Sunday, 31 May 2009

10 things I learned in Nice

1. 4.40 euros gets you two white peaches. Juicy, pricy.

2. It's naive to think you can visit inside the fabulously grand Russian Church on a Sunday morning.

3. The iconic Thérèse, who runs the socca stall in the Cours Saleya market is one-part cook, three-parts crowd pleaser.

4. Men's mainstream fashion = tight, garish and a tad camp.

5. You can nick some sneaky wi-fi access in your hotel if you're lucky.

6. Don't be afraid of its grandeur, the Negresco hotel's bar is accessible to all.

7. The salades niçoises served in Nice's many open-air restaurants range from the delicious to the insultingly basic (no olives, limp lettuce – 11.50 euros, thanks for asking).

8. Everything is walkable, except the Matisse Museum. Get the bus.

9. Said museum is pretty, but pretty insubstantial. But it is free, unlike the Marc Chagall Museum.

10. For a sunshine weekend break, Nice can hardly be beaten.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

New French Magazine!

Salut tout le monde! We've just sent the latest issue of French to print – it's out next Thursday, 4th June, so be sure to order your copy or even subscribe (call 0117 9323 586). It's looking particularly gorgeous after a pre-summer spruce up.

New subscribers this issue will receive a cracking double DVD pack of James Martin's Brittany. In it, the likeable Saturday Kitchen chef heads off on a cook's tour of the Brittany region with culinary mates like The Hairy Bikers and Martin Blunos, picking up market produce and doing a bit of stovetop cooking, as well as dropping in on local cheese and beer producers, that kind of thing. I've seen the whole series and can strongly recommend it for a lovely armchair taste of France.

The issue has loads of good things in it - from watersports in the Champagne lakes (not literally, clearly) to Golf in Brittany, plus two stories of a dream life in Provence. Add to this the usual recipes and food news, reader comps, cultural reviews and property advice and it's the perfect read for the summer.

Next I begin work on the next issue of The Traveller in France, then crack on with French 76. If you have any photos that you think could grace the pages of our Vos Images readers' photo page, please send them to images@frenchmagazine dot co dot uk and if you have any comment you'd like to make about either the magazine or something you got up to in France, please drop me a line at edit@frenchmagazine dot co dot uk (you are not allowed to put email addresses on blogs, for some reason). There are prizes for the best of both, so get in touch!

I'm off tomorrow to France for a bit to, erm, research a piece for next issue on Nice and the Riviera (it's a terrible job, but someone... etc). I am hoping to get back to Grasse, home of French perfume. I went once years ago and they let me make my own aftershave (called "Lethargie pour Homme", of course), so I hope to replenish stocks. I imagine the ladies of France will hardly be able to contain themselves.

I hope to post a blog or two from Nice and Le Tignet, technical issues permitting. Stay tuned!

In other news, please check out Dan Johnson's blog over at Siblu - there's some good scope for discussion. Oh, and I've just reviewed the DVD of A Christmas Tale for the second issue of the brilliant new movie magazine Filmstar - the first issue of which is on sale today at all good newsagents and supermarkets. Alors, à bientôt...