The Château Grimaldi Musée Picasso in Antibes

Following Picasso on the French Riviera

The first question most people ask me about my novel, Cooking for Picasso, is usually, “Where did you get the idea for this story?” And I can’t help thinking, “The inspiration was right there...
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...

Château de Saint Mesmin: Step into the Middle Ages in the Deux-Sèvres

In the springtime, the fields of the Deux-Sèvres in western France are a dazzling patchwork of lush green and brilliant yellow colza. Follow a narrow country lane over a bridge—this little Sevreau stream actually...

The Train Stations of Paris, Reborn

Entering a Paris train station in 1846, you would have been as likely to meet an elegant bourgeois couple in rustling silks as a gun-slinging hunter and his baying hounds setting out for a weekend’s shooting in the countryside, such...
Le Petit Trianon

5 Reasons to Visit the Château de Versailles, Europe’s Grandest Palace

King Louis XIV’s Grand Apartments, Chamber & the Galerie des Glaces Seven rooms make up The Sun King’s ‘Grand Apartments’ and, as you progress from one to the next, your jaw will drop ever lower at their opulence. The...

Travel to Salon-de-Provence, Where Nostradamus Lived and Died

Salon-de-Provence isn’t a major tourist destination. The high-speed TGV snubs the historic town and the voitures rushing to the coast have no time for it. Yet Salon deserves better. Huddled at the foot of...

Émile Zola’s Paris: Following in the Author’s Footsteps

Paris was a gigantic building site when Émile Zola turned 20, in 1860. “A gash… gashes everywhere, Paris slashed by a sabre, its veins slit”, he wrote a decade later in La Curée. Living...

Day Trips from Paris: Jean Cocteau’s House in Milly-la-Forêt

As far as locations go, few could beat Jean Cocteau’s home which, from 1940 on, was at 36 rue de Montpensier. Living in the heart of Paris, above the gardens of the Palais Royal...

Great Destinations in France: A World of New Adventure in Alsace

It's a part of France that is unlike any other (not least because it hasn't always been a part of France.) Much of the culture is distinctly German, and the influence of the Swiss...
Georges Simenon with wife Tigy, Josephine Baker

Georges Simenon’s Paris: Following in the Footsteps of his Fictional Sleuth, Jules Maigret

No wonder Georges Simenon set most of the Maigret stories in Paris – 63 out of 75 of them in fact. Because Paris is a compact city, it provides an unrivalled stage for crime...