Living Magazine Aug/Sep 2023

Page 1



Local NEWS & VIEWS and much more...

Business Directory
AUG | SEPT 2023
Featuring the best local companies
PACKED Summer with ideas for

Du 26 août au 28 septembre

Maison MEUKOW (Cognac 16100)

Duo violon / piano avec Raphaëlle Moreau au violon (Victoire de la Musique) ; Dimitri Papadopoulos au piano (Professeur au Conservatoire de Genève). Cocktail offert par la Maison MEUKOW

Maisons HARDY / MARTELL and C° (Église d’Ars 16130)

Concert de musique Baroque avec l’ensemble Orféo : 21 choristes, instrumentistes (orgue portatif, violon, violoncelle) et chef de chœur. Thème : Une soirée chez Bach. Cocktail offert par les Maisons Hardy / Martell and C°

Maison HINE and C° (Jarnac 16200)

Trio GLI AMICI : guitare, Hautbois, cor anglais avec :

Ludovic Michel (guitare - élève d’Alberto Ponce et d’Alexandre Lagoya) ; Hervé Lenoble, (cor anglais - professeur au Conservatoire de la ville de Paris) ; Jérôme Guichard (hautbois - professeur au CNSMDL). Cocktail offert par la Maison Hine and C°

Maison GUÉRIN - Puy Gaudin (Gémozac 17260)

L’ALTER DUO : revisite l’opéra avec : Julien Mathias (Contrebasse - Professeur au CNSMD de Lyon) et Jean-Baptiste

Mathulin (Piano - Professeur au Conservatoire de Genève). Cocktail offert par la Maison Guérin

Maison Louis ROYER SAS (Jarnac 16200)

Le DUO “EDENWOOD” : guitare classique / violoncelle avec :

Catherine Struys  (guitare - Conservatoires Royaux  de Musique de Bruxelles et de Liège) et Wouter Vercruysse  (violoncelleConservatoire Royal de Gand, soliste et chambriste :

Carnegie Hall New York, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Cité de la Musique Paris…) Cocktail offert par la Maison Royer SAS

Maison TIFFON S.A. (Mainxe-Gondeville / Jarnac 16200)

Récital de piano avec Hervé N’Kaoua : Issu du CNSMDP -

Récitaliste international et charismatique. Cocktail offert par la Maison Tiffon S.A.

COURVOISIER S.A. - Distillerie Pinard (Jarnac 16200)

Quatuor à cordes ARMINGAUD : 4 jeunes virtuoses

réunis avec : Tristan Liehr (violoniste 1er soliste à l’ONBA) ; Jean-Baptiste Jourdin (Violoniste à l’Orchestre National du Capitole) ; Jean-Louis Constant (violoniste et altiste au Conservatoire de Toulouse) et Fanny Spangaro (Violoncelliste à l’Orchestre National du Capitole). Cocktail offert par la Maison Courvoisier

Réservation, billetterie, géolocalisation : et office du tourisme de Cognac (, Jarnac, Châteauneuf, Segonzac…

26 Août 20 h 30 2 Sept. 17 h 00 7 Sept. 20 h 30 15 Sept. 20 h 30 18 Sept. 20 h 30 21 Sept. 20 h 30 28 Sept. 20 h 30
L’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour santé, consommer avec modération. Ne pas jeter sur la voie publique Imp. ROBERT PONS
affiche a4.indd 1 03/05/2023 16:53

to our August / September issue

As we continue to enjoy the long, golden days of summer, I am thrilled to share our latest issue with you. It’s brimming with vibrant features, fabulous photography and our unique blend of local news and views.

Our team, being long-time residents of the region, have embarked on many adventures over the years, discovering the less travelled roads and exploring beyond the headlines. In this edition we harness this knowledge to continue our car-free travels, uncover hidden gems often overlooked by crowds heading to our sandy coastline and explore more wine-themed days out. As the Rugby World Cup arrives in France, it seems the perfect time to take a look at our local heroes, Stade Rochelais. And we have all your favourites - gardening tips, delicious recipes, French expressions, nature watch, plus a guide to la rentrée and, of course, our overview of local news.

