Posts Tagged ‘Provence’

Was is news on MP2013, the latest film…or maybe a new exhibition?

No!  It was… (more…)

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This list celebrates some of the ephemeral things that we saw during 2013. It’s an incomplete list, I know, as I spent much time in England and missed lots, the Aix Carnaval for instance which sounded great, plus the Transhumance.

But these things I saw and loved: (more…)

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In Spring last year, Marseille residents and visitors were invited to upload their photos to the ‘Chercheurs du Midi’ website to construct a communal photo album of life in Provence. (more…)

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Used to the typical British supermarket-scrum at Christmas, I was amazed arriving in Aix at the care and attention that goes into putting together the Provencal Christmas.  My new French friends would recommend this boulanger for the buche de Noel and that cave for the vin cuit.  I also learned about the treize desserts which have graced the table on Christmas Eve from time immemorial. 

But to my surprise this week, I read that these treize desserts are not all that traditional at all.  The current issue of A IMG_6474Table explains that (more…)

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‘Renoir’ looks to be a suitably warm and sun-dappled experience for a frosty evening in Provence.  I missed it in the cinema limousin_france3_fr-renoirand see that it got mixed reviews with some people loving its ambiance and others finding it bordering on the tedious.  The ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ website gave it (more…)

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GroupeFWhat exactly these ‘Révelations’ will be remains to be seen but we can expect a dazzling display of water and fireworks, words and music, sound and video – all played out from the terraces of the Grand Théatre de Provence from 18:00.  The publicity says it will be tres poétique and that we will witness une ephémere tour de Babel.


Groupe F, the Arles-based organisation who are putting on the show, have already carried out 5 Révélations so far for MP2013: Arles, Cassis Martigues, Port Saint-Louis and Marseille.  Ours here in Aix is the sixth and penultimate event and promises to be spectacular.

It will be ideal for families but, says the publicity, the concept of ‘family’ is irrelevant for this event as whatever our age, we will all have the eyes of children.  I do love the way French marketeers put things!

So, a revelation in store for us all and I for one can’t wait!

Details of the organisation on: www.groupef.com  Expect road-closures around les Allées Provencales 17:30-19:00. www.aixenprovence.fr.



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bandeauThis past weekend saw the launch of ‘Bienvenue chez vous’, a PACA-funded programme which aims to showcase its patrimoine regional to locals. Numerous tourist sites will be opening free or at reduced costs from now until 4th November.

There are 5 themes (Terre de saveurs, Senteurs de Provence, Dans la Nature, Histoire, Arts et Civilisation and Decouverts Economiques.)  Details on http://bienvenuechezvous.regionpaca.fr/front_office/

header-metierdesarts-routegourmandeThere’s a second programme which should be interesting if you have newly arrived or have visitors who want to find authentic culinary or artisanal enterprises to visit.

 La Route Gourmande takes you around artistan patissiers, glaciers and confiseurs who all welcome visitors. There are four itineraries around Marseille, Pays d’Aix, the Cote Bleu and the Alpilles. To give you a flavour of the suggestions for Aix, the drive takes in the Chocolaterie at Puyricard, the Confiserie Leonard Parli for calissons, the Weibel Patisserie, Macarons Meresse, the Liquoristerie de Provence – and so on.

The second programme, La Route des Metiers d’Art is a similar concept but takes you around potteries, people making soft furnishings, oil-mills, violin-makers and jewellers.

Details of both are on this website http://www.provenceartisans.fr/ or you can collect two useful booklets which have details of opening times and of course the maps, from the Office du Tourisme.

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July 4th is going to be a pretty busy day in Aix with thousands descending on the town to see the departure of the cyclists on their etage of 175km to Montpellier.  Most of the primary schools are being closed as will many of the roads in centre ville. Over 50,000 people are expected to attend as well as 2269 journalists.  At least its great news for the local hotels with 1756 beds in the département booked.

The ‘Caravane’ of sponsors’ vehicles sets off on its parade lap at 11:00, then leaves the official departure line at 11:20 to make its way along the route dispensing freebies and entertaining the waiting crowds.  This year there will be 300 vehicles and 23 articulated trucks in the convoy.

The ‘Peloton’ of cyclists leave at 13:00 for their parade lap round town, then the real race starts at 13:20.  They will be in Eguilles at 13:22 –  2 minutes to get to Eguilles!

If you want to know more about the minute-by-minute schedules for each day the cyclists are in Provence, you should arm yourself with tour bookthe new hors-series from La Provence which is on sale at kiosks for 2,80€. 

In addition it has lots of interviews with local cyclists and focuses on ‘le Géant de Provence’ – Mont Ventoux.  At 1912m, it is one of the big climbs of Le Tour and has a fearsome reputation.  Aixcentric fils cycled up there on Saturday, then halfway down, met some buddies and cycled back up! 

I think that deserves a  …..enjeux_maillot_jaune

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….has to be such a fun thing to do.  A couple of summers ago, Aixcentric fils and I put two bikes in the boot and set off for Marseille.  We parked easily after the Corniche and then set off to cycle right along the sea front past Pointe Rouge.  (more…)

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It’s summer, it’s hot…and so is the choice of outings this weekend.  MUCEM finally opens (see last post) and remember across the road there is the beautifully-restored sanitary station which houses the Regards de Provence museum.  Their colourful show of paintings of Marseille, highly recommended, has been extended to 16th June, open daily.

transhumanceBut the most astonishing event has to be the culmination of the TransHumance processions which arrive in Marseille this coming weekend.

How will the assorted sheep, goats and horses fare when streaming through the streets of France’s second largest city? 

The agenda is here: http://www.mp2013.fr/evenements/2013/06/arrivee-de-la-transhumance-a-marseille/?lang=en

In complete contrast, the Vive Coté Sud show in Aix’s Parc Jourdan enters its 15th year.  The theme this year is ‘Les Suds en Terrasse’.

magazine-imageI love the French expression, ‘un petit coin de paradis’ and this exhibition shows you how to create one.  There are lots of stands to inspire and interviews with designers and architects to inform.  I have been to several of these shows over the years and always come out with lots of ideas, to the joy of M. Aixcentric……….

Here is the press kit with all relevant information: cote sud

The Great Gatsby is still on at the cinemas and I would highly recommend it.  I was put off by the negativity of many of the reviews, but, when I finally saw it, really enjoyed it.  The cinematography is outstanding – especially in 3D – with the camera zooming through the opulent parties at West Egg and the contrasting desolation of the Valley of Ashes; the acting is good, especially Carey Mulligan as Daisy.  The costumes and sets are just wonderful;  and I was surprised by the power and impact of the Jay-Z and Beyoncé soundtrack. gatsby  Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation stuck pretty well to Fitzgerald’s plot and brought the novel alive right up to the sadness of the famous ending.  Recommended!

Sometimes I do struggle to understand what is going on round here.  Have a look at this one: http://www.mp2013.fr/evenements/2013/06/in-loving-memory-2/?lang=en  where ‘audiences relearn how to breathe together, to think and to speak’.  It seems to be some sort of theatrical/cinematic experience…if anyone goes, do let us know what it is!!

Enjoy the weekend.

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