A Taste of Garlic

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

….Wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home…

Reviewed – November 1, 2010

…wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home…. is Linda’s blog describing her life in Nice after a fair bit of globetrotting.

As Linda explains… “So who am I? A Swedish girl/woman/lady.. what should you actually classify yourself as when you are 35..? Born in Stockholm, have lived on Koh Samui, in Barcelona, two years in Bangkok and now living in Nice,France. This is my life as an expat!”

Linda’s life in France starts in November 2009 when she says Bonjour! and explains a little bit about herself.

And, getting to grips with the natives even at this early stage, she says… “These French guys on the other hand are absolutely convinced that they are God’s gift to women and cannot understand why I tell them to piss off!”

All I can says is… “French Guys in Nice; leave Linda alone!”

Moving swiftly on to…

A British Expat in Nice

Reviewed – March 7, 2010

A British Expat in Nice tells the tale of Nicole Hill and her life in Nice.

Nicole makes Copper, bronze and silver chainmaille and wire-wrapped jewellery, featuring gemstones and pearls. Her shop is to be found at… Nicole Hill – Etsy.

So, where to start? How about… Pigeons are noisy when they have sex? Or, An Orgy of Tat?

Or, more importantly, Treachery on the streets of Nice where Nicole manages to get references to dog poo, ruined trousers and a very nice pharmacist all in the same post. And that’s not easy, you know; I’ve spent years just trying to do something similar, without success!

A Heart in Provence



A Taste of France – Dominique and Christophe Cachat are a young French-American couple with a joie de vivre, a true love of travel and a passion for food and wine that they would like to share with you!

A Tenderness for Living

A View from France

Adventures in France

Agathoune! – Dan was never supposed to end up in France. A pure product of middle-class America, he was destined to live off the local New England economy, watch football and drive a pickup truck. It seems that the fates would have it differently… In high school, he dreaded French class and only fulfilled the minimum requirements for college acceptance. At Tufts University he majored in civil engineering, but somehow ended up spending several summers in the French Alps. Along the way he also picked up a French major. After graduation, he studied French Language and Civilization at “La Sorbonne” in Paris, where he lived and worked for several years. He bounced back briefly across the Atlantic to seek his fortune in the dot-com gold rush. After the bust, it was back to France again to start a family. He’s been living on the Riviera (La Côte d’Azur) since 2002 and has never looked back. Always somewhat of an artistic geek, he has now found the perfect outlet for expressing his three passions: France, writing and computers. Although he’ll probably never get rid of his American accent, in the end what counts is the ability to communicate and make people laugh!

Aix-Aix-Aix – Forever nomadic, we have pitstopped in the elegant city of Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France. While job hunting from here to Nunavut, finessing our way through southern French bureaucracy, and allowing our new “bout de chou” to teach us how to organize our lives in a more kid-friendly way, we hope to keep you updated and entertained the best way we know how.

Alison Wonderland – Alison Ashwell’s Adventures as a Children’s Illustrator.

All Things Nice – Phillipa Wilson’s blog about her life in Nice. No longer updated (12/10/10)

An American in Avignon

Reviewed – August 4, 2010

An American in Avignon is Madeleine Hill Vedel’s blog about her life in Provence.

In her about me bit, she says that she’s been in Provence for 15 years and was formerly a director of a cooking school and b&b in Arles.

Now she works as a culinary artisan & winery tour guide, organic wine agent to the US, writer, teacher & translator.

She also mentioned that she likes to Tango but… we won’t go into all that sort of stuff here.

I don’t hold anything against people dancing (although with my Cornish background I’m sure that that would have been frowned upon) – it’s just that I’m so useless at it!

An American in Provence

Reviewed – January 9, 2010

An American in Provence is the blog of Megan, a 30 year old American living in Provence with her French husband, Alain.

The blog has been running since November 2005 and although it starts out, quite reasonably, full of exploration and enthusiasm, it develops into an account of the day to day issues which accost the author.

That’s not to say it’s not interesting though, far from it!

Angela in Provence

Reviewed – August 2, 2010

Some bloggers post every day and some less frequently.

For some (and you know who I mean, don’t you K?) the posts are thousands of words long; for others, just a photo and a balanced phrase.

It matters little to me which format the blogger prefers; I look for that something special (and failing that, I look for posts about lingerie and Citroen 2Cvs!)

So, whilst still quite a young blog (in terms of number of posts), I’ve decided to review Angela in Provence because of the quality of the content of her blog posts.

Around Valbonne Daily Photo

Avignon in Photos

Reviewed – January 7, 2010

Avignon in Photos is Nathalie’s photo blog of the inspiring Provencal city of Avignon.

The blog starts in August 2007 with this beautiful article… Approach and continues, being updated almost every day with articles that range from the sensible A Gorgeous Autumn Day to the….. well, interesting…. Who’s Poop is This?

And all the text is in both English and French.

If you’ve ever wondered what to call out to attract the waiter’s attention, read this.. Garcon. Read the comments as well.

This is one of those blogs where the comments teach you almost as much as the articles themselves.

