afternoon airport area August building car Chateau city coast countryside couple crowd day Europe Festival fine food France garden Gothic history July lamb lavender market middle Music Paris place Provence reason region restaurant River Rue seafood summer sun time town trip Visit water way work
Because the sun appears less often here than in the south, some people think of Nord-Pas de Calais as a gloomy region. They have clearly never paid it a visit: it’s probably one of the jolliest regions in France, and always ready to celebrate. Parades, carnivals, fairs and fanfares – good habits endure in this land of memory, bristling with belfries. To get the right feel for the region’s spirit, you need to join the crowd during the great collective celebrations, and share their meals based on seafood – the famous moules-frites, the traditional waterzoï (a court-bouillon of fish and chicken) – washed down with some of the local beer. It’s a lively region where tradition is part of daily life – a region open to the major capitals cities of Europe such a short distance away! Read the rest of this entry »
The tiny spa village of Eugénie-les- Bains is seriously remote. Bordeaux is two hours’ drive north; Biarritz is 100 miles to the west. Yet this place is on the radar of most food lovers thanks to French super-chef Michel Guérard. His three-Michelin-starred restaurant gets booked up weeks ahead in summer, and menus start at €135. But just a few minutes’ walk away is La Ferme aux Grives, a sister restaurant where Guérard trials and refines his dishes before they appear on the menu of his main restaurant.
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As one of France’s most famously picturesque regions, Provence is packed full of worthy destinations. I chose to make Avignon my base camp. It is a lovely, mid-sized city with plenty of restaurants, shops, history, and day-trip opportunities to make for a great lavender scented vacation escape.
When we arrived in Avignon on June 21st, to my surprise we were greeted by thick traffic and large crowds; not exactly what I expected. But there was actually a rather fortunate reason for all the hustle and bustle. It turns out that on this particular day in France, the national Fête de la Musique (Festival of Music) is held. People pour into the cities to enjoy free concerts held simultaneously throughout the streets. Read the rest of this entry »