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

11 months ago

Winter 2022

  • Text
  • Giveaways
  • Recipes
  • Christmas
  • France
  • Vineyards
  • Villages
  • Medieval
  • Provence
Discover France’s magical winter wonderland destinations - from the French Alps to the French Riviera. Read about the biggest bûche de Noël, Christmas log cake, in the world and see Paris when it snows. Head to the sweet village of Flavigny in Burgundy where the film Chocolat was filmed and to Rouen, the Ardèche region and Côtes du Rhône. Go gaga for gorgeous Gascony and feel festive at the colourful Christmas market of Metz, Lorraine.Toulouse, feel good films, recipes, guides and giveaways…

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may be out of bounds to visitors, there are stalagmites and stalactites aplenty at the magnificent Aven d’Orgnac, classified Grand Site de France. Also at the Grotte de Saint Marcel, where you can book an underground wine tasting without the sensory distractions experienced above ground. Caving, climbing and canoeing enthusiasts flock to Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, riverside hub of the local outdoor leisure industry. Don’t miss the natural rock arch that spans the river, an Instagram moment for the many kayakers who cruise beneath, as well as for those who drive the Corniche above the spectacular, winding Ardèche Gorges. Cycle tourism is big in Ardèche too. Not just for lycra-clad enthusiasts, but family groups too through initiatives like La Dolce Via, a level cycle and walking route that runs for 75km along a former railway track in the Eyrieux valley. Many small hotels and guest houses offer bikes to guests or you can hire locally, including e-bikes. And many are part of the Acceuil Vélo network that offer bike storage and cleaning facilities to pedalpowered tourists. You’ll find every kind of accommodation from chateau B&Bs to farmhouse hotels in Ardèche. Even treehouses at Peaugres Safari Park. But the most popular style of holiday accommodation ere is the humble tent. Or sometimes not quite so humble. Here you can be one with nature without roughing it, given the choice of camping or glamping, yurts, bubbles and log cabins. Light show on the basins inside Grotte Saint Marcel d'Ardeche Meyras All this fresh air makes you hungry, but Ardèche is justifiably proud of both its gastronomy and its less formal ‘bistronomy’. Chefs are passionate about local produce, in particular the AOP Ardèche chestnut. Staple food of the area for centuries, Ardèche is France’s No 1 chestnut producer, cultivating 65 different varieties that are sold fresh, dried, and as chestnut flour. Gen up at the Castanea discovery centre in Joyeuse. (And see our fabulous chestnut puree recipe on page 113). And of course good food deserves good wine. Ardèche is home to many high quality vintages that combine full flavour with minimal food miles. Famous names include Crozes Hermitage and Saint-Joseph, Cornas and Saint-Péray, Côtes du Rhône and Côte de Vivarais. Look out for the Vignobles et Découvertes wine tourism label for vineyards that offer tours, tastings and various innovative experiences to enthusiasts. Then raise a glass or two to Ardèche – underground or overground, this rural department really will amaze you. For more information, visit The Good Life France podcast Everything you want to know about France and more... 34 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 35