OK here are some highlights and impressions of France. I'm starting in Reims. This is a the main city in the Champagne region - a cool climate; especially in late November when I was there. It has a lot of chimneys, I remember. Also a magnifique cathedral which is at its heart. this is the place that French Kings have been crowned.
Being at the centre of the Champagne region, it also contains many famous Champagne houses; Taittinger, Veuve Clicquot just to name a few. The Veuve Clicquot House welcomes visitors and it welcomed us. That famous orange is in evidence all over the House and the Widow Clicquot seems to haunt the establishment - in a comforting way.
When you go to Reims in the time leading up to Christmas, you might be lucky enough to encounter the Christmas Markets. These are held in an open area with little wooden houses to take the wares. My memory is of the lunch house, where you could choose your baguette and what would go into it. The Frenchman who came for his lunch ordered a very long, crunchy baguette with fromage and saucisson. It looked totally delicious and so I did the same. I certainly wasn't disappointed.
Just walking round the corner from our hotel, down the road and then turning right into the Avenue which lead to that magnificent church is something that is hinged in my mind. Either side of the road has golden three to four storey buildings each with 20 or so chimneys. Walking through Reims and looking into churches and other historic buildings filled our days, but always we needed to find fine food and champagne. We quickly learned how to bypass the touristy restaurants where the food was not so good and found the little ambient filled places with great flavours, including the widest, shallowest creme brulee ever.