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Holidays 2012

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La Croix Rousse, 26210 Lapeyrouse-Mornay, France
Although you seriously have to hoof it to reach the top of La Croix Rousse, it's worth it to experience the views, restaurants, traboules (type of alley/walkway only found in Lyon, France), and rich history. Along the way however, be prepared to...
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156 Rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon, France
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This odd-looking blimp is actually a quenelle de brochet, one of the quintessential foods of Lyon. They're big dumplings made out of pike fish, covered in Sauce Nantua, a classic French sauce made with crayfish. Daniel et Denise, owned by an...
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12 Rue Pizay, 69001 Lyon, France
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These are the proprietors at one of the wonderful bouchons I wrote about for AFAR. They serve the best blood sausage (boudin noir) I've ever eaten. Even if you don't like boudin noir, you should order it - trust me! I love this photo of the...
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9 Rue Major Martin, 69001 Lyon, France
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Yves Rivoiron, the owner of this classic bouchon, is a real character. I had lunch with him for my AFAR story about Lyon Bouchons. This is what he ordered: Tablier de Sapeur (fireman's apron) or fried tripe. It's a bouchon classic. Like many...
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7 Rue du Garet, 69001 Lyon, France
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This is my favorite bouchon interior. Here's what owner Emmanuel Ferra said when I interviewed him for my article in AFAR: “Ah! The decor is very special! We change nothing! Over the years, different bosses added another decoration, and another...
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23 Rue Jean Larrive, 69003 Lyon, France
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Best frites (aka French fries) EVER. They were hand-cut by the 87-year old owner, Madame Giraud. I wrote about her in my AFAR article about Lyon's bouchons. These frites were pure heaven paired with Madame's steak with brown butter. (Yes, I did...
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51160 Ay, France
My month in Paris was amazing, but one of my trip highlights was the day spent in the Champagne region, visiting vineyards and champagne houses - particularly the underground labyrinth bursting with the world's best champagne at the Moet & Chandon...
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Rue du Dessous des Clos, 51160 Hautvillers, France
Ceramicist Mathilde Vernillet makes and sells her pottery in a tiny workshop and storefront just off the main square in Hautvillers. Choose among practical containers and dinnerware with lustrous glazes and meticulously perforated, lace-like art...
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178 Rue Henri Martin, 51160 Hautvillers, France
Peruse artifacts of Champagne’s viticultural history at this Hautvillers antique shop. Take home old corkscrews, wooden grape-picking baskets, and champagne buckets burnished with the patina of celebrations past. 33/(0) 32-659-3981. Read "A...
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Faux de Verzy, 51380 Verzy, France
Thrill-seeking visitors can soar high in the forest canopy on zip lines and ropes courses in this adventure park near Reims. For a different kind of heart-racing experience, cross the suspended footbridge to access the Perching Bar, a modern...
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5 Place du Général Gouraud, 51100 Reims, France
Of all the major champagne estates in the area, Pommery offers the best tour. Dress warmly to explore the 20-million-bottle cellars, many set in old Roman chalk mines. 33/(0) 32-661-6263. Read "A Certain Sparkle". This appeared in the...
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Place du Cardinal Luçon, 51100 Reims, France
Our Lady of Reims Cathedral is where the kings of France were once crowned....
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Reims, France
Underground tour was very informative, about 60 feet below street level, and ended with a tasting...
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Jef Vandermeulenstraat 54, 9050 Gent, Belgium
Some locals call cuberdons “priest hats” and others refer to them as “little noses.” Hard on the outside and gooey on the inside, the conical, raspberry-flavored treats slow-cook for five days in a 131°F room. Stock up...
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Warmoezeniersweg 20, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Went over to Brugge the other day to see the ice sculptures and also had a walk through the city. The main square was lit up very nicely and there was an ice rink right in the center. The weather was cold but the atmosphere was poetic.
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Katelijnestraat 5, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
When in Belgium, make sure to try not only the famous chocolates, but also the hot chocolate! During a tour of Bruges, we became so enchanted with the medieval city that we decided to sneak away from our tour group and explore on our own—and I'm...
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Dijver 5, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
The prix fixe lunch menu at Den Dyver in Brugge comes with a beer pairing option. Our first meal in Belgium and a taste of things to come.
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8 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris, France
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Shops and bakeries are introducing spruced-up versions of classic Parisian foods. Here are the best addresses to try traditional and eclectic takes on three iconic French treats.

1. CROISSANT The Classic: The flaky pastries from Poilane are made...

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47 Rue de Babylone, 75007 Paris, France
The Paris café scene has always been compelling, but the actual café (coffee) is often forgettable. That's all changing, thanks to places like Coutume, Kookaboora and Telescope, where obsessive (and often mustachioed) baristas are redefining the...
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37 Rue de Verneuil, 75007 Paris, France
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The historic Androuet fromagerie has been sourcing and maturing exceptional cheeses since 1909. Their shop on rue Mouffetard is staffed by friendly English-speakers who will be happy to explain and vacuum-seal your selections, including the...