Summery Basque Stripes & Gâteau Basque Recipe!

In Provence the fabric vendors at all the markets at this time of year put their big beautiful bolts of "Basque Stripe" cottons up front, tempting everyone with the brilliantly hued fabrics. The traditional stripes of the southwestern region of France called le Pays Basque are beloved by Provençales for their ability to brighten even the smallest little corner of an otherwise monochromatic outdoor garden setting.

Poetically named for the seven regions in Pays Basque, tradition holds that these strongly graphic fabrics were originally made by traveling weavers going from farm to farm, customizing large sturday sheets of rough fabric with unique stripe colors for farmers to cover their livestock as protection from insects.

Today we love them in everything from pillows, to table linens, espadrilles, totes and deck chairs. They are the quintessential summer look in the south of France.

Shopping the weekly market in Apt last month, I fell for two different patterns of stripes and bought enough to bring home in my second suitcase. Now I'm playing around with how, and even if, to use them for my summer entertaining.

Trying out some tabletop designs I find a real challenge in finding tableware that is clean and simple enough to calm all that high-voltage energy! I don't think my Anthroplogie outdoor plates do very well (although the colors blend there is way toooo much going on!) I may end up using one of these for bench cushions or a door curtain in my currently-being-refurbished greenhouse!

You can buy Basque Stripe fabrics at Jean Vier. Read more here.

How would you use these stunning stripes?

the stripes are stunning, but do they work with
my table top pieces from Anthropologie?

I first spotted the Basque stripe cottons at a wonderful
little shop in St. Remy

then we went to the outdoor market in Apt

we passed this gorgeous doorway...

...and passed by the happy organic baker...

...we came to the fabric vendor...

..who was unloading his bolts of Basque Stripe
fabrics, ready for summer!...

fast forward to back home in California, I tried my
stripe fabric out as a possible table cover...

...I love this stripe with the flowers and lace in
the striping...

...the stripes definitely make a strong statement...

...and they look great peeking through the papaya bush...


even authentic espadrilles look summery with
Basque yours here at this adorable


...and now that cherry season is just around the corner,
try this delicious, authentic

Gâteau Basque

from Pastry Studio

for a taste of southwestern France at your next summer



merci pour la visite! ... Kit


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