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Why Plane Trees Line the Roads in France

You don’t have to drive very far in France before you encounter a road shaded from either side by an avenue of towering Plane trees.  Many of the Planes are around 200 years old, and as much a part of French roads as the motorists and cyclists who use them. Likewise, you can often find Plane trees planted in the centres of villages and towns around France, offering large areas of shade for the weary traveller. Measuring up to 50 metres in height, the trees are an impressive sight wherever you encounter them. Plane trees currently line the World Heritage Site, Canal du Midi, in...  Lire la suite >

Are Croissants French?

Croissants are instantly recognisable as one of the national foods of France. Ask the average man in the street to name five foods he associates with France and he will almost certainly include croissants in his answer. The question is, are croissants originally French? It may surprise you to find that the answer might actually be no, or more correctly, maybe not. There are numerous legends surrounding the creation of the croissant. One tells how, in 1683, a baker heard the Ottoman Turks trying to tunnel into Vienna. The baker alerted the military and the invasion was stopped. The...  Lire la suite >

Why is French Mustard not French?

Walk into any supermarket in France and ask for a jar of ‘French’ mustard, and you will undoubtedly be met with a puzzled expression. It may surprise you to find that the one place where you are most unlikely to find ‘French’ mustard, is France. Colmans French Mustard French mustard was first introduced to the UK in 1936 by Norwich firm Colman’s. However, after parent company, Unilever, purchased rival mustard-maker Amora Maille in the year 2000, the EU ruled that the company’s market share would be too great, and the firm were ordered to stop making it. While most...  Lire la suite >

A favourite beach - La Tranche-sur-Mer

La Tranche-sur-Mer Beach Street to the Beach La-Tranche-sur-Mer is a delightful town on the Atlantic coast that we love to visit a lot. At 80 miles from our home in Deux Sevres, it is not exactly on the doorstep for us but, when the sun is shining and the top is down on the Saab convertible, there is nothing nicer than a trip along winding roads with the wind blowing in our hair and our beach towels and Factor 50 packed in our beach bag. La-Tranche-sur-Mer is a fairly-nearby alternative to La Rochelle (again, a beautiful beach resort) but it is easier to find parking here...  Lire la suite >

New law to protect diners who want freshly-made French food

The quality of French food is renowned the world over and French MPs are now ensuring that diners in France are protected from the ‘back door’ infiltration of fast food. Whilst it is now perfectly possible to pick up a fast food meal in many French towns (if you must), French MPs are making it illegal for restaurants to serve up bought-in and microwaved food without informing customers. A bill has been approved which forces restaurants to label dishes as home-made when they have been prepared from scratch in the kitchen. MPs hope the legal requirement of the ‘fait maison’...  Lire la suite >


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