Firstly, I want to say “Thank you” to our wonderful readers for their letters and emails when we launched our first issue. Your kindness and well wishes are much appreciated!
With the last of the autumn leaves falling, we prepare for my favourite season, winter. Winter woollies, a crackling fire and a good book is my ideal way to spend this time of the year.
If you are anything like me, you are fascinated by the history, culture, cuisine and splendour of what France has to offer. In this issue, our writers have explored many of these aspects as well as a few less-well-known, quirky, weird and fascinating things. We welcome Heidi Fuller-love and Harriet Empey to the team and look forward to the interesting, wonderful stories and anecdotes they have to share.
In this issue, Andrew Prior introduces us to one of my favourite people, Rachel Khoo. Rachel is an accomplished chef, writer and broadcaster of the popular television show, The Little Paris Kitchen. Read all about Rachel’s new book, SBS television show and her visit to Melbourne (page 48). We cannot talk about food without mentioning our favourite tipple, Champagne. Neil Allanby tells us about the sparkling widows of Champagne (page 62) while Natasha Flynn explores the wonders of cinnamon (page 78).
Speaking of history, in June, the Bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo will be celebrated with a re-enactment of the famous battle. David Jackson-Grose takes us on a visit to the Battle of Waterloo then and now (page 28).
With Lee Bower we visit the Vaucluse, which derives its name from the Latin vallis clausa, meaning enclosed valley. Did you know that the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse spring which emanates from a cliff face in the valley, is so far in and so deep that its source remains undefined (page 22)?
Heidi explores the Marais Poitevin, known as “The Green Venice” of France (page 16), and she also tells us about the splendid folly of two brothers who gave forty years of their lives and a small fortune to build a replica of the Sun King’s beloved Palace of Versailles in the middle of the French countryside (page 74). Robyn Johnston takes us on a quick visit to the real Venice in Italy (page 68).
We are also featuring our first bilingual article: Annie Haddad tells a fascinating story about Sebastien Boiron, an adventurous chef who spent quite a few years at sea working on luxury yachts for the super-rich (page 56).
Did you know that the macabre and weird are major drawcards of visitors to France? A very brave Lizz Casey explores one of these rather odd attractions in Paris (page 34).
Jennie Sharpe tells us about Bastille Day and gives us a quick run through the 10 things we need to know about the Tour de France (page 36). With so much happening, I certainly cannot wait for winter! Enjoy the issue et à la prochaine,