19 February 2012

St. Trop' in the 50's and Tarte Citron

Browsing the auctions in Provence this weekend I came across this wonderful mid-century oil painting of an innocently sweet St. Tropez harbor. I love this genre of painting.. naive, color-saturated and slightly impressionist paintings of the south of France depicting a simpler time before color TV and cell phones, the internet and Twitter. I've collected a few of these and love them dearly. I'd like to bid on this one. While daydreaming about what I'd do with this lovely painting, I designed a possible room to house it. Take a look!

note all the old wooden sailboats in the harbor in the fifties... today there are speedboats and
huge yachts lazing in the sea around St. Trop.. but this painting shows a simple and more
innocent time, before the jet-setters discovered this sleepy fishing village and
Brigit Bardot filmed "And God Created Woman" here (banned in most theaters in
the US at the time it was released in the 60's) 

Lotus Flower wallcovering by
Studio Printworks is the
perfect background for this
painting... with lots of white
space and the fresh linear
design, the painting will
be able to breathe yet be
surrounded by beauty also

Indian Sand by Little & Greene
is the perfect paint color in a high gloss
for the trim and fireplace
Secret Shell by Little & Greene
is the perfect color for painted
floors in a high gloss
Inner Shell by Little & Greene is
another great pink to use for
trim and accent colors

two more beautiful paintings up for auction from the fifties of the
area surrounding St. Tropez in the South of Provence..
these are of the Var coastline and remind me
so much of the time we lived there

stunning fabrics I would use for window coverings
and for tablecloth/cushions... the top is from
Osborne & Little I think (cannot remember for
certain, sorry!) and the bottom is the
perennial favorite of Kelly Wearstler trellis

adding to the 50's vibe is this wonderful Eames era
cattail floor lamp in the iconic color of the
fifties... turquoise! I found this on eBay

a very quick and simple sketch of how I would use the
different elements in the room to show the painting
off to its best advantage.. what do you think?
pretty colorful, non?

After all that daydreaming I decided it might be time to go fix something lusciously lemony for my husband for dessert... and found this recipe at Cote Maison... even the French are looking for easy recipes these days!

Tarte Citron au Fromage

Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
from CoteMaison 


125 g of butter cookies
125 g of graham crackers

125 g butter
1/2 salt
300 g of fresh cream cheese
1 can (395g) sweetened condensed milk
1 lemon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 packet of gelatin


1. Place the gelatine in a bowl with cold water.
2. In a blender, cut the cookies into crumbs. Melt butter in saucepan or microwave. In a bowl, mix the crumbs and melted butter until mixture is sandy.
3. Butter a large pan with removable bottom (diameter 25 cm approx.)Divide the mixture of biscuits, press the bottom of a ramekin to properly mix the dough. Make up the edges slightly. Place in the fridge.
4. Take the lemon zest finely with a knife zester; reserve in half for decoration by placing them in the fridge in an airtight container. Squeeze half the lemon.
5. In a small saucepan, heat lemon juice, remove from heat and fold in the gelatine so they are dissolved.
6. In a mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese. Gradually add condensed milkvanilla, lemon juice and half the zest. Beat until smooth.
7. Pour the lemon cream over the dough and place it back in the fridge for at least one night.
8. Take out 20 minutes before serving and garnish with remaining lemon zest.


although I must admit Mlle. Bardot probably
didn't indulge in too much of this
luscious Tarte Citron au Fromage
by the looks of these photos of her
on the St. Tropez beach in the 50's!
do you love those outfits.. you could
wear them quite chicly today


St. Trop harbor today, with this little map showing
it's command of the Riveria to the east

Space is Limited!!
Chic Provence Tour in
the spring! reserve by
March 1, 2012


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  1. Ah- St. Tropez! I was there in the late 90s and absolutely loved it.

    The cheesecake recipe is much appreciated, thank you!

    BB sure was a knock-out, wasn't she?

    1. BB was amazing! thanks for visiting, I'll check out The Nest..



  2. St Tropez in the 50's - I would have loved to be there! Wearing pretty dresses or capri pants, riding a Vespa or driving in an open-top car... I'm dreaming. Those paintings are wonderful and I wouldn't mind owning one of those either :-) Wishing you a lovely week, Love from London xo

  3. I miss the old Saint Trop! As a student, my summers were spent in Port Grimault where i had a job. lived in Gassin and spent every waking hour in Saint Trop... The nightlife was amazing. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a detour and drive to Saint Trop for a quick coffee on the harbour. i could not even access the center of town. It has become the playland of the extremely wealthy, mostly foreigners and is all about flash, jets, and whatever toys can be bought. Sad indeed... on a positive note, i just love tarte au citron

  4. the first paining caught my heart!

    happy Monday


  5. What a fun post! Love the 2 landscapes of the Var and I might attempt the citron tart! Merci!

  6. I a specialist in mediterranean paintings and I'm totally in love with the first one , it is so provencal and so gorgeous. For the 2 from Henri Barret I think they represent the calanques of Marseilles or Cassis , I sell a lot of paintings from H . Barret and he represents almost the same places , Marseilles area ...
    I love also your last pictures.
    Can't wait to got to St Tropez one of this next week end

  7. ooooooooh! i LOVE every bit of it!!! would absolutely die to have that painting in my home also! xx

  8. that's not brigitte bardot! that's a model from a recent editorial?

  9. The paintings, the colors, your room rendering, the cheesecake: all are excellent! I especially love that Lotus Flower wallcovering which would be so easy to live with!

  10. What a great post dahhling... beautiful artwork.

  11. Wonderful works of art Kit! The Tarte Citron sounds simply delish! Love your design!

    Art by Karena

  12. Hi Kit! Love those pint chip colors!! Puts me in a pedal pusher mood! Doesn't feel like Spring out here already! Trish

  13. Thank you very much for this article

  14. Après avoir suspendu son activité pendant de longs mois, le laboratoire va pouvoir enfin reprendre ses publications sur son site officiel.


I would love to hear what you think! merci!


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