Un Tour de France de Londres with Stephen Bayley

DSC_0560As part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture, Stephen Bayley leads a ride around the best of French architecture, art and design to be found on the streets of London. Stephen Bayley is the Observer’s architecture and design critic, the founding director of the Design Museum and in 1989 was a made a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s top artistic honour.

If you’re interested in my drinking guide for this year’s Tour De France, it’s here.

Photo credit: Rebecca Stephens

Le Tour des Vins de France (part two)

After a week of hard drinking racing, the peloton will have earned its high altitude rest day on 12 July. The race continues with another punishing Alpine stage in which the riders must haul themselves over four different climbs culminating in the Col de la Madeleine (2000 metres above sea level) and you may want to join them in spirit by lining up four different wines from a dazzling Savoyard selection. The high altitude and dry soil of this region is only suitable for specific varieties of vine that are rarely cultivated elsewhere. So fill up while you can. Look out for Jacquère, Roussanne, Altesse and Gringet whites and Mondeuse reds. The stage finish is in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne where the iconic French Opinel brand of penknife is made. So celebrate by getting out the whetstone and introducing your blade to a few hearty Savoyard cheeses. Tome, Beaufort, Abondance and Reblochon would make a fine quartet for a dégustation fromages et vins. Continue reading