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Tasty Ideas for a Mouthwatering Bûche de Noël

Posted on December 10th, 2014 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Every culture has its own tasty holiday traditions. In France, one of the most recognized culinary traditions is the bûche de Noël, or what we often refer to as a yule log in the United States. This decadent treat is just as much about the presentation as it is the flavor, though the most diehard fans will argue that the tastebuds rule when it comes to judging the ranking of any bûche de Noël.

Most traditionally, the recipe for a classic bûche de Noël is quite simple. It’s a blend of sponge cake and filling, all rolled up and covered with a glaze or frosting. To accomplish what could seem like an intimidating end product, bûche de Noël experts follow a series of just several basic steps. First, an airy sponge cake is baked in a shallow, oversized pan. After a cooling period, a generous portion of chocolate buttercream frosting is applied, then it is gently rolled up into a giant roll. Finally, it is topped with more chocolate buttercream frosting and garnished with shaved chocolate or other decorative toppings.

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0,, Visitor7]

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Visitor7]

While this classic approach to bûche de Noël is guaranteed to be a hit among guests, if you’re thinking of whipping up a French-inspired treat for your friends and family, why not try something a little more unique? Here are 7 more combinations beyond the simple vanilla sponge cake-chocolate buttercream combo for an even more exciting bûche de Noël this Christmas:

Raspberry-Dark Chocolate: Add a few drops of raspberry flavoring to a dark chocolate sponge cake recipe, use a bitter chocolate frosting, and decorate with fresh raspberries.

Toffee-Almond: Use almond extract to enhance the flavor of a basic chocolate cake recipe and a smooth chocolate buttercream frosting mixed with toffee candy bar pieces, then, just before serving, coat the entire creation in almond slivers.

Lemon-Vanilla: Complement a simple vanilla sponge cake with a lemon-infused buttercream frosting and decorate the roll with fresh lemon zest. Create a border around the dessert using vanilla wafer cookies for added glam.

White Chocolate-Raspberry: Start with a basic sponge cake recipe and add raspberry flavoring for a subtle flavor enhancement. Use white chocolate buttercream frosting for the roll and as an outer layer, then decorate with white chocolate shavings and fresh raspberries.

Chocolate Ganache-Espresso: Find a sponge cake recipe that incorporates brewed espresso and pair that with an airy chocolate ganache filling. You can decorate this delicious bûche de Noël with chocolate covered espresso beans–the coffee lovers in the group will love it!

Dark Chocolate-Peppermint: Bake a dark chocolate sponge cake for your base, then add peppermint extract to your frosting for a peppermint patty-inspired combination that’s just perfect for winter.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate: Give your standard chocolate sponge cake a major flavor boost by topping it with a whipped peanut butter frosting. This flavor combination is a guaranteed hit for just about everyone, including kids, who love the peanut butter cup combo!

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Kelly Sue DeConnick]

Buche de Noel [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Kelly Sue DeConnick]

Whether you have French heritage, have French in-laws, or are just in love with French culture, there are plenty of reasons to take up the language. If you’ve made a resolution to learn French in 2015, be sure to contact us at Easy French. Our experienced teachers are ready to help you succeed!

3 Not-to-be Missed Stops on Your Wine Tasting Tour of France

Posted on November 25th, 2014 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Wine is such a significant part of French culture that it’s fair to say no vacation in France would be complete without sampling at least a few local favorites. And, fortunately, regardless of whether you’re traveling in style or have a tight budget to stick to, you’ll have your choice of many world class wineries–and wines!–while vacationing in this zestful European country.

Casual wine drinkers and connoisseurs alike can both appreciate the sense of history that comes with more French wineries. Unlike a visit to Napa Valley, where 50 years ago seems old school, it’s not uncommon to explore the streets and wineries of certain French towns with roots that date back some 500 years. If you enjoy a good glass of wine, be sure to check out these 3 incredible destinations during your vacation in France:

Riquewihr [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Jpkrebs]

Riquewihr [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, Jpkrebs]


Located along the famous Alsatian Wine Route, Riquewihr boasts a sweet old-world charm that any European traveler would fall in love with. In fact, Riquewihr has been named as one of France’s most beautiful towns, thanks to its lovely architecture and pedestrian-friendly vibe. Brightly colored wooden homes perched along uneven cobblestone streets create the perfect backdrop for a lazy afternoon stroll. As you make your way through the town, you’ll have your choice of a number of wine cellars where the reds, rosés, and whites flow freely–especially the Rieslings, for which the town is known. Extend your exploration beyond city limits and you’ll find plenty of wineries in the surrounding countryside.

