France River Cruise for Your List?

Cruise France

Viking River Cruise stateroom with your own veranda

Not that our Bucket List isn’t crammed full, but really – a river cruise anywhere in France seems a “must”.  During a recent visit with our French friends, they described several river journeys that sounded pretty heavenly.  We do know ourselves well enough to realize the smaller boats would be more appealing.

If you don’t know, the “Bucket List” term was inspired by the movie of the same name.  The main stars fashioned a list of things they wanted to do, before they ‘kicked the bucket’…like skydiving, driving a Shelby Mustang and dining at the Chevre d’Or overlooking the Mediterranean.

All things considered, we think a Viking River Cruise through France might be a nice addition. In the so-called “long and short of it”, there is a short cruise from Paris through Normandy and a rather indulgent 15-day excursion that extends that particular cruise to take you to Avignon, Arles and beyond.  Naturally that’s not the extent of cruise offerings.  You can go from Paris to Lyon or Zurich or go west to cruise around the Bordeaux wine region on the Dordogne, Garonne and Gironde Rivers.

The accolades for the Viking cruises are noteworthy.  National Geographic, for one, features Viking in their “The 10 Best of Everything” awards.  In 2012, Viking launched six new longships earning significant praise from Cruise Critic Editors.  Viking exceeds expectations with state-of-the-art engineering, balcony cabins, suites and expansive, atrium-style common areas.  Add more than 175 years of cruise experience and carefully-planned itineraries, and you understand the allure.

So back to our Bucket List addition, we might as well go all out with the combo cruise that runs, in essence, the length of France. Viking combines a Normandy adventure with cruises through the southern regions of Burgundy and Provence and visits to Avignon, Arles and Lyon.  Can you imagine a more delightful itinerary? Touches of Monet and Van Gogh. Cuisines of Lyon and Avignon. Cobblestone streets and soaring Gothic architecture. And the magnificent sights of Paris need no description.

Tournon France

Scenic Tournon

I can allow my imagination to take hold, picturing a spacious stateroom, outside – of course – with our own balcony. They have thought of everything – spacious observation lounges and bars with panoramic windows. Wireless internet service, boutique and library.

Talented chefs present a cuisine of fresh, seasonal local vegetables, regional specialties and menus adapted to your tastes. From pleasant and complete breakfast choices to a five-course dinner, we shall be well prepared for active days and pleasant evenings.

Though we tend to strike out on our own and avoid set tours, we believe the Viking experience might be quite worthy of the “Bucket List”.

We’d love to hear from you!

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Adventurous Driving in France

Overlooking Lac Saint-Croix and the Verdon Gorge

Oh the wonder of being naïve!  You can jump on into the water with the belief you will somehow float.  And so it is with driving in France.  I have complete confidence in my driving capabilities, and it’s not like I’ll be driving on the “wrong” side of the road like the Brits!

Don’t be intimidated by driving in France, but I do suggest you  check out a few “signs” and rules of the road.  For example, any notion you might have about negotiating rond-points (roundabouts) should be shelved.  Take the time to learn about this particular non-logical highway ballet.  No, we never had an accident; but an irate La Poste driver purposefully honked at us, as we intruded on his territory.

When my daughter and I were driving around Provence and the Hautes-Alpes, we did experience a couple of adventurous moments.  We enjoyed a picnic along the shores of Lac Saint-Croix, before driving up to the Route de Napoleon overlooking the Verdon Gorge.  Let us say that the road became very interesting with twists, turns and overhanging rocks that made us mentally duck.  As we approached a petite tunnel, we did not know what a blue and white road sign indicated.  In one of those hmmmmm… moments, I simply guessed that the narrow tunnel required us to honk the horn in warning to oncoming drivers.  We made it through the tunnel without incident.

Hmm – What does that sign say?

Driving anywhere outside of your own comfort zone presents challenges that are magnified in a foreign country.  In Lyon, my husband offered us quite an eventful 5 minutes, when he turned into a bus-only lane.  To correct himself, he made a quick right, only to discover we were going the wrong way on a one-way street.

Who’s to criticize?  I did the same thing in Amboise – correction, almost did the same thing.  I began a left turn in Amboise only to face a lady driver simply wagging her finger at me to warn me off.  I could imagine a sort of tsk-tsk to go along with her gesture.

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France – Le Bonheur Ultime!

I’m waxing poetic today; so if you’re immersed in left-brain sensibilities, you might want to read the Wall Street Journal. You see, I’m taking a trip this morning with Isak Dinesen, a trip to France via her Africa, a trip through her embrace of the land, the people and life itself. A captivating author, I never tire of her writing. But my journey is to France, a mental wandering with no need for luggage or passports or airport delays.

Loire Valley, France

Magnificent breakfast view of Chateau Chambord

Ms. Dinesen wrote: “If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”

And my soliloquy translates to France: If I know a song of France, of the markets and the cityscapes of Paris and Lyon, of the Provençal hills and winding roads along the sea, of the artisans yielding the skill of generations, does France know a song of me? Will the water along the Seine reflect a color I have worn, or the children name a sailboat in the Tuileries for me, or a sliver of the moon shine with the joy I have felt in Normandy, or will the glistening cloak of night over the Loire valley tell my story?

Alas, I am not Isak, though she always will be one of my favorite authors. She immersed herself in Africa; we chose France. She carried her civilized Limoges and white gloves to live among the Masai. We chose a simple tablecloth and basket to picnic along the coast.

She also wrote: “Up in this air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.”

Paris France

Raclettes and fondue in a cozy cafe

We have felt ‘where we ought to be’ … on a terrace overlooking Château de Chambord in the morning light … in the lush garden of a huge but gentle man outside of Amboise …  among the rainbow of fruits and vegetables in the marketplace along rue Mouffetard.

Yet, topping all of the glorious sights and scents of France, the quiet murmur of shared friendship trumps everything else. Dinner on a cold night in a warm bistro. Melting raclettes and savory fondue, pichets of wine and the familiar sound of an accordionist meandering among the guests. Sharing this with our Parisian friends – le bonheur ultime!

Paris raclettes

Warm food & friendship in Paris

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France – Water & Window Views!

