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

1 year ago

Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Saint-Omer Cathedral ©

Saint-Omer Cathedral © A-S Flament Notre Dame The former Cathedral of Notre Dame is a stunning, flamboyant 13th century Gothic church and inside is even more impressive. It houses the tomb of Saint Omer, medieval funeral slabs, a several centuries old statue of Christ and a collection of paintings including The Descent from The Cross by Rubens. There are several ornate marble side chapels inside one of which hangs an RAF regimental flag, a reminder that the aerodrome at Longuenesse on the outskirts of Saint-Omer is the spiritual home of the RAF, the successor to the Royal Flying Corps who had their HQ here during WWI. The Cathedral also houses a mindboggling astronomical clock dating to 1588, one of the oldest in France, and a vast 300 year-old 115-pipe organ, a listed historic monument, which if you are lucky enough to hear played, will leave you with a lasting memory. Saint-Omer Cathedral, to the left Louis XIV's doors under the astronomical clock 28 | The Good Life France

Palais de Cathédrale Around the great Cathedral are beautiful mansion houses including the Palais de la Cathédrale at 12 Rue Henri Dupuis. Owner Jean-Luc Montois has spent the last few years restoring it to look as it did two hundred years ago when it was lived in by a local merchant. Although Jean-Luc lives there, he has opened it to the public and to enter is like stepping back in time, an extraordinary, exquisite home that is filled with wonderful treasures that he has collected for many decades. It’s so extraordinary in fact, that we’ll bring you a whole article about it in the next issue of the magazine. Book a tour via Saint-Omer tourist office A sumptious Theatre The locals affectionally call the exquisite domed building which dominates the Place du Marechal Foch - Le Moulin à café, the coffee grinder. Completed in 1840 on the site of the former 14th century Alderman’s Hall, it became the Town Hall complete with an opulent Italian-style theatre which gave the local bigwigs bragging rights. The theatre closed in 1973 and for 45 years was hidden from sight. In 2018, after restoration, it reopened to the public, complete with the original stage machinery. In its day it attracted some of the most well-known performers of the time including Edith Piaf and Luis Mariano. Under an ornate ceiling, the circular operastyle theatre has three balconies and private boxes. Book tickets via Ancient Library From the outside, the municipal library in Saint-Omer does little to tempt, a modern building of the sort found in every town in every country. But – go inside, head to the first floor and discover the wood-panelled former Jesuit Chapel library filled with thousands of ancient books some of which date to the Palais de la Cathedrale entrance Shakespeare First folio © Y CADART 7th century. Their collection includes a first volume Gutenberg Bible, less than 50 of the original 180 copies thought to be printed have survived. Not long ago, an eagle-eyed librarian dusting the shelves spotted a Shakespeare first Folio. Those two books alone are worth some million. The Good Life France | 29