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Expat Spotlight: Becky’s Top 3 Tips for France

Becky is an American traveling the world with her husband and daughter. They move to new countries around the world every few month’s for Becky’s husband’s job. The family lived in Toulouse, France for a year and a half (except for two months which they spent in Frankfurt, Germany) and their daughter was born in Toulouse. After France, they moved to Monterrey, Mexico for six months.

Top 3 Favorite Restaurants in France?

1) The Winter Garden – (Toulouse) Delicious French food and great service. The owners speak both French and English.
2) Le Grenier de Pepe – (Toulouse) Delightful fondue and quirky atmosphere. The proprietress is sweet and sassy (you better finish everything on your plate!). A reservation made at least two days in advance is a must.
3) Bateaux Mouches – (Paris) Dinner with breathtaking views! The boat cruises along the Seine as you enjoy delicious food and wine.

Top 3 favorite foods in France?

1) Aligot – Cheesy, garlicy mashed potatoes that are typically served around the holidays at the Christmas markets.
2) Bread – Actually, all the baked goods. You can’t go wrong picking something at a French bakery.
3) Wine – If you are living in or visiting France you have to try the wine—all of it. Bordeaux (Saint-Émilion especially), Champagne and the Loire Valley are some of our favorite regions.

Top 3 tips for new expats in France?

1) Travel everywhere. You will be close to so many amazing places that you should book a flight or hop in the car and drive there. Don’t just go to the well-known spots either. Hit up local attractions, such as the Gouffre de Padirac.
2) Learn at least some French. If you can, take lessons (Alliance Française is great). Not only will you learn how to communicate better, you’ll learn nuances about the culture that can help you fit in.
3) Shop at the local farmer markets. The vendors are passionate about their food and will make sure you pick the right products and know what to do with them.

Top 3 tips for travelers in France?

1) Bring long pants, no matter the season. Even in the middle of summer, places like Paris can be really chilly. I learned that lesson the hard way!
2) Practice at least a few French phrases before you go. Even asking in French if the person with whom you are speaking can speak English (Parlez-vous anglais?) will get you farther than just starting the conversation in English.
3) Think outside of Paris. Everyone thinks they should go to Paris when they go to France (and it’s definitely a place to visit at least once, or twice, or more), but there are so many other cool places to visit, such as La Rochelle, Sault (or anywhere in Provence), Marseille or Toulouse.

Top 3 tips for what to pack for France?

1) Long pants – as mentioned above, France (especially in the north) can be really chilly even in the middle of summer!
2) Sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses – the sun can also get really hot and bright, so be sure to pack plenty of protection.
3) French phrase book/phone apps – Though a lot of people in the bigger cities are bilingual, if you go further out into the country or small towns, you’ll need at least some basic French. Apps like Google Translate and PhraseMates.

Top 3 favorite places in France

1) Provence – Especially Arôma’plantes in Sault
2) Champagne – Visiting the smaller, local wineries is just as much fun as touring the big names, like Pommery
3) Saint-Émilion – Beautiful town and one of the best areas of the Bordeaux region for wine in my opinon)

Top 3 neighborhoods in Toulouse

1) Vieux Toulouse – the old quarter is home to some of the most picturesque buildings in the city, including the Capitole and Musee des Augustins. There’s also plenty of shopping and great restaurants to stop for a coffee or glass of wine.
2) St-Aubin-Dupy – the Canal du Midi and Sunday market at Saint-Aubin church are two great reasons to visit this part of town.
3) Les Chalets – the Jardin Japonais is reason enough to visit this neighborhood. It’s a perfect place to have a picnic on a nice day or to enjoy a stroll through the beautiful gardens.

For more tips on France, watch for posts on the France blog and follow Becky’s journey at Eat Drink Move Repeat , Instagram & Twitter .

Interested in contributing? Contact erin {at} insidersabroad {dot} com!

Published February 1st by Becky Beloin
Posted to Inside Secrets to France

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