Some news from France, CCCLVII

And here we are in the middle of winter in my beautiful Morbihan, and lovely Bretagne of my belle France. Our winters are mild just low of 38F in the mornings and then goes up to 50F now, no snow no rain la vie est belle! Let me bring you and I up to date on my series and yours , some news from France.

This Wednesday, February 2,2022 marks the end of major restrictions: no more outdoor masks, no more compulsory teleworking, no more gauge in places receiving a seated public. Are we experiencing the end of the Covid? From now on, wearing a mask will no longer be compulsory outdoors throughout the country. Another highly anticipated change: the gauges in places receiving a seated public (stadiums, cultural establishments, etc.) have been removed. Finally, teleworking will no longer be compulsory for three to four days, but only recommended. Discotheques and standing concerts will wait another two weeks before being authorized again. You will also have to wait until February 16 to be able to consume standing up in a bar, café or restaurant. Until this date, consumption is only authorized in a seated position and the mask remains compulsory indoors to circulate. According to scientists, it is therefore possible that after the Omicron wave, the virus will become endemic. In other words, the virus would still be present in our society but in less severe forms, Of course, the virus will never leave us like the flu , grippe etc life goes on,

The history of Europe, of which France has just taken the presidency, was invented in a small thatched cottage in a hamlet of Bazoches-sur-Guyonne (Yvelines 78). Considered a founding father, Jean Monnet lived there from 1945 until his death in 1979. Visit his house-museum, which has become the property of the European Parliament. Webpage : https://jean-monnet.fr/?resources=la-maison-musee-jean-monnet

In appearance, it is only a small store with a blue front, adorned with the name of the sign in gold letters. But once inside, the back room reveals a place steeped in history. Since 1906, the noyau blanc or white core has been made here, but the origin of the recipe dates back to the 17C. The white core, also called silver goblet, is one of the two house liqueurs. The other is the amber core or seal of Saint-Louis: this one has been made here since the 1960s. The shop produces between 25 and 30,000 bottles a year. Two products, two different processes but one common ingredient: the apricot kernel . Of regional origin before WWII, it is no longer cultivated enough in France. The product is recovered around the Mediterranean basin. On the other hand, the manufacture of the base of the core must obligatorily occur in Poissy, Only the bottling is ensured by Vedrenne, which bought the Noyau destillery in 1999, in the town of Nuits-Saint-Georges (Côte-d’Or 21) Here, no robot. everything is handmade. What will change, however, is the packaging, after 25 years. A new design for bottles that will retain their colors, to the delight of loyal customers The Distillerie de noyau de Poissy 105, rue du Général-de-Gaulle in Poissy, webpage : https://vedrenne.fr/en/noyau-de-poissy-en/

With three-quarters of visitors from Hauts-de-France, the Louvre-Lens celebrates 10 years of successful local presence. The establishment, which hosts the Louvre’s “Le Scribe accroupi” for eleven months, has taken up its challenge of attracting a population far from museums but remains economically fragile. Despite its small size 47 centimeters , and its 4,500 years of age, the statue of the Crouching Scribe devours all the space in the Louvre-Lens Museum, to which the work was loaned to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Webpage : https://www.louvrelens.fr/

Just 14 years old and unable to wield a sword, the young Philip, son of King John II, thus won at the lost battle of Poitiers (1356) his nickname “Philip the Bold”. He was rewarded with the gift of the Duchy of Burgundy, which he knew how to enlarge almost to the scale of a kingdom. Less by war than by love: it was his marriage to Marguerite de Male, heiress of the counties of Flanders, Artois, Nevers and we forget some, which made his duchy one of the most powerful in France. The Beaune exhibition, presented in three places, hardly mentions him, any more than his son Jean sans Peur, preferring to focus on their successors, Philippe le Bon and Charles le Téméraire . The English owe to the first the capture of Joan of Arc and the knights of high lineage the creation of the Order of the Golden Fleece. It is the latter, with its necklace entangling the briquets of Burgundy , shaped metal tools that caused sparks , and supporting a golden ram’s skin, which serves as the red thread of the interesting titled exhibition. , in western mode, “The Good, the Bold and the Chancellor”. the Hospices de Beaune, a luxurious hospital for the time and intended for the “poor”, where part of the exhibition is held. Another is installed at the local Fine Arts Museum and a third at the Wine Museum, The city of Beaune on the exhibition : https://www.beaune.fr/exposition/

