Monday, December 23, 2013

Provence Calendale Traditions-

Provence, month-long festival of Christmas is called in Provencal "Li Calendo".  It starts on the Feast of Santa Barbara, December 4 and lasts to Epiphany, January 6.  The ancient traditions and rituals include setting nativity scenes filled with the usual nativity characters but also with santons - exquisite hand-crafted little figurines representing characters of the local village life-- the shepherd, the baker, the peddler, the farmer, the postman, etc..  

Another Provencal Tradition is the Gros Souper and the 13 Deserts.  At the Big Supper before Christmas eve mass, the table is set with three tablecloths on which three candlesticks are placed along with three plates filled with wheats. This is to represent the Trinity. A buffet of seven
different dishes is laid out along with 13 deserts (the number representing Jesus and the apostles) and include precisely:

4 mendiants, each symbolize a religious order: 
  • Dried figs (Franciscans)
  • Almonds (Carmelites)
  • Raisins (Dominicans)
  • Walnuts (Augustinians)

Fougasse or pompe a huile (a flat bread flavored with olive oil and herbs); 
and an assortments of fresh fruits, candied fruits, nougats and cakes.  They will remain on the table for three days and each guest must taste each one of them.

Bon NouvéJoyeux Noël!

tags: Provence, christmas traditions in Provence

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Enchanted France Spring Tours 2014

Enchanted France is offering three small group escorted tours to France in Spring 2014 and will feature Paris, Provence, Normandy and Loire Valley.  Enchanted France tours are designed to offer an intimate and authentic travel experience in France with a high level of quality and personalized services.  These culturally enriching  expeditions are perfect for first time as well as more seasoned travelers; for travelers who like a structured group program as well as independent travelers who like a certain amount of flexibility yet have a bit of structure.  We hope you can join us in 2014 for unique travel experiences in France. The tours will be running in succession to one another during the month of May so it may be advantageous to sign for more than one tour to sample different French regions. Space is limited as groups are limited in size. 

Paris and Ile de France Adventure
7 days/6 nights

Date: April 27-May 3, 2014 

This is a unique cultural adventure through Paris and the Ile de France, the historical cradle of the Kingdom of France. Since the time of Childebert I, Paris was the administrative and cultural capital of the French kingdom while the surrounding countryside was the pleasure ground of the kings and where they built beautiful retreats.
This tour covers Paris’  history, architecture, art and savoir vivre.  It will venture outside of the capital to Chartres, Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte. 
SoJoin us for this one-of-kind tour!!.

Tour highlights include:
  • In Paris visit:  Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle,
  • Walk in the footsepts of Impressionist painters and visit the  Orsay Museum  
  • Explore  Le Marais and 17th century architecture
  • Outside of Paris:  visit castles of Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte and tour Chartres cathedral
  •  Stay in charming hotel in Paris
  • Gourmet meals
Provence Escapade
7 days/6 nights
Date: May 3-9, 2014

Provence is always a favorite region of France to discover. Join our small group to explore the many treasures of sunny Provence from its rich historical past to its unique traditions and savoir vivre. You will discover beautiful architecture dating back to the Romans and magnificent landscapes of fragrant hills, lavender fields, vineyards and picturesque villages. More importantly, on this journey you will find your senses stimulated in so many ways from the special light that inspired the impressionist painters to the smell and taste of the many Provencal specialties.
Medieval heritage: Avignon's Pope's Palace; Ste. Trophime Cathedral; Abbaye de Senanque
  • Roman architecture : Pont Du Gard ; Arles' Arena and Vaison la Romaine
  • Irresistible Provencal towns: Avignon ; St. Remy de Provence; Aix en Provence
  • Picturesque perched villages: Gordes; les Baux; Roussillon
  • Savoir vivre :: colorful markets ; Chateauneuf du Pape wine tasting; olive oil tasting
  • Beautiful landscape : Alpilles Hills; Luberon National Park; vineyards and Olive groves
  • Charming hotels in the heart of Avignon
  • Gourmet meals
  • A/C minicoach transportation in Provence
  • Fully escorted and expertly guided
  • Small intimate group


