Holiday hotspots sans politics

At the end of last year, I came across an article that claimed visitor numbers in Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, like the Costa del Sol and the French Riviera, were on the slide. Turns out that with the increasing number of budget flights to the cheaper, perma-sunny coastlines of countries like Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt, pricey holidays to euro-currency countries were losing their appeal for crisis hit north Europeans. Read more

This month: Creature comforts for cold times

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If you get up early enough, while the more rational part of your brain is still asleep, you can make your way down the deserted streets to the sea and dive in.Read more

So you want to be alone

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For some time I have been conducting a passionate no-holds-barred love affair with Italian; and for an even longer time I’ve wanted to experience a monastic retreat.Read more

A sullen start

The New Year for France’s politicians began badly. On the first weekend after the holiday, a gaggle of Socialist Party leaders trooped off to Jarnac, in the Cognac region, to pay their respects at the graveside of the late President François Mitterrand on the 15th anniversary of his death.Read more

On the buses

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Explore the region for the price of a two euro return bus fare: RT journalist Carolyn Reynier continues her tour of the best bus routes in the Alpes-Maritimes.Read more

This month: loving the spread

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In the hustle and bustle of a family kitchen pre-Christmas, I taught an eager relative Tarte Tatin. As the aromas filled the house I told her the story of the sisters Tatin who created the dessert, quite by mistake, in an attempt to save some caramelized apples from burning.Read more

The dream and the reality

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Read The Rough Guide to France and the only thing it says about Saint Etienne de Tinée is that it comes alive three times a year: for its sheep fairs every summer and the two Fête de la Transhumance in June.Read more

Personalities of the year

If there was a winner in French politics in 2010, the conservative consensus is that it was Jean-François Copé, a former budget minister who was recently elected secretary general of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party in November.Read more

On the buses

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Since the introduction of the one euro flat rate throughout the Alpes-Maritimes, RT journalist Carolyn Reynier has become self-appointed queen of the departmental bus system.Read more

Reality government

From the moment that Nicolas Sarkozy’s Union for a Popular Movement suffered a crushing defeat in regional elections last March, a cabinet reshuffle was on the cards. In July, the president said it would follow the conclusion of his much-disputed pensions reform.Read more