The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

What is a bûche de Noël?

Posted by on in French Culture & Traditions

The Christmas meal in France, eaten on the evening of the 24th of December, wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t end with a delicious dessert of bûche de Noël, but what exactly is a bûche de Noël?  Literally translated bûche de Noël means Christmas log, and nowadays it comes in the form of a cake shaped more or less like a log.  Its origins however come from a real wooden log.bûche noël esther

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2016 is an Olympic year so in anticipation and celebration of the upcoming Rio Games I'm joining together with my blogging friends at Multicultural Kid Blogs in a series on the Olympics for kids (see more below).  I love the Olympics and France is a great sporting nation so I'm constantly surrounded by sport, particularly handball.  Let me explain more....

handball France and Olympic games

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Christmas in France, what's it all about, is it any different to elsewhere and is there anything special to enjoy?  I've written about it previously describing how the build up is slow and calm even under normal circumstances, but this year we’ve had to contend with tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, the resulting state of emergency nationwide and potentially worrying regional election results as well, meaning it hasn’t been the most festive of times recently.  Add to this a sense amongst many expats that Christmas is “better” at “home” surrounded by familiar traditions, sights and sounds and rather than feel happy and excited many find themselves feeling low and missing home.Christmas in Nice France

Christmas decorations at the Opera House in Nice

In a bid to spread some Christmas cheer I decided to ask my blogging friends what they like most about Christmas in France. 

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Christmas markets in France

Posted by on in French Culture & Traditions

Christmas markets in France are becoming more and more popular every year and yet when many people think of Christmas markets in Europe, France probably doesn’t even spring to mind. A quick internet search will throw up plenty of suggestions for Germany and Austria, maybe Belgium too but France doesn’t often feature.  This is a serious shortcoming as there are many Christmas markets in France, in fact they’re all over, and they’re great.  Think of how well France does regular weekly markets (all that fabulous fresh local food) and then add Christmas traditions, of which France has many, with plenty of regional varieties, and top it off with France’s joie de vivre and voilà, you’ve got a recipe for success!Christmas Markets in France Nice

Here I’m going to show you what to expect at a French Christmas market "marché de Noël" and where to find some of the best.

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I just picked up my car from being serviced this morning and found the radio station had been re-tuned from my regular station of choice to Radio FG.

**WARNING STRONG LANGUAGE! Don't read if you don't like the F-word!**

F word

So what?  Radio FG plays some good music.  I usually quite like their playlist and sometimes choose to listen to it in the car.  I used to listen to it a lot more when it was edgier, and less mainstream.  It claims to be the radio station for electro deep house, techno, dance and R’n’B although to my ignorant ears it sounds like pure Top 40 hits.  (I think it's changed...)  It started life in 1981 as a community radio station for the gay scene in Paris.  FG stood for fréquence gaie (gay frequency).

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