Normandy and Loire Valley Castles
8 days / 7 nights

May 11-18, 2014

Come discover Normandy and the Loire Valley Castles
You will first visit Normandy, a land rich in history, tradition and gastronomy. From Monet’s garden in Giverny to the Mont St. Michel you will discover towns with rich architectural heritage, verdant landscape of apple orchards and fields framed by hedge grows where cows graze contentedly. On this 70th year anniversary of the Normandy D-Day Landing will visit the memorial sites of Omaha Beach, Juno Beach, Pointe du Hoc and Sainte Mere l’Eglise.  The tour will then continue to the romantic Loire Valley where the Renaissance castles built by the Kings of France will enchant you. In this tour you will have a chance to taste the gastronomy and the specialties of these two regions—cider and cheese in Normandy and the velvety wines of the Loire Valley.
  • Monet's Garden in Giverny
  • Rouen Cathedral
  • Normandy D-Day Landing sites 
  • Mont St. Michel Abbey
  • Castles: Chenoceau, Amboise, Chambord, Villandry
  • Manor Clos Luce

For information contact Enchanted France
Tags: france tours, Paris tour, Normandy tour, Loire Valley tour, Provence tour

Friday, December 6, 2013

Five Reasons to visit Strasbourg

Strasbourg is one of the most picturesque towns of Europe.   Tucked in the northeast corner of France on the border of Germany and only about 2 and a half hours by high speed TGV train from Paris, the capital of Alsace beckons visitors especially this time of  year  when the town sparkles of a thousand lights , christmas decorations adorn the facades of shops, restaurants and houses and  streets are bustling with eager shoppers. Here are five reasons to make Strasbourg your destination of choice during  the holiday season and anytime of the year.

Strasbourg Christmas Market
OT Strasbourg-Emilie Cottier
One of the most appealing reasons to come to Strasbourg in December is to visit its famed Christmas market, the oldest one in France, a more than 400 years old institution.  It is in 1570 that the first Christkindelsmarik (Market of Christ Child) took place.  The Christmas market spreads along many streets in the historic center and especially in front of the Cathedral and the lively square --Place  Broglie.  Strollers make their way through the market tempted by the wares of the many sellers installed in 300 wooden chalets selling local arts and crafts, Christmas ornaments and gourmet delicacies.  The scent of cinnamon,  mulled wine and savory sweets fill the air while carolers' voices entertain shoppers. Every year a giant pine tree, the tallest in Europe, is set and on Place Kleber and decorated with Christmas tinsels and ornaments to the delight of children of all ages. 

Strasbourg Cultural Heritage
Strasbourg is appealing anytime of the year for the wealth of its historical heritage and its architectural beauty.  The French Minister of Culture has just recognized the importance of Strasbourg's preserved patrimony and has attributed to it the distinguish label of "Ville d'Art et d'Histoire" (City of art and history).  

OT Strasbourg-Genevieve Engel
Its most prized landmark is the Cathedral Notre Dame, a masterpiece of gothic architecture. Built between  1015-1439, the cathedral is distinguished by it is pink sandstone facade so richly carved and decorated; scenes from the Old and New Testaments adorned the central portal. Its spire stretches up gracefully 142 meter from the ground, one of the tallest in Europe. Inside, the cathedral counts many treasures among which are the stained glass windows dating from the 12th to the 14th century, the St. Pancrace's altar designed by Hans  Hammer dating from 1522, fourteen magnificent 17th century tapestries and its Renaissance astronomical clock with a mechanism dating from the 19th century - a masterpiece of engineering , artistry and craft .  One of the magical moment to take place every day is at 12:30PM when the astronomical clock show takes place with its parade of apostles. 
Astronomical Clock

Strolling through Strasbourg offers many delights. One particular neighborhood La Petite France District has been classified as Unesco World Heritage site.  This picturesque neighborhood alongside the Ile River, once the district of the  tanners, millers and fishermen  is lined with 16th and 17th century timber-framed houses. 

Strasbourg counts many museums among them the Palais Rohan, which holds a collection of  paintings from the  Renaissance to 1870 including works by Botticelli, Veronese, Canaletto, El Greco, Rubens, Goya, Delacroix, Corot and many others.  At the bottom of  the cathedral, the Musee de l'Oeuvre Notre Dame concentrates on art from the Medieval and Renaissance periods that illustrates mainly Strasbourg and the Upper Rhine region's past.  Modern and Contemporary art is housed in a museum right in the historic center and features a collection of fine art from the 20th century, graphic as well as photographic works.  

