One of the best bits about working on FRANCE Magazine is learning something new about our favourite country every single day. Here we share with you some of the weird and wonderful things we discovered about the Hexagone while putting together your February issue…
1) There’s a fantastical, three-storey carousel in Nantes which was named the world’s most original attraction in 2014
The Carrousel des Mondes Marins was inspired by Jules Verne, a son of Nantes, and allows visitors to ride on colourful sea creatures for an adventure like no other.
Explore the vibrant city of Nantes with Sophie Gardner-Roberts on page 38.
2) Quelle horreur! The croissant wasn’t actually invented in France…
… but in Vienna. The croissant’s ancestor is a Viennese pastry called the kipferl, named after the German word for crescent.
Heidi Fuller-love finds the recipe for croissant success on page 82.
3) You can stay in a hobbit house in Dordogne
Lord of the Rings lovers, you’ll like this – Canopy and Stars have a grass-roofed house near Eyrinac that’s perfect for Frodo fans.
Get more holiday inspiration from our ‘Book Now’ guide on page 18.
4) You can spend Valentine’s Day in a haunted house in Paris (if you’re brave enough)
The Manoir de Paris is just one of three out-of-the-ordinary locations in the capital where you can spend Valentine’s Day, if the clichéd candlelit restaurant doesn’t do it for you.
See where the rest of the romantic hotspots are on page 17.
5) There’s a homage to Celtic saints on a Breton hilltop
On a hilltop in Carnoët sit 100 statues of Celtic saints. At certain times of the year, you can even see the sculptors at work there.
Find out more about magical Brittany with Alex Green on page 48.
6) You can get a croque monsieur with goat’s cheese, honey, béchamel and pine nuts at this Paris café
Fric-Frac, on the Quai de Valmy, has managed to reinvent the traditional cheese and ham toastie with a variety of unusual and intriguing flavours including The Winnie, featuring the above.
Follow in the foodie footsteps of Editor Lara Dunn on her Paris food tour on page 68.
7) There’s only one French parish called Saint-Valentin and every year it holds a ‘Lovers’ Feast’
Love is in the air in our romance-themed parallel text, where you can learn about 14 February traditions in France.
Improve your French with Régine Godfrey on page 89.
8) There’s a huge tree with TWO chapels inside in northern France
The Chêne chapelle is a grand oak tree with a difference; its 16m-wide, hollow trunk is home to two chapels.
Take a tour of France’s great trees with Deborah Nash on page 42.
So what are you waiting for? The February 2019 issue of FRANCE Magazine is on sale 3 January – order your copy here.
Or take advantage of our great subscription offers and get FRANCE Magazine delivered straight to your door every month!