It’s universally known that rural France has some truly lovely small towns and villages. But did you know there’s actually an organization that dictates which of them are the ‘most beautiful’? This France 24 video will give you a mini tour of 3 out of 159 of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.
The first is Usson in the Auvergne region, a 16th century fortress and now a charming village with steep roads and stone cottages straight out of a fairytale, made from volcanic rock.
Next, in Cantobre, in the region of Aveyron, a tiny cliffside village is home to only 15 people, and life is centered around the nearby church. Residents take much care and pride in maintaining their homes, including by dangerous cliff-hanging tasks.
The last village presented, the Provençal town of Cotignac, is “built from local stone” in a bit of a different way. The river that ran through it 500 years ago carved a spectacular rock that is the town’s most striking feature, an adventureland for children, with some surprises hidden inside.
From St. Tropez to Marseille, these are the dishes that will definitely make your Instagram followers jealous.
No, it’s not just a cute animated childrens movie about — of all things — a rat who likes to cook. It’s actually a vegetable stew originally made by peasants in the South of France (particularly in Nice) when they didn’t want to waste a bunch of random ingredients. Ratatouille is tomato based, with zucchini, eggplant, onions, and a variety of spices, and it is slow cooked until the vegetables gain a smooth, creamy texture.
Like many of these dishes, socca is an example of Provence’s Mediterranean influences, both Italian and North African. Socca is a thin, unleavened pancake made from chickpea flour typically baked in a tinned copper plate as a street food in Marseille or Nice.
Spring has sprung and that means it’s time for rosé all day. Here are our picks for choice bottles from the French region that started it all, Provence.
Rosé season is upon us. The best way to transition into warmer weather is with a bottle from Provence, the French region that started the pink-wine craze.
Delightfully fruity, yet impeccably honed by crisp acidity (and sometimes tangy minerality), rosés from Provence are often considered the top in their category. While usually made from a mix of red grapes—the roster can include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvèdre—some bottlings can even include the white grape Vermentino, or Rolle, as it’s called locally.
Here are some of the top-scoring Provence rosés from across the region that are hitting shelves and online shops. Scoop them up and enjoy a bit of Provençal sunshine in a bottle.
Château Vignelaure 2019 Rosé (Coteau d’Aix-en-Provence); $22, 93 points. Produced from organic grapes, this ripe wine is well structured and richly elegant. It has depth and concentration as well as a touch of tannins from the Cabernet and Syrah in the blend. The wine is just ready to drink, although it will be better from late 2020. Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd. Editors’ Choice. –Roger VossContinue reading “10 Top-Rated Rosé Wines, From Provence to Your Couch”→
This week, France in Focus heads to the southern port city of Toulon, which is home to the French Navy’s main base. It was here on August 15, 1944, that the Allied invasion of southern France began. We take a closer look at just what happened and explore the various efforts being made today, 75 years later, to ensure the memory of those events lives on.
Just east of Marseille lays the charming coastal town of Cassis, nestled at the bottom of steep, vineyard-covered hills that come almost to the sea. It’s so adorably cute that you might think you are walking into a postcard. There’s nothing better than a stroll through town followed by a bowl of fish soup or some moules-frites at one of the many restaurants that line the docks.
The setting of Cassis is dramatic. Besides those vineyards, Cap Canaille—the highest cliff in France—towers over the town on its east side. And to the west are the beautiful and rugged calanques, the so-called mini fjords of France [ . . . ]
Including Julia Child’s very own cottage (with plenty of kitchen utensils included).
We’ve said it again and again: there’s so much more to France than just a trip to Paris. Case in point? The South of France—a.k.a. the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region—is home to some of our favorite towns. There are big names like Cannes, Marseilles, and Nice in the area, but there are plenty of smaller towns to enjoy, like Menton, Grasse, and Cassis. If you want to live out your provincial French fantasy—whether it’s smack on the beach, in a historic old town apartment, a multi-acre château, or in Julia Child’s own kitchen—we’ve got some Airbnbs for you to book, spread all across the region.
As a bonus, all of the Airbnb selections are run by Superhosts, who each have a rating of 4.8 or above, a record of zero cancellations, and at least a 90 percent response rate, meaning they’ll get back to you ASAP. Read on to find the perfect Airbnb for your vacation along France’s southern coast [ . . . ]