With so much going on around the region, it’s impossible to fit it all into the pages of a single magazine. So, rather than repeat ourselves, we’re delighted to share our popular Summer Guides to Poitou-Charentes and surrounds which we’ve updated for 2023. Packed with days out and festival fun, you can read them free online at

For those of you who love the simple pleasure of settling down with your own copy of LIVING, please consider subscribing. Not only will you receive your own copy hot-off-the-press no matter where you are in the world, your subscription will also support us as we continue to bring you the best that our region has to offer.

Meanwhile at LIVING HQ, we are eagerly awaiting our summer holidays, set to commence as soon as this issue lands in your hands. After all, we need to seek out fabulous new places so we can share them with you!

Here’s to a fun-filled summer, packed with new experiences and unforgettable memories...

If you don’t want to miss the next issue of LIVING, join our newsletter to stay informed. Sign up at

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EVENT GUIDE THE 2023 for Poitou - Charentes & Surrounds

EDITOR: Kathryn Dobson

SALES: Jon Dobson


REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS: Caro Feely, Gillian Harvey, Jessica Knipe, Emma-Jane Lee, Nikki Legon, Mike Morris, Roger Moss and Rosie Neave

PHOTOGRAPHY: Roger Moss or Shutterstock unless indicated

COVER IMAGE: Phare des Baleines © Ivonne Wierink/Shutterstock


ANGLO MEDIA & MARKETING, 2 rue Buffefeu, 86400 Linazay, FRANCE

REGISTRATION: Poitiers: 533 624 128

PRINTED BY: Rotimpres S.A.

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ISSUE: 91 ISSN: 2270-2709

You can read Living Magazine and our Summer Guides online and subscribe at

Living is available by subscription Living est disponible par abonnement

Material may not be reproduced without the written permission of Anglo Media & Marketing.

Toute reproduction même partielle du contenu est interdit sans l’accord écrit du Anglo Media & Marketing.

Please ensure you verify that any company you are dealing with is registered in France and/or elsewhere around the world. Veuillez vous assurer que toute société avec laquelle vous traitez est enregistrée en France et/ou ailleurs dans le monde.

Articles and adverts in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Les articles et publicités de ce numéro ne reflètent pas nécessairement les opinions de l’éditeur.


6 Snippets

Local news from around the region


Look & Sea

Join Roger Moss as he bypasses the crowded sands and seeks out some fascinating landmarks


Ici, ici, c’est La Rochelle! Rugby fever has taken over La Rochelle so we send Jessica Knipe to find out more


Away from it all

Want to see deepest France? We explore car-free travel


All Shook Up

We find out more about the recent earthquake


C’est La Rentrée

Doing it for the kids? La rentrée is for everyone as Gillian Harvey explains


Small Actions, Big Changes

Seemingly minor acts can help the environment around us as Rosie Neave discovers


Practical Advice

Your questions answered by our experts
16 Business Directory Featuring the best local companies AUG SEPT 2023 PACKED Summer with ideas for BEACH DAYS with a TWIST Rugby CHAMPIONS EARTHQUAKE update TRAINS and BIKES Local NEWS & VIEWS and much more...



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Rip Currents

The Nouvelle-Aquitaine Atlantic coastline is testing a new alert to warn bathers of conditions when dangerous rip currents (courants de baïne) may occur. Each year some 20 to 30 swimmers drown in these dangerous currents. The new alert system has been set up by two Girondin doctors. One of them, Éric Tellier, an emergency doctor in Bordeaux, wrote a thesis on the phenomenon and has since developed a statistical model using Méteo France data to help assess the likelihood of rip currents forming. The sandy beaches along our coast are particularly at risk as rip currents form around breaks in sandbars where water flows away from naturally formed baïnes or pools on the shore side of the sandbar at high speed. The narrow, powerful currents produced can carry even the strongest swimmer out to sea with no warning. The triggering of the alert is based on several factors including the strength of currents, the tidal coefficient, the temperature, and historic statistics of drownings. On days when the alert is triggered, a message is broadcast on TV and radio, and shared across the press and social media advising to only swim between the safety flags. If caught in a rip current, you should swim perpendicular to the shore and not try to swim directly back to shore.



