Site helps owners plan dog-friendly trips in France

As French residents are encouraged to take holidays in France this summer post-Covid-19, a website is helping dog-owners plan holidays with their pets, sharing dog-friendly listings around the country.

Emmène ton chien (Bring Your Dog), launched by Sophie Morche, has around 100,000 monthly visitors – known as “Wouafers” – who search the site find to dog-friendly places to visit in France, as approved by other members.

Ms Morche says visitors can share places that have made their dogs “really welcome” in France. Dog-friendly establishments are then given a rating from 1-4 on the website’s “Qualidog” scale, depending on how positive users’ experiences have been.

Information provided on the site includes how many dogs can be allowed into a dog-friendly establishment at once, what size dogs are welcome, and whether services – such as bowls and dog pads – are provided. It also answers questions such as which campsites allow dogs in onsite restaurants, and which holiday cottages have dog-gardens. 

Five years ago, Ms Morche adopted her own dog and quickly found: “Finding dog-friendly places wasn’t simple. Often you don’t know what the welcome will be like when you go somewhere. My dog is a member, and a full part, of my family. There are about 18 million people in the same situation [in France], and we shouldn’t apologise for wanting to go on holiday with the whole family!”

As well as accommodation and restaurants, includes popular destinations in France, such as tourist sites and physical activity centres. It also has listings for activities specifically for dogs, such as agility courses and even dog massages. 

For places that want to improve their “Qualidog” rating, the site also offers advice on how to better welcome dog owners. 

Source: Site helps owners plan dog-friendly trips in France

Discovering Paris’s Canal Saint-Martin

Inaugurated in 1825, the Canal Saint-Martin stretches over five districts of eastern Paris. Once essential for transporting goods, it’s mainly used today by tour boats and pleasure cruises. Along its four kilometres, the canal with its nine locks lets both Parisians and tourists alike discover the French capital from a different perspective. FRANCE 24 went on board.

Source: Discovering Paris’s Canal Saint-Martin – You are here

“We must save our tourism” says PM

There will be a summer tourism season in France, the government has insisted.

However, with social distancing and limited overseas travel, there will be a big drop in trade. Prime Minister Edouard Phi­lippe has said they are facing “probably the worst test of modern times, while at the same time tourism is a jewel in the crown of the French economy”. Saving the industry is a national priority, he said.

Tourism professionals told Connexion that many are expecting at least a 50% reduction in annual turnover. Tourism Minister Jean-Bap­tiste Lemoyne has indicated that French residents will mostly holiday in France, though President Macron hinted at possible Europe-wide travel. At a press conference with Angela Merkel, the president said a co-ordinated plan should be ready by mid-June: “We will have a tourist season in Europe alongside the virus.” [ . . . ]

Continue at Connexion: “We must save our tourism” says PM

12 French Words and Phrases You Should Know

Sometimes updating your French is as easy as just learning a few new words and phrases.

1. C’est mort

If you absolutely don’t want to do something and it’s simply not possible, “c’est mort” [say more]. You’re basically saying that something is dead or like death. If you had all-you-can-eat sushi for lunch and your friend suggests you get all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue for dinner, tell him, “non, c’est mort,” then suggest you go to a place that serves salads.

2. Dans le rush

“Dans le rush” [don le rush] is Frenglish at its finest. It means to do something ASAP, or as a rush-job. If you want the guy in your Paris office you’re working on a project with to get you that sales report ASAP, message him, “On est dans le rush, donc il faut que tu m’envoies le rapport très vite.

3. Sur place

A basic yet important pair of words to know, “sur place” [soor plahss] means “here.” This is essential for when in a pâtisserie and the girl behind the counter asks if you’d like your pastry “à emporter ou sur place?” To best enjoy the atmosphere, you’ll of course respond, “sur place, s’il vous plaît.”

