Hugh Atkins

Co-founder of Pure France. 20 years of visiting and photographing fabulous properties, meeting fascinating people and driving every main and back road in France.

My favourite photos on Pinterest


© Pure France

30 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Holidays, Pure France, Tourism

Summer On The Cap d'Antibes

In 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda headed south to the French Riviera and took up residence in Villa Saint Louis on the Cap d'Antibes. His stay influenced his famous novel 'The Great Gatsby' with its extravagent and decadent characters. The lifestyle contunues on the Cap d'Antibes...

© Ivan Ragozin unsplash

25 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Tourism, Culture

Villefranche-sur-Mer and The Rolling Stones

Villefranche-sur-Mer is undoubtedly the prettiest and most charming of the smaller towns on the Cote dAzur. Falling from the hills to the seafront and its beautiful bay, Villefranche sits comfortably between Monaco and the Italian border. Like Cannes in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Villefranche was a poular winter destination for royalty and wealthy visitors. And then, in April 1971, the wealthy rock and roll royalty arrived - The Rolling Stones.

22 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Tourism, Architecture

La Grande Roue

La Grande Roue (The Big Wheel) of Paris was unveiled at the Exposition Universelle in 1900. It was the tallest wheel in the world at its opening. The passenger pods were so large that they were removed from the wheel and used as homes for French families during The First World War. Since 1900, the Grand Roue has become a spectacular site at Fetes Foraines throughout the summer in France.

21 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Architecture

Eiffel's designs - apart from the tower.

Yes, the tower. But Gustave Eiffel also designed many other structures, not only in France, but around the world. He contributed to the construction of the Statue of Liberty in New York and designed several bridges for the French Railways. Discover more about Gustave Eiffel...

© Pure France

20 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Sports and leisure

The day before the Monaco Grand Prix

The Formula One Grand Prix circus arrives in Monaco this week for the three day festival May 21st to the 23rd. Visiting Monte Carlo the day before the weekend starts is a spectacle in itself. Walk on some of the race-track, stand on pole position and take in the scenery.

© Pixabay

10 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Culture

Art History Mystery

Everyone loves a good art history mystery. From the back streets of Nice to the international art auction houses of Paris, here’s a story concerning a small painting, puchased for almost nothing that sold for a huge amount. But was it real ? And who stole it ?

08 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Culture, Tourism

The towns and posters of World Cup 1998

France first hosted The World Cup in 1938. The prestigious tournament returned to France in 1998 and the host nation triumphed in the final, winning 3-0 against Brazil. The games in the tournament were played at selected stadiums in 9 major cities. Can you name them ? Here they are, together with the unique posters made for each city. And don't forget 'Footix', the World Cup mascot...

04 May 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Tourism

Le Suquet

Cannes is known for its beaches, glitzy shopping and of the course the annual film festival. But behind all the glamour lies the tiny town of Le Suquet, where it all started. Le Suquet, situated on the hilltop overlooking Cannes and the bay, is a warren of tiny streets and alleyways with the lovely, colourful old fishermen's houses.

© Pure France

20 April 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Restaurants

Provençal cuisine in Cannes

The city of Cannes offers tourists, bistros, seafood restaurants and up-market establishments. There are hundreds of restaurants in Cannes. Where to start? It's a good idea to head to an area where there are lots to choose from so you can make your own mind up.

© Pure France

08 April 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Holidays

Villa holiday France

Villa holidays are not just about villas... There was a time when a villa holiday in France meant exactly that; self-catering accommodation in a modern villa. Now, the term 'Villa Holiday' encompasses a vast and diverse range of styles of fabulous holiday properties throughout all regions of France...

12 March 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Culture

Paul Éluard, Picasso, Poésie, Poésy et Paris

Paul Éluard, Picasso, Poésie, Poésy et Paris. A story of the most gifted French surrealist poets, his continued infatuation with his Russian girlfriend and wife, Gala. Their association with Pablo Picasso and Salavador Dali, and an emotional recital of of a love letter by Clémence Poésy from the Isle de France in Paris.

© www.Madame-H.com

07 March 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Transport, Culture

A Rare Discovery

A chance conversation led to a rare discovery last month of a classic Citroen H van - found abandoned after 15 years in a old barn in a small wine-producing town among the vineyards north of Béziers in Occitanie. Here's the story of an eye-witness account of what happened.

© TopTenRealEstateDetails

05 March 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Architecture, Holidays

The Bubble Palace

It’s one of the most extraordinary pieces of architecture in the world. Situated on a hilltop on the Cote d’Azur with far-reaching views over the Mediterranean, Pierre Cardin’s famous ‘Bubble Palace’ could be yours. It’s up for sale. Find out more about this unique property and how much you will need if you may be interested in buying...

© https://unsplash.com/@beccatapert

05 March 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Culture, Gastronomy

Le Creuset - Classic french cookware

For the most famous chefs in the world and for amateur cooks at home, Le Creuset cookware has become a classic brand of quality. A style icon, Le Creuset is known for its coloufully enamelled cast iron and has become a staple for all kitchens in France and throughout the world.

04 March 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Transport, Tourism

Le Train Bleu; Paris to Menton

As tourism to the south of France gained popularity towards the end of the 19th century, a train service was introduced for the wealthy and famous travellers taking them from Calais to Paris and onwards to the final town on the Cote d'Azur before the Italian border, Menton. Here's the story of Le Train Beu.

01 March 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Culture

The Magic Roundabout / Le Manège Enchanté

The story of the short animated TV series which became famous both in France and the UK. Created by Serge Danot, Le Manège Enchanté first appeared on French TV screens in 1965. At the same time, across the channel, it became a children's favourite known as The Magic Roundabout.

© Pure France

28 February 2021  |  Hugh Atkins  |  Tourism

Pure France - leading agency based in France for quality holiday rental homes

It seems a long time ago. 20 years ago, Pure France started its journey into quality holiday rentals. Previously a series of separate regional sites, founders and dedicated francophiles, Dan Jones and Hugh Atkins brought everything together under one roof in 2002 and launched Pure France - now the leading independent rental agency for high-end holiday homes throughout France.


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