Amboise France

Sunset picnic by the Loire

We have a tourism book from Aix-en-Provence that simply refers to the city as “Town of Water, Town of Art. Somehow that declaration of ‘who we are’ makes me reflect on my own persona. Perhaps I would be “Lady of Water, Lady of Windows”, as I am instantly drawn to water and thrive on windows and views.

Just writing that takes me away to so many moments in France … to the vivid blues of the Mediterranean – I remember the first moment I set my feet in those lovely waters and clasped my hands in wonder and delight. To the slow and lazy summer movement of the Loire River in Amboise, as we indulged in a wonderful, sunset picnic with friends. To Lake Annecy – so fresh, clear and cool beneath the mountain peaks in the background. To enchanting walks along the Saône River in Lyon, where so many Vieux Lyon restaurants whispered invitations to dine. To the deep blue water beyond the beaches of Normandy, where the sea-air filled our hotel room and multi-national flags waved in the breeze off the English Channel. And I haven’t even mentioned the Seine – all of those lovely walks and wine-and-cheese moments.

Lyon France

Along the Saone in Lyon

And window views, how readily they flow through my memory. Our second-floor vacation home bedroom opened onto the countryside near Château Chenonceau, where the whoosh of a hot-air balloon announced the ascent of gorgeous multi-colored balloons in the morning. And from our window in a charming chambre d’hote north of Bordeaux, we watched cows swishing their tails through the meadow grass. In Paris, high above rue Saint-Louis en l’Ile, we overlooked a playground filled with the sounds and sights of young children at play.

You would be surprised to know that I began this little article with thoughts of sharing yet another town I have discovered east of Bourges, partially an island and partially on the banks of the Seine. I guess that story will have to wait a couple of days. Wishing you a Bon Dimanche!

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

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Overcome French Language Issues!

Lyon and Le mont dor france

Friendly pharmacists in France!

My French vocabulary is decent.  My verb conjugation, however, leaves something to be desired and makes me wonder if I sound:  a) like a charming American making her best effort or b) like an illiterate bumpkin whose courageous effort falls way short of the goal.   For those of you whose language skills may deter you from venturing into the French countryside, I say, “So what?  Go!”

Naturally, I have a couple of interesting stories to accompany those statements.  In early August, after roaming around the West and South regions of France, we parked ourselves in Lyon for a couple of nights.  Over the previous few days, my husband had developed a ring-looking rash on his inner thigh.  I thought it looked like old-fashioned ringworm – we had, after all, been in the fields, farms and general countryside.  And it seemed to be spreading.

Hmmm.  We need advice.  Hmmm.  This situation calls for more than everyday French.  We walked to a nearby pharmacy, where I tried to explain this “cercle, rouge….oui, ici”, and I pointed to the site of the problem.   Too difficult, this conversation.  We called our friend in Paris and had him explain the problem to the pharmacist.  “Ah.  Oui.”  The pharmacist recommended a cream, and we were on our way.

A few days later, we arrived in Le Mont Dore.  No, that town was not chosen by design but definitely by a wandering sort of journey.  The cream had not solved the problem.  We sought another pharmacist (in this much smaller town, by the way), who recommended we see the local doctor.  Bien.

Loire Valley France

Negotiating the laundry in Amboise

This rather straightforward female doctor heard.  She examined.  She conquered.  Apparently there is a kind of insect – usually descending on the countryside in August – that causes this kind of rash.  Voila!  Prescription in hand; we go back to the pharmacy, get the medicine and apply as directed.  All’s well that ends well!

Another unique situation occurred during our stay in Amboise in the Loire Valley.  We found a ‘laverie’ – a laundry center to wash our clothes and were quite proud at negotiating our way through the machine directions and coins required.

There we sat amongst a congenial group – part French-speaking, part English.  The London
bombings had just occurred, so the latter group was abuzz with that occurrence.  When we checked the washer to transfer our laundry to the dryer, the door would not open.  We tried and tried.  The washer door would not open.

Hmmm.  This is a problem.  Our clothes are held hostage.  What do we do?  After a few minutes, we finally spotted a phone number on a posted sign.  Here we go again, I thought.  Again, this is not an occasion for every day, stumbling French.

A man answered the phone.  “Bonjour,” I began.  (Good start, don’t you think?)

“Je suis Americaine et  c’est une problem avec la maquine de la laverie. »  Phew.  I think that was good enough.

“ I speak English, “ he said.  WOW (or was it whew!), I thought.

He and his wife quickly came to the laundromat, and she explained to me that sometimes ‘the wire from the bra gets into the machine’.  In the meantime, my husband was watching her husband fix the machines and saw the teetering plyers drop.  Uh oh.  Suddenly the electricity to the whole place was kaput.  Even the entry/exit door would not open, because – mais oui – it was electronically controlled.  Now WE were hostages!

Well folks, everything ended well.  Electricity on.  Clothes dry.  An adventure shared in Amboise by a bunch of strangers and a pleasant business owner.  So all of this is to say, don’t worry.  You can make it through anything, anywhere in France.  The people are jewels…and you will figure out how to communicate.

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Fascinating Secrets of Lyon

Lyon France traboules

Vieux Lyon riverfront – Atout France/Jean François Tripelon-Jarry

A silk scarf and a bottle of wine. What could they have in common?

We look to the traboules of Lyon for their shared history, where these ‘hidden’ passageways are noble tributes to the resilience of mankind. Through the centuries, in fact, the traboules have served many purposes from passageways for water transport, silk workers, World War II resistance members and tourists. Though the historic traboules might warrant a full-length book, today we’ll focus on the silk workers.

Dating as far back as the 4th century, the traboules of Lyon originally helped move water from the banks of the river Saône to the residents of Veille Lyon. Chosen by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, this Renaissance district of Old Lyon developed primarily through the 15th and 16th centuries and included a maze of narrow alleys and remarkable courtyards. Over time the traboules continue to symbolize a virtual labyrinth of history and protection from the elements. Even today in-the-know residents may easily avoid crowds and inclement weather by winding through the passageways of Vieux Lyon and the Croix-Rousse districts.

historic passageways of old Lyon

The mystique of Vieux Lyon’s traboules

Let’s slip to the 18th century, when textiles – particularly silk – had begun to define Lyon’s industrial profile. Known as canuts, the nearly 30,000 silk weavers lived in the working-class areas of Croix-Rousse; where the huge Jacquard looms were located. The traboules, then, became fast, protected passageways for delivering bolts of silk to the city markets on Presqu’île peninsula between the Rhône and Saône rivers.