4. Direction [location]!

When you want to say “let’s go!” but also specify where you’re going, say “direction [location]!” [dee-recsheeon]. For example, if you’ve been given the task of choosing the bar you and your coworkers are going to for un afterwork, as you’re leading them out of the office, you can say, “Direction le Perchoir!”

5. Une envie pressante

A fun and easy expression, “une envie pressante” [ewn ahnvee preh-sawnt] means “a need to pee.” (It can also mean the other reason you need to visit the bathroom, but mostly it’s a need to pee.) If your friend wants to run home from the Métro to her apartment after a night out of drinking and dancing, she might explain her behavior by saying, “j’ai une envie pressante!”

6. Chômage technique

“Chômage technique” [show-mahj tek-neek] is a handy expression to know because it gets you out of work; it means to be forced to not work. It can be used seriously (as a company would use it) or jokingly. So if there’s a fire in the break room at your office, you might get a few days off while they repair the damage, in which case you can seriously tell people, “je suis au chômage technique.” You can also use it in a funny way, like if the internet is incredibly slow, you might say “chômage technique” to your colleague and start a game of solitaire on your iPhone.

7. J’ai piscine

Swimming is such a common activity in France that the phrase “j’ai piscine” [jhay peeseen], or “I have swimming,” has become the de facto generic excuse that everyone knows is a fake excuse. Or when your coworkers want to go out after work and all you want to do is go home and watch Netflix, tell them “je peux pas, j’ai piscine” on your way out the door (they’ll know you don’t have swimming, but it’s an endearing way to get out of something!).

8. Être un(e) touche à tout / toucher à tout

This noun, “un(e) touche à tout” [toosh ah to] is the equivalent of a Jack-of-all-trades, meaning someone who is good at everything. For example, a job interviewer may ask what your current responsibilities are, and after you rattle off about 10 things, you could say “je suis une touche à tout.” There’s also a verb form of the word, “toucher à tout,” which means to be good at everything. For example, you could be in the middle of a discussion about Elton John, how he’s a singer, songwriter, pianist, philanthropist, and AA sponsor of Eminem, and say “il touche à tout.”

9. Franco-français

Because it isn’t enough just to be French, we have the word “franco-français” [franco-frahnsay] which translates to “French French.” It’s an adjective used to say something is very French. A business started by a French person in France is franco-français. The debate about whether headscarfs and veils should be allowed in public is franco-français. A U.S. Open tennis match between two French players is franco-français. A girl whose family has been in France for five generations is franco-française.

10. Coup de cœur

This is a useful noun you’ll see a lot in women’s magazines, “coup de cœur” [coo duh cur]. It means “favorite”; it’s basically something that you’re loving right now. Visualize: a page in a magazine’s February issue, titled “Nos Coups de Cœur” that includes images of lemongrass candles, grandma sweaters, a vinyl of Angèle’s album, AirPods, and other trendy things.

11. Michto

Okay so maybe you don’t need this word, but it’s good to know. “Michto” [meeshtoe] means “gold digger,” and it is unfortunately only used to describe women. It’s short for “michtonneuse” and it used to be another word for a prostitute, but the word has evolved to mean women who date men for their money. If your very wealthy friend Laurent is being pursued by a woman who only wants to do expensive activities together then push the bill his way, you might consider gently telling him, “c’est difficile à dire, mais vraiment, c’est une michto.”

12. Quelle histoire

This one comes in handy in everyday conversation. “Quelle histoire” [kell eestoir] means a crazy — in a good or bad way — or funny story (it’s literal translation is “what a story”). You can use it to respond to your coworker’s funny story about he lost and recovered his ID during a wild night out: “Quelle histoire!”

Source: 12 French Words and Phrases You Should Know

Nowadays, Paris is for lovers of beer as well as wine. Check out these locations

BrasserieBrasserie might mean brewery, but only recently are Parisian establishments getting back to ale.

