While I have scarcely left home this month, I’ve spent hours and hours frolicking around France. With so many places around the globe having to close their doors, the world is finding creative ways to welcome us… virtually. Turns out, this is a wonderful time to travel!
Last week, I had brunch in Marie Antoinette’s jardin. Oui! I prepared a pair of salmon croquettes and a buttery hollandaise sauce and strolled around the Château de Versailles. This month, you are invited to skip the lines and tour the 700 room palace and its magical gardens, for free. Whether you’ve been there before or it’s still on your “to see” list, I highly recommend you accept the Queen’s invitation and step behind her iconic golden gates. C’est magnifique!
Sharon Santoni, Editor In Chief of the trés chic My French Country Home magazine, has invited her readers to take a guided tour of the The Loire Valley. This picturesque garden region in central France is best known for the river it's named after, impressive châteaux, and wine! Pack a plat du fromage, a fragrant Sauvingnon Blanc, and step out onto your lanai to enjoy March/April issues for free. This “page turning” tour pairs well with a Madeleine Peyroux playlist. Bon voyage!
If you are a Francophile of faith, this is a good time to worship… in France. On my last visit to Rueil-Malmaison, I was moved by the Church of Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul. This charming village, 13 miles west of Paris, is home to Château de Malmaison where the great love story of Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte played out. Josephine lies buried there today. “Wouldn’t it be lovely to actually attend a service in this historique cathedral,” I thought. Well, here’s our chance! The French are also in quarantine, so most religious houses are streaming services live on social media. With a simple Facebook clique, you can attend mass at Notre Dame, hear the rabbis at the 500 year old Jewish Temples of Le Marais, or stand in solice at Le Grande Mosque in the 5th Arrondissement.
Tip: French clocks are set 6 hrs ahead of EST. Plan accordingly.
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Dive headfirst into your Rosetta Stone French language program. If we’re going to emerge slightly less glamorous, we may as well emerge slightly more interesting.
Support your local winery. Create a wine order list, share it with a group of friends, and host a stay-at-home-tasting-soirée via ZOOM.
Get creative, mes cheries. Your mind is free. Your mind can go anywhere. No passport required.