Gastronomy of Alsace
Strasbourg, as the capital of Alsace, is renowned for its gastronomy- a mixture of hearty german food and French gourmet sophistication.  Some specialities include Choucroute, a dish of pickled sauerkraut and assorted sausages; Baeckoff, a stew of meats, potatoes and spices simmered in Alsatian wine; Flammekueche or Flambe tart, a thin pastry filled with cream, onion and bacon pieces. The local deserts are non pareil such as the Bredele cake for christmas, the Kugelhopf and the Alsatian cheese tart. Strasbourg Winstubs (Alsatian bistro)  are renowned for serving delectable local cuisine in a cozy and  convivial setting. 

Wine and Beer of Alsace
Alsace has a long and rich culture in vineyard cultivation.  Its wines are renowned the world over for their quality and unique terroir.  There are 7 distinct AOC's named for their grape variety - Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Tokay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sylvaner.  When in Strasbourg, visit the historic wine cellars of the Hospices de Strasbourg . In this magnificent 600 year old vaulted cellar a selection of local wines are stored; one barrel  contains wine from 1472!!

Let's  not forget the Alsatian's beer tradition --In fact the first brewery in Alsace was founded in Strasbourg in 1260.  Famous brands brewed outside of Strasbourg include Kronenbourg, Fisher and Karlsbrau . 

Crossroads of Europe
Photo: OT Strasbourg
Yves Noto-Campanella
Strasbourg has always been at the crossroads of Europe since the middle ages when the city was an important trade center.  Today it is the seat of the European parliament and other European institutions like the Council of Europe with its European Court of Human Rights .  Members meet each month for 4 day long sessions of debating, law drafting and voting. Public can visit the chambers during plenary sessions.

As you see, there are many reasons to visit Strasbourg during the festive holiday season as well as throughout the year and visitors come back for encore year after year.

Visit a France Destination Specialist to arrange your trip to France and beyond.

tags: Alsace, Strasbourg, Strasbourg Christmas market

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

T'is the Season of the "Black Diamond"

The season of the black truffle is officially opened.  This “black diamond” of the gastronomy world is a subterranean fungus (tuber melanosporum)  that grows at the foot of oak trees.  

The region of the Vaucluse in Provence produces the most truffles  in France (80%)  and the Friday market in Carpentras at the foot of Mont Ventoux is the center for trading this prized fungus. Restaurant chefs, brokers and wholesalers  from all corners of the world meet here to deal directly with the truffle hunters.    Trading is done in ushed tone, tubers are wrapped in small bags, they are weighted on hand-held scales,  and money is discreetly passed from buyers to sellers.

The going price this year is 150 euros per kilos.  No wonder, it is to be used  sparingly.  

On my recent visit in Provence I tasted black truffle at a luncheon at the Maison de la Truffe in Menerbes.   As an appetizer shavings were sprinkled on a tender green salad with chanterelles and for the main dish, finely chopped truffles were mixed with scrambled eggs.   The luncheon was delicious especially served with a white wine from the Luberon.  Truffles are also used to flavor olive oil.

Scrambled eggs with Truffles at the Maison de la Truffe

The truffle season runs from November to March.

Tag: Provence, black truffle, Carpentras market

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hospices de Beaune Charitable Wine Auction

Today and since 1859, on the third sunday of November the wine auction of the Hospices de Beaune takes place. It is a tradition to auction wines from the prized vineyards of Burgundy to raise funds for  Beaune hospital and other charitable organizations.

Hospices de Beaune
The auction event takes place at the Hotel-Dieu, a former hospital built in 1443 by Nicholas Rolin ( the wealthy chancellor to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy)   and his wife Guigone de Salins to treat the poor, the disabled, the elderly, the orphans and anyone in needs.  The building in the center of Beaune is considered a gem of medieval Burgundian Flemish architecture, remarkable for its colorful patterned glazed tiled roof as well as its ornate carved gables and pinnacles.

