On Thursday Muslims across the world will embark upon a month long fast during daylight hours for the holy month of Ramadan. The traditional fast is never an easy undertaking, but it's arguably much harder for those living in a non-Muslim, northern European country like France where the days are long and the country's favourite hobby is eating and drinking. Naturally being a secular, non-Muslim country, France is not really adapted to cater to the peculiarities of the holy month. In some Muslim majority countries, schools and offices start late and end early, restaurants only offer special Ramadan buffets punctually anticipated for customers to break their fast, and even shopping malls trim down their hours, conveniently setting them between 9pm to 2am. Yet there are an estimated 5.7 million Muslims in France - some 8.8 percent of the population - according to a 2017 report by the Pew Research Center. So over the next month, millions of practicing Muslims will have to abstain from … [Read more...] about Ramadan: The challenges of fasting for a month in France
Meals in france
At least part of France's appeal to foreigners is its legendary quality of life, the magic result of great food, one of the world's best healthcare systems, spectacular outdoors to enjoy and a healthy respect for leisure time. But is that reality or fantasy? How healthy is life in France day to day, especially as a newcomer? We want to hear from you. French food: too much of a good thing? The French pride themselves on knowing how to eat, which makes France one of the easiest places in the world to find freshly made food or the top-notch ingredients to cook it. Are you a convert to French cuisine and local, traditionally produced food? Do you obsess over terroir, do you know the farm where all your vegetables are grown and are you on first-name terms with your fishmonger? Let's face it though, France is better known for its meat and cheese than its salads. All that charcuterie and steak tartare is high in flavor but also in fat, salt and nitrates, and doctors fear it … [Read more...] about Members’ Forum: Is living in France really better for your health?
France has been a family favourite for British holidaymakers for decades. In fact, around 17 million of us go there each year - and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. But where can you head if you want to make the most of your trip? Mirror Travel has teamed up with holiday specialist Eurocamp – which has been helping British travellers enjoy French getaways for more than 40 years – to share its exclusive insider travel tips in eight key regions. Find out the best things to see and do, the best cheap eats and shopping, not to mention the Eurocamp parks in the region you won't want to miss... You can also find some great Eurocamp deals in our handy guide here . Which regions are in the guide? Riviera/Provence Picardy/Normandy Loire Valley Brittany Languedoc-Roussillon Dordogne Gironde/Gastony/Pyrénées 1. Riviera/Provence The Riviera is a procession of chic towns, blissful beaches and dazzling light. Inland Provence is renowned for its … [Read more...] about Best places to go in France for a cheap family holiday that’s action-packed too
Lavender fields in Provence. Photo: Ming-yen Hsu/Flickr There are certain smells that you can't help but associate with France whether it's Provence or Paris. Here are 21. On top of its beautiful sights and evocative sounds, France also has its own set of distinctive smells. 1. Cheese wafting from the fromagerie From the smell wafting from fromageries when you walk down the street to the cheese counter at the supermarket and the Camembert reminding you of its presence whenever you open the fridge door, it's hard to escape the smell of cheese when you're in France. Photo: Chris Buecheler/Flickr 2. Cigarette smoke The smell of cigarettes is practically inescapable on the streets of France and that's especially true if you sit on the terrace of a French café or walk past almost any office block at any time of the day. 3. Coffee French cafes play an essential role in daily life when you're in … [Read more...] about The 21 smells that let you know you’re in France
While some of that might be true and many, perhaps even most au pairs have a great experience during their time in France, many discover the job isn't quite what they'd expected. If you’re considering becoming an au pair in France, here are a few things to think about before you sign on the dotted line by someone who's been through it all before. Get ready to become a gourmet chef Rather than cooking one meal for dinner, be ready to prepare a feast if you’re an au pair in France. Imagine the baby crying, the toddler tugging on your pant leg and the teenager refusing to do their homework. Meanwhile, the food on the stove is boiling over and it turns out you have to prepare three courses, not one, while babysitting. If you are cooking for a family, keep in mind that in France most meals have three courses: a raw veggies appetizer, main course and dessert -- which is usually a dairy product and a … [Read more...] about 10 things you need to consider before becoming an au pair in France