11 Things Francophiles Can Do While Staying Home

Mar 25, 2020

Whether at home in Bend, Oregon, or having the good fortune to be in France, the French-culture is present in my everyday life, as it is for many TSLL readers from around the globe as well.

I have been savoring my favorite tea each morning and evening which I began drinking in 2013 after a trip to the teahouse in Paris and continue to have loose tea from Palais des Thes in my house so long as I don’t go through it too quickly. As I shared this past weekend, I have shifted my largest meal of the day to lunch rather than dinner, and so many other seemingly simple habits and routines that upon reflection were inspired by my love for the French culture are part of my everyday life.

Now as we find ourselves in our homes for far more than we may want, I wanted to share with you a few ideas to elevate your spirits and tickle your love for the French culture. Below are 10 simple ways to satiated your Francophile self in the coming days and weeks. (Anglophiles, I have not forgotten about you! Check out this post in one hour or now if after the day of initial posting.)

Let’s get the frustrating, but sincerely desired-to-accomplish one out of the way . . .

1.Improve your French language skills

Receive one month free of online language learning lessons via Paris Update from Frantastique.

I also have enjoyed the free app Duolingo for simple, on-the-go conversational practice. And to learn even more ways of learning French, check out my three-part series written three years ago, What I Have Learned in French Class So Far . . .

More French language learning tools:


2. Enjoy a documentary on French artists

Below are a list of films to watch either on YouTube, Netflix or AmazonPrime.

3. And then tour the museums in Paris that house many of their artwork

4. Enjoy a French series on MHz Choice (you can subscribe through Amazon Prime)

5. Learn how to make croissants!

Yes you can! Let me show you how in the detailed step-by-step tutorial (see the video in this post. It moves around, so currently, I think it is near #2). I myself just made a new batch of croissants which I freeze (above image is my most recent batch), and then enjoy one or two each weekend. Making 20 croissants and pain au chocolats, I am set for about three months worth of home-made buttery, flaky croissants. View the full recipe and see more images here.

6. Watch The French Chef on PBS Living

7. Enjoy Apéro Time at your home prior to dinner

In episode #216 of the podcast, the Petit Plaisir was to share and enjoy Apéro time with others. Especially during our current times, apéro time can be enjoyed those you live with or virtually with friends and family from afar. Here are a few ideas to consider organizing your own while you are at home wherever in the world you may be:

  • Apéritif definition – a drink enjoyed before a meal to stimulate the appetite; choose wine or something just as yummy and palette awakening.
  • Keep it simple: Do not make complicated appetizers, but instead serve fougasse or slim breadsticks, hummus, olives, nuts, and/or slices of meat.
  • Fougasse bread – typically associated with Provence, but found in many other places. It is a type of flatbread made with flour, yeast, salt and water.
  • No cheese (save the cheese course until after the entrée)

8. Pick up a baguette and make (and enjoy) a classic jambon-beurre sandwich

Currently, our bakeries are delivery to the local groceries, so we can pick up our baguette each morning if need be, at the grocery store. All you need are three ingredients: a fresh baguette, a high-quality European butter, salted to or you can salt it to your likely if unsalted and high quality ham sliced thinly. Cut open the break, spread the butter and layer the ham. Eat and enjoy!

9. Light the candles around the home in the evening

Provençal mystery writer M.L. Longworth shared in our most recent interview last fall that her Petit Plaisir was to signal to her mind and the household that the day as coming to an end by lighting candles around her Provence home. Such a lovely, simple routine that elevates the end of each day.

~Discover my favorite French candles here.

10. Escape to France through a book

To slip away to France, whether the countryside or the cities we dream about for their food, culture, jardins and people, is to lose track of time. So while we may all be waiting for this time in history to pass so whether we live in France or not, we can actually physically go and experience it, picking up and reading a good book set or about France is a close second-best thing to do.

Below are three posts that share a specific group of books I recommend, but you can also visit TSLL’s Shop – French Finds – to view all of the titles I recommend, which includes cookbooks and other French items.

11. Watch a French film (or set in French film)

In episode #248, I share 12 of my favorite Feel-Good Films (having premiered in the past 10 years), and I could easily, and have, watched each of these more than once. They are each that good. Click here to see the entire list and what each film is about.

So while we may not be able to indulge our flaneur predilections at the moment and make our way around the Jardin de Luxembourg (top pic), we will soon. And when we are able, we will appreciate it all the more. Bon courage mon amies!



12 thoughts on “11 Things Francophiles Can Do While Staying Home

  1. Lovely ideas all! I had to cancel an upcoming trip to France in April (so bummed) so these will help ease some of the pain. Thanks!

    1. April in France would be a lovely time to visit. I am so sorry to hear of your cancellation. Hopefully you were fully refunded and will be returning as soon as it is possible to do so.

  2. Thank you for all your great ideas, Shannon, for both French and British treats. I love mysteries and some of the ones suggested were new to me so looking forward. As you are into Scandinavian “hygge” and seem to have a similar taste in entertainment I highly recommend the Danish series “Badehotellet” with a new season coming out this week in Norway. I know it has been sold to the US but not sure where and if you can watch it. A true escape!

  3. These are all such great suggestions – and your links are so helpful, too! Thank you, Shannon!!! (Although I think I won’t do the croissants, since I’ve noticed a little poundage increase, during the quarentine! LOL)

    I do hope you are staying healthy, and all of your readers, as well!

    Cheers, Kate

  4. Thank you so much for these posts! I really appreciate all of the wonderful recommendations. Your posts have been a lovely distraction to look forward to after long work days at home.

    Have you seen the mystery series Maigret, based on the books by Georges Simenon? There are different versions but I love the one starring Michael Gambon. It may be available on Acorn or Britbox?

    https://www.amazon.com/Maigret-Collection-Michael-Gambon/dp/B0009IWFDI/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?keywords=maigret+dvd&qid=1585190783&sprefix=maigret&sr=8-5

  5. Hi Shannon

    Thanks for the suggestions. I love the ritual of lighting candles in the evening too.

    Are you able to access ‘Escape to the Chateau’ in the US? It’s on channel 4 in the UK. I do think of you when I watch it. It’s about a couple who renovate a chateau in northern France. It provides me with pure escapism, especially at the moment.

    Let me know if you can find it and what you think – I’ll dm you on instagram to share their page.

    Love from the UK.

    Sarah

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