Blue Sky Living

Reviewed – January 27, 2010

Blue Sky Living is, according to the blurb on the front, the indispensable way to keep up with life in Provence. It features the weekly blog of the editor Jamie Ivey as well as news on restaurant and hotel openings, and advice on villa rentals in the area, plus the best places to buy wine.

It’s the weekly blog that I’m interested in. This is an unmissable resource should you ever want (or need) to know How to Kill a Scorpion or want to learn something about La Merde.

Now, here in deepest Brittany (where A Taste of Garlic is nurtured, fermented, massaged and generally dragged into existence), we don’t have too many problems with scorpions and bearing our recent problems with the Fosse Septique (you don’t want to know, really you dont!), I’m tending to avoid the subject of La Merde.

However, I still find James’ blog interesting and funny.

Bon Baisers de France – I was borned in Finland, maybe some of you have heard of this place. For me it is amazing country, with thousands of lakes, snow and ice, reindeers and wild life. I left my family and home country because my dream was to live in France, and when I met Raphaël, it was all clear that France will be my new home. Now I am living in a small city of Avignon, trying to find my way between the oh so different French persons. Good way different. I still miss my home, family and everything in Finland. I miss the snow, hobbies and specially my dog, Naku. She was borned 1997, so she will be this winter 13 already…

Casually Provence – EMILE DONAT – Grand- father, father (kind of redundant–already implied in “grandfather”), husband (pretty obvious too), teacher of philosophy at an upstate New York college.

C’est Christine

Reviewed – May 21, 2010

C’est Christine is a fairly new blog and, normally, I would wait a bit until the blog is more established before reviewing it.

However, there is a sort of energy about this blog – a sort of enthusiasm that encourages you to enjoy the pleasure that the author of the blog is obviously experiencing.

And it is exactly that energy and enthusiasm that convinced me to review C’est Christine so soon.

So, who is Christine and what does she get up to?

Let’s start in the kitchen….

Where else could I start, other than Ratatouille: not just a Disney movie where Christine starts off by saying… “One thing you must know about me: I love garlic.”

Chateau de Provence – Impresje z różnych miejsc Prowansji i Lazurowego Wybrzeża. Impressions from Provence and Cote d’Azur.

Chris France’s Blog

Chroniques d’une Fraise

Reviewed – July 15, 2010

chroniques d’une fraise is the blog of Anna Stevenson who claims to be an Oregonian on the French Riviera and seems to be have been located in Nice, France since June 2000. Apparently she loves writing, gardening, working on her apartment, and her two quirky kitties.

Well, that’s as may be, what I want to know is….

Who in their right mind would want to try and Shower a Cat? I can think of many more dangerous and foolhardy things to do with my time? I did once ask my cats if they’d like a little shower. They conferred and finally answered… “Daddy, we’ll have a shower when you do!”

Got me there – clever cats!

Obviously Grey (Anna’s cat – or one of them) is better behaved than my two as he… “complained merely by wailing pitifully and trying to get away from the shower head, but he would still purr when I lathered him and petted him. He never tried to scratch me.”

Hmmm, Grey, I think you need some cat behavioural lessons from my two!

Cuisine de Provence

Reviewed – March 6, 2010

A new blog, Cuisine de Provence is, none the less, a rather tasty experience.

I started with a nice warming dish of Lentil Stew to beat the Winter Blues (and very nice it was too!) and because I had read in another post that, they’d had Snow in Provence!

Perhaps I’m jealous but… it seems that every self respecting Life in Provence blog has an article about the snow.

It’s no news to us up here in the frozen North! We’ve still got left over snow from the winter of ’63 (that were a cold ‘un alright – Marie-France, just up the lane, went to her outside lavvy for a widdle and, when she tried to pull the chain, her hand froze to it! It took us 3 months to thaw her out enough so that she could come back indoors!)

Deedee in France

Reviewed – February 11, 2010

Deedee in France is Meredith’s blog. Meredith describes herself as a permanent American tourist in Provence.

Meredith (as she explains) came to France as a tourist (following a Frenchman:) and ended up staying (and marrying the Frenchman). Her husband and she have two bilingual, bi-cultural girls (they call her maman).

Deedee is a nickname given to Meredith by her French nieces and nephews because they couldn’t say Meredith. The nickname stuck, as did this life in the south of France. Meredith has been in France for 18 years and counting…

Deedee in France is a continuation of Meredith’s old blog (Poppy Fields) and has got off to a rip roaring start with posts like… Scrambled Eggs with Truffles (yum yum!) and Season’s Eating – Southern Comfort (also yummy and thankfully includes none of that sickly sweet drink that girlies like to dilute with lemonade.)

Du Jour

Reviewed – April 2, 2010

Du Jour is Delana’s blog and it tells the story (to use her own words)….. of an over 50 mother of 2, former television advertising executive, florist and trail cook and just about everything in between. In January 2009, after selling everything and quitting my job, I moved to the south of France. I don’t really know why…seemed like a good idea at the time. And it still does. I don’t know how long I’ll stay but I’m damned well not going to leave until I learn this crazy language. And at the rate I’m going, this could take years.