WEEK unites the world of French design to promote the expertise of the country’s designers. Running from 7-28 September across France, a vibrant array of exhibitions, workshops, conferences cover all aspects of the field of design. There is a special emphasis in Nouvelle-Aquitaine as the Martell Foundation in Cognac (16) returns as patron for the second year running. Discover events happening close to you by visiting the official site at:

Prettiest Market

Receiving over 9.5 million votes, this season of ‘Votre plus beau marché’ on TF1 Info was the most successful since its launch in 2018. The coveted title was won by La Réole, a charming commune in Gironde with over 4,000 inhabitants. 120 vendors set up their stalls by the River Garonne’s edge each Saturday morning offering visitors a wide array of choices including plants, craft beers, oysters from Arcachon, traditional cheeses, local strawberries, and, of course, Bordeaux wines. Bruno Marty, the maire of La Réole, said the market is: “a social bond, a meeting place. Every Saturday, 4,000 people come together, it’s a real family”.


As part of the anti-waste laws (Loi AGEC – Anti-Gaspillage pour une Économie Circulaire), the repair of electrical household appliances to prolong their life has been incentivised through a state-funded cost reduction program. To benefit from these savings, the repair must be carried out by a professional holding the QualiRépar label and the item cannot be under warranty. The repair bonus or bonus réparation varies by appliance type from €10 for small items like irons to €45 for laptops. To date, the scheme has not been as widely used as hoped with only 50,000 repairs undertaken. To promote the scheme, the aim is to grow the network of repair sites nationally from 1,200 to 4,000 this year and more large store chains are being encouraged to take part. It was widely reported that these bonuses were going to double in July but they did not, nor has it been confirmed that they will. To find your nearest repair site, visit REGIONAL

Second-Home Owners

Charente-Maritime senator Corinne Imbert is one of the leading voices in the growing debate around the rights of second-home owners who have been disadvantaged by Brexit. Used to spending several months at their second homes, those without EU passports are now limited by the 90/180 day rule. Applications for long-stay visas are costly and, as we have seen previously, the process is lengthy, so many are now considering selling their holiday homes. Other local senators and MPs have added their support but the proposed amendments to legislation have now been pushed back. Campaign group ‘France Visa Free’ are arguing for a ‘visa waiver’ for all Britons for 6 months, the same as EU citizens receive when visiting the UK.

Insurance Cancellations

Legislation has come into force to allow consumers to easily cancel French insurance contracts as well as some other subscriptions that have run for at least one year. In a bid to simplify consumers’ lives, the government has passed a decree to allow cancellation in three clicks, whether or not the contract was purchased online. By September, websites should carry a Résilier votre contrat button which will take you to an online form where you can complete the details for the contract you wish to cancel. Any notice period or special terms should be clearly stated and a summary page will show the details before the final confirmation request. The aim is to improve purchasing power by allowing people to easily change companies - the current rules are complex and many people miss the window for cancelling their policies.


If you are wondering how to entertain friends and family just visit our website to read our guides online:

The pick of the news that will affect you wherever you live in south west France… Pôle d'excellence rurale Architectural Park Tour | Riverside mill cafe Seasonal Exhibitions | Residencies and Workshops Summer Programme 9 June - 17 September 2023 16500, Lessac For bookings and info call: +33(0) 5 45 89 67 00 2022 Arboretum notre monde créé en bois 17 juin - 17 septembre 9 June - 17 September 2023 Summer Programme Exhibition 2023 organisée par avec la soution de

Uber Arrives

Taxi drivers in La Rochelle are frustrated as Uber has returned to the city after a trial run in the summer of 2022. Covering La Rochelle, the Île d’Oléron and the Île de Ré until midSeptember, the app threatens to take the most lucrative season away from local drivers who rely upon the summer months to carry them over the quieter winter months. The company believes the demand during the summer months is strong. There are already several drivers in place and the hope is to recruit more as people become aware of the launch. Meanwhile, local taxis are fighting back using a new ride-hailing app called ‘Taxi Club’ which offers many similar customer benefits.