Salle des Pauvres
The Hospices served as a hospital till 1971 and is now a museum.    Inside, the Grande Salle des Pauvres (Paupers' ward) is impressive for its size (more than 160 feet long) and its barrel wooden ceiling more than 50 feet high. The length of the room is  lined on each side by a row of re-created crimson curtained hospital beds.  In the Apothecary room, where the hospital nuns used to prepare potions and  special unguents using plants grown in the hospital garden you can view  copper alembics, bronze mortars and  a collection of 1782 ceramic medicinal jars.  

But the main attraction at the Hospices de Beaune is the masterpiece of Rogier van Der Weyden -the polyptych of Last Judgment dating from the 15th century and commissioned by Nicholas Rolin to be displayed in the chapel for patients' edification
Rogier Van Der Weyden- Last Judgment
Nicholas Rolin also donated vineyards to the Hospices ; subsequent benefactors enriched the estate and today it totals 57 hectares of grand cru and premier cru wines.  The profits from the wine auction is to benefit the modern hospital, maintain the historic buildings, museum and vineyards.  

The wine auction this sunday raised 5.7 million euros ( a record from last year 5.3 million euros).  Among the wines being auctioned were cuvees from Corton, Pommard, Batard-Montrachet, Echezeaux, Meursault) .  The charity piece, 456 liter Meusault Genevieres 1er cru fetched 131,000 euros.

Tags: Beaune, Burgundy wine, Beaune wine auction, Hospices de Beaune.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Paris as seen by Brassai

A new exhibit of the works by iconic photographer, Brassai , just opened at the Paris City Hall.  This Hungarian born photographer (ne Gyula Halasz) came to Paris in the early 1920's, fell in love with the city and set out to photograph it , particularly at night and at the wee hours of day break.

He documented streetwalkers, brothels,  bistro life, scenes from the central market Les Halles and the Parisian High Society's night partyings.  Brassai was part of   the intellectual elite of the Montparnasse of the 20's and 30's and counted among his friends and admirers  Picasso, Henry Miller, Surrealist Andre Breton, Salvador Dali and  poet Jacques Prevert.  For lovers of Paris of yesteryear this is a treat not to be missed.  

Brassai, Pour l'Amour de Paris on view at Paris Hotel de Ville from November 8-March 8, 2014. 

Brassai- Les Escaliers de Montmartre
Brassai- Notre Dame Gargoyles

tags: Paris, Brassai photo exhibit

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Art in Provence

 When you think of Provence what comes to mind?  olive groves, pretty villages, medieval towns,  lavander, olive groves, markets etc...  Yes it is all of that and more .   Provence is also a destination for art lovers. On my most recent trip, I enjoyed visiting familiar places while making new discoveries.  Here are some highlights:

Avignon Musee du Petit Palais

Madonna and Child
 Tucked away at the northern edge of the square where the Popes
 Palace stands is the Musee du Petit Palais.  This was the private residence of the Popes in the 13th/14th century.  This handsome building of warm colored stone has the most exquisite collection of early Italian Renaissance art as well as paintings and sculptures from the 15th century Avignon school.   Some 300 work of arts adorned its uncrowded galleries and exhibit walls including works from the major Italian schools of Siena, Florence, Venice.  Its most treasured piece is an exquisite Madonna and Child by Botticielli.   To view this masterpiece, I highly recommend a visit of this gem-like of museum when visiting Avignon.  (closed on Tuesday)

Menerbes Musee du Tirebouchon (Corkskrew museum) 

Peter Mayle no doubt put the village of Menerbes in the Luberon on the map when he wrote his best seller "A Year in Provence".  In season, the village is invaded by hordes of tourists and for good reason as it is classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France.  The village sits high on a ridge overlooking vineyards of the AOC Cote du Luberon. Before entering the village, you can stop at the Domaine de la Citadelle, a winemaker producing highly respectable white, red and rose wines.  Visitors are welcome to  visit the cellar, taste the wines and tour a most unusual museum dedicated to the corkskrew.  Some 1200 pieces from the 17th century to the present are displayed. They come from around the world and their shapes range from purely functional to imaginative and artistic.

