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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A taste of Provence, in my kitchen

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. We do this in a bid to be less polluting and tackle climate change while at the same time keeping a global outlook. In the same way that it's cool to explore the UK it also makes loads of sense to use your home to host people - which is how we started to find out a little bit about France's sunny Provence. Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).

French regional specialities are easy to find in France (in dedicated shops), but
in the UK I have to rely on visitors. 
Did you do a French exchange as a teenager? I didn't but I really want my daughters to find French easier to learn than just via classroom learning, or even Duolingo. Luckily there are plenty of French families with the same ideas, so we found two French teenagers who joined our family for the first week of the summer holidays 2015  travelling to London on their own, quite an adventure.

In the bean field on a pick your own PYO farm.
Jeanne and Emilien were great company too, and Jeanne good enough at English to help her younger brother. We learnt that French teenagers study agronomie - wouldn't that be a good idea in the UK? So we made sure to take them to a PYO farm so they could compare agriculture, a day trip that was fun, got us all lots of strawberries and led to some interesting conversations about genetic modification. 

London teens on tour guide duty by St Paul's Cathedral.
Our visitors were very kind and brought us loads of proper French gifts including Callissons d'Aix, olive oil soap and Provence honey flavoured with lavender. All delicious.

Calissons d'Aix were new to me. They are diamond shaped almond patties. In a way they taste of Xmas cake icing but with Provence drama. I know our family of four will be fighting over the very last two.

Over to you
Any tips for hosting teenage language/culture exchange students - including how to find the right match for your family?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

love it!