Christmas in France is a wonderful time of the year. Everyone is in a festive spirit when they visit their local marché de Noël, drinking mulled wine or a hot chocolate to warm your hands in the cold, or the snow if you’re lucky. You might be in Paris and peer into the dazzling window displays of Printemps. There’s the traditions of Christmas Eve, the Reveillon, where families attend midnight mass together and take their exquisite seafood dinner late into the night. And don’t forget to listen for the bells of père Noël. Here are some of my favourite images of a French Christmas.
Classical and elegant, yet bold and brilliant, the city of Bordeaux has something for everyone. If you love wine, it’s among the best in the world. If you love food, there is foie gras and canelés. If you love history, Bordeaux is a potent mix of the medieval, the Renaissance and the modern. In fact, walk around the city and you’ll find almost half of it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. For those of you like me who adore their history, here are the best things to do and see in Bordeaux.
Recently my toddler was out in the garden, and as all curious toddlers must, he picked up a passing snail and put it into his mouth. “No!” I cried, pulling something slimy and half munched from his mouth. “We don’t eat snails!” Well actually, if you live in France, you do.
I’ve always wanted to go to a restaurant, raise my hand languidly and say “Waiter, a bottle of your finest Dom Perignon”, as if it were a regular occurrence. Unless this history blog takes off into the stratosphere, this is likely to remain a dream. So, champagne. Not sparkling wine, I mean the real deal. The Champagne region in the north east corner of France has long been known for its superior wines. Even Henry VIII kept his own vineyard…