So what causes a, presumably, sensible person to sell their home, their car and most of their ‘stuff’, quit their job and hop on a plane to begin a new life in Provence, France?

I’m actually quite interested in the answer to that question as I did something rather similar some seven years ago.

I must have caught the wrong plane as I ended up in Brittany rather than Provence!

Étang – A recent college grad, teaching high school English in the South of France

Expat in Provence

Reviewed – January 19, 2011

expat-en-provence is a blog that came to my attention a little while ago and just simmered away on the backburner of my conciseness until a recent post on the blog asked a critically crucial question about French wine law.

I felt that I had to dive in and offer my expert advice.

I hope my advice has been taken as it will fundamentally affect the blog owner’s life for years to come.

I decided there and then to review the blog in the very near future.

expat-en-provence is Hanna’s blog and Hannah says the blog is about… “life as a jeune fille américaine working in france.”

Freedom Fries – A view from France

French Essence

Reviewed – July 16, 2010

French Essence is the blog of Vicki Archer who, in her own words is… “an Australian who lives between London and Saint Remy de Provence in southern France. I adore everything to do with life in France and especially the olive farm I call home. This blog is for those, who like me, are mad for interiors, fashion and all things French.”

In our early courting days, Mrs A Taste of Garlic once told me that I was mad for all things French; Letters and Kisses in particular.

Or perhaps she just told me I was mad?

Anyway, that’s just one of the many reasons why I’ve chosen to review this blog.

Now, I know that I’m just a humble man…..

And, thus, know nothing at all about fashion (I’m quite happy wearing my blue overalls and my green wellies – even if Mrs A Taste of Garlic complains that it messes up her sheets) and don’t really go in for all this fancy stuff (though I have got a pair of black overalls for weddings, funerals and visits to the bank manager!)

French for a While – Our family of 5 has left Washington, DC to spend a few years in the South of France. These are our thoughts and obervations — along with an occasional faux pas and some subtle swipes at the French.

French Word a Day

Reviewed – November 27, 2009

www.french-word-a-day.typepad.com has become, for many of us living in France, a thrice-weekly email that we know we should read and practise with but, often (in my case, at least), just file for a rainy day.

Not many people realise that behind the “learning French” email service, there is a very interesting blog by Kristin Espinasse, an American who (to use her publisher’s words), fell in love with a Frenchman and moved to his country to marry him and start a family. When her children began learning the language, she found herself falling in love with it all over again. To relate the stories of her sometimes bumpy, often comic, and always poignant assimilation, she created a blog in the tradition of books such as A Year in Provence and Almost French, drawing more admirers than she ever could have imagined.

Holiday in Nice, France – Hi, I am Alexander Thijs and with this blog I would like to share with you all about the Promenade des Anglais in Nice: events, news, history, what’s is coming up and so on. Like to visit Nice and looking for accommodation? We also rent our 3 double bedroom holiday apartment on the Promenade des Anglais in the centre of Nice on our website: http://www.nicepromenadeapartments.net

Hoppmeg

Jamie’s nice Nice

La Belle in France

La Fontiane… – The story of Une Maison en Provence

La Fourchette S’est Emballée

Reviewed – January 05, 2011

La Fourchette S’est Emballée is the mysterious blog of Leslie Ray who lives in Aix en Provence.

Why mysterious, I hear you ask (go on, ask then!)…

Well this is just the sort of blog that I love and, even though it’s been going for forever and a day (well, since August 2006), I’ve only just come across it!

I hang my head in shame!

It seems such a shame that a beautiful blog like La Fourchette S’est Emballée is not higher on the Blogosphere horizon.

I aim to change that!

Leslie says of herself…. “Leslie landed in the lavender and olives of Provence…fork in hand. Share the adventures (and misadventures) in (and out of) her little kitchen in the south of France.”

All I can say is that I love both adventures and misadventures in and out of kitchens, especially Provencal ones!

And, you know what, this blog isn’t just a collection of tales from a Provencal kitchen….

No, it’s much, much more than that!

It’s also a beautiful travel guide to Provence filled with glorious photographs!

So let’s start off by looking at some…

Lanewyorkaiseenfrance’s Blog – An American author and painter, living in the South of France since 1999. Don’t hesitate to visit my Authors Guild website at: www.deloryswelchtyson.com

Lavender Honey

Reviewed – July 07, 2010

Lavender Honey starts on the 5th of April 2008 – works through to the present day with a mixture of funny and amusing posts about life in the South of France.

Now, I know what you’re all waiting for and I won’t tease you any longer.

Yes, Lavender Honey traveled to Villefranch sur Mer just to take this lovely photo of a lovely Citroen 2CV!

And it’s a blue one and, as we all know, the blue ones go faster!

Doesn’t it look stunning in front of that pink bougainvillea? I sometimes wonder if God invented pink bougainvillea just so that Citroen 2Cvs could park in front of it. “And on the eighth day…”

Enough of the blasphemy!