Musée du tire-bouchon
Domaine de la Citadelle
F-84560 Ménerbes
Tel. : +33 (0)4 90 72 41 58

Chateau la Coste- Wine, Art and Architecture
Chai at Chateau La Coste
Designed by Jean Nouvel
In Puy Saint Reparade, just north of  Aix en Provence is a wine estate of 125 hectares surrounded by oak trees, almond orchards and olive groves.  The Chateau la Coste vineyards managed by winemaker Mathieu Cosse
 produce red, white and rose using the grape varieties:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Vermantino and Grenache.  However, this estate is not your typical winery.  Paddy McKillen, the  owner , is a wealthy Irish
real estate investor whose vision is to produce fine wines in the midst of  a unique artistic and architectural setting.  For that he has called on world class architects to design the estate buildings-- the chai  (designed by Jean Nouvel) an arts center and chapel ( by Tadao Ando) and a music pavilion (by Gehry Partners).  To complement  the permanent architectural structures, is an  assortment of contemporary art installations by Calder, Bourgeois, Scully.  Chateau la Coste  makes for a most enjoyable visit where visitors taste wines, visit cellars and enjoy the natural setting while contemplating works of art.

Louise Bourgeois
Alexander Calder

Look for the upcoming Cezanne to Picasso- In the Footsteps of the Painters of Light  Tour .

For you next vacation to Provence, visit me at

Tags: France, Provence, art in Provence, museum, wine , travel France

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Parisian Fall Exhibitions

If you are going to Paris this fall, here is a selection of exhibitions not to be missed. They range from  the dawn of the Renaissance to the Victorian era celebration of female beauty; and from  a 20th century cubist master to a tempestuous Mexican couple and a Pop Art American artist.

Louvre Museum- Springtime of the Renaissance
This exhibition  illustrates the early years of the Renaissance movement in Florence (1400-1460). In the first 60 years of the 15th century  a renewal in  art, architecture, painting, sculpture, literature took place in the Republic of Florence with the "re-discovery" of the art of the ancient world.  Through 157 works of art issued from museums and private collections in Europe and the USA the genesis and early evolution of the Renaissance movement is revisited -- Bronze panels of Florence cathedral by Brunelleschi and Ghiberti ; sculptures by Donatello such  St. Louis of Toulouse and the bas- relief of  St George and the Dragon  considered to be an early work in linear perspective can be admired along with works by other early Renaissance masters such as  Nicolo Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Masaccio, Paolo Ucello, Andrea Dels Castagno and Filippo Lippi
(Louvre Museum - From September 26- January 6, 2014)

Musee Jacquemart-Andre --Desires and Sensuality in the Victorian Era
Roses of Heliogabalus (1888)
Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
From the collection of the Spanish born Mexican based  collector Juan Antion Perez Simon, this exhibition centers around the Feminine beauty as depicted during the prudish era of Victorian England from 1860's until the eve of the WWI.  Works by British artists like Lawrence Alma Tadema, Edward Burne Jones, Frederic Leighton, Arthur Huges, Talbot Hughes depict women sensuality  around various themes -- antiquity and medieval scenes,  as Shakesparean heroines or  femme fatales, muses and models. By combining classicism with idealized visions of female body and beauty, British artists were able to bypass the austere societal and esthetic norms of the late 19th century.  (Musee Jacquemart-Andre till January 20, 2014).

Grand Palais - Georges Braque (1882-1963) 
L'Oiseau Noir et Blanc (1960)
Georges Braque
 The co-founder of cubism is being honored by a retrospective of his oeuvres at the Grand Palais.  Born in Argenteuil in 1882 and raised in le Havre, Georges Braque was a prolific artist and innovator who left a legacy as a painter, sculptor and engraver.  This exhibition retraces his career from his early years as a Fauvist landscape painter, then as founder of Cubism with his friend Pablo Picasso, as a painter of deconstructed still lifes and as an adept at the technique of papier colle or collage consisting glued paper or oil cloth on canvas to create texture and three dimensional renderings. 
Galleries Nationales du Grand Palais- (September 18-January 6, 2014) 

Pompidou Museum - Roy Lichtenstein
Wham (1963)
Roy Lichtenstein
There is still time to visit  the first ever staged retrospective in France of american Pop Art artist, Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997).  His comic strip Pop prints of the 1960's are immensely recognizable but they don't solely define him as a innovative artist who also explored many different approaches to artistic mediums.   A selection of  130 works by the artist including paintings, collages, drawings and sculptures are on view till November 4 at the Pompidou Center..  