Épernay [Photo Credit: Public Domain, sand]

Épernay [Photo Credit: Public Domain, sand]


The famous Moët & Chandon’s cellars in Épernay are a sight to behold, located under ground level at depths of up to 30 meters. They are the largest wine cellars throughout the entire Champagne region, extending over an area of nearly 20 miles. Guests can choose from multiple tour packages, with prices starting at just 21 euros, though at 35 euros, the upgraded tour option is a worthy splurge. Make a day of your visit to the famous Champagne region by hopping on a train in Paris for a scenic journey of about an hour and a half. After taking the tour and enjoying a tasting at the winery, head to the Moët & Chandon store to scout out a few souvenirs for your wine-loving friends and family back home.

Saumer [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 4.0 International, Leon petrosyan]

Saumer [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 4.0 International, Leon petrosyan]


Sparkling wines are favored in the Saumer area, but those who prefer a bolder flavored red will have no problem finding Cabernet Franc. While in the town, you’ll immediately notice a medieval aesthetic, with the dramatic chateau of Saumer beckoning visitors from a cliff above the Loire River. There is a surplus of wine bars throughout town, though you can’t go wrong with a stop at Ackerman, the region’s oldest sparkling wine producer, which was established in 1811. Don’t limit yourselves to the in-town wine offerings, though; be sure to book a tour to visit one of the nearby wineries to get the whole experience.

With our private instruction tailored to your needs, there’s no reason your command of the French language should be anything but stellar before your vacation in France. To learn more about private and small group classes, contact us today.

Three Tours Every Traveler Should Take While Vacationing in Nice, France

Posted on November 7th, 2014 by Dusty Fox in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Imagine this: you’re vacationing in Nice, in the south of France. You’ve laid on the beach for a day. You’re over any hint of jet lag. You’ve had a few glasses of wine and a couple of excellent meals already, and the scenery around you is just as amazing as you’d imagined. Now what?

Nice, France [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Ioan Sameli]

Nice, France [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 2.0, Ioan Sameli]

With a nickname like Nice la Belle, it’s no surprise the surrounding area is stunning, and naturally there are plenty of ways for visiting guests to enjoy all the sights, sounds, and–my favorite–tastes of the region. If you’re taking French lessons and planning a vacation to Nice, or perhaps just dreaming about how wonderful that trip would be, I highly recommend you consider adding these 3 tours to your itinerary:

Taste of Nice Tour – Fortunately, this food-focused adventure is a walking tour, so you’ll at least feel moderately better about the fact that you get to indulge in your every eating and drinking desire throughout the day. Those who love fine wine, artisanal cheese, and market-fresh food will love this insider’s look at Nice’s most traditional and authentic    cuisine. On the tour, you’ll meander through at least one of multiple farmer’s markets in the city, schmoozing with locals as you go and learning about the area’s fascinating culinary history. In addition to all that wine and cheese, other highlights include candied fruits, fresh-baked bread, and socca–that’s deep fried chickpea dough, typical fare in the south of France.

Electronic Bicycle Tour – Whether you consider yourself athletic or not, you’ll enjoy biking around Nice on this interesting tour. Even kids can join along, and those who prefer to take a break from their rigid workout routine while vacationing need not worry as the electronic motors can easily do most of the work. Much of the tour is uphill, so even the most advanced riders appreciate the extra help. Guests do more than scoot around town, they learn about the history of the area and explore routes that are off the traditional tourist map. At the highest point on the tour you’ll be rewarded with a great view overlooking the city and shoreline so you can snap the postcard-perfect photo that you know you’ll be showing off to friends and family just as soon as you get home.

