Hilltop Towns of France

By Kate Riley November 16, 2017

I’ve been busy this week preparing for Thanksgiving, cleaning and organizing in anticipation of a house filled with guests. I started to daydream about my amazing trip to France in September and the enchanting hilltop towns.

My trip took me there in early autumn it was still warm. I stayed in Nice for a few days and from there adventured out on a few day trips, two of them being visits to hilltop towns that many of you recommended. Èze was my first stop (on the road to Monaco) and wow what an incredible view you’ll see on the road there. I was on a small group tour and we stopped here just to take it all in.



Èze as foretold by so many  was absolutely charming. It had a beautiful church and the most magnificent Mediterranean sea views from a botanical garden on top. Everywhere you turn there are vines growing on top of centuries old walls, it’s so charming. I couldn’t help but hum that song from Beauty and the Beast, “Little town, it’s a quiet village, every day, like the one before …”.





One of the benefits from traveling alone on this trip was that I could take my time as I walked the twisted streets, grabbing a coffee, popping into a shop, ducking down alleys, stopping along the way to take pictures or video.

In Èze, I loved the color of the church in the middle of the town, its hue just a hint more yellow than my house back home in California.


It was so fun meandering the crooked cobblestone streets, climbing up hills to the very top to witness the massive views all around.

St. Paul de Vence was similar in its winding cobblestone streets all protected inside walls on top of a hill. It was larger and took several hours to enjoy it all. The most enchanting part is these hilltop towns are like adult mazes, so fun to explore especially when you have no idea what to expect around every new turn.









I made a short video of my walks through these towns, meander the streets with me in these next 2 ½ minutes!


Holiday Prep: Dinner Napkins

By Kate Riley November 13, 2017

My go-to holiday table setting is a basic charger (silver or gold) combined with a white plate, then I like to layer a patterned napkin on top to keep it interesting.

This simple arrangement works every time and makes it easy to use basic plates I already have. Like this inspiration, I add a little greenery to the table along with some candles and call it done.





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There’s no need to spend money on themed plates and/or lines for your holiday party, ones you use only once a year. I like to invest in linens that are more versatile and not specific to one single holiday. Cloth napkins that can be repurposed anytime appeal to me more.

Last year I bought napkins made with this lumimarja material, a botanical with gold branches. I didn’t get to use the napkins last year so I plan to this year when I host Thanksgiving. Here are a dozen styles of dinner napkins that would look lovely on your holiday table, and equally nice on any other occasion.



imprint / dyed indigo / gold pine

mod triangle / spotted moyer / canaletto

eflorvescent / sunflower / audrey

pine bough / block print / adeline