It is no secret that I am an overt francophile. And if you’re wondering what that means, it is a person who is greatly fond of France and the French lifestyle. So, simply put, that is me! I love so much about French culture – the food, the relaxed pace of life that warrants more living, the wine, the countryside. You name it, I love it. And if you’re reading this, you are probably just like me. So, here’s how to feel more French in six quick steps. Each of which are tried and tested by me and are quickly becoming more a part of my lifestyle.
Learn the language
Many of you will already know I have been learning French this past month with Rosetta Stone. And if you’re wondering how it is going? Très magnifique! I have visited France a handful of times, but my French language skills have never progressed beyond the pleasantries. And while learning a new language later in life is said to be more difficult, it is certainly not impossible!
I’ve tried a few different language courses over the years and I can see why Rosetta Stone is rated as the leading language course provider in the world. The online lessons prompt me to speak French, listen to French, write French and read French. Believe me when I say it works!
Practice less is more
This one is more of a lifestyle choice that I have been trying to follow for the last eight years I have spent travelling the world. I find a lot of peace knowing everything I own can be packed inside just two suitcases. And it isn’t just a personal preference – it is part of the French lifestyle. This is particularly true of Parisians who live inside small apartments and limit their possessions to just the essentials. But it goes much more beyond that – have you ever noticed how French women wear less makeup and live a fairly uncomplicated lifestyle? That is the very definition of très chic!
Learn to bake French pastries
Many of you will already know my love for French pastries runs deep. For three years in a row I travelled back to Paris every April to learn a new French patisserie skill. From macarons to croissants and even brioche bread, the list of delicious French pastries you can make yourself is practically endless!
I would recommend starting out with something a little more simple like eclairs before navigating the complexities of macarons. Believe me, I have been there! But once you start to learn the basics of French pastry, you can ease yourself into more difficult techniques.
Visit the Farmer’s Market
Another way to feel more French is to take a walk to your local farmer’s market on a Saturday and fill your linen grocery bags with all the fresh produce you can find! Shopping locally and organically is a very important part of French culture and in cities like Paris it is very much a part of daily life. Just like everything else in life, the French believe in quality over quantity and that certainly is true of food.
Not only is shopping for food important, but so is the art of eating it! Forget quick dinners standing at your kitchen counter and replace these with long nights socialising with friends or catching up with family. If you prefer to dine solo, throw on a record in the background or light some candles. You’d be surprised how much more enjoyable mealtimes are when you actually take the time out of your day to make them an event.
From dressing to impress to a daily skincare routine, the French certainly know how to take care of themselves from the inside out. My favourite nights are often those spent in the bathtub with a glass of red wine and a good book on hand. But the truth is I only make time for this once a week, so what about every other day of the week?
Establishing a healthy skincare routine is a great way to get your daily pamper in, as well as feeling great inside your skin and spending less time (and money) on make-up. After all, the French do believe less is more! I have incorporated both a morning and night skincare routine into my daily rituals and it helps me to establish the start and end of the working day.
Pick up a book
Reading is still very much a part of French culture, particularly when it comes to escaping inside the pages of a good novel. You will notice this if you take a walk down any street in Paris and quickly discover small boutique bookstores on almost every corner. And it isn’t just the act of reading a book that the French so love, but the fact that it forces you to slow down and take time for yourself. Whether you’re in the countryside on summer vacation or just tucking up on the couch with a good book, reading is a great way to feel more French. Sign up for the World of Wanderlust book club for book recommendations *actually* worth reading!
This post is in partnership with Rosetta Stone to celebrate my role as an ambassador for their language program. All opinions are my own!