The hard economic times of late 1831 and the swing of silk prices from merchant to merchant prompted one of Europe’s first uprisings of the Industrial revolution. The outcry of oppressed silk workers resulted in the canut revolts in Lyon, when workers wanted fixed piecework tariffs. When negotiations failed and many of the large manufacturers refused the fixed rates, the workers amassed in the traboules and worked their way to the city center. Initially they gained a bloody victory, but King Louis-Philippe soon dispatched his 20,000-strong army to retake Lyon.

The seeds had been sown, and three years later salary cuts provoked a second insurrection – also defeated. In 1848 a third uprising arose over despicable working conditions. Authorities, though, crossed the ultimate line with their determination and actions to cut alcohol consumption among workers. They dictated that a carafe of wine would contain less wine at the same price. Imagine! This definitely was not in keeping with the ideals of the French Revolution!

In one of Lyon’s most famous and complex traboule courtyards – the Cour des Voraces – the incensed workers gathered to rightfully claim the full-size of their wine carafes. Now we return to your glass of wine and silk scarf … had you any idea! Imagine further how well the secret passageways served the Resistance fighters of World War II. For another day, that story easily rivals the plight of the silk workers.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved.

The Mystique of Vieux Lyon

Wandering through passageways in Vieux Lyon

As newcomers to this fabulous city, we were fortunate to make an acquaintance with a native, who knew every twist and turn in Vieux Lyon.  Our new friend guided us through his turf, introducing us to exceptional bistros, boutiques and secret little passageways in the old city.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lyon is steeped in history with centuries-old ties to Rome. The Old Town area of Saint-Jean and the Croix-Rousse area offer stunning examples of Renaissance and Roman architecture.

Throughout Vieux Lyon, fascinating traboules – secret passages – thread their way between houses and tiny streets, passages that were once a salvation for silk merchants en route to work and, more famously, a protective route for resistance members to elude German soldiers. Lyon was so important to the resistance movement, that General Charles DeGaulle in 1944 declared Lyon the “Capital of the Resistance.”

We walk along and suddenly, our friend pushes through an ordinary door.  With our guide, we find our way from “here to there” along passages we would never have known existed. They open on to large courtyards and dimly-lit halls, around corners and across cobblestones.  They are quiet, holding perhaps only the silent whispers of those who walked their corridors in the past.  And that was just one fascinating discovery in one of France’s most enchanting cities.

 

historic passageways of old Lyon

The mystique of Vieux Lyon’s traboules

Copyright © 2005-2015, LuxeEuro, LLC. Photo and text, all rights reserved.

Friendship Train Bound for France

France friendship

Friendship Train bound for France and Italy

Today, we see ‘tweets’ that circle the globe in rapid fashion; and we see causes garner attention and galvanize action through YouTube and Facebook posts that shine the spotlight on people or places in need. Well before those popular social media outlets existed, there was a columnist and broadcaster that soon became aware of the power of the media to ‘make things happen’.

In October of 1947, Drew Pearson conceived the idea of a “Friendship Train” that would take food donated by Americans to Europeans struggling in their existence following World War II. Pearson was in Europe, when he noticed the appreciation offered Communists for the few carloads of grain contributed to the people. He was then determined to rally the American people to the cause of feeding the hungry in Europe.

Mr. Pearson was astounded at the response to his plea. Across America towns, cities and states rallied with plans to collect food for the “Friendship Train”. Five weeks after his original announcement, the train moved from Los Angeles through eleven states to New York City. Along the way, every state had connected to deliver their own contributions to the Friendship Train.

friendship train WWII

From California to New York

No money was spent on food, labor or transportation; and at the end three trains delivered 270 boxcars of donated food to be loaded on a ship bound for Europe – food from Iowans’ gardens, baby food from Gerber, carloads of sugar from Hawaii and incalculable carloads of donations gathered at fire departments and City Halls throughout the nation.

And true to his desire to demonstrate the good will of America, the Friendship Trains that found their way through France and Italy were well posted with signs and banners ‘from the children of the USA to the children of France and Italy”. The Mayor of Paris at the time was General de Gaulle’s brother, Pierre, who greeted Mr. Pearson and his committee at City Hall.

French Friendship Trains made their way from Paris and Lyon to Bordeaux, Brest, Lorient and Toulouse with welcoming celebrations at each stop.

Every package of food had this label:

All races and creeds make up the vast melting pot of America, and in a democratic and Christian spirit of good will toward men, we, the American people, have worked together to bring this food to your doorsteps, hoping that it will tide you over until your own fields are again rich and abundant with crops.”

And soon, we will post the French response with the “Merci Train”.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

 

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

4 ½ Reasons to Visit Lyon

Vieux Lyon France

Hilltop views from Old Lyon

Yes. It’s silly isn’t it, this attention-grabbing title game. Actually, Lyon presents hundreds of reasons to visit, from the dual rivers that intersect the city to the magnificent Vieux Lyon. Let’s just ‘wander’ a bit to discover a few secrets of this second largest city in France.

I’ll just jump right into a premier reason to visit – dining! Somewhere I read that if Paris is the heart of France, Lyon is the stomach. Vraiement! Your food and wine selections in Lyon are seemingly endless.

Discover charming little bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants in Vieux Lyon, where you can dine along a cobblestone street or the river or overlooking the entire city.  And between the Saône and Rhône Rivers, Presqu’ile is a virtual peninsula of exceptional dining and shopping choices.

lyon dining

Lunch on the terrace with locals

We stop for lunch on an umbrella-canopied terrace, before wandering along one of the most incredible pedestrian streets we have ever seen – rue Mercière? I shouldn’t have mentioned this Utopian dining mecca. I’ll never get past dining!!