Simply put Le Trip is an experience, an entry, into the real life and heartbeat of Provence. Le Trip brings you to people and places that make the Provencal world go ’round. Scoping out the village garage sales for vintage treasures, a walk with the winemaker in his vineyard, a behind the scenes tour of a nationally prized chocolate factory, a visit to the distillery vats with the absinthe producer, and meaningful experiences of the sacred sites of France replace the too typical tourist buses, canned tours, and facades representing the real thing.

Le Petit France Blog

Reviewed – June 02, 2010

Le Petit France Blog is Tuula’s blog about her life in Provence.

Tuula is (to use her own words)… “an American turned devoted Europhile after living for three years in Italy & now the South of France. I worked in higher education & non-profit management until I decided to pursue my dream of living abroad. I met a lovely French man in Rome & voilà, now I have the opportunity to see how many cheeses there really are in this country. I’m here to write about living in Provence, travel slowly, & celebrate all things French.”

Now, Le Petit France Blog is a very new blog (only about two months old, in fact) but, it’s full of the same sort of energy and enthusiasm that I found in C’est Christine and so I’m reviewing it now as I’m sure it will develop, with time, to be quite a reference about life in the South of France.

The story starts with 7 hours in St Tropez which I imagine is all I could afford!

The part where Tuula proves that she’s never met Jean-Phillipe (or his fat wife!)

LePetitCoquins’s Blog – Hi – Ruth here – I’m a new mum who has just made a big move from Dublin, Ireland to the sleepy village of Lacoste, in Provence, France with my son Louis and my lovely husband Raphael (he’s the french, and as they say, better half). Le Petit Coquin means ‘The Little Rascal’ in french, and I’m hoping to blog about my life and my little family as well as my passions including design, art, music, food (oh how I love food), film and things that make me laugh. Bear with me – as it’s a bit tricky typing with one hand – baby in the other. All writing and photography on Le Petit Coquin is Copyright Ruth Ribeaucourt © 2009-2010 unless indicated otherwise. All rights reserved. If you wish to use any of my pics please just email me.

Les Minimies – Brave bat who’s had to re-start her life from scratch repeatedly since her mid-40s. Made it the first time round; but not sufficiently to withstand subsequent horrors. Anything else is in the blog or encapsulated in my normblog profile (Norm’s blog is highly recommended). The original name? Part nickname, part combination of a pair of awful puns = even less funny when explained. So I won’t. Passionate about the arts, landscape and life in general, I try to focus upon matters hopeful as well as interesting. Sometimes successfully. Finally, I live in Nice. By accident.

Life at La Bastiole – An American family in southern France

Life in France – Meg’s adventures in Nice

Life in the Vaucluse

Life on Mars – Yvonne – 36yrs two kids, hubby works away live in south of france, love it hate it Working from home building websites, dabbling in ebay and advertising my other properties.

Life with a seaview

Live. Love. Conquer

Reviewed – October 28, 2010

Live. Love. Conquer is MamaB’s blog about her new life in the South of France after more than 20 years living in Arabia.

MamaB says of the blog… “This blog is about our decision as a family to take our lives into our own hands and make a call. We chose France for many reasons knowing that it would mean that PapaB would have to work away from home but having looked at our options, several times, we know in our hearts that this is the right decision for us.

I will be sharing with you my experiences of moving to a new country, renovating the house, coming to terms with a new language and learning how to be a little self sufficient by growing my own vegetables, raising chickens and much more.”

So, where do we start?

I guess there’s no real choice other than to start with the poo, puke and bonk bits…

Lovely Awkward – After dating a French professor for only nine days at the end of the summer, I dropped my life in Canada on a wild, little whim and took off across the ocean. I’ve been writing about this unexpected (and sometimes awkward) Mediterranean romance in the Toronto Star… but that’s just the beginning of the adventure. Here’s where my first year of risk and roundabouts in the South of France continues…

Madame Boisvert – I’m a college French professor who’s off for a great adventure – a sabbatical semester in the south of France. My husband Ray and I have chosen a small village of about 3,000 people in Provence for our five-month stay. This blog is a journal of our Provençal experience.

Marseille 2010-2011

Mas de la Lionne

Meanwhile here in France

Reviewed – February 17, 2010

What’s Provence got that Brittany hasn’t? That’s what I’d like to know. Go on, answer me that.

Admittedly, Provence does get a lot more sunshine than we get in Brittany.

And, the winter rainstorms down there don’t last for months as they do up here (I once heard of a winter shower in Finistere that lasted for 13 years!)

And perhaps the olives do grow a bit better down south.

And possibly Provencal winters aren’t spent up to your armpits in mud.

And it must be rather nice sitting around in the sunshine, drinking Pastis and listening to the Stella Artois theme music being played on a mouth organ.

But, apart from that, what’s Provence got that Brittany hasn’t?