Trainline Reopens

Pottery Trail

If you have been planning to visit Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (16), one of France’s ‘Plus Beaux Villages’, consider the weekend of September 16-17. The village is preparing for the seventh Festival Des Potiers, taking place from 10am to 7pm each day, which is expected to be the largest edition to date. The main event is the Potters Market, with some 30 stalls in the square opposite the World Heritage-listed Église Monolithe. But there’s more: a guided clay trail (parcours d’argile) leads visitors through the village so you won’t miss the many activities on offer including a wood-fired kiln being constructed and lit, followed by a raku pottery demonstration on Sunday. In the main square, artist Régis Pedros will be sculpting a bust from a live model, while in the garden of St Jacques church the new permanent sculpture chosen for the village will be revealed. A free concert at 7pm in front of the Église Monolithe concludes Saturday evening’s proceedings. For more information see ‘albaterra parcours d’argile’ on Facebook or visit the website at

After three months of modernisation works costing nearly 42 million euros, the 71km-long railway between Angoulême (16) and Saintes (17) has reopened with new automatic signalling boxes and a top speed of 140km/h. In addition, for the first time in France, 160 electric bicycles are being made available to hire at stations along the Angoulême-Royan line this summer. Operated by the specialist cycle-hire company Fifteen, the scheme was inspired by similar models in the Netherlands and the trial will last for 18 months at a cost of €400,000. In Royan, Cognac and Angoulême bicycles will be available at some 5-7 hire points, while in the smaller towns, rental will be from the station only. Regular TER travellers will receive beneficial rates while visitors can hire the bicycles for 6-24 hours via the app Vélo Modalis.

In Memory

Iris and Bill Penn relocated from the UK to Charente in 2004, settling in Montjean where they made a habit of lunching daily at the Relais de la Péruse in the village and were warmly welcomed. Iris quickly became known as the ‘Lady of the Cats’ for her love of her feline friends. When Iris died in 2020, Bill commissioned a statue of Iris from local artist Marc Deligny which he gifted to the commune. It was installed at the heart of the village so Bill can lunch each day and see Iris from his table in the restaurant. The landscaping has recently been completed and the dedication plaque will be unveiled in September.

NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION... LES Île de Oléron LA ROCHELLE Royan Marennes Rochefort Surgeres Île de Ré CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Saintes Rouillac Ruffec Jarnac Cognac Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne ANGOULEME CHARENTE (16) CONFOLENS

Stone Galaxy

Not long ago, we took a look at the fascinating history and variety of aires in France, places where you can park and stretch your legs which often include the unexpected. One of our local favourites at Crazannes (17) on the A837 recently inaugurated its latest attraction - a galaxy of standing stones located on 5 hectares. Imagined by sculptor Alain Tenenbaum and the association Les Lapidiales, a partnership including local organisations and Vinci Autoroutes has brought the megalithic project to life although it will not be completed until 2060. The field will contain 360 megaliths in five groups arranged in the shape of a spiral galaxy, one for each continent and each with a ‘mother’ stone. The sculptures all measure 2.3m tall and sit on an 80cm base, and have been produced by visiting sculptors, eight of whom spend a six-week residency at the site each summer. To date 61 sculptures are complete and the bases are in place for the remaining ones, some with the stone blocks from local quarries ready to be carved. In the centre is an ‘agora’, an ancient Greek term for a meeting place. Each year, a different geography with its unique culture is chosen and the visiting artists involve local schools and take part in a program of events. La Galaxie des Pierres Levées is free to visit throughout the year. See for details.