The history of this street is as eclectic, as are the plethora of shops and restaurants. Dating to bustling 16th-century merchants and printers; rue Mercière has seen seedier days as recent as the 1980’s, when women of the evening plied their trades. Fortunately for residents and visitors alike, plans to raze much of the street in favor of ‘modernizing’ it failed; for today it is as gorgeous on a summer day, as it is festive during cold holiday evenings. Let’s bid adieu to dining with this reminder that any Lyonnais specialty is available here – from praline tarts to chitterling sausage!

Lyon france dining

Bustling rue Merciere

Lyon is an ideal walking city with many pleasant riverside quais and lovely waterfront and hilltop views. We meander through the old traboules – passageways first used by silk workers and later by members of the Resistance in World War II.

We climb to Villa Florentine with our Lyon friend, who always has offered less the encyclopedic vision of Lyon and more the charming inner sanctum. There by the pool, we enjoy a drink, while overlooking Vieux Lyon – an indelible view and experience that soothes the soul on a sleepless night.

Enough for today. We’ll save some of Lyon’s charm for another day. I hasten to add that you not only should include Lyon on your French travel itinerary; you should plan to stay a few days to enjoy

lyon france sights

Lyon’s riverfront

every single open and hidden secret!

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

Le Tour de France – 2013

Tour de France 2013

Racing to Mont Saint Michel

Finally, our beloved Tour de France is almost here again!  This year marks the 100th Tour de France and will take place entirely in France.  Fans throughout the world will enjoy magnificent sights and phenomenal racing feats.  Beginning in Porto Vecchio, Corsica (Saturday, June 29)  and finishing in Paris (Sunday, July 21), the Tour will visit no less than 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites.  NBC in the U.S. will offer expansive coverage of what is always an exceptionally-well broadcasted series of sporting events. 

A few sights to watch for range from Albi’s Gothic cathedral and Saint-Malo’s military fortress to the breathtakingly beautiful Mont-Saint-Michel and the impressive new MuCEM in one of Europe’s Capital’s of Culture – Marseille.  Corsicans are especially pleased to make their debut on the Tour stage, where the peloton will pass the Bonifacio cliffs and the peaks of Bavella in a land of re(markably rugged coastal beauty.

Naturally the Alps and the Pyrenees are ‘polishing their ragged peaks’ to intimidate mountain racers in stages that always promise mind-boggling speed and endurance.  We would love to BE in France for the stages that drift (so it would seem…to non-racers!) through the Loire Valley and to Vieux Lyon.  And there is nothing quite like that last ritual race through the capital of France. 

Well wishes to all teams and to the French people who host them so well.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

 

Copyright © 2005-2014, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

Fête de la Musique – the longest day!

Paris music festival

Fête de la Musique

June 21 – the summer solstice and the Fête de la Musique.   The festival began in Paris but is now celebrated across the county, an all-night, all- free festival of music.  People of every age and interest take to the streets for a magical night of music. In Paris, the longest day of the year features all types of music spread across a world capital that offers a sweeping bow and an uplifting halleluiah to the pleasures of music.

Children dance to the sweet sounds of a Chamber orchestra in Place Dauphine. Indian dancers in full costume perform in front of Notre Dame. Rock throbs through the Place de la Republique, and classical orchestra sounds sweep through the extravagant courtyard of the Palais Royal.

Tonight’s Palais Royal recital at 6:00 is “Prom’nons us in the voice,” presented by a choir of 150 students from Paris and 30 elementary school teachers in music education.  Afterwards four unique artists will perform until midnight, offering attendees a diverse range of music.

Paris Lyon Marseille music festivals

Music celebrates the longest day

This is the 32nd year of the festival in Paris, but the events are now celebrated throughout the world.  We think it is particularly special, in light of so many hardships and uncertain times, to imagine people united by music throughout the world.  From Bordeaux to Brisbane and Marseille to Miami, people will turn from everyday concerns to a night of celebration.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2014, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

French Cuisine Lures Visitors to France

Paris crepes

Flavorful French Crepe on the go

Really?  Would people really visit France for the cuisine?  Perhaps they wouldn’t be so narrow in defining their reasons for travel to France; but nail down their dominant memories, and I promise you dining will be way up there.  Maybe the sheer beauty and stunning impact of the Eiffel Tower makes you ultra hungry for lunch.  Or maybe a relaxing day among the roses and boat-sailing youngsters in the Tuileries stimulates a hearty appetite for dinner.

And that’s just Paris, where your choices run from a simple baguette and coffee in the morning to a fresh, rotisseried chicken at lunch:  from a hand-held crepe filled with delicious ham, cheese, flavorful oil and tomatoes to a delicate soufflé along rue de Mont-Thabor – Paris offers every taste imaginable.

Memories of dining throughout France are delightfully vivid.  I can’t help but compare it to golf, the marvelous game that allows you to remember specific shots years beyond the afternoon tee time – the oddly-chosen five wood from the sandy lake shore that glides beneath tree limbs to land on the green.

Brittany, France

Imagine fresh fish entrees by the Atlantic

And so it is with dining in France.  Joining with locals at a wayfarer-style inn across from a castle, the creamed chicken and vegetables were simple fare but oh-so-good.  Dining at Le Café Epicerie in Lyon, where the gourmet cuisine was exquisite and the table decorations contemporary and elegant.Next to the carousel on Montmartre, we enjoyed an enormous Niçoise salade.  Overlooking the Atlantic, Coquilles Saint-Jacques was the chosen dish.  In Chinaillon Savoyarde cuisine reigned – fabulous fondues and gratinees.

And French wines?  An entirely new subject.  One is never at a loss to find the perfect wine to go with your dinner or pique-nique.

We’d love to hear from you!

swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2013, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

#3 Reason to Travel – History

Paris monuments France

Gold-domed Invalides, Paris

We can begin in Paris – bien sur – where ‘history’ speaks to us at every bend.  Plaques adorn so many otherwise unremarkable buildings, plaques that pay homage to those lost to war; plaques that regularly receive small bouquets from elders who remember.  Invalides holds the remains of Napoleon.  Roman baths and arenas mix with the grand Arch de Triomphe, and the homes of Balzac and Rodin are simply there. 

