It’s harvest time in Burgundy. Velvety purple grapes hang heavy on the vines, and all throughout the Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits, families, relatives, and friends move slowly through the fields in the culmination of a year’s work. Given there’s no perfect way to time a visit to wine country with the harvest, I’m lucky to be here during this especially active period. And the best thing about being in Burgundy now is that I discover that as fascinating as the harvest is, there’s a lot more to this region of France than just the wine. Here’s how I found its secrets…
It wasn’t until I moved to the east coast of the US that I heard ‘summer’ used as a verb. Wealthy New Yorkers summered in the Hamptons, Bostonians on Cape Cod. I had always summered right at home in California, and thought them all suckers for having to relocate just to go to the beach. They were smug; I was lucky. But now that I’m in Europe I understand their challenge, and this week I’ve discovered how to summer like a Parisian on a secret little island called the Ile de Re.
When I was a child, I wanted nothing more than to ski in the Alps. I imagined traveling to a romantic and sophisticated land where chic women in fur-hooded onesies skied effortlessly down the mountains while speaking perfect French and sipping Swiss hot chocolate. I wanted so much to be one of those women, and now I am…
It’s no secret that this year’s ski season in the French Alps hasn’t had the snowiest start. While most resorts are open, many aren’t operating at full capacity yet. But even with less snow than normal, there is still a lot to do in places like Tignes.
I haven’t skied in nine years. In fact, I haven’t skied outside of California. But skiing in the French Alps has been on my to-do list forever, and now that I’m in Courchevel I finally have my chance. The only problem is that I’m afraid I won’t remember how.
Paris Fashion Week starts today. I was in the city over the weekend, and big preparations were underway. But fashion isn’t the only kind of art in Paris, and my trip to the City of Light focused as much on other kinds of art as it did on the upcoming catwalk shows. In fact, my time there was artistic all around.
If Paris is the heart of France, Lyon is the stomach. The city in the southeast is best known for food, which ranges from delightfully smelly cheese to the famous quenelle, a lighter-than-brioche savory puff pastry. Given my equally strong loves of France and food, traveling to Lyon is high on my to-do list.
If you were single and Valentine’s Day was right around the corner, what would you do? If you were me, you would travel to the most romantic city in the world. Not because you’re a glutton for punishment, but because there’s no better place to find love than in the city that inspires it most: Paris.
Her name is Rosabelle. She is a beautiful young blonde with big brown eyes and an energy befitting her age. She greets me with a smile, and, this being France, a kiss. Then we get down to business. I have traveled to the Dordogne Valley for an important reason, you see, and our work cannot be delayed. The season only lasts three months, and Rosabelle, a trained truffle hunting dog, has just the nose to sniff out the black diamonds as quickly as possible.
I love Paris. I could spend the rest of my life there. I would never tire of the beautiful architecture, delicious food, and world-class art. But while seeing Monet’s water lilies on canvases in the Musee d’Orsay and Musee Marmottan is one thing, seeing them in person on a Giverny day trip from Paris is another.
Paris’ Right Bank is synonymous with the establishment. From the Elysee Palace to the elegant shops on Rue du Faubourg St Honore, it represents all things traditional. In a city with as much history and culture as Paris, tradition can often mean great things.
Paris is a competitive city. The fierce rivalry between Paris’ Left Bank and Right Bank dates back a long way. The former is known for its artistic, bohemian ways. The latter, being more upscale, is a bastion of the establishment.