L’art de vivre à la française

There is a subtle Art of French Lifestyle or l’art de vivre à la Française. As a French native-born raised in France as well as in the United States with both cultures, I am keenly aware of the many cultural differences in the French and American culture with its distinct “art de vivre” and “savoir vivre”.

I am talking about the Real French Lifestyle of everyday folks in France which is filled with les petits plaisirs de la vie or the little pleasures of life. We often hear about the French je ne sais quoi and I find that the French art of living overall embodies simplicity, elegance, quality, eloquence, finesse as well as a lot of common sense. Here are a few French Lifestyle which celebrates life’s little pleasures with a unique French touch that anyone who enjoys the French culture can invite in their daily life.

Here are a Few Tips to start to Live the Real French Lifestyle and enjoying Life’s little pleasures:

Faire la Grasse Matinée

It is indeed an art to sleep in later than usual and have breakfast in bed or Faire la grasse matinée et prendre son petit déjeuner au lit. This is part of French Lifestyle or l’art de bien vivre to enjoy little moments by yourself or intimate à deux. It is truly one of life’s little pleasures and a typically French Lifestyle which should not only be reserved for Mother’s Day or a special occasion but part of an elegant and romantic way of life. Read Article

French Actress Brigitte Bardot. in St Tropez in the movie And God Created Woman Photo Credit: Ghislain Dussart

French Beauty au naturel

Brigitte Bardot aka BB epitomizes the natural beauty or la beauté au naturel of the French woman. It is a beauty that cannot be bottled, manufactured, created with contouring, highlight and blush ;), but rather it is beauty “au naturel”. It is a beauty that comes from within and that radiates in the eyes, in the attitude, and in the overall simplicity. Such simple, natural beauty is not for the very few, it is achievable by all women because each woman has something beautiful about her. Read Article

French Etiquette and Being Gracious

“Bonjour, un café, s’il vous plaît!” Growing up in France, good manners, politeness, and étiquette is a way of life or savoir-vivre dating back to the noblesse and bourgeoisie. In terms of politeness at home and especially in public, little magic polite words like thank you merci, and please or if you please, s’il vous plaît still go a long way. Other bourgeois ways of life are a bit passé today in our new modern era society as times have changed, however, basic universal good manners are still here to stay in France.  Read Article

The Art of French Gift-Giving

There is an art of gift-giving in France,  faire un cadeau is an exquisite art built in the French lifestyle, etiquette, and savoir-vivre. For example, it is still considered lacking manners to show up at someone’s house as a guest “Les mains vides” or empty-handed without a little something to bring for the hostess: a bouquet of flowers (avoid chrysanthemums which are for funerals, red roses for lovers, and carnations considered bad luck)  a good bottle of wine, liquor or champagne, a box of fancy chocolates, or some bonbons or pâtes de fruits for the children of the house. Read Article

Happy Hour French Style: l’Apéro

L’apéro short for l’apéritif is the French classy American Happy Hour. Where does the word apéritif come from ? It comes from the Latin “aperire” which means to open and in that sense to stimulate your appetite before a meal or ouvrir l’appétit. “Prendre l’apéro” is a French ritual of getting together with friends or family and having some drinks or cocktails before dinner or lunch. During the summer vacation it is not uncommon to have two apéro a day before each meals! It is a convivial time to unwind, socialize while sipping your favorite drink and nibbling or grignoter. Read Article

Learn to Dunk or Faire Trempête

To dunk or not to dunk ? That is the question. In French we say “faire trempette” to take a little dip. The French are elegant especially the ladies but I’m not sure there’s an elegant way to dunk your croissant unless you’re dunking a petit biscuit but go ahead and live dangerously! Read Article

Take Up a New Hobby: La Pétanque

For the French in me, nothing spells summer or vive l’été, aside from the fragrance of my Tahitian Monoi, than the provincial flavors of Pissaladière with a side of Salade Nicoise and to top is off a Sorbet Cassis all this while enjoying a game of Pétanque even as a spectator sipping on a Ricard Pastis. In France, Pétanque and Pastis go hand in hand! Pétanque is a jeu de boules and a big part of the French lifestyle, especially in the South of France where it was born. Men and women gather for hours to play a game of Pétanque. Read Article

Have Crêpes for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner!

Sweet or savory, crêpes are always a favorite treat or quick meal in any French household. There’s nothing easier than making crêpes. The best crêpes are homemade, so be creative! make ’em sweet with sugar, strawberry jam, and of course Nutella!  or make em savory with ham & cheese, shrimps, mushrooms, chicken, etc… Read Article

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Croquons la vie à pleines dents!

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