Summer 2014


June 20, 2014

A sudden downpour marks an ominous start for French Lessons’ fancy new blog site – but we hardly worry. We know our subject well. As Bellevue’s home electronics seize up and labour strikes rock the whole of the country, we are comforted by the fact that – from France’s luscious markets to its ritual inefficiencies – nothing ever seems to change.

continue reading

Royal Monaco: A Glimpse Backstage

June 27, 2014

French Lessons cruises to the glamorous Principality of Monaco to join a gala dinner within the celebrated wine cellars of the Hôtel de Paris and – with a bit of luck – to meet the top royals. The glittering occasion will remain etched in our memories – and perhaps in Prince Albert II’s, too.

continue reading

Photo Essay: Côte d’Azur Life Before the Throngs

July 4, 2014

As the Côte d’Azur prepares for an imminent invasion of the juilletistes (folks who take their holidays during the month of July), French Lessons hightails it out of the country for a few days. But we hardly leave our readers in a lurch! Enjoy a look around our backyard before the follies begin.

continue reading

Celebrating America’s Birthday – à la française

July 11, 2014

Amid the season of national birthdays – July 1, 4 and 14 for Canada, the US and France, respectively – French Lessons heads to the illustrious Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat, where the American Club of the Riviera gathers to celebrate the Fourth of July in style. The evening hardly goes as expected – and we’re hardly complaining.

continue reading

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.

continue reading

French Pharmacies: Regulation Where It Matters?

July 25, 2014

French Lessons heads into the luxurious world of the French pharmacy. Hardly a box store where you stroll anonymously through well-stocked aisles, each pharmacie is a unique jewel presided over by its owner-pharmacist. While the in-store ambience isn’t always welcoming, cozy relations between doctors and pharmacists can mean medicines are more readily available than you might guess.

continue reading

Latte Art: A Primer in French Economics

August 1, 2014

French Lessons welcomes its first-ever guest writer: none other than the highly observant and entertaining Philippe. Here’s his take on the state of the French economy, from tourist numbers and GDP to Presidential scandal and the art of opening a top-notch café – without, hopefully, going bankrupt on the battery of French taxes.

continue reading

Photo Essay: A Simple Love Letter to Antibes

August 8, 2014

From Donna Tartt’s latest novel The Goldfinch to a small library in the wilds of Botswana, French Lessons is reminded that our summer hometown has a certain reputation. Antibes may see its share of bling, but this nook of the glittering Côte d’Azur has managed to retain its genuine charm.

continue reading

Profile: Madame Lucienne Frey, Centenarian

August 15, 2014

Alternatively, this post could be entitled The 100-Year Old Woman Who Endured Both World Wars and Still Dreams About Golf. Madame Lucienne Frey has enjoyed a century’s worth of family and travel, books and sport. She has spent nearly seven decades visiting or living in Antibes. No matter what we call this post, this centenaire hardly lets age define her.

continue reading

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.

continue reading

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.

continue reading