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Paris Pâtissier Offers a Diamond for Epiphany

Paris Pâtissier Offers a Diamond for Epiphany

This New Year could prove a jewel for some lucky punter who gets in line for a very special Galette des Rois (Epiphany pastry) on sale at Olivier and Isabelle Guérin’s Paris boulanger-pâtissier (Boulangerie de la Gare, Andrésy, Yvelines 78700). For, determined to celebrate the pastry shop’s third and toughest anniversary in style, the enterprising […]

The Scent of Black – Truffles and Cahors Wine

Want the low down on Cahors truffles, terroir and wine? GrapeRadio lays it out in this 27 December 2010 YouTube vidcast In the Cahors region of France, black truffles are almost literally as valuable as gold in the culinary world. Prized for their glorious scent, black truffles are fungi that grow exclusively on the roots […]

Sarkozy-Merkel and the U.S. of Europe

In a deal done at Deauville in October the French and German leaders effectively signed up the rest of the EU to a federation thus ensuring that Germany does not foot the entire bill for saving the embattled Euro, according to a post-Christmas analysis by the Wall Street Journal. The proximate cause of the problem? […]

France Moving Right as Europe Collapses?

France Moving Right as Europe Collapses?

Could France move sharply right in the 2012 presidential elections, as voters grow fearful of a shattered Euro, EU state insolvencies, economic insecurity, immigration and secularism (read Islam)? That certainly is the belief of some political observers after Marine le Pen, the shrewd 42-year-old lawyer and heiress presumptive to the leadership of the Front National, […]

Socialists Shamed by Street Prayers

Socialists Shamed by Street Prayers

French Socialists have been shamed into taking a stand on street prayers as the political fallout continued from the controversial and widely condemned remarks by Marine Le Pen, presumptive heiress to the leadership of the Front National, regarding Muslims praying in public places. Socialist Party spokesman, Benoît Hamon, given a rough ride by Jean-Jacques Bourdin […]

Pompiers Man the Wrong Pumps … oops

Pompiers Man the Wrong Pumps … oops

Rather than putting out fires Parisian firemen have, allegedly, ignited a right proper smokey, heat-filled blaze … in a porn magazine. This being a family newspaper we have omitted the pictorial “proof” but Le Parisien has no such qualms. Le Parisien reports that the French National Firefighters Federation, the FNSPF, has laid a complaint with […]

Paris Metro, the Theatre Underground

Paris Metro, the Theatre Underground

Travelling the Paris metro is never dull. Apart from its network icons — historic and cinematic stations on much of it — there are the hoardings, a long line of contemporary art works in a vast underground gallery, the Parisian vignettes that are one’s fellow travellers and the metro’s own varied entertainment industry. Below are […]

Christmas Holidays Start in Driving Snow

Christmas Holidays Start in Driving Snow

As Christmas school holidays began and the country hit the highways to spend Christmas with friends and families, Le Parisien warns drivers to expect more snow ice and difficult driving conditions in most places. The paper later added that France might consider making winter tyres compulsory on all vehicles if harsh winters were to become […]

Wikileaks Saga – Some Revealing TV Clips

Wikileaks Saga – Some Revealing TV Clips

“Democracy without transparency is no democracy, it’s just an empty word” – a Wikileaks spokesman. “Are you a spectator or an active participant” – former Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Domschiet-Berg (now part of the rival internet leaker, OpenLeaks) This report was made by Swedish TV before the recent arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and released […]

Muslim ‘Occupation’ Remark Sparks Rage

Muslim ‘Occupation’ Remark Sparks Rage

Remarks comparing Muslims who take over streets in parts of Paris and elsewhere for Friday prayers, with the Nazi German occupation of France during World War 11, have provoked outrage across the political spectrum as left and right jockey in the run-up to the 2012 presidential race. With predictably routine anger mainstream parties across the […]

Try Marchés de Noël for a Last Minute Shop

Try Marchés de Noël for a Last Minute Shop

Christmas Markets around France are the best place for a last minute gift shopping trip. Full of character, locally made food and handicrafts, mulled wine, spicy cakes, cinnamon goodies and lots of seasonal warmth and good cheer. This website Marchés de Noël en France provides full details of every market in the country showing many […]

More Snow and a Big Freeze Expected

More Snow and a Big Freeze Expected

More extreme cold is expected this week across much of France and conditions may cause more snow starting Wednesday December 15, just a week after a deep snowfall plunged Paris into total chaos. Patrick Galois, a Meteo France forecaster says the week ahead: “will be dominated by freezing temperatures, and snow with the early limited […]

SocGen Staff Demand Kerviel Kompensation

SocGen Staff Demand Kerviel Kompensation

An undisclosed number of the 157,000 staff employed globally by Société Générale , an institution now synonymous with rogue trader Jerome Kerviel, are threatening to sue their employer for 15,000 euros each for “damage and strain” in the wake of the affair. Although a Paris court held that Kerviel alone was responsible for the 5 […]

Cantona’s Goalfree Bank-Run

Cantona’s Goalfree Bank-Run

Soccer hero Eric Cantona inspired internauts but failed to impress the home team December 7 as France’s much hyped bank-run disrupted very little if any business at the nation’s 25,000 bank outlets. But that doesn’t mean the wider message failed to hit the mark. Cantona may not have persuaded the 98% of his countrymen that […]

Having Trouble Saving? Try the Miser Wallet

When we were kids and building societies still tottered up your daily balance in ponderous paper ledgers, my mother organised her household budget by putting the weekly shopping money into separate envelopes. When that was gone nothing more could be bought until the following week. Today such habits are dying or dead. Our spending is […]

End of the Road for the Tabac?

