France

Rhone-some Love

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A trip to Lyon meant that I was within striking distance of a Rhone valley wine tour.  What luck!  Southern Rhone wines had become some of our very favorites back at home in Houston, where lately we were discovering the world of Cotes du Rhone, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Chateauneuf du Pape at our neighborhood Spec’s in The Woodlands, which has a very well-rounded selection of French wines.  I emailed Kanpai Wine Tours, a recommended, Lyon-based tour service, headed by Lyon native Olivier Delalande.

“It would be a pleasure for me to give you the tour to the NORTHERN Rhone Valley,” was the email reply from Olivier.

My jam-packed travel itinerary would only allow for a half day of touring, so the southern Rhone was not logistically possible.  Bummer!  I was not very familiar with wines from the northern Rhone.  Ecstatic to be tasting wine anywhere in France, I made the necessary arrangements. Continue reading

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Eating Lyon

If you are planning a trip to Paris, consider making a side excursion to Lyon.  Adding a couple of nights to your travel itinerary is well worth the effort in order to experience this unique French city. Reserve a seat on the TGV, France’s high speed train, and you’ll zip through picturesque country villages and fields of bright yellow canola, making the 465 km trip in two hours.

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Lyon is located southwest of Paris and is part of the Rhone-Alpes region.  The heart of Lyon, Presqu’ile, which literally means “almost an island,” is nestled between the Rhone and Saone Rivers.  Lyon is a vibrant city–an important banking center for France, the headquarters for INTERPOL, and a hub for the pharmaceutical, chemical and technology industries.

An official UNESCO heritage site, Lyon’s ancient Roman ruins and Old Town are two of many historic areas to explore.  Just as important to me, though, is the city’s unofficial title–gastronomy capital of France! Continue reading

Paris Wine & Dine

 

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Springtime in Paris–everything in bloom!  Including my appetite for French cuisine.  Yes, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral are obligatory and awe-inspiring, so visit these, of course.  But do a little homework before you leave the States, and you will have some of the most satisfying meal experiences in the world without spending a fortune. Continue reading

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