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Why travel with France Just For You during covid?

Off the beaten path with France Just For You
2020 has had an impact on the travel industry. As travelers all over the world are starting to re-pack their suitcases, the way we travel has also undergone changes. Now more than ever, travelers want to get off the beaten track, away from the hordes of buses and huge chain hotels. How can France Just For You help? This is where France Just For You can help you plan a wonderful French itinerary based on our experience of crafting off-the-beaten track itineraries that provide you a local, real France adventure. Our objective is to build unique self-drive tours around you,...

Truffle Mushroom Pasta

truffle mushroom pasta
for 2/3 people Truffle has such as special taste that you should not go for a complicated recipe to enjoy its flavours...The best is to grate it on pasta or in eggs. You may keep fresh truffles in a box in the fridge together with whole eggs...it will give the taste to the eggs. What we do when we have a fresh truffle (not really often): we grate it in butter and place this truffle butter in ice-cube compartments in the freezer. Then, when we want to flavor a dish with truffles, we just get a butter-cube or 2. INGREDIENTS a small can of truffles in the oil or even better a little piece of...

My Best Places to Visit in Normandy

Normandy countryside with apple orchard and cows
By Laura Crotet, Senior Trip Planner at France Just For You Normandy has so much to offer, it is difficult to decide the best places to visit. I used to live in Evreux, which is located towards the eastern edge of Normandy, about 1-1/2 hours outside of Paris. My family and I loved living there, and we even lived in a 200-year-old typical half-timbered thatched roof house called a chaumière . The Crotet family Chaumière, ©Laura Crotet We enjoyed discovering the region, and it is a large one. Running along the English Channel , from Dieppe...

Normandy Apple Cake Recipe

Normandy Apple Cake Recipe
We used to live in Normandy and absolutely loved the food there. Plus, being from Wisconsin, dairy products like butter, cream, and cheese , were always important ingredients in many of my favorite foods. My friend Magali, a true Norman through and through, shared this recipe with me. It is a family favorite because it is easy to make, and so yummy with its buttery smoothness and sweet apples. I think it will become a family favorite chez vous as well. Ingredients: ½ cup melted butter (I personally use salted butter for the extra tanginess) ½ cup flour 1...

Essential Packing List for your Trip to France

packing for a trip to France
Packing for any big trip can be complicated, and you can already find lots of general advice on the internet about not forgetting your tickets and such. So, I am going to give you my best and personal advice for how to pack for France specifically . On y va! A Visa or Mastercard with a chip and a pin code . This is the standard in France and will facilitate all payments while here. A credit card with a chip & 4-digit code will make life easier, ©Pixabay A smartphone with a good international plan Your phone can be helpful in many ways :...

Tian de Ratatouille Recipe

Vegetables for Tian de Ratatouille recipe
Jean-François and I are getting ready to re-plant our vegetable garden, and thinking of all the delicious tomatoes, zucchini and other vegetables and fruits we will enjoy this summer made me hungry for some ratatouille . However, I do enjoy making this tian version which uses the same veggies, but I think looks prettier. Laura ready to cook the tian, © Laura Crotet Instructions Slice the eggplant into thin rounds. Put them in a bowl and lightly salt them. Let them sit for about 15-20 minutes to give their water, then rinse and pat dry. You can brush a little olive oil on each...

The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa and Gardens

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild from garden
Step back into the glamour of the Belle Epoque Riviera with a visit to the beautiful Ephrussi de Rothschild villa and surrounding gardens – the jewel of the Côte d’Azur . The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and some fountains, © Max Pixel The History of the villa and its creator Béatrice de Rothschild , daughter of the famous banker and art collector Baron Alphonse de Rothschild, was born in 1864. She was intelligent and charming, and enjoyed living in some of the most opulent homes from that time in Paris and around Paris. She married Maurice Ephrussi in 1883...

A day in Monaco

View of Monaco at night
Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (the total area is not even 1 square mile), preceded by the Vatican. However, with almost 40,000 inhabitants, it is the most densely populated country in the world. This tiny coastal nation on the French Riviera brings into mind glamour, luxury, royalty, and money – the latter of which is apropos because you do need money to spend a day here as everything is expensive. But who doesn’t want to feel like a millionaire even for one day, so why not? Monaco's History The history of Monaco is directly linked with the...

Spring carrots with lentils and grains

Spring carrots
This year for Easter, we decided to do a brunch instead of dinner. I did however, want to make a Spring-themed dish using new Spring carrots. This is an easy recipe and packed with protein, so it is great for your vegetarian night. Ingredients For 4 people 1 cup green lentils 1 cup grains (I used barley, but you could use farro, quinoa, etc.) 1 bunch of Spring carrots (cleaned and trimmed) 3T butter 2T honey A few saffron threads A handful of roasted almonds ½ cup crumbled feta (or more if you love feta) 1T cidar vinegar French mint leaves Pepper to taste Instructions Cook the grains and the...

Biking in the Loire Valley

View of Blois from the bike path
I know that for a lot of people, the idea of biking in the French countryside, through the romantic rolling vineyards, just to luckily happen upon a cute little outdoor market in a picturesque village is the stuff that travel dreams are made of. For me, it means a sore behind and legs, bugs in my face and thinking all the time “why didn’t I just drive”? Well, I wanted to test a new itinerary for biking in the Loire Valley , in the Blois – Château de Chambord area. They announced beautiful weather for the week, my daughter Célestine was ready and willing, so we did it. And I must admit, I was...

