On the border with both Switzerland and Italy, and offering impressive rail connections and a vast motorway network, the Rhône-Alpes region is at "the crossroads of Europe".
Boasting eight natural parks and peerless sites such as Mont Blanc and the Gorges de l’Ardèche, the Rhône-Alpes offers a wide range of different landscapes: mountains, vineyards and gentle valleys, fields of lavender and olive groves.

grealbertville Chamonix

Besides hosting three Winter Olympics games due to its being the largest ski area in the world (in 1924 at Chamonix, 1968 at Grenoble, and 1992 at Albertville), the Rhône-Alpes is the second most important golfing region in France with over 60 courses.
Enthusiasts of art and culture will not be disappointed by the region’s Villes d’Art: Lyon, which is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, Annecy, Grenoble, Chambéry, and Saint-Étienne.
And connoisseurs of good food and wine will be spoilt for choice by the range of local specialties available to taste along with a Beaujolais or a Côtes du Rhône, and by the sheer number of famous restaurants (with Paul Bocuse at the top of the list) in the region.

Region Capital city: Lyon

Rhône-Alpes is made up of the following départements:

Ain (01). Capital: Bourg-en-Bresse.
Named after the Ain river on the eastern edge of France. Home of the Blue Legged Chickens a must try delicacy if you visit the area.


Ardeche (07). Capital: Privas.
Named after the125 km long Ardeche river in south-central France, a right-bank tributary of the Rhone river. Try the traditional “crème de marrons” (cream of chestnuts)!



Drôme (26). Capital: Valence
Takes its name from the Drôme river. The ravioli of Romans (a town in Drome) is one of its specialities, small squares of fresh tender wheat flour pasta stuffed with Comté cheese, fromage blanc, eggs, parsley, salt and butter!


Isère (38). Capital: Grenoble
Once again this department is named after the river of the same name! It comes as the third largest ski & winter destination of France after Savoie and Haute-Savoie. its ski resorts include the Alpe d’Huez (see below), Les Deux Alpes, Chamrousse, ...

alpe huez


Loire (42). Capital: Saint-Etienne
Takes its name after the longest river of France: 1013km! Famous for its gorgeous castles. (http://www.37-online.net/gb/castles/)


Rhône (69). Capital: Lyon
Named after the river Rhône and famous for its “Côtes du Rhône” AOC wines which exist as red, white and rosé wines, generally dominated by Grenache (reds and rosés) or Grenache blanc (whites).



Savoie (73). Capital: Chambéry
takes its name from the Latin Sapaudia or Sabaudia, meaning land covered in fir trees. Not to be missed: the Beaufort, Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie cheeses!


Haute-Savoie (74). Capital: Annecy
Home to Evian (mineral water), to the first winter Olympic Games in 1924 and to half of the Geneva Lake!




Famous people from Rhône-Alpes:

The Lumiere brothers: Early day film makers
Auguste Ampere: physicist
Paul Bocuse: chef de cuisine
Abbé Pierre: humanist
Antoine de St Exupéry: aviator and writer
Raymond Barre: prime minister
Jean Moulin : Resistance leader and martyr
Jean Michel Jarre: composer
Stendhal: writer
Henri Fantin Latour: painter



This regions lists 13 “most beautiful villages of France”:

Balazuc (Ardeche) balazuc



garde adhemar La Garde-Adhémar (Rhone)



Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye (Isere) st antoine

(more on http://www.les-plus-beaux-villages-de-france.org/fr/taxonomy/term/21)



Great monuments:



Grand Opéra de Lyon opera



chalmazel Château de Chalmazel





Le Palais Idéal du Facteur Chevalpalais facteur chevalHauterives, Drome



Market days in:


Marché de la Croix-Rousse, boulevard de la Croix-Rousse (Lyon 1st arrondissement) and petite place de la Croix-Rousse (Lyon 4th), Tuesdays to Sundays from 6am to 1pm. Bio Market on Saturdays.
Marché Saint Antoine, quai Saint Antoine (Lyon 2nd), Mondays to Fridays, 6am to 12.30pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 1.30pm.
Marché de la place Carnot (Lyon 2nd), Sundays 6am to 12pm: fresh food and pets.
Marché des producteurs fermiers, place Carnot (Lyon 2nd), on Wednesdays from 4 to 7pm.
Marché bio du quai Augagneur (Lyon 3rd), on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 6am to 12.30pm and Friday to Sundays 6am to 1.30pm.


On Tuesdays 7am to 1pm, Vieille Ville et Place des Romains: food market.
8am 7pm Place des Romains: miscellaneous.
On Wednesdays 8am to 12.30pm, place de la Mandallaz: food market.
On Thursdays 7am to 1pm, Quartier de Novel: food and miscellaneous
On Fridays 7am to 1pm, Vieille Ville: food market.
On Saturdays 7am to 1pm, Bd Taine et Bd Nicollet (food market) and rue Félix Petit (miscellaneous)
On Sundays 7am to 1.30pm, Vieille Ville: food market and miscellaneous
7am to 1.30pm, Place des Rhododendrons: producers market.