Entrevaux [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, MOSSOT]

Entrevaux [Photo Credit: Creative Commons 3.0, MOSSOT]

Train des Pignes Day Trip – Once you’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of Nice, expand your horizons to discover the highlights of the surrounding area by hopping on the Train des Pignes and taking a self-guided trip through the countryside. The system transports locals and visitors to more rural destinations, such as Annot, Entrevaux, and Saint Andre de les Alpes, sometimes on a flashy, modern train, and other times on an older, less glamorous model. Chances are you won’t care once you start admiring the scenery out your window. With vibrantly colored rows of lavender in the rolling hillsides around you and a faint smell of thyme in the air, you’ll just be glad you’ve found the hidden Europe you’ve dreamt of visiting.

Nice is a charming city that welcomes visitors with open arms. Once you’ve explored the city and discovered your own highlights, sign up for a few tours to round out your experience and learn more about this incredible place. Bon voyage!

5 Exotic Vacation Destinations In France

Posted on September 15th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | No Comments »

We all know France is a huge country with immense beauty and charm. However sometimes, we want something out of the ordinary; an alternative; a get-away that’s exotic, exciting, off-the-beaten-track, and made for the world’s most posh jetsetters.


Guess what? We have your top island picks: all French, and all at your fingertips. If it’s sand between your toes and blue oceans that you crave, check out these 5 dream destinations that will have you sunbathing…while still practicing your French!






The best first step to easing into your vacation, as it won’t instigate a sharp intake of air from your bank manager. Pack your bags, we’re taking you to Corsica! It may be small, but it’s mightily powerful and steeped in beauty and culture. Birthplace to Napoleon and an ever-popular French celebrity haunt, Corsica is small yet impactful. The island is a mile and a quarter from end to end, boasts 1000 km of coastline, and more than 200 beaches to choose from for your daytime sunbathing and water activities.




Two islands in the shape of a butterfly form Guadeloupe, a colourful group of Caribbean islands located in the Leeward pack. With a choice of crystal-clear waters, powder white beaches, the Caribbean sea on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, you won’t know where to begin! Living markets sprinkle throughout the sleepy fishing villages and you’ll learn lots amongst the French-speaking community and Creole-rich culture. With such fabulous food and dramatic scenery, how can you not put this gallic delight on your French tourism bucket list!






Bora Bora: luxury personified. You’ll need to get your Gold Card to even gain access to this overseas French territory, but once you do, it will be worth every pretty penny. Bora Bora is as decadent in it’s beauty as it is in it’s lavish lifestyle offerings. Explore the island’s turquoise lagoons and perfect beaches while taking in the French language. Bora Bora is a five-star, paradisiacal location, with the price tag (and celebrity crowd!) to match.




This ridiculously beautiful island off the West coast of France fails to disappoint any intrepid traveller and Francophile. Full on unspoilt beaches, beauty, bikes and gastronomy, it’s the ideal place to relax and explore for a few days. Find copious amounts of Fruit de Mer and the island’s famous oyster dishes on Ïle de Re. It’s easy to get to and easier on your wallet than it’s Caribbean counterparts, making it a seventh heaven for those wanting to improve their French skills…and their tan!




Ïle de Noirmoutier: France’s best kept secret. Build a “chateaux” in the sand, eat ice cream on the “plage” and practice your french on this wondrous island. Located just off the Vendée department of mainland France, the Île de Noirmoutier packs charm and a rich culture into its cobble-stoned fishing villages. Almost unknown outside of France, you’ll be obliged to battle your way through verbs and vocabulary with the French-speaking locals. But language immersion on a paradise island –what could be finer?


If you’re in search for a new Utopia, with a Robinson Crusoe mentality, maybe an island vacation is just what you need! But don’t let your French slip while you escape to paradise. Live the castaway life and French dream on an island oasis, while preparing the perfect accent and refining your vocab skills. Book a French lesson before you go, and feel more confident as you wander these French islands of sun, culture, and relaxation!