Over at the extraordinary Père Lachaise Cemetery, eternal residents range from Chopin to Jim Morrison, from Oscar Wilde to “Aux Morts de La Commune – 21-28 Mai 1871”.  We came upon this small triangular corner, where an infamous chapter of French history is remembered.  Working-class Parisians, who were not in accord with the French capitulation to Prussia in 1870, formed the revolutionary and socialist Paris Commune in opposition even to the French government.  They held out for two months and suffered their final defeat in an Alamo-like last stand on May 28 in a battle at Père Lachaise Cemetery. 

Paris France Paris Commune

Pere Lachaise monument

Well, that is just Paris – so easy to get carried away, when you are surrounded by history!  Travel anywhere in France, and you find yourself in disbelief that you are standing in the American Cemetery dedicated to all of those young soldiers who died in World War II or visiting the hallowed grounds of Chambord in the Loire Valley.  From the stock exchange in Lille to the Roman Arena in Nimes, from the Canal du Midi footpaths trod by Thomas Jefferson to the grand hotels of the Cote d’Azur.  From simple village squares with ancient fountains to Cezanne’s studio, the wonderful tapestries of history demonstrate what a small part of our life on earth is included in the Big Book of all time. 

And perhaps that’s the whole point behind this reason for travel – that history gives us a profound sense of perspective.

Nimes France

Roman Arena, Nimes

We’d love to hear from you!

swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2013, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

Brasseries to Enjoy in Lyon

Lyon France famous brasseries

Brasserie Georges – Lyon

Ernest HEMINGWAY Table 10
COLETTE Table 20
Auguste RODIN Table 15
Jules VERNE Table 17

… Just a few of the renowned diners at the ultra-popular Brasserie Georges in Lyon. I can almost see them in one of the handsome booths. I wonder what they ordered.

Brasserie Georges has been satisfying customers since 1836 with traditional cuisine served in a delightful art deco surrounding. And despite its’ majestic architecture and immense popularity, the brasserie brews beer on the premises and is moderately priced.

Brasserie Georges Lyon France

Refined Art Deco

I love the way they tell their story… “The Brasserie George has witnessed an Empire, three wars and four republics…. This establishment held by Alsatian brewers from generation to generation knew how to keep their traditions, despite the numerous revolutions which the French table has known since 170 years.”

In 1836 the young Alsatian brewer Georges Hoffherr discovered the exceptional water properties of Lyon and decided to establish a large brasserie on the old marsh of Perrache. No less than 26 brasseries were in Lyon at the time, drawn by the excellent water.

At the turn of the century the popularity of brasseries began to decline, in part because of life changes such as the birth of the cinema. That was the ideal time to refresh and redecorate!In 1924, the Brasserie was entirely transformed to pure “ART DECO” style by Bruno Guillermin, a painter from a Lyon art school, whose stucco creations celebrated the harvests of the grape and the hops.

Brasserie l'Est, Lyon France fine cuisine

Brasserie l’Est in Lyon

A couple of the “Entrees Chauds” most appealing to me are –

La Célèbre Gratinée au Madère – prepared at your table – Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée with an egg yolk and Madeira

Ravioles du Dauphiné– Specialty Ravioli from the Dauphiné region in chive cream with Parmesan

To our dismay, we did not discover Brasserie Georges, while in Lyon….but, we did enjoy lunch at l’Est, one of the wonderful Lyon brasseries associated with renowned chef Paul Bocuse. Located in the elegant former Brotteaux railroad station, the brasserie experience was entirely memorable!  While we enjoyed la rôtisserie du jour, genteel servers offered ready, but unobtrusive service; while quaint little trains ran about the brasserie on tracks near the ceiling.

And this is just one of the many reasons we enjoy sharing insights with you on France Daily Photo – that you might be able to plan your trip around some of the recommended sights, hotels and restaurants.

We’d love to hear from you!
swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

French Cuisine, American Cravings

Paris flea market kettle of savory carrot soup

Delicious kettle of steaming carrot soup, Paris

We take such pleasure in French cuisine – not all parts, mind you, but the savory dishes we find everywhere. We are particularly fond of tartiflettes and souffles, potatoes gratinee, soups and patisserie offerings. My husband is more adventurous and palate tolerant than I am, so he’ll try blood sausage and many ‘poisson’ dishes … except moules (mussels).

In France we seem to begin and end our days with food in mind, as we discuss dinner options over lunch! To be perfectly honest, though, ‘creeping cravings’ begin to gnaw at us after a week or so. The thought of a hearty burger or a simple American breakfast – call it a touch of homesickness or a minor rebellion of l’estomac – starts a whisper in the mind. Once we slipped into a McDonald’s for a ‘fix’, perhaps shameful, but you can give us a few points because it was in Galeries Lafayette. Another time, we dined at Breakfast in Americain Paris. It’s quite popular and seemed more than acceptable to dine in this American “cusine port” in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

Breakfast in America, Paris Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter, Paris

That leads us to food gaps Americans crave during travel abroad. Traditional ‘square’ sandwiches jump to mind, as do peanut butter and corn. Peanut butter? Those of us who have grown up with our fair share of peanut butter understand the occasional need for this ‘comfort food’, but the French view this staple as gooey and fattening.

The short supply of certain Anglais groceries has given rise to several épiceries in Paris, Aix-en-Provence and even in the gastronomic capital of Lyon!While their intent is quite purposeful – to supply English and American expats and visitors with familiar foods – reviewing their ‘menu’ of offerings raises the eyebrow a bit. I mean – you are in France, and you want Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Alas, that is the state of the homesick tummy sometimes, when “Plain Jane” wins over savory French meals.