Cognac HQ

BNIC, the interprofessional organisation of the cognac industry, has announced the construction of a new headquarters in the heart of Cognac (16) on the Charente river. Bringing together over a hundred professionals from various fields, including legal experts, engineers, technicians, communicators, statisticians, administrators, and IT specialists, it will also serve as a meeting place for local cognac professionals. Five buildings (three of which are new) will house a variety of spaces for collaboration, innovation, and exchange. Costing €18.4 million, the building work will start in September with the site opening in May 2025. Sustainibility and heritage are two values at the heart of the development which will look out over the small marina on the river. The design is by Paris-based Wilmotte & Associés.

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Quai Cyrano

In a bid to revive its fortunes, Quai Cyrano, the flagship location combining wine and tourism on the riverbanks in Bergerac, is set to transform how it is managed. Despite high hopes, the wine and tourism hub has faced considerable financial challenges since its inception 18 months ago. The situation was highlighted by Pascal Prévot, maire of Monbazillac and delegate for viticulture and wine tourism, at a recent council meeting. A significant decrease in visitors and revenue – with the latter plummeting by 33% and visits dipping by 28% in the first half of the year – has prompted an urgent reassessment. The local community has been forced to contribute an additional €220,000 on top of the €300,000 already supplied to keep the business running. The solutions in the works include personnel cost adjustments and an overhaul in operational hours. Revised signage, increased accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and an expanded food and drink menu are also being implemented. However, such fixes won’t make up the shortfall so local leaders are hopeful that transforming the business structure behind Quai Cyrano by autumn will provide the financial flexibility it sorely needs. They are eager to invest in infrastructure improvements and introduce new ticketing systems, considering these measures crucial to turn around the fortunes of Quai Cyrano.

Beynac Encore

Safe Swimming

Around forty natural swimming areas across the department are regularly checked for water quality with samples also taken from the Dronne and Dordogne rivers. The Lac de Gurson at Villefranche-de-Lonchat, and the Étang de Tamniès, Saint-Estèphe and La JemayePonteyraud have all received the ‘Pavillon Bleu’ label for excellent water quality and sustainable practices. Two sites, though, are under surveillance by ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the health authority: the Étang de Saint-Estèphe and the Lac de Rouffiac at Angoisse.

The arguments over the thwarted Beynac bypass rumble on. As reported previously, the courts ruled against the Dordogne council and the building work stopped as the project was deemed illegal. After several court visits, a penalty of €3,000 for each day that the site was not dismantled was imposed from 8 January. This bill has now reached €489,000 which the courts have decreed must be paid to three groups of claimants. Furthermore, the penalty was raised to €5,000 per day from 8 July. Meanwhile, the department has declared a new project which is entering the consultation phase and argues that dismantling the bridge supports will only result in doing the same work twice. The new project is multimodal, involving the re-opening of the station at Castelnaud and using electric shuttles to visit the nearby sites which include the Château de Beynac, Château des Milandes, Château de Marqueyssac and Château de Castelnaud. The new plan can be consulted on the Préfecture website.
PÉRIGUEUX DORDOGNE (24) Nontron Sarlat-laMontignac Riberac Brantôme Bergerac