Gastronomic French, Dining By Region

Posted on August 25th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | No Comments »

There are several things in life that are part of the French culture but in particular there’s a factor of French life that is positively monolithic. It’s a daily occurrence, a guarantee and a ritual. Tables around the country will be adorned with lavish masterpieces taken from recipes handed down from generations. Recipes are fresh and delicious and created with a torrid passion; however, dining is also a grand and daily social occasion and each region has their speciality.  Finish your breakfast of croissants and coffee and then go and cook up a storm in your kitchen, practice your language skills with some French recipes from one of the following 4 regions, and wash it all down with a glass of rich Bordeaux or sparkling golden Champagne…






Originating in Bretagne in the 12th century, the Crêpe can be bought at any fête or street corner. It’s the ultimate sweet delight or a delicious meal that can be filled with just about anything, all served up with French flavour and style. It’s dinner with a certain “je ne sais quoi”. On finishing your crêpe why not wind your way through Paris and stroll along the boulevards to your nearest pâtisserie for a Paris Brest. Indulgent and magnificent, this creamy, pastry laden dessert pays sweet homage to the Paris Brest cycling race and is ressemblant of the wheel of a “velo”. But this is not recommended on a daily basis if you are thinking of taking part in a cycling race, given it’s heavy calorific value.




Whilst meandering down one of the intricate Toulousain canals on your longboat, try lighting up your stove and get out your recipe book to make the locally beloved and nutritionally-laden bowl of Cassoulet. A colourful and robust casserole of haricot blanc with duck confit and a rich tomato sauce that will warm any French heart or soul.

After disembarking from your canal boat, TGV yourself West for a glass of the very finest red wine accompanied with a sticky and sugary “Cannele de Bordeaux” (a petite and caramelized brioche-like gateau that can be found in any one of the numerous boulangeries of this beautiful region).






By now you will be surely bursting at the seams! But your culinary whistle-stop tour of France is not yet over and that was only “entre midi et quatorze heure”. Now it’s time for “apéritif dinatoire”. Put on your cocktail dress and enjoy as you discover that well known delicacy of “escargot”.  Escargot de Bourgogne is a buttery and delicate garden fancy that begs to be washed down  with sumptuous Burgundy wine, glamour at it’s very finest… however, not for the faint hearted! And if that’s not enough for you, you can always finish off with brandy steeped fruit from Alsace.




This vast region offers a variety of culture and climate. It’s multifaceted and versatile choice of food will leave you pondering for days over your next choice of dinner. The mediterranean coastlines offer you colossal seafood choices from a classic provençal bouillabaisse to a traditional Côte d’Azur Niçoise. For your next course (and if you’re not too worried about putting on your bikini for the beach) you can also relish in a decent helping of Tart Tropézienne, which is, quite simply, brioche filled with crème pâtissière.


A country steeped in culture and synonymous for it’s gastronomie, how can anyone resist the “avenues” and “boulevards” just littered with colourful and bounteous pâtisseries or the smell of freshly baked baguettes and croissants? And what better way to learn French then spending a relaxing afternoon with your French cookery book concocting a rich Boeuf Bourguignon, you’ll soon find out if you’ve made a mistake with your French grammar, the proof will be in the tasting! Contact Easy French for further food and cultural fun as you eat your way through every French lesson.



7 Natural Wonders Of France

Posted on August 6th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | No Comments »

France is one of those countries that oozes beauty. It‘s so rich in culture and heritage that we sometimes forget that it also has a positively prized choice of natural phenomenons. Follow any direction on the compass point and eventually you’ll find one of these unaffected, natural sites. Ravish in their beauty and let the mind take you away… in French, of course!




This amazing sand dune is an impressive 108 meters high and Europes highest. Located close to the wonderful and wine rich town of Bordeaux and the charming and picture postcard seaside resort of Arcachon, a dream for paragliders and sun bathers alike. This delightful golden jewel will enamour and captivate and leave you shaking sand out of your socks for days on end.






With three natural arches dipping into the sea on this alabaster coastline, an incredible site that’s just a short distance away from Le Havre. Etretat was home to many of the greats including the artist Monet and writer Guy De Maupassant who spent his childhood here and drew inspiration for much of his work from the area. A seascape that is completely unique, this wild yet graceful beauty is a definate must see.




