• Étrangers à la Mode

    By Caroline Goldthorpe

    Since the 18th century France has been the leader of the fashion world for the wealthy, fashionably-dressed throughout Europe and the US. Cut off from France during the Napoleonic Wars, the English hurried back to Paris to catch up on the latest styles as soon as hostilities ceased and Americans too watched Paris for direction on all aspects of dress, from the length of their sleeve to the volume of their skirt.  Even Queen Victoria loved French silks and wore Parisian-made gowns.  And into this chic world arrived a young fashion designer from England named Charles Frederick Worth.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 12 December 2014 )
  • Nobility in Exile: The Little Prince

    By Barbara Becquiot

    “Paris martyrised...but Paris liberated”, shouted Charles De Gaulle upon arriving in Paris with Philippe Leclerc and General Patton's troops. This summer, ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the August 1944 Liberation of the French capital are in full swing.   After the French government's D-day reeactment in Normandy at the beginning of June and its August 15th “sound and light” show commemorating the allied landing in Provence, Paris has taken to the limelight.

    Last Updated ( Monday, 01 September 2014 )
  • La Bonne Fête de Muguet - May 1, 2014

    By Sue Aran

    Convallaria majalis, commonly known as Lily of the Valley, Wood Thrush or Muguet in French, has been the quintessential spring flower since the Greek god, Apollo, was said to have created it to bloom in the month of May so it would cushion the tender feet of his muses as they walked through the forest seeking inspiration.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 18 April 2014 )
  • International Women's Day - March 8, 2014 - Inspiring Change

    By Sue Aran

    I have a vague memory of the Napoleonic Code from world history classes in school.  I never bothered to read about it in depth until recently when I was looking for information about taxes and wills in France.

    Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 April 2014 )
  • A Love Story - Valentine's Day in France

    By Sue Aran

    As Valentine's Day nears I've been wondering why the French seem to hold an exclusive copyright on the language of romance.  Why is Cupid's quivering arrow poised to pierce French hearts first? After a lot of fascinating and sometimes titillating research, it appears the French have, indeed, invented LOVE.

    Last Updated ( Friday, 14 March 2014 )
  • La Galette des Rois, Twelfth Night Cake

    By Barbara Becquiot

    Whether “Parisian style”, a light and flaky puff pastry pie, plain or filled with frangipane almond paste, or the Provencial orange flavoured brioche cake adorned with candied fruit, the Twelfth Night Cake and its crown is an essential part of the holiday tradition in France. Intended to celebrate the week of January 6th or Epiphany, a date marking the visit of the three Kings to the manger, the word itself betrays its pagan origins.

    Last Updated ( Wednesday, 12 February 2014 )
  • You Can Make History in France. But You Should Hurry.

    By Robert Korengold

    France is embarked this month on a special project to commemorate the nation's participation in the 1914-1918 world war erroneously dubbed, for a time in French, "La Der des Der," or, essentially, "The Last of the Last" of such conflicts.

    Last Updated ( Monday, 18 November 2013 )
  • How the Catacombs Built Paris

    By Barbara Becquiot

    Speak about “underground Paris” and visitors usually think of the Catacombs. But few visitors to the city know that these same Catacombs were once quarries used to extract the stone that built Paris throughout the centuries.

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 January 2014 )
  • Swamps to Kettles -- How Paris got its Name

    By Barbara Becquiot

    Who would deny that Paris stands out today as one of the most historically and culturally attractive cities in the world?   Every street and neighbourhood seems to have its story to tell.  But for all of its monuments and museums, its language and arts, where did it all come from?  What was Paris really like way back “when”…before it came to be known as “the City of Light”?

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 January 2014 )
  • Bourges, the City of Vercingetorix

    By Barbara Becquiot

    A two and a half hour drive south of Paris, the city of Bourges’s narrow streets, majestic 12th century cathedral and over 400 timber framed houses dating back to 1487, remain one of France’s best kept secrets today.

    Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 January 2014 )
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