Tag Archives: blogger round-up

Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Blois Castle – Marsala in Sicily – French Slang for Money

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I have three totally different subjects for this week’s blogger round-up. Susan from Days on the Claise gives us a lively and interesting history of Blois Castle, while Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris takes us to Sicily where she spent New Year in the snow, starting with Marsala. To finish off, Phoebe from Lou Messugo talks about French slang for money. Enjoy!

Things we never said: the château of Blois

by Susan from Days on the Claise, an Australian living in the south of the Loire Valley, writing about restoring an old house and the area and its history and running Loire Valley Time Travel.

Blois is somewhere we drove through many times before we moved to France, as it’s on the road to the Paris airports.


However, until March ’14 we had never visited the chateau, despite knowing that it is somewhere that really repays a visit with many treasures and some good renaissance architecture, both things of which we are particularly fond. So here are some highlights:

The chateau sits in the middle of town. It was purchased by Louis d’Orléans, brother of mad Charles VI, at the end of the 14th century under somewhat scandalous circumstances when he seduced the young wife of the previous owner. His son Charles inherited, but taken prisoner at the battle of Agincourt, he was held in captivity for 25 years. Finally in 1440 he was able to return to Blois, which became his favourite residence. He spent the next 30 years writing poetry and rebuilding the chateau, a reaction to the end of the Hundred Years War that was not untypical of his class. Then to everyone’s amazement, he fathered a son and heir at the age of 71. Read more

Marsala: Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year, a fortified wine and a town in Sicily

by Mary Kay from Out and About in Paris, an American by birth, Swiss by marriage, resident of Paris with a Navigo Pass for the metro that she feels compelled to use

out_and_about_marsalaMarsala. It’s THE current buzz word among fashion and interior designers, make-up artists and graphic designers. Some love it and some hate it. Yet, chances are that you’ll see a lot of this terracotta red shade in 2015. It’s going to be on the catwalks of Paris, the wall of your trendy friend’s apartment and on fashionistas’ lips. Marsala is Pantone’s Color of the Year.

To kick off my series of posts about our recent vacation in Sicily, I thought I would start with a short one about Marsala. This charming town located on the island’s windswept western coast is famous for its glistening white marble streets, stately baroque buildings and fortified wine. Read more

Money, slang, synonyms and all that …

by Phoebe from Lou Messugo, a traveller, francophile, expat, mum and foodie now living in Roquefort les Pins where she runs a gîte after many years of travelling and living in Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia

lou_messugo_moneySomething my son said a few days ago got me thinking.  He said the word “argent” (money) has the most synonyms in the French language.  I can’t vouch that this is an absolute fact as it’s an incredibly hard thing to verify but it would appear to be highly likely from the research I’ve done. Using several dictionaries, Wikipedia and talking to my sons and French friends I’ve come up with a list of 102 words! So even if that’s not the most differences for one little word, it’s certainly a hellava lot. Read more


Weekly Bloggers’ Round-Up: How to make a Christmas log – Favourite places in the Marais – Limone in Piemonte

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A little bit of Christmas to start this week’s Blogger Round-Up with a recipe for French Christmas Log from French Moments, followed by Paris Weekender‘s favourite haunts in the Marais. To finish off, fellow Aussie Chrissie from Riviera Grapevine takes us on a visit to Limone in Piemonte in Italy. Enjoy! 

French Christmas Log – Bûche de Noël

by French Moments, a Sydney-based organisation with an international focus which promotes the French language and culture to English-speakers worldwide. Their French team is all about the language, culture and experience

christmas_logChristmas log is the traditional dessert for the French Christmas meal on the 24th of December. It is a rolled sponge / Genoese sponge in the shape of a log, most often with chocolate ganache inside or chestnut cream and icing on the outside to make it look like a log ready for the fire. In Provence there is an entire ritual revolving around a wooden log in the chimney that is carried three times around the table by the youngest and the oldest members of the family, sprayed with wine and meant to burn for several nights. It is believed the Christmas log is originated from this custom. Read more

The Best of the Marais (So Far)

by Abby from Paris Weekender, an American living in Paris who offers suggestions for Paris weekends, either staying put or getting out of town

Marais-ORL-Abby-Gordon-8It’s been a little over a year since I  moved from Saint Germain to the Marais. Here is a sampling of my “favorites” so far. I admit they are a bit 4th arrondissement-centric, as that’s where I live! Read more

Warming up for Winter in Limone

by Chrissie from Riviera Grapevine, a Sydney girl living in Nice with an insatiable thirst for the wines of the Var, Alpes Maritimes and Liguria. She happily sells, drinks and blogs about wine.

Limone-CentreTime to let you in on a little secret. If you’re a fan of the wonderful Italian region Piemonte, as I am, you don’t have to head all the way to Alba for your fix of Barolo, Moscato d’Asti and my personal favourite, Arneis (not to mention the food, THE FOOD!!). The closest corner of Piemonte is a mere hour and a half away from Nice, and has a cute-as-pie village centre with some great value restaurants. What’s more turns into a veritable winter wonderland come snow season.

Yep, I’m talking about Limone. More often referred to Limone, Piemonte, to avoid confusion with Limone, Lake Garda. Read more


Weekly Blogger Round-Up: Orangerie Museum – French history of the Potato – New rabbit to eat

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This week’s Blogger Round-Up starts in a museum and ends in a cemetary. Daisy de Plume, whom you may remember from the THATLou treasure hunt I participated in recently, tells us all about the Orangerie Museum; Bread is Pain, in her usual humouristic musings, recounts the difficult ascension of the potato in France; while fellow Aussie Susan from Days on the Claise reports on a new French appellation, the lapin gris de Touraine. Enjoy!

Musée de l’Orangerie

by native New Yorker Daisy de Plume, who has lived in Paris for nearly a decade and created THATLou to share her passion for art and her unique approach toward making the museum experience fun and accessible to all

orangerie02-1024x682Now that’s a great photo, no? Lilian Lau is a jack of many trades: from an École normale supérieure post-doc science researcher to a wonderful travel writer (links to a sampling are below). After first meeting her at last January’s THATd’Or  created in conjunction with theAFMO, Lilian generously put me in touch with Camille Breton, of Science Académie, for whom I built the Arts + Sciences hunt. Since then we’ve been having lovely lingering lunches between her globetrotting flights. Here she picks up on the Museum Musings(which I had initially intended to be a “monthly” museum musing, but alas time has required that first M to be dropped!). Without further ado: Read more

Plus ça change plus c’est la même chose

by Bread is Pain, a 30-something American living in the Rhone-Alps, getting her master’s degree, learning French and slowly eating and drinking herself through the country

“What tha…why is there a potato on that tombstone,” I turn, looking at MB questioningly.  We are on a tour of Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

“Quoi,” he asks, looking towards the grave, apparently he doesn’t know why either.

“Ah,” our tour guide walks over and joins us, bringing the rest of the group.  “This is the grave of Parmentier, the man who introduced potatoes into French cuisine.” Read more

Le Lapin Gris de Touraine

by Susan from Days on the Claise, an Australian living in the south of the Loire Valley, writing about restoring an old house and the area and its history and running Loire Valley Time Travel.

lapin_gris1This type of grey rabbit used to be well known to the inhabitants of Indre et Loire and by the early 1900s it had begun to be called le lapin gris de Touraine. They were raised for meat and fur, but although still common on farms in the area in the 1950s, by the end of the 20th century they had almost disappeared. It has just received official recognition as a breed, after a group of enthusiasts worked on saving the rabbit from extinction. Read more 

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