Tales from the south of France.

Bonjour, I’m a California native living in the south of France and sharing my love of this beautiful region. I’ve lived in Provence since 2010 with my husband, daughter, and intrepid cat Bella. A part-time blogger, I also write for International Living magazine. Bienvenue!

Latest Blog Posts

  • Salade de Riz en Ratatouille

    Salade de Riz en Ratatouille

    This is a simple salad to make and especially good in the summer months as it is light but can easily be turned into an entire meal. The recipe calls for only one yellow pepper, but I often add red and green as well.  I usually simmer everything for a bit longer than 5 minutes […]

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  • Market Day in Toulon

    Market Day in Toulon

    If you’re looking to get a flair for multi-cultural Provence, look no further than a morning spent wandering through the main market of Toulon.  Among the sellers pushing their artichokes, olives, and tapenades in the twangy accent of the South, you’ll find a mix of new & long-standing immigrants doing their daily shopping.  Make sure to […]

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  • Visiting the Calanques at Cassis

    Visiting the Calanques at Cassis

    There are some places in the south of France that are so beautiful they make for a pinch-me-is–this-real kind of experience that you will not soon forget. The Calanques of Cassis are such a place, and should be put at the top of any visit. If you’ve ever even touched a guide to Provence, it’s more than […]

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  • Across the Café Table with the Travel Belles – My Favorite Souvenir

    Across the Café Table with the Travel Belles – My Favorite Souvenir

    This post is my submission for the Travel Belles’ monthly “travel chat”, Across the Cafe Table. This month’s question for “the gals” was, What’s you favorite travel souvenir?  Luckily I already had an answer prepped & ready-to-go.  My favorite souvenir is a hand-painted bottle of Mirto liqueur I picked up in Sardinia last month during our honeymoon. […]

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  • The “Tivoli” of Provence, Beautiful Barjols

    The “Tivoli” of Provence, Beautiful Barjols

    We set out early last Saturday for a beautiful village in the heart of Provence Verte (green Provence), Barjols.  Besides having a very well-organized tourist office, we were immediately taken with Barjols’ pretty squares and, the star attraction, its bubbling fountains. There is a downloadable walking tour of the fountain route available on the Provence […]

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  • 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your French

    5 Easy Ways to Improve Your French

    Glorious, Beautiful, Maddening…French Ah, French. This time not about “the French” people, but about their oh-so-beautiful language that can in turn move us deeply or confound us entirely – often at the same time. Granted, I make as many mistakes as the next expat (ranging from funny to outright embarrassing), but the question I’m asked most […]

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Belle visits around the Var.

We live in the Var department and spend a lot of our free time exploring the inland areas and the sea coast. The Var’s most famous town is St. Tropez and the administrative capital is Toulon.

Lou Calen hotel in Cotignac.
Lou Calen hotel in Cotignac
Jardin Secret restaurant
Mas des Avelines
Mas du Brulat
Sanary-sur-Mer market