Let’s take a look at a couple of establishments. One bills itself as American Grocery and British Grocery. Grant you, there are some similarities, but vinegar is not necessarily a common meeting ground. Their grocery list includes Devon cream, hot sauces and barbeque sauce, beef jerky (Really? ), kool aid, chocolate bars, and Concord grape jam. Hmmm. A Parisian wandering into such an establishment must have serious misgivings about American/Brit tastes.

epicerie anglais ou epicerie americaine

British-American Epicerie

Best sellers at My American Market include Marshmallow Fluff, French’s Mustard, Coca-Cola and – get this – General Mills Lucky Charms at a whopping 9.99 Euros for 16 ounces. One has to wonder how far American parents will go to feed bad habits! Even the aforementioned Mac and Cheese is pricey in France at 2.99 euros for 7.3 ounces.In all fairness, there are some staples that make the American cook feel at home, whether creating a traditional Thanksgiving meal or a simple pancake breakfast. Crisco, baking powers, cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin and maple syrup satisfy the urge for some cooking that ‘feels like home’.

I admit to acting as if I have superior tastes in profiling these lists – simply clever banter, I suppose. But when we have spent prolonged periods in France, there have been moments when I would have lunged at a nice B-L-T (bacon, lettuce & tomato) …. on toast, with mayonnaise, please.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

A White Aerie Above Lyon

le  Collège Hôtel Vieux Lyon

Arched window –  our “home” at Le Collège Hôtel Vieux Lyon

Regular readers of France Daily Photo know that I am enamored with stylish French décor, the mix of color and rich texture, old wood and contemporary design. When we travel, whether we ‘tighten the belt’ and opt for a perfectly acceptable two-star hotel or throw open the doors to a “let’s splurge” four- or five-star hotel; we enjoy the unique style of each accommodation.

You might imagine, then, my surprise at one of our stays in Lyon. A business associate recommended Hôtel Le Collège on Place Saint Paul in Vieux Lyon. It was ideally located, just a block from the curve of the Saône River at the north end of the old city.

My husband checked in and went ahead to the room, and I soon followed. First, he pointed out the old coke machine in the hall near our room. “Look, free soft drinks and water…and a place to store wine,” he said. Was he stalling, or was I imagining things? He opened the room and stepped back. I walked into an entirely white room – well, perhaps, 95% white. Crisp and clean. Fluffy white linens. White “lockers” for closets (in keeping with the ‘school’ theme – even our entry door number was written on a small school slate.

Airy white boudoir in College Hotel Lyon

Lovely arched window – College Hotel Lyon

Whatever his concern, I embraced the ‘difference’ and felt like we had booked a room just this side of heaven. A lovely arched window with French doors opened onto our narrow balcony overlooking winding cobbled street, and the Notre Dame Basilica on Fourviere Hill. And after traveling on overnight trains and staying in hotels with miniature bathrooms with showers, I opened the door to a bathroom fit for pristine angels – white tiled with a double window and large oval tub – c’est magnifique!

Beyond the unique and quite comfortable décor, our ideal location allowed us to step out the door to wander the narrow streets of Vieux Lyon, to take in a petite breakfast; while watching delivery trucks edge their way along seemingly impossible little passages. We explored old book shops and climbed Fourvier Hill, walked by the Saône and crossed to Presqu’île and Place Bellecours.

View of Fourvier Hill and Cathedral from Lyon Hotel

View of Fourvier Hill and Cathedral

Just a few of our holiday highlights, they don’t begin to capture the charm, history and hands-down fabulous cuisine of Lyon. As always, you are wise to consult with the Office of Tourism, http://www.en.lyon-france.com when planning your visit for tours, maps, suggested itineraries and special places to visit.

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.

Voila! Antoine et Lili Boutiques

antoine lili fashionable accessories paris, lille, bordeaux and beyond

Antoine et Lili designer clothing and accessories – Paris and beyond

Oh my! It is SO tiring to pull your head out from under a rock, but – Voila! – I have done so, only to discover serendipity in the form of Antoine et Lili. Truly, the quirky, original boutique has been creating artisanale women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, objects and curiosities since 1994. They ‘mix it up’ with urban, ethnic, colorful and sassy touches; and they’ve done so at such a successful clip, that they have opened sixteen stores since 1997.

The first, mais oui, was on the rue des Martyrs on Montmartre. Now Antoine et Lili enjoys several Parisian addresses, as well as stores in Aix-en-Provence, Bordeaux, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Nantes and Lille. That’s quite enough to gain my attention, but I think it was an airy jupe with delicate pleats that first captured my fancy.

As they say, you can spot the stores ‘a mile away’, with bright pink (bobo designer women’s clothing), green (children) and yellow (‘hip’ home décor) storefronts. Perhaps, that’s their version of “Shopping for Dummies”, as you really can’t miss the object (or store) of your affection.

Expect to find timeless clothing – silk tops, thick cardigans, wrap dresses and coats – and kitschy accessories with Mongolian, Indian and Chinese influences. Add a kaleidoscope of other things, from Russian dolls and ceramic bunnies to boots, lamps, hats and figurines.

antoine lili paris france - Lyon, Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence

Colorful storefronts invite your exploration

For a woman like me, who throws shame on her feminine counterparts by not favoring lots of shopping, Antoine et Lili exudes enough charm and surprising finds to make the outing a genuine source of entertainment!

We’d love to hear from you! swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC. All rights reserved.
OpenSky

Hôtel Cour des Loges – Bienvenue!

Elegant dining at Cour des Loges

Nothing quite imprints the distinct feeling of history like staying in the former mansion of an Italian silk merchant.  Tucked discreetly along the cobbled lanes of Vieux Lyon, Hôtel Cour des Loges offers exactly that experience.  You feel as if the old merchant’s staff welcomes you, but alas – they are contemporary concierges well schooled in warm, refined hospitality (as you might expect of a 4-star luxury hotel).

Every glance through the hotel, from the arched reception and dining rooms to your own handsomely outfitted boudoir provides an agreeable blend of antique and contemporary.  The hotel actually is a complex of 14th to 17th-century buildings that encircle a glass-covered courtyard.

After checking in, ask your concierge about nearby “traboules” to explore.  The passageways first were used by workers in the silk industry and later by members of the Resistance to evade capture by the occupying Germans.  They weave through the old city with a mystique of their own, hiding the stories of long ago.

About the traboules (click to enlarge)

Our friend provided an after-dinner tour, pushing open a door here and there, that appeared to be the entrance to a home or apartment. We followed him along silent corridors, around corners and through other doors, only to exit a few streets away.