Musee de l'Orangerie-- Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera - L'Art en Fusion

The tempestuous Mexican couple Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) are being celebrated at the Orangerie Museum.  Love and Revolution is the theme of this exhibition as their works so different yet complementary are being displayed.  Their works share many themes relating to their love and attachment to their country- Mexico :  religion and revolution, cycle of life and death, mysticism and realism, workers and peasants. (Musee de l'Orangerie from October 9- January 13)

tags Paris, exhibitions, art, museums 

Friday, October 4, 2013

At Least Six Reasons to Visit Bordeaux

Renowned for its wines, Bordeaux, the capital of the Aquitaine region in southwest France is fun to discover many times over.  Here are at least six reasons to make Bordeaux your destination of choice.

Architectural Beauty 

Bordeaux boasts a magnificent 18th century architectural ensemble that has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site .  The Port de la Lune  stretches some 1 kilometer  along the quay of the Garonne river.  Bordeaux' exceptionally rich cultural patrimony can be explored on foot - other notable 'must see" sites include:  Saint Michel church and its pointed bell tower so distinctly visible in the  city's skyline; the gothic  Cathedral St. Andre built under English rule between the 13th and 15th century; the medieval St. Pierre district and its handsome Cailhau Gate and the Gros Horloge - bell of the medieval townhall bellbry.

Attractive River Bank
Since its ancient quays have been renovated, it is such a pleasure to stroll along the River Garonne. Decrepit warehouses have been replaced by colorful plantings and a "mirroir d'eau" was installed for everyone's delight.

Grand Theatre de Bordeaux
Designed by Victor Louis in 1773, Bordeaux opera house sits prominently in the center of Bordeaux . Its facade resembles a Greek temple adorned by a row of Corinthian columns on top of which statues of goddesses and muses oversee the Place de la Comedie.  Its jewel-like auditorium and sumptuous marble staircase are delightful to visit -- the latter was copied by Charles Garnier for Paris Opera house . When visiting, treat yourself to  a concert, opera or ballet performance.

Wine Tasting
At the center of the prolific wine region, Bordeaux offers many opportunities to sample the fruit of the vine.  Sit at a cafe terrace or visit a bistro a vin to sample the many AOC's of the region.  You can also use Bordeaux as a base to visit the vineyards that surround the city  -- such as the Medoc, St Emilion, Graves, Entre deux Mers and others.  Did you know they are 57 AOC among which are the prestigious Margaux, St. Estephe, St. Julien, Pauillac, St. Emilion, Pomerol, Sauternes to name the very best?.  At the Maison du Vin de Bordeaux on you can sample well known and less known vintages. (3, cours du XXX juillet)


Bordeaux has many great restaurants serving local specialities like the lamb of Pauillac, oysters and  other shellfish from  Arcachon Bay and the Atlantic coast and the foie Gras from nearby farms of the southwest.  For desert try the speciality of Bordeaux - canele - a small pastry in a shape of a mold with a golden caramelized crust and filled with a vanilla and rum flavored custard.

For luxury shopping head for the Golden Triangle, an area bordered by the Cours de l'Intendance, Allees des Tourny and Cours Clemenceau where you will find many fine boutiques and luxury band names.  For more affordable shopping, you can stroll along the lively pedestrianised rue Saint Catherine. The department store,   Galleries Lafayette and smaller boutiques selling, clothing, shoes and other fashion items line the street.

visit to arrange your trip to Bordeaux.

Tags: Bordeaux, France

Friday, September 20, 2013

France Gastronomy Fair- September 20-22

Gastromony is strongly associated with the French art of good living and this weekend the third edition of the France's Gastronomy Fair is being celebrated in every corner of the French hexagon and its overseas territories. 

The French culinary tradition is very strong and it is telling that ninety five percent of French people considers gastronomy to be part of the French National identity.   Making each meal a special moment is still quite important in the French psyche and this means using local grown produce, preparing the meal with care, pairing the food with wine and especially sharing it with family, friends and co workers.  

The three day culinary event will feature banquets, picnics and chef demonstrations of culinary know-how in cities and villages of every French regions.  Eight hundred people are expected to share a meal in front of the Pope’s Palace in Avignon. This no doubt will be a memorable event for the lucky participants. Wish I was there!!.