The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

2 weeks ago

Autumn 2023

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  • Normandy
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  • Bordeaux
Brimming with fabulous features and stunning photos, inspiring destination guides, scrumptious recipes, history, culture and much, much more: Discover Provence, Ariege, Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy and Bordeaux, explore southern and northern France, secret places and exquisite castles. Bringing France to you - wherever you are.

After your visit, hot

After your visit, hot foot it to the Comptoir des Loges, the oldest restaurant in town. It has a zinc counter and glistening bar which looks like they’ve been lifted straight out of a Renoir painting. Try ravioles du Dauphiné – a cheese and parsley-filled pasta speciality loved by the locals since the 15th century when the recipe was introduced by Italian charcoal burners working in the area. Shoes fit for a queen The museum showcases the history of footwear, and the collection of 20,000 shoes is astounding (though not all are on show), ranging from ancient Egyptian and Roman sandals to eye-wateringly high 49cm high platformed shoes from medieval Venice, Queen Catherine de Medici’s silk shoes, legendary French footballer Kylian Mbappé’s unique football boots and Laboutin’s delicate glass slippers made for the release of the 2012 Disney Cinderella film, plus a regal pair of sexy stilettos created for the Golden Jubilee of British Queen Elizabeth II. Made by Patrick Cox, a pair were sent to the Queen though she never wore them as far as is known. The collection is fascinating, surprisingly fun, and even quite emotional seeing shoes of the type your mum wore, or that you wore through the decades that bring back memories, the Dr Martens loved by punk rockers and rebels in the 70’s, and shoes that make you think of Princess Diana. The collection charts the changes in fashion and is full of fascinating facts. Details: Romans-sur-Isère has another claim to fame – its where the first strike was held. When shoe company owners upgraded their factory and machinery, they cut the women workers wages by 25% to help pay for the cost. All of the workers went on strike - and won. It gave the locals a reputation for being strong willed that has lasted to this day. I can tell you that they may well be that, but they Bernard, the 'wizard of shoe making' at Cité de la chaussure are also very friendly and welcoming and have an ethos of solidarity. This is totally reflected in the town’s other must-visit – the Cité de la Chaussure. Alas the shoe industry here followed the pattern of the wool and silk industries; cheaper imports bought an end to the shoe industry here. But a local group aiming to create new jobs and preserve the shoe heritage bought up old machinery, trained artisan shoemakers and now create shoes that are unique and fabulous. Don’t leave without a visit to see the shoes being made and the fabulous onsite store where you can buy shoes, leather goods, and the most gorgeous umbrellas. Comptoir des Loges Then walk off the calories at the gorgeous gardens of Erik Boraja just 10km from Romans. This Japanese and Mediterranean inspired garden located between the Isère valley and the Vercors massif is astonishingly beautiful and a zen paradise. Art of chocolate at Valrhona Tain-L’Hermitage – wine AND chocolate! A short journey south will bring you to the town of Tain-L’Hermitage, named, according to legend, after a French knight called Gaspard de Stérimberg, who on returning from the Crusades in 1224, decided to live the life of a hermit on a local hill. He built a chapel on the site of a former Roman temple, which he called the Hermitage. There is still a chapel there, though it dates to the mid-1800s, and you can visit it via a 30-minute walk/climb from the town. Well the good lord must have smiled down on the town because the hills are covered with luscious vines that make the most delicious wines. And within stone throwing distance is Erik Boraja jardin zen the Cite du Chocolat Valrhona where you can learn about the whole bean to bar process – did you know that there are sommeliers of chocolate? (I want that job). And even better – you’ll enjoy a chocolate tasting. Just across the road, follow this up with a wine tasting at M. Chapoutier and visit their vineyards on that legendary hill. Harvesting is done by hand here and it’s easy to see why – you need to be part mountain-goat to pick grapes on those slopes! 22 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 23