Issue 199 – Very Vendée

With the festivities of Noël and New Year in the rear-view mirror, we can all start planning our next trip to La Belle France with eager anticipation – our writers have been sojourning in all corners of the Hexagon to bring you inspirational holiday ideas. Alongside undisputed classic destinations such as Dordogne (lesser-known beautiful villages), Normandy (Impressionist appeal aplenty) and Vendée (the ultimate outdoorsy département for the summer), we also bring you fresh, outside-the-box travel tips including a wealth of great places to explore just an hour from Paris in the Ile-de-France; and Jura’s unheralded gem of a city break, Dole. France’s gustatory offerings are nicely served up in the form of liqueur Bénédictine’s tasty, if secretive, history; we look at how traditional regional pastries are now firmly de rigueur in the most chic of Parisian pâtisserie stores; and we provide some super recipes including a nifty orange blossom twist for your crème brûlée. There is lots of food for thought, too: we examine French film industry financing – a subject brought sharply into widescreen focus at Cannes last year – and blush a little at the history of a certain racy Marquis de Sade manuscript. All this plus your favourite regulars: language learning pages, best reader photos, prize crossword, recipes, What’s on Guide, restaurant reviews and much more.