Château de Candé, Wedding Venue of Wallis Simpson & Former British King Edward VIII

The high-profile châteaux of the Loire Valley are famous the world over for their fairytale exteriors, lavish art collections and glorious gardens. But for every big-name castle like Chenonceau and Chambord, there are dozens of smaller but equally enchanting properties tucked...

Holiday Ideas: The Heritage of Calvados

In the heart of Normandy, the department of Calvados boasts some of France’s most enchanting coastline and a host of medieval treasures. Here is our pick of the best. BAYEUX Bayeux is famous for its deceptively named ‘tapestry’ (which...
Medieval events in Provins

Medieval Magic in Provins

Sitting on a bench beneath the towering ramparts of Provins, I can easily imagine I’m back in the Middle Ages. Gentlemen on horseback are showing off their falconry skills to ladies in flowing gowns, their hawks skimming over our heads...
Aerial view of Sète

5 Favourite Port Towns in France

Sète: A taste of the real Med Situated on the southern French coast between Montpellier and Béziers, Sète is a busy, bustling, working port in an unusual geographic setting. It resides on and around a single hill,...
Carcassonne

Exclusive Book Excerpt: The Spirit of Languedoc-Roussillon

The area of Languedoc-Roussillon maintains its proud tradition of resistance against northern authority. No other region, except Brittany, was as quick to resist central (Parisian) governmental directives. In the Middle Ages it was, along with Midi-Pyrénées, the heartland of...

The Carrefours of France in San Francisco: Hayes and Gough/Octavia

During the 1849-50s Gold Rush, many French came to San Francisco to find their fortune.  It was San Francisco that grew rich with the addition of French culture, and that continuing influence is seen...

Saint Émilion: A Postcard-Perfect Hilltop Town in Dordogne

Sitting perched on a limestone hilltop like a graceful balcony above the Dordogne Valley, Saint-Émilion is a town in the Gironde department in southwest France. In 1999, Saint-Émilion became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, honoured for its cultural...

500 Year Anniversary: Leonardo da Vinci in the Loire Valley

With François I as patron, Leonardo da Vinci received a handsome pension to live in Amboise. He is known to have put his engineering genius to good use to help create lavish celebrations and even drew up plans to...

The Châteaux of the Loire, a Royal River

Have you ever wondered how Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa came to hang in Paris’s Louvre Museum? Well, no, it wasn’t through a sale at some prestigious global auction house, or even a dusty attic find. Five hundred years ago,...
The lovely open square of Saint-Quentin

Hidden History: Explore Aisne in Picardy

Turning my car uphill towards the lofty town of Laon, my immediate reaction is to look up. The town stretches along a narrow limestone ridge that curves in a dramatic horseshoe above the rich farmland of eastern Picardy, and the road...