Fantasticable

12 Best Outdoor Activities in Champagne and the Ardennes

The region isn’t all about the sparkling wine and historic cities. With so much beautiful countryside, much of it surprisingly isolated, there are loads of sporty and outdoor activities on offer – great for burning...
The Rue de l’Abreuvoir in Montmartre

Parisian Walkways: Forgotten Montmartre

Once the haunt of supremely influential artists, Montmartre somehow manages to retain its Belle Époque allure.  On a sunny Sunday afternoon in 1876, Pierre-Auguste Renoir set up his easel at an open-air café on the top of the Butte...
Annecy, "Little Venice."

A Weekend in Annecy: Insider Travel Recommendations

The cure for most anything that ails is fresh mountain air. With winter arriving, I craved a higher altitude and slower pace of life, even if only for a weekend. A train ticket and...

Family Holidays in France: Rentals to Suit You and Yours

France is a fabulous destination for family holidays. There is so much to do - outdoor activities; sights, cities and markets; excellent theme and water parks, along with great food. Holiday gites and villas...

Riviera Sightseeing: 12 Must-See Historic Places on the Côte d’Azur

The Alpes-Maritimes is the second most-visited region of France. Its ritzy backstory renders it awash with cultural sights, several of them once the private villas of the ostentatiously loaded. Even Nice, France’s fifth-largest city, hosts more...
Menton

The French Riviera in Winter

Those who winter in the South of France sojourn in the shadow of greats. The blazing winter sun tempted 19th-century celebrity to the Côte d’Azur: royalty, nobility, artists, authors. Just as café follows déjeuner, the merely wealthy followed the fabulously...

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...

A Dozen of the Loire Valley’s Finest Gardens

While the Loire Valley is noted for its châteaux, its many extremely attractive gardens are no less remarkable. Some are labours of love. Others are private collections, borne of a passion for a particular plant,...

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,...
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...