The Cour des Comptes is France’s supreme body for auditing the use of public funds. It was established over 200 years ago and plays a crucial role in ensuring financial transparency and accountability in the French government. It has recently published a 130-page report into the impact of Brexit which has raised concerns over frontier delays next year when the EES (European Entry/ Exit System) comes into force, as well as highlighted difficulties for newcomers and non-residents travelling between the two countries. The report recognises concerns over the lack of preparations at both St Pancras (Eurostar) and in Dover for the introduction of EES which, if not resolved, will lead to long queues. The recent Franco-British summit identified ‘mobility’ as an area for future discussion, particularly the passport (and sometimes visa) requirements for pupils going on school trips to the UK (in the past, an ID card was sufficient) along with the costly visa requirements for students and young professionals. It’s not all bad news for France though: while exports to the UK are slightly down, they have increased by a third to elsewhere in the EU. France has also attracted a number of companies to Paris from the London financial sector which require a base in the EU. Finally, even though there was a fund set up by the EU to help those most affected by Brexit, France has struggled to administer this support. Of the €736 million meant for France, only 31.5% has been used so far. And, of the €498 million meant specifically for businesses, only 5% has been used. Because of this, France is asking to move €504 million of unused funds to a new EU energy program, RePowerEU, despite many small businesses struggling to overcome the impacts identified in the report. You can read the full report (in French) at:

Cycle Tourism

Dordogne has recently agreed to invest a further €4 million in its cycling plan to continue the development of green ways and complete projects already underway. In the Vézère valley, a route to travel from Le Bugue to Les Eyzies is being finished to open this summer, while in the north, the Flow Vélo route which begins in Fouras (17) and currently finishes in Thiviers could be continued to Sarlat via Hautefort and Terrasson-Lavilledieu. Other projects are under discussion as the popularity of cycling holidays continue to grow.

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Le TouTourisme

Created in 2007 by the Troyes Tourist Office, this pet-friendly label is growing with 44 tourist offices across France now taking part, including Les Sables d’Olonne and several others in Vendée. These offices are committed to welcoming dogs visiting with their owners by not only providing water and goody bags on their premises, but also identifying where your four-legged friends are welcome. Les Sables d’Olonne publishes an online guide which shows which beaches welcome dogs all year round such as those at Les Granges and Sauveterre, or out of season only such as the Grande Plage and La Paracou. Enjoy cani-yoga classes, take your pet paddleboarding or visit a local wine domaine, this guide shows you where you can be sure of a warm welcome. Dog-friendly restaurants and accommodation are included as are pet-sitter details and even specialist photographers, in fact everything you will need to have a fabulous holiday with your pooch. The guide is free and can be found at:


La Rentrée

Schools return on Monday 4 September.

The Toussaint holidays begin on Saturday 21 October with pupils returning on Monday 6 November.


Tolkien Tapestries

Hop over the border into Pays de la Loire to visit an exceptional exhibition at the Château de Saumur this summer, where you can enter the imaginary universe of Tolkien. Marking the 50th anniversary of his death, three rooms at the Château will take you on a journey from Aubusson (the home of the Tolkien tapestries) to Saumur via Middle Earth. Displaying the tapestries in a medieval château surrounded by heraldry and artefacts shows the works in a new light, far from their modern home. With loans from other institutions and individuals, the exhibition explores the author and his works through the Aubusson tapestries and cartoons from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. The fantasy genre and its role in pop culture is also explored while a series of workshops introduce the art of weaving. The exhibition is open daily until 5 November with a cosplay event planned for 30 September.

Parthenay may soon exchange an eyesore for a new hotel as the old Gamm Vert silos and the neighbouring houses are put up for sale. Inaugurated in 1956 and abandoned in the late 1970s, the dismantllng of the silos has often been discussed. In a recent council meeting, it was confirmed that a project to sell the parcels together to an individual for the creation of a hotel is being developed. Applications will be sought before the end of the year. Two other nearby plots will also be put up for sale for the creation of an activité ludique such as a bowling alley or laser game. Ouest-France reported, though, that local inhabitants remain sceptical as this is not the first time that such a project has been discussed yet the silos remain to this day.
GUIDE TOUTOURISME 2023 Member of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World Les Sables d’Olonne
DEUX SEVRES (79) VENDÉE (85) Thouars St Jean de Monts de Noirmoutier St Gilles Croix de Vie Chantonnay Luçon La Tranche sur Mer Les Sables d’Olonne Les Herbiers Montalgu Bressuire NIORT LA ROCHE SUR-YON SévreNantaise St-MaixentL’école Melle Parthenay Sévre Niortaise

