France

Portrait of the week: Theresa May’s double defeat on Brexit

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Home Political hobbyists speculated on the future of Brexit if the government fell, if a new Conservative leader was chosen,…

We lost our elderly, dementing French charge

8 December 2018 9:00 am

I entered the cave house carrying groceries and panting from the climb to find an old hippie woman displaying rugs…

French President Emmanuel Macron during a wreath laying ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2017 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of the first world war

France’s second world war shame

17 November 2018 9:00 am

The monument to this French village’s war dead is a plain white stone block with the head of a grizzled…

Is Emmanuel Macron having a meltdown?

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Emmanuel Macron was elated when France won the World Cup in July. The photograph of him leaping out of his…

Not skunk as we know it – smoking the stuff is bad news

The perils of smoking three-year-old Glaswegian skunk

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Three years ago we were given a bag of skunk, Catriona and I, provenance Glasgow. It was one gigantic dried…

Back to the disappointingly familiar, disappointingly limited wares in the half-dozen shops that close most afternoons and sometimes capriciously all day

40-plus reasons to love and hate France

3 November 2018 9:00 am

I apologised, was gladly granted an indulgence, and on Sunday I packed a small bag and reached into a drawer…

‘I go against my instincts to be just an actor’

‘I should just shut up’: Dominic West on #MeToo and the perils of talking politics

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Lounging confidently on the sofa of a Soho hotel suite, Dominic West has been beaming at me, but now his…

450 bottles of red? What more could I want from a neighbour

29 September 2018 9:00 am

I have a friend here in this French village to which we moved just over a week ago. He is…

JR and Agnès Varda in Faces Places, a mesmerising meditation on lives lived

The invisible woman of French cinema: Faces Places reviewed

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Faces Places is a documentary directed by Agnès Varda in collaboration with JR, the famous Parisian photographer and muralist (although,…

A foretaste of Frexit

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Moving day. The contents of a hillside shack to be moved four miles to a cave house perched high on…

Back from the brink

15 September 2018 9:00 am

The long table was set out under four beautifully pollarded plane trees festooned with coloured lanterns and red balloons. Twenty…

The record bull run must end soon. So is it time for a return to gold?

1 September 2018 9:00 am

All good things must come to an end, including summer holidays and bull markets. The bull run in US shares…

Still life: Iris Bry, Laura Smet and Natalie Baye in The Guardians

A captivating addition to the filmography of the first world war: The Guardians reviewed

18 August 2018 9:00 am

There are moments in The Guardians when you can imagine you’re in the wrong art form. Time stills, the frame…

Why the kindness of strangers trumps a pagan festival

18 August 2018 9:00 am

The entire Alpine village, contemptuously dismissed recently in an online tourist guide as a nondescript centre of old peasants and…

Make Rosé Pink Again!

11 August 2018 9:00 am

When we first moved to the Languedoc, the less poncey part of the south of France nearly 20 years ago,…

How to survive a French heatwave

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Me in a black polo-neck jumper looking sour; Oscar wearing a floppy hat; her youngest daughter nude and stooping to…

Was our Airbnb host a closet toreador?

2 June 2018 9:00 am

We were standing in the tiny hall: me, Catriona, Annette and her toy Yorkshire terrier, Ahmed. It was our first…

Bernard-Henri Lévy: ‘Brexit will not happen’

26 May 2018 9:00 am

I meet Bernard-Henri Lévy in a colossally luxurious hotel on a tree-lined avenue just behind the Elysée Palace. The French…

Panel from the bedroom of Louis Henri I, Prince de Condé, by Christophe Huet

The greatest French museum you’ve never heard of

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Imagine a French museum that’s second only to the Louvre when it comes to paintings, with an eye-watering collection of…

The critics may have liked The Death of Stalin but the French certainly don’t

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Should I or shouldn’t I go and see The Death of Stalin, showing at the French village cinema last Sunday…

Knife skills for eight-year-olds

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Pig’s trotters. Lamb’s feet stuffed with their brains. Flayed wild rabbits, all sinew, muscle and eyeballs. Nude chickens with flopping…

Brexit for eight-year-olds

21 April 2018 9:00 am

A week ago I plucked my eight-year-old grandson Oscar from the bosom of his rumbustious young family and took him…

Macron’s Thatcher moment has arrived

7 April 2018 9:00 am

The honeymoon is over for Emmanuel Macron. His first 11 months in office have been something of a breeze —…

When it comes to food and wine, there’s no place like Rhône

31 March 2018 9:00 am

As often, a good glass stimulated good talk. We were drinking some promising young Rhônes and the discussion ranged wide,…

Has Provence cured my cancer?

24 March 2018 9:00 am

During the past three years I have spent quite a bit of time in a rented house in Provence. Volets…