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Discover French artists

Do you know the group called Feu Chatterton? They chose their name from a painting by a 19th century British artist, Henry Wallis. The painting is called “The death of Chatterton”. So why are they called “Feu” Chatterton”? Because in French, ” feu” doesn’t only mean “fire” it can also be an adjective which means “dead”.

By |September 13th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Famous places: Lille

Just an hour outside of Paris by TGV, the town of Lille is home to one of the most anticipated events in France: the annual two-day Braderie de Lille flea market. As the largest flea market in all of Europe, this vibrant event dates back to medieval times and now attracts almost two million visitors each September.  The “Braderie” (French for “sell at a low price”) flea market offers over 10,000 exhibitors hawking their wares with everything from knick-knacks to treasures.

By |September 7th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Famous Places

Learn more about places to visit in France: sites and sights, castles, museums, tourist attractions.

The château of the Dukes of Brittany

Situated in the heart of the city, the buildings have been fully restored and its easy access makes it a great place for all the family to visit. The château has served as both a residential palace and defensive fortress; you cannot fail to be impressed by its imposing granite towers and towering frontage.

The elegant 15th century ducal residence houses the Nantes History Museum within its walls. This unique museum is well worth the entrance fee. You can browse a collection of more than 800 exhibits whilst you discover the history of Nantes in a lively, animated way– you’ll be as entertained as you are enlightened. It’s worth a visit to understand this historic city.

You can take a guided tour through the 32 themed rooms and learn about Nantes’ heritage – including its connection with Britain, the slave trade and major industrial developments. The museum also features temporary exhibitions and a rich cultural program. There is a crêperie/snack bar and a bookstore on site.

A walk round the ramparts gives magnificent views of the city and its abundance of ardoise roofs. The courtyard and the ‘sunken’ moat garden provide an escape from the everyday bustle of this dynamic city.
At night, the mood changes and the château, bathed in light, appears almost magical.

Learn more at:

www.chateau-nantes.fr/

 

 

By |September 14th, 2013|Images|0 Comments

Discover French artists

This section tells you more about famous French artists: singers, actors, writers, poets or painters.

Singer Natasha St-Pierre

She was born in Canada but she is very well-know in France where she has so many fans. She released her first album, Emergence, in 1996, produced by composer/producer Steve Barakatt.
In 2000, she made her international singing debut as Fleur-de-Lys in the London version of the musical drama Notre Dame de Paris.
She came fourth in the 2001 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, representing France with the power ballad Je n’ai que mon âme, later releasing an English version of the song: “All I Have Is My Soul”.
By 2010, she had released 7 albums, topped the French album and singles charts, and made it to the top 10 of the Eurochart Hot 100. St Pierre has become popular in francophone Europe, and in countries such as Poland and Russia. Her seventh album, Tu Trouveras: 10 Ans De Succès, is largely a “Best of” compilation of her songs previously recorded, was released in November 2009. During 2010 she toured Canada, Belgium and France.
In 2004, Sony Music France released a Natasha St-Pier DVD, Un Instant Avec Natasha St-Pier, that included a video tour diary, a personal video dictionary, and seven music videos.

Learn more:

http://www.natasha-stpier.com/site_preco/

 

By |September 8th, 2013|Images|0 Comments

Cook like a French

A traditional meal is: “Tomates farcies”. Very easy to make and so good! Enjoy!

By |September 1st, 2013|Video|0 Comments

Discover French Artists

This section tells you more about famous French artists: singers, actors, writers, poets or painters.

Do you know Guillaume Musso?

He is one of the most popular authors in France today. From his early childhood with reading books and plays, Guillaume Musso became convinced that one day, he too would write novels. After finishing high school in France, Guillaume Musso left for the United States at the age of 19. He spent several months in New York City, living with other young foreigners and earning his money by selling ice-cream. He came home to France with his head filled with ideas for novels. The readers can easily see the influence his time in the United States has had on him, as the action in his books takes place overseas. He currently teaches in a high school in the south of France, all the while working on his novels. His first published novel was with Editions Anne Carriere in 2001: Skidamarink. this novel did not reach out to the masses however, but his following novels published on XO Editions have all been hugely successful, some of them translated into 20 languages. His novel, Afterwards, has been adapted to the big screen and was in cinemas January 2009, starring John Malkovich, Evangeline Lily and Romain Duris

Learn more :

www.guillaumemusso.com/

 

By |September 1st, 2013|Images|0 Comments

Discover French artists

This section tells you more about famous French artists: singers, actors, writers, poets or painters.

Do you know Philippe Katerine?

Philippe Katerine, known simply as “Katerine” in France, is a French singer-songwriter, artist and author, best known for his boundary pushing music.

