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Tomato Tarte Tatin recipe

Tomato tarte tatin
We finally have some tomatoes ripening in our garden and this Tomato Tarte Tatin is one of my favorite things to make for a light summer meal. Unfortunately, there was not quite enough tomatoes ready in the garden, so I had to add some from the market. Emptied tomatoes (Photo© France Just For You) This recipe feeds about 8 people. I like to serve it with a simple green salad with garlic croutons and a crisp and cold white wine from the Mâcon area. Ingredients: 12 medium sized tomatoes, cut into halves and emptied 5 tablespoons of tapenade, preferably made from black olives, but green will...

Our Post-Quarantine Road Trip Through Provence

Pont du Gard on our road trip through Provence
One of the reasons we're able to offer unique experiences and visits to hidden gems as part of our self-drive tours is because we’re often on the road researching and looking for ways to continually improve our tours. After eight weeks under lockdown during the pandemic, we were of course itching to get back out on the road again. Of course, we never tire of exploring our beautiful country. But we also wanted to check how the pandemic had affected travel in France, our favorite sites to send travelers to, and our partners at the Bed & Breakfasts we work with. So we decided to take a road...

Aïoli sauce recipe

Aioli sauce
This delicious, garlicky sauce is a specialty from Provence. It goes very well with summer vegetables, salted cod fish, crispy bread and croutons, snails, mussels, potatoes, and eggs. We hope you enjoy this very quick and simple recipe! Ingredients 1 garlic clove 2 egg yolks 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1⁄2 cup olive oil 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil 2 pinches of salt Instructions Cut off the ends of the garlic clove, peel it, and put it through a garlic press. Put the garlic in a pestle and mortar, add the salt and grind it until you have a paste. In a glass/ceramic mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, the...

Exploring Le Marais district in Paris

Place Sainte Catherine in Le Marais, Paris
Many of our travelers want to spend a few days in Paris during their self-guided tour of France . In Paris, we work with a charming family-run boutique hotel in the fashionable yet quaint Marais district in the 4th arrondissement. TIP: There are a lot of different metro stations around Le Marais district. Decide which place you would like to visit first, and then see which stations are near. Also check which metro line will be most convenient from where you’re starting. Le Marais - our favorite district in Paris, full of charm and antiquity A cafe in Le Marais in Paris (Photo© Borya CC...

Is it safe to travel to France in 2020? [Covid-19 update July 2020]

lavender fields in the luberon, provence
We understand that travelers will be worried about the risks of traveling while the coronavirus pandemic continues across the globe. We will update this post with the latest information about France regarding travel, safety measures and the benefits of traveling in late 2020 and 2021. In June 2020, after lockdown had ended, we hit the road and left our home in the Loire Valley to visit some of our favorite parts of France. We felt very safe at every attraction, B&B and restaurant we visited. People are still being careful about observing the social distancing rules. And apart from seeing...

Interview: life as a winemaker in the Loire Valley

purple grapes with fall colors
This month we are dedicating our blog to one of our favorite themes - Wine! Living in the Loire Valley, we are lucky to have plenty of vineyards and wineries within close proximity. One of our favorites belongs to one of my high school friends, Clothilde Pain. She is a fantastic winemaker and makes delicious and very innovative wines . Her father is also a winemaker. In fact, my father used to buy wine from her father; and now I buy wine from her. It has become a family tradition! The key to success, she says, when it comes to making wines lies in obtaining optimal maturity...

Vin de Noix - Walnut Wine recipe

Walnut wine recipe
The preferred aperitif in the Dordogne region of France is Walnut Wine. This sweet dark wine is made from green walnuts picked between La Fete de St. Jean (June 24th) and Bastille Day (July 14th). These are immature walnuts that haven’t yet developed hard shells. This wine’s unique flavor is due to the walnut’s smooth green skin and soft interior. The longer the wine ages in the cupboard, the better the flavor - it’s definitely worth the wait! Here we share the typical recipe for making Vin de Noix , but we’ve also added some of our own suggestions to make your wine extra...

Monet at the Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris

Monet's water lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris
By Naomi Dalton As many visitors to France are only in Paris for a few days, they arrive with a ‘bucket-list’ of attractions they want to see. The most popular include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, The Musée D’Orsay , Notre Dame Cathedral and one or two places that are more specialized, relating to their interests, such as the Centre Pompidou Modern Art museum , or the Paris Botanical Gardens. One museum that is really worth a visit is the Musée de l’Orangerie . It’s only a 15-minute walk through the Tuilerie Gardens from the Louvre, so it’s convenient to visit...

France's wine regions and our favorite wineries

France's wine country, south of France vineyard
Many of our travelers ask to include a wine tour , wine-tasting or vineyard tour in their self-drive trips. Therefore, we wanted to write a post on some of the famous French wine regions, including some top tips on the best wineries and wines. Bordeaux Bordeaux , in the French region of Aquitaine, is one of the most famous French wine regions, along with Champagne and Burgundy. This is partly due to Bordeaux being next to the coast, which led to it becoming a major wine exporting region for centuries. Bordeaux became the main wine supplying region to...

Pistou Soup recipe

vegetables for soup au pistou recipe
As we write this, France is slowly coming out of lockdown following the Covid-19 pandemic. During this time, we have enjoyed spending more time with our family at home and in our gardens. Our Senior Trip Planner Laura and her husband Jean-François have been working on a garden project which involved dismantling their outdoor swimming pool and recycling the wood to make a vegetable garden. With so many fresh, homegrown vegetables soon to be harvested, this inspired Laura to share this vegetable pistou soup recipe. This is a delicious, comforting meal when it's cold outside or when you're...

