Where To Buy In France: Flayosc

Var, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur At first glance, the perched village of Flayosc appears to be extremely remote. For starters, there are hills, vineyards and olive groves as far as the eye can see. Then there’s the fact that no major road

Provence village and lavender fields

A property guide to Provence

Thinking of buying a property in Provence? This guide provides you with useful information on the region covering climate, landscape, access, property styles and price guidelines.

Photo: Véronique PAGNIER

A Traditional Christmas in Provence

In Provence, on Christmas Eve the family gathers for the traditional Christmas meal known as le Gros Souper (the big supper). This meal begins with seven meatless dishes, ending with the ritual number of 13 desserts…

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

Secret gardens of the Loire: La Chatonnière

Head to the heart of the Loire, where a château visit rewards you not with one garden but 12. La Chatonnière in Azay-le Rideau has an ecelectic range of beautiful jardins, including the Garden of Fragrance and the intriguing Theatre of Impertinence.

Photo: Mustapha Ennaimi

The game of pétanque, a French institution

Pétanque is one of the most popular pastimes in France and can trace its origins to Provence, where it goes hand in had with animated conversation and an apéritif. The goal is to throw steel balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called the cochonnet in an attempt to knock the opponent’s boules out of the way.

Photo Frédérique Voisin-Demery

What is a Réveillon in France?

According to French tradition, a proper réveillon will bring prosperity to the household. A réveillon is a long dinner, and possibly party, held on the evenings preceding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The Calanques

The joys of hiking in France

A combination of one too many pains au chocolat and a desire to explore the countryside around Aix en Provence led me to agree to join a superb group of hardy walkers based out of Aix called the International Hiking

by minor9th via Flickr

Learning how to taste wine

Wine is a complex beverage, or at least it should be, and to understand a wine’s complexity and depth you need to analyze it.

Vineyards in Provence Photo by Ralf Via Flickr

The AOC Wines of Provence

Vines existed in Provence before the Greeks arrived in 600 B.C.; however it was first the Greeks, followed by the Romans, who introduced systematic growing and pruning techniques to Provence. The region has 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and very little rain – the classic Mediterranean climate …

Romantic French Bedrooms

A French style bedroom evokes thoughts of love and romance and with good reason. Colors and textures balance each other in a sumptuous invitation to the senses.

Set the table for a celebration

According to French tradition, a proper meal on New Year’s Eve will bring prosperity to the house–in which case all the effort that you put in to making it a success will definitely be worth it.

An Australian author in France

My French Life and French Essence are two books that tell the story of how life changed after Vicki – who was living in Sydney – bought a farmhouse in Provence and moved the family to France.

Niçois specialities

We all look forward to trying the local delicacies when on holiday in France and Nice on the French Riviera has plenty for foodies to get their teeth into!

Treating and protecting terracotta tiles

Terracotta is an attractive, rustic material for both old and new houses. If you’re not careful however, it can be very easy to become a slave to your terracotta floor. Here are some tips on how to avoid potential pitfalls when sealing, protecting and maintaining terracotta tiles.

Music and Dance Groups

A list of music and dance groups throughout France Association Azoukah Based in Ruffec. This local association organises oriental dancing classes (Ruffec, Sauze V etc), mostly in the evening. They also have a dance company who perform across the region

Provencal Omelet Cake

Al fresco lunches in the summer sunshine – Provencal omlete cake is a delicious and unusual dish created by Mary Cadogan. It can be prepared the day before; serve with green salad and a sharp white wine.

Early Spring Quercy Salad

The days are getting longer and the woods are full of catkins and lime-green hellebores. The breezes are softer and the sun warms your soul. Spring is in the air. The soups and casseroles of winter are banished for another eight months. Or are they? How can you construct a decent salad with the sort of half-ripe, totally flavourless tomatoes available at this time of year…

Santon Figures and the Crèche

The depiction of nativity scenes, or crèches as they are called, dates back as early as the 17th century in France. In many aristocratic and middle class homes, the predecessor of today’s crèche appeared in the form of decorated glass-fronted boxes called grottoes or rockeries …

Quercy Beef and Bean Casserole

Every region of France has it’s own classic stew or casserole. The most famous, and certainly the most abused beef stew must be Boeuf Bourguignon, closely followed now by the increasingly popular Provencal Daube…

New Build Homes in Provence

Attracted by the character, charm and in most cases the price of old stone houses and barns in Provence, the Brits and Americans have been busy buying them up for the purpose of complete renovation, or at best modernization. This is in complete bewilderment to their French neighbors …

Bouillabaisse from Provence

For those that think Marseille is a somewhat scruffy, unpleasant place, just sit down in one of the restaurants along the Vieux Port and order a bouillabaisse – the most famous local seafood dish in town. It will soon change your mind about Marseille.

Herbes de Provence

One would be hard pressed to find a kitchen in Provence that did not have a stash of Herbes de Provence by the stove. Native to Provence, this mixture of aromatic plants contain rosemary, marjoram, basil, savory and thyme. Many of these plants grow so abundantly in Provence …

Provençal Cuisine

Mother Nature is abundantly generous in this part of the world, and Provençal cooking is naturally tasty and flavorsome due to the sun-kissed produce that is readily available in this region. Vegetables, sardines, anchovies, meat casseroles, ratatouille and pesto …

Authentic olive tapenade recipe from Languedoc, South of France

“Olive tapenade on sale”This olive tapenade recipe is a local olive tapenade recipe from the Gard, Languedoc, hence it is an authentic recipe and exactly how one makes the real thing. You don’t need to go to an American website to see tapenade imitations, you can get the real thing here from the south of France itself!

What’s the weather like in the South of France?

Peter Mayle described Provence as a cold country with a high rate of sunshine and a place where the summers are consistently hot. Both of these comments are also said to be true elsewhere in the South of France – the Lot and Quercy region, but let’s look at some actual figures…