June 29, 2015

Anglo-French Wars

The centuries of Anglo-French wars are overwhelming, even for those most dedicated to the subject. Battles for geographic territory and ideological control started in Roman times. In one short post, it would be impossible to provide sufficient detail on this lengthy history of conflict. Instead, here is a list of a few of the famous engagements: 1066 – The Battle of Hastings – the Norman conquest of England,  by William the Conqueror 1337 – 1453 The Hundred Years’ War – technically 116 years and numerous battles 1755 – 1763 The Seven Years’ War – the fight over control of North America which the British won 1779 – 1783 The American Revolution – the French aided the American rebel troops in forcing a British surrender 1792 – 1802 The French Revolution – the British were opposed to the anti-monarchical ideals of the French 1803 – 1815  The Napoleonic Wars – in 1810 the French Empire at its broadest reach, then Napoleon was defeated And so on… (more…)


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June 22, 2015

Pétanque Provence’s Other Religion

The game of pétanque, sometimes called boules is a form of religion in Provence. Most villages have an official or unofficial boules pitch. The more elaborate centres will even have a “club house” offering refreshments. The word pétanque is Provencal in origin from the word petanca, which means “feet anchored”. The game in its’ present day format started in La Ciotat (on the Mediterranean coast) in 1907. Other similar games are bocce, bowls and horseshoes. (more…)


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June 15, 2015

Hiking Les Gorges de Régalon in Provence

The idea for this hike came from a friend at the International Hiking group of Provence. The twosome needed to find a short hike that was not too far from the house, so they would have enough time to get the car to the mechanic. Nutmeg consulted her “Must Do” list for Provencal activities; it was February so a day at the beach was not rising to the top of the chart. Not too far down the list, was this walk, les Gorges de Régalon a short, challenging hike that was close to home. (Walking in Provence West Guidebook). (more…)


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June 8, 2015

Top Reasons to Explore Sete

Recently, Nutmeg introduced her friend Nancy McGee the founder and visionary behind Absolutely Southern France. You can read the full article here. Nancy moved to Sète, the ‘Venice of Southern France’ after 20-years in Aix-en-Provence. Here, is how Nancy describes the two areas: (more…)


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June 1, 2015

26 Discoveries about Travel in Greece

Regular Ginger and Nutmeg readers know by now that Nutmeg cannot resist creating an ABC list for a new destination. The exercise allows her to discover some unusual facts that may help her out some day when she is playing Trivial Pursuit. Enjoy a voyage to Greece and learn a few things about this remarkable country in through the next 26 letters. (more…)


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May 25, 2015

Couscous takes over French Favourites

Forget magret de canard and moules frites – couscous served with its savoury slow-cooked stews is popular in French cuisine. It was voted France’s 3rd favourite meal in a study conducted for Vie Pratique Gourmand (2011). There are references to couscous consumption in France that date as far back as 1630 (Toulon) and 1699 (Brittany). (more…)


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May 18, 2015

Panade aux Pommes Not Your Classic Apple Pie

Ginger and Nutmeg hosted a July 4th dinner party while in Provence, in honour of their US friends.  The menu included traditional and non-standard elements.  Although the intent was to celebrate the US holiday, the menu might be considered a melange of Mexican, American, and French. (more…)


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May 11, 2015

Grottos of Provence the Caves of Villecroze

Millions of years of seismic activity, tectonic plate movement and freeze-thaw cycles created the diverse geology of present-day Provence. The region is also known as the Bouches de Rhone where the Mediterranean shoreline runs the gambit of beaches, brackish wetlands and vertigo inducing cliffs. Other natural phenomena in the area include the steep contours of the Gorges de Verdon and the volcano shaped Mont Ventoux. The caves of Villecroze are carved into the side of a sheer limestone cliff. A grotto formed by hundreds of thousands of years of water flowing over porous rock. The continuous water created tufa rock-hard calcium carbonate deposits along the cliff face. Cycles of natural erosion and deposits formed caves of smooth stone and flowing stalactites. (more…)


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May 4, 2015

The Donkey of Provence Le Bourriquet

A.A. Milne may have made Eeyore famous in his Winnie-the-Pooh books, however in reality the hardworking donkey has been helping humans out for thousands of years. (more…)


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April 27, 2015

Manguin Perfecting the Art of Distillation in Provence

The fruit is put into jail in May when the Manguin Distillery imprisons roughly 1400 pears in glass bottles in their orchard. Nutmeg had to see for herself how the new owners at this distillery were re-crafting a traditional industry into more of an art form. (more…)


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