Côte d’Azur Culture

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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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?

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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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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.

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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.

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Grab Bag: Summer 2018’s Agenda de Ministre

August 31, 2018

The end of the Côte d’Azur’s scorching canicule marks the close of French Lesson’s 2018 season.  We look back over the summer months and a fast-paced, so-called agenda de ministre, to highlight some of the season’s fun, intriguing, and jaw-dropping stories that didn’t yet make these pages.

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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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RENTING A CELLO: HOGWARTS OF THE CÔTE D’AZUR

August 16, 2018

From infuriating legalese to unwritten expectations, the rental market is tricky at the best of times.  French Lessons tests the waters in the Côte d’Azur this summer with its quest to hire . . . a cello.  We leave Nice’s top stringed instrument maker humbled and charmed.

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French Roads: Putting on the Brakes?

August 8, 2018

Patient drivers and dribbling vehicle speeds are hardly hallmarks of the French Riviera’s autoroutes, but the local government does invite some offenders to courses that try to rehabilitate their skills.  French Lessons welcomes back our speed demon friend Rachael – and her quick wit.

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IT’S STILL NOT EASY: TEEN SWIMSUIT SHOPPING, DEUX

July 26, 2018

One swimsuit isn’t enough for a teenaged girl in the Côte d’Azur.  Following a heroic soul-destroying outing in Antibes to buy Lolo a bikini, my daughter still needs a suit that is a bit, well, bigger for camp in Ontario’s woodlands.  French Lessons continues its search in laid-back Juan-les-Pins.

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Les Fêtes: When the Saints Come Marching In

July 6, 2018

The Côte d’Azur is in celebratory mood.  Parades and fireworks abound, but French Lessons discovers a whole lot of confusion.  What, exactly, are we celebrating – the patron saint of fishermen, the protector of sailors, or France’s continuing wins in the World Cup?

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It’s Not Easy: Teen Swimsuit Shopping in Antibes

June 29, 2018

Lolo and I embark on a trip into our Côte d’Azur town to find a couple swimsuits.  It will be a carefree – even a joyful – mother-daughter excursion as we shop for my willowy 13-year old.  All goes well, until my easygoing teen shuts herself into the change cabin.

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