You will want to enjoy a memorable dinner at the hotel’s Café-Épicerie, a restaurant that artfully mixes contemporary décor with stone walls, graceful arches and silk tapestries.  Our excellent waiter guided our menu choices and scooped fresh parmesan from a large cheese wheel to accent our selections.  The experience reminded us that dining is not eating.

Merci garçon!

After a restful night, head to the interior courtyard for a delicious breakfast buffet.  We look around the upper and lower arches imagining the life of the original owner and his family in Renaissance France.  You cannot fail to absorb the ancient life, the stories and history of this unique Lyon dwelling.  The hotel serves as a wonderful anchor, after wandering up the hills and by the rivers of this remarkable city.

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

 

A Bow to Cuisinière Lyonnais

Villa Florentine on the hill overlooking Vieux Lyon

A friend in Lyon told us about the book.  And so, after dinner in Vieux Lyon, we climbed with him up to Villa Florentine in the Fourvière district. Not only did our friend know the book would be available there, he understood we would be enthralled with the five-star hotel and view over the old city.

Over a mellow drink of brandy by the pool, he told us the lovely story behind “Cuisinière Lyonnaise”.  One misty morning Stéphane Gaborieau, the Villa’s chef, wandered through a flea market.  He discovered an old recipe book, beautifully calligraphed and filled with family ‘recettes’.

The book opens with “Remarques Préliminaires” (preliminary remarks).  One such entry, for example, deals entirely with the making of mustard with water, salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Monsieur Gaborieau poured his heart into the making of this exquisite cookbook, that fellow chef Paul Bocuse describes as a “tribute to an unknown Mother”.

A treasure chest of old recipes

Not only do we see page after antique-looking page of the beautiful script and succulent recipes of this unknown woman, we have an exceptional treat at the end – the comments and recipes from 15 of the world’s most renowned chefs.  It is so touching to read their nostalgic comments about cooking by the side of their own grand mères.

Over and over again, each refers to seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits, free-range chickens and field- grazed cows.  Their devotion to the highest quality ingredients is a testament to their profession.  The comments of a Lyonnais chef, Pierre Orsi, were particularly sweet.  “…these traditional family recipes take on a new and unusual dimension in the pen of a young woman, who, in my mind’s eye, is precise, refined and delicate.  This is an exceptional work.”

[Note: the book is part of the Stéphane Bachès collection of cookbooks – a delightful range of regional and themed books.]

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Train à Grande Vitesse

The aerodynamic and ever so stylish TGV Duplex

Did you know that it has been 30 years, since the first high-speed train route connected Paris and Lyon?  With the recent completion of the Rhine-Rhone High Speed rail line, travel to eastern France just stepped up a considerable notch. The TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse – High Speed Train) trains zip along at a record-holding speed of 322 kph (201 mph), allowing you greater freedom to explore cities far and wide.

The new Eastern Branch route is interregional and runs from Dijon to Mulhouse. With Paris as the TGV network hub, this new link shortens the journey between Paris and Zurich by 30 minutes.

Another new route – The Southern branch – will be added to provide speedy connections between Dijon and Lyon and will help connect to Germany, eastern France and the Saône and Rhône valleys, the Mediterranean arc and Nice. Just imagine “flying” from Lyon to Frankfurt in less than five hours! According to RailEurope, 11 million passengers will take advantage of the new Rhine-Rhone TGV service.

And it isn’t just speed that will be achieved – you’ll travel in aerodynamic style on the Paris to Basel and Zurich routes. The new TGV Duplex is the only double-decker high-speed train on European networks, hosting travelers in colorful, comfortable interiors with screens in each car showing travel info, much like you see in airplanes. We’re looking forward to that trip!

We’d love to hear from you!  swsheridan@francedailyphoto.com

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

 

Artisan Markets & Ateliers of France

Pottery of Roussillon, Provence

The artisan markets of France throw open the windows to a world of ancient skills and contemporary vision.  Colorful Marchés and Expos throughout France reflect deep respect for the exceptional craftsmanship, passed through generations from master to apprentice, that combines natural elements of the land with the spirit of imagination and experience. 

The works of creative artisans fill metropolitan and rural boutiques, but nowhere is fresh craftsmanship more prevalent or more delightfully experienced than in the special artisanal markets throughout the country.

Paris celebrates artisans throughout the year.  Every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the Montparnasse Art Market provides an open-air setting for 120 artists and designers of jewelry, sculpture, paintings and more.   Each Saturday, the same type of market is held in Bastille.  Often special artisan markets take place in different neighborhoods, so it is wise to check at La Presse for local event publications. 

Aix Artisan Festival

Some call the Parisian “Viaduc des Arts” a living museum, where you can enjoy the process of creation as well as the stunning final artistic products of devoted craftsmen.  Ateliers, or workshops, are tucked in the arches of the viaduct of the former Bastille to Bois de Vincennes.  

In Lyon, the Marché  de l’Artisanat et des Metiers d’Art and Marché de la Creation hug the edge of Vieux Lyon (the old town) each Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.,  along the Quais de Bondy, Roman Rolland and Fulchiron.   Painters, jewelers, sculptors and other artisans join musicians and poets to transform the Saone riverbanks into a huge creative exchange with hand painted porcelain, vibrant pottery, wood creations, silk prints, weavings, paintings and every other artist medium imaginable.

Atelier, L'Agenda Moderne, Paris

To discover markets in your destination, go to the Office of Tourism for complete regional event information.  You also will find geographic listings of artists on createdinfrance.com. 

To our good fortune, artisanship represents an important, growing sector of the French economy.  With more than 20,000 companies offering over 200 types of artistry, devotees of authentic products  can enjoy –  and help to keep alive –  the heritage, rich traditions and exceptional craftsmanship of French artisans.

 

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.   Photo and text,  all rights reserved.

Great Cities to Visit

 

Avignon's magnificent Palace of the Popes

France spreads like an elegant patchwork quilt across landscapes that sweep from the dramatic Alpine peaks in the East across fertile river valleys down to the sun-swept beaches of the Cote d’Azur.  All along the way, you discover delightful cities that shape the best of the land, people and culture to create their own unique identity, each calling you to visit. 

