Michael Cranmer

Why Montgènevre offers some of the best skiing in the French Alps

Written by on October 11, 2018 in Provence-Alpes
Why Montgènevre offers some of the best skiing in the French Alps

If you’re looking for a ski experience with lots of different runs, plenty of snow, fabulous view and a lot of fun, Montgenevre might be just perfect. In the French Cottian Alps, Haute-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, it’s not well known and that gives is extra charm. Maybe you’ve skied the ‘Big’Uns’: The Three Valleys, Tignes/Val d’Isère, […]

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The long lost cheese of Auvergne: Le Mont de Courtesserre

Written by on May 12, 2018 in Auvergne
The long lost cheese of Auvergne: Le Mont de Courtesserre

Ten  years ago, in a small hotel, in a small town called Le Mont-Dore in the Auvergne I stopped for the night en-route to the Alps. After my long drive I just wanted a meal and then bed. The food was decent, the elderly waiter attentive. Clearing my plate he asked if I would like […]

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Where to drink absinthe in France

Written by on February 26, 2018 in French Icons, Wine and Drinks
Where to drink absinthe in France

My insomnia sparked the whole thing off. I listened to a radio programme in the wee small hours entitled ‘Absinthe Makes the Art Grow Fonder’. It told of madness, creative genius, smuggling, fairies, suicide and debauchery in le demi-monde of Montmartre in la Belle-Époque. Captivated, I set out to discover more. Until that point my […]

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The history of absinthe, the once forbidden drink

Written by on February 26, 2018 in French Icons, Wine and Drinks
The history of absinthe, the once forbidden drink

Banned for almost 100 years, believed to induce madness in those who drank it, absinthe is making a come back. Invented by a French doctor, the highly alcoholic drink has a colourful history. What is absinthe and where does it come from? A certain Dr. Ordinaire (you couldn’t make that up) fleeing the guillotines of the French […]

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Beginner’s Guide to French Cheeses

Written by on November 29, 2017 in Gastronomy
Beginner’s Guide to French Cheeses

There are currently between 350 and 450 distinct types of French cheese in eight categories, each containing many varieties, so the total is probably closer to 1,000. In 1962 there were fewer when President Charles de Gaulle famously said, “Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cent quarante-six variétés de fromage?”(“How can you govern a country […]

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