Tag Archives: France

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now

My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle

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My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now by Peter Mayle

The beloved author Peter Mayle, champion of all things Provence, here in a final volume of all new writing, offers vivid recollections from his twenty-five years in the South of France—lessons learned, culinary delights enjoyed, and changes observed.

Twenty-five years ago, Peter Mayle and his wife, Jennie, were rained out of a planned two weeks on the Côte d’Azur. In search of sunlight, they set off for Aix-en-Provence; enchanted by the world and life they found there, they soon decided to uproot their lives in England and settle in Provence. They have never looked back. As Mayle tells us, a cup of café might now cost three euros—but that price still buys you a front-row seat to the charming and indelible parade of village life. After the coffee, you might drive to see a lavender field that has bloomed every year for centuries, or stroll through the ancient history that coexists alongside Marseille’s metropolitan bustle. Modern life may have seeped into sleepy Provence, but its magic remains.

With his signature warmth, wit, and humor—and twenty-five years of experience—Peter Mayle is a one-of-a-kind guide to the continuing appeal of Provence. This thoughtful, vivid exploration of life well-lived, à la Provence, will charm longtime fans and a new generation of readers alike.

PETER MAYLE is the author of fifteen previous books. A recipient of the Légion d’Honneur from the French government for his cultural contributions, he lived in Provence with his wife, Jennie, for more than twenty-five years. He died in January 2018.

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Travels with Tinkerbelle: 6,000 Miles Around France

Travels with Tinkerbelle: 6,000 Miles Around France by Susie Kelly

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The author and her husband devised a simple plan – to take a tent and the dog and drive around the perimeter of France. Like many simple plans it went wrong before it started and they ended up with two dogs and a campervan named Tinkerbelle. Starting in Brittany, they drive along the Atlantic Coast south to the Pyrenees, then follow the Mediterranean resorts to the Alps before juddering off towards the north coast along terrifyingly high mountain causeways. But on the second day of their journey Tinkerbelle begins to self-destruct, helped by the new dog who does his best to eat her from the inside out. This is their story, as they travel from sandy beaches to snow-topped mountains exploring the diverse cultures, cuisines and countryside making up the country called France. Their journey takes them to places out of the ordinary, meeting interesting characters and witnessing ancient traditions. While the dogs rejoice in the freedom they find running on the beaches, Susie and Terry spend a lot of time holding their breath, wondering whether their clapped out old campervan called Tinkerbelle will manage to negotiate impossible mountain routes and get them home before she completely disintegrates.

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By the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail

By the Smoke & the SmellBy the Smoke and the Smell: My Search for the Rare and Sublime on the Spirits Trail by Thad Volger

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In By the Smoke & the Smell, spirits expert Thad Vogler takes readers around the world, celebrating the vivid characters who produce hand-made spirits like rum, scotch, cognac, and mezcal.  From the mountains of Mexico and the forbidden distilleries of Havana, to the wilds of Scotland and the pastoral corners of France and beyond, this adventure will change how you think about your drink.

Thad Vogler, owner of San Francisco’s acclaimed Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, is one of the most important people in the beverage industry today. He’s a man on a mission to bring “grower spirits”—spirits with provenance, made in the traditional way by individuals rather than by mass conglomerates—to the public eye, before they disappear completely.

We care so much about the food we eat: how it is made, by whom, and where. Yet we are far less careful about the spirits we drink, often allowing the biggest brands with the most marketing dollars to control the narrative. In By the Smoke and the Smell, Vogler is here to set the record straight. This remarkable memoir is the first book to ask the tough questions about the booze industry: where our spirits come from, who makes them, and at what cost.

By the Smoke and the Smell is also a celebration of the people and places behind the most singular, life-changing spirits on earth. Vogler takes us to Normandy, where we drink calvados with lovable Vikings; to Cuba, a country where Vogler lived for a time, and that has so much more to offer than cigars, classic cars, and mojitos; to the jagged cliffs and crystal-clear lochs of Scotland; to Northern Ireland, Oaxaca, Armagnac, Cognac, Kentucky, and California. Alternately hilarious and heartfelt, Vogler’s memoir will open your eyes to the rich world of traditional, small-scale distilling—and in the process, it will completely change the way you think about and buy spirits.