Here’s one that’s on the UNESCO world heritage list! Awesome and astonishing caves with amazing and positively jaw dropping palaeolithic cave paintings dating back some 20,000 years. Lavish yourself in these glorious and handsome works of art, take yourself back in time and enjoy the original photographs of it’s era.




A breathtaking and natural place of immense beauty, the Gouffre De Padirac nestles comfortably in the already resplendent Lot valley. Limestone caves with underground rivers, stalactites and stalagmites, waterfalls and boat rides. A gorgeous way to spend an afternoon with a delightful hour and a half’s tour of this 100 meter wide by 100 meter deep gouffre. A magical wonderland that makes you feel like you’re on another planet.






25 meters long and 700 meters deep, this is the Grand Canyon of France. A ravishing location in the already exquisite region of South East France.  You can take a drive along its rim or canoe at the bottom of the deep ravine. The rock climbers form of heaven and an unbeatable area of outstanding natural beauty.




Hike it, ski it, love it… and the highest in Alps and the European Union. Towering to a massive 4810 meters in height you’ll need to hire a guide and pack up your cosiest thermals and crampons to get to the top of this natural wonder. Failing that, just whizz on through the Mont Blanc tunnel “en route” to Italy.




Well earning it’s coveted place on “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” list, this charming and almost toy-town like village is startlingly unusual.  Constructed entirely in it’s local vibrant, bright red sandstone, it’s history rich and architecturally beauteous.  It has it all, a chateau, an 8th Century priory and a whole host of cute gift shops that you can get lost in.


The cities and towns, Paris and it’s Tour Eiffel, Bordeaux and it’s wine… it’s wonderful but sometimes it’s just as wonderful to go “au naturel”. Test out your French, whilst paddling down the Verdon Gorge or skiing your way down Mont Blanc/White Mountain. Take some lessons to help you book the tickets for the Gouffre de Padirac or ask directions to the Dune Du Pilat. Don’t miss out, there’s “quelque chose pour tout le monde”.

The Top 5 French Sports For All The Family

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Sports: they’re everywhere at the moment. There’s the Coupe Du Monde, the Tour de France, Rugby, Tennis, and if you’re in France, you’ll find Pétanque on every street corner. The French love their sports! Take a look at the country’s top 5:


1. Football

french-soccerProbably the most popular French sport of them all. Well, it’s probably the most popular sport wherever you are and it’s true to say that French soccer has given us all some immense pleasure! Les Bleus, AKA L’equipe Tricolore boasts an enviable Coupe Du Monde history with it’s 3-0 win on home soil in 1998 against Brazil giving them that coveted world title (followed by a close run in 2006 when they lost to the Italians on penalties leaving them as runners up).

2. Cycling

Anyone that has been to France will be fully aware that cycling is a huge part of the French sporting culture. Whatever the weather and whatever the road surface, sooner or later you will be dodging several tight-fitting lycra-clad cyclists with their heads down, probably in preparation for the all encompassing 21 days in July in their bid to gain the “maillot jaune”.

The Tour De France is a yearly event that leaves the nation gripped to their TV and the roadsides. 22 teams battling out 21 stages of this gruelling sport that burns calories and bike tyres at a ridiculous rate, a true French passion that has given its country more wins than any other to date.

3. Rugby



Introduced to France at the turn of the 20th Century by England, Rugby has become one of the most successful and popular national sports played by the French! Competing in the annual Six Nations tournament with relative success, our valiant Gaul friends will be optimistic for their first ever win in the 2015 World Cup. However, they’ve not done too badly so far. Since the beginning of cup history, they’ve reached the finals 3 times and fight a good fight! Maybe next year will be their victorious year.


4. Tennis

A 13th Century monastic leisure that was called “Tenez” or catch in English eventually developed into tennis as we know it today. Mostly played on clay, or “Terre Battue,” you can find a court in almost every town and village and purchase a day pass for a leisurely game whilst on your vacation! Alternatively, book yourself some tickets for the French Open and whilst you are waiting for the match to start, visit the Tenniseum at the Stade de Roland Garros.

