Visit Le Paraïs, the Provençal Home of Famous French Writer Jean Giono

Le Paraïs, the home of writer Jean Giono in Manosque, is open only on Friday afternoons and only by appointment. Don’t let this deter you, for this is both a Provençal haven and a...
Chateau du Rivau

Château du Rivau: A Gem Amongst the Loire Valley Castles

Planning a trip to the magnificent Loire Valley? Just two hours southwest of Paris, the "Valley of Kings"-- a UNESCO World Heritage site-- boasts stunning castles along the mighty Loire river. Avoid the tourist...
The English-style Jardin Lecoque

Travel to Clermont-Ferrand: Gateway to the Auvergne

Ask a Parisienne what she knows about Clermont-Ferrand, and her first response might be, “Well, of course I haven’t actually been there.” Then she might wrinkle her nose. “But isn’t it rather… industrial?” The impression seems confirmed on the...
Abbaye Saint-Georges de Boscherville

Travel in Normandy: Treasures of the Seine Valley

When you think of Normandy, do you think of the D-Day landing beaches and Mont Saint Michel? Or perhaps Rouen’s gothic cathedral, the Bayeux tapestry, Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny and the picturesque port...
Monet’s Clos Normand in Giverny

Claude Monet & Gustave Caillebotte: Painters, Gardeners and Best of Friends

“If he had lived instead of dying prematurely, he would have enjoyed the same upturn in fortunes as we did, for he was full of talent. He was as gifted as he was conscientious and when we lost...
Wan Zi Won, Buddha, 2015 Musée du Quai Branly

Persona, Strangely Human at the Musée du Quai Branly

Our brains are wired to recognise a human face. Even when there’s only a slight suggestion of facial features the brain interprets an image – our minds fill in the blanks. Scientists know this as ‘pareidolia’,...
Paul Klee’s Insula Dulcamara

Paul Klee, Irony at Work at the Centre Pompidou in Paris

This exhibition is one of the highlights of the art calendar at the Pompidou. A Swiss-German painter, Paul Klee was also a printmaker and draughtsman, originally associated with the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), and subsequently...

The Taj Mahal of France

A stunning monument built for love.
Cathedrale Saint Front

Périgueux: Exploring the Capital of the Dordogne

Saturday morning in high summer finds me meandering up from my hotel towards Périgueux’s most famous landmark, the imposing Cathédrale Saint-Front. The original church dates from the 8th century, though this imposing, multi-domed beauty,...
Lyon Fabric Museum

Lyon’s World-Class Fabric Museum

France’s third largest city is known as the gastronomic capital of France. But Lyon is also home to rich cultural heritage preserved in its excellent museums. Le Musée des Tissus (The Fabric Museum) is...