Category: France

Europe Through the Windscreen (Part Two)


Like all of England, the rural landscape is manicured, clean and precise – the habits of an old and fastidious land where the great British tradition of an afternoon tea in a quirky worn-around-the-edges Tea Room is a prerequisite. Driving a Bentley Continental GT Speed (Conti Speed) through the rolling vastness of Kent’s achingly beautiful countryside, I head to Deal and the promise of finding one such remote temple to great …

Chez Tante Fauvette: A Tiny, Disheveled Restaurant that Oozes French Charm

Northern France is a bit of a secret place for foodies. Its gourmet reputation is well known, but only amongst those who live there. Saint Omer for instance, just 30 minutes inland from the French port of Calais, has a great little bistro in the old town – Chez Tante Fauvette, just a few steps from the Notre Dame.

I heard about it through a local friend who slipped me the name and address on …

In Northern France

Just on an hour’s drive south of Calais, wedged in between Le Touquet and Arras, in the historic Somme valleys, is Chateau Bermicourt. Built in 1826, the ancestral Chateau served as the HQ for the Royal tank Corps in the Great War; and during WWII it was occupied by German forces. Although the Chateau is still a private residence lived in by the young de la Border family, its out buildings have been developed into …

Paris: Angelina’s Tearoom… enter the world of temptation

If the words ‘glamour’ and ‘gourmet’ conceptualise your ideal Parisian foodie experience then Café Angelina’s elegant interiors, majestic chandeliers and fabulous pastries will leave your expectations flailing in the wake of the locals rushing for a seat.

Angelina has established itself as a high point of Parisian gourmet pleasures. It’s a luxury brand with a prestigious image that symbolises the ‘French Way of Life’. Angelina’s patisserie and tearoom has been a favourite spot of well-heeled …

Yuletide Lights Around the World

Christmas Tree image courtesy Feelart at

There’s something about festive Christmas lights twinkling and blinking in the night that enhances entire cities at once. Thousands of decorations, led light displays, over-sized ornaments suspended high above busy shopping areas, and magical state-of-the-art lighting that transforms everyday streets into an extravaganza. Some destinations around the world are well known for their festive lighting displays that attract visitors from near and far to stand in awe of

5 Chocolate Lover’s Destinations

Nothing says love more than chocolate – well, at least for most people. Why not plan a getaway to a destination known for chocolate? Go to a far flung part of the world where the heavenly creation of sweetened food made from cocoa beans excites your taste buds. What could be better than combining your love for travel with your love for chocolate?

Belgian Chocolates by Simon Howden


In the European Kingdom of Belgium, …

Gourmet Secrets from the South of France – a 100km/3-day culinary tour of the Midi-Pyrenees

Toulouse is the birthplace of Concorde, the Ariane Rocket and home to Airbus. It also boasts sixteen-hundred boutiques, a thousand restaurants and a myriad other gourmet finds which demand further investigation. Which is why, upon arrival at Toulouse Blagnac Airport, I made my way to the prestigious Victor Hugo market, famous throughout France for its gourmet stalls and where I was told, I would definitely to find something new to like.

Across the street from the …

5 Worldwide Christmas Markets to Visit

Strasbourg Christmas Market courtesy Office de Tourisme de Strasbourg

When you think of Christmas Markets the first place that comes to mind are the traditional ones located in Europe – specifically in Germany and Austria, where old cobbled streets decorated with stringed lights house wooden chalet stalls that sell everything festive.

Strasbourg, France

Located in the Rhine Valley, Strasbourg is a sprawling metropolitan city. It has a mix of French and German cultures because of …

Auvers-sur-Oise: The Impressionist Parisian Hideaway

The fact that I missed my early morning Eurostar from London to Paris may be down to the fact that, through use of the plagued Eastern European, African and South American railways, I’ve conditioned myself to expect train travel to be functionally disorganized. But it also may be down to the fact that I have poor time management, a lacking sense of urgency and a faulty alarm clock. Whatever the case, this is exactly what happened …

Putting Art at the Heart of Travel

A replica of Michelangelo’s David – the real one is inside

One of the nicest things about the world’s greatest art galleries is that they tend to be in the world’s greatest cities – which is incredibly convenient. Once you’ve walked through kilometres of galleries and squinted at countless treasures until your arty-farty quotient is exhausted, you can soak up the vibe of the city around you. Theatres, restaurants, pubs, clubs, parks and shops galore …

Ten Ways to Traverse Lyon

Upon arriving in Lyon, France’s third largest city and textile capital, it took me all of twenty minutes to figure out how French women maintain their slim figures.

They walk, everywhere. And in a city like Lyon, where the topography rivals that of San Francisco, there’s nothing even remotely simple about a “simple stroll” through the boutiques of the Cote de Grande.

Fortunately, the city boasts a surprising number of alternatives—nine to be exact—thus proving …

Seven trips inspired by Disney Movies

Inspiration for your next trip can come from many places — websites, guidebooks, other people’s travel tales and even classic Disney cartoons. Those idealized landscapes, the sweeping opening shots set to iconic music — no trip could ever be as perfect as it seems in a Disney movie, could it? Here are seven trips to try out and see if life is as wonderful as art.

An African safari (The Lion King)
Perhaps …

Traveler’s French in Four Phrases

Now what, you may ask, is the interest of learning a small measure of French? Those of you who have traveled to France can relate to the frustration of waiting years to use your high school French knowledge, only to be rebuffed with English by a smug crêpe seller. Moreover, they only speak French in that one European country — Paris, or something. Mandarin Chinese is much more practical.

French, the language of love and …

France – Boulogne’s Best

A seven a.m. departure from Dover, a UK sea port, will have you across the English Channel in France’s Boulogne  just over an hour later, giving us just sufficient time to freshen up, take in a coffee (and a patisserie) and plan our morning. This ferry service is run by LD Lines which delivers its passengers to the quay at the foot of Boulogne’s town centre in just over an hour (midweek crossings are cost …