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The Good Life France's podcast

Janine Marsh & Olivier Jauffrit

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Everything you want to know about France and more… in a free podcast. Janine Marsh, Editor of The Good Life France, award-winning travel writer and author of best-selling memoirs about life in France with her unruly chickens, dogs, cats, ducks and geese, quirky neighbours and the joys of renovation, and Olivier Jauffrit, the vintage French music expert at Radio Paris Chanson – have teamed up to make a podcast!
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Find out all about French etiquette! The social rules that France has are fascinating. We’re going to look at the history of French etiquette, and some of the most common, unspoken rules that can enhance your experience if you’re visiting France - from dining at a chic Parisian café to greeting a local in Provence. Dive into the world of French eti…
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In this episode we talk about the most famous French female singer of all time. A woman whose voice inspires more than 50 years after her death. It is of course Edith Piaf, who remains in the hearts of the people of France and continues to sell huge amounts of recordings worldwide. It is a rags to riches tale, born in the street, working the street…
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Today we explore la bise! That’s French for the kiss, but not just any old kiss, this is the kiss of friendship that I am referring to, the tradition the French have of kissing on the cheek when they meet friends and family. One of the etiquette rules that confuses just about everyone new to France is kissing! Do you or don’t you kiss someone when …
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In this episode we talk you through an A to Z of French words and phrases - some are quirky, some are beautiful and some are historic. These are phrases that pepper the everyday language and will help you sound French, especially as Oli, the French half of the podcast team will say them in French properly! The French love their own language and the…
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In today's episode we talk about some of the most well-known, classic, delicious foods of France that we know were made by accident but became total celebrities in their own right! Find out how two sisters running a small hotel created Tarte Tatin, and the strange legends of how their accidental apple tart became super famous. Discover how a Britis…
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In this episode, we explore the origins of an American icon. She is world famous. She’s very tall. And she’s French. She is known as the Statue of Liberty. The statue of Liberty is an iconic landmark and one of the most recognised symbols of the United States. But did you know that Lady Liberty is an immigrant? It’s true, she’s a French woman by bi…
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2024 is the 150th anniversary of Impressionism – an art movement which began in France, and one of the key figures of the movement was Claude Monet, one of the most celebrated artists of all time and a household name today. So today, we’re going to have a potted history of the artist, talk about his beautiful home and garden in Normandy, and discov…
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In this petite podcast episode, we’re going to do a potted history of the Tour de France – the world’s most famous bike race and share some of the most fun and incredible facts. It has been called the greatest free show on earth and is watched by 3.5 billion people worldwide during its three weeks on television. Le Tour has spawned a thousand myths…
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In this episode we’re going to explore a legendary institution. It’s a world record holder. It’s enormous. It’s world famous. It’s in the heart of Paris. Kings have lived in it. Now it is home to one of the most famous paintings in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, lovely listeners – I give you - the Louvre Museum. The Louvre is the world’s most fam…
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The history of absinthe is a tale of madness, creative genius, smuggling, fairies and bad behaviour in the Belle-Époque, a time of peace and economic prosperity in France when the arts flourished from early 1870 until 1914 and the start of the first world war. Created as a medicine from wormwood plants by a doctor fleeing the French Revolution, it …
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A woman with an enigmatic smile. She has been celebrated in songs, poetry and pop art. She is mysterious, some say she is a siren who casts a spell on those who look at her. She does not move. She does not speak. And yet she is a global icon. Discover the fascinating history of the Mona Lisa as we explore the creation of the painting, its journey t…
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In this petite podcast episode, we’re going to explore the traditions of May Day in France, the first of May, and specifically the tradition of giving flowers to friends and loved ones which is unique to France. It’s a tale of history, drama and romance… Follow us: On Twitter On Instagram On Facebook On The Good Life France's website On Paris Chans…
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Today we’re going to be talking about a man who in his time was one of the most powerful men in the world. He had a huge impact on French history. He had lavish tastes, he was a control freak, he loved the arts and believed himself chosen by God to rule over millions of people. You might have guessed who I’m talking about by now. It is the only and…
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What exactly is French art de vivre? In this petite podcast episode, we explain all, where it comes from, what it is and how to practice art de vivre, a fundamental part of the French psyche and a way to elevate the ordinary things of everyday life to the extraordinary. Follow us: On Twitter On Instagram On Facebook On The Good Life France's websit…
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Today we’re going to be talking about something very French, wine. France is of course one of the best wine making countries in the world and beyond, according to one of us on this podcast! Though extra-terrestrials probably won’t be sipping the famous red wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in Provence because the town has a law that states that UFOs cann…
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France is the world’s most visited country, Paris is the world’s most visited city, and several of its monuments, museums and metropolises are on the world’s top list for visits. But it’s not just the places or the buildings of France that tug at our heartstrings – what makes us fall for France goes beyond bricks and mortar and boundary lines. Ther…
