Friday Photo – A Misty Dordogne

Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time organising my photo stock. It’s one task I find addictive, taking me back in time to great meals, interesting trips, quality time spent with my favourite folk, watching my daughter’s development, trying to capture those moments when the simple beauty in nature leaves me (and my lens)…

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

This is a post specifically for a couple of wanderlusting pals who are about to set off to France for a deserved break. On their itinerary is  Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, capital of the marshy region called the Camargue. Driving south on the D570 from Arles, the land is flat and green. As hotels begin to punctuate the…

Bonjour, French Food!

It’s sometimes surprising to think of London as France’s sixth biggest city, with a French population greater than centres like Bordeaux or Nantes. With so many French people living here, Monsieur included, there’s a definite demand for French food to stave off their homesickness for familiar edibles. Factor in a large population of Francophiles and…

Hotel La Coupe d’Or, Lisieux

Monsieur, the Crevette and I were driving south through Normandy when Lisieux, the pilgrimage town where Sainte Thérèse of Lisieux lived, popped up before us, just in time for lunch. We had a pleasant arrival in the small, sloped town, circumnavigating pretty roundabouts, one with a giant Norman apple as its centrepiece, and being the…

This Little Piggy Went to Market – in La Rochelle

Doing the daily shop, French-style. These aubergines are shinier than a militia man’s boots. The lobster tank was looking a bit empty. I suspect there’d been a rush on lobster for cooling summer seafood platters. This little piggy went to market, to hang out next to his brothers who are now a pair of delicious dried sausages….

Les Fleurs du Thym restaurant, Les Sables d’Olonne

It’s hot, the heat has fried any sort of decision-making mechanism that Monsieur and I might once have possessed, and we’re hungry. The afternoon has been spent squeezed onto a beach with hundreds and thousands of French holidaymakers at Les Sables d’Olonne in the Bay of Biscay and we’d prefer not to spend the evening looking out at…

Les Sables d’Olonne

Monsieur and I recently found ourselves in the searing hot Vendée region of France. On arrival it was forty degrees in the shade and the land was baking. The beach beckoned, so off we set for the coast for a swim. As it was still holiday season, we knew it would be busy, but the scene that…

Falling for Flammekueche at Les 3 Brasseurs

It’s official: Epicurienne has discovered a new guilty pleasure: Flammekueche. Translated from Alsatian, it means ‘flame cake’. It doesn’t arrive in a flash of fire, as its name might suggest, but is in fact cooked in a wood-fired oven. In the eating, it’s not dissimilar to pizza. In the words of Blue Peter, here’s one I…

Love Locks on the Pont des Arts, Paris

**Health Warning: some parts of this post are love-struck and sentimental. Should you still decide to continue  reading this, please ensure that your anti-nausea medication is to hand. Have you heard of the Love Locks trend in Europe? It’s when you place a padlock on a bridge in the hope that your love will burn…

Parisian Eye Candy

Now that I’m an old, married woman, this is my idea of Serious Eye Candy: A windowful of beautiful handbags that had me drooling on a recent visit to Paris. If I had a spare €3,000.00 I’d buy six. Oui, I have impeccable taste. They retail at €500 – €600 a piece. Alas, I have…

Le Grain de Sel, Saint-Remy-de-Provence

Last April, Monsieur and I visited Rome and were completely robbed at one establishment where the €20.00 menu served the sort of lifeless food that I wouldn’t give to my dead grandmother. A man, claiming to be a patron of the restaurant, then started harassing me online, stating that I was mistaken about said establishment…

Hotel Pullman, Marseille Palm Beach

Marseille: an ancient city renowned for many things, among which number its huge commercial port, a small crime problem, the legendary Château d’If and fine bouillabaisse. The city lent its name to the French national anthem, la Marseillaise, pastis was born here and Marcel Pagnol took childhood walks in the lush Parc Borély. I suggest that we add to this hall of fame the Hotel Pullman Marseille Palm…