Med on the Med – One day after watching ‘Under a Tuscan sun’, ‘A good year’ and ‘Julie and Julia’; I realized that I also wanted to move to France or Italy. But since my Italian is not up to par and I refuse to ever be cold again and after talking, writing and following the Mediterranean diet for over 20 years; I decided to live on the Mediterranean, hence I chose Nice as my new home. Even if I still have cousins in Brittany, it’s too cold over there and I need to be on the Mediterranean Sea. It is also essential to note that Italy is only an hour away. So, it’s the best of both worlds. I invite you to share my new adventures and you can also suggest places to go and see. This is my new life and I am looking forward to all the new experiences and people I will meet. Now if I can just fly out of Miami as I am writing this Sunday, April 18 2010 days after a volcano erupted in Iceland and shut all European travels. I guess this is a great way to start an adventure!

Menton Daily Photo

Reviewed – February 8, 2010

Menton Daily Photo is Jilly’s blog about Menton. Jilly runs a a ‘pension familiale’ for dogs, that is to say, all the dogs live in the house with her. She has a site depicting her activities there at www.pensionmilou.com

But Menton Daily Photo is more about photos of Menton.

Gorgeous photos (and I really mean gorgeous!), including one of an old Citroen (sadly not a 2CV but you can’t have everything, can you?)

The highlight for me, I do have to say, are all the posts about boules.

Missing You Already

Reviewed – March 13, 2010

Missing you already is Mya’s blog about her life in the French Pyrenees and starts off in April 2007 with the words… “It’s all been a terrible mistake. I didn’t mean to end up here, clinging onto the side of a sheep infested mountain. My nostrils are used to the metallic fumes of diesel, they can’t cope with the organic pongs rife around here. Everyone is laughing at my Liberty print wellies and I’d tell them to sod off if I could only find my dictionary.”

Things can’t have been that bad because by May 2007, Mya is openly talking about peeing in public (and at the post office) as we can see from… Embarrassed, Moi?

And, before long, she’s talking about French Flashers and snail porn in Any old excuse to write lots of filth!

Mom in France

Reviewed – April 24, 2010

Mom in France is Karin’s Blog.

Karin is the mom of two boys, Boo & Little Guy and lives on the French Riviera. As Karin explains in her About Page, Mom in France chronicles her mostly fun, sometimes bewildering, adventures of an expat parenting two bi-lingual, bi-cultural kids.

So, let’s dive in and see what it has in store for us….

Karin sensibly divides up her blog into six easy to understand categories.

Delving into Work/ Life Balance I found a host of good articles; the two that stood out for me though were… I Hate Mornings (about how the arrival of Boo has changed Karin’s early starts) and The Sixty Second Rant (which is about… umm….. well, ranting for sixty seconds – as one does!)

Muppet Me

Reviewed – January 9 2011

Muppet Me! is the delightful blog of Zzie who, not only happy to blog in English, also blogs in Japanese!

For some strange reason I think it’ll be the English version that I shall review!

Zzie says of herself… “Thanks for visiting. Moved to sunny Cannnes, France in Nov 07 after living in England for about 13 years.I write things happens in France and some memories in the past. Feel free to leave comments…. hope you enjoy!”

Well, Zzie, I’m sure we will!

Saying goodbye to England…

Obviously, having spent 13 years in England (I wonder what she did to deserve that? You’d get a shorter sentence for mass murder!), there are a few things that are difficult to find in the South of France.

Things like Ribena, Hellmans mayo, baked beans etc.

In Things I miss about England Zzie finds that she’s in good company.

The Rolling Stones also missed a few things when they were encamped there in the 70s.

And Keith Richard didn’t like the tea!

Nice Daily Photo

Nicer in Nice

Reviewed – January 15, 2011

Nicer in Nice is Vics’ blog and is described by her as… “The everyday adventures of an English girl living in the South of France.”

The blog starts in March 2008 with a post where Vics promises to “go off and rack my brains for witty things to write about in the coming posts.”

Did she succeed?

Well, let’s find out!

The birthdays and hen nights bits….

Although I was always told never to speculate about a girl’s (and certainly never to ask her!), Vics’ is not shy and proudly informs us that she is Dirty Thirty!

Now I can’t actually remember being particularly dirty when I was thirty but perhaps I was and just didn’t notice?

For Vics, the celebration of this special birthday included her friends from England and Norway, plus my parents and brother coming out to Nice to celebrate with her.

Oh My Word! – STACEY – I am an aspiring photographer, world traveler, and Jesus follower, living in Nice, France. My husband is more than I could have asked for and we have the smartest, cutest dog in the world. Really. Life is good!

Ooh La La English Demoiselle

Reviewed – December 18, 2010

Ooh La La English Demoiselle is Claire’s blog.

Claire says that she is.. “an English lady who moved to the South of France with her man to embark on new improved way of life. My boyfriend and I met in England in 2008, we danced together and then fell in love and now we are living in the South of France (Dan’s home town). I am currently learning French at language school and am enjoying getting to know people, the culture; every day brings new experiences..So far I am enjoying being une femme au foyer (mais sans enfants) xx”

I like the two kisses at the end – you see, she even bises her blog!

That shows class!

And you shouldn’t be surprised at that because this is a classy blog!

organic living in the Provence – source of things organic in the Provence, Haut-Var, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Our House in Provence

Reviewed – July 30, 2010

Well, it’s lunchtime and I’m hungry (so, what’s new, I hear you ask yourself!) and thus it is without any apology at all that I am going to review a foodie blog!

