St Nicholas… Santa Claus… Father Christmas

HO! HO! HO!

Even though some of the American/British folkloric characters don’t come to France, you’ll be happy to know that the jolly old man in the red suit does. Of course, he goes by a different name: in France he’s known as Père Noël, or Father Christmas.

Read more of this article by Margo Letz HERE

 

24/7 in France wishes each and everyone of you a Happy Holiday season and all the best for love, health, & happiness in 2015

 & Thank you for your readership!

Margo Lestz - The Curious Rambler

Santa Nast 1881

Even though some of the American/British folkloric characters don’t come to France, you’ll be happy to know that the jolly old man in the red suit does. Of course, he goes by a different name: in France he’s known as Père Noël, or Father Christmas.

History of St Nick
The history of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, dates back to the 4th century, when a priest from the area that is now Turkey came on the scene. He was known for his generosity, said to have performed miracles and eventually became Saint Nicholas, the protector saint of children. The legend evolved over the centuries that on December 6th, St Nick would descend from the sky on his donkey (or sometimes on a white horse), go into houses by way of the chimney and leave gifts for well-behaved children. The children would leave their shoes by the fireplace with some carrots…

View original post 881 more words

Matisse in Vence

Reblogged: Written by Margaret Clare in Provence-Alpes for thegoodlifefrance

Nestling into the hillside above the little town of Vence in the Alpes-Maritimes lies the Chapelle du Rosaire or, as it is often called, the Matisse Chapelle de Vence.  Henri Matisse lived in Vence after the war when he was recovering from illness. The district in which the Chapelle is located in the town is now called Matisse District…

Vence – in the footsteps of Matisse

Matisse, recovering from an abdominal operation, advertised for a young and pretty nurse to assist him. Monique Bourgeois, the nurse who fulfilled the role, later became his model and eventually a Dominican nun in the convent in Vence.
Sister Jacques-Marie as she became, retained her friendship with the artist and later asked him to help design a Chapel that the nuns could use for their devotions. The Mother Superior frowned upon this relationship – but the project carried on regardless.

Matisse wrote that he did not choose the work for the Chapel, but instead he believed he was chosen by fate – it was an expression of spirituality. He believed that God had given artists the beautiful light to compose their paintings and this was his way of sharing – through this sacred commission. Although Matisse had been born a Catholic he was an atheist – but the Chapel gave him a chance to realise his life’s work.  When completed, he stated that it was ‘his life’s masterpiece’.

The Chapelle’s design is centered on the light, which he used in all its glory. The luminosity of the sun streams through the stained glass windows, which reflect the colours of Provence – blue for the azure sea and sky, green for verdant grasses and yellow for the plentiful sun. The walls are covered in white ceramic tiles, which have the figures of the Madonna and Child and St Dominique in his robes painted on them. The Stations of the Cross are represented as a tableau – black on white tiling. The pain and suffering is clearly portrayed in this Composition. The result when the sun streams through the windows means the colours are painted onto the white tiles – producing a dancing, ever changing artwork.

Everything inside the Chapelle and outside was included in this, his end of life, task. The altar, the crucifix, the roof tiles and the mystical spirals on the roof which are almost oriental in appearance. The roof tiles are a luxuriant blue – in complete contrast to the usual Provencal ochre tiles.

Matisse completed this work in 1951 and died in Nice in 1954. Sister Jacques-Marie was given the final punishment for her friendship with the artist – she was forbidden from attending his funeral.

The Chapelle is located next to the Dominican convent and on the side facing the Convent is a Roundel painted into the Apex – 2 entwined, nude figures, male and female. I smile wryly when I see this as I feel it was Henri Matisse’s final arrow for the disapproving nuns – they would forever have to look upon a slightly risqué painting….

Video of the Chapel by BBC Presenter Alastair Sooke – who was moved to tears by the beauty of the little Chapelle and its significance in the life of Matisse and all that it portrays:

EVENT 06: Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes

REBLOGGED FROM The Riviera Grapevine

What have you got planned for Sunday?

If you happen to be in the area, and fancy a chance to sample some of the unique wines of the Alpes-Maritimes, why not pop into the annual Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes in Saint-Paul de Vence?

