Bellevue

Côte d’Azur Heartbreak: Ode to the Fig

August 1, 2019

. . . or shall we call this post “Fugue to the Figue”?  When we planted Bellevue’s figuier 13 years ago, we’d unwittingly reconnected our home with its past.  This year’s stupendous crop of figs yields its traditional, French delights – and new heartbreak.

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Antibes Again: How Friends Erased our “Ants”

June 29, 2019

When we creaked open Bellevue’s walnut door – officially launching French Lessons’ 2019 summer season – the house alarm worked.  So did the internet, the air-conditioning, and the lights.  What possibly could go wrong with this year’s homecoming to the sunny Côte d’Azur?

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Tough Love: Home Upkeep in the Côte d’Azur

August 23, 2018

What’s a season of French Lessons without a look behind the scenes at home maintenance?  But far from being a tired subject, Bellevue and all her woes bring out the best stories – even if we always seem to find ourselves at the butt-end of the joke.

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Ten (More) Ways to Spot You’re in the Côte d’Azur

June 22, 2018

French Lessons is thrilled to embark on its 12th season digging into real life in the French Riviera.  As we find our feet, it’s Christelle’s heels, the climatisation (as ever!), the parking, the coffee and a couple beachcombing locals that remind us:  We are back.

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Ten Ways You Know You’re in the South of France

July 5, 2017

Flourishing figs and the radio’s startling stories. Our pooch’s newly elevated lifestyle, and the famous French bise. They’re all simple, run-of-the-mill pieces of a Côte d’Azur day. . . and yet. We’re summertime regulars, and these ten quirks still catch me out.

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The Côte d’Azur: Our Ritual Return

June 27, 2017

You’d think that by now, after nearly 12 years owning the same home in the South of France, we’d have our annual summer return down pat. Bellevue’s air-conditioner would blow steadily. The WIFI would stand at the ready, and the rosé would sit on ice. How silly we are.

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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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The European Union Laid Bare by a Spare Part

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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Bellevue: A Tale of Two 10-Year Olds

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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It’s a Wrap: Summer 2014 in the Côte d’Azur

August 29, 2014

French Lessons looks back at the highlights of Summer 2014 in the Côte d’Azur as Bellevue’s occupants declare they are utterly exhausted from all the fun. In many ways this summer was like no other – and yet we discern a few conspicuous and intriguing themes that have endured this summer as in the past.

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Antibes Remembered: The Joy of French Food

August 22, 2014

On this 70th anniversary of Antibes’ Libération from its occupying forces, French Lessons offers a taste of everyday life in Antibes during World War II through the lens of one basic and cherished commodity. We dive into Antibes’ municipal archives and gather residents’ distant memories about food. Then as now, it remains a pillar of French life.

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Côte d’Azur Property: Hot, or Not?

July 18, 2014

A Côte d’Azur property magazine arrives in Bellevue’s postbox, offering rare vistas and gobsmacking price tags. As talk about real estate never seems to simmer down, French Lessons slips into a quick bout of “property shopping” ourselves on the Cap d’Antibes – but a notable local visitor puts the area’s property craze into perspective.

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