Things to do in Bordeaux

Place de la Bourse, Bordeaux
The area around the city of Bordeaux is a rich and wonderful spot to visit. And the city itself, France’s 5th largest, is an exciting and dynamic place to spend a few days. Over about the last 25 years, the city has come a long way with a very successful regeneration program launched by former prime minister and Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé. In the 90’s, the buildings were black from pollution, the riverbanks were lined with abandoned warehouses, and the city seemed closed into itself. Things quickly changed, and in 2007, Bordeaux was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site , making it the...

Recipe for Riz à la Catalane

This recipe is quick to make so great for a week night meal that everyone will enjoy. Plus the Catalane touch makes it a little spicy, especially depending on the heat of the chorizo you choose. Bon appétit, or as they say in Catalan, tenir gana ! Photo: A real treat - Laura's homemade Riz à la Catalane, Laura Crotet Ingredients For 4 people 1-1/4 cup long grain rice 7 oz chorizo (more or less) 1 cup tomato sauce ½ onion 1 garlic clove 1 yellow pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence 2 cups chicken or veggie bouillon Salt and pepper I nstructions Finely chop...

Discover France on a motorcycle (New for 2022!)

A bike overlooking the French coast
For a rare few, traveling to other countries as well as welcoming others into their own country is in their blood. This is true for the Loire Valley based Martinez - Thyebaut family. The dynasty starts with Florence and Philippe, Emilie’s parents who ran a wonderful B&B in a 15th century farmhouse near Chinon called Les Bournais. They shared their passion for the Loire Valley , as well as their kindness and joie de vivre , with all their guests. They are now newly retired and enjoying this chapter of their lives. Next of course is Emilie and Guillaume . Wanting...

Visiting Languedoc Roussillon & the Cathar country

A view of the city of Carcassonne in Languedoc Roussillon, France
Part of the bigger Languedoc-Roussillon region, the Roussillon area spans from the Spanish border to the city of Narbonne and includes the eastern fringe of the Pyrenees mountains. This area is also known as the French Catalonia , and the history and traditions of the Catalans are still very present today. The height of Catalan power was reached in the 13th and 14th centuries when the Franco-Catalan frontier was fixed along the base of the Corbières hills north of Perpignan. But Jaime I made the mistake of dividing his kingdom between his two sons at his death. Thus, the...

Grocery Shopping in France

grocery shopping in france
We all know that food is a very important part of French culture, and eating is a major part of any trip to France. Of course, strolling through an outdoor market , or going to a bakery to select a delicious pastry are on the must-do list for all travelers. However, when I travel to a foreign country, I love to go to the grocery stores, because this is where local food habits are laid bare. As a general rule, French people shop more frequently for food supplies than in other countries. This is due to many different things: the desire for very fresh products, smaller...

A day in Reims, Champagne

Reims Cathedral and the Palais du Tau
Reims is the capital of the Champagne wine region, and is a nice place to spend a day. There is more to see and do than just sip some bubbly (although that is a must, too). The center of Reims is small enough that you can enjoy walking to the major sites (the following loop is about 4 miles in total). The town of Reims has played a major part in French history, intimately linked to the kings of France. Clovis was baptized there, Louis the Pious was crowned there in 816, and beginning in the 11th century, 26 kings of France were crowned within the walls of the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Notre...

Enjoying the Mountains of France

French alps
During the school holidays in February, many French families take off for the mountainous regions of France in order to enjoy skiing and other winter sports. This year however, because of the Covid, the ski lifts will remain closed. But the variety of other winter activities are still attracting local visitors. Outside of the snowy months, the mountains still attract and allow you to experience some of the incredible nature and regional specificities of these areas, with the most important mountain regions in France being the Alps and the Pyrenees. The world-famous French...

Biscuits Roses de Reims (Pink Biscuits from Reims) Truffles

Pink biscuit truffles
“Biscuits roses de Reims” are a specialty of the Champagne area. They are light, crunchy finger-shaped cookies and are amongst the oldest cookies in France. The Maison Fossier has been making them since 1691. You may dip them into a glass of Champagne to enjoy, but I like turning them into beautiful pink truffles, making them a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day. Photo : Pink biscuits from Reims Ingredients: 1 cup crushed Pink Biscuits ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons softened butter 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon rum Powdered sugar Instructions: Mix the butter and the crumbs, then add the egg yolk...

Safe travels with France Just For You

The global pandemic has been a trying time for everyone. And those of us who love to travel have all asked ourselves when will it be safe to begin enjoying travel in France again. When this is possible, self-drive adventures planned by France Just For You offer many aspects that will keep you safe while you savor all that France has to offer. Your trip is uniquely crafted around you and your preferences We do not plan trips for groups, thus you will never find yourself moving about with a herd of other visitors. France Just For You...

The Galette des Rois to celebrate Epiphany

Galette des Rois
The Galette des Rois is made to celebrate the Epiphany, the arrival of the Magi to visit the baby Jesus, on January 6th. The Brioche des Rois is more traditional in southern France, while the Galette is the king in northern France. INGREDIENTS: [Serves 8 people] For the pastry cream: 2 eggs ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup flour 1 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla For the almond cream: 3 egg yolks 1-1/4 cup ground almonds 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup softened butter A splash of rum (optional) 2 store-brought crusts, or you can make your own "pâte feuilletée" 1 yolk for brushing the crust before baking...

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