October 19th marks the 2014 edition of this annual harvest festival for theVins des Baous et des Collines. Translated into normal speak, this term refers to the three vineyards found high in the hills behind the Riviera coastline, near the imposing cliff face above Saint-Jeannet:

  • Domaine Saint Joseph in Tourettes-sur-Loup and Saint-Paul de Vence
  • Le Petit Vigneau/Domaine La Vasta in Saint-Paul de Vence
  • Domaine Les Hautes Collines de la Côtes d’Azur in Saint-Jeannet

The setting is quintessentially southern French, Place de Gaulle in Saint-Paul de Vence.

Fête des Vendanges et des Châtaignes

For one day only, this popular square for playing pétanque is given over to this autumnal celebration of wines, chestnuts and other delicious local specialties (my advice is to queue early for the socca).

Last year, along with my wine partners-in-crime Rod (from the Riviera Wine Academy) and Tom, I enjoyed a glorious October afternoon wandering the dozen or so stands. The three vineyards had a generous selection of their wines on tasting, which were also available to buy.

This year, I’m looking forward to tasting the 2013 vintage, although I’ll be even more excited next year as the grapes I helped harvest at both Domaine Saint Joseph and Le Petit Vigneau this September will have finally made it into the bottle!

If you do plan to go, why not combine the event with an exploration of the medieval alleyways of Saint-Paul de Vence, one of the Côte d’Azur’s most charming villages? You could further spoil yourself by lunch in the village (La Colombe d’Or, I wish!) or browsing original works by Matisse, Léger and Kandinsky (to name a few) at Saint-Paul’s renowned Foundation Maeght,  currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Credit:  Chrissie at The Riviera Grapevine

Bellet Wines in Nice

Just 30 minutes from the center of Nice is one of the oldest wine regions in France, dating back to the arrival of the Phocean Greek traders from Marseille.  Some vines are over 1000 years old and the wines of Bellet were awarded the coveted AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controllée) accreditation status in 1941.

Twice a year, the 10 AOC Bellet vineyards in the hills behind Nice open their doors and start popping corks – ‘Portes Ouvertes’ is a perfect opportunity to get tasting the local wines – free of charge!

Interactive domain map HERE (Organic wines are made at the Domaine de la Source.)

Portes ouvertes :
Samedi 24 et dimanche 25 mai 2014
Samedi 29 et dimanche 30 novembre 2014

Visitors welcome between 10am and 6pm on both days.

Enjoy a wine lover’s escape from the hustle and bustle of the city!

(Public bus transportation access or by car – Don’t forget to have a designated driver)

 See my previous post for the Chateau de Cremat in Bellet HERE

Source/Credit: The Riviera Reporter

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOURNÉES EUROPÉENNES DU PATRIMOINE

Affiche JEP-2014logo-ministere-de-la-culture-et-de-la-communication

 

 

 

 

 

 SEPTEMBER 20-21, 2014

Le week-end du 20 et 21 septembre 2014, les Journées du Patrimoine reviennent avec pour thème “Patrimoine culturel, patrimoine naturel”. Comme chaque année environ 16 000 sites publics ou privés seront ouverts au public.

This annual event is a unique opportunity to discover local heritage in all its splendour and variety by visiting sites and architectural features. A wide range of activities is organised throughout the department.

2014 Schedule:

Program in NICE 

Search in other Regions

France 3 Video HERE

 

Journees-europeennes-du-patrimoine-affiche

September Events in France

In Nice:france cartoon

Jeux de la Francophonie (Nice): 7-15 September, the 7th edition of this cultural and athletic youth event will take place with sporting, traditional and creative competitions between participants representing French-speaking nations from around the globe. www.nicetourisme.com

Nationwide events in France September 2014:

France Gourmet Week known as “Tous Au Restaurant”22-28 September 2014. All over France for a whole week restaurants will put offer a buy one meal, get one free menu. Search on the website for participating restaurants:www.tousaurestaurant.com

Fete de la Gastronomie 26-28 September, every corner of France will come alive with events to celebrate its UNESCO-listed ‘world intangible heritage’ status. From grand-scale concerts to local sing-a-longs, Michelin-star set menus to small village banquets, the country will be in lively spirits to celebrate one of its most popular claims to fame. www.economie.gouv.fr/fete-gastronomie

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine – European Heritage Days: 20 and 21 September across the whole country, hundreds of historical buildings, famous monuments, Government sites and places of interest – some of which are normally closed to the public, open their doors and welcome in visitors. It is an amazing opportunity to explore and find out more about some truly fantastic buildings in France. Discover the heritage of France, more about Journées Européennes du Patrimoine. www.journeesdupatrimoine.culture.fr/

 

AMUSEZ-VOUS BIEN!

