Marvellous Marseille…

is the theme for a big exhibition opening in the town this month.  ‘Marseille de Port en Ports’ celebrates its astonishing geography, colour and light – and its 57 km coastline with 20 ports which range from fishing villages, holiday boat marinas, cruise-ship terminals and the bustling commercial docks, not forgetting the historical heart which is the Vieux Port.

The Musee Regards de Provence has pulled together 160 paintings and photographs from its own collection as well as museums, private collections and archives across town.

What an artistic feast it promises to be! Continue Reading »

We had a Camembert to eat up and I suddenly remembered a French recipe which I hadn’t made for a long time and which was perfect for a winter’s feast: Baked Leek and Potato Gratin.  It’s really simple and quite delicious.  Here’s the recipe: Continue Reading »

The annual international Christmas carols service will be held at 15:30 on 5th December at Aix’s ancient cathedral which is always packed for the occasion.  Go early to get a seat and this year you will need a pass sanitaire and mask.  Thanks to Kirk for the reminder and poster. 2021 Aix Poster A3

It’s a great start to the festive season in Provence!


French Films to Enjoy

Browsing in an English charity shop, I came across ‘Mississippi Mermaid’, a film from the 60s by Francois Truffault.  It tells the story of a bachelor in la Reunion played by Jean-Paul Belmondo.  Lonely, he advertises for a prospective marriage partner and eagerly rushes to greet the Mississippi, the boat bringing her to the island.  Enter Catherine Deneuve.

The pair find themselves travelling to France, where they decide to stay in Aix! Continue Reading »

Bilingual Comedian in Aix

Paul Taylor, a popular British/Irish comedian who performs mainly in France, has a show in Aix next week.

At the Pasino, 25th November, 20.30.  Tickets from 26 euros.  Lots of video streams via Google if you  want to check him out first.  Thanks to Sophie for the heads-up on this one.

The Birdwatcher’s Wife

As January 1st 2019 dawned, St Remy-resident Ralph Padgett, was brimful of enthusiasm for a very special challenge: he planned to spend the year spotting 200 birds in France.  Having given his wife Gayle solid support for her year researching and writing ‘Passion for Provence’, charting the American couple’s establishment of their new French life, now he was asking for solid support for his project.

Gayle writes: ‘ I envisioned staying in charming inns, enjoying gastronomic delights and sipping local wines. I’d roam quaint villages, find inventive artisans and discover unusual festivals’. Markets and spas were on her agenda too.

But were these places that birds hang out?  Or do they gravitate to sewage treatment plants, landfill sites, marshes or wind-swept mountain sides.

Living near the Carmargue, home was a good place to start, and the first month went so well with 76 birds spotted;  but of course these were the easiest to see, and as the months rolled by, the challenge grew as the more secretive species were sought.  The couple visited  the Pyrenees, St Jean de Lux, Aix, Barcelonette, the Cote d’Azur as well as Erquy in the north.

So…did Gayle find charming inns and markets?  And did Ralph track down 200 of his feathered friends?

‘The Birdwatcher’s Wife’ is a fascinating mix of travelogue and the hidden world of birdwatchers.  I think it would make an interesting and welcome Christmas present for Francophiles and nature-lovers alike.

Now available in bookstores and also online at Amazon, print and Kindle.

A visit to Les Carrieres de Lumieres is a must for art-lovers in Provence.  The disused quarry walls provide a brilliant backdrop for projecting massive paintings simultaneously in a head-spinning display, accompanied by specially-chosen music which can add another layer of meaning.

The themes this year, 2021 to Jan 16 2022, are Cézanne for the 30 minute programme, with Kandinsky for the shorter session.


Looking forward to the Cézanne, I was amazed that it was the Kandinsky show that blew my socks off.  His brightly coloured abstract motifs whirled out of their frames, spinning across the rough surfaces like constellations. Continue Reading »

It’s sad to see well-loved local businesses succumb to various pressures and cease trading.  Thanks to Susan Gish for flagging these three up to Aixcentric. Continue Reading »

Here’s an idea for a splendid day out in Provence right now – the tourists have in the main gone home and there are still sunny days to enjoy.

Boating on the lower gorges du Verdon isn’t as well known as Lac St Croix but all the better for that in terms of easy parking and access to boats.  And it’s very beautiful.

Continue Reading »

It’s hard to believe but it’s ten years since Aixcentric began: Continue Reading »