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So French It Hurts

It’s pretty hard not to fall hard for France (as you may have read in Jack’s article from a few weeks ago). The whole country is just so visually appealing and culturally captivating. I was in Paris for a couple of days recently and walking around the city I was reminded how insanely and wonderfully […]

A Gilt Trip to Versailles

I’m a girl of simple tastes. I’ll always choose a burger over filet mignon. Comfy sneakers over high heels. A cabin in the hills, not Beverly Hills. That being said, I must admit that I do love gold. Or at least I thought I did until I decided to spend an afternoon at Château de Versailles, […]

Let Them Eat Chocolat

While Paris’s 6th arrondissement might have a long and illustrious history in literary and artistic spheres, but it is its contribution to the world of sinful sweets that interests me most on this overcast morning. Bypassing the Café de Flore and its adjacent Picasso sculpture, I set off on my guided walk with Context to […]

Merci, Paris

Over the centuries, Paris has given us a lot to be thankful for. And now, for design lovers, there’s one more reason. Merci (that’s me telling you the name of a store, not saying “thanks”). A ten-minute walk north from Place des Vosges, Merci is the new hotspot for contemporary design. It’s mildly easy to miss given that […]

France From the Heart

There’s a theory that suggests you must do something for 10,000 hours before you really master it. By conservative math, Trufflepig co-founder Jack Dancy has been planning trips to France for about 30,000 hours. Ooh la la. This partly explains why he’s so good at it and why he was once again named to Conde Nast […]

‘Tis the Reason

Okay, so you haven’t quite gotten around to planning that late December holiday getaway. You don’t need more guilt heaped on your work-weary shoulders. But you do need some help. The Christmas to New Year’s travel window is a busy one, so there’s no more time to waste. Here’s a rundown of of what could […]

Where Provence Meets the Languedoc

There are rich pickings in the countryside north of Uzès, where Provence meets the Languedoc, and combines the best of both. Villages, vineyards and views; lavender fields, rivers and mountains; cafés, restaurants and  chambres d’hôtes…  It’s almost an archetypically French mini-region, of which there are so many to explore, and which are always so hard […]

The Weird Wine World

Stand aside, Mister Merlot. Here come Lord Ondenc, Sir Len de l’El, The Earl of Prunelart, and the Count of Mauzac Roux. If you’re bored of wine that tastes more like processed blackberry tart, it’s time to discover the weird old wines of the dustier corners of France. First up: Gaillac. If Willy Wonka was […]

Take Off and Land Art

We’ve invented a new sport: extreme art appreciation. In this case, viewing Andy Goldsworthy Land Art in the remote hills of North Provence, by helicopter. A new concept of the term day-trip for the art-enthusiast staying in Provence or on the riviera. Since 1995 Andy Goldsworthy, the British-born ‘land artist’, has been coming to the town […]

Pretty Unpronounceable

Welcome to Villefranche-de-Rouergue, a hard-to-say town with a not-to-miss market and a resolute refusal to enter the 21st century. Nowhere better to see what Autumn has to offer the curious cook than the Thursday morning market here. I’ve visited all the markets in this part of France (the South-West), and this is hands down my […]

Not Available Online

Sometimes the internet takes all the fun out of travelling. Happily, the best stuff is still not, and probably never will be, available online. You can Google-streetview your hotel before arriving and surf down the narrowest backstreets of the smallest village atop the ghastly google car. Read endless blogs to find out what the hottest […]

Le Marché d’Auch

The first in a series of posts on the best of the many thousands of farmers markets in France, this one’s on the Thursday morning market in the South-West town of Auch. Auch is the capital of the Gers region, a pretty old town on the banks of the river Gers about 90 minutes west […]

Le Marché aux Truffes

Lalbenque is no ordinary little French village. Squirreled away in the hillsides of an empty part of the Lot department, it’s also the world capital of the black truffle, and its winter truffle market has to be seen to be believed. Everything about the market is odd: the produce, the prices, the people, but most of all […]

Kings of the Castles

At the two opposite extremes of Burgundy are the best two chateau hotels in France: Chateau de Bagnols in the Beaujolais, and Chateau de Vault de Lugny in the Morvan. Sandwich your wine-drinking time in the Côte d’Or with a stay in each for a truly rich time (in every sense). These are two truly […]

Isles and Isles of Hiking

Thanks to a splendidly mis-spent youth, I am addicted to hiking on Mediterranean islands. There are islands to party on, and islands with beaches; islands for honeymooners and islands with Greek temples. Here are some islands that are just great for taking a stroll. First up, in Greece—the tiny island of Symi in the Dodecanese. […]

Get your Macon

After a steady 10 year relationship with Burgundy’s Côte d’Or, I cheated and had a torrid affair with the Maconnais. I have no regrets at all. Normally you’d consider it bad wine-making luck to grow up in the awesome shadow cast by Burgundy’s Côte d’Or; but this is the only reason I can think of […]