France might have the best bread in the world – baguettes, croissants, brioches, and much more. And don’t forget the pastries! Is there anything better than a rich French éclair?
But what if you can’t eat any of it? An estimated 7% of the population has a gluten intolerance of one sort or another. Can those unfortunate people eat safely in France? How do they navigate food stores and restaurants?
I faced this dilemma a few years ago when I was diagnosed with celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten intolerance. Given that my wife Val and I live part of the year in Provence, this was shocking news indeed—what would I eat? The good news is that we figured it out and now I eat very well! Let me share some of what we’ve learned.
Read my top tips for avoiding gluten in The Good Life France!
My wife Val and I live part of the year in Provence and we love all the great local wines. They come in any color you like—red, white, and pink—and range from inexpensive quaffers to bottles you’d be proud to serve to anyone.
Over time we’ve visited many of the local wineries and some of them we go back to year after year. I’ve put together a list of our favorites, all of which have nice tasting rooms and (usually) English-speaking staff. If you are looking for some tasty bottles and a fun experience, check out my recommendations at Perfectly Provence.
Patricia Sands is at it again! The author of the popular Love in Provence series has just published a novella, A Season of Surprises at the Villa des Violettes.
Readers are treated to a new chapter in the lives of our favorite Love in Provence characters—newlyweds Kat and Philippe, their wise neighbor Simone, Kat’s wacky friend Molly, and all the rest of the gang. Kat is opening a bed and breakfast at the Villa and preparations are frantic as the first customers are about to arrive. But then something goes terribly wrong…
Read all about it at Perfectly Provence!
Just west of Provence, across the mighty Rhône River, lays the Gard Department of France. Gard and Provence share a deep Roman history, from the days when both were part of the Roman region of Gallia.
Because it is so close to Provence, a visit to Gard makes for a nice day trip from Avignon or St-Rémy-de-Provence or wherever you might be staying. And one of the highlights of a visit is the city of Nîmes, once called Nemauses and known as “the most Roman city outside of Italy.” Emperor Augustus made Nemauses his local capital and today Nîmes is filled with sites and monuments that make it a must-see for any lover of Roman history.
Read all about it at Perfectly Provence!
Let’s say you are staying in St-Rémy-de-Provence and expecting beautiful weather, only to discover that it’s raining buckets. Or maybe it’s one of those days that is just so hot you can’t move. What to do? Here’s an idea—go to the movies!
St-Rémy has a delightful little theater that shows first-run movies, including some in English. And there are several nearby towns with movie theaters as well. Read all about them, and how to find the English-language movies, at Perfectly Provence!
The gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement exploded across France last November.
Thousands of people gathered each week to block traffic and protest against the government. Driven by social media and seemingly leaderless, this protest was unlike any in living memory. And it definitely took the government by surprise.
I wondered what French people thought about this whole gilets jaunes business, so I asked some. Their answers might surprise you.
Read all about it at My French Life!
France is full of gorgeous wine regions. They range from Alsace, with its fairy tale villages, to Cassis, with vineyards that nearly touch the sea. And then there’s Beaujolais. Its vine-covered hillsides are as pretty as any in France. You’ll find it in the south of Burgundy, a region that’s world famous for its wines.
My wife and I recently spent some time in Beaujolais and it was wonderful. If you are curious about what it’s like to visit there, read my article in The Good Life France!
The latest Shanghai Ranking of the world’s universities has just been published. And once again France is disappointed. The list is dominated by American and British universities, while the top school in France is only ranked #37, four spots below the University of North Carolina. Headlines across France all have the same message: France “lags behind” and something must be done!
Are French universities really that bad? Or does the Shanghai Ranking not value the things that make them special? I decided to find out.
Read what I learned at Frenchly!
You’re probably familiar with the stereotype: the French are always on vacation. And it’s true that they get a lot of time off — not including public holidays, the French enjoy an average of 30 business days off per year, compared to only 16 in the United States.
Taking several weeks off in the summer is a French tradition. In fact, the summer season is so busy that it’s hard for everyone to vacation at the same time, so some go in July and some in August. There are even nicknames for them: the July vacationers are juilletistes (from the word juillet, for July) and the August vacationers are aoûtiens (août means August).
What’s not clear is if all that time off hurts the French economy. Should those français and française quit sipping wine and get back to work?
Read all about it at Frenchly!
Val and I love trying new restaurants in St-Rémy, and one of our recent discoveries is A la Table de Nicolas. The chef is a Master Restauranteur, always a mark of quality, and the food is fresh and delicious–mostly organic and sourced from local farmers. And they even do takeout, a rarity in France.
If you are in Provence and want some great and reasonably-pricing dining, this is a place you’ll want to check out!
Read all about it in Perfectly Provence.