20 Things I’ve Learned From The French

Things I've learned from the French

Travel is an excellent opportunity to learn. About yourself. About your travelling companions. And of course, about the country you travel to.

Over the years, I’ve come to see the French culture as my ultimate mentor.

I’ve learned so much over the years and sometimes it surprises me just how many of these lessons I’ve incorporated into my everyday life.

Given how quickly this list wrote itself, I’m pretty sure that there are way more than 20 things I’ve learned from the French over the years, but today I thought I’d share the top 20, just to get the conversation started.

20 Things I’ve Learned From The French

  1. To eat well.
  2. To eat late.
  3. That there is wine to match every meal.
  4. Cheese should be served after a meal, not before.
  5. To say yes to macarons.
  6. That everything is ok in moderation.
  7. Skinny jeans, boots and a blazer can take you anywhere.
  8. When in doubt, wear black.
  9. That French lingerie is worth the price.
  10. Flats win over heels.
  11. Scarves are essential.
  12. So are scented candles.
  13. Perfume is for every single day.
  14. Good skin beats good makeup. Take care of your skin.
  15. But don’t underestimate the power of a good red lipstick.
  16. Big lives can be lived in small living spaces.
  17. Neutral colours are your friend – in decor, in clothing and on nails.
  18. Respect history and architecture.
  19. Age is no barrier.
  20. Family and friends are everything.

And finally, one more lesson. There is always time to sit at a window and watch the world go by!

I know so many of you spend way more time in France than we do – in fact, some of you are lucky enough to live there! I’d love for you to share the lessons you’ve learned from the French over the years in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.



About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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8 thoughts on “20 Things I’ve Learned From The French

  • Jan Leishman

    That you drink chilled Cotes de Provence rosé between May and October, so stay in France for those months then, when you return to Australia, you can continue drinking rosé from October to May!

    • Janelle Post author

      What a fabulous lesson Jan – thank you for sharing. I’m definitely going to spend six months in France one year so will naturally follow your advice!

    • Janelle Post author

      Definitely check out the lingerie Jan. So comfortable, makes everything sit better and while it is not cheap, the quality is so good that it seems to last forever.

  • Taste of France

    I’ve learned to introduce beauty in commonplace things. A table can be set beautifully, with a tablecloth and candles. The dishes can be presented beautifully. A little effort to arrange things can really heighten the aesthetics and the experience.

    • Janelle Post author

      Great points! I’ve learned that one too. I’ve spent all day thinking of other things I’ve learned – looks like I might have to do a follow up post!!

  • Janice

    Janelle, this is brilliant! We just got back from Paris, and I’m suffering the post-vacation withdrawal. Your tips and observations will help tide me over until the next trip…