The one that I have chosen is Our House in Provence and is by Michel Augsburger who is the co-owner of a popular French bistro called Bistro Des Copains, located in the charming town of Occidental in Western Sonoma County California. In 2008 after searching for several years and visiting many houses in person and through the internet, Michel and his wife Shirley bought a 17th century stone village house in the medieval village of Sablet which is in the Vaucluse region of Provence France.

Starters……

The blog starts, quite logically, with First Memories of France. Here, Michel recounts his early memories of visiting his relatives in France.

Parfum de Lavande

Reviewed – October 27, 2010

Parfum de Lavande is Airelle’s bi-lingual blog about her life in beautiful Provence.

Now, I was going to do another Brittany blog to day but it is far too cold for that!

Bluddy Freezing would be too kind a phrase for the freezing weather that we’re experiencing in my little part of rural Brittany!

Airelle says of herself… “I live with my dog, Nina, between a few villages of Provence , looking for my own little piece of secret garden. I love countryside, peace and quiet, colours of flowers, scents of wet wood and grass. I am passionate about herbs, reading, writing, photography, old lace and vieilles pierres.”

Airelle starts her blog in December 2008 with the words… “Bonjour à tous! Hello everyone!”

Now, isn’t that nice?

Far better than all those Brittany blogs that dive straight in with… “It’s bluddy freezing, the pig’s fallen into the septic tank and I’ve just spent 3 hours dragging him out and those lingerie wearing nuns are driving me mad driving up and down the lane in their 2CV!”

So what does Airelle get up to in Provence?

Pétanque & Pastis – Antibes ~ Côte d’Azur ~ France ~ Europe

Poum

Reviewed – February 8, 2010

Poum! is screamish’s blog about, amongst many other things, being a stay at home mother of twins in Provence.

In this blog there are plenty of posts about Reincarnation, Herpes and Me, How Other People Live and being Snowed In.

There’s also the obligatory post about Men in Minskirts (all the best blogs have that post!)

You can tell that screamish really Loves Living in France even though she agrees, quite rightly, that Peter Mayle has got a lot to answer for!

Provence from Fayence

Provence Tayl’s – David Taylor – After 25 years selling houses in Surrey we decided it was time for a new challenge! We moved to Provence in 2006 with the desire to run ‘a gite business’ and so embarked on our search. Having been lucky enough to find some land close to the village we then set about gaining planning and building! Whilst doing this we purchased Les Cypres which we spent a year living in and refurbishing. Finally we gained planning to build our house with the two attached gites,Les Oliviers & Cerisiers,and the second house, Le Chene. The construction period was just under two years which we spent project managing,decorating, sourcing furnishings etc before moving in ready for our first guests in May 2009.We now have our two three bedroom houses each with private swimming pools and two gites which share own own pool. Saturdays is changeover day, always hectic whilst during the week we maintain the gardens and pools and do the laundry! Most importantly we try and ensure our guests are happy. Our season typically runs from April to October,so during our off season we can indulge in our passion for exploring other parts of the world as well as spending time enjoying the beauty of living in Provence.

Provo2Provence

Reviewed – September 15, 2010

I’ve been following Provo2Provence for quite a while now and I’ve been waiting patiently to be able to review them.

The only problem was that I had to wait for them to move to France first!

Provo2Provence is the blog of Mike and Toni who are Americans who have lived in the Turks and Caicos Islands for 13 years. They have two daughters, Savannah (10) and Lindsey (6) are are making plans to live in Aix en Provence, France for a while. Lets take a look and see what they get up to….

It all begins with a post cleverly entitled… The Journey Begins.

This shows Mike and Toni thinking about the possibility of moving to France.

Ramblings of a bare faced gardener – I have come to live in a beautiful part of the world & I’m changing direction … I want to be a gardener & a crafter.

Rapp Family Aixtreme Life – This blog is about our lives in Aix en Provence, France. Some of it is about church planting, some of it is about kids, but mostly it’s just life as it happens here.

Real Provence

Sainte Maxime living

Sara in Le Petit Village

Reviewed – February 6, 2010

Sara in Le Petit Village is the blog of Sara Louise who fell in love and followed the Boyfriend back to his little village in Provence to live happily ever after.

Just one little problem… she couldn’t speak French.

Oh well, c’est la vie!

In this blog she mingles with the locals, explores the domestic arts and maybe learns a little French.

Although the blog has only been going for a few months, it is packed full of interesting (and occasionally worrying) posts such as…. The End of the World, Holy Goat! and the wonderful… The Mushroom Incident!

If you only read one Life in France blog post ever again, for the rest of your life, make sure it is that last one!

So Sweet, So Good

Sky Machines

Reviewed – November 25, 2010

Sky Machines is Brooke’s blog about her life in Marseilles.

Brook says of herself… “My name is Brooke. I am 23 and I like animals, art, and advertising. In fourth grade I wrote “Brooke is Dangerously Special” on all my notebooks. Now I keep it a secret. I’m moving to France because I hate nickels and I can’t stand using them anymore.”