End of the Road for the Tabac?

Angered at nicotine withdrawal as government moves to lift all restrictions on the free circulation of cigarettes in France, the nation’s tobacconists are puffing up black smoke and stormy warnings about threats to 120,000 jobs. The Assemblée Nationale December 8 however voted down the proposed dismantling of remaining restrictions on the free movement of tobacco, […]

Season of Goodwill and Christmas Cheer

‘Tis the season of goodwill …. and early snowfalls across France. In the mood of the month here is some festive music rendered, in some of the clips, by groups participating in Random Acts of Culture, a welcome idea now starting to spread. First off here with nine million hits on YouTube is the Hallelujah […]

Could Cantona Cause a Bank Run?

Could Cantona Cause a Bank Run?

First the French Finance Minister wagged her finger, then a top banker weighed in and now the media are in full flow, Cantona’s efforts to provoke a bank run in France on December 7 just scored a goal. As we blogged here earlier Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is “irritated”, according to Le Figaro, by Cantona’s […]

Should We Join String-up-a-Banker Day?

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde is, according to Le Figaro “irritated” by the increasingly popular Cantona call for depositors to crash the banking system by mass ATM withdrawals on December 7. Her irritation is understandable but then so is that of the former professional footballer and his Interweb-networked campaigners. For as the “most serious economic […]

Cashing-in from Flopenhagen to Cancún

Cashing-in from Flopenhagen to Cancún

As a two-week, UN-sponsored climate change jamboree opened in Cancún, Mexico, participants hoped to salvage something from the snow-dumped wreck they left behind 11 months ago, at what the French now label, Flopenhagen. Many Governments have gone global-lukewarm after the Copenhagen fiasco while voter concerns have shifted to global banks, global recession and severe economic […]

Snow Chokes Paris: Live Traffic Information for All France

Live Traffic Information Centre France Whole Weather Summary National Road Information Bulletin for December 9, 2010 at 08:00 Weather Summary REGION ILE DE FRANCE Traffic conditions: Because of traffic conditions, the following routes are cut for a period known: N118 Vélizy In Ulis in both directions (78-91 Dep) Exterior N104 at the height of the […]

Hermès Saddles up Against LVMH

Hermès Saddles up Against LVMH

Christmas at Hermès this year will see the family heirs fighting to retain control of the 173-year-old Paris fashion house which started life making fine saddles and equestrian accessories for the hunting and racing fraternities. Thierry Hermès founded his firm near the Grands Boulevards in Paris in 1837, opening his most famous store at 24 […]

EU States Curb Freedom of Speech?

EU States Curb Freedom of Speech?

The International Free Press Society sponsored a freedom of speech conference November 27, 2010 in Copenhagen. Below is the opening part of an address by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. In it she raises serious concerns about the impacts on freedom of speech of EU legislation which comes into effect November 28, 2010. The relevant directive is the “Council […]

Euro Crisis Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Euro Crisis Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

The cry has gone up in the financial heartlands of Lisbon, Madrid and Dublin, the bears among the bond traders are salivating over the woes of the common currency, that means of course the euro in the pockets of the French resident readers of this newspaper and everyone else in the zone. Be afraid we […]

Writing on the (Facebook) Wall? Don’t

Writing on the (Facebook) Wall? Don’t

A French Employment Tribunal has just ruled that an engineering firm’s dismissal of three employees for badmouthing managers and the HR department on the social networking site Facebook, was “justified”. The Employment Tribunal had been asked to rule that the dismissal by the Paris firm Alten based at Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts-de-Seine) was illegal because the Facebook […]

Swiss Max – The Genteel Highwayman

Swiss Max – The Genteel Highwayman

He could be everyone’s favourite grandfather, silver-haired, distinguished, well-spoken, tall and imposing but the man in the picture has earned a formidable reputation on the highways and byways of France as a consummate but charming rogue. Matteo Schaub or Swiss Max as news reports call him is, according to this website set up to stop […]

Strikes Over? Now Here’s Your Homework

Strikes Over? Now Here’s Your Homework

Striking students who blockaded schools in many parts of France during the recent anti-government pension protests, keeping teachers and non-strikers from class ahead of half-term, are now learning about payback. According to the Rue89 newspaper the leaders of the blockade at the Lycée Galilée de Combs-la-Ville, Seine et Marne (a southern Paris suburb) have been […]

Can You Keep Up?

With thanks to Twitter follower @claudebenard

Crazy Catalan Cows Wreak Village Havoc

Crazy Catalan Cows Wreak Village Havoc

Mad, bad, Catalan cows are terrorising the peaceful villagers of L’Albère in the Pyrenees-Orientales, goring walkers, trashing vehicles and skinny-dipping in private swimming pools. To the indignation of the locals, hot-blooded Spanish bovines, imbued with the El Conquistador spirit, pour down the mountain pass from La Jonquera, Girona in northeastern Spain, just 11 km south, […]

One Million Acts of Kindness

One Million Acts of Kindness

Here’s a great idea: 1 million d’actions pour la gentillesse November 13 2010 has been named “La Journée de la Gentillesse”, Acts of Kindness Day and this page shows the thousands of people around France who have committed to doing just that in their community. To add yours go here See the videos of others […]

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