My French Life

The Beer Festival and Le Madison Dance in France

Written by on March 20, 2015 in French Style, My French Life
The Beer Festival and Le Madison Dance in France

I recently told you I was off to a beer festival with an Austrian oompah band (if you missed my newsletter about it you can read it here). I’ve never been to a French beer festival before so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect – by the way they called it a soirée Bavaroise.  […]

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L’Escargot, London’s oldest French Restaurant

Written by on February 25, 2015 in My French Life
L’Escargot, London’s oldest French Restaurant

I go back and forth between the UK and France all the time but until recently I never noticed how much of a French influence there is in London. Walking around the area of Charing Cross, through Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Soho, I was struck by how many French style patisseries and restaurants there […]

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New Year’s Eve French Style

Written by on December 31, 2014 in My French Life
New Year’s Eve French Style

It’s New Year’s Eve and where I live in the middle of nowhere, rural Pas de Calais, northern France, it’s fairly quiet for most of the day. Actually it feels just like a normal working day – the shops are open, the post lady delivers the post as normal, the bread lady arrived on time, […]

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Christmas Day and the Christmas Truce Statue

Written by on December 26, 2014 in My French Life
Christmas Day and the Christmas Truce Statue

Across a muddy battlefield, two young men reach out to shake hands over a football – marking one of the most extraordinary events of the Great War… Normally on Christmas Day you’d find me walking the dogs, cooking a big roast dinner, having a glass of champagne with family, friends and neighbours in my little […]

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The tradition of Old Maid’s Day in France

Written by on December 8, 2014 in French Icons, My French Life
The tradition of Old Maid’s Day in France

Recently I went to lunch with some expat friends, one of whom has a French boyfriend. “I found out something strange” she informed us. We sat forward all agog, we love to hear about the differences in cultures that those with a foot on both sides of the fence have. “My boyfriend sent a card […]

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Notre Dame de Lorette memorial

Written by on December 2, 2014 in Battlefields and War Memorials, My French Life
Notre Dame de Lorette memorial

Arras is a beautiful old town with Flemish style buildings, imposing squares, great shops, quirky cafes and there is lots to do and see. Many of the beautiful buildings are surprisingly not quite what they seem. The town and all around saw fierce fighting, dreadful battles and suffered horrendous loss of life and destruction during the […]

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Je Suis Flop Chef

Written by on November 25, 2014 in My French Life
Je Suis Flop Chef

When I first moved to France I had grand designs for gastronomy – I certainly like to eat so I thought I would try to be good at making things to eat. Everyone I know who moves to France takes up cooking and all my French friends and neighbours love to make great food – […]

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How to impress your neighbours in France

Written by on November 12, 2014 in My French Life
How to impress your neighbours in France

Last week I was invited to a neighbour’s house for drinks. I don’t know the neighbour so well, or at least I didn’t before last week… Recently I was interviewed for a French magazine. It’s a local magazine and as a special edition the November version was published in English and promotes the links between […]

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Armistice Day France 2014

Written by on November 11, 2014 in My French Life
Armistice Day France 2014

Today is 11 November, 2014. It is Armistice Day and commemorates the signing, after four long years of dreadfulness, of a pact that ended hostilities between the Allied Forces and Germany on the 11 November 1918. In France, 11th November is a national holiday. Not just a day off, the purpose is to allow people […]

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Halloween in France

Written by on October 31, 2014 in My French Life
Halloween in France

Halloween in France is becoming a more popular event, probably thanks to American TV Shows, many of which are very keenly followed here in France. I’m always amazed when I’m sitting in our local bar Chez Louis to hear locals speak about The Mentalist as if they know Patrick Jane (the hero if you haven’t […]

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