How would you like to taste some of the world’s most prestigious wines for only 10 euro, or even for free? Then come to the Salon des Vins in Châteauneuf-du-Pape March 31 – April 2!
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the top wine regions in France, a favorite of connoisseurs worldwide. Its history goes back to the 14th century, when the Pope built his summer palace there. Popes need good wine to drink, so vines were planted and the rest is history.
For being such a wine mecca, the Salon des Vins is remarkably casual. It is held in the town’s community center, a big, plain room that you could imagine being used for Bingo games on a Tuesday night.
The room is filled with row after row of foldup tables, each with a winemaker standing behind it. You just walk up to a table and stick out your glass for a pour, and a friendly chat if you’d like. There is no place for wine snobbery in this relaxed, casual atmosphere.
Best of all, the Salon has offered free entry to my subscribers. Just use the promo code LifeInProvence when you buy your ticket at the website here.
Read all about it in The Good Life France!
Thousands of French families hunch over their Scrabble boards every weekend, as it’s the country’s favorite board game. But did you know that French Scrabble is different from the English-language version? And that its highest-scoring word is the name of a Scottish tipple?
And…it’s hard to believe…the French Scrabble world champion doesn’t speak French!
Read all about it in France Today!
Imagine the scene:
You are in a giant storage facility in middle-of-nowhere Provence. It’s a blazing hot day and you’ve just gathered some items from your storage locker.
You are about to leave when suddenly the power goes out. You find yourself in the dark, your wife is trapped in an elevator, and there is no one in the building to help.
You suddenly feel very far from home.
Ah, isn’t travel fun? Yes, this is what happened to Val and me last summer and, happily we lived to tell the tale. But it wasn’t easy! Burly firefighters might have been involved.
Read all about it in Frenchly!
I was thrilled to be invited by France Today to talk about Provence and my book An Insider’s Guide to Provence!
I spent about a half hour giving a little presentation, with lots of great photos, and then took questions from the audience. The webinar was recorded, so you can watch it if you’d like. Here’s the link (registration is required but it’s no big deal.)
France Today has done a bunch of these webinars, on subjects like French food and wine, French history, and different regions of the country. They are all recorded so check them out!
François Mitterrand was in trouble. Elected president two years earlier on the promise of a “French road to socialism,” things had not gone as planned. Perhaps he had gone too far, too fast, but within a year the French franc had collapsed and he was forced to make a U-turn. Then came an austerity program, and his popularity plunged.
Mitterrand decided to do what many unpopular politicians do: go on a foreign junket. He could strut about the world stage, show presidential leadership, and generally try to change the subject.
He picked neighboring Switzerland as his destination. It would be the first state visit by a French president in nearly 75 years—a nice way to capture headlines. And Switzerland being such a calm and safe country, what could possibly go wrong?
Enter absinthe, the drink nicknamed “the green fairy” that had long been banned, blamed for making people like Vincent van Gogh go insane. Find out how this illegal drink was at the center of an international scandal in calm little Switzerland.
Read all about it in The Good Life France!
France has a long and rich literary tradition, and the country has won more Nobel Prizes in Literature than any other. But that doesn’t mean that all French books are stuffy and boring–there are plenty of ripping good reads coming out of France!
But where do you find them? One good place to start is by looking at the winners of France’s literary awards. Many of these winners later get translated into English and are widely available. I’ve read a number of these books and really enjoyed them.
There are six big French literary prizes and they’ve all just been awarded. I’ve written an article describing them, to give you an idea what they are all about. If you want to skip the article, here’s on thing to remember: the Goncourt Prize. It’s the biggest of the Big Six awards and the books that win this are almost always great.
Read all about it in My French Life!