I suspect that the nickel hating thing isn’t the whole reason that Brook moved to France and I’m determined to find out the rest of the story.

So, without further ado…

Tanya in Transition

Reviewed – September 6, 2010

Tanya in Transition is the blog of Tanya (and you know, I’ve only just realised how French that sounds…. shouldn’t it be This is Tanya’s Blog rather than C’est Le Blog de Tanya?) – anyway it’s Tanya’s blog and Tanya comes from Toronto and now lives in Nice.

Now, I did (just for a second, and only for a second, mind you!) wonder if I should warn Tanya, as she has only recently arrived here, about some of the more wilder elements of the expat community in France.

But, upon seeing the comments left on her About Page, I realised that it was too late!

Mixing with the wrong crowd…

She’d already met (in an electronic sense) people like Piglet in France, Sara in Le Petit Village and Paris (im)perfect (although I do have to admit that Sion, the perfectly wonderful person who is paris (im)perfect, is pretty well behaved compared to the first two!) – thus, no hope for her!

The Aix-Files – Thanks for checking out The Aix-Files, my blog postings inspired by my year in and around Aix-en-Provence. The spot includes travel tips, discoveries of local food and wine, recipes, cultural events, interviews and historical tidbits about Southern France. Enjoy!

The Modern Trobadors – “Trobador” comes from langue d’oc, the Old Provençal language. It means “finder or researcher” and is likely the root of “troubadour,” a strolling minstrel in Southern France in the 12th c. The Modern Trobadors research all things Provence: its world-renowned food and wine, its writers and artists, its tremendous tourist appeal…. From the prosaic to the profound, the practical to the quixotic, we provide news, information, advice, opinion, and, we hope, a wee bit of inspiration.

The Provence Post

Reviewed – January 22, 2010

The Provence Post is Julie Mautner’s blog about, surprisingly enough, Provence.

Julie is a freelance food and travel writer living and working in Provence since 1999. Her articles appear in magazines and on websites in the U.S. and the U.K. such as Conde Nast Traveller UK, Travel & Leisure, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine and Epicurious.com.

She is currently at work on her first book, to be published by Random House/Clarkson Potter in 2011. Before moving to Provence she was executive editor of Food Arts Magazine in New York for ten years.

Julie admits to being crazy about food, wine and travel…photography, art and beauty…architecture and decor…hanging out with kids…learning to garden…reading, reading, reading…and being near or on the water. I’m fine with all of that but I also like reading and am not too sure about kids!

The South of France Blog

The Walls in France

Reviewed – August 13, 2010

The Walls in France is a blog that has nothing to do with the sort of walls you find around French Prisons and French Mental Institutions!

It doesn’t even have anything to do with those walls that are built in public places, throughout French towns and cities, just for Frenchmen to pee against!

No, this blog has more to do with the Walls (yes, Jean and Bucky from South Carolina, those Walls) who came to France (first to Lyon and then Provence) in August of 2009 and have, so far, successfully avoided suffering the indignity of having any Frenchmen peeing on them!

Or have they?

Well to find that out, you’ll have to either read this little review or visit their blog.

This Provencal Life

Reviewed – June 16, 2010

This Provençal Life is Rachel Pommier’s blog and details snippets of her life running a bed & breakfast with her French winemaker husband and their daughters in the south of France.

So, what’s on the menu?

Well, if it’s Goats Cheese that you’re after, you could far worse than try some Goats Cheese that ‘Piques’.

Not only does that post explain, in detail, the production of this spicy goats cheese but, there’s also a recipe for Spinach and Cheese tart – well worth taking a look at.

Three Years in Provence

Reviewed – June 16, 2010

Three Years in Provence is Sarah’s blog about life in the Provence whilst Phil (her husband) is assigned to the French Navy’s Helicopter Squadron 35F at the Base AeroNavale Hyères where he specialises in Search and Rescue (SAR) as well as being kind of the gopher for the French Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet.

Now, did you know that on French helicopters is that the main rotor turns the opposite way as American helicopters. Apparently, this actually makes a difference while flying – certain control inputs are opposite of what they would be in an American helicopter!

Not a lot of people know that!

Throw Your Arms Around Me

Reviewed – June 13, 2010

Throw Your Arms Around Me is Bec’s blog about her life in the South of France. As she describes herself, on her about page, better that I ever could (mainly because I’ve never met her!), I’ll use her own words…

“I’m an Australian lass living in the South of France with my crazy, but lovable marathon running husband. I write about the various things I’m learning about French culture, my traveling experiences and a lot about food and books. Basically I talk crap, tell stories that I think are hilarious and post things that amuse or delight me. Consider yourself forewarned!”

Well, after an entry like that all I can say is.. “Lead on McDuff, Lead on!”

And damn’d be him that first cries, ‘Hold, enough!’

So what can we expect from a self confessed crazy Aussie lass living in the South of France?

Well, If Butterboobies is anything to go by we’re probably in for quite laugh!

