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...

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...

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...

Following the Heart: Warp and Weft, a Tapestry

This is the second installment of the author's "Following the Heart" series, which details her journeys inspired by an encounter with Dom Bede Griffiths, the English Benedictine monk from Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire who...
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...
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...

Following the Heart: Synchronicities along the Way

A few days after the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan I was sitting in Paris outside Shakespeare and Company, lifting my plummeting sugar levels with a wholly forgettable slice of pumpkin pie bought from...
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...
Musician-turned-actress Soko plays Loie Fuller in La Danseuse

La Danseuse: American Icons of La Belle Époque

A film by Stéphanie Di Giusto charts the lives of Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan, two American girls who found friendship, fame and fortune in turn-of-the-century Paris. Talk about unlikely. When Midwesterner Loie Fuller – later to become a world-renowned Belle Époque...
Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

My Life in Paris: The Magical Mister Noir

Beatrix had arrived at Gare du Nord with a mission and a Longchamp bag swinging high on the crook of her arm. Dressed to the nines, a vintage red scarf sat squarely on her blue, wool-clad shoulders, with each...