300 episodes

Are you getting ready for a trip to Paris? Provence? Normandy? On this podcast we have conversations about France: we share trip reports, chat with tour guides, share tips on French culture, the basics of French history, explain how to be savvy traveler in France, and share our love of French food, wine and destinations in France.

And because this show has been around for a while, we also had time to share language tips, every-day life in France, and tips for those who are considering moving to France.

By listening to this show you will learn how to make great choices for your own trip to France no matter what part of France you plan to visit. We're also a great community for Francophiles who can't get enough of France and return year after year.

Join Us in France Travel Podcast Annie Sargent

    • Places & Travel
    • 4.8, 516 Ratings

Are you getting ready for a trip to Paris? Provence? Normandy? On this podcast we have conversations about France: we share trip reports, chat with tour guides, share tips on French culture, the basics of French history, explain how to be savvy traveler in France, and share our love of French food, wine and destinations in France.

And because this show has been around for a while, we also had time to share language tips, every-day life in France, and tips for those who are considering moving to France.

By listening to this show you will learn how to make great choices for your own trip to France no matter what part of France you plan to visit. We're also a great community for Francophiles who can't get enough of France and return year after year.

    Visiting D-Day Sites with Kids

    Visiting D-Day Sites with Kids

    Are you considering visiting D-Day sites with kids? You'll want to listen to this episode! My guests Ginny and Cristina are mother and daughter and the kids were a 12yo boy, a 9yo girl, a 7yo girl, and a 3yo boy. Also on this trip were Ginny’s sister and Cristina’s husband. They took this trip in October 2019.
    We have a conversation about driving in France, etiquette at French restaurants with kids, and also about taking kids to D-Day sites and how that worked out for this family.
    What can you do to keep the kids interested? What is there to do in Normandy besides D-Day sites? Recommended in this episode: The Classic Tales Podcast  
    It turns out that this family has a long history with Normandy. Ginny’s father served in Normandy in WW2 and they had some letters from him. They went looking for the places where he served, including some places we haven’t talked about on the podcast yet.
    Tips for Visiting D-Day Sites with Kids Learn from the best, folks who did it and learned the lessons!
    About Driving in France If there are enough adults in your party willing to drive, you might want to rent 2 cars instead of a van. That will allow you to split up if needed. There are speed traps in France, do not go over the speed limit or you may get a ticket in the mail a month after you get home. If you pay for the built-in GPS in the rental car it will tell you what the speed limit is in any particular road section. Everything is far apart in Normandy, you will need to drive. Parking is generally not a problem in Normandy unless you go around D-Day commemorations. Do Kids Need to Be Quiet at Restaurants in France? Cristina's children are used to traveling at lot, at least the older ones are. Like anything else, travel gets easier the more you do it and that's true for children too! But still she worried about how her kids would be treated in restaurants in France. She had heard that kids in France need to be quiet at restaurants and she didn't think that was possible.
    There is this myth that French children are somehow perfectly well behaved at restaurants. Let's be realistic: French people have kids, they know it's best to serve families with kids promptly and keep them happy. French waiters do not expect perfection from kids at all!
    How Were the Kids at D-Day Sites? Ginny had prepared the kids for Normandy by sharing with them letters that her father had sent to his sister during WW2. Build-up some knowledge about WW2 with the older kids ahead of time. Get them as interested as you can.
    The older kids really enjoyed a book called I Survived the Battle of D Day, and there are a lot of books that can help prepare your kids to understand the historical significance of the area. It's not difficult to find food and snacks the kids will enjoy, go to a grocery store where you'll find a lot of variations on Nutella. There are also lots of cookies and crackers in France. They also love brioche, which is different from what they get at home. Stay in the Same Place Every Night They decided to stay in Mondeville near Caen at an Airbnb called Maison Ancienne "style Deauville en Normandie". It was probably the coolest Airbnb Cristina has ever stayed. Everyone had a room and it was wonderful.
    Omaha Beach Day with Kids They never planned on too many things in one day, made sure there was always time for ice cream. Their priority was to go to the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. It was powerful for the kids to realize that this large field full of crosses is the result of war.
    The level of appreciation of French people towards the sacrifices of American soldiers is also palpable.
    The orientation table that faces the ocean and shows where all the battles took place on different beaches is great and they spend some time there.
    There are no restaurants or cafés at the cemetery per se. But if you drive down to the beach you'll fi