With his offbeat lyrics and kitsch costumes that would put Austin Powers to shame, Katerine is gyrating proof that the French can do irony after all.

In his years in the music business he’s progressed from easy listening to electro pop.

The 44-year-old, who comes from the commune of Chantonnay in the Vendée department of Pays de la Loire in western France, has also directed and starred in films and written a book.

Why is he in the news?

His new song ‘Sexy Cool’ – released earlier this month – was this week declared France’s “summer dance anthem” by the French media.

The track, which features on the pop star’s forthcoming ninth album ‘Magnum’ to be released on October 14th, is an ironic summer music video in which Katerine sings about how “sexy” and “cool” he is.

Tell me more about him.

Unsurprisingly, Katerine is no stranger to strange headlines.

In April 2012, the artist experimented in a new form of artistic expressionism when he was invited by the upmarket Paris-based department store Galeries Lafayette to display his artwork in an exhibition entitled ‘Comme un ananas’ (‘Like a pineapple’).

In 2011, the artist also made a splash when he published the book ‘Doublez votre mémoire’(‘Double your memory’) under the alias Philippe Bouchard. Presented as a kind of artistic diary, the book is described by its editor as “a unique work, worthy of the best artist notebooks” consisting of “narcissistic inspirations and schoolboy outbursts”.

Since 2000, Katerine has also acted in many films and even directed two of his own.

So what’s so sexy and cool about ‘Sexy Cool’?

Well perhaps it’s the cheesy dance routine, the catchy lyrics as well the 70s costumes and mustache.

If you find yourself on a dance floor in a French disco this summer you will probably here these lyrics: “Je suis cool quand t’es cool/Je suis triste quand t’es triste/Je suis stress quand tu stresses/Je suis sexy quand tu es sexy”. In other words: “I’m cool when you’re cool/I’m sad when you’re sad/I’m stressed when your stressed/I’m sexy when you’re sexy” (in case you want to sing along).

What about the other tracks on the album?

Another cheesy delight is ‘Banane’ (below), featuring Katerine parading around on a beach holding a banana dressed in nothing but a white sheet as he sings: “No, leave me/To eat my banana naked on the beach”. In another scene hundreds of people dance along to the tune whilst waving a banana in the air.

Again it’s better to let you watch the video for yourselves.

What does he have to say for himself?

Why don’t we let this translation of a typically, shall we say unsophisticated, extract from another single on his upcoming album, ‘Efféminé’, speak for itself?

“With my big b***s/I go to the casino/With my big b***s/I buy myself a Kinder Bueno/With my big b***s/I call my beloved/She laughs/Because I’m effeminate.”

What do others say about him?

“Philippe Katerine has forced us to become accustomed to his style, by flouting all conventions, fluctuating between total nonsense and misunderstood genius,” wrote Le Figaro newspaper.

After all, says the paper, “who can boast of having dared as much as Katerine to push and play with the borders of pop which are all too often sterilized and formatted,” adding “You could dance all night [to his songs] if the lyrics weren’t so crude.”

By |July 28th, 2013|Video|0 Comments

Cook like a French

Today’s recipe is a delicious “tarte aux fraises” Enjoy!

By |July 25th, 2013|Video|0 Comments

Why learn French

We all have a good reason for studying French: a job opportunity? a career path? Or maybe a romantic date or simply just to please ourselves with no ulterior motives.

The language of love and reason.

First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language, often called the language of love.

French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.

By |July 25th, 2013|Images|0 Comments

Discover French culture

Do you know what is “Le Pastis”?

Welcome to Provence, the South-East region well known for its easy living and aperitif tradition. Cicadas, olive trees… and pastis, the most popular of French aperitifs!

Made of natural plant extracts, traditionally star anise and liquorice, macerated in alcohol, pastis is the heir of a long line of aniseed based aperitifs. It’s a tradition that is very much alive in the region, which has traded in aromatic plants for several centuries.

Pastis… or rather the different types of pastis! Traditional, pastis de Marseille, “special” and craftsman pastis: each brand concocts its own recipes, true “cocktails” of plants, combined with spices in some cases. Complex and subtle aromatic mixtures, the secrets of which are well kept.

Aniseed, fennel, thyme, rosemary… When it comes to pastis, the whole of Provence flavours the aperitif! To let this aromatic richness develop fully, pastis is poured directly into well chilled pure water, with a few ice cubes slipped in last, if necessary.

To vary the flavours and the colours, whilst always consuming with moderation, the glass is topped up with a dash of syrup, mint for a “perroquet”, barley water for a “mauresque” or grenadine for a “tomate”.

Like many other spirits, pastis also finds its place in cookery: to flambé seafood, marinate meat, perfume the sauce of a dish or the dressing of a salad… A truly flavoursome air of Provence!

By |July 16th, 2013|Images|0 Comments