FRENCH IMMERSION IN ANTIBES: A TEEN’S EVOLUTION

August 27, 2021

As French Lessons bids readers au revoir from its 2021 edition, we review Lolo’s choice to immerse herself in real French life over the summer. Certainly our teen found the option more palatable than the alternative, an online French class, but with what results?

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Why is the Riviera razing its beach restaurants?

August 15, 2021

The Côte d’Azur has been bulldozing its beach restaurants. The demolition began a few years ago, wiping out celebrated haunts and their too-permanent installations. The image is shocking – but as ever, this coin has two sides. As the upheaval moves closer to home, French Lessons tries to understand.

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Domotique: Small firms light up French life

August 1, 2021

Returning home from dinner late one night, French Lessons found our home worryingly dark. Somehow Bellevue’s electricity had been cut. An improvised gadget, a can-do spirit, and neighbourly ties eradicate our latest gremlin and cast light on the ongoing dilemma of local business owners.

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Luck in Antibes: It’s not for the birds

July 22, 2021

When Philippe got plastered by a well-fortified seagull, we laughed over his dumb luck. After Lolo’s and my near-misses – and a couple four-leaf clovers in the garden – we wondered: Did these things mean bonne chance in France? And why did we need so much of it? We soon found out.

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Rebonjour: From my eclectic pandemic muse

July 11, 2021

We’re late, we’re late, for a very important date! The date? The first edition of French Lessons, version 2021, of course. We’re excités to say rebonjour – and have a good excuse for our tardiness: an all-consuming, slow-burn, pandemic passion.

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LESSONS FROM A PADDLEBOARD: The Riviera’s 2020 Season

paddle boarding beside old Antibes

August 25, 2020

Gliding over Antibes’ bay on a paddleboard, French Lessons sizes up the unusual 2020 season. The pandemic may have deflated the Côte d’Azur’s legendary froth, but in these waters the spectacular and the princely still mingle among simple pleasures and a renewal of humanity.

 

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Chez Mirazur: French Gastronomie with a teen

August 13, 2020

Once we’d confirmed our flight to the Côte d’Azur this strange summer, our next call was to Mirazur.  Miraculously – at least by last season’s standards – the world’s #1 restaurant had space.  Two adults, and a teenager, pull up chairs at a celebrated table.

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PRINCES AND AN ANTIPOPE: THE 1300s RETURN TO ANTIBES

July 31, 2020

Antibes is the lucky new owner of four, long-lost parchments from the princely House of Grimaldi.  French Lessons is the first visitor to glimpse these priceless pieces of heritage – decorative 14th-century documents, negotiated between princes and an antipope, and now on display at the city’s Archives Municipales.

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Seeing blue: July 2020 in the Côte d’Azur

July 20, 2020

What’s life is like in the Côte d’Azur during this extraordinary 2020 season?  French Lessons readers want to know.  To answer travelers’ queries, or to bring the season closer to francophiles around the globe, we offer a glimpse of the area from our first days back. 

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A Return to Antibes – Ready or Not

July 13, 2020

As the pandemic continues to mushroom and borders come cautiously down, we wave au revoir to a quiet, socially-distanced life in Toronto and thank our lucky stars as we return to Bellevue, our summertime home in France’s Côte d’Azur.  French Lessons returns – ready or not.

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Grab Bag: Bloopers and More from Summer 2019

August 31, 2019

As French Lessons wishes readers au revoir until Summer 2020, we share a few stories from this past season that didn’t make our feed.  Gossip, blackout, and glut: Did the springtime omen of nesting doves on Bellevue’s rooftop bring the sort of luck we needed?

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Antibes 75th: What happened at Libération?

August 24, 2019

As Antibes marks its 75thanniversary of Libération from occupying forces during World War II, French Lessons shares details we have gleaned over the years from websites, books, and the local archives.  We bring you into the streets on this pivotal day:  August 24, 1944.

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