    • 52 min
    Walking the French Chemin de Compostelle

    Walking the French Chemin de Compostelle

    On today's episode Annie Sargent and Lisa Wylie talk about walking the French Chemin de Compostelle. Lisa started her walk late April, which is the beginning of the hiking season in France. The end of the hiking season is October.
    On average there are about 100 people walking the French Chemin de Compostelle per day. But as we'll see in the episode, the Spanish part of the Camino is a lot busier with around 1000 walkers per day. It's still perfectly safe, even for a solo woman traveler.
    There are many ways to get to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle or Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Lisa took the Puy route or via Podiensis, which is the most popular route in France. But she could have taken the route that starts in Paris, or the one that starts in Vézelay or Arles.
    You'll get to use your French on the Chemin! Lisa had a wonderful time in part because her French is quite good and she can have entire conversations in French. Knowing French is not a must, but if you can speak French you'll have a better time. Won't English be enough? Not everywhere. Remember, you'll be in rural France where most people aren't comfortable speaking English.
    One instance where speaking French is particularly helpful is when reserving rooms for the next night. It's possible (and sometimes advisable) to plan it all out and make your reservations weeks in advance from home, but what do you do it there's a rain storm that delays you? How about a blister that forces you to slow down considerably or even stop for a day? If you're comfortable speaking French on the phone, all of these things will be a lot easier for you.
    And speaking of making reservations, find out when holidays and school vacations are because those nights will often be booked up in advance!
    Walking the Chemin in Sections On this particular trip in 2019 Lisa walked between Cahors and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. 4 years prior she had done the section between Le Puy and Cahors, so she just picked up where she left off. Walking in sections is the most popular way to walk the chemin because most people have to go back to work and can't do it all in one trip.
    Practical Considerations when Walking the Chemin It took Lisa 3 weeks to complete the section between Le-Puy-en-Velay and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. That was walking 12 to 14 miles per day every day (which is 16 to 20 km per day). It takes some training to do this comfortably even if you're used to walking an hour with your dog every day. But the chemin is not technically difficult, it's just about building stamina.
    Are you thinking about backpacking it? Lisa carried her backpack and did not use a service to move her belongings around. But, when walking the French chemin de Compostelle you can travel light. You don't need to take a tent or cooking implements, there will be grocery stores and restaurants many places along the way. You won't be  walking in the wilderness but rather in the French countryside. There will be  villages, cafés, shops, pharmacies, at least in the bigger villages.
    There are transport services that will shuttle your bag between stops. They can also drive a person to the next stop if a walker in your party needs a break from walking. You'll find business cards for transport services at all the gîtes, so this is not something you need to arrange in advance.
    This is nothing like walking the Appalachian trail where you might be in the wilderness for days. The availability of frequent places to stop also means that you could decide to walk just 10 kilometers per day if that's more comfortable for you. But be aware that not every village has places where you can buy food, always carry some with you just in case.
    Le "sac à viande" aka sleeping bag liner You do need a change of clothes, a jacket, toiletries, a towel, and a "sac à viande" or sleeping bag liner. You'll use it when staying places where they don't

