Photo Essay: Life Aboard a Megayacht


August 19, 2016

What’s the most dazzling thing about the Côte d’Azur? It must be the ultra-swish megayachts anchoring in its sun-drenched, Mediterranean bays. French Lessons invites you onboard one of these floating palaces to holiday with us – or at least to glimpse the bits we can share.

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Working for French Unemployment Benefits

We prefer to associate a French mairie with happier times.

August 12, 2016

In the recent theatre of French labour protests, the world watched the country’s unemployment woes unfurl into the streets – but what about the unemployed themselves? In typical French Lessons fashion, Jo shares with us – up close and personal – how tough it can be to draw the benefits.

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Style: Yoko Heads to a French Groomer

Yoko heads off to the groomers’ . . .

August 5, 2016

Securing a rendez-vous with a dog groomer in the Côte d’Azur summertime is harder than it ought to be. But French Lessons eventually uncovers an available spot at a local salon de toilettage – and a delightful woman who gives Yoko her first haircut à la française.

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Beachcombers morphed into kitesurfers off Antibes last weekend.

July 29, 2016

As French Lessons treads into the middle of the Côte d’Azur’s acclaimed summer season, we pause, catch our breath, and revel in a jumble of what makes the French Riviera so dazzling, so bewitching. But spoken or not this summer, one topic seems to cut through all the fun.

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Unexpected Email: Bellevue’s Earliest Residents

July 22, 2016

French Lessons receives an unexpected gift: an out-of-the-blue email that introduces us to the earliest residents of our seaside home, Bellevue. After years of research and forged connections, often from unlikely places, we introduce readers to the family who may have been Bellevue’s first occupants.

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Nice: Paradise Lost

nice matin cover

July 15, 2016

French Lessons pares down its pen this week in recognition of our neighbour, Nice – and in tribute of the French spirit to Restez Calme et Tenez Bon. Keep Calm and Carry On.

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The European Union Laid Bare by a Spare Part

The landscaping is looking especially lovely in Antibes’ old town this early summertime.

July 8, 2016

Bellevue’s air-conditioning is again on the fritz, but this time the repairman doesn’t fire us. Instead, along with an ingenious and swifter-than-merited resolution, he offers French Lessons an unconventional glimpse into the inner workings of the European Union.

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Côte d’Azur Homecoming for a Poodle

Will the Côte d’Azur welcome our new baby?

July 1, 2016

As French Lessons returns for another summer season, it welcomes a new member to its family: Yoko. Bringing a puppy across borders isn’t for the faint of heart – but it does bring fresh insight to the quintessentially French approach to the art of bureaucracy.

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Grab Bag: Last Sip at the Riviera’s Summer Party

September 4, 2015

As France gets on with the annual rentrée, French Lessons takes its final week of the 2015 summer season to soak in the reality of Côte d’Azur living – and to share a grab bag of offbeat highlights that never made their way onto these pages.

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Profile: Tania Laveder, World War II Survivor

Past and present converge within these ivy-strewn walls.

August 28, 2015

In a special post to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Côte d’Azur’s Libération, French Lessons interviews a local woman who was drafted and captured, and who ultimately survived the war to reestablish her life here, four countries later, on the Cap d’Antibes. Her story is, at last, in print.

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Bellevue: A Tale of Two 10-Year Olds

The boulangerie remains a staple in Antibes.

August 21, 2015

When my daughter Lolo tags along on a visit to elderly friends, we compare the lives of two 10-year-old girls living within the walls of our home, Bellevue – stories that are separated by a full 75 years. An iPad and a runaway apple remind us of today’s prosperity.

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Photo Essay: Côte d’Azur by Sea (Part 2)

ile d'or

August 13, 2015

French Lessons sets sail on Part 2 of our photographic journey along the Côte d’Azur, this time leaving Antibes’ port in the direction of St-Tropez. Colourful histories, offbeat innovations and a secluded beach pepper our sun- and salt-soaked journey – as do James Bond and a small-time king.

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