Tom Cupples’ Riviera Blog

Reviewed – April 1, 2010

Tom Cupples’ Riviera Blog is the blog of, surprisingly enough, Tom Cupples, a Scotsman who lives in the wonderful village of Tourrettes Sur Loup 25 minutes inland from the hustle and bustle of the Cote d’Azur resorts of Nice and Cannes.

The postings range from The Logic of the French (where Tom attempts to work out how his son can get his moped to the test centre so that he can pass his test so that he can legally drive his moped on the road to the test centre….) Well, it’s probably better if you read that in Tom’s own words.

There is the obligatory post about The Difference Between Men and Women which is followed up with a tribute to Sir Bobby Robson.

Tongue in Cheek

Reviewed – May 5, 2010

I’ve been meaning to review Tongue in Cheek for a long time.

The thing that put it to the top of the list was this post about Provence to Paris. Isn’t that a stunning Citroen 2CV? Doesn’t wanting that car show that the Tongue in Cheek’s author, Corey, has incredible taste?

Mind you, if only I’d know about his post about French Lingerie I’d have been here far sooner!

And buggggggger meeee… but there’s even a post about Wild Mushrooms! And another!

I was just recovering from all that excitement (with a glass of Ricard) when I discovered A Revolution of Pleasure…. Living in France – a post that has not one BUT TWO pictures of Citroen 2CVs! And they’re blue! Everyone knows that the blue ones go faster!

Two Maisons – The chance to live in France? Who could say no! 12 years ago opportunity came knocking and our family packed home and bags and started a new life in a small French village. I left a design business behind but my passion for houses and antiques traveled with me. There was a brand new vocabulary to explore: Brocante, Antiquaire, Deballage, Vide Grenier, Puces…. The love of old things got me up before dawn to have the first picks at dealers-only markets, and sent me on cross country searches for a rumored new source.

Vines on a Solex

Reviewed – December 5, 2009

Let me be really up-front about this… this guy is raving bonkers (well, he is Australian so that should explain it, I suppose!)

He likes wine; nothing wrong with that. And he’s got a Solex. Well, that’s almost a motorbike.

However, in an attempt to answer some questions about the French wine industry he, in a pragmatic Australian way, decided to get to the bottom of the issue…… by riding on his vintage Solex motorbike from Chablis in the north to Sablet in Provence!

On route he planned to talk to winemakers and see if he could “feel” what they are talking about and, in the process, also hoped to discover that the road less travelled does make all the difference and that you don’t have to be a millionaire or a wine geek to enjoy great wines.

X-en-Provence

You had me at bonjour

Reviewed – October 6, 2010

You had me at bonjour… is still a fairly young blog but one, I feel, with great promise!

The owner/author of this blog is an Australian girl called Kirsty.

Now, I like reviewing blogs by Australian girlies living in France (and ones by Kiwi girlies too!)

Perhaps this is because they seem to have a different perspective to Life in France.

Or, perhaps it’s because (although it is never good to generalise) they tend to be slightly mad (in the nicest possible way, you understand!)

I mean, just look at Mary at L’antipodeuse or April at Le Franco Phoney (as a hatter…) or Gabrielle at Diary of an Adult Runaway.

See what I mean?

And I’m certainly not going to draw your attention to Becs at Throw Your Arms Around Me or Poulette (possible the worst of the lot – it’s hard to tell, really!)

Because there are some things that you just don’t do in polite company!

And whilst Vicki Archer at French Essence seems quite normal at the moment, you can never tell what is lurking beneath the surface?

And I’m sure I’ve forgotten many, many Antipodean bloggers in France but I’m equally sure that they’ll mail me to let me know!

Anyway, let’s get on with what I really should be doing, and that’s reviewing You had me at bonjour…

Sorry, Kirsty, I got sort of sidetracked there – you know how it is; one pint too many of Castlemaine XXXX and your brain tends to dissolve into a slushy mush.

Well, mine does, anyway!

Let’s start with some places to see in Provence…

Zola the Rhodesian Ridgeback Girl – A Big Dog’s Life on the French Riviera


If you know of any other blogs from English speaking expats living in Provence, please let me know and I’ll add them to this page.

And if you decide to visit any of the blogs shown on this page, why not leave a comment and say hello? It can sometimes be a lonely business (or, rather, hobby) being a blogger and an unexpected comment or email can really put a sparkle on the day!

All the best

 Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

3 Comments

  • By Ashley Davidson-Fisher, September 10, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    Hi Keith- I’d like to add my blog if I could :)

    http://backyardprovence.wordpress.com

    Thanks,
    Ashley

  • By Keith Eckstein, September 10, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    Ashley

    Your blog is on the watch list (I read every post – promise!) but I haven’t got round to reviewing it yet. Once it’s reviewed, it goes on the sidebar.

    All the best

    Keith

    P.S. I am rather impressed at the large number of 2CV photos you’ve got on your blog – if only more people were like you!

  • By Ashley, September 22, 2011 @ 1:19 am

    Hi Keith,

    Thanks for putting me on the review list! I appreciate it greatly!

    I’ve gotten a wealth of info and a host of bloggers that I love to read thanks to you.

    Ashley

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