Gothic Architecture

Notre Dame

The abbey church (or basilica) of Saint Denis, just north of Paris, is considered to be the world’s first example of gothic architecture. According to legend, around 250AD, Denis, the bishop of the Parisii, was decapitated at the top of the hill at Montmartre*. Not being one to take his execution lying down, he picked up his head, and walked six miles – preaching all the way – to where he wanted to be buried. A martyrium – and subsequent […]

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

millau viaduct

Europe’s busiest airport for cargo traffic is Charles de Gaulle International in Paris, and is actually the 6th busiest, in terms of cargo, in the world. With an average speed of 263.3km/h (163.6 mph) from station to station, the French TGV is the fastest train in the world. During a test run in April ’07, it reached a record-breaking 574.8km/h (357.16 mph). Furthermore, it’s also the endurance record-holder, making the 1067.2km (663.12 miles) run from Calais to Marseille in 2001 […]

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Three French Wine Myths Debunked

Jan van Bijlert - Young Man Drinking a Glass of Wine

The first thing that comes to mind when anyone mentions French drinks is wine, so of course, with France being the world’s second largest wine producer (Italy comes first), wine rightly deserves to be at the top of anyone’s list of boissons françaises. It should come as no surprise then, to learn that there’s a whole slew of myths surrounding this most beloved of beverages… here are just three of the most common. Myth #1 The French drink wine with […]

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Constructing The Iron Lady

Eiffel Tower

January 28th 1887 was an auspicious day for Gustave Eiffel, and for Paris as a whole, for it was the day that construction began on what was to become one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. However, Eiffel’s great iron pylon was never meant to endure for over a century; the Iron Lady, as it is fondly referred to, was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, commemorating the French Revolution, and was supposed to […]

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French Wine Facts and Figures

french wine

Since Roman times, wine has been made in France. In the North (e.g. Alsace), wines are usually made from a single variety of grape (e.g. Pinot Noir), whereas further south (e.g. Provence), they are typically blends (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon + Merlot). With 450 different appellations, there are literally tens of thousands of small wine-producing domaines; however, only 15% of all the appellations enjoy the benefit of an AOC designation.

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Paris Diary Dates For February

Gustav Klimt - Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer

Are you visiting the City of Light next month, and wondering what to do? Wonder no more, for here’s our round-up of some of the best events in February. Au temps de Klimt. La Sécession à Vienne Although he’s known as one of the Vienna Secession movement’s most prominent painters, Gustav Klimt’s work has not been without controversy, most notably that many of his contemporaries felt his work was too exotic. See for yourself at this new exhibition, featuring 180 […]

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French Luxury Goods


The world leader in luxury goods, including perfumes, cosmetics, fashion accessories, and haute couture, France is also the top producer of liquors on the planet, and second only to Italy in terms of wine. L’hexagone produces some of the world’s most famous liqueurs; Armagnac, Chambord, Chartreuse, Cointreau, Cognac, Crème de Cassis, Grand Marnier, Mandarine Napoléon, Pastis, Triple Sec, and more. Délicieux!

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Three French Food Myths Debunked


Mention the French, and the first thing that usually comes to mind is fine wine and equally fine dining. Indeed, marketers know that if you want to make a particular type of food seem really upmarket, just add the word, ‘French’ in front of it, and voilà! people start clamoring for it. But what about the stereotypical ‘French’ foods the world associates with us? Do we deserve these accolades – and in some cases, the criticism? Did Julia Child, MFK […]

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Upcoming Events in France: Q1 2015

menton lemon festival

There may be a lack of sunshine in some parts of France at the moment, however, there’s no shortage of things to see and do while on a visit between now and March. Please note that while we’ve made every effort to ensure that the information below is correct, sometimes schedules may change, so do be sure to check the relevant websites before you go. Splash some cash From now until February 7th, les soldes d’hiver (winter sales) are a […]

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What Do France’s Nuclear Power and Crocodiles Have In Common?

La Ferme aux Crocodiles

France is the top producer of nuclear electricity in Europe, and second in the world, after the United States. L’Hexagone produces as much nuclear electricity as Spain, the UK, Russia, and Germany combined. The Tricastin Nuclear Power Center supplies hot water to La Ferme aux Crocodiles in Pierrelatte, near Montélimar, enabling the crocs and giant tortoises there to enjoy tropical conditions in their pools all year long.

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