Little Bustard

Changes in agricultural methods have driven the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) onto the red list as their population rapidly declines. Once found across much of France, it has now disappeared from the majority of regions since the intensification of farming methods and the use of pesticides have reduced the number of suitable nesting sites. Mixed farming areas like PoitouCharentes are more hospitable to these shy lowland birds and Zoodysée (79) has undertaken a conservation project which has released over 175 individuals into the wild since 2015. 16 tunnel aviaries house the flock with the young birds being released in September. The chosen release site must already have a wild population as well as a farmer who understands their requirements. The birds are ringed so they can be followed through their migration to see if they return the next year. So far, about 40% of birds are seen again although, because of their shy nature, it is expected that this is an understimate.


For a view with a difference, head to Notre-Dame-de-Monts (85) where you can both learn about how drinking water arrives in taps across the area and marvel at the 360° view from the 70m tall water tower. You can access the viewing platform by lift but, as the capacity is limited, you need to book in advance choosing between a visit during the day or at sunset. Tickets cost €5 for adults at

Single Lane Only

The road between Bressuire and Poitiers, the RN149, has long been known as an accident blackspot as it carries up to 9,000 vehicules a day and has no dual carriageway. There was hope that this could change but it was confirmed at a recent council meeting that the best that can be hoped for is that some passing places will be created, especially around Chiché. An environmental study is going to be launched in 2024 to prepare for works between 2027 and 2032.


Acadian Anniversary

Driven out of their homes in North American provinces by the British, many Acadians set sail and found refuge in France and, in particular, in Vienne. This year marks the 250th anniversary of their return to France from where their families had set sail many years earlier. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and part of present-day Maine, east of the Kennebec River, had all been part of Acadia, a territory that was fought over and which finally passed from French to British hands in the middle of the 18th century. In 1773 the Marquis de Pérusse des Cars, with the agreement of King Louis XV, offered to welcome the refugees exiled at the fall of Louisbourg in 1758 onto his lands at Archigny, SaintPierre-de-Maillé and La Puye. Between 1773 and 1774, 362 families settled temporarily on the left bank of the Vienne, in the Châteauneuf district of Châtellerault, before moving to the 57 houses built for them at the La Ligne Acadienne in Archigny. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of their return, a year-long program of events has focused on their culture and history, and the highlight will be a weekend of activities on 13-14 August which will include visitors from the Mi’kmaq Nation, one of the First Nations of Nova Scotia.

Poitiers Pont-Neuf

Walking Hockey

Join Chris Cull, one of LIVING’s dedicated delivery team, at Bellac Hockey Club (87) as he introduces walking hockey. After many decades of playing the game, Chris is building up a walking team for fun and fitness which will meet on Saturday mornings at the Jolibois ground from September. No previous experience is required and sticks can be borrowed. See Bellac Hockey Club on Facebook or email

Secteur 1: Rue du Faubourg du Pont-Neuf

Les objectifs du projet, à l’échelle de la rue

Anyone entering or leaving Poitiers using the PontNeuf bridge will be facing upheaval for the next year. Starting at the end of August, the bridge will be closed and two diversions put in place for motor vehicles. Pedestrians and bicycles will be able to circulate as normal and public transport routes will be redirected. With 15,000 vehicles per day using the Rue du Faubourg which links the bridge with the ring road and the city centre to the university and hospital, the likely disruption is significant as is the potential impact on local businesses. The aims of the project are to promote non-car transport, increase the vegetation and manage the risk of flooding.


