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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...

A History of the Auberge du Père Bise: Featuring an In-House Recipe

In the village of Talloires, along Lake Annecy, sits a rustic-looking inn. Originally a simple guinguette, or tavern, the Auberge du Père Bise is a prestigious hotel and restaurant. Run by the same family...

The Somme: In Search of a Name

I was in Toulouse on the 23rd June 2016, learning a little French at Alliance Française. When I woke up on the morning of the 24th June I found I was no longer European,...
Space Invader at Rue du Temple in Paris

Read the Signs: Rue du Temple in Paris

It is one of the oldest streets in Paris, running 1,335 metres and linking Rue de Rivoli and Place de la République. Rue du Temple is named after the Knights Templar, who set up their headquarters in Paris in 1140, building a...
road sign to a memorial in the Gers

Hidden France: Memories of the Resistance in the Gers

More often than not I’ve found that detours can enrich our journeys, altering us in unexpected ways. I often take the roads less travelled, choosing the unpredictable instead of being tethered to a map. Such was the result recently after...
Carcassonne

Exclusive Book Excerpt: The Spirit of Languedoc-Roussillon

The area of Languedoc-Roussillon maintains its proud tradition of resistance against northern authority. No other region, except Brittany, was as quick to resist central (Parisian) governmental directives. In the Middle Ages it was, along with Midi-Pyrénées, the heartland of...

Saint Émilion: A Postcard-Perfect Hilltop Town

Sitting perched on a limestone hilltop like a graceful balcony above the Dordogne Valley, Saint-Émilion is a town in the Gironde department in southwest France. In 1999, Saint-Émilion became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, honoured for its cultural...