Shoppers queueing in a French supermarket

Shopping in France: to queue or not to queue?

When it comes to shopping in France, there are certain loosely held rules to adhere to! It appears common belief amongst Anglo-Saxons that queueing is their unique cultural reserve and that the Latins, or more especially the French, don’t queue. My

Beautiful Brittany: Brignogan-Beaches, Lighthouse Pontusval on the point of Beg-Pol

Ten reasons you’re right to avoid Brittany

Did you think twice about coming to Brittany this summer? Quite right. There are many, many reasons to stay away from this part of the world, as local resident and Community Contributor Annaliza Davis explains. 1. The terrible weather We

Musée d'Orsay clock

Belle-Époque opulence at the Musée d’Orsay

A visit to the Musée d’Orsay unveils unexpected delights From grimy railway station to custodian of one of the world’s most important art collections, the building at 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris is a masterpiece of survival.

Lyon bouchon entrees

French food picks: 10 great Lyonnais entrées

When you are planning to visit Lyon, the French ‘Capital of Gastronomy’, it’s vital to not miss out on the best culinary experiences on offer in the city’s legendary bouchons and restaurants. A typical French dinner is a proper feast, long and filling and full of

Cultural immersion on the Côte d’Azur

L’Institut de Français is proud of its French heritage and culture, arranging a number of optional excursions to enhance the language-learning experience outside of the classroom setting. It is a win-win situation, set in the jewel that is Villefranche-sur-Mer quieter

Golf in Provence: a round at Frégate

One of Provence’s memorable but unsung courses is the Frégate at the Dolce Resort. It was one of the first “destination” golf resorts in continental Europe. A round begins on a secluded par 4 that challenges you to place a

Aga Marchewka

How to spot an authentic Lyon bouchon

One thing that you cannot miss out on when you visit Lyon is eating at the local, traditional bouchon. These little, family-owned bistros are synonymous with the Rhône-Alps capital and cannot be found in any other French city and are

Sheree de Witte

Learn French in style on the Côte d’Azur

Immersion in la langue française began from birth. Mother intended to name me Chérie, spelt the French way, but instead went with Sheree penned the Irish way. It means darling, in both. Couple that with Charles Trenet singing ‘La Mer’,

French Comfort Food in Lyon

  It was a Saturday in July and my son and I had just arrived in Lyon, the city described as the ‘world capital of gastronomy’. Our quest was the restaurant ‘Chez Mounier’, a bouchon at 3 Rue des Marronniers,

How to choose a campsite in France

There are over 8,250 registered campsites in France plus a further 1,400 farm campsites or aires naturelles so knowing how to pick the campsite that is best for you can seem a bit daunting. France has almost three times more

10 reasons why Lyon is better than Paris

I went to Paris once and the city is beautiful as they say. I was happy there, I visited it properly and took some great photos. Yet I was not overwhelmed by it. Maybe because I had such high expectations, I was told that

Paris garden: l’Hôtel de Sens

It was a particularly cold day when I visited Jardin de l’Hôtel de Sens, 7, rue des Nonnains-d’Hyères. November days in Paris tend to be dreary and it is difficult to wake up in the morning when it is warm

Woodpile Daniel Kearney

Snakes in France: something in the woodpile

I knew there were snakes in France and, in particular, vipers, but fortunately I had never  seen anything up close and personal until the snake slipped as smoothly as its skin into our woodpile. A shiver shot down my spine.

A backroad serendipity in Provence

My cousin and I exited the A51 shortly after Manosque onto the D82, faithfully following the GPS mounted on my windshield. We were excited to be on the last leg to our vacation rental, chattering like magpies, wondering if we’d

Susan Hays Our French Oasis

Seasonal change: springtime in France

A strange thing happens in France when the fire-wood runs low. Deserted villages and small quiet rural towns breathe a sigh of relief and disgorge winterized humans into the pale spring sunshine. This seasonal migration from a central, warm winter

Facilities on French campsites

France has the largest number of campsites of any country in Europe and the largest variety in terms of size and facilities. There is therefore something to suit everybody. They range from small “campings à la ferme” with half a

Andrew Erskine

The joy of camping in France

There is no doubt that travel broadens the mind. Meeting people from other countries and coming into contact with other cultures is always an enriching experience. Camping and caravanning in France definitely broadens your horizons. On many of France’s enormous variety


Standing stones of Brittany… in my garden

Carnac is one of the world’s greatest prehistoric sites with over 3,000 menhirs ( from the Breton men “stone” + hir “long”) – a tall upright stone erected in prehistoric times in western Europe which are the most common megaliths

BNIA (Bureau National Interprofessionnel de l'Armagnac)

The beginner’s guide to Armagnac

Southwest France is a treasure chest of history to be discovered and one of its oldest riches is the noble brandy Armagnac. Armagnac is France’s most time-honoured spirit that was first recognised in 1310 when Prior Vital Dufour vaunted the

Class Réunion: France in the tropics

Where can you shop in Leclerc or Decathlon, say “au revoir” to the local boulanger as you walk out with a baguette under your arm and be on a tropical island 6,000 miles from mainland Europe? Where can you spend

Cycling in France

French revolutions: cycling in France

The French have not had a Tour de France winner since 1985 when Bernard “The Badger” Hinault claimed their last malliot jaune but that quirk of history does not stop every French man on a bike from thinking – and

French swimming pool

How the French behave in the swimming pool

It occurred to me recently, as I was swimming lengths in my local municipal pool in Tarascon-Beaucaire in Provence,  how the French swim like they drive: fast and furious. In comparison, the Brits in general take a more leisurely, Sunday

Entente cordiale: making friends in France

We have been very fortunate to have developed a friendship with a French family which has lasted some 25 plus years. This has afforded us the opportunity to see and at times be part of French family life not usually