Paris – Basilica of Saint-Denis

The Basilica of Saint-Denis to the north of Paris has been top of my Parisian bucket list for a good 20 years and I was determined to finally visit it last summer. The magnificent basilica is the resting place of almost all the French kings and queens, with 43 kings, 32 queens and more than... Continue Reading →

Paris – Fondation Louis Vuitton

When I asked one of my Paris-based friends what I should do in the city, the first thing she said was go to the Fondation Louis Vuitton. So after my morning visiting the Musée de l'Orangerie and over-indulging at Angelina, I hopped on the Metro to the Bois de Boulogne on the Western edge of... Continue Reading →

Paris – Angelina

Before my trip to Paris, I'd asked a friend who lives there for a list of non-touristy things to do in the French capital. One of the many suggestions on her list was a visit to Angelina to try it's renowned hot chocolate. The grand tea house is a Parisian institution established in 1903 and... Continue Reading →

Paris – Musée de l’Orangerie

If you're planning a Monet-themed weekend in the French capital, then the Musée de l'Orangerie on the edge of the Jardin des Tuileries is a must. The small museum is home to eight of the most impressive of Claude Monet's series of Nymphéas (or Water Lilies) paintings. The Impressionist artist spent three decades working on... Continue Reading →

Looking ahead to 2020

I can't believe we're about to enter a new decade – it feels like only yesterday we embarked upon the 2010s! Time is certainly flying by more quickly than it used to. First up, a massive apology for the radio silence the past few months. I bought a house at the end of the summer... Continue Reading →

Giverny

The pretty little Norman village of Giverny is where the impressionist painter Claude Monet spent the last 40 years of his life, living in a large, picturesque house not far from the banks of the River Seine, and painting the water lilies in his Japanese garden. Having read about Giverny in a travel magazine a... Continue Reading →

Paris – Ile de la Cité

One of two small islands in the middle of the Seine in Paris, the Ile de la Cité is the oldest part of the French capital. Settled in the 3rd century BC by the Celts, Paris's historic centre is home to Point Zero, the point from which all distances in France are measured. But it's... Continue Reading →

Bordeaux

Following my week-long sojourn in Béarn, I headed north-west to Bordeaux for a whistle-stop 21-hour tour of France's ninth biggest city. It was almost 4pm by the time I arrived in Bordeaux and checked into my hotel near the city's central railway station, the Gare Saint-Jean. Having dumped my stuff in my room, I set... Continue Reading →

Grottes de Bétharram

On our final day in Béarn, we decided to spend the day exploring one of the region's subterranean delights – the Grottes de Bétharram. The Grottes de Bétharram are a series of caves underneath the Pyrenees that can be visited on a guided tour, which allows you to explore the complex on foot, by boat... Continue Reading →

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