French Cider

French cider

Cider is not a beverage one usually associates with France but traditionally, it is the favoured drink for All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd). Historically, apples were the only fruit still around at this time of year, whether they were the last remaining few on the trees, or those kept in storage. To ensure people got the absolute most from their crops, apples which were unsuitable for storing and eating, due, for example, to being […]

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Halloween In France

Halloween in France

Halloween in France is a relatively new thing, and in some places, it is still met with resistance and viewed as yet another example of Americanization. As such, Halloween is of course, very un-French! In 1982, the American Dream Bar in Paris began to celebrate Halloween, and by the end of the decade, parties began to spring up in English-speaking areas of cities, mainly thanks to US expats. In 1992, the fancy dress company, César, with its spooky costumes, set […]

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Salon du Chocolat 2014

salon du chocolat 2014

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Salon du Chocolat is THE place to be for chocolate connoisseurs and aficionados. It is the only show in the world which is dedicated to the chocolate and cocoa industry, and as such, attracts thousands of professionals and visitors from around the world. Check out the promo video! With 20,000 square metres of exhibition space over 2 floors, Salon du Chocolat will be home to over 500 major brands, companies, and chefs, who will […]

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Staying Safe In Paris – Avoid The Scammers Pt. 1

donation scam in Paris

As wonderful and full of joie de vivre as Paris is, as with any city frequented by millions of tourists, there is a darker side – one of people whose sole aim is to relieve unsuspecting visitors of their cash. These scams, while usually nonviolent, are nevertheless deeply irritating, and for some, intensely distressing. Most tourists know to keep their wallets and cell phones out of their back pockets, to keep their purses fastened, and to wear their backpacks on […]

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The Little Corporal

napoleon

So many people think that Napoléon Bonaparte was short but in reality, at 5’7″, he was 2″ taller than the average height for adult males at the time. He did however, ensure that his bodyguards were both taller and broader than him, thus giving rise to the myth that he was a bit of a titch.

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Dijon Gastronomy Fair 2014

la Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon 2014

Visitors staying in Burgundy next month could do a lot worse than plan a visit to Dijon to experience the sensory delights of la Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon. Now in its 84th year, the Dijon gastronomy fair – one of the best in France – is famous for its exceptional food and wine. This year it is host to over 580 exhibitors, all offering a huge array of goodies for professional and amateur cooks alike, and lovers of […]

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France By Numbers

france map

In terms of land area, covering 247,367 square miles, France is the largest country in the European Union. L’Hexagone has over 2000 miles of coastline, with access to the Atlantic ocean, the Mediterranean sea, and the English Channel. In 2013, almost 85 million tourists visited France, making it the most visited country in the world. And they probably relished some of the 1,000+ different types of cheese and wine, which are available in France’s markets. Délicieux!

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La Musée Maillot’s Extraordinary Borgia Exhibition

les borgias et leur temps

Between now and February 15 next year, art lovers in Paris can visit la Musée Maillol to experience the museum’s newest exhibition, Les Borgias et Leur Temps (The Borgias and Their Times). Regardless of whether their notoriety was deserved, or merely propaganda put about by their enemies, it cannot be denied that the family had some remarkable characters among its number, and that the mere mention of the Borgia name conjures up images of political intrigue, power struggles, and corruption. […]

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Eight Things You May Not Know About The Liberation of Paris

liberation of paris

Following on from our blog last week about the D-Day Landings, we thought you might interested in these snippets about the actual liberation of Paris itself. The fight for Paris’ freedom from Nazi occupation took place between August 19th and 25th 1944. What began with the French resistance, and led to reinforcements from General Charles de Gaulle’s Free French Forces and the US Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton on August 24th, ended with the surrender of the […]

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France’s Very Own Internet

minitel

Before the rest of the world had the Internet, France had Minitel. The service was launched in 1978, and allowed users to pay their bills, shop, buy train tickets, and check stock prices online. Users also had online mailboxes, and could chat to each other. Sound familiar? Although the service was eventually retired in 2012, even in 2009, there were still around 10 million connections a month.

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