France

Insider’s guide to France

Riviera Reverie

Here’s the slideshow you didn’t know you were craving from my recent trip to the South of France which involved the usual hijinks and

Parisian politesse

One of my favorite lines in the Pixar movie Ratatouille occurs when the young chef and his chic Parisian girlfriend have to leave a roomful of people in a hurry and she announces bluntly, “We hate to be rude … but we’re French!” Who doesn’t chuckle at the thought of those brusque, supercilious Parisians? So I…

Le Big Mac

Fair warning, foodies. Look away now for today we are going to talk about committing a gastronomical gaffe of the first order. Yes, this is the I-went-to-Paris-and-ate-at-McDonald’s post. What can I say? I was standing on the Champs-Elysees, taking in the Arc de Triomphe, when suddenly my eye was caught by an arch of a…

Going down under in Paris

Downside of touring the Paris sewer system: You realize you can never complain about your work again. Upside: You get a fascinating look at the underground labyrinth that keeps a great city going. A sewer museum may not be the first thing you think of when you list the sights of Paris, but the Musee…

Lose Yourself in Paris

Want to know the best way to experience Paris? Get lost. No, I’m not being rude (for once). Simply wandering the streets is an excellent way to soak up the sights and sounds of one of the world’s great cities. The trick is to have some sort of guidebook handy so if you find something…

Undersea bottles catch a new wave in wine

Homer wrote about “the wine-dark sea.” But a couple of winemakers in the South of France are making it a reality. Yes, in what has to be one of the coolest innovations I’ve come across in a while, the wineries of Chateau Champs des Soeurs and Abbaye Sainte Eugenie are experimenting with aging wine under…

Champagne at a glance

I get no kick from champagne, sings the lovesick swain in Cole Porter’s jazzy song, but he’s probably in the minority on that. Most of us like the bubbles, and especially bubbles from Champagne, the French wine region that is synonymous with effervescent romance. I learned a lot on my recent trip to Champagne; here’s…

How to Marry a French Farmer

  Interesting story this week in the New York Times about the loneliness of the French farmer. Being in France myself for the Champagne harvest, I was particularly interested to read that online dating sites have sprung up to remedy the problem, including www.atraverschamp.com, which means Across the Fields. According to the Ministry of Agriculture,…

Champions of Champagne

You know you’re a Bad Mother when you post a tweet about arriving in Champagne and Child 2 responds “so THAT’S where you are!” What can I say? Life’s been a wee bit rushed lately. Indeed I am in Champagne, just in time for one of the earliest harvests on record. The trip was organized…