France’s Chestnut Mecca in Ardèche

Gillian Thornton tootles over to France's chestnut Mecca for a cheeky tasting spree ahead of the annual Les Castagnades festival Chestnuts have always been synonymous with Christmas, whether toasted on a roaring log fire or...

In the Footsteps of Madame de Pompadour

Chloe Govan delves into the life of King Louis XV’s mistress and reveals her controversial role as a revolutionary in the worlds of art, politics and religion In the final portrait of Madame de Pompadour,...

Valley of Queens: Follow in the Footsteps of the Loire Valley’s Female Icons

More women held power during the brief span of the Renaissance than at any other time. And on the 500th anniversary of the birth of Catherine de' Medici, the Loire Valley is inviting visitors...

Treasures of the Museum of Ancient Arles

Ancient ships that have survived until today are few and far between because the wood they are made from disintegrates over time. Maybe the best known is the Gokstad Viking ship in Oslo, dating...

Read the Signs: Avenue Foch in Paris

From elegant stretch to street of horror, and back Strolling along the leafy sidewalks of Avenue Foch, one could be forgiven for thinking that this elegant stretch was always this peaceful. After all, it is...

Photo Essay: Explore the Abbey of Fontenay in Burgundy

Travelling through Burgundy? A highly recommended stop is the Abbey of Fontenay. Situated an hour's drive to the east of Vézelay, this Cistercian monastery was founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118. It...

A Remarkable Chronicle of Paris at War

A new museum in Paris brings to light the two-pronged struggle for freedom during the Second World War: the extensive military efforts from the outside, and the eroding force of the Resistance from within....

Photo Essay: The Famous Pilgrimage Site of Vézelay

Just 3 hours on the A6 from Paris will bring you (back) to a remarkable era in French religious history. Situated in the Yonne department in Burgundy, Vézelay is a designated UNESCO World Heritage...

Beauty and the Beast: The Man Behind the Myth

Chloe Govan pieces together the story of the real-life "beast", 16th-century courtier Petrus Gonsalvus, and discovers how his cruel treatment at the hands of a diabolical queen inspired a fairy tale The 2017 Disney blockbuster...

Exploring the Mushroom Caves of the Loire Valley

Chloe Govan goes foraging 50 metres below ground amid the sinuous limestone caves champignonnières of the Loire Valley In the eyes of most, the Loire Valley is famed for its fairy-tale châteaux and acres of...