Puttin’ on the Ritz: The Story Behind the Legendary Paris Hotel

It has a history as rich and famous as some of its star guests and residents, yet it has also fallen on hard times, and well within living memory. The announcement in early 2012 that the Ritz Paris...

Book Reviews: The Eskimo Solution by Pascal Garnier

The term ‘Eskimo Solution’ refers to the practice among the indigenous peoples of the north of committing geronticide (though this was rare and only done in times when food was scarce). Struggling author Louis happens upon the concept for a...

Book Reviews: Chanel, The Enigma

This is a really unusual book. As its preface explains, there have been many, many treatises written about Coco Chanel, her upbringing, her inspirations, her work. The author, Isabelle Fiemeyer, believes many writers have made unfounded...

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...

Book Reviews: C’est Bon by Trish Deseine

This recipe book has a simple purpose: to provide “delicious, simple and easy-to-prepare meals”. And a quick glance through its pages bears that out: each double-page spread features a sumptuous photograph, a small list of ingredients and a handful of simple steps. This...

Le Dernier Mot: Shopping Delights in La Motte

"I think the translation is ‘hardware store’,” I say to my dad as we enter our town’s old quincaillerie. Ducking beneath the rainbow of market baskets which hang over the entrance, my belle-mère is giddy: “I used to...

Read the Signs: Rue Guy-Môquet in Paris

The name of Guy Môquet is given to a street in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, and also to a métro station in the same district. The street was first known as the rather mundane Chemin des Boeufs (‘Cow Alley’, more or...

Comic Timing in Angoulême: Le Festival International de la Bande Dessinée

Billions of blue blistering barnacles! There’s a lady dressed up as Tintin. Sporting a mousy quiff, she’s wearing plus fours, white socks and a light blue jumper. Where’s her trusty little dog, though? Snowy must have been left at...

Francophile Favourites: An Interview with Author David Stannard

What was your first French experience? I was very fortunate to have been educated at a school in northwest London which, for its era, had a very modern and pro-European outlook. At the age of 14, I was...

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...