View tag: France

Hotel review: The Hoxton Paris

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 11th October 2017

Forget Paris in the springtime. Paris in the autumn is far more fun – especially when it gives you the chance to stay at the latest addition to the Hoxton fold. The Hoxton Paris is less than a mile from the Gare du Nord, a half-hour walk if you’re trailing a suitcase on wheels. So after getting the first Eurostar out of London on a dreary Tuesday morning we were ...keep reading

The kindness of strangers: Part 4

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 22nd January 2017

Buying a tumbledown farmhouse in the south of France is probably the most impulsive thing I’ve ever done and even though I sold it two years ago it continues to hold a place in my heart. Every time I think about waking up to that stunning view of La Roche Colombe or drinks under the plane tree with friends the years roll back and I’ve fallen under its spell again. ...keep reading

Day trip to Marseille

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 1st June 2016

The cacophony burst out of nowhere. Dozens of car horns hooted at full blast, a motorcyclist did an impressive wheelie in the middle of the street and wedding guests wound down their car windows and bellowed at the top of their voices. Most bizarrely of all, a man in a sharply cut suit gesticulated wildly from the roof of a Mini as it sped along. ‘Welcome to Marseille,’ laughed my ...keep reading

The kindness of strangers: part 3

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 14th March 2016

The alarm bells started ringing when my son FaceTimed me from France in the middle of the day. I usually ring him, not the other way round, and we mostly speak in the early evening – so I knew something was up. I was right to be worried. It turned out that his bike chain had snapped when he was cycling at top speed, sending him crashing to the ground and damaging his shoulder, arm and ...keep reading

#Tous au bistrot

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 27th November 2015

The French capital fell silent today, in tribute to the 130 victims who died at the hands of the terrorists in the Paris attacks. Blue, white and red flags fluttered from every window as survivors, relatives of the dead and political leaders gathered under a wintery sky for a remembrance ceremony at Les Invalides. It’s still hard to comprehend the terrible events of Friday November 13. But one thing’s for ...keep reading

The Paris attacks

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 17th November 2015

Three days after the horrific terror attacks in Paris I can’t stop thinking about those who died. Their faces stare out of the front pages – smiling, full of joie de vivre and heartbreakingly young. Like most people, I’ve spent hour after hour listening to the radio, unable to concentrate on anything else at all. The newspapers have done an exemplary job, reporting on the manhunt, interviewing the bereaved with sensitivity and ...keep reading

Where the electrician ate his picnic

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 30th October 2015

The discovery of a diary I kept during a family holiday in France is a reminder of how much childhood has changed in the last 40 years. I was in my early teens at the time – gauche, awkward and alarmingly unsophisticated. Forget make-up, boys, sleepovers and texting, my holidays were spent playing endless rounds of a board game called Exploration with my sister, reading Lynne Reid Banks books (The L-Shaped Room was the ...keep reading

Marvellous Marseille

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 4th September 2015

Spectacular. That really is the only way to describe the Museé de Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerannée in Marseille – or MuCEM for short. A rectangular building on the water’s edge, MuCEM is the stunningly bold vision of architect Rudy Ricciotti, who studied architecture in Marseille in his twenties. Covered in intricately-cast concrete that’s designed to look like a lace veil, Riccioti’s creation not only looks beautiful but ...keep reading

Ottolenghi arrives in Spitalfields

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 6th June 2015

Virtually everyone I know has an Ottolenghi book or two in their kitchen. My favourite is the first – the eponymous Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, a gorgeous tome with recipes that are surprisingly straightforward and page after page of stunning images. A new Ottolenghi deli has just opened in Spitalfields and I popped in last week, planning to buy some treats. But when I spotted an empty table in the corner ...keep reading

Ever so French

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 13th April 2015

My family has always had a thing about France. Describing something as “ever so French” was the height of praise as far as my mother was concerned. She had happy memories of spending summer holidays in Brittany with Michelline, her French penfriend, and later on she encouraged me to do a French exchange too. My own penpal was the sweet Marie-Line, whose dad was a fisherman off the Normandy coast. ...keep reading