The Good Life France

Everything You Want to Know About France and More...

Live life like a local in la Belle France


How to live life like a local in France: France is the third largest European country (larger than Germany and Spain) by area, divided into 101 departments (including the capital, Paris) and offers vast diversity in culture, geography and demography. As a foodie you may hope to sample the more than 246 varieties of Cheese or the 56 varieties of wine. Don’t forget the regional kaleidoscope of charcuteries, pâtisseries and confiseries. The choice of culinary options is rich because of government subsidies for artisan farmers, and also the loyalty within the towns, villages and neighbourhoods where the French also support their artisans regardless of the growing presence of the hyper-marchés and supermarkets.

In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.”  Julia Child

While food may dominate some memories of your time in France there is of course much more to be savoured…

Off the Beaten Track

Even in a capital like Paris it is possible to take the path less travelled. And it can be fulfilling. On the one hand you could follow the crocodile’s tail of tourists streaming through St Germain des Pres, and in turn face a menu prepared for a multi-cultural and transient audience. Alternatively you could leave the over-cramped tables of the Café aux Deux Magots, De Bonaparte, and De Flore to find a less frenetic, more honest, and certainly more moderately priced eatery.  The choice is yours…

Housesit to Live Like a Local

When I travel to Paris, or indeed elsewhere in France, I try to find a housesitting assignment for my accommodation.  I prefer this kind of holiday so that I can immerse myself in France, I can learn more about the culture, the neighbourhood and the country from the grass roots. I literally walk the neighbourhood as the locals would, using their favoured paths, their shortcuts, visiting their local haunts. Usually I arrive a couple of days early and they show me where they like to visit, where they shop and how to travel around efficiently…

Affordable Travel

Another huge advantage of this type of collaborative travel, is the dramatic savings you can make on the costs of accommodation by living in a community rather than a hotel or hostel. This can be significant in an expensive European country and especially a city like Paris…

In exchange for caring for someone else’s home, their property and their pets they will offer you free accommodation, and more importantly a local guide with recommendations for all manner of local activities, artisans and the best views of the city.

Written by a house sitting guest writer!

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