When did France get so fashionable again? For years, the jet set were heading for the Far East. Then South America became the must-see destination. However, if you flick beyond the opening pages of any food or travel magazine, France continues to hold its own.
Take the latest issue of Olive magazine, for example. ‘Cook, eat, explore’ is its tagline and it certainly encourages you to do that.
The Limousin gets a full double-page spread, after Guardian Weekend food critic Marina O’Loughlin goes on an undercover assignment deep into this part of central France. Clearly, she loved it.
Michelin-starred restaurants are few and far between in the Limousin, so what she found instead was great food in unpretentious surroundings. Local fare, including porc au cul noir – black bottom pork – and panned-fried foie gras proved particularly satisfying, she reports.
“Elsewhere in the magazine, carignan grapes grown in the Languedoc get tipped as the next big thing in wines”
Elsewhere in Olive, a hotel in the mountains outside Avignon gets the thumbs up and carignan grapes grown in the Languedoc get tipped as the next big thing in wines. Recipes for both a brioche and butter pudding and roast pears with champagne sabayon are enough to make your mouth water too.
It’s not all good news, though.
Marina did chance upon decidedly dodgy décor on her tour of the Limousin. Maybe France isn’t getting above itself in the fashion stakes after all.