The prettiest and least visited part of the Canal de l’Ourcq, which enters Paris at Porte de la Villette, is its beginning at Port aux Perches in the Aisne département, 70 km north east of the capital. Continue reading “Cruising the Canal de l’Ourcq”
The Guinguette Auvergnate — located in Villeneuve Triage—is the perfect place to take visitors to Paris, who never fail to be charmed by its friendly relaxed atmosphere, the view of the Seine from its windows framed by potted geraniums and the unpretentious cooking from the Auvergne, the home region of the patron. If they are lucky, they will see their fellow-diners waltzing to the strains of the accordion, ‘just like a Renoir painting’, as a friend once whispered to me. I have arrived as late as 3 pm and still been fed, as Sunday lunch here can last up to 5 pm. Continue reading “Guinguette Auvergnate…just like a Renoir painting”
Take part in one of the most enjoyable of French popular traditions – eating, drinking and dancing at a guinguette, in the open air, by the river… This one is on a tiny island, reached by a raft. When you step off the raft onto this particular island on the Marne, less than half an hour away from Paris, you step into the timeless world of guinguettes. Continue reading “Ile-du-Martin-Pêcheur”
If you are looking for a day out in the country you can find it, astonishingly enough, at the end of the Metro line to Créteil. Créteil, characterized by charmless 1960s architecture, is the last place on earth where you would expect to find four small islands, linked to each other Continue reading “Créteil island hopping”
Crécy-la-Chapelle, 27 miles east of Paris and only five miles from Disneyland, might as well be on another planet. It is a tiny medieval town guarded by moats, towers and drawbridges where life is lived at a gentler, provincial pace. Continue reading “Crécy…stepping into another world”
If you are interested in the French Renaissance, there is no need to travel as far as the Loire. A walk through the forest leads to the fairy tale setting of the château of Ecouen, with its collection of historical treasures and objects. If you are interested in the French Renaissance, there is no need to travel as far as the Loire. One of the most elegant examples of this style in France, the 16th-century château of Ecouen, is the setting for the furnishings and objets d’art that make up the collections of the National Museum of the Renaissance, some of them from the Musée de Cluny.