Margo Lestz

In 2007 we bought a second home in Nice, France. I had retired from working in my husband’s business in the UK and wanted to bask in the sunshine and study the French language. The diversity of living between two different cultures keeps life interesting, as there are always surprises. Just when you think you have things figured out it all gets complicated. My life is never boring and I learn something new every day. Besides languages, I enjoy history, architecture, travel, and writing.

The story of the Matisse Chapel in Vence, south of France

Written by on April 20, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The story of the Matisse Chapel in Vence, south of France

Night Nurse Needed – Should be young and pretty. This was the ad Henri Matisse placed with the nursing school in Nice, France in 1942. He was seventy-two years-old and still working while recovering from a serious surgery. He required constant care and needed someone to fill in while his regular night nurse was away. […]

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The history of Cypress Trees in Provence

Written by on March 6, 2018 in Guest Blogs
The history of Cypress Trees in Provence

Where ever you look, slender, conical cypress trees in Provence are a definite feature of the landscape. They line roads, outline fields, decorate cemeteries, and adorn houses. These sturdy, practical trees protect crops and homes from the fierce mistral wind that whips through this area. But, there is more to them than meets the eye. […]

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Give us this day our daily bread in France | Les Porteuses de Pain

Written by on February 6, 2018 in Guest Blogs
Give us this day our daily bread in France | Les Porteuses de Pain

If you like bread, then when you’re in France you probably stop by the boulangerie every day to buy a baguette, croissant, or one of the other tempting treats that you will find inside. But if you were a bourgeois, or wealthy, family in the nineteenth or early twentieth century and lived in a town, […]

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Father Christmas’ mean French assistant!

Written by on December 14, 2017 in Guest Blogs
Father Christmas’ mean French assistant!

I hope you were all more nice than naughty this year and that you will receive lots of lovely holiday gifts. Handing out presents to good little girls and boys is what Saint Nicholas does best, but what about those kiddies who couldn’t quite manage to be good? Misbehaving children in Europe have to be […]

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The real history of Champagne and its bubbles

Written by on December 3, 2017 in Wine and Drinks
The real history of Champagne and its bubbles

Champagne, that bubbly beverage that pops its cork for celebrations, is named after the region in northeast France where it’s produced. The name “Champagne” is protected and only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region can be called Champagne. The same goes for the process that assures those trademark bubbles: It’s called the méthode champenoise […]

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Gaspard de Besse The Robin Hood of Provence 

Written by on August 3, 2017 in Guest Blogs
Gaspard de Besse The Robin Hood of Provence 

Gaspard de Besse robbed from the rich (who detested him) and gave to the poor (who adored him). Often compared to the British Robin Hood but whilst the latter’s roots are shrouded in mystery, there’s no doubt about the identity of the famous French outlaw. Gaspard de Besse Gaspard Bouis, later known as Gaspard de […]

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How Victor Hugo Inspired Batman’s foe the Joker

Written by on June 11, 2017 in Culture & Language, Guest Blogs
How Victor Hugo Inspired Batman’s foe the Joker

When you think of French writer, Victor Hugo, you probably think of his classic works, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre Dame de Paris) or Les Miserable. You probably wouldn’t associate him with the Joker, that mad supervillain with the maniacal laugh who is Batman’s adversary. The Book However, it seems that Victor Hugo might […]

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Queen Marie Antoinette and her adopted children

Written by on January 6, 2017 in Culture & Language
Queen Marie Antoinette and her adopted children

“Let them eat cake” – the most famous line that Marie Antoinette never said. It was first written about someone else, before Marie Antoinette ever set foot in France. She’s often portrayed as a selfish Queen spending the country’s money on her lavish lifestyle, unconcerned about the suffering all around her. But this queen had […]

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The Origin of French Gargoyles

Written by on December 27, 2016 in Guest Blogs
The Origin of French Gargoyles

Why are there Gargoyles on French Gothic Churches you might ask. Well, it seems that there’s one explanation you may need to take with a pinch of salt. This story takes place in the seventh century. It’s been retold many times over the last 1400 years resulting in several adaptations. It all started in Normandy, where […]

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The Pont d’Avignon and that famous song!

Written by on October 31, 2016 in Guest Blogs
The Pont d’Avignon and that famous song!

The Avignon bridge in Provence is known around the world today because of the famous children’s song, Sur le Pont d’Avignon (On the Bridge of Avignon). In medieval times, it was also a well-known bridge, but not because of this song – and it wasn’t known for being danced upon either. Pont d’Avignon – a […]

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