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...

Time for an Apéro

It's the mellowest moment of a day in France, a delightful interlude between the day's activity and a pleasurable meal: l'heure de l'apéro. When a waiter says those magic words—Désirez-vous un apéritif?—think of it as...

Pass the Pastis: A History of France’s 2nd Favourite Drink

One way of saying "I'm in trouble," in French is to declare "Je suis dans le pastis."

How the Eiffel Tower Was Sold

Learn about one of the greatest scams in history.

The Secrets of Roquefort: The History of the Most Famous Blue Cheese in France

The tiny town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon draws visitors from around the world who come to learn about "the king of cheeses".

Cleopatra’s Secret

Cleopatra bathed in it. It’s said that Nero’s second wife Poppea indulged in it too, and so did France’s king François I and Napoleon’s Josephine. The beatific benefits of asses’ milk are legendary. But...
Le Notre's Versailles Garden

André Le Nôtre: Magnificent Masterpieces of the Gardener’s Art

Gardening is an ephemeral art form. Few gardens withstand the vagaries of time, and even fewer master gardeners, if remembered at all, are afforded the status of their counterparts in architecture and the other...

The Changing Face of Paris

A Paris City Council vote by secret ballot in November 2014 effectively closed the book on the ‘Tour Triangle’, the most significant skyscraper project in the capital since the Tour Montparnasse opened more than...

Great Travel Destinations: Martinique, Island of Queens

By 1763, the French had lost the Seven Years’ War, and it was time for the British to make their territorial claims in the New World. They had two real options: they could claim Canada, where France still ruled vast...
Familistere de Guise Laundry

Utopia Revisited: Le Familistère de Guise in Northern France

We may think that the Google Campus is a novel social experiment, but already between 1859 and 1884 Jean-Baptiste Godin, self-made cast-iron magnate, built for his employees a ‘city’ of 2,000 inhabitants near the factory in...