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We love Paris, but today we’re going to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. Join us as we discover historic, delicious, fascinating and enchanting destinations you can reach from Paris by train on a day trip. And we’ve made sure that nowhere takes longer than 2 hours by train. We’ll share what to see and do, the must-sees, the secrets and some top…
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Queen Marie-Antoinette's life was a blend of luxury, controversy, and tragedy. Her story is a fascinating glimpse into the complexities of royal life and the turbulent times of late 18th century France – no wonder we remain fascinated with her tale. We talk about some of the most important times in her life, her marriage at just 14 years old, fashi…
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When you’ve ticked off those must-see sites on your list – the Palace of Versailles, Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, a dazzling little island that makes you feel you have stepped back centuries, the Louvre, the world’s most visited museum and the sun-kissed French Riviera, the boulevards of Paris and the majestic castles of the Loire Valley - there …
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In this episode we’re going to be uncovering Paris to explore some of the most amazing hidden gems, the secret places you might miss if you don’t know they are there. It's not just the landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum, that make us fall in love with Paris. It’s also the little moments: finding a jazz band playing in a cosy caf…
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How much do you know about France? In this episode we’re doing a quiz that everyone can join in with! We’ll ask some questions on all sorts of topics – gastronomy, history, culture, language and more, and we’ll give you the answers and if you got the question right, you can award yourself some points! We’ll also share some fascinating and extraordi…
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A tour through the charming, amusing, and sometimes misunderstood world of French stereotypes. We’re going to take a light-hearted look at some of the common stereotypes about the French - from fashion to rudeness and smoking like chimneys. From the famed French culinary prowess to reputation for romance. A land where people apparently say 'Oh là l…
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Bread in France is more than just food; it's a cultural cornerstone. It’s about community, tradition, and the French way of life. We'll discuss the role of bread in daily French life and how it reflects the values and rhythms of French society. In these crusty chronicles we’ll explore the history of bread and especially the UNESCO-listed French bag…
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The Eiffel Tower isn’t just a symbol of Paris, but a symbol of France. But this wasn’t supposed to happen. The Tower shouldn’t even be there. We have to go back in time to the beginning of her story, she is known as the Iron Lady, la Dame de Fer in French, to find out why this towering icon is even there in the first place! And then we'll share som…
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Ghosts, ghoulies and Halloween in France. In this episode we’ll talk about haunted castles – there are loads of them in France. Plus ghost stories - including the tale of a wooden leg that walks alone. And French Halloween habits – and yes France does celebrate Halloween but in its own unique way! This is a spooky, spine tingling but fun podcast wi…
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Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy is one of France’s most iconic, legendary, and visited landmarks. This little island in one of the officially most beautiful bays in the world is a record breaker, a place conceived with the help of an angel with a pointy finger, a building that seems to defy gravity, and a site so wondrous that it has inspired artists…
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Sometimes the French can be very different from everyone else! We look at some of the more unusual and unique habits such as never, ever, ever being wrong. And not only that, we explain the surprisingly and really rather strange way the French deal with it if they are wrong. Of course, this being France food comes into the story – anyone fancy a pl…
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Autumn in France and La Rentrée – a very French thing! It literally means ‘the return’, which sounds quite mysterious, like a thriller film but it’s not at all. We explain all about la rentrée and the best places to visit in France in the fall. We share some of the best seasonal festivals – especially foodie festivals - and events, from giant flea …
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Versailles – the palace, the people, history and legends. The extraordinary story of this mighty castle, built in a swamp on the outskirts of Paris stars a heavyweight cast of royals and played a key role in the destiny of France… As breath-taking today as it was some 400 years ago when King Louis XIV of France, AKA the Sun King (and not for his su…
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Ever wondered where the French go on holiday, and what their secret favourite places are? Well, no secrets here, we reveal all, as well as some of the quirky habits of the French on holiday and some frankly downright weird aspects of French life! France is the most popular tourist destination in the world (and beyond apparently – just listen in to …
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Bastille Day is France’s biggest national holiday. Find out what it’s all about and why French people have no idea what you’re talking about when you call it Bastille Day – they don’t call it that at all! We explore the history of this famous day and uncover fun facts such as the DNA of a king discovered in a dried pumpkin (yup, really), how Marie-…
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Discover some of the most amazing castles of France, the most haunted, tallest and oldest. The castles with amazing histories like Vaux-le-Vicomte near Paris, built by a King’s minister and so beautiful it made the King seethe with jealousy and what followed was an epic tragedy and also kickstarted the Palace of Versailles project. The castle that …
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In this episode we share the A-Z of Paris. From arrondissements, the municipal districts of the city laid out in the shape of a snail, to the second oldest zoological garden in the world, started when the animals of the royal family were abandoned at Versailles during the French Revolution via a hidden message in the ceiling of the Opera Garnier an…
