In the September 2016 issue of FRANCE Magazine, we explore the beguiling Roman city of Arles, sample chestnuts in Collobrières, go in search of cider and calvados in Normandy at harvest time and find some great places to stay in Champagne-Ardenne
Philip Sweeney heads to Arles in Provence to unearth the fascinating history behind this attractive Roman city which served as great inspiration for the Dutch-born painter Vincent Van Gogh. Philip’s visit takes him to the well-preserved Roman Amphitheatre – which today holds plays, concerts and even bullfights – and past shady squares which have appeared on many a Van Gogh canvas.
Going nuts in Collobrières
Veteran storyteller Ray Kershaw visits the Provençal village of Collobrières to learn all about their most precious commodity: chestnuts. The popular snack comes in all shapes and sizes here and is used to make everything from cake to pancakes and ice cream. The small comestible is so important here that the village holds an annual Fête de la Châtaigne at the end of October, an event that sees some chestnuts gathered together from some 50,000 trees and eaten in different ways.
Where to stay in… Champagne-Ardenne
This month we visit the tranquil region of Champagne-Ardenne to find the best in accommodation. Our line-up of great places to stay includes everything from attractive renovated country châteaux complete with stables to quaint B & Bs and convenient city crash pads.
Raising a glass to apple country
Carolyn Boyd embarks on a cider and calvados trail through Normandy at harvest time. Carolyn’s journey begins at Château du Breuil calvados distillery, home to a cellar of apple brandy and where she learned that calvados can be as desirable and as expensive as any bottle of whisky or cognac. Her trail then takes her to the lively Fête de la Pomme, du Cidre et du Fromage in the village of Conches-en-Ouche where Percheron draught horses and dancers sporting regional attire add to the spectacle. The highlight of her trip is learning that, in this region, the colour of an apple’s flesh isn’t always white.
Plus, we cross the bridges of a hideaway in the Lot, show you how to make the most of the Louvre and chat to master pâtissier Eric Lanlard about his twist on afternoon tea. Buy the September 2016 issue of FRANCE Magazine here!