The French lifestyle

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Oh the French lifestyle is appealing! They just know how to live so well. As we all know, one of the best ways to experience a place is to indulge in its cuisine. How convenient for me!

I’ve found that plenty of the French stereotypes are, happily, true. I’ve long given up counting how many people I’ve spotted carrying baguettes because I simply couldn’t keep up. Most businesses close from 12 until 2 for a leisurely lunch. Dinners start late and are lingered over. And, of course, wine is always present.

One of my absolute favourite things here in France is Cafe Gourmand, an espresso served alongside a selection of small desserts. Believed to have started in Paris in 2005, I’m happy to have found it further south. Thank you Wikipedia Its original purpose was actually to speed up the dining process but I love it because it offers a variety of sweets and an element of surprise as you don’t know what it’ll be until it’s set in front of you.

It seems to be more popular in Provence, where I’m traveling now, than the Menton area so I’ve only had it twice thus far. Most recently I ordered it at a cafe in Gordes and it was lovely, a peach tart, a honey and date square and caramel gelato topped with whipped cream. Just as I’d hoped!

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Making Progress

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Will you allow me to toot my own horn for a minute? I’ve been making some semi-serious strides in regards to my French skills. Being tutored twice a week in addition to completing les devoirs that my tutor gives me means I’m finding myself able to have longer conversations day to day before reverting to English. I’ve even had some compliments on my accent – from a market vendor and an antiques dealer (where I bought cloth napkins for the cliche French picnics I’ve been having).

Perhaps they were just indulging me but I’ll take it! Improving my French was one of my main goals for the trip so seeing progress is cause to celebrate.

Of course, learning a new skill means there’s plenty of room for mistakes and I’ve certainly had a few. Read Oui In France’s roundup of funny language errors including mine where I came across much more enthusiastic than I meant to!

Oui in France

On another note, right before leaving my friend Vanessa popped by my apartment for a little photo shoot. She’s started a new series on her blog where she visits some of her favourite dwellings of people she knows and lucky me was first up. Makes me miss my little place!

Pints and Teapots

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