La Belle Vie: The best French TV series, new travel routes and hidden Riviera gems

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
La Belle Vie: The best French TV series, new travel routes and hidden Riviera gems
Passersby watch a para-sailing on the "Promenade des Anglais" on the French riviera city of Nice, on August 15, 2021. (Photo by Valery HACHE / AFP)

From the best things that happened in France this year to French TV shows and planning your 2023 holidays, our weekly newsletter La Belle Vie offers you an essential starting point for eating, talking, drinking and living like a French person.


La Belle Vie is our regular look at the real culture of France – from language to cuisine, manners to films. This newsletter is published weekly and you can receive it directly to your inbox, by going to newsletter preferences or adding your email to the sign-up box in this article.

The year 2022 was not an easy one - from rising inflation, forest fires and floods and plenty of strikes. But as the year wraps up, our team at The Local turned our eyes to the good moments - like France appointing its second female astronaut to the European Space Agency and battling through to second place in the World Cup. Here are the times we smiled this past year:

11 of the best things that happened in France in 2022 

While some have already gone back to work after the Christmas holidays, many of us might still have a few days off. While you may be tempted to pass the time by watching Home Alone again, you could also consider testing out a classic French Christmas film.


I recommend that you start with "Santa Claus is a Stinker" (Le Père Noël est une Ordure) because if you tell your French friends you've been watching French Christmas movies, this is probably the first one they'll ask you about. 

Five French Christmas movies you need to watch

But if movies are not your thing, you could always tune into a new Netflix series while relaxing. As an American living in Paris, I have a complicated relationship with being lumped in with the Emily in Paris series. If you are looking for something to give you a glimpse into life in Paris, without the overly romanticised view of the capital, then you could try the series Drôle which follows a group of friends trying to make it as stand-up comedians. No worries if that does not appeal to you though, we've put together some other options for you to choose from.

9 French Netflix series that aren’t Emily in Paris 

While enjoying your movie or TV show that may or may not include stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, Alps mountain range, or blue Mediterranean waters, you might start feeling the urge to plan your 2023 holidays. With several new flight paths better connecting France to the rest of the world and more ferry services, 2023 might be your year to take a trip either to (or from) France.

Planes, trains, and ferries: The new international travel routes from France in 2023

And speaking of travel destinations, I thought I would end with the French vacation destination that always feels particularly appealing during the cold month of January: the French Riviera.

Even though Nice is one of France's most visited cities, there are still plenty of incredible activities and sites to see that are off the beaten path.


From the historic Castle Hill cemeteries to chateaux, the city has plenty more to offer than the Mediterranean. Here is what you might want to explore on your next trip:

French Riviera: 10 hidden gems in Nice that tourists miss



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