Articles

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 …

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 …

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 …

Putting Art at the Heart of Travel

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 will inject new life into tired eyes and feet, so you’re …

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 …

Europe’s hippest hostels: chic on the cheap!

Hostels sometimes used to be thought of as dingy, crowded, last-resort lodging that was only for hippies, students, random backpackers and possibly criminals — and perhaps that is the impression that some people still have of them. That old stereotype is completely outdated in the many shiny and modern new hostels that have been popping up around Europe lately and competing with one another for a chunk of a highly coveted market. Hostels cater to …

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 …

Eight Most Unusual Places to Lay Your Head

Whether you’re an occasional wanderer or a travel obsessive, there will probably be days when your hotel room leaves you uninspired. Even the excitement of investigating bathroom freebies wears off after a while – well, just how many shower caps, sewing kits and mini soaps does one person need in their life? Luckily, the travel industry has responded to the weariness brought on by muted colour schemes, ill-fitting bath robes and identikit corridors, in the …

Exploring Paris Like a Local

If there is one city that is on every traveler’s bucket list, it is probably Paris. The Eiffel Tower, romance, the Seine, Notre Dame… how can you resist the charms of the City of Lights? I certainly can’t and I know lots of other people can’t either, and that is exactly the problem with Paris. Its greatest draws directly result in its greatest downfalls: crowds, rude waitstaff, picture-snapping tourists and overpriced food.

To find the …