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10 top tips for visiting Cassis

Hello, Emily here, sharing my top tips for a visit to the Provençal village of Cassis, whose motto is “Qu a vist Paris, se noun a vist Cassis, n’a rèn vist” (“Who has seen Paris and not Cassis, has not seen anything”). I definitely recommend adding it to your list of places to visit in France. It’s hard to overstate how seriously the French take…

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Le pommeau de douche

After what seemed like a year, and a rather long one at that, my bathroom and shower have finally been fixed. What seemed like ages ago, I came home from lunch with a friend one day and heard a bubbling, brook-like sound coming from my bedroom. When I walked in, a steady cascade of water was rippling out of the wall and about a centimeter…

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Let’s Eat France!

Of all the books I own on French cuisine, Let’s Eat France is one of my favorites. First up, the book is huge. I don’t mean in terms of scope, which it is. But physically the book is enormous. Think the size of the tablet listing five of the ten commandments, and just as heavy. The book is 13+ inches (33cm) tall and clocks in…

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A socially distanced Christmas in France

Hello, Emily here – ready to celebrate the holidays! We were supposed to be spending this Christmas on the beach in Australia (where I am originally from) but with travel not possible, we’ll be spending it at home in Paris. Holiday traditions in France are so different from Australia (the weather for a start – it was 39ºC/102ºF in Brisbane the last time we spent the holidays…

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Holiday Gift Guide: Bringing France to You and Others

Hello, Emily here, from day 29 of the 2nd confinement (lockdown) in France. I never thought you could miss the city you live in, but I miss Paris. Physically she remains present and although stores are allowed to reopen tomorrow, restaurants will remain closed, the streets are quiet and the soul of the city is sleeping. The old Latin motto of Paris is ‘Fluctuat nec mergitur’…

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Coping with Confinement: My Lockdown Strategies

As of last week, France has gone back into lockdown, which prompted a 454 mile (730km) traffic jam as people tried to get in and out of the city. The lockdown is expected to last a month and while it’s not ideal, it’s not nearly as restrictive as the lockdown we had last spring and everything from taking a walk to going to the grocery…

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La fuite d’eau

Anyone who has kids, or a puppy, can relate. I don’t have either, but after all we’ve been through together, I now have a similarly intimate relationship with my apartment. One afternoon at the end of last week, I came home from lunch and the moment I stepped inside my place, I felt something was wrong.

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Amer Picon

When you write a book, it goes through several editing phases. The first is the developmental edit, which happens when you’re sort of on your way there, and your editor wants to see it. (And make sure you haven’t been sitting around watching Netflix all day.) Once that is read, you get pages of suggestions for what you should change, what should be kept, what…

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Creme de Marrons (Chestnut Spread)

When I was sprier (and when I could eat all that chocolate!) I used to do culinary tours. One of the most fun things to do was to take people into places and explain some of the lesser-known items that, incongruently, France is famous for. I know. I had to think about that for a minute, too. I’d point out things like fleur de sel,…

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