The Cluny Museum is reborn in a new light ,Closed for two years for works, the Parisian establishment dedicated to medieval art will reopen in the spring, with a new chronological route and more works on display. The Smell, one of the six tapestries composing The Lady with the Unicorn, lent for two and a half months to the Abattoirs de Toulouse, where it attracted nearly 50,000 visitors, the tapestry is back at the National Museum of the Middle Ages, whose reopening is announced for early 2022. webpage : https://www.musee-moyenage.fr/en/collection/the-lady-and-the-unicorn.html

The RATP has taken matters into its own hands to combat traffic jams. The idea? An urban cable car that will fly over the Seine and connect to line 13 of the metro. Renamed Cable 1, the cable car will offer 5 stations accessible from 2025. It will thus be possible to reach the 4.5 km between Pointe-du-Lac in Créteil and Bois-Matar in Villeneuve-St-Georges in 17 minutes. Up to 1,600 passengers per hour and per direction of traffic will be able to use the cable car, enough to relieve road traffic. Work will begin this spring. It remains to be seen how the pylons will fit into the Parisian landscape… !

Finally , after almost five years delays, the new metro stations on line 12 in Aubervilliers are just waiting for travelers, All that remains is to carry out the finishing work in the future Aimé-Césaire and Mairie d’Aubervilliers stations, The new section, 2 km long underground, of line 12 from its current terminus at the Front-Populaire station to the Mairie d’Aubervilliers is finally (almost) ready to welcome passengers, Line 12, which currently welcomes 250,000 passengers per day, should have 37,000 additional daily users after the opening of the new section. At peak times, the 31 stations on the line (after extension) will be served by a train every 2.10 minutes. Webpage: https://www.ratp.fr/en/plans-lignes/metro/12

The Association of Towns and Villages where life is good has put all our French towns to the test, and unsurprisingly, Paris is far from the top 10… The best rated in this again new top 10 are : Angers, Annecy, Bayonne, La Rochelle, Caen, Le Mans, Nice, Lorient ,Brest, and Rennes, webpage : https://www.villesetvillagesouilfaitbonvivre.com/

Le Donjon de Vez , located in the heart of the Oise (dept 60), this contemporary medieval residence reopened its doors on May 20,2021 after long months of work to offer a high-level cultural program. Built during the Hundred Years War, this high place in the history of Valois, Philippe Auguste, King of France from 1165 to 1223, made it his home and even Joan of Arc stayed there. This medieval fortress, with its walls, its curtain walls, and its battlements, became a place dedicated to contemporary creation in 1987. Great contemporary artists such as Sol LeWitt, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Daniel Buren, François Morellet or Bernar Venet thus found their inspiration in the majestic garden, webpage : https://www.donjondevez.com/

The highest ice rink in France opens this Saturday (today), on the 56th floor of the Montparnasse tower. The ice is synthetic but the experience is unique and the view of Paris, 210 meters high, breathtaking. Open until March 6 2022, On the financial side, tickets are quite expensive: 20 euros for adults (skates included). In addition, skating time is limited to 30 minutes and a gauge limits the number of simultaneous visitors to 200. pass. Webpage: https://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/en/our-events/the-highest-ice-rink-in-paris/

In another ,to save the paintings of the école militaire or Military School In barely two years, seven of the nine paintings in the chapel of Saint-Louis have found a patron to enable their restoration. But while the total bill should reach 405,000 euros, the quest for private funding continues. Facing the Trocadéro, the vast buildings of the Military School, built in the perspective of the Champ-de-Mars, are well guarded. However, every Sunday, for the 11h Mass, the large central porch opens to let parishioners from the 7éme arrondissement enter. And it is in this Saint-Louis Chapel that nine huge paintings are the subject of a restoration campaign, under the leadership of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. The Paris tourist office: https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71338/Ecole-Militaire

Ten years ago, Grand-Marnier left Neauphle-le-Château (Yvelines 78). This small town hosted the production of the famous liqueur for 130 years. But the new European standards have not made it possible to perpetuate the future of this site in the Yvelines. One of the most famous liqueurs in the world has long been made in the heart of the Yvelines. For almost 130 years, Neauphle-le-Château hosted the production of Grand-Marnier, right in the middle of this large village near Thoiry. At the beginning of the 19C, the Lapostolles, owners of a bistro in the heart of the town, opened a small distillery. It produces eau-de-vie from fruits of the region. Word of mouth, the marriage of a Lapostolle daughter to Louis-Alexandre Marnier, an ambitious and busy young man, his meeting with the owner of the famous Ritz hotel, will make Grand-Marnier a drink known throughout the world. Unfortunately for Neauphle, the adventure came to an end in 2012. New, more stringent European regulations forced the closure of this factory, deemed too dangerous for this urban environment. Since 2012, the processing of oranges has been relocated to Cognac (Charente dept 16 ) and bottling takes place in Gaillon, (Eure dept 27). webpage: https://www.grandmarnier.com/