Apple and Pear Crumble recipe

Apple and pear crumble recipe
Serves 6 people Ingredients 6 apples 2 pears a small packet of vanilla-flavored sugar 120g butter 160g all-purpose flour 125g granulated brown sugar Emilie preparing the apple and pear crumbles. Photo © France Just For You Instructions Cut the apples into pieces and cook them in a pan until they get quite dry. Add the pears, without cooking them, cut into smaller pieces In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar and soft (not melted) butter by hand Put the fruit at the bottom of a dish and spread the paste across the top. Cook at 190°C for about 15 minutes, until they...

Smoked sausages and green peas recipe

sausages and peas recipe
Serves 4 people INGREDIENTS 4 smoked sausages (not too big, if possible). If you can find a Morteau sausage, then buy for 1 for 2-3 people 400g of podded green peas (fresh peas are a much, much better option than frozen) Smoked pork chest, which you cut into big “lardons” bacon strings 2 red onions 2 carrots 3-4 bay leaves Garlic INSTRUCTIONS In your cast iron cocotte dish, brown the onions, the sausages, bacon and carrots until it has a nice smell and color. Add the bay leaves, peas and about ½ liter of water, salt and pepper. Let it cook on the stove half...

Chocolate profiteroles recipe

chocolate profiteroles recipe
Both Guillaume and I and our girls love cooking together when we’re at home, and this week we were making yummy profiteroles! This popular dessert is normally a popular option among dinner guests, so we invite you to try our recipe at home. Guillaume helping Jeanne and Pauline with the chocolate sauce... mmmm! ( Photo © France Just For You) INGREDIENTS For about 8 to 10 profiteroles (we usually serve 3-4 profiteroles per person) choux buns: 50cl of milk 7cl water 1 small teaspoon of salt 2 small teaspoons of sugar 2 eggs 75g of all-purpose...

Places to Visit in France during the Fall

Many of you will have had to cancel the vacations you had planned for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Like us, you probably can’t wait for life to return to something close to normality so you can enjoy doing the things you love - seeing friends, going out for dinner, and starting to make travel plans again. In this post, we’re going to fast-forward to offer you some inspiration for future Fall vacations. Depending on where you want to go and what you want to do, the fall can be an ideal time to visit France. September is often still warm but not as overwhelmingly hot...

Baked Camembert in a box recipe

Baked camembert cheese recipe
How about this for a cheesy treat? This recipe will give you a taste of Normandy - if you're in Normandy, look for some Camembert cheese in its box so you can try it out! This is a nice light lunch option and normally goes down well with anyone who enjoys cheese! Ingredients Camembert cheese in a wooden box Salt & pepper A side salad Crusty bread Endives Cooking instructions Take your Camembert cheese out of its wooden box, and leave the box to soak in some water. This helps prevent it from burning in the oven/over the fire. Remove and throw away the wrapping from the cheese. Cut a cross...

Leg of Lamb Easter Dinner recipe

best easter leg of lamb recipe
As Easter approaches, it is also the lambing season, thus we wanted to share this delicious lamb recipe for you to try. Lamb can be a delicious meat when it is slow-cooked to bring out all the finest flavors. This traditional recipe should leave you with a plate of lamb that is so melt-in-your-mouth tender you’ll almost be able to eat it with a spoon! Don’t be put off by the 7-hour cooking time; once you have prepared your ingredients and have the lamb in the oven, the idea is to leave it there to slow-cook for seven hours - you won’t be cooking the whole day! If you try this recipe, please...

Your France Road Trip Playlist

A fun way to prepare for your road trip around France is to compile a playlist of French music to listen to on your drives between stops. You can also listen to these before you travel, and choose your favorite songs. Immerse yourself in the French lyrics, melodies and rhythms, as you look forward to your vacation! Search for the following songs on iTunes, Spotify, and Deezer. You can also listen to them on YouTube, just to see if you like the style! Oldies Yves Montand A Bicyclette Edith Piaf Edith Piaf was one of France's most famous international starts of all time. A...

10 French series to watch on Netflix

watch french series on netflix
At the time of writing this post, 1.5 billion people around the world are in some form of enforced confinement due to the Covid-19 epidemic. As many of our readers had plans to travel to France this year, we want to help keep your travel dreams alive. Our wishes for all our readers and travelers is for you to be immersed in French culture, and really understand what it means to be French - from the humor, to the food, to the sceneries and our traditions. Here we have selected a variety of French-language series of diverse genres. We have tried to include something for everyone, and many of...

How to Plan a Road Trip Through France

Mountain road - how to plan a road trip through France
A Step-by-Step Guide Photo © : Robbie Shade As expert trip-planners , of course we would love to craft a personalized self drive tour of France - just for you! Trip-planning is hard work and time-consuming, especially when you don’t know the country or the language. The advantage of using a local trip-planner is that you can let us do all the hard work, and all you need to do is look forward to your trip. The other way of looking at it is that trip-planning can be part of your adventure! That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide for planning a...

Travelers' story: our love affair with France

Roscoff France self drive tour
Last month, Ben and Jane Lintott from South West England, UK, reached out to us to share their France Just For You travel story in our newsletter. As they have such a lovely story about their relationship with France and their travels through the country over many years, we wanted to share it here on our blog. As told by Ben and Jane Lintott, UK From childhood caravan/RV holidays to buying a house in Dordogne, we really have come full circle in our love affair with France! Childhood holidays in France Before our trip with France Just...

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