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France Travel News 02/17/2011

  • Prince de Galles hotel sells off all its furniture as it closes for renovation

    A LUXURY Paris hotel built in 1928 to welcome the future Edward VIII is selling off all its furniture in a bid to freshen its image and gain five stars. The Prince de Galles (Prince of Wales), whose former guests include Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich and Elvis Presley, is closing for a year for a complete refurbishment. Until last year, four stars (which the hotel has) was France’s top rating, but five are now available if hotels meet exacting new criteria. Tomorrow there is a sale at the hotel itself of all its professional equipment: kitchen items, safes, baths, beds, curtains, bars, fitness machines etc. Then on February 26-27 auctioneers Lasseron are selling off furniture such as arm chairs, chests of drawers, lamps and mirrors.

  • Mike D’s Blog: A Delicious Half Bottle of Santenay

    James Suckling wine blog has Mike D of the Beastie Boys review a half bottle of 2006 Jean-Marc Morey Santenay, and my world came full circle and I can now die.

  • Sarkozy Asks Ministers To Take Vacation In France

    Sarkozy told ministers at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday to "prioritize France" when picking holiday destinations. But in a political faux pas of his own, Sarkozy said any invitations by foreign governments must be approved by the prime minister – the same man who vacationed on Egypt's dime.

  • Video app offers a humorous approach to learning French

    Actress Anne-Sophie Franck of the film Inglourious Basterds stars as Daphnée in the series, which takes a distinctly modern and sometimes humorous approach to daily Parisian life. Included in each interactive chapter are an hour of video content plus karaoke-style subtitles, an extended glossary and a quiz; users can also ask Daphnée any question regarding their training and receive an answer within 24 hours.

  • Pets can no longer be excluded from holiday rentals in France –

    The French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) has ruled that it is illegal for owners of holiday rentals to ban pets after a French consumer association invoked a 1970 law which had previously only applied to long term rentals. The judge has now decided that this should also apply to vacation rentals. The clause states that access cannot be denied to pets but did not go as far as stating what animals should be categorized as 'pets' or the amount, so in theory exotic pets such as a pet python could also be included.

  • France evacuates 6,000 Parisians after unexploded World War Two bomb discovered

    The 1000lbs device – half of which was made of high explosive – was found on land in France owned by carmaker Renault in Boulogne-Billancourt. It was originally dropped 69 years ago in a hugely successful mission involving a then record 223 aircraft who did everything possible to avoid killing civilians. Military experts worked from around 8am to noon to diffuse it, with the all clear being given early in the afternoon. Men, women and children were led from their homes in the morning by some 400 policemen. Many of the evacuees carried food and family pets with them, while some even had suitcases.

  • Montpellier mayor marries two gay men

    A gay couple have been “married” by the maire of Montpellier. Socialist Hélène Mandroux married a local radio boss, Florent Robin, 49, and a teacher of Portuguese, Tito Santos-Mota, 51, in a symbolic ceremony designed to raise the issue of the unequal treatment of gay people. Ms Mandroux did not officially enter the marriage in the register and the couple decided not to kiss, saying they would wait for it to be made official first.

  • Paris Catacombs – National Geographic Magazine

    Getting There: It involves manholes and endless ladders.
    What to Wear: Miner's helmets are good.
    What to do: Work, party, paint—or just explore the dark web of tunnels.

  • Paris Catacombs – National Geographic Magazine

  • Charcutepalooza

    Together with Kate Hill of the Kitchen at Camont in France’s Gascony region, Trufflepig is offering the grand prize for the craziest food phenomenon ever to hit the web: the aptly-named Charcutepalooza. Read on for details of how to win a food trip that’s really worth its salt.