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Women on the Road Blog

Solo travel tips for women like you - the first Tuesday of every month >>

(and to say thank you I'll send you the 'list of 9' indispensable items I NEVER travel without!)

The Finer Things

I’ve tried every kind of travel, from backpacking to housesitting to five-star luxury. If I stay in a memorable hotel or guest house, eat in an incredible restaurant, or get pummeled in an unbelievable spa, this is where I share it. This section is all about the little luxuries I allow myself and my inner diva.

Rose and Pepper, Wine and Weather

vineyards of the beaujolais

What do you do in the Beaujolais region if you don't drink wine? You scrub grapes all over your body, that's what. At least that's what Nathalie Jacquet suggests: she manages a French line of grape-based cosmetics and body products, Rose & Pepper. "We were inspired by the vines and roses," she told me. Roses are [...]

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Jetwing Lighthouse’s Green Machine

Jetwing Lighthouse

When I was traipsing across rural Africa as a journalist, I made it a point to stay in a luxury hotel at least once a month - powerful hot showers, buffet breakfasts, clean sheets... the works. I've just spent a marvelous week touring Sri Lanka on a budget, sleeping in mostly spartan lodgings so when Jetwing [...]

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Les Halles in Lyon: Saucisson, Snails and Sea Urchins

Les Halles in Lyon Paul Bocuse

There's a certain thrill about uncovering a new market, new to me at least, a place others rave about so much I'm sure to be disappointed. A shiver of anticipation rushes down my spine when I feel I'm about to discover something truly exquisite, without knowing exactly what lies ahead. Ever since I can remember I've loved great food [...]

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Anatomy of a Tuscan Cooking Class

Tuscan cooking class - ravioli

These may be the strangest words ever to come out of the mouth of an Italian chef running a Tuscan cooking class. "Good morning. My name is Sunshine." The name fit like a snug sweater, his smile infectious and every ripple visible. His parents had been "sort of hippies" and named him after the musical Hair. Try carrying [...]

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Georges Blanc: Man, Village or Empire?

Georges Blanc's Ancienne Auberge

It isn't just a restaurant - it's an entire gourmet village. Chefs with tall white toques hustle across the narrow streets of Vonnas, a tiny French town famous for one thing only: the empire of world-renowned Chef Georges Blanc. They carry hot trays and fresh produce from one kitchen to another because Chef Blanc has [...]

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Villa Aimée, Vals-les-Bains (Ardèche, France)

Villa Aimee

There's nothing like a private en suite jacuzzi to make you fall in love with a bathroom. At the Villa Aimée in the French spa town of Vals-les-Bains, it was love at first sight. Vals-les-Bains is a small town in the Ardèche, in the heart of a hilly regional park. It's wild and rugged and has a [...]

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Les Cygnes, Evian (France)

View from room in Les Cygnes

There's an evocative phrase in French - les pieds dans l'eau. It means literally 'feet in the water' and is used to describe a property or place that is right up along the shore. The Hotel Les Cygnes, in the renowned resort of Evian on Lake Geneva, has its pieds dans l'eau. You can't get [...]

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Two Artists of Montbrison, France

"A piece of jewelry is the most useless thing." These surprising words come from master jeweler and artist Philippe Tournaire. They're highly unexpected from someone who makes an excellent living from precious metals and gems. He presses the point, not giving up. "Think about it. Jewelry provides no heat, no protection, it's expensive... What it [...]

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Le Chateau d’Origny, Ouches (Loire, France)

Every once in a while, a girl's got to stay in a castle. And her room has to be the size of a small restaurant, with a jacuzzi in the bathroom. And that pretty much describes the Chateau d'Origny. It's a labor of love by former butcher turned chef turned hotelier Werner de Clippel and [...]

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Le Griffon d’Or, Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain, France)

Back in the early 1700s, patrons would arrive at the Hotel Griffon d’Or on Tuesday nights in time for market. They would leave their horses in the hotel’s lower floor and spend the night, perhaps dining nearby or visiting – why not – the bordello across the street. Next morning they would sell their animals [...]

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