Back to the beach

by Scribble Monboddo

As regular readers will know, Clairefontaine can pretty much do no wrong. But we like to keep checking - just to be thorough, you understand.

Clairefontaine's latest special series, La France, celebrates the many curious places and foods of, well, France. It's made in Morocco. OK, we'll come back to that point, but first let's talk France. Every edition of this series marks a part of the country which stands out in some way, often enough places which we tend to forget over this side of the Channel. A particular favourite is the notebook marking the volcanic island of Réunion, which may be thousands of kilometres away in the Indian Ocean but is still just another department of France. This particular edition depicts the northern coast, where there is apparently an American film festival most years. To make it feel at home, it was recently taken back to Mont St. Michele for a day out at the seaside, as you'll see above - or possibly to its sibling, but as any aficionado of Richard D. James will tell you, they're two halves of the same composition.

So, what's it like to write on? Well it's excellent, of course. Clairefontaine does at least make all of its paper in France, and the quality control is strong. The creamy finish on this stuff even reduces glare on sunny days, so it really is just the thing for the beach. Assembling the books in Morocco allows for proper sewn bindings, and that's no bad thing either; this is sturdy enough to survive a few games of beach volleyball, for a start (if admittedly less spherical than is customary for said sport). The whole package is, in short, a massive hit; get yours here.