Updating An Hour From Paris in winter

Updating An Hour From Paris in winter, fourth edition
Provins in winter

The request from my publisher to consider updating An Hour From Paris came just before Christmas. Since then I’ve been recruiting intrepid friends to accompany me as I work my way through the 20 destinations in the book to see what has changed. I expect to have finished by summer so that the new edition can be published in 2025.

So far, updating in the depths of winter has meant clutching the book and a pencil in ungloved hands as a few snowflakes drift down (Provins), squeezing through a barrier to the temporarily closed walk by the Canal St Jean (Chantilly), being unexpectedly invited to view her huge house and grounds by a woman who saw us peeping through her 17th century gateway (La Ferté-Milon) and having a rewarding telephone conversation with the curator of the Maison Debussy (St Germain-en-Laye) who had never heard of the book but thought it a brilliant idea. Oh, and discovering that the traditionally unfriendly local café in Seugy (Royaumont) serves an excellent under-priced kir, actually acknowledged with a smile when I took the glasses back to the counter.

As you can see, there are unexpected pleasures to be had from what could feel like a chore. Provins in particular, which I have not enjoyed much since it became a UNESCO-listed site, has a lovely haunting quality in winter. The Middle Ages seem very close when you are experiencing the same conditions as the people who built those ramparts and the sheer pleasure of finally sitting down in the warmth and sipping ‘hypocras’, a spiced wine drink mentioned by Chaucer, in the one café that was open added the finishing touch.

Only 15 more trips to go – and I’m looking forward to more discoveries.

12 thoughts on “Updating An Hour From Paris in winter

  1. Wonderful! I won’t say I can’t wait for it because I will wait–eagerly. Thanks for being who you are.

  2. Am jealous. It is far from a chore, it is a privilege to be able to get to all those lovely places again and create new experiences from them. Long may the ‘chore’ of updating for your readers continue, and in the meantime, have fun.

  3. I bought your book back in 2019, in preparation for the trip to Paris I was planning in 2020 to celebrate my retirement. Unfortunately the world had other plans!
    But I’m finally that trip in May this year, and can’t wait to do some your secret daytrips.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this description of your “work” — which sounds much more like “adventures” when read while sitting in a nice warm kitchen. Especially enjoyed that last “visual” of ordering a drink promoted by Chaucer, LOL.

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