Traditional events:

Les Joutes, Lyon: Water jousting is a sport practised principally in France and also in Switzerland and also Germany. It is a form of jousting where the adversaries carrying a lance and protected only by a shield stand on a platform on the prow of a boat. The boat is propelled by oarsmen or, in some cases, a motor may be used. The aim of the sport is to send the adversary into the water whilst maintaining one's own balance on the platform.
From 1 to 30 June 2011, La Mulatiere, Lyon.



Fete des lumieres, Lyon: the Festival of lights takes place on 8 to 11 December each year to express gratitude to Mary, mother of Jesus, for being spared by the plague in 1643.points of activity are typically the Basilica of Fourviere which is lit up in different colours, and the Place des Terreaux. 8 to 11 December each year.

fete lumieres


Fete du Lac, Annecy: Saturday 6 August 2011 : from 9.45 PM to 11 PM (Starts at 9.45pm).
The city, especially lakeside, will once again sparkle with the Lake Fireworks Festival. Nearly 2 hours of non-stop display for you to appreciate the magic of the place, the absolute symbiosis between the fireworks and the music. http://www.lac-annecy.com/gb/events/annecy-lake-fireworks-festival.html


fete lac annecy




Founded into 43 before JC, Lyon, its historical capital, is the second town of France and is considered by many french as the capital of the gastronomy. Lyon is located in the heart of an area with many fertile soils: try and have lunch in one of the "Bouchons" Lyonnais!

Those little restaurants will help you to discover the richness of this gastronomy, from the Tablier de sapeur to the andouillettes, from the Cervelle de Canuts (litteraly : brain of Silk worker) to the Saint-Marcellin cheese...

The Dombes area excels with its chickens, frogs and fish, Savoie, with herds and cheeses, from Beauford to Tomme without forgetting the famous Reblochon and Emmenthaler cheese.

The Gratin dauphinois is another specialty. It uses ingredients of thinly sliced and layered potatoes and cream cooked in a buttered dish rubbed with garlic. Dauphinois refers to the Dauphiné region of France (Isère, Drôme, and Hautes-Alpes).

Here's the recipe for you to try!


Gratin Dauphinois


Serves 6


1kg Desirée potatoes
300ml full fat milk
284ml carton double cream
1 garlic clove , peeled and halved
2 sprigs of fresh thyme , plus extra for sprinkling
1 shallot , roughly chopped (optional)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
25g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), freshly grated



gratin dauphinois

Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 4/fan oven 140C. Rub the butter all over the surface of a gratin dish, about 18x28cm/7x11in. Peel and slice the potatoes to a width of 3mm/1⁄8in. Lay the slices on a clean tea towel and pat dry. Keep them covered with the tea towel while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. Add the garlic, thyme and shallot (if using). Slowly heat the milk and, just as it is about to reach boiling point and you see bubbles appearing around the edge of the pan, remove it from the heat. Strain the liquid into a large jug, sprinkle in the nutmeg and keep warm.

Layer half the potato slices in the dish, slightly overlapping the slices and sprinkling with a little salt and freshly ground pepper between each layer. You don't have to be too neat with the lower layers, but keep some of your best slices for later, so the top looks good.

Pour half the hot milk and cream over the potatoes, then finish off layering the rest of the potatoes (arranging them a bit more carefully this time). Pour over the rest of the hot milk and cream. Scatter the cheese over the top and bake for about one hour, until golden and tender. Leave the dish to stand for about 5 minutes, then serve sprinkled with a few fresh thyme leaves.


Vine is everywhere, with côte-du-Rhone and the Côtes Rôties while passing through Saint-Joseph and the Clairette de Die, without forgetting the wines of Savoy such as Roussette, the Beaujolais wines, Brouilly and Chirouble... not to forget the Chartreuse: an alcoholic elixir which has made the fortune of the monks of Dauphiné.

Table linen from the Alpes

The "Alpine" or "Chalet" theme on French fabrics includes the "heart" from Savoie, snow flakes, chalets, mountains, cows, bells, ... Here are some typical French fabrics from the Alpes:

Woven tablecloths with an Alpine design: http://www.lepinparasol.com/woven_tablecloths.htm

ecru reversible tablecloth

linen and cotton chalet fabric
Alpine (cotton Jacquard tablecloth)
Paulette red reversible tablecloth with a "chalet" atmosphere
Chamonix linen and cotton tablecloth

You can see our entire collection on this page of our website:

To get a price for any other size or place an order:

Contact & Order



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Catherine Castelain
Date Last Modified: 4/3/15
Le Pin Parasol
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