Le Perche: every farmyard looks like a painting

Beauty, tragedy and black pudding: the delights of Normandy

16 May 2015 9:00 am

I am compiling a list of the best black puddings. It began in Spain when I encountered my first morcilla…

Gascony: nice, but couldn't it be warmer?

Nigel Lawson’s diary: Escaping election tedium in la France profonde

2 May 2015 9:00 am

I have escaped this rather depressing election campaign by retreating to my home in la France profonde — to be…

A beautiful maze: Marseille’s Old Town

The pleasures of getting lost in Marseille

2 May 2015 9:00 am

If you haven’t been lost in Marseille then you can’t have been there. As Alexandre Dumas wrote, this is a…


A fingertip symphony in a deeply rural French ladies’ hairdresser

2 May 2015 9:00 am

Two stylists work at this deeply rural French ladies’ hairdresser. Christelle is a gorgeous 17-year-old point-of-lay pullet, so lithe and…

Psychoanalyst Carl Jung (Photo: Getty)

Carl Jung meets David Icke (and writes a book of bonkers business-speak)

25 April 2015 9:00 am

What do you get if you cross renegade psychoanalyst Carl Jung with lizard-men conspiracist David Icke? It is a question…

Ben van Beurden (Photo: Getty)

How Helge Lund’s humungous salary helped Shell to a bargain

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Helge Lund was widely expected to go into domestic politics when he ended his successful tenure as head of Statoil,…


Left-wing populism is on the rise - and may take Ed Miliband to No10

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Would-be leaders of the left are harnessing the mood of angry populism

‘Propeller (Air Pavilion)’, 1937

Better than Robert? Sonia Delaunay at Tate Modern reviewed

18 April 2015 9:00 am

In 1978, shortly before she died, the artist Sonia Delaunay was asked in an interview whether she considered herself a…

French villager Lucile Angellier, played by Michelle Williams, falls for a Nazi soldier

Suite Francaise review: what is this film playing at, when it comes to Jews in attics?

14 March 2015 9:00 am

Suite Française is being billed as a second world war romance about ‘forbidden love’ and, in this regard, it is…

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Photo: Getty

France, England and the tragedy of DSK

28 February 2015 9:00 am

When we consider poets who perished before their day, thoughts turn to the Romantics or the war victims: Burns, Keats,…


How Marine Le Pen is winning France’s gay vote

24 January 2015 9:00 am

Marine Le Pen’s unlikely rainbow coalition


How to save Islam from the Islamists

17 January 2015 9:00 am

It’s time to reclaim Islam from the Islamists


The battling brilliance of Burgundy

17 January 2015 9:00 am

There is only one answer to the question ‘Burgundy or claret?’ ‘Yes, but never in the same glass.’ Yet I…


Good news! The eurozone is now strong enough to split

10 January 2015 9:00 am

Ever since European Central Bank president Mario Draghi declared himself ready, in July 2012, ‘to do whatever it takes to…

Winter Hits Germany

The charming little airport that ruins thousands of holidays

10 January 2015 9:00 am

The charming little airport that ruins thousands of skiing holidays

Outsize origami: Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton

Le French bashing has spread to France. Are things really that bad?

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The popular sport has spread to France. Are things really that bad, wonders Jonathan Meades


Cognac and the Viking connection in la France profonde

13 December 2014 9:00 am

The chestnut trees were still resplendent in yellow leaf along the banks of a misty autumn river on its glide…


Is Nicolas Sarkozy headed back to the Elysée – or to jail?

29 November 2014 9:00 am

Destiny is calling Nicolas Sarkozy. But it’s not clear whether he’s heading back to the Elysée – or to jail

Three glamorous guests, 1921

A miracle: French hotels actually like dogs

22 November 2014 9:00 am

The first time I checked in to a French hotel with a golden retriever — his name was Gregory, predecessor…

The real French embassy is a restaurant

22 November 2014 9:00 am

Semper eadem. There is some basement in a Mayfair street that is forever France. It is not far from the…


Wear a veil if you like – but don’t treat women like that

25 October 2014 9:00 am

What sort of clothing do you wear when you go to the opera? I assume some of you do go…

Proof that the Japanese know how to make great Bordeaux

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Château Lagrange, a St Julien third growth, has the largest acreage of any Bordeaux classed growth. For much of the…


In praise of the Loire - cradle of civilisation, and wonderful wines

27 September 2014 8:00 am

Rivers are the cradles of civilisation and the Loire is an outstanding example. It is one of the head-waters of…


Countries shape character (so get ready to like Scots less)

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Is national character real? If so, how is it formed?

Lu Kongjiang, taking part in a ‘bee beard’ competition in Shaoyang, Hunan Province, China, 2011 From In Praise of Bees: A Cabinet of Curiosities by Elizabeth Birchall (Quiller Publishing, £30, pp. 255, ISBN 9781846891922)

Bees make magic: an inspirational case for biodiversity

13 September 2014 9:00 am

The importance of biodiversity, a handy concept that embraces diversity of eco-systems, species, genes and molecules, has been promoted for…