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Stop & Smell the Flowers

Some argue that of all the towns dotting the swanky French Riviera, Nice is the least… French Riviera-y. True if you’re into hobnobbing and celeb-spotting, but for anyone into photography and flowers (and tiny candies shaped like fruit), Nice is a perfect stop. As luck would have it I am, in fact, into photography, flowers, […]

It’s a Sign

The French have a knack for signs. Funny, confusing, iconic or just plain odd, there’s a character to their signage that gives quite a lot away. Here’s a collection of photos to take you on a trip around France. Following the signs. Some of them show advertising of one form or another—and most of those […]

Le Menu à Onze

The humble culinary underclass of the café lunch and the jug of wine is what makes the true francophile’s heart beat the fastest. Say non to the Michelin star and the TV chef, and oui to the institution of the menu à onze. The menu à onze is just that: an €11 lunch. Last I checked, eleven […]


Together with Kate Hill of the Kitchen at Camont in France’s Gascony region, Trufflepig is offering the grand prize for the craziest food phenomenon ever to hit the web: the aptly-named Charcutepalooza. Read on for details of how to win a food trip that’s really worth its salt. It hardly needs pointing out that at […]

Remember Summer?

Remember summer? It’s fun at the time, but I enjoy it even more in the winter, scrolling through photos of bright blue and bright green with the odd glass of pastis gleaming in the foreground. Uh oh. My body is in January in the office; my mind’s in July in Provence. And not in just […]

The Royal Treatment

It has ‘royal’ in its name and it’s a palace—but Le Royal Monceau is anything but stuffy and uptight. I visited the hotel last week and was delighted with all that I saw. This is going to be an easy hotel to recommend. I’m generally wary of new hotels. Nothing works, the showers leak and […]

Like They Used to Make ‘Em

Arles is a perfect French town: architecturally beautiful, rich in history, full of great restaurants, lively beyond the tourist trade, and offering a brilliant privately owned and run hotel from which to base yourself: L’Hôtel Nord Pinus. Even the name tells you to expect something different. The poster in the Napoleon room tells me not […]

Fête de Village

Paris goes quiet in August; the rest of France is a blur of activity. Nowhere does summer holidays like France, and nothing says summer holidays like a good old-fashioned fête de village. Living in the French countryside can get a bit quiet in the winter months, but that is more than made up for by […]

A Queen as Quiet as a Mouse

Paris hotels range from stately palaces like giant wedding cakes, to space-station-esque design disasters, to dives and dumps and dungeons. Quietly minding her business, tucked away on the Place des Vosges, is the true queen of the castle, the Pavillon de la Reine. We love the Pavillon de la Reine. You couldn’t claim it had […]

Conflict de Canard

‘Marché’ means ‘market’. ‘Gras’ means ‘fat’. Welcome to the awesome ‘Marché au Gras’—the Ugolino’s Tower of every vegetarian’s worst nightmare, but the Bower of Bliss on my quest to understand authentic French country cooking. The Marché au Gras is where those of us who aren’t the wives of traditional peasant farmers buy our fattened geese […]

Le Théatre de Châtelet

It’s a commonplace that Paris is a great city of culture. But if you don’t speak French, and you’re bored of staring at paintings, traipsing around the shops and learning about the revolution, what exactly do you do? Actually I can think of many things, but few are as fun as a last-minute ticket to […]