If you’re looking for know-how on France you’re spoilt for choice. For a first hand perspective though, you’ll generally find sites blogging about France as the most insightful. But there are plenty and covering myriad topics too. From French wine to top tips for a holiday in Paris, discovering hidden corners of Brittany and French for beginners…
But how do you know which to bother reading? How do you sort the great blogs from the mediocre? The good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you and sifted through lots of popular blogs about France in English to come up with the top 10 blogs about France. Happy browsing!
Discovering Paris with a foodie
The author of Chocolate & Zucchini, Clotilde Dusoulier is a native Parisian with a serious love of food. Her blog combines foodie tips for France generally (we liked her post on how to buy cheese like the French) and her own food discoveries in Paris. Her list of the 5 best croissants in the City of Love is well worth bookmarking for your next city break in Paris.
Her blog also includes a good pinch of traditional French cuisine with lots of easy recipes using fresh produce and many are vegan-friendly. Dedicated to delicious French and Parisian food, Clotilde also includes colourful and mouth-watering photos of her creations.
Do France this way
Says Marcus Smith the owner of France This Way, a site he started when he moved to the Dordogne from the UK. The blog section offers useful information on life in France (some of it very specialist advice such as how to learn to drive in France). And the rest of the site comes jam-packed with guides to French regions, facts about France and a useful travel distances section so you can see how long it will take to get from one beautiful French place to another. And for a bit of fun, France This Way includes some top 10 lists. We particularly liked the Top 10 infamous French criminals!
Everything France and French
The award-winning blog The Good Life France covers a range of things French from Champagne to typical traditions and includes an interesting section about expats in France. Outside the official blog section of the website, you’ll find a treasure trove of information about France – there’s practical advice on aspects of everyday life and posts about things to do in France. All the main tourist regions are featured here so you can read about the market in Dijon, find out where to see lavender in Provence, see photos of the Loire Valley in winter… And you can subscribe to The Good Life France weekly newsletter.
French one word at a time
This blog won’t teach you the basics but it does give you a new and interesting word in French every day. In each daily post Kristin, editor of French Word-a-Day, teaches you how to pronounce it (via her husband Jean Marc’s audio download) and then she puts it into context via an anecdotal story about life in France. You get to share the funny, sad and unusual things that happen to Kristi, her two bilingual children and her retriever Smokey. There’s also a cookery section with easy recipes and yet more useful expressions. And of course, “ça ne mange pas de pain” (it doesn’t cost a thing”!
French made easy
This blog is part of the umbrella about.com education site and it’s an amazing language resource jam-packed with tips and tricks for getting to grips with French. From basic conjugations of irregular verbs to the complex subjunctive tense via the four different ways to say “yes” in French, this blog makes French so much easier. The blog is written and compiled by Brittany-based Camille whose sister site French Today also has a useful blog section plus a weekly newsletter with tips on learning French.
Mouthwatering pastries from San Francisco to Paris
Although David Lebovitz trained as a pastry chef in San Francisco, his blog about cooking took off when he moved to Paris in 2004. His website offers foodie tips for Paris – his long list of recommended places to eat in the city is excellent and gets frequent updates so you know the information is the latest. The recipes posted on the blog include typical French creations such as sables Bretons alongside Texan staples like braised short ribs. David’s cooking mostly caters for those with a sweet tooth and the long list of recipes focuses mainly on sweets and pastries. In the Paris section watch the mouth-watering video David made when he visited Jacques Genin’s chocolate shop and kitchen.
Not on the Bordeaux postcards
Tim Pike’s blog Invisible Bordeaux discovers those places in and around Bordeaux that don’t feature on postcards. It goes beyond the usual tourist sights in Bordeaux and aims to reveal the real city and surroundings. But the blog doesn’t forget the essential things to see – these are covered too – and it makes some good suggestions on what to see if you want to get off the beaten track. Discover Bordeaux’s version of the Statue of Liberty, Wallace fountains and and WW2 U-boat pen. Invisible Bordeaux includes useful interactive maps and self-guided walks, available as pdfs or as apps for iPhones.
Posts from Provence
When you’re planning a holiday somewhere it’s always good to find out what’s on and if your holiday is in Provence this is the blog for you. American Julie Mautner is based in St Remy de Provence where she has lived since 1999 and her blog shares events in Provence and pieces of local news that are difficult to find elsewhere. Each blog post begins with a nice display of photos to give you a feel for the topic before going on to give you the information. The Provence Post also provides useful information for visitors such as a list of tourist offices and a calendar of French holidays for the year.
Those Parisian secrets
As discovered by American Heather who hails from Arizona but has lived in the City of Light since 1995. Secrets of Paris takes you to the Paris off the beaten tourist track and uncovers anecdotes and hidden sights while giving you a lot of insider knowledge of the city. The blog posts include lots of photos and occasional video clips making them fun and easy to read. Another great feature for the Paris visitor is Heather’s Paris Resource Guide where you can find her thoughts on the best restaurants in Paris, hotels and sightseeing as well as more unusual topics such as running in Paris and Naughty Paris (ladies only!). And if you’re on holiday in Paris check out the monthly calendar packed with things to do and see.
No list of blogs about France would be complete without one dedicated to French wine. In Wine Terroirs freelance photographer and wine aficionado Bertrand Celce visits vineyards and wine cellars throughout the main wine producing regions in France and then writes about them. His regular Wine News section reviews wines and offers interesting anecdotes such as when he bought a bottle of very, very vintage Chateau Kirwan at a flea market in Paris for 2 euros. As you’d expect, there are lots of photos and we especially like his range of pictures that take you from planting the vines to trying the wine at the end of the process.
So there you have it – at least 10 more reasons you’ll be salivating just by browsing the internet! And just a teeny bit more incentive to get yourself to France pretty quick…!