Staff Writer, FrenchEntrée

Florence Derrick

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About the author:

With a BA in French and History of Art from the University of Bristol, Florence spent a year living in Paris, studying Art History at the Sorbonne and working in publishing. She travels regularly back to France for both work and pleasure. Florence’s passion for France revolves around its gastronomy, art and pleasure-seeking lifestyle, and the rebellious streak found only in a nation constantly looking for an excuse to go on strike!


Articles by Florence Derrick


Medieval masterpieces: cathedrals of Picardy

Out of this world The astronomical clock (horloge astronomique) at Cathédrale Saint Pierre in Beauvais attracts a paying audience five times per day, once an hour between 10.40am and 4.40pm. The clock’s 53 dials display the time, tides and positions of the stars in

Périgueux

Yet one more reason why I love France: it’s Saturday morning in Périgueux during high summer and I’m meandering up from my hotel – the superbly spruced up Ibis beside the Isle River – around the side of the Dordogne

Roman Provence; Arles, Aix en Provence

Provence is home to a rich ancient heritage, with some of Europe’s best-preserved ruins from antiquity. The Romans conquered the region in the second century BC and it was soon a focal point of construction and Roman society due to

tarte tatin

French food classics: Tarte Tatin

This upside-down apple tart originated in the Sologne region under rather unconventional circumstances. Florence Derrick investigates the story behind one of France’s best-loved desserts.

The best apps for learning French

These days, language learning apps for smartphones and tablets can be the easiest way to pick up a foreign language. Which are the best for learning French?

French dictionary

Inside tips: speak French like a native

We asked our FrenchEntrée Forum members for their top tips on learning French. Most of them live in France and communicate in French every day, to varying degrees of expertise – and all of them have a personal story about their experience of learning French.

Book review: Picnic in Provence, Elizabeth Bard

This second memoir from the author of Lunch in Paris may have the makings of a cliché, following the well-known trope of an American carving out a new life in France. But with ease and grace, Bard overturns any stereotypes

The Hundred Foot Journey

Film review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey Director: Lasse Hallström Cert: PG Running time: 124 mins Two cinematic legends share the screen in this heart-warming culture-clash comedy which has cuisine at its core. Helen Mirren plays a snooty restaurateur whose Michelin-starred establishment caters for the

off piste skiing French Alps

Skiing in France: the numbers

Skiing in France explained: check out who skis in France, where they go and more with this this handy infographic

Recipe: Pink chard and vegetable tart

Tarte à la bette à cardes roses et aux légumes (pink chard and vegetable tart) We bring you a stunning summer recipe from Nina Parker, author of Nina St Tropez – her new cookbook, offering a sun-drenched selection of Mediterranean delights. Of this

jambon cru french ham

Chestnuts and charcuterie: Corsican food

Slap bang in between Italy and France, this Mediterranean island was the birthplace of the Emperor Napoléon and its cuisine consists of a glorious collision of the two cultures. Florence Derrick digs in…

Old Lyon from across the Saône river

Silk and sopranos: a cultural trip to Lyon

The second largest city in France and its gastronomic capital, Lyon is also famed for its weaving heritage and its opera house. Florence Derrick examines its cultural exports and how they relate to contemporary Lyonnais life

French summer seafood: moules marinières

If you’re visiting the French coast this summer, fresh mussels in white wine and shallot sauce simply shouldn’t be passed up. Florence Derrick explores the dish’s history…

Book review: Dear Reader

The Resistance Man Paul Fournel, Pushkin Press, £10 An elegy to print publishing in decline, told through the eyes of an ageing book editor and written by a former publisher. The ‘reader’ is an e-reader, publishing’s divider between the familiar and

Book review: The man in a hurry, Paul Morand

The man in a hurry Paul Morand, Pushkin Press, £15 This re-released masterpiece by one of the modern maîtres of French prose is a fable which criticises life lived in a hurry. The author – a controversial, cult figure renowned for

Actor profile: Louise Bourgoin

Name: Louise Bourgoin Born: November 28, 1981 Early career She made her screen debut on TV, presenting and working as a weather reporter. She was offered her first film role during 2007, in Anne Fontaine’s sexually charged drama, The Girl

Film review: Breathe

Director: Mélanie Laurent Starring: Joséphine Japy, Lou De Laâge Cert: TBC Running time: 91 mins This emerging directrice’s second feature film is rooted in the familiar coming-of-age trope, yet a clichéd tale of teenage angst this is not. Best-known for her acting role in Quentin Tarantino’s

Gardens of Dordogne: topiary art in Eyrignac

Topiary art, Renaissance statues, parterres and decorative pools make Les Jardins du Manoir d’Eyrignac one of the most creatively cultivated gardens in the South West. Florence Derrick explores its gorgeous terraces, features and orchards…

Classic French moelleux au chocolat

We’re always in the mood for chocolate! Florence Derrick recommends a decadent moelleux au chocolat for any occasion – a melt-in-the-middle dessert lover’s dream…

Visiting a Calvados distillery in Normandy

In Lower Normandy, apple cider has been distilled into brandy since the Middle Ages. Florence Derrick visits the Boulard family distillery in Coquainvilliers, where 85% of the region’s tipple is produced…

