French Cheese.

The Bicycle Gourmet will not be the first to say it’s debateable whether France is most famous for it’s wine, or It’s cheeses. But both are absoultely worth discovering.

You can taste cheeses in any of the 7 cities where cheese festivals are held, but the most popular is probably Nice. If you have a taste for the Treasures of France, visit this southern French city for it’s wide variety of cheese and the International Bakers Festival.

The festival features a number of different events. …

Yes, I know, it does seem strange that I, DA BG — extoller of the French Country backroads, food, wine senic landscapes and other Treasures of France, am giving you this Paris Covid Update, by writing about- A CITY.

But, as you are well aware Dear Reader…Paris is not just any city. Like, for instance, Burbank, Blackpool, or Bolton.

But a city steeped in history, culture, adventure, intrigue, betrayal, massacres and all that other stuff that makes Paris, well,!

Travelling to France after Covid won’t be the same as it once was. The city has undergone massive changes in the…

The straight skinny on DA BG’s Photography Workshop Tours is headed your way because of, not suprisingly, this recurring question :

What can I expect on one of the Bicycle Gourmet’s Photography Workshops? Glad you asked. No, really. Because with everything in life that sounds too good to be true, there are some truths to be revealed. And with Photo Tours yuou’ve never been on before — in advance, being the best way.

Not to pour cold water on your French dreams, but having a more balanced view of the realities of this here land, will enable you to have…

French Casino Lemon Festival is indeed a cute title — n’est ce pas? but more than that it is also relevant.

Uh..OK..Why? Why is yer ‘ole pal DA BG — goo-ru of French Country Travel Life, ramblin’ on about Lemons?

Well, it’s like this. I rarely watch TV. And on those rare occasions, my choice of fare is almost always a documentary. Over the past month, there have been three docs pass my screen totally concerned with, or referencing, the lemons of Menton.

Bicycle Gourmet’s French History Fiesta goes down every year. All over France. Usually just for one day. Sometimes two. And, happily, it’s (mostly) free. While it’s not a holiday in the strict sense of the word, it’s equally, not a day of work.

It’s offical title is : “Le Journee Du Patrimoine.” which, loosely translated(and isn’t that the best way?) is:” The day of History appreciation. ” This is the day that private Chateau you’ve always wanted to visit but couldn’t is obliged to open it’s doors to “le grand public.” …

Regardless of whether you’re”into’ wine,or just grabbed a bottle out of desperation because “booze-be-us” was outa beer — there are French wine treasures to be found in every region and at every price point.

Kinda like deciding which car to buy, innit? Too many options! That’s why I, your ever helpful, faithful pal and freakin’ fountain o’ froggie info am gonna — as usual — give ya the straight skinny.

French Wine Grapes

When someone says: “French”…..what’s the first second word that comes to mind? “Fashion?” Maybe. “Film?” Uh,could be.”WINE?” Yes sir, you betcha! That be the first,second word describing France. How could it not be with vines covering so much of the “terroir?”

From time to time France gives the World a movie/music star/sports hero. But the “gift” of French wine is constant and(happily)consistent. (Curiously,the World’s premier wine magazine is American.)

On the World markets, French wine faces stiff competition from producers in other countries. Many of whom are either French,and/or have adopted the French model. …

French Gourmet. Is there any other kind? Any other possible adjective? Do not “French” and “Gourmet” go together like bread ‘n butter?, like salt ‘n pepper? And more importantly, like wine and cheese?

But, to use a two year old’s favorite word — WHY? Why not Italian Gourmet? After all, it was the Italians who introduced the fork to the French.(Yes,droll punsters,they were”forking around.”) Why not German Gourmet? Imagine the possibilities — A zillion plus varieties of beer and sausage! Spanish Gourmet? Ok — World’s best ham and olive oil, Plus,they did give the World tapas. But, “Gourmet?” …

Oppede Le Vieux

Ok — Maybe “secret”is stretching it a bit. But it’s waaay off the usual “must see-don’t miss” tourist circuit.

And for reasons that will become clear as you read on, it’s likely to stay that way. That, among other qualities is what makes “Oppede le Vieux’” one of my personal Treasures of France.

France — like milk — has “something for every body.” But, like that classic song we’re all familar with “You can’t always get what you want” — when you want it.

French Country Backroads

Therefore,(Alors! — your French word of the day) after a zillion and a half years of cycling through the land in which I have permanently pitched my tent, Da Bg is going to save you from disappointment, frustration,anger and(most importantly) wasted frequent flyer miles, by revealing when and why you should not visit Le Belle France.

  1. July. This is the (cue scary music) “Plague of the Tourists!” Those “Children…

Christopher Strong The Bicycle Gourmet

Christopher Strong is The French Cycling Bicycle Gourmet — Film Maker,Photographer and Author. Your non-snobby Gourmet Guide to French food, wine and travel

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