    • 59 min
    Summer Lunches in France

    Summer Lunches in France

    In this episode, Annie and Elyse chat about our favorite summer lunches in France. We talk about eating habits locals have in France during the warm months and the foods we all look forward to every summer in France. We also share a few recipes and cooking tips from our southern France kitchens!
    #joinusinfrance #frenchfood #frenchwine #summerfoods
    Support Elyse on Patreon Annie & Elyse's Favorite Summer Lunches in France In France we don't want to turn the oven on. Why? Because most French homes don't have air conditioning! Turning the oven on raises the temperature of an already hot house too much. That's also why many villas in France have a full kitchen outside. Some people just have a barbecue, but you'll also find outdoor kitchens with a "plancha" (large hot plate), a fridge and a sink. And air-fryers are also good for that.
    Do French People Have Food Traditions in the Summer? French people used to eat a lot more regional foods, but as food distribution has become more global, you can find similar summer foods all over France.
    Barbecues French people barbecue sausages a lot. There are electric barbecues you can even use on a balcony.
    Merguez from North Africa Chipolatas from the south of France Porc chops Duck heats Grilled Rocamadour cheese Summer Salads Watermelon salad with feta and mint Caprese salad with garden tomatoes, mozzarela and fresh basil Salade Niçoise (and maybe some Socca to go with it?) Salads with boiled eggs and fruit (fresh strawberries or canned peaches or melons) Melon Charantais with prosciuto ham or with port wine Summer Soups Gazpacho Cucumber soup Royco soup (instant) Zucchini soup with either curry or Boursin cheese Summer Sandwiches Pain Bagnat Sandwich aux mergez Sandwich à la saucisse de Toulouse Summer Pizzas Pissaladière Fig and feta pizza Summer Fruit
    Peaches Melons Charentais Flat peaches or nectarines Summer Dishes
    Ratatouille (which you can make in one pot and without much fuss as Annie explains 19 minutes into the episode) Tian de légumes Quiches with a lot of onion or zucchini or Swiss chard or leeks Tomates farçies Dishes with fresh peas Mussels and fries Terrines de poisson or terrines de légume Fresh sardines on the grill Taboulé Apéritif dinatoire is a big thing in France in the summer Summer Is Rosé Season For some reason most French people switch to drinking rosé during the summer, especially in the last 10 years. It's completely OK to drink it with ice, but if you don't use ice it must be served very cold. There are good rosés from Corsica, Provence and Pays de Loire.
    More episodes about French food and wine  
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    Did you get my VoiceMap Paris tours yet? They are designed for people who want to see the best of Paris neighborhoods and put what they are looking at into historical context. There are so many great stories in Paris. Don't walk right past them without having a clue what happened there! You can buy them directly from the VoiceMap app or click here to order activation codes at the podcast listener discount price.
    Support the Show Tip Your Guide Extras Patreon Audio Tours Merchandise
    If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s): French Food, Episode 17 Dealing with food allergies in France, Episode 170 A Cornucopia of Bizarre French Foods, Episode 193 Food Prices at French Grocery Stores, Episode 197 Do's and Don'ts at Restaurants in France, Episode 209 Cafe Culture in France, Episode 228
    Categories: French Culture, French Food & Wine

    • 57 min
    Favorite Shopping Spots in Paris

    Favorite Shopping Spots in Paris

    On today’s episode, a conversation where Annie asked listeners to share their favorite shopping spots in Paris. Listeners mentioned so many places they love to go back to over and over again! Several stand out for clothing, food, wine, accessories, cosmetics, hobbies, gifts, it’s all here!
    Favorite Shopping Spots in Paris It’s funny for me to talk about shopping because I’m not much of a shopper myself. I mean, if I need something, I’ll go get it. But I don’t go out just to look around, see what’s at the stores, keep up with the trends. Now when I go back to the US and I have more time on my hands, then I enjoy going to Costco, Malls, look around. I always buy a lot of things in the US.
    I think it’s because I don’t get to do that whenever I want so it’s a treat. It’s probably the same for you when you come to France. It’s a treat because it’s different to your daily life.
    So, I asked on the Join Us in France Closed Group on Facebook what your favorite stores are in France and I got a lot of answers. A lot of you have visited France more than once, some of you are repeat offenders indeed! It’s a fun list!
    Department Stores and Grocery Stores BVH BVH Marais of course, right by the Hôtel de Ville. I like to go there to look for scarves, but they have all sorts of things, including a big hardware store in the basement.
    Monoprix This is the one that got the most votes and it is much like the French Target! What can I tell you about Monoprix? It’s got a little bit of everything, it’s not super fancy, but they carry solid products at a good price.
    Galleries Lafayette Galleries Lafayette: In French department stores, don’t forget to go to the basement where all the food is! But on Boulevard Haussmann go to Lafayette Gourmet across the street.
    Printemps Annie loves the one on Boulevard Haussmann, but listeners also mentioned the one under the Louvre. The mall under the Louvre is really nice actually, last time I was there I walked out with new Bose headphones!
    Au Bon Marché This beautiful store is in St Germain, we talked about it in episode 287. Despite the name it’s not cheap. Not even a little bit cheap! I’ve never bought anything there, but it’s a beautiful store, worth a visit just for that.
    La Grande Epicerie I almost added that one to my Saint-Germain-des-Prés tour but it was going to make it too long, but it’s an interesting kitchen supply store not in Les Halles. It’s also a wonderful food store with lots of expensive items.
    Mariages Frère Expensive teas, they have several locations. I don’t think they serve tea in any of the stores which makes no sense to me.
    Maisson Plisson This store is at 93 Boulevard Beaumarchais a bit pricey, but excellent food.
    Wine Stores Surprisingly, listeners only listed Devinis. There are of course many specialty wine stores in Paris, including  Nicolas (a chain) and hundreds of independent wine stores.
    Bakeries Ladurée Not sure what to say about them because they are really famous and have stores all over the world. They are still a favorite for many people!
    Pierre Herme Macarons and beautiful pastries, several locations in Paris including one on rue Bonaparte, included in my Saint Germain tour
    Des gateaux et du pain Two stores, one rue du Bac, one in Montparnasse
    Cafés Angelina’s Who hasn't heard of Angelina's? Annie particularly loves their Mont Blanc, a pastry with chestnut paste.
    Cheese Stores It's hard to point to one wonderful cheese store in Paris because there are so many and they're all so nice!
    La Ferme Saint-Aubin This one is a favorite even though it's pretty small: 76 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004 Paris, France
    Perfume and Cosmetics Fragonard A chain that you'll find all over France
    CityPharma Rue du Four in Saint-Germain-des-Prés: skin care products and advice from the sales ladies.
    Caudalie All sorts of

