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French Pets: Cats are So Yesterday!

French Pets: Cats are So Yesterday!

For anything up 130 euros a time Dog in the City will preen and cosset Parisians answering to the name of York, Felix or Diane. Little wonder Sabrina Elbaz, the patronne of this pampered pet parlour in the bohemian Marais quartier, calls all her clients “princess”. The beauty pitch for these overindulged domestic animals might go something like this: […]

Bourré’s Gourmet Mushroom Secrets

Bourré’s Gourmet Mushroom Secrets

Where once there were hundreds of mushroom caves in France, today only 30 remain and the most successful specialise in scarce gourmet delicacies. Susan Walter of the Days on the Claise blog recently visited and photographed the crop. Her report below is reproduced by kind permission of the writer. A reader has kindly pointed out […]

August is Time to Go Bats in France

August is Time to Go Bats in France

Over the last weekend in August France and the rest of European Union, celebrate the 17th year of Die Fledermaus — no not the one by Johann Strauss (below) — but the now heavily protected nocturnal insecticide bomb which in France comes in a startling 34 varieties. However this year events scheduled for the Night of […]

The Clandestine Winemakers of Vaucluse

The Clandestine Winemakers of Vaucluse

Provence writer Bradley Kuett takes a hike through the Vaucluse to discover a wine borie from the 16th century — and an ancient intriguing tale of tax “mitigation”. Gordes: Relics of Ancient Winemaking; Stone Cabins Called Bories Outfitted with Wine Vats Hollowed out of Rock by Bradley B Kuett of the Provence Ventoux Blog It began with a walk […]

Real Food Restaurants – The Fightback Begins

Real Food Restaurants  – The Fightback Begins

With two out of three French restaurants reported to be no more than food assembly lines — microwaving packs of prepared industrial cuisine — concerned consumers are starting to demand value for money and signs to flag up home made food. The fight back against industrialised ‘restauranteering’ in France – reportedly some 80 % of the […]

Map Shows Traffic Radars in South West France

Map Shows Traffic Radars in South West France

Summer is here and French highways and byways beckon but, as the Sudouest website warns, motorists should beware. France has toughened controls on speed and other offences and introduced new weapons in the fight against death on the roads. Know where the cameras are on this interactive sudouest.fr map. (Click the image) This interactive map […]

Australian Army’s Single Bloodiest Day of War

Australian Army’s Single Bloodiest Day of War

What is described as “the single bloodiest day in the history of the Australian Army” and one of Australia’s greatest 20th century tragedies, took place at Fromelles (Northern France) on the 19 and 20 July 1916. In 2014 two significant anniversaries will take place in Europe: 100 years since the outbreak of the Great War […]

Parisians Prepare for a Catty Coffee Break

Parisians Prepare for a Catty Coffee Break

Heard of alley cats? Nasty, feral caterwaulers normally. Well Parisians are about to learn all about ‘bar cats’, billed as altogether a softer more feminine feline offering pampering therapies to stressed out cafe customers. That anyway is the idea behind the latest Japanese import opening mid-September in the Marais district of central Paris thanks to the […]

Wine Producers go Hi-Tech Against Fraudsters

Wine Producers go Hi-Tech Against Fraudsters

Making sure a glass of wine is everything it promises on the label was once a relatively simple process: hold against the light, tilt and observe the shade, swirl a little and give it a good sniff. But with the ever-increasing global consumption of…

Paris: A Maze of Mushroom Caves

Paris: A Maze of Mushroom Caves

Behind the ubiquitous champignon de Paris found in street markets and greengrocers country-wide, lies a fascinating, cavernous and  capital tale, as Norman Ball relates. Republished from here by kind permission of the writer Norman Ball, who is joint publisher of the Parisian Fields blog. Mushrooms, manure, and the secret of French food Posted on August 4, 2013by Parisian Fields Recently, at The Astrolabe Gallery, a print and map store on […]

French Hot-air balloon Festival sets New Records

French Hot-air balloon Festival sets New Records

A massive gathering of hot-air balloon enthusiasts in northeastern France has set two world records, filling the sky with 408 of the colourful craft at one time and lining up 391 of them for takeoff. But organisers of the Lorraine Mondial Air Ballons…

Aux Armes Help Save the Ecrevisse

Aux Armes Help Save the Ecrevisse

The call is out to all who support local produce for the pan — join the great freshwater crayfish cull. There is no restricted season, all that’s needed is a license and you can enjoy year round Poulet Marengo, one of Napoleon’s favourite dishes, while helping the local eco-system too. For the call to the cull is […]

The Green Threat to St Tropez Hedonism

The Green Threat to St Tropez Hedonism

It was Brigitte Bardot in the 1956 Roger Vadim film “… And God Created Woman” who inspired champagne-drenched hedonists and global glitterati to gather at Saint-Tropez and celebrate extravagantly — a sparkle that has endured for more than half a century. But now this 50-year run of summer stardom, power yachtsmanship, raffish, ostentatious lifestyle and […]

No Mitey Mimolette for US Consumers

No Mitey Mimolette for US Consumers

A campaign is underway to save French Mimolette and its mites from a ban imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which says the number of microscopic mites on the cheese rind exceeds the regulation quota allotted to food migrants … or words to that effect.  The FDA impounded tonnes of the hard orange shaded cheese earlier in […]

The Great War Remembered

The Great War Remembered

More than 60 million served and more than 16 million died in World War I as the armies of the Triple Entente –Britain, France and the Russian Empire  joined forces against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary in a “war to end all wars.”   That fervent hope failed to materialise however —the Great War was not the war […]

