Musée des Arts et Métiers

Before The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, the most famous literary thriller involving coded manuscripts, secret societies, and a gruesome sacrifice was Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. An investigation into conspiracy theories and the Templar Knights, a meditation on symbols and language, a serious poststructuralist joke, there’s no doubt that Eco beat Dan Brown to the punch.

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The Unsung Museums of Paris

Pass through La Pinacothèque during the weekday lunch hour, and you will soon realise that if there is one thing that rivals a Parisian’s obsession with food, it’s art. Although French lunches can be famously long, many of the daytime visitors to La Pinacothèque had apparently sacrificed their midday meal in order to find a different type of satiation.

This passion for art, and culture in general, is reflected in the vast number of museums in Paris.

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Bed & Breakfast on a French Farm

The French countryside has an appeal that is almost primordial in nature: beautiful land, temperate weather and fertile soil – what more could a society want? The subject of both envy and inspiration, it has been fought over, divvied up, bequeathed, painted and written about for centuries. But if life for French farmers has never been the paradise that the landscape seems to promise, the country’s beauty and lore still casts a powerful spell – from Provence to Britanny, people continue to fall in love with la campagne.

Want to spend a few nights on a French farm?

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Voyage dans le noir

Better than a handbag

Today I got stuck in an elevator. And not just any elevator, but a Louis Vuitton elevator on the Champs-Elysées. An LVMH elevator that was entirely black inside, without any lights or buttons. At first I thought it was some sort of art thing. But after thirty seconds, I noticed that the elevator had not done a single thing, except to trap me inside.

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