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In this episode we share the A-Z of French food. France is the nation that invented the restaurant, haute cuisine and Cordon Bleu, the pique-nique, baguettes and crème brulée. The French certainly live to eat, not eat to live. The great American cook Julia Child once said, ‘In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport’. She was not…
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The French are rather a superstitious bunch – and some of the superstitions are very odd - got 13 for dinner and think the number 13 is unlucky? Then go French, pop an egg on the table, now you have 14 for dinner! Tread in dog poo and think it's ruined your day? Non, non, non - in France it could be lucky, depending on which foot did the deed! Want…
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Marvellous, magnificent and mesmerising monuments of France! The biggest and the best, the strange and the quirky, their history, legends and fascinating facts from the Eiffel Tower to the most incredible palace in France – built by a postman from pebbles collected on his delivery rounds more than 100 years ago. Notre Dame, Versailles, Mont-Saint-M…
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The biggest and the best, the strange and the quirky, the festivals where you can eat yourself to a standstill, and the ones where you’ll have so much fun, you’ll want to go back year after year! Marathon races that serve cocktails – or Champagne. A strawberry fete where you’ll get a slice of the biggest strawberry tart in the world. Pig squealing,…
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For the French, cheese is a symbol of Frenchness. They’ve been eating great cheeses for a long time here, some of the most famous were being made thousands of years ago. In this episode we consider some of the most famous cheeses as well as some of the stinkiest, weirdest and frankly gross cheeses that France produces. One of them is officially the…
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Discover the most popular places to visit in France, their histories and legends, but also the secret places close by so you get to travel to ‘real’ France. In Paris you must of course visit the Eiffel Tower, but how about a tiny chapel that was built before the great cathedral of Notre Dame with the most beautiful stained glass windows, you’ll fee…
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In this episode we'll be talking about a topic that's on everyone's lips in France - great classic French food! And especially food that has a fascinating history, cheese that has a 6000 year old past, stew that helped save a town from a siege by their dastardly enemy hundreds of years ago, mouth-watering cakes that were made by accident but passed…
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Learn the three most important words in the French language in this fun episode - no test at the end we promise! Tu and vous - you and you - what's that all about? We'll explain what it means if a French person asks to "tu" with you! Plus - has one of us set a world record for the amount of times we said bonjour in one day?! And we also talk about …
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What if you were to browse the internet and see a photo of a neglected castle in the south of France, a ruin for sure but with a faded grandeur that pulls at your heart strings… Would you be tempted to give up your dream of a little house in the country and throw everything you have into restoring the castle to its former glory? Live without electr…
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Ever wondered what makes the French so… well French?! Janine Marsh, resident of northern France, author of three books about life in France for a frequently baffled expat and the editor of magazine and website The Good Life France chats to Olivier Jauffrit, a Frenchman who lives in London about how to be French. Is it dunking your croissants in a c…
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It might not surprise you to know that mostly – Christmas in France is all about food… so buckle up, or maybe unbuckle your belt, for a fun, festive and foodie episode – the A to Z of Christmas in France… Janine Marsh author of three international best-selling books about life in France and Olivier Jauffrit of radio Paris Chanson talk about aperiti…
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Our guest today is British author Stephen Clarke who lives in Paris. He has sold more than a million books world-wide including the hugely popular and hilarious Merde series which began with a Year in the Merde based on Stephen’s own experiences in France and with names changed to "avoid embarrassment, possible legal action, and to prevent the auth…
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We chat to artist Perry Taylor who walked 900km of the Camino, from France to Spain, in six weeks. Famous for his humorous drawings of life in France, he put down his paintbrush and pens and walked the equivalent of a marathon every day for weeks on end despite extreme heat and painful blisters. Along the route he made new friends and says he could…
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Molly Wilkinson left Dallas, Texas, USA to train in Paris as a patisserie chef at the famous Cordon Bleu cookery school. What she didn’t expect was to fall in love with a Frenchman, set up home in Versailles on the outskirts of Paris and become a famous online cake maker teaching cake baking fans how to make the most perfect French gateaux from mil…
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The Good Life France Podcast Episode 3 with Ian Moore, a British author and comedian who lives in the Loire Valley where he runs a gite and dreams of killing his guests which has inspired a series of fun thrillers! He also has staring contests with goats, makes chutney and keeps hens who don't lay eggs! He talks about his fear of feisty French wome…
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In this episode discover how spiders can bring joy and hope in France! Find out whether it’s really true you shouldn’t turn up on time for dinner at a French person’s house! And learn how to be a Parisian in less than one hour with Olivier Giraud, a Paris legend. He’s a stand-up comedian who has performed his hilarious English speaking show to more…
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An introduction to The Good Life France podcast – everything you want to know about France and more. Meet author Janine Marsh an ex-Londoner who lives in rural northern France, and Olivier Jauffrit from France who lives in London. Entente-cordiale – upside down! Follow us: On Twitter On Instagram On Facebook On The Good Life France's website On Par…
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