L’Arbre Rouge

Tucked away up a dirt-track, hidden by miles of vineyards, l’Arbre-Rouge is one of those B&Bs I dream of happening upon and so rarely do. Arriving hot and sticky from a long day’s wine tasting around the delightful hilltop wine-town of St Emilion, we were greeted by Victor, an enthusiastic Jack Russell, and his human,…

Les Hortillonnages

Sebastian Faulks’s trench warfare epic “Birdsong” begins gently enough. Sketching a world soon to be lost in the carnage of war, Faulks chooses an extraordinary subculture within a sleepy Picardie town-centre as a cipher for French petite-ville normality. Amiens’ Hortillonnages – or floating gardens, are, even at the time Birdsong is set, wonders to be…