Girl at Paris plage

26 things that happen every summer in France

1. Everything closes in August. As a newbie you might ask, “Pourquoi?” and have the reply, “Because it’s August.” Try countering this with the observation that August happens literally everywhere without closing an entire nation and then you will be ...

You can’t have a French barbecue without these 10 ingredients

Before I came to France I assumed the French were too sophisticated to barbecue, and that instead they probably ate coq au vin and croissants all year long. Turns out that’s not true. The French are super into barbecues, getting ...

How to snack like a French person

In Britain, we love nothing more than shovelling snacks into our pie holes at all hours of the day. Not so in France where eating is a serious business and snacking – or grignotage – has a set of rules ...

Working in Paris is better than London and here’s why

There’s a lot of talk these days about Paris trying to tempt companies away from London, which always makes me imagine Paris sticking a stockinged leg in front of a car full of cartoon wolves, who screech obligingly to a ...

9 French nursery rhymes that will make you go WTF?

At home we probably listen to and sing more French children’s songs than English. And that’s fine, it’s nice to have an alternative to Old MacDonald and The Wheels on the Bus. At first I just sort of hummed along, ...

10 ways I got France completely wrong

Before moving to France, my attitude towards the country that is now my home was that – like ballroom dancing or candle-making – I didn’t have anything against it in theory, it just wasn’t something I was in a hurry ...

5 times the French were deeply unromantic

The French have a reputation for being great romantics, and tourists flock to France to experience this romance first hand. But alongside the hearts and flowers runs something darker, a certain cynicism about romance that’s absent in Anglo-Saxon countries. Their ...