Hail: ‘Catastrophic’ Damage to Burgundy Vines

Hail: ‘Catastrophic’ Damage to Burgundy Vines

A summer hailstorm has caused “catastrophic” damage to prestigious vineyards in France’s Burgundy region, with up to 70 percent of crops destroyed on some estates, local wine producers said Wednesday. The storms on Tuesday, which saw strong hail accompanied…

Tour the Eiffel with Google Museum View

Tour the Eiffel with Google Museum View

Google and its 360-degree Street View cameras have headed off to the Eiffel tower in Paris to capture views on its three visitor levels and offer an unprecedented panoramic vista of Paris. Google explains that to capture the images, its Street View team joined the queue and  followed the footsteps of the seven million visitors […]

Gite Owner in France? Tax Changes For You

Gite Owner in France? Tax Changes For You

Owners of Gites rented to thousands of national and foreign tourists across rural France each season could be hit by a recent government move to cutback tax allowances on their operations. The change appears to give some curious advantages to a privately-run, market-dominant network. This article, republished here by kind permission of  David Yeates, editor of french-property.com sets out […]

French Socialists: Yes We Can/No We Can’t

French Socialists: Yes We Can/No We Can’t

There will be no fracking in France while I am President, says François Hollande (*) clearly hoping that such unequivocal words — delivered as fellow citizens languidly basked in a hot sunny 14 Juillet holiday — will finally put a hugely sensitive public issue to rest. But this is an increasingly unpopular president, one with […]

US Taxes: the Residence-based Plan

US Taxes: the Residence-based Plan

Apart from Eritrea the United States is the only country in the world that levies taxes based on citizenship rather than place of residency. For American expats in France and elsewhere this raises a number of issues. As reported last August not too many U.S. expats or would-be expats are aware but Washington is on a […]

On the Trail of le Snail at Fête de l’Escargot

On the Trail of le Snail at Fête de l’Escargot

As escargot connoisseurs gather for this year’s 23rd Fête de l’Escargot in August they may be surprised to learn that 90% of what they are sitting down to enjoy is imported, mainly from Eastern Europe. True snail aficionados may well be only whispering this uncomfortable truth, for they hope that a campaign underway to specify […]

FACTA hits Americans’ Access to Bank Service

FACTA hits Americans’ Access to Bank Service

Banks worldwide, bending to controversial US FACTA legislation, are reportedly refusing banking service to non-residents having a connection to the United States — causing significant hardship to those abroad. As reported last August not too many U.S. expats or would-be expats may be aware but Washington is on a domestically-contested warpath deploying heavy artillery in […]

California Challenges Cahors on 4th July

California Challenges Cahors on 4th July

Paul Bush, a Californian winery owner is preparing a cheeky challenge this 4th of July with a special celebratory tasting pitting his wine against the famous French black wine and doing so in the Malbec heartland of Cahors. The challenge is the brainwave of the Americans in the Lot association which told French News Online: “The Bush […]

Poulenc, the Nuns and Place de la Nation

Poulenc, the Nuns and Place de la Nation

Francis Poulenc’s opera, Dialogues des Carmélites, written in 1956, depicts the death by guillotine of 16 Carmelite nuns during the Terror in 1794. Hearing haunting excerpts of the opera sent Toronto writer Philippa Campsie along an historic treasure trail searching for the original Compiègne convent.  Republished from here by kind permission of the writer who is joint publisher of the Parisian […]

Technology and Turnkey Tyranny

Technology and Turnkey Tyranny

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden justifying his actions in leaking news of the massive snooping by the US and its Western allies into the lives of its citizens said ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’. That won’t stop it but technology defences are out there as ProPublica explains […]

100th Tour de France – It’s a Medieval Affair

100th Tour de France – It’s a Medieval Affair

This year’s Tour de France, the 100th edition of this world famous race, starts Saturday June 29th 2013 in Porto Vecchio on Corsica — a first time for the event — and runs for 3,500 kms (2,200 miles) through 21 main stage towns to end in Paris on Sunday July 21st. Although the cycle race today […]

Mind Exercise? Try A Free Online MOOC

Mind Exercise? Try A Free Online MOOC

Now there is no excuse for being a couch potato when it comes to mind exercise. For anyone with Internet access can enrol on a range of university courses in eight different languages from 82 institutions worldwide and all free. The global teach-in or “massive open online courses (MOOCs)”, is the brainwave of  Artificial-intelligence researchers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller both from Stanford […]

A WWII Photo Mystery – Dachau to Chicago

A WWII Photo Mystery – Dachau to Chicago

Bruce Sadler is a man on a mission — similar in some ways to that of his late father Paul – and he hopes a treasure trove of 200 photos unearthed in his attic will help. For this pictorial hoard is a cache of never- seen-before World War II images retrieved by his dad, Paul […]

Linen Napkin that Hides Banned Gluttony

Linen Napkin that Hides Banned Gluttony

A famous and politically well-connected Bordeaux restaurateur is in the dog-box for allegedly having a range of protected birds available among gastronomic delicacies for which he is nationally renowned. He strenuously denies the allegations. However France’s 100-year-old Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) or League for the Protection of Birds, says it has brought a civil suit against […]

Libé’s Full Frontal Makes a Point in English

Libé’s Full Frontal Makes a Point in English

Libé, pop-paper of the trendy Left, has shocked the nation by publishing a front page entirely in English — while subversively failing to provide French sub-titles! The splash comes as feelings on university campuses and among what would once have been Left Bank cafe intellectuals, run high over plans to offer some courses at French universities … in […]

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