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Patricia Atkinson has already been the subject of a Channel 4 documentary and there is further TV interest in bringing her life up to date. She has featured in interviews in The Times, The Observer and the Evening Standard, and on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time.
A triumph over adversity tale of an idyllic life growing grapes in France going terribly, terribly wrong. The author is left to cope with total disaster and my goodness she does … What a woman.
How often have you eaten a mushroom that you picked yourself that morning? Or sat on a boat opening and eating oysters as you lift them from the sea? Or partaken of a seven course feast of game to celebrate the success of the chasse? When Patricia Atkinson - bestselling author of The Ripening Sun - first moved to France, her intention was simply to establish a vineyard. Over the years, however, she found herself becoming integrated into a way of life that, had she stayed in England, she would hardly have believed existed. Grounded in the rhythms of the land and the seasons, daily life in Patricia's south-western corner of France is dictated by a series of rituals and celebrations that we have long lost in our supermarket age. La Belle Saison is Patricia's eulogy to this way of life: a testament to the timelessness of the beautiful French countryside, the bounty of the land, and the generous-hearted French neighbours who showed Patricia that a simple life has many rewards. In France, every season is 'la belle saison', offering up its gifts to those willing to appreciate and look after the land.