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Local Eats Paris: A Traveler’s Guide by Natasha McGuinness, Anne Bentley (Illustrator)

Local Eats ParisLocal Eats Paris: A Traveler’s Guide

by Natasha McGuinness, Anne Bentley (Illustrator)

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Local Eats Paris is the perfect traveling companion for those exploring the City of Lights and those simply delighted by all things French. The fabulous food found in the patisseries, bistros, fromageries, marches, cafes and more are described in delectable detail and accompanied by charming illustrations. A handy guide to ordering, a description of favorite French cheeses, perfect picnic food pairings, and a what’s what of market food can all be found in this lovely guide to Parisian gastronomy. The small format makes it the perfect guidebook to tuck into purse or backpack.

After writing Local Eats London: Bangers & Mash, Pasties, Jaffa Cake and other London Favorites, Natasha McGuinness hopped on a train and travelled through the Chunnel to turn her attention to Paris. After submersing herself in the gastronomy found in patisseries, boulangeries, bistros, marchés, fromageries and everything in between, she put together the perfect foodie dictionary to the cuisine found in the City of Lights. Now back in the United States, she lives in Los Angeles where she is working on her masters degree at the University of Southern California while plotting her next trip overseas.

Anne Bentley is an artist and illustrator based in Northern California. She creates wall art, hand-made cards, logo design, store signage and illustrations for boxed notecard sets, all while juggling paintbrushes, kids and dogs. The two dishes she always seeks out first when visiting Paris are duck confit and the perfect falafel found in her favorite neighborhood, Le Marais.

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A Paris Year: My Day-to-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World

A Paris YearA Paris Year: My Day-to-Day Adventures in the Most Romantic City in the World

by Janice MacLeod

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Part memoir and part visual journey through the streets of modern-day Paris, France, A Paris Year chronicles, day by day, one woman’s French sojourn in the world’s most beautiful city. Beginning on her first day in Paris, Janice MacLeod, the author of the best-selling book, Paris Letters, began a journal recording in illustrations and words, nearly every sight, smell, taste, and thought she experienced in the City of Light. The end result is more than a diary: it’s a detailed and colorful love letter to one of the most romantic and historically rich cities on earth. Combining personal observations and anecdotes with stories and facts about famous figures in Parisian history, this visual tale of discovery, through the eyes of an artist, is sure to delight, inspire, and charm.

JANICE MACLEOD, the illustrator and author of the New York Times best-selling book Paris Letters, was born in Canada and worked in advertising for many years until she decided to slip away from corporate drudgery and spend time abroad. During her time in Paris, she painted letters about her travels and mailed them to friends, who encouraged her to sell the personalized illustrated letters on Etsy. Since then, MacLeod has sent out thousands of letters to fans worldwide.

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The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond

The AlpsThe Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond by Stephen O’Shea

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For centuries the Alps have seen the march of armies, the flow of pilgrims and Crusaders, the feats of mountaineers, and the dreams of engineers?and some 14 million people live among their peaks today. In The Alps, Stephen O’Shea takes readers up and down these majestic mountains, battling his own fear of heights to journey through a 500-mile arc across France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia.

O’Shea, whose style has been hailed for its “engaging combination of candid first-person travel writing and absorbing historical narrative” (Chicago Sun-Times), whisks readers along more than 2,000 years of Alpine history. As he travels pass-by-pass through the mountains, he tells great stories of those (real and imagined) who have passed before him, from Hannibal to Hitler, Frankenstein’s monster to Sherlock Holmes, Napoleon to Nietzsche, William Tell to James Bond. He explores the circumstances behind Hannibal and his elephants’ famous crossing in 218 BCE; he reveals how the Alps have profoundly influenced culture from Heidi to The Sound of Music; and he visits iconic sites, including the Reichenbach Falls, where Arthur Conan Doyle staged Sherlock Holmes’s death scene with Professor Moriarty; Caporetto, the bloody site of the Italians’ retreat in World War I; and the Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s aerie of a vacation home.

