Côte d’Azur Culture

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?

continue reading

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.

continue reading

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.

continue reading

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.

continue reading

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.

 

continue reading

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. 

continue reading

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.

continue reading

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?

continue reading

Geoffrey’s of Antibes: You are what you eat?

Geoffrey's

August 13, 2019

It’s called Geoffrey’s of London, but the British commissary of the Côte d’Azur, based here in Antibes, is more than a place to stock up on impossible-to-find essentials and favourite foods.  Is the shop also a reflection of our true selves?

continue reading

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.

continue reading

Les Fêtes: The Côte d’Azur’s Space Festival

July 19, 2019

France is known for its fêtes, which pay homage to everything from jazz to the simple chestnut, but one festival is simply out of this world.  Join French Lessons at the biennial Nuit Coupoles Ouverts, the Night of Open Domes, when the Riviera’s research telescopes welcome public eyes.

continue reading

Antibes’ Gilets Jaunes: Chaos, nuisance, or rien?

July 8, 2019

When French Lessons returned to France this summer, we didn’t know what to expect.  Could the gilets jaunes – the famous demonstrators-turned-vandals – block our taxi on the way to Bellevue?  Had the rebellion ripped the heart from our beloved Antibes?  The answer depends on who you ask.

continue reading