Bonjour and Bienvenue to you all and especially to our new subscribers – a pleasure to meet you!
First of all, apologies I didn’t send you my usual weekend newsletter and thank you to the many people who emailed me to ask where it was!
The truth is, it was all ready to go out but, I was away in La Rochelle in wonderful Charente-Maritime, Poitou-Charentes, so I left someone to push the button for me, then I had to pull the plug on it!
I had written about how I was going to be climbing aboard l’Hermione ship. She is an authentic replica of an 18th Century ship which carried the French general Lafayette from La Rochelle to America to aid in the War of Independence. Anchored off the wonderful little Ile d’Aix at the weekend, ready to start her historic journey, I along with a few other journalists, had had the enormous honour of being invited to meet the crew and have lunch with them before she set sail on Saturday 18th April.
But, at the very last minute, we got the news that President Francois Hollande wanted to visit too – so we journalists were bumped off. I guess, when it comes to Janine of The Good Life France and the President of France – I was never going to win.
Instead, I sat on a hill on the Ile d’Aix and cheered with thousands of well wishers in the afternoon sun as she set sail. I watched the fabulous fireworks display that went off in several locations as she did a lap of honour up the Charente River and joined in the party on the quayside at Fouras. It was a brilliant atmosphere, a huge celebration, everyone was so proud and excited to watch her sail off to the US and I feel deeply privileged to have been there to see it.
L’Hermione is now on her way to the US and will make her way round the East Coast to Canada with lots of stop offs, lots of partys including a very special day when she is in New York for 4th July! She will return to her French home in August and you can see her full itinerary here.
I’ll tell you more about what I got up to, the amazing places I visited, the people I met, my very special experience in this lovely part of France – watch this space!
So that is why this week, instead of Bon Weekend, I wish you a bon week ahead!
Best wishes and bisous from France
This Week’s Top Features
For some Expats – the grass is always greener: I posted a little fun feature on Facebook called 5 things I don’t like about France… well that certainly got everyone talking! It was actually inspired by some expats I met who were really happy but had some strange complaints and for whom the grass is always greener!
Paris Insider Address Book – Buly 1803 St Germain des Pres. Our Paris expert Linda Matthieu shares her latest find, a gorgeous potions shop in an old pharmacy that you’d miss if you blink – or if you don’t read this post!
The weekly Monday flea market in Nice – Author Patricia Sands on her love for the flea market in Nice…
Best Panoramic Views in Paris – where to go to get the most amazing aerial views of Paris – some you may know, the Eiffel Tower (of course) but some are a little bit more unknown…