5 Days in Auvergne, Part IV: Château La Canière, a Luxury Hotel

Leaving Chatel-Guyon in the late afternoon I felt the call of the hill rather than the plain, in part because I’ve never associated Auvergne with the plain, in part because hills are more exotic to me than flatlands. But I also felt the call of a 5-star hotel, and Château La Canière, the only luxury hotel within many miles, stood out in the plain.

Bonjour Y’All, It’s Equiblues: A Remote French Town Gets Into the Rodeo Spirit

On a typical day nothing about the remote town of Saint-Agrève (pop. 2,600) would allow the rare visitor to imagine that its inhabitants have the slightest interest in Americana. But come mid-August Equiblues transforms this town in to the rodeo capital of France.

Vichy: Not That Vichy, This Vichy

For many people, both French and foreign, something uncomfortable lurks in the name Vichy. Vichy calls to mind first and foremost the provisional French government...

Party Like It’s 1865: A Taste of Imperial Splendor in Vichy

The primacy of French gastronomy may have gone the way of the rotary phone, still the hungry traveler explores France with a desire to taste its native tang, to savor its cultural heritage and, from time to time, to experience the flavors of long-gone imperial and royal glory served at Versailles or Chantilly or… (drumroll, please)… Vichy.

Moulins (Auvergne) and the National Costume Center

Deep in the heart of France, the little-known town of Moulins (Auvergne) reveals the fabric of great theater at the National Costume Museum, particularly this year when the museum celebrates the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with an exhibition of costumes from some of the bard’s most emblematic plays, on display through Jan. 4, 2015.

Elsewhere along the Loire: Val d’Aubois

You’d be the rare traveler, French or foreign, to have heard of the Val d’Aubois, the Aubois Valley, a largely bypassed portion of Loire...

Tasted, Tested in Le Bourbonnais: Saint Pourcain Wines, Auvergne Cheeses, Charolais Beef

In which the author visits Le Bourbonnais, a little-known area of central France in the department of Allier within the region of Auvergne, encounters local cheeses, Charolais beef and Saint Pourcain wines, and gets smart by sticking his head in a saint's tomb.

5 Days in Auvergne: Part III, Chatel-Guyon

In Part III of the series "5 days in Auvergne," the author visits the spa town of Chatel-Guyon on the edge of the Regional Nature Park of the Volcanoes.

5 Days in Auvergne: Part I, from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand

Part 1 of a 5-part investigation in Auvergne (in the center of France) with a focus on spa towns. Part 1 includes the train ride from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand, the region's capital, some highlights in the city, and a dinner of hearty regional fare accompanied by uncommonly awful music.

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