Picture perfect Provence in the spring

26 Mar

Provence is a land of tiny medieval villages, with buildings of warm, worn stone walls covered with abundant, beautiful blooms, especially in the spring… Colours of Provence The bright, vivid colours of Vielle Nice and Villefranche-sur-mer contribute to a lively atmosphere of a perpetual holiday. Powder blue shutters, Cypress trees and the sound of cicadas […]

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In the footsteps of the Impressionists on the Alabaster Coast of France

15 Mar

Claude Monet’s paintings of the Alabaster coast in Normandy, and in particular Etretat, are hung on the walls of the most prestigious art museums throughout the world. (Above: Etretat painted by Monet in 1885, now hangs in the Musee des Beaux Arts, Dijon). Monet spent time in the Etretat fishing village in February of 1883. […]

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A quiet bistro in Paris

21 Feb

It was lunchtime in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, and I was ravenous looking for a place to eat away from the usual tourist traps. I turned down a quiet street and saw the most unassuming bistro. In fact, I wouldn’t usually have considered going in but I decided to take a chance. As soon […]

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In the footsteps of the post-Impressionists in Provence

19 Feb

In the 1870’s the Impressionists and post-impressionists were centralized in the Parisian capital. Here they would discuss art and their next exhibitions in the cafés and nightclubs of Montmartre. However, towards the end of the 19th century, many became fed up with the capital and scattered to go their separate ways. A fascination with light […]

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A potted history of the Cathars

18 Feb

Catharism has been described as “the most successful heresy in history”. In Languedoc, “Pays Cathare” signs dot the countryside. One cannot drive far in any direction without coming upon the ruins of a Cathar fortress. Who were the Cathars? “Cathar” is allegedly derived from the Greek word, katharos, meaning “pure”. The Cathars were also known […]

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5 Brilliant things to do in the Haute-Pyrenees, France

1 Feb

The French Pyrenees are a mountain range unlike any other. Situated along the French-Spanish border, these mountains have a distinct medieval history. Although they are less famous than their eastern sisters the Alps, their relative obscurity gives the Pyrenees a distinct peace. Robynne McTaggart of Le Belvedere, a gorgeous holiday rental home in the lush […]

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