O’Shea delves into Alpine myths and legends, such as the lopsided legs of the dahu, the fictitious goatlike creature of the mountains, and reveals why the beloved St. Bernard dog is so often depicted with a cask hanging below its neck. Throughout, he immerses himself in the communities he visits, engagingly recounting his adventures with contemporary road trippers, watchmakers, salt miners, cable-car operators, and yodelers.

“I would follow Stephen O’Shea anywhere he travels, and this book is a real adventure, both geographically and intellectually–an eloquent and engaging exploration that shows how and why these dizzy peaks have for centuries been at the forefront of the European cultural imagination.”–Ross King, best-selling author of Brunelleschi’s Dome.

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The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue Des Martyrs

The only Street in ParisThe Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue Des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

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Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris Bureau Chief of the New York Times, invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street, offering an homage to street life and the pleasures of Parisian living. I can never be sad on the rue des Martyrs, Sciolino explains, as she celebrates the neighborhood s rich history and vibrant lives. While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure. On this street, the patron saint of France was beheaded and the Jesuits took their first vows. It was here that Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted circus acrobats, Emile Zola situated a lesbian dinner club in his novel Nana, and Francois Truffaut filmed scenes from The 400 Blows. Sciolino reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheesemongers, the showman who s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs eighteenth-century mercury barometers bringing Paris alive in all of its unique majesty. The Only Street in Paris will make readers hungry for Paris, for cheese and wine, and for the kind of street life that is all too quickly disappearing.”

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Spirit of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel

Spirt of PlaceSpirit of Place: Letters and Essays on Travel by Lawrence Durrell

The definitive collection of travel writings by one of the twentieth century’s best-loved journeyers

From the moment of his birth, Lawrence Durrell was far from home. A British child in India, he was sent to England to receive an education, and by his early twenties had already tired of his native land. With family in tow, he departed for Greece, and spent the rest of his life wandering the world. He traveled not to sightsee but to live, and made homes in Egypt, France, Yugoslavia, and Argentina. Each time he landed, he rooted himself deep into the native soil, taking in not just the sights and sounds of his new land, but the essential character of the country. In these letters and essays, Durrell exhibits the power of poetic observation that made his travel writing so extraordinary to post–World War II readers. In these pages he reminds us not just of each country’s hidden charms, but of the unique characteristics that persist through the generations.

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Provence and the Cote D’Azur: Discover the Spirit of the South of France

Provence and the Cote D-AzurProvence and the Cote D’Azur by Janelle McCulloch

Take a journey through the dreamiest regions of France: the enchanting villages of Provence and the magnificent coastline of the Côte d’Azur. From the author of Paris, this gorgeous lifestyle guide steers readers away from crowded tourist destinations to reveal hidden gems at every turn: overflowing markets, chic ateliers, quaint cafés, cobblestone streets, sweeping vistas, and exceptional galleries. ProvenceThe accessible writing provides history and context for each stop on the adventure, and the vibrant, color-soaked photographs capture the spirit of this popular place. Packaged as a flexi-bound paperback with a ribbon page marker, Provence and the Côte d’Azur is a must-have for lovers of style, food, travel, design, and, bien sûr, France!

ProvenceJanelle McCulloch has been a journalist, editor and author for 20 years, both in Australia and Europe. She has worked as an editor for many home and lifestyle magazines, and has contributed style and design pieces to well-known publications such as Sunday Life, Vogue Living, Elle, Marie Claire, the(melbourne)magazine and Inside Melbourne.

 

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A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse

A Kirchen in FranceA Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson

With beguiling recipes and sumptuous photography, “A Kitchen in France” transports readers to the French countryside and marks the debut of a captivating new voice in cooking.
When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Medoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients–from local farmers and the neighboring woods–and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes–such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Creme FraIche, Cepe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Creme Caramel–will bring the warmth of rural France into your home.

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