HWY 101 California

US overtakes France as best place to live

International Living has just published its annual Quality of Life Index for 2011. Topping the Index this year is the United States of America. In the influential publication’s 2011 Quality of Life index, last year’s winner France slipped to fourth place out of the 192 countries surveyed. It is the first time in five years [...]

Château de Versailles Orangerie

France’s Versailles palace to host luxury hotel

The Palace of Versailles is to transform one of its satellite buildings into a luxury hotel, paving the way for a series of French projects aimed at exploiting the economic potential of listed buildings while securing their renovation. The Hotel du Grand Controle is to be converted into a “luxury hotel,” Jean-Jacques Aillagon, president of [...]

picasso-photo

Picasso treasure trove surfaces in France

Hundreds of unknown Pablo Picasso works worth tens of millions of euros have surfaced in France in the hands of a 71-year-old retired electrician who says they were gifts from the master. Dating from the first third of the 20th century — considered Picasso’s most fertile period — the 271 pieces are valued by experts [...]

Marc Veyrat

French cuisine eyes UNESCO heritage spot

When it comes to meal time, the French do it differently. That is the argument being put to UNESCO as it decides this week whether French cuisine deserves a spot on its intangible heritage list. “The gastronomic meal of the French” is seen as a strong contender as the UN agency meets in Nairobi from [...]

hotel-crillon

Saudi royalty buys Paris’s Crillon hotel

Paris’ world-famous luxury Crillon hotel has been sold to Saudi investors linked to the royal family for around 250 million euros ($446 million). US-based Starwood Capital is in the final stages of the sale which does not include a reportedly 100-million-euro programme needed to modernise one of the world’s oldest luxury hotels, according to the [...]

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Takashi Murakami at Versailles

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami‘s outlandish manga visions overwhelm the Chateau of Versailles, and not everyone is happy. Unbelievably, his metal, fibreglass and acrylic sculptures manage to dominate the vast chambers of Versailles, with their marbled walls, gold leaf capitals and celestial ceiling frescoes. But while French monarchists have denounced as “illegal” the exhibition, the artist [...]

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