Normandy Food and Travel Guide


Home to calvados, cider, and Camembert, this charming little corner of France once welcomed in the country’s renegade Impressionists and still holds some secrets—if you know where to look. Populated with apple orchards, calvados-swilling locals, and many a wheel of Camembert, Normandy is impossibly bucolic. Like something out of an Impressionist painting, this northwest corner of France was, indeed, ground zero for painters like Monet, Courbet, and Renoir in the movement’s heyday. Today, handmade Camembert and small-batch cider is rarer […]

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Passage des Panoramas, a time capsule/gourmet incubator


Paris’s oldest covered passageway, Passage des Panoramas in the Second Arrondissement, has taken shape as a gastronomic incubator of sorts over the past decade. Stone-paved and glass-roofed, the pedestrian arcade opened in 1799 and has housed stationery stores, printers and specialty shops ever since. The newest chapter in the Passage’s story is Canard & Champagne, which opened in February and proposes a shrewdly Gallic version of the American concept of fast casual dining. Its creators – the restaurateurs Jean Valfort, […]

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A taste of Cognac and more


  It’s celebrated for its enduringly popular brandy, but the charming French town of Cognac, set in exquisite, rolling countryside, is also blessed with wonderful wine and food, and it’s all within very easy reach of Paris by train, and the UK with direct flights to nearby Poitiers, Bordeaux and La Rochelle. This is a region that is never short of things to celebrate, and one of the most popular festivals is Cognac Blues Passions, which takes place this year […]

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Is Mona Lisa Based in Part on Da Vinci’s Male Apprentice ?


Another day, another Mona Lisa theory. The world’s most famous painting has mystified and captivated us for centuries, and it won’t stop here. The latest theory is that the model for the Mona Lisa is actually two people: Lisa Gherardini, and Gian Giacomo Caprotti, da Vinci’s apprentice, model, and—some say—lover. Via

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Francois Pinault, Luxury Goods Magnate, to Open Private Museum in Paris


Ten years after he gave up in exasperation trying to build a museum for his vast contemporary-art collection, François Pinault, founder of a luxury-goods empire, has finally found a French home. The 18th-century Bourse de Commerce, next to Les Halles in Paris’s heart, will be converted by Tadao Ando, a Japanese architect, into a museum that will open in late 2018. Via

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Did you know? Saint-Véran in the French Alps is the highest commune in Europe

Saint-Veran in the French Alps is the highest commune in all of Europe

Located in the beautiful French Alps, Saint-Véran is the highest commune in all of Europe. It is perched on a flat grassy outcropping above a river valley. The Aigue Blanche river descends from the Queyras mountains on the southeast side and curves around the outskirts of the village property to create a magnificent valley view and feel. Tourists enjoy the village for it’s quaint and authentic vibe, often coming for both hiking and quiet relaxation. The village was at one […]

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Fairytale French Chateaux


Paris offers all the attractions of a modern metropolis, but it can also be an enchanting experience for a traveler weary of the city’s hustle and bustle to explore the majestic French countryside. A drive or railway trip through the country will allow you to experience all that France has to offer, and historic castles are some of the most popular attractions outside the capital. With dozens of these medieval structures still standing, a vacation in France can also be […]

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A Very Brief History of Early Paris


  Paris has changed a lot over the past 10 millennia: the earliest evidence of human habitation dates back to around 9,800 years ago, when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers made their home in what is now the 15th arrondissement. Excavations at Bercy turned up fragments of three wooden canoes, dating from between 4,800-4,500BC, and iron age hatchets from eastern Europe, suggesting that these early Parisians had already established trade relations with other areas of Europe. In what is now rue Henri-Farman, archaeologists […]

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This Ol’ House

Cairn de Barnenez

Dating from around 4,800 BC, one of the earliest megalithic monuments in Europe is the Neolithic cairn at Barnenez in Brittany. It predates the oldest ancient Egyptian pyramids by more than two millennia, and is considered to be the oldest extant building in the world.

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Nice Wines

vins du bellet

By that I mean, wines from Nice. “But wine doesn’t come from Nice!” I hear you exclaim, “It comes from Champagne, and Bordeaux, and…” Mais oui, this is true… but it also comes from Nice. The only AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) within city limits, Bellet is not only one of the smallest in the country but also one of the oldest (since 1941). Granted, when mention is made of this coastal area between Cannes and Monaco, vineyards are not what […]

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