Information Source: TheGoodLifeFrance

Les Nuits du Sud in Vence

Les Nuits du Sud is an annual outdoor series of concerts held in Vence.  The town blocks the entrances to the town a couple of hours before the start, in order to verify tickets of attendees and for those who are already inside the area, tickets are asked for and confirmed.

Since it had been rainy and the central area chairs were wet, we decided to sit on the terrace of a restaurant located just across from the stage area.  It was perfect as a dry, front row table for two with views of the large stage screens.  I found it amusing that my name was written as a name of nobility with ‘de’ and yes, it was a royal evening full of good food and music.

We listened to and enjoyed the singing of Maya Kamaty, followed by tango music by Plaza Francia. (videos below)

See remaining program HERE

 

concert logo

Sun, Sea, & Green

SUN:

“In an open-topped tour bus, a collector’s car, by Segway, by tram, on foot by boat or by bicycle, there are so many ways to discover Nice and its attractions! Are you having trouble choosing between a classical tour or a chance to get off the beaten tracks, an instructive treasure hunt to discover the history of Nice, a photographic trail accompanied by a professional photographer, a guided tour through some of the city’s most attractive districts with the Heritage Centre, a culinary tour featuring the theme of Niçois cuisine or a custom tour designed especially for you, supervised by a guide?

SEA:

Just imagine… 7 km of beaches bordering the famous Promenade des Anglais! 15 private beaches and 20 public ones in the very heart of the town! Beach restaurants where you can enjoy fish-based dishes, salads or other summertime cuisine with the sound of the waves in the background. Disabled access beaches, children’s games, organised features and entertainment and nautical activities, crystal clear water at just the right temperature …and an amazing view out to sea!   A number of private beaches organize music evenings where you can dance through the night under the stars, with your feet in the water!

GREEN:

As the “green city” of the Mediterranean, Nice is home to more than 100 gardens and some 20 parks with a surface area exceeding 10,000 m2 including the 7-hectare Parc Phoenix, a holder of the “Jardin remarquable” (Remarkable Garden) label. Genuine oases of greenery in the heart of the city, these parks and gardens have been designed to bring man into contact with nature, which can be discovered and admired at any time of year. Already ahead of target in terms of the national ECOPHYTO 2018 Plan, Nice is continuing its efforts to promote sustainable development and has opted for “zero pesticides” to protect biodiversity and the health of its citizens and visitors. Waterfalls, water fun areas and varied tree and shrub varieties await… Enjoy a lungful of fresh air… You’re in Nice!”

See major SUMMER EVENTS HEREKD paperback cover

Source: Nice Convention and Visitors Bureau

SSS widget cover

French Riviera Fireworks

070811_1913~01Summer 2014

JULY

Wed 9:  Cannes *

Fri 11:  Le Lavandou

Sat 12:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome) & Roquebrune Cap Martin

Sun 13:  Agay, Antibes, Bormes-les-Mimosas, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Golfe Juan, La Figueirette

Mon 14:  Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Cannes, Cavalaire, Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou, Menton, Nice, Port Grimaud, St. Laurent du Var, Ste. Maxime, St. Raphael, St. Tropez, Théoule

Tues 15:  La Napoule (Château)

Sat. 19:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Monaco

Mon 21:  Cannes *

Fri 25:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Le Lavandou

Sun 27:  Monaco

Tues 29:  Cannes *

Wed 30:  La Napoule

AUGUST

Fri 1:  Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou

Sun 3:  St. Raphael

Thurs 7:  Cannes *

Fri 8:  Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou

Sat 9:  Monaco, St. Jean Cap Ferrat

Tues 12:  La Napoule

Thurs 14:  Agay, Cagnes-sur-Mer, Roquebrune Cap Martin, San Remo

Fri 15:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Cannes, Juan-les-Pins, Le Lavandou, Menton, Nice, Port Grimaud, Ste. Maxime, St. Raphael, St. Tropez, Théoule

Sat 16:  Monaco

Sun 17:  Bormes les Mimosas

Fri 22:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), Le Lavandou

Sat 23:  Cagnes-sur-Mer (Hippodrome), la Napoule

Sun 24:  Antibes, Cannes *

Fri 29:  Le lavandou

* Check out the annual International Firework Festival in Cannes
(Festival d’art pyrotéchnique de Cannes)

(Schedule not all inclusive – check local Tourist Office sites for more information)

Source:  Riviera Reporter