatic music. It raises my emotions.” Album cover © 2007 Universal Classics & Jazz.
9. Eggs “They’re my staple ingredient—I can think of a thousand dishes to make.”
10. Guillaume Apollinaire “Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved his poem ‘Le pont Mirabeau.’ Pure tragic romance.”