In Rouen, the gallery organ of Saint-Nicaise will move to settle in the Parisian Church of the Saint Esprit or Holy Spirit to be restored and find a new life there. The Church of the Holy Spirit, was built in the 1930s , At the heart of an ambitious renovation which should transform it into a brasserie by 2024, the Saint-Nicaise church in Rouen (Seine-Maritime 76 ), deconsecrated and closed since 2006, will have to separate from its two organs. And if the smallest, that of choir, has to find refuge in the Halle aux toiles, a municipal building in the city center, the gallery organ will take the road to Paris. Webpage : https://www.st-esprit.org/notre-paroisse/#horaires

The circus Arlette Gruss, a crazy adventure for more than 35 years, Since the 1980s, the acrobats, trainers, clowns and technicians of the Arlette Gruss troupe have deployed their gigantic marquee all over France and have thus created an itinerant village, See it at a city near you, webpage : https://www.cirque-gruss.com/

La Pièce Unique or The Unique Piece, the first European roller disco franchise, crowned in Reims, In two years, the concept a franchise that has already spread to Charleville-Mézières, Troyes and Lille (North), pending Epinal, Châlons and Chambéry. Two store formulas, a small one which offers retro and pop culture products (video games, toys, derivative products, clothing, snacks, etc.) and a large one, which incorporates the same elements, but also arcade terminals, a cereal bar and… a roller disco track, With an impressive collection of several thousand Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles products is rapidly becoming a success. With young customers, but also with older ones. Dragon Ball figurines, Chilli M&Ms and video game cartridges are selling like hotcakes, The Piéce Unique establishment opened on January 28, 2022 in premises of 1,000 m2, in the commercial area of ​​Cormontreuil, a quarter of an hour from Reims, offers what made the first successes of the franchise, but has been embellished with an American-style bar (drinks, ice cream, cereals, milkshakes, etc.), an area dedicated to arcade games and a 1980s-style roller-skating track. Great to see it soon, Webpage : https://la-piece-unique-reims.mywizi.com/

One we have been eating quite a bit lately in our winter ! This Haute-Savoie cheese is the star of winter menus. But it is not only made for the tartiflette. They produce 16,500 tons of Reblochon each year, but it’s true that at the moment, if they produced twice as much, they will sell it without any problem, admits Bernard Mounier, of the Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochon , The AOP area is recognized since 1958, comprises 80% of the territory of Haute-Savoie, to which must be added the Val d’Arly, in Savoie. They cannot extend this area, or change the breeds, Abundance, Montbéliarde, Tarine, for more productive cows. The small town of Thônes, the “capital” of reblochon surrounded by spruce forests, to climb a little higher in the Aravis massif, and reach the town of Manigod. We will put it in our map the soonest, More ideas of the Reblouchon cheese  : https://www.reblochon.fr/en/

Why not end with our recipe of Tartiflette which we take from Marmiton:

Ingredients for a real Tartiflette ! 1 kg potatoes, 200 grams onion cutup, one round of Reblochon cheese Two spoonful of oil one head of garlic salt and pepperand 200 grams of smoked bacon, The preparation takes about 1h15 total

Peel the potatoes, cut them into cubes, rinse them well and dry them with a clean cloth. Heat the oil in a frying pan, sauté the onions. When the onions are melted, add the potatoes and brown them on all sides. When they are golden, add the bacon bits and finish cooking. Blot excess fat with a paper towel. On the other hand, scrape the rind of the Reblochon and cut it in half (or in four). Preheat the oven to 200°C (thermostat 6-7) and prepare a gratin dish by rubbing the bottom and edges with the peeled clove of garlic. In the gratin dish, spread a layer of potatoes with bacon bits, place half of the Reblochon on top, then more potatoes. Finish with the rest of the Reblochon (crust towards the potatoes). Bake for about 20 minutes of cooking.

There you go folks, another dandy from my belle France. Again, thanks for reading me over the years. Hope the post will give some ideas to come into France, we are already have two spots to go next, surprise.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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