    • 41 min
    Brothers Meet in Paris

    Brothers Meet in Paris

    What happens when brothers meet in Paris? Well, they have a great time, of course! Annie's guest on today's episode, Ernesto de Jesus, lives in California and his brother lives in the Philippines.  They decided to spend some time together in Paris.
    They took the Eurostar to get from London to Paris and that was uneventful. Booking the ticket on-line was easy, then they took a taxi between the train station and their hotel and that made it much easier. They got their first glimpse of the city from the taxi and that was a great experience.
    Ernesto's Hotel Recommendations They stayed at two different hotels because they wanted to experience both left bank and right bank. Their first hotel was in Saint Germain des Prés and their second was the Hoxton in the 2e arrondissement. The Hoxton is a gorgeous restored building, but the area is not as walkable as Saint Germain.
    Book Recommendation Ernesto used the Paris in Stride book to walk around the Palais Royal and Covered Passages areas. There is an abundance of Japanese restaurants in this part of Paris.
    Food Tour Experience Ernesto and his brother took a food tour by Paris by Mouth. The did a Taste of Saint Germain tour and got to try some great food! Baguette tradition are big in France and usually taste better than the normal baguette.
    After the tour they went to Beaupassage to look at the stores and have some lunch. There are several restaurants and some art installations in the area.
    They tried an award winning croissant at La Maison d'Isabelle in the Latin Quarter and a small restaurant called Le Timbre. That's a small restaurant near the Luxembourg Gardens run by a husband and wife team. French food at a good price and you can reserve on-line.
    Another place they tried is called Frenchie and it's really popular, they have a restaurant, a wine bar, a to-go place. It's more American food than anything. They also tried chocolates and fruit jellies at Jacques Genin as recommended by the food tour leader. They thought the best macarons they ever had were at Pierre Hermé.
    Day-Trip to Versailles They took at tour with Blue Fox. Met the guide at Gare Saint Lazare and rode all over the garden grounds. Ernesto feels like they didn't get to see mych of the inside of the palace because they got there too late and it was already dark in October. On the other hand, they had the Hall of Mirrors almost to themselves.
    For people who don't want to take the time to go all the way to Versailles, you'll see something similar by going to the Napoleon III apartments in the Louvre or the Opera Garnier. And the Luxembourg Gardens are a wonderful place to relax too!
    Hiring a Professional Photographer This was a really good experience because it's hard to get good photos while traveling. This particular photographer was really good and has a nice smile.
    Navigo Easy and Museum Pass The Navigo Easy is the new way to travel around Paris. You don't need a photo and you can recharge it when you run out or to take longer trips like to Versailles.
    You can take bus #69 that goes by a lot of monuments for the price of one ticket.
    The museum pass was well-worth it, but rules are going to be changing now due to the pandemic, so check their website for updates.
    Why Do So Many Paris Taxis Refuse Credit Cards? Paris taxis are supposed to all take credit cards. The reason why they tell visitors that they don't is because they don't want to declare all of their income to avoid taxes.
    If you don't have euros with you, ask before you board the taxi, but they are ALL supposed to take cards.
    Paris Is a Walk-Able City Some people say Paris is over-ratted and that it's a cliché destination. But it's really fun to be there and it's a very walk-able city which makes it really enjoyable.
    Traveling with a Brother Ernesto's brother is an architect and they both enjoy photography. They've traveled together b

