A Bit of France in Texas Wednesday, Mar 14 2018 

Bonjour! As you know, our mission at French Affaires is two-fold: to bring wonderful aspects of France to the U.S. and also to help Americans experience the best of France while traveling there. A propos, we’re putting on sort of a ‘France Fest’ this March in Texas. Below is a summary of the French events and classes going on…If you are thinking about traveling to France and could use some insider tips or just want a fun France moment without having to pack a suitcase, come and join us!

“French for Travelers” - March 19 to 21, 2018, at SMU in Dallas


If you’re headed to France for the first time or even if you’ve been before, our “French for Travelers” course will help ensure you have a marvelous time – and also help avoid any unwelcome surprises! Instructor Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz has been teaching this class at SMU for over 10 years and it’s always a sell-out. In this special mini-intensive lecture series, Dr. Seitz will discuss French and American habits and attitudes, introduce essential language for a variety of situations (including restaurants – how to order, what to order, what NOT to order), highlight French customs and vocabulary for a variety of contexts (table manners, shopping, hotels, museums, how to ask for gift wrapping!), teach indispensable pronunciation tips, and provide a great list of French travel essentials. Real life stories and anecdotes about travel in France and interacting with the French make this a lively and fun class. You will also walk away with specific tips and strategies about traveling like a pro in France (by train, Metro, air) as well as the confidence to really enjoy your time there.   This course complements previous study of the language, though no prior knowledge of French is required. The class includes six hours of rich instruction plus comprehensive handouts so you will walk away with a great toolkit and guide to take on your next trip to France. Please note that the class is conducted primarily in English with LOTS of good practice in French. You can bring your France travel questions too! Advance registration is required through SMU’s Continuing Studies Program. (NB: This is the only time this course will be offered in 2018 – just in time for the spring, summer and fall travel season!)

“A Day at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte” Special Event Featuring Owner Alexandre de Vogue Co-Hosted with The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture – Thursday, March 22, 2018, from 6 to 8pm in Dallas*

French Affaires is pleased to partner with The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture to co-host this insider’s tour of the magnificent privately-owned 17th century French castle and gardens that inspired the great chateaux of Europe, including the Palace of Versailles. Vaux-le-Vicomte’s rich history began in 1641 when France’s Finance Minister Nicolas Fouquet bought the estate and enlisted architect Louis le Vau, decorator Charles le Brun, and landscape designer Andre Le Notre to transform it into a perfect ensemble of artistic beauty and taste. King Louis XIV was so impressed that he took these designers and transformed the Chateau of Versailles into the dazzling palace it is today. Through the coordination of French Affaires Director Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz, Alexandre de Vogue, son of the owners of Vaux-le-Vicomte, will present a stunning virtual tour of “France’s best kept secret” and speak about A Day at Vaux-le-Vicomte, the beautiful volume co-authored by Alexandre and his brothers. Photo credit: Private Collection Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

* This event is featured as part of the “French Cultures Festival” calendar for March 2018 sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Houston.

“Paris Museum Tour: A Visual Guided Visit of the French Capital’s Best Art Venues” – Monday, March 26, 2018, from 7 to 9pm at SMU in Dallas*

Paris is the museum-lover’s paradise par excellence. With France expert Dr. Elizabeth New Seitz as your guide, take a visual tour of the most spectacular art institutions in the French capital. Explore the history, architectural features, and art collections of Paris’ most renowned museums including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and Musée Rodin among others. Discover lesser-known venues and their artistic treasures, such as the Musée Jacquemart-André, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and many more. You’ll enjoy your “art evening in Paris” and also come away with insider knowledge and logistics tips to make the most of your next trip there. Advance registration required through SMU’s Continuing Studies Program.

* This event is featured as part of the “French Cultures Festival” calendar for March 2018 sponsored by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Houston.

NB: For more information on the events and to register, please click on each event title. For questions, please email us at culture.france (at) frenchaffaires.com. Merci et à bientôt!

Snow in the French Countryside Thursday, Mar 1 2018 

Bonjour from snowy France! You may have heard it’s been quite a wintry weather experience here the past few weeks. And it came on rather suddenly after a very mild December and January. In fact, I thought spring was just around the corner since our flowering cherry trees were starting to bloom and the daffodils were more than halfway up. Then it snowed…and snowed. Here in our village of Courances south of Paris, we were almost ’snowed in’ for about a week in early February. Then this morning, it started snowing again in the wee hours and we woke up to another white wonderland. But this may be the last of the white stuff as temperatures are set to warm up starting tomorrow. Just in time too as our ‘Paris Insider Shopping Trip’ group arrives Monday for the start of our whirlwind insider cultural experience of this incredible city!

In any case, the snow has been absolutely beautiful and such a different way of ’seeing the French countryside’ so I thought I’d share a virtual ‘walking tour’ of our French village and environs covered in the blankets of white. You can just imagine the peaceful silence accompanying the images. And our sweet French dog Marcel adores la neige - he can hardly wait to go outside and start eating the white powder. You’ll see him playing in his winter amusement park, aka my French garden… So grab your coat and ear muffs, and let’s take a snowy walk in the French countryside!


The 12th century church of St. Etienne in Courances


Snowy walk in the village


Day of sun and snow in my French garden







The Chateau and Park of Courances


Geese in the snow at sunset


 Nice spot for a hot mulled wine station, don’t you think?



The Chateau de Courances’ ’sister chateau’ in the neighboring village of Fleury-en-Biere


Our Monsieur Marcel surveying his winter domain, aka my French garden

And if you want to see French dog eating snow out of my daffodils, you can take a peek at the video on the French Affaires Instagram feed at french_affaires. At least he didn’t eat the plants!

French Affaires Travel Program Update

For yet another way of seeing France from a completely different perspective, we’re offering the special “France Photography Workshop: Seeing Paris and the Loire Valley Through a Photographer’s Eyes” from October 12 to 20 of this year. This exclusive France travel experience will feature celebrated French photographer Eric Sander who will lead our creative journey to enhance your photography skills and photo portfolio with an unforgettable insider’s view of France!



For more than 30 years, Eric Sander’s photographs have been regularly published in some of the best magazines worldwide and in more than 50 books. Today, Eric mainly works on assignment for private estate owners (extraordinary homes, vineyards and great gardens), magazines (Figaro magazine, Smithsonian..), publishers (Flammarion, Acte Sud, Xavier Barral Editions, Ulmer, Gourcuff Gradenigo, Rustica), landscape designers (Louis Benech), interior designers (Jacques Garcia), and major events (Garden and Contemporary Art Festival in Chaumont-Sur-Loire). www.ericsander.com

IMG_6664 E Sander

Our trip group size is limited for a fully hands-on and rich creative, cultural and travel experience. For the trip itinerary and registration details, please email us at e.new (at) frenchaffaires.com. Photo credits: Eric Sander private collection.