Well, I must say, November has started with a bang here at The Good Life France HQ in Pas-de-Calais. Literally – we’ve had several days of thunder and lightning. As usual, that has not stopped us getting out and about and publishing lots of really great stories so, without further ado – here’s a bit of a round up!
Places: We visited Arras and took in some of the magnificent sites – the wonderful “Roulez Carrosses!” exhibition at the fabulous Musée de Beaux Arts really wowed us. Those amazing carriages of the Kings and Queens of France, the fantasy sleighs pulled through the frozen grounds of the Chateau of Versailles and the sedan chairs which carried the rich through the streets of Paris – magnifique!
We took in the Town Hall with its gothic and gold façade and amazing art deco interior, the Belfry with its fabulous views and enormous clock face and the Boves – a network of underground passages running beneath the town of Arras.
Read about our visit to Carrière Wellington – the quarry in Arras where miners from the UK and New Zealand created an underground city in the first World War – a little known story and very moving.
Style: We were so thrilled to interview top French Chef Philippe Aubron, winner of many Michelin stars, awards and honours, TV celebrity and maker of the best meal we’ve ever had – the interview reveals a funny, modest and mega-talented chef. Check out his signature dish for foie gras ravioli and the ravishing sounding cappuccino of creamy green lentils.
We also interviewed Belarusian artist Irina Kotova fresh from touring France with her “Paris Imaginaire” exhibition.
Paris Chanson, our fabulous radio partner, picked Maurice Chevalier for our French music star of the week. Olivier Jauffrit of Paris Chanson told us “You know what they say about French lovers, French kiss and so on? It’s basically thanks to him. Our reputation is mostly down to him…”
In my blog: What could be more fun than joining in making farmer’s cider? Well tasting it I suppose! I did both at the brilliant Perlé de Groseille and the cider was… the best!
It’s the 100th birthday of much-loved Le Touquet chocolate shop Au Chat Bleu; the annual Festival des Soupes et Pains was fabulous as usual; Guy Fawkes fever in our little village and finally man flu strikes – in fact Guy Fawkes French Night is in jeopardy as I speak!
In the News: The Salon du Chocolat in Paris; Paris Fire Brigade test the Renault Twizy; President Hollande is considering whacking a hefty tax on local beer makers and opens the gardens of the Elysée Palace to the public (take a virtual tour of the gardens and palace in our feature).
Finally, I leave you with the news that the fabulous new museum of Lens – the Lens-Louvre is on target to open in a few short weeks. We bring you details of what’s been going on and what you can expect to see…
Wishing you all wellA bientôt Janine