5. Pétanque

file0002036812579And now we arrive at the French sport of all sports! Similar to the English bowls, you throw your hard metal bowl (Pétanque) towards your jack or “cochonnet” aiming to be the one whose bowl is closest. There are tape measures, sandy courts, berets, Pastis’ and quite a lot of frowning. It’s competitive, serious and more than a sport, it’s a national institution! It’s as important as the accordion, as Gallic as Asterix and Obelix, it’s got a Federation, it’s got international competitions. There are pétanque professionals, there are pétanque shops, pétanque courts in every village, hamlet and square. This is, unequivocally, without question or doubt, 100% French!

Et Voila!!

France has something for everyone, take some French Lessons, learn some Easy French, buy some boules and book a French holiday, you can become a Pétanque expert and win the Coupe Du Monde of French Language skills.



5 Top Weekend Getaways in France

Posted on June 16th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | No Comments »

France has something for everyone : with a rich culture, mouth-watering gastronomy and amazing monuments, this beautiful country is the perfect place for a weekend (or week!) away. Upon mention of France, most people think of Paris, but the reality is that there is so much more! If you want to escape from the everyday hustle and bustle and put your language skills to good use, check out these 5 serene cities outside Paris city limits :

1. Nantes

A great weekend get-away in a culture rich and vibrant French city. Nantes provides a great destination. You can discover the gorgeous Château Des Ducs de Bretagne located right in the centre, take a stroll down cobbled streets, visit museums, adore the beautiful buildings and relish in the atmosphere of the birth place of Jules Verne. There are some fabulous discoveries in Nantes including the Opera Graslin and Natural History museum which are all a short walk from the heart of this buzzing centre.

2. Brive La Gaillarde

Soak up some true French culture and visit this chic and stylish city with some incredibly beautiful architecture and a rather mysterious lighthouse in the centre (albeit a long way from the sea!). Visit museums, distilleries, shop and sip on an espresso. Basque in the ambiance and enjoy the vacation. And if that isn’t enough for you get yourself tickets to watch Brive’s more than reputable team play a game of rugby! This new city on the block with flights from London now regularly available, is a must see for all francophiles.

photo 1-5

3. Toulouse

Often overlooked, Toulouse is both fascinating and also historic. Constructed mainly in its distinctive pink-tinged stone Toulouse has more then earned itself the name of La Ville Rose. And if the kids get bored of the culture you can always take them for a trip to the Cité de l’Espace, offering a great planetarium and 150ft version of the Ariane 5 space rocket to visit. Toulouse is full of elegant town squares and winding streets; like a small, pink version of Paris yet with glorious sunshine! How can you resist that?

4. Nice

A classic Med get-away! Take a plane and visit Nice, eat alfresco in February and buy fresh fruit in January’s open air markets! Comfortably nestled between the sea and mountains, you can enjoy some Côte d’Azur magic at any time of the year. Rammed full of character and decorative buildings, it’s voguish and fashionable, smart and stylish. A relaxing break with a sense of chic, however, if you wish to integrate with the locals then don’t forget to pack your Hermes headscarf into your Louis Vuitton holdall.

Packed for travel5. Strasbourg

And finally, always remember that time away from the daily grind is great at any time of the year. Try Strasbourg! This dynamic French city has the oldest Christmas market in Europe and is a must to put on the list. Spend some time meandering through it’s historic centre, browse through the daily Christmas offerings, skate on the outdoor ice rink and then, of course… practice your French! And if you can’t make it at Christmas then don’t worry, there is always a lively buzz in this zappy and vibrant French city.

In essence, there is nothing nicer than a weekend away and it’s also a fantastic way to brush up on the language skills. Start learning, get travelling! The world has never been more accessible with a multitude of planes, trains and automobiles available, motivate yourself to move and start practicing those hard earned language skills in style!

