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8 things we learned about France in the October issue of FRANCE Magazine

PUBLISHED: 09:59 05 September 2019

The October issue of FRANCE Magazine is out now

The October issue of FRANCE Magazine is out now

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From frogs' legs to ski paragliding (that's a thing!), here are some of the weird and wonderful things we learned about France in the making of the latest issue of FRANCE Magazine

1) Iconic French tipple cognac was the brainchild of the Dutch

16th-century settlers from the Netherlands found it difficult to preserve wine on the journey home with them, so they double-distilled it.

Read our toast to the town of Cognac in our Quick Guide on page 31.

2) Until as late as 1860, Nice wasn't a part of France

The beautiful city, half-an-hour's drive from the Italian border, previously belonged to Piedmont-Sardinia.

Take a tour of the ritzy Riviera resort in Le Weekend on page 36.

Find out what makes Nice a very nice place to visit. Pic: Eddi FiegelFind out what makes Nice a very nice place to visit. Pic: Eddi Fiegel

3) Montpellier is one of the world's extreme sport capitals

This year it hosts a leg of the Festival International des Sports Extrêmes for the 22nd time.

From ski paragliding to parkour, test your mettle with some exhilarating outdoor pursuits on page 44.

4) There's a funky Japanese-inspired pâtisserie in Le Mans that's serving up some creative cakes

Takayanagi is the brainchild of Masatoshi Takayanagi, who originally travelled from his native Japan to study the art of patisserie in Le Mans and set up his own shop in 2013.

Sample more of Le Mans' most delicious dishes on page 76.

A rainbow of cakes at Takayanagi. Pic: Eddi FiegelA rainbow of cakes at Takayanagi. Pic: Eddi Fiegel

5) The raising of sturgeon for caviar is an impressively challenging task

Females are so sensitive that even a shadow crossing their pond could cause them to absorb their eggs and it takes seven years for the eggs to be ready!

Visit a caviar farm and see another side to Dordogne on page 19.

6) For a spooky Halloween, visit Mont-Saint-Michel

The island is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts including Louis d'Estouteville, a former garrison commander who led the slaughter of 2,000 Englishmen and is still said to guard the mount today.

Get ready for fright night with our pick of France's haunted sites on page 27.

Mont-Saint-Michel hides a spooky secret. Pic: JurgaR/iStock/GettyMont-Saint-Michel hides a spooky secret. Pic: JurgaR/iStock/Getty

7) Frogs' legs were dubbed by chef Auguste Escoffier 'thighs of the nymphs at dawn' to encourage more people to eat them

He served them at the Savoy Hotel in London in a tasty sauce covered with chicken jelly to the Prince of Wales!

Tuck into more frogs' legs facts on page 86.

7) Châlons-en-Champagne is known as the 'Sparkling Venice'

The capital of the Marne département is criss-crossed by picturesque rivers, perfect for exploring by boat.

Discover what lies beyond the vineyards of Marne in our Département Focus on page 50.

Chalons, the Sparkling Venice. Pic: OT Chalons-en-ChampagneChalons, the Sparkling Venice. Pic: OT Chalons-en-Champagne

So what are you waiting for? The October 2019 issue of FRANCE Magazine is out now - order your copy here.

Or take advantage of our great subscription offersand get FRANCE Magazine delivered straight to your door every month!

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