I was ninety minutes north of Bordeaux when the weather suddenly stopped. The rolling carpet of vineyards with the first gold of autumn melted into the twilight mists. A pair of swans appeared to be posing on the Charente, whose dark, still waters were lined with tall, dull poplars. The scene seemed straight out of a 19th century landscape painting.e century ; There was Sweet Francethe song of Charles Trenet.
I was heading to Cognac for a long weekend just to escape a renovation project at home. I had never been to this town before, but its name reminded me of a winter’s evening by the fire, feet tucked tightly into tweed slippers, you raise the glass to the flickering light, swirl it slowly to watch the tears roll down the sides, and then there is the delicious sip of heat.
It was too dark to see much the night I arrived, but the surprises started the next morning. Cognac is a fairly busy and delightfully unassuming town for such a famous place. The limestone buildings of Charentes may be a bit austere (the fault of the Protestants), there are posters and silhouettes of tough detectives, sultry ladies and gangsters. A resident explains to me that they are there for the Polar Festival, an event that brings together the detective arts every year in September and October.
The Polar and Michelin Festival
As a detective, I follow an elderly couple dragging an empty shopping basket to the covered market in Cognac. Besides pumpkin and potatoes, there are shiny oysters, Charente caviar, black truffles and Baume de Bouteville (the French balsamic vinegar). It is these refined products that explain why Michelin France chose Cognac to advertise [en mars] list of restaurants awarded stars this year, it was the first time the event was held outside of Paris.
And the drink? To
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The oldest of the British dailies (1785) and the best known abroad has belonged to Rupert Murdoch since 1981. It has long been the reference newspaper and the voice of the establishment. Today, it has lost some of its influence, and gossip accuses it of reflecting the conservative ideas of its owner. The times switched to tabloid format in 2004.
Determined to no longer provide all of its content for free, the British daily launched a payment formula in June 2010 that requires internet users to subscribe to access its articles. Four months after the launch of the operation, the newspaper publishes the first results that other press actors have been waiting with excitement: 105,000 people have become customers of their electronic offer. Among them, around half are regular subscribers to the various versions offered [site Internet, iPad et Kindle]. The others are occasional buyers. These figures are considered satisfactory by management Times should encourage other newspapers to accelerate their march toward paid access.