10 Eiffel Tower Facts and Figures That You Need To Know

Posted on May 6th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

I love Paris in the springtime, I love Paris in the fall… In fact, I love Paris any time of the year! But Paris isn’t Paris without taking a trip up the infamous and unique Tour Eiffel. But I use the word “unique” loosely as there are more imitations out there then you may think.  But you can keep your glitzy Vegas Tower and your Texan copies… there’s only one true Eiffel Tower for me! So, here are a few facts and figures about the iconic structure that everyone should take a trip to see at least once in their lives. Put it on your bucket list and think of this when you’re there…


To start with let’s remember, Mr. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was a really clever chap. But did you realize just how clever Mr. Eiffel actually was? When he designed the « dame de fer » AKA Iron Lady (yes, France has one too), he orientated it as per the four points on a compass… So if you need to go Nord, Sud, Est or Ouest when you’re in Paris just find your way to the Eiffel Tower and off you go in your relevant direction.

Photo by Alphonse Liébert

Check out 10 more fun and interesting little-known facts about the Eiffel Tower!

  1. The tower’s designer, Gustave, was also responsible for some other well-known buildings both inside and outside France, including: The Nice Observatory and the Statue of Liberty (not all of the famed designer’s works were successful. His design and construction of the Locks for the Panama Canal brought him not only a terrible reputation but also an 8 day prison stay after spectacularly running out of money!).
  2. 20 years after it’s construction it was programmed to be dismantled and sold for scrap.
  3. It took a mere 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to construct the Eiffel Tower.
  4. The tower was the worlds tallest building for a whole 40 years before the Chrysler Building was built (but is still the tallest structure in Paris!)
  5. It weighs a massive 10,000 tons.
  6. The elevators run at a 60° angle.
  7. It sways 5 inches in the wind and it leans 7 inches away from the sun.
  8. It is repainted every 7 years in three slightly different shade.
  9. The inventor of the coat parachute did his test run jump from the tower – he’s dead!
  10. For over 10 years Citroen used the tower as it’s advertising bill board, the biggest ad of all time.

Visit Paris and take a trip to the Tour Eiffel, promenade the Boulevards, sway 5 inches in the wind and lean 7 inches from the sun… you will be using your French before you know it. Find some Easy French courses here, plan your 60° angled ride in an elevator, see what all the fantastic fuss is about!

The Top 3 Games (You Already Own) to Play Your Way to a Better Accent

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by Annabel Rose in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’m a lover of games and I am not alone… ask a French person if they fancy a game of cards and they will be there like a shot! You won’t believe how you can test your knowledge and your French, surprise yourself and have a go! The only difference is the language on the board or card! It’s not as difficult as you might think…



What greater way to learn a few basic phrases like «Allez en prison» and  «Départ». If you can afford it you could take yourself shopping on «Rue de la Paix» via the «Avenue des Champs Elysées» whilst trying, in vain, to avoid paying «Taxe de Luxe». Of course, alternatively, you could just purchase the the odd «gare» or «compagnie» and wait for the «loyer» to roll in whilst whizzing around comfortably with your sports «voiture» hoping that you can soon afford a nice «hôtel» or two…



Now here is a great way to push the limits on vocabulary although you may well need the dictionary just in case ! Give the tiles a good shuffle and discover words you never even knew. Does it sound French, does it look French ? The dictionary will have the answers for you. Look it up and see what you can find. And Always remember that it you have a cheeky streak you can always challenge someone to a French/English game and use up all those high scoring tiles that come with the French scrabble board on the English words before they notice for a guaranteed win… Don’t forget, K, W, X, Y and Z = 10 unlike on the English game where you get a mere 2 for a Y and a mediocre 5 for the K!

Dr Marboul

Well, didn’t we all have a game of Operation as a child, certainly most of us would have played it at some point in our lives. Those electric tweezers that were required to extract various body parts from the patient without setting off his red buzzer! Dig around with a steady hand for the «Pomme d’Adam» and if you’re still hungry get down into the pit of his tummy for the «tranche de brioche»!! And if you find yourself with water on the knee or «eau dans le genou» you can always just laugh it off by having a go at the « os rigolo » AKA funny bone!

So as you can see, it’s not so difficult, it’s not so different, we all have played these games, we already know the English… get to grips with the very basics and see where it takes you! Learning French is as easy as Monopoly or Dr Marboul and it’s for everyone.

Why learn French? So that you can play scrabble in two languages, of course! Learn it here!