Dejeuner in St. Etienne

Last weekend we travelled up to St. Etienne to visit Raphaels grandparents. Sugar free chocolate mousse... I forgot to ask for the recipe but I had to resist licking the bowl clean

My husband's family have a wonderful heritage in silk Jacquard ribbon making spanning back to when Napoleon III  reigned in France. The factory was founded by Henri Faure in St. Etienne, the city itself has been host to ribbon-weaving since as early as the 11th century. The company was renamed to "Faure Freres" when Henri's three sons, Georges (Raphael's grandad), Jean and Pierre joined the company and then more recently in 1942 Julien, Georges' eldest son, established the JULIEN FAURE Company. You can visit the company's official website of Julien Faure.

A few Christmases ago, Raphael's grandmother, Marguerite or 'Mam' as we call her, took me to one side to show me the library of archived ribbons going back 150 years.  Cheap, polyester imports from China have all but decimated this once prosperous industry and as I leafed through each page of the ribbon library I felt really quite sad that this art form was being forced to die out for economic reasons.

I love how Mam has incorporated elements from the Faure ribbon factory into her home including this plant stand...

And this loom which was used for spooling the silk threads on to the bobbins.