Film review: Mea Culpa

Director: Fred Cavayé Cert: 15 Running time: 90 mins A gritty tale of good and bad cops battling against criminals and the law, tragic circumstances and family threats, this certainly isn’t a ‘feel-good’ film. Shot in the grimy suburbs of Paris, the plot revolves around the drink-driving homicide committed

Summer recipe: classic Comté cheese soufflé

Comté cheese has been produced in the Massif du Jura region of France for over 1,000 years, using only organic Montbéliarde and French Simmental cows’ milk. Its production is still based on artisanal traditions, lovingly crafted in around 160 small villages

France’s national monuments

Governed by the Ministry of Culture, the Centre des monuments nationaux conserves and manages 100 national monuments in France, which welcome 9.2 million visitors per year. Watch the video below for an overview of France’s main monuments, from Paris’s Arc

Book review: Virgile’s Vineyard, Patrick Moon

Virgile’s Vineyard Patrick Moon, Matador, £9.99 This is an expanded version of Virgile’s Vineyard: A Year in the Languedoc Wine Country, which was first published in 2003, and has been produced to sate popular demand. It’s an autobiographical tale of upping sticks, abandoning a career as a solicitor and

Interview: Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat

Author Joanne Harris is best known for her novel Chocolat, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Here she tells FrenchEntrée about the effect that France has on her writing

French onion soup fit for a king

Gloriously rich and sweet, with just the right amount of acidity, French onion soup defies the modest reputation of its main ingredient. However, when the dish was invented, it was simply a case of the allium being in the right place at the right time…

Culinary specialities of Franche-Comté

This mostly rural, relatively little-explored region abutting Switzerland is best known for its cheese and charcuterie yet boasts a unique of variety of wine dating back to the Romans. Florence Derrick investigates…

Saint-Étienne celebrates design at International Biennial

  Until 12 April, Saint-Étienne (Rhône-Alpes) is hosting its four week-long International Biennial of Design. Now in its ninth edition, this year’s event is under the direction of new curator Benjamin Loyauté – a designer who is currently showing an exhibition of

Interview: Richard Ayoade talks French cinema

Director, actor, comedian and author Richard Ayoade is a French ‘New Wave’ cinema addict. He speaks exclusively to Florence Derrick about France and the ‘Nouvelle Vague’.

Pia Jakobsen

We’ve chosen the winner of our photography competition!

We’re happy to announce that Pia Jakobsen’s photograph of children playing among water fountains at one of the French Riviera’s most popular attractions has been named the winner of our photographic competition. Pia, a software engineer and avid amateur photographer from Oslo,

Winter recipe: Chicken, leek and Comté pie

Comté cheese is a pressed, cooked cheese from the Massif du Jura region in eastern France. Its nutty flavour makes it perfect for hearty winter recipes such as this take on a British classic: chicken and leek pie. Combined with tarragon

Film review: Attila Marcel

Director: Sylvain Chomet Starring: Guillaume Gouix, Anne Le Ny, Bernadette Lafont Cert: 12A Running time: 106 mins This first live-action feature from the director of French animated classics Belleville Rendezvous and The Illusionist is an interesting transition into the ‘real world’.

Seafood capital: Boulogne-sur-Mer food specialities

Any visitor to Boulogne-sur-Mer is in for a culinary treat as the city’s enormous fishing port is just a stone’s throw from a famous fromager selling hundreds of cheeses. Florence Derrick investigates.

Classic French dish: Boeuf Bourguignon

In the winter we all need dishes such as this to nourish body and soul. Florence Derrick charts the origins and history of this all-time French classic, a slow-cooked stew that’s equally pleasurable at home or sampled at your favourite bistro

Poet’s corner: Paul Valéry

Poet-philosopher Paul Valéry was one the most significant French Symbolists of the late 19th century, alongside Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Verlaine. Valéry was born in Sète and spent his early years in Montpellier, later relocating to Paris to embark on

Languedoc traditions: jousting in Sète

One Sètois tradition is guaranteed to jolt the Languedoc from the languor of midsummer days. Water jousting was a popular medieval sport in the South of France, first appearing in Sète in 1666, at the inauguration of the Canal Royale.

Where should you go skiing in France?

Skiing in France is something of a ‘no-brainer’. France has the biggest ski area in the world, laying claim to an unbelievable 30% of the world’s surface area devoted to the sport.

Review: An Englishman Aboard, Charles Timoney

An Englishman Aboard Charles Timoney, Penguin Books, £9.99 We all know how it goes: it’s New Year’s Eve, the champagne is flowing and, inevitably, someone recklessly agrees to take on some madcap resolution. Timoney’s proved to be more challenging than most

Author Charles Timoney on rowing the Seine

Author Charles Timoney gives us an insight into his vie française – including his thoughts on the Gallic disposition, having bilingual children and rowing the length of the Seine…

The best gardens and parks of Paris

At times we all need to escape the frenetic pace of city life, and luckily France’s capital has no end of green spaces. Read on to discover Florence Derrick’s top three parks in which to steal a breath of fresh air in Paris.

Flocking to Sarlat’s annual goose festival

Sarlat-la-Canéda is the heart of the Dordogne Valley and the capital of the Périgord’s gastronomic specialities: walnuts, black truffles and, most of all, foie gras. Florence Derrick ‘takes a gander’ at the town’s annual celebration of goose-based cuisine, Sarlat en Périgord Fest’Oie