How Many Toilets Did Versailles Have?

Chateau de Versailles - 1675

While much has been made of the fact that the palace of Versailles had few toilets when it was built, the reality was that they simply were not needed. Guests would bring their own commodes, and chamber pots would be used too. That’s not to say that people didn’t occasionally relieve themselves in the gardens, or in convenient corners inside the palace. We think a few vespasiennes would not have gone amiss!

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Would You Like Fries With That?

little cantine burgers

If you’re in Paris, and have a hankering for a good ol’ American burger and fries, then head over to rue des Écoles, on the 5th arrondissement, to Little Cantine, where you will find a warm welcome, a great meal, and a cool beer waiting for you. The staff speak perfect English, and serve up authentic American hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as artisan beers from the US. A typical meal, consisting of a giant burger, side salad, and […]

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D-Day Landings At Omaha Beach – What The History Books Didn’t Tell You

U.S. Allies Land at Omaha Beach on D-Day

For those of us who were born post-1945, it’s hard to imagine what all those heroic tales of WWII must have really been like. Books, movies, and documentaries go some way to explaining the reality of war but there’s nevertheless a tendency to think of such things in terms of the overall picture, and not in terms of individual experiences. It’s only when we read personal accounts, written by the people who were there, that we can begin to truly […]

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Saving the Jews in Paris

Grande Mosquée de Paris

During WWII, the Great Mosque of Paris was used as a refuge for Algerian and European Jews, hiding from Nazi persecution. As well as shelter, Islamic cleric, and founder of the Great Mosque, Si Kaddour Benghabrit, provided Jews with fake muslim birth certificates to keep them safe from the Nazis.

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A New Boutique Hotel Opens In Paris’ Opera Quarter

hotel indigo paris

In time for the 10th anniversary of its Hotel Indigo brand, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has just opened its first boutique hotel in France, in the heart of Paris’ 9th arrondissement. The new 4-star, 57-room hotel, with 12 suites and duplex apartments, some of which overlook the Eiffel Tower, is the 60th the group has opened in the past decade, and is a modern take on classic Parisian style and elegance. Facilities include a gym, the Tartares restaurant, which comfortably […]

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Fancy A Night-time Walk In Marseille?

google night walk in marseille

Just because you may not be in France right now, it does not mean that you cannot walk through the streets of last year’s European capital of culture, Marseille. How can this be? With Google Night Walk, of course. Alors! Google Night Walk, which utilizes the technology behind Google Maps and Google Earth, features a veritable feast of music, maps, narrative, and local stories, which guide you through this immersive experience, allowing you to ‘walk’ around France’s second-largest city at […]

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Real Men Knit… On Stilts!

bas landes shepherds

The Tchankats were French shepherds whose flocks would wander through the foggy marshes of Landes. They needed a way to prevent trench foot, avoid venomous snakes, and be able to keep an eye on their charges. They invented stilts. And as if that isn’t cool enough, they would actually knit while on their stilts too. And have races. L – The last of the Tchankats, Sylvain Dornon, knitting on his stilts. R – A stilt race at Arcachon-going to the […]

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Six Free Things To Do In Paris

Jardin Saint Vincent

Contrary to what some people may think, a visit to the City of Light need not break the bank, so to prove it, we’ve put together half a dozen great free things to do in Paris for the budget-conscious visitor. Take a walk among the tropical plants in the Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale In the northern part of the Bois de Vincennes, in the suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne, is a public park with a difference: in 1907, it was home to l’Éxposition […]

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Not all that is French is in France… or Europe!

Manchot Sanguinaire - map of French Overseas départements, regions, collectivités, and territories

Did you know that nearly 20% of the territory of France lies outside Europe? These regions are known as “DOM-TOM” (overseas departments and territories), and over 2.5 million French citizens live there… unsurprising when you consider that France used to control in excess of 8% of all the land in the world!

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Les Muscadétours Returns This Weekend

les muscadétours 2014

This weekend, in the heart of the Loire Valley, the vineyards of Nantes play host to Les Muscadétours, now in its third year, which returns for another three days of viticulture fun, heritage, and gastronomy. Whether you are a newcomer to French food and wine, a keen enthusiast, or a seasoned connoisseur, there is something for everyone. In addition to all the merrymaking, there’s a more serious aspect to the wine festival, which will be held across the winemaking communities […]

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