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  • Celebrating 14th July, La fĂȘte nationale in France

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    Bonne quatorze juillet! Today is France’s biggest national public holiday and major celebration of the storming of the Bastille and start of the French Revolution in 1789.

    The Bastille was a notorious Paris prison that epitomised the arbitrary power of the French monarchy. Its storming in 1789 eventually led to the establishment of the Republic, with its principles of liberty, brotherhood and freedom.

    Public and private celebrations are taking place all over France today. There’s a military parade in the Champs Elysees, Paris, along with some spectacular balls, dances and firework displays. You’ll also find concerts and other musical performances and see extended families coming together to enjoy good food and wine.

    Banks, post offices, many shops and some restaurants are closed, but travel should not be much affected, although roads may be busy. Many will be cheering on French cyclists in the Tour de France, as they ride some hard hills.

    In the UK, you’ll find celebrations mainly centred around French food cafes and restaurants, so it’s a great day to indulge in steak frites with vin rouge or a delicate patisserie with thé citron.

    Want some reading to get you in the mood? Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos sets the scene of privilege, A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel highlights the main characters and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities brings the drama of the revolution, of course featuring the dreaded Madame la Guillotine.

    Inspired to visit France? We make it easy with our fabulous range of accommodation at B&Bs and holiday rentals, along with travel advice and booking.

  • Congratulations Chris Froome on third Tour de France win!

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    Yesterday champion British cyclist Chris Froome rode the customary lap of honour in the Champs-Élysées, Paris, before being crowned winner of the 2016 Tour de France. The win is his third, making him Britain’s first ever three-time winner and one of a small, elite group in the world.

    Froome shared the honours with Romain Bardet of France,  the Colombian rider Nairo Quintana and Britain's Adam Yates, who came fourth. André Greipel of Germany won the final stage in the traditional sprint on the Champs-Élysées.

    Froome had held the yellow jersey, awarded to the winner of each stage, for several days of the race. On Saturday he safely negotiated pouring rain in the mountains, with a treacherous descent from the Col de Joux Plane to Morzine, to gain a lead of four minutes and five seconds.

    Inspired by Chris's victory? There's still time to plan a cycling holiday in France this year, using our handy cycling guide

    Looking ahead, the 2017 Tour starts in Dusseldorf and if you want to know where to go in France to see the excitement for yourself, watch for further details on the official Tour websitethen check out our accommodation along the route.