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Posts Tagged ‘my rhone-alpes’

The Unusual and Not-So-Secret Brotherhoods of France

She wears a leprechaun green hat, her velvet cape wrapped around her body in the cold. Around her neck hangs an olive green ribbon, holding up a bronze medallion. The operative word is olive. Meet Madame Laget, one of the few women in the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Olive Tree, a not-so-secret organization…

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Rose and Pepper, Wine and Weather

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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Les Halles in Lyon: Saucisson, Snails and Sea Urchins

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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Once Upon a Time with Queen Victoria in Aix-les-Bains

She may not have been the first, but Queen Victoria’s presence in the French alpine town of Aix-les-Bains is probably among the best-known and most fondly remembered. Bluntly said, she put Aix (as it’s known by those on a first-name basis with the city) on the map. In the latter years of the 19th century, you couldn’t walk a…

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The Ardeche, France: 7 Things That Surprised Me

On 24 June 2014 the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc cavern was inscribed on Unesco’s coveted World Heritage list, which had this to say about the complex: “They are of exceptional aesthetic quality, demonstrate a range of techniques, including the skillful use of colour, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement.” The Ardeche, France: best known for its…

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Bresse Chicken: Posh Bird in Red, White and Blue

Proudly French, the Bresse chicken sports the national colors: red (comb), white (feathers) and blue (feet). The ring on its left leg is “like a wedding ring,” marrying the chicken to the region; it is stamped with the name of the farmer and of the commune, so it is difficult to fake the authenticity of…

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Georges Blanc: Man, Village or Empire?

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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Oingt: Village of the One Hundred Mangers

Oingt. Don’t even try to pronounce it. If you must, try saying ‘wham’ but stop before the M. It is a tiny French Beaujolais village perched high on a hill in the middle of what is called the Pierres Dorées, or Golden Stones. Here’s why: Like many French villages, Oingt has its own particular Christmas…

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Christiane Brioude, the Chef Who Wouldn't Quit

When Christiane Brioude was told she was seriously ill and no longer be able to work, she became so angry she started a new restaurant and wrote a cookbook. This may have saved her life. “After generations of restaurateurs in the family, I wasn’t about to quit.” It all started with her great-great-grandmother Adeline, back…

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