In Paris, you’re never far from a glass of wine. Step into a classic bistro and there will be good-value reds from the valleys of Rhone and Loire. Higher-end restaurants will inevitably point you in the direction of first-growth Bordeaux. New-wave wine bars are bursting with biodynamic Beaujolais. And a glass of Alsace riesling is de rigueur at a brasserie.

For a drinker interested in quality and value, wine can sometimes seem like the only option in this city. Every street, it seems, has its own cave à vin, complete with regional focus and invariably helpful staff, if you speak French. My favorites include Les Caves Saint-Martin on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, where I once bought two bottles of an excellent grower champagne on the recommendation of the shop owner, and Trois Fois Vin on Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth.

The great food halls devote huge amounts of space to France’s most famous wine regions. I remember wandering into the recently reopened Galeries Lafayette food hall (“Lafayette Gourmet”) in 2014 to find acre upon acre of wine, the vast majority of it French (including 1,200 options from Bordeaux alone!). There were a few desultory shelves of beer.

It hasn’t always been like this: Brasserie, after all, means brewery. When Alsatians founded these palaces of gustatory gratification in the late 19th century, there was often brewing on-site. There still is at Brasserie Georges, which reinstalled a brewery in 2004, but that’s in Lyon. Paris’s mightiest brasseries long ago gave up grain for grape.

Beer is flowing in establishments with a young, energetic vibe

Testing beer at the Gallia brewery. Heineken has bought a minority share. (Gallia)

But things are changing. Breweries and bars are popping up throughout the city. It’s a young, energetic scene, exemplified by the annual Paris Beer Festival (formerly Paris Beer Week). That the name is in English rather than French is telling; much of Paris’s modern beer culture has more than a hint of Anglo-Saxon influence. That said, there’s a definite Gallic edge to places such as La Fine Mousse, an elegant bar and restaurant in the Marais, or breweries such as La Goutte d’Or, which uses ingredients reflecting the rich diversity of the local neighborhood.

The heart of this nascent Beervana can be found in northeast Paris, where rents are lower and the population younger. Around the Bassin de la Villette, a half-mile-long artificial lake in the 19th arrondissement, you’ll find Paname Brewing, a brewpub where the New England IPA is called Brexiteer (an example of how the French occasionally conflate “Anglo-Saxon” countries), and L’Atalante, with a huge outdoor terrace that fills up with young Parisians on summer evenings.

One of the most interesting breweries is Gallia: Originally founded in 1890, it was reestablished as a brand at the end of 2009. At first, the resurrected brand’s founders, Guillaume Roy and Jacques Ferté, focused on conservative pale lagers — but under head brewer Rémy Maurin, the range has expanded to encompass an impressive variety of flavors and styles.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed; in September, Heineken bought a minority share. Most bars in this city are tied to big brands such as Heineken or Kronenbourg. If they start offering customers the likes of Gallia, it’ll be a genuine game-changer.

It’s about time. Paris sits on the dividing line between northern Europe, where beer has traditionally held sway, and the wine-drinking south. Only Champagne, of France’s great wine regions, is further north, and it has (or had, until global warming) a fairly marginal grape-growing climate. This is natural beer country; it’s only right that Beaujolais, Bordeaux and the rest make room for la bière artisanale.

Will Hawkes is a freelance travel and drinks writer based in London.

Source: Nowadays, Paris is for lovers of beer as well as wine. Check out these locations. – The Washington Post

Jura, the French Wine Region You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of 

For a few years now, the wines of a small pocket of France have been the toast of the sommelier and wine shop owner community. But for most, Jura means very little (and no, we’re not talking about the Scotch whisky). It’s almost as though industry types have been trying to keep the secret, safeguarding a small but delicious supply of funky French wine just for themselves

Jura rests in the north of France, between the exalted vineyards of Burgundy and the Swiss border. Expectedly, it’s a bit chillier here, and there’s a nice mix of clay soils down low and sought-after limestone soils higher up. The “jura” name comes from a Celtic word for forest and there’s even a resident mountain range sporting the name. Continue reading “Jura, the French Wine Region You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of “