    • 53 min
    Le Corbusier Sites in Paris

    Le Corbusier Sites in Paris

    There are a lot of Le Corbusier sites in Paris. Would you like to know how you can organize your visit and optimize your time? My guest David Palachek talks about his plan to see as many Le Corbusier sites in Paris as he could in a short visit.
    David is a designer and as such has a keen interest in all things architectural.  He took a lot of wonderful photos of these sites. You can see them by following Annie and David on Instagram.
    We discuss how Le Corbusier was a man of startling beliefs, and not just about architecture. Many in France don't think he deserves the money that is spent on keeping his memory alive.
    Then we also veer off into discussing David's favorite neighborhood in Paris, favorite restaurants, driving in Paris, and Annie's VoiceMap tour of Saint Germain des Prés.
    Please note that these sites are only open on certain days, plan accordingly. Also, due to the pandemic, some of these times might have changed. Check the official website of each development.
    Discussed in this Episode Charlotte Perriand exhibit at the Louis Vuiton Museum in Paris [02:42] Visiting the Pompidou Center with a teenager [05:37] Le Corbusier sites in the 15th arrondissement [08:48] Le Corbusier as a controversial figure [13:42] What Le Corbusier and Haussmann have in common [15:57] L'Esprit Nouveau Magazine [16:22] Le Corbusier didn't train to be an architect! [18:26] Problems with Le Corbusier buildings [19:48] Immeuble Molitor in Boulogne-Billancourt his private residence [21:36] Maison Cook {22:46] Villa Savoye in Poissy [25:10] Take note if you're going to be driving in Paris! [25:43] Le Corbusier influenced thousands who came after him [32:30] In the 13th and 14th arrondissement [33:19] Not ideal for teenagers unless you use the Flash Invader App [34:43] Using the VoiceMap App [36:28] Not to miss inside of Saint Germain des Près Church [31:01] David likes Saint Germain better than the Marais now that's he's tried both [38:19] Go inside the stores that are recommended on the tour! [38:49] Speaking some French is a big plus even if it's not necessary [40:10] Support the Show Tip Your Guide Extras Patreon Audio Tours Merchandise
    If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s): Le Corbusier Architecture, Episode 139 How the Marais Neighborhood Was Almost Razed, Episode 103 David Palachek
    Categories: Arts & Architecture, Paris

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
516 Ratings

516 Ratings

buckeyebabe ,

Fun with Friends

Listening to Annie and Elyse is like hanging out with friends. They are fun and interesting. I love Elyse’s history & storytelling. Annie’s passion for France is infectious. Every episode I listen to I add ANOTHER French town to my Bucket List. The show notes are invaluable. Thank you ladies! Love you both! ♥️ 🇫🇷

Tusqq ,

Everything you could want to know about France!

A great podcast whether you are going to France for the first time or are a seasoned traveler — history, culture, food, travel tips — it’s got everything. Annie and Elyse are delightful. I came to listen to a few specific episodes about a Christmas trip to Paris — but now I listen to every episode.

AZTheresa ,

Ready for Paris!

I feel so much better about my first solo trip after listening to umpteen podcasts and interacting on the FaceBook page. Annie, the podcast host, participates in answering questions and giving advice, which is so valuable! I have 10 days before I leave and a long list of shows I hope to listen to before then. She also has four walking tours you can download from the website that are super reasonably priced and I look forward to having Annie “guide” me through the streets of Pairs. Thank you so much for all of your time and effort!

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