Avignon

The region of Provence lays claim to some of the loveliest cities of France.  Stone ramparts encircle Avignon to harbor magnificent architecture and art, broad avenues and tiny streets; until you arrive at the imposingly medieval fortress and home-away-from-home Palace of the Popes.  From the fortress you will see the famous ruins of the Avignon bridge.  We parked by the ramparts and meandered through quaint lanes, until that perfect café seat called us to sit, sip and watch the world wander past.

Chartres

One of the most beautiful cities in France and home to one of the finest gothic cathedrals, Chartres exudes an air of relative calm.  Just 60 miles southwest of Paris, the town center is dominated by UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cathedrale de Notre-Dame. The cathedral’s renowned flying buttresses, stained glass and twin spires are a remarkable sight, and one that takes your breath away!

Another of Chartres’ stellar charms is the picturesque branch of the Eure River that winds through the lower city. Be sure to wander the flower-lined paths and petite bridges to discover gardens, museums and the gentle city spirit that wraps around you. The perfect ending for your excursion is Le Moulin de Ponceau, a lovely restaurant with terrace overlooking the tiny bridge across the river – wonderful in every way!

Lyon

 Lyon is considered the French capital of gastronomy and former capital of the silk trade. To be certain, sampling the famed Lyonnais cuisine will be one of your favorite activities. Whether along narrow, winding streets in the old town or in the popular Presquile area, a fantastic range of restaurants will lure you with steamy regional dishes, perfected haute cuisine and classic Cotes

So many cafe and bistro choices in Lyon!

du Rhone wines. Lyon’s traditional bouchons elevate the onion to royalty in hearty meat and potato dishes, fish dumplings and other down-to-earth meals delivered with plenty of atmosphere and casual hospitality.

In between meals, discover the waterfront beauty and compelling historic sites of the city. Two beautiful rivers, the Rhone and Saone, intersect the city, forming a charming and eclectic peninsula in the middle; where shopping and dining radiate from the huge Place Bellecours.

More cities to come…..

 

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.   Photo and text, all rights reserved.

Lyon, Capital of Gastronomy

Fresh Parmesan from our friendly garcon

Lyon by no means lives in the shadow of Paris.  Begin with the exquisite setting between two magnificent hills, interlaced with two rivers – the Rhône and Saône  – and facing eastward to soaring Alpine ridges. 

Add Lyon’s lively attitude, that combines a deep pride and respect for history and tradition with a progressive and innovative look to the future; and you discover a city that weaves its spirit through everyone who walks her streets. 

Lyon wears many hats – Capital of Gastronomy is perhaps her most grandly plumed ‘chapeau’, the revered home to famous Lyonnaise cooking that captures the attention of the entire world. 

Indeed, Lyon is a magnet for food lovers who relish imaginative chefs and fresh, fresh ingredients.  We enjoy many restaurants throughout the city, and in this photo, our friendly garçon scoops Parmesan cheese to crown our memorable meal in Vieux Lyon.

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.   Photo and text, all rights reserved.

Cycle Through Paris, Lyon, Nantes…

Typical bicycle station in Paris

Want to cycle around cities in France?  An imaginative cycling program allows you to do so, without high rental rates or hauling your own bike from Peoria!

Always serious about environmental concerns, Paris made a significant decision to promote bike-sharing back in July of 2007.  Fashioned after the successful program in Lyon, the Paris Vélib’ (a combo of Velo – bicycle and liberté – freedom) is now the largest in the world. 

Throughout the city, over 1,500 bicycle stations provide over 20,000 three-speed bikes for a €1 day rental ticket.  That allows you to take unlimited 30-minute trips.  Longer trips mean added fees, so you just pick up a bike at one station and turn it in at another to continue your ride.  Since the self-service cycle stations are about every 300 meters, you usually won’t have a problem finding one.  When the program began, streets were re-worked to include specific bicycle lanes; so it’s a wonderful way to see the city, especially on Sunday, when many streets are closed to allow for pedestrian, cycling and rollerblade traffic. 

The rental process is similar in most cities – about as easy as using a parking meter.  You provide credit card info (to be sure you return the bike – alarms sound if you don’t.  Some cards without a specific microchip don’t work, so try another payment option.  The city’s cycle websites provide complete info in 8 languages, so pick up your bike and cycle on!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.   Photo and text, all rights reserved.

Vieux Lyon – World Heritage Site

Lyon France

The Basilique overlooks Vieux Lyon

The striking white Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Fourviere overlooks Vieux Lyon, watching over ancient streets and hidden traboules (passages formerly used by workers in the silk trade and members of the Resistance). 

The Lyonnais continue to faithfully preserve the architectural gems that thread through ancient streets – past 15th-century inner courtyards, 18th century houses and the 17th-century Loge du Change.

In the midst of all the revered heritage, the old city thrives with lively cafes, petite book stores, colorful shopping and hotels that run from ancient inns to snappy, contemporary dwellings.  To perfect the ambience of Vieux Lyon, it lies on the west bank of the peaceful, tree-lined Saône River, where we stop at a riverside restaurant to enjoy some of that fabulous Lyonnaise cuisine.

Great fares to Europe and beyond.

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.   All rights reserved.

Fine Dining in Lyon

A fabulous Lyon dinner

Indeed, in Lyon we enjoyed our most expensive meal in France and, without hesitation, one of the best.  We really aren’t food snobs and enjoy little bistros, as well as fine dining. 

Our Lyon friend suggested Le Café Epicerie, when we asked him to join us for dinner.  It is one of 3 restaurants that are part of the 4-star Hôtel la Cour des Loges.  We dined in old-world but sleek surroundings with a mix of stone walls, crystal chandeliers, silk tapestries, bistro tables and contemporary floral arrangements. 

As you can see, I enjoyed a too-delicious-to-describe grilled beef in an amazing sauce with delicate mashed potatoes.  Oh my, the food in Lyon!!!

Copyright © 2005-2012, LuxeEuro, LLC.   All rights reserved.