The Journey of French Cuisine

About French Cuisine    (and big news below!) French cuisine is actually made up of many types of cuisine; there are special dishes from every region: Alsace, the Alps region, the Southwest, Brittany, Normandy, the middle (Auvergne, Lyonnais,) as well as Paris. Each region adds special ingredients from that region (cheese from Auvergne or Savoie in the Alps, seafood dishes from Brittany and the southwest, for example.) French cuisine is often known for using a lot of wine, butter, cream,…

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Tours, Gateway to the Loire Valley

Tours, France is often called the Gateway to the Loire Valley, because it’s a great jumping-off point for visiting the many sites along the rich river valley…such as chateaux and vineyards. Despite this ideal centrality, you don’t want to neglect visiting this bustling city itself, located between two rivers, the Loire and the Cher. It’s not far from Paris, so ideal for a side-trip or if you’re arriving at a Paris airport. Take the TGV for about an hour and…

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Go East to Alsace

Alsace is an eastern region of France separated from Germany by the Rhine River. It’s a region unique in its own way. Although it is thoroughly French, it bears outward signs of its nearness to Germany. History, also, ties these two countries together. Alsace-Lorraine has been French since the mid-17th century. However, in 1871 it became German during the Franco-Prussian War. In 1918 became French again. 1940 Hitler took it back, but in 1945 it was again restored to France.…

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20 Surprising Facts about Paris

There are many notable and surprising facts about Paris, France. Here is a list of 20 facts that maybe you didn’t know! Why is Paris called the City of Lights? Paris was one of the first cities to have city lighting. Lanterns were used widely on street corners in the 17th century to cut down on crime. This innovative trend continued. Gas lighting was introduced in the 1850s in some of the Galerie shopping establishments. One can say that the…

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Is Travel Insurance Necessary? (Dull but Important)

This post on travel insurance might be a less exciting topic, but it’ll be worth a look. Especially now that the Coronavirus has covered the earth and many are scrambling to see if their policies will cover a needed cancelation. Many people will be disappointed since few policies cover this kind of thing (unless you bought “cancel for any reason” insurance, as did one of my French students. She was glad she’d spent the extra money in this case. I…

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Dinan: A Treasure in Brittany

Dinan is my favorite town in Brittany. In fact, it was the first post I wrote for Oliver’s France. Enjoy it again and make plans to go! There are many rolling hills and peaceful landscapes in Brittany. Even here in the midst of this lush, unspoiled land, there are towns that require a visit. Dinan is one of these. It is about 4 hours by train from Paris, and around an hour from St. Malo and Le Mont Saint Michel.…

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