1. One thing I love about Paris is how close the true countryside is. Yes, we have a bit of what we call the “suburbs” here (nothing like the McMansion suburbs you find in the outskirts of most American cities), but very quickly, you reach the grassy pastures and small towns of Ile de France, including Verdelot, where my writing group took a much-needed retreat.
2. Verdelot is a village like many others just outside of the city. It’s just hard enough to reach by public transport (a train followed by a bus) to have an appealing faraway feeling, and it’s got the perfect blend of small-town charm and rural woodland walks to make it perfect for renewing your creativity. We stayed in a lovely Air BnB that couldn’t have been more perfect for enjoying the autumn weather.
3. I can’t help but appreciate this part of the French countryside. It may not be as picturesque as the lavender fields of Provence or the rolling green hills of Normandy or the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic in Brittany, but here in central France, it seems to me as though there are paintings hiding everywhere, in plain sight.
These tree branches looked like the chimney brooms from Mary Poppins, standing out against the grey sky.
4. The misty weather is the perfect foil for glimpses of bright color: teal shutters, an orange cat.
5. And the trees seem like they’re stretching for something imperceptible, like they could come to life at any minute.
I’m definitely a city kid, through and through, but even city kids need a breath of country air now and then. As far as I’m concerned, Verdelot is the perfect place to get it.