While the Ministry of Culture is responsible for the upkeep of Oradour-sur-Glane (87), the village of martyrs where 643 people were executed in 1944 by the SS, the Heritage Foundation (Fondation du Patrimoine) has launched an appeal to raise €2 million to help protect the 10-hectares of ruins against the effects of the weather and invasive plants. Each year, nearly 300,000 people visit what is a unique site in Europe and remember those that died while reflecting on the horrors of war. With the Ukraine war raging, now more than ever the barbarity of the actions carried out on this site must not be forgotten, and the fear is that without the maintenance work, a large part of the site will be lost in the next decade. To donate, visit

NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION... POITIERS LIMOGES VIENNE (86) HAUTE-VIENNE (87) Montmorillon Bellac Le Dorat St-Mathieu Nieul St-Yriex-la-Perche Ambazac Charroux Civray Chatellerault Loudon Chauvigny Rochechouart


Holiday Reading

Two of our LIVING writers have new books out which are perfect for packing into your suitcase...

Abbey Art

As part of this year’s ‘Été Culturel’, the Centre des Monuments Nationaux which manages the Abbey at Charroux (86) has invited Poitiers-educated artist François Réau to create original works inspired by the Abbey and its surroundings. There has been an abbey on the site from 785 and the remains of the 11th century lantern tower, known as the Charlemagne Tower, which survived wars, ransacking and the Révolution, still stand tall so there is plenty to take inspiration from. His works will be exhibited from 8 September-31 October. For details, see

Caro Feely asks what will it take to change? Can we resuscitate our relationship with the earth? And with each other? The emotional journey of a couple regenerating their vineyard in France and rewriting their love story as they experience the impacts of climate change and grapple with ways to deal with them. The book explores family dynamics, work life balance, organic farming, food, yoga, and personal awakening.

Nicky’s best friend needs a favour. The TV executive has just convinced her to take part in a property makeover series in France after a contestant drops out. The catch? Nicky hasn’t used her interior design skills for a decade – since her husband died her focus has been on her daughters. She agrees to spend a month in Provence to try to change the fortunes of a B&B. But has she bitten off more than she can chew? Spend a month in Provence with Nicky to discover whether she can save the B&B, her friend’s job and maybe even herself…by Gillian Harvey.



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Phare de La Coubre

Look & Sea

It’s time to explore our Atlantic coastline from a new perspective. Join Roger Moss as he bypasses the crowded sands and searches out some fascinating landmarks...

Perfect sunny spells are much too good to waste indoors, and with our glorious Atlantic Coast within easy reach why not take a day off and head to the beach? Better still, after the summer visitors have departed and things have calmed down it’s the perfect time for a longer stay, since you can usually find tempting offers for late-season campsite breaks. Either way, it’s a safe bet that sooner or later you’ll want to do more than simply lie in the sun and gaze at the horizon, so we decided to look at some of the more surprising features to be found along the coastline.

The most emblematic of our region

are les carrelets de pêche, whose skeletal lines of tall, slender timber piers (‘pilotis’) support shed-like cabins with decks from which large square fishing nets are lowered into the waters then raised to land their catch. Curiously, both the nets themselves and one of the species caught – ‘la plie’ or plaice – are referred to as carrelets. Here and there, lines of the rustic-looking structures extending out into the waves add a touch of retro charm to a beach visit. You’ll come across them, for example, at Angoulins, Fouras (Plage Nord), L’Île Madame, Piédemont (Port-desBarques), Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, Royan (Plage de Pontaillac), Meschers-sur-

Gironde (Plage des Vergnes, Conche de Cadet and below Blvd de la Falaise), Talmont-sur-Gironde and Vitrezay. They also extend from both banks further down the Gironde estuary. Evidence of another age-old fishing practice can be seen on the beaches of the Île d̕Oléron and Île de Ré, although only at low tide. The very model of simplicity, ‘les écluses à poissons’ are horseshoe-shaped dry-stone structures whose large, semi-enclosed areas become submerged with rising tides, but drain when the tide falls, leaving any unsuspecting fish trapped high and dry. At the dawn of the 15th century Saint-Martin-de-Ré alone possessed

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Carrelets, Plage de Port-des-Barques

36 of these remarkable creations, which provided an important supply of food for the islanders. Eventually many were removed as hazards to coastal navigation, but 30 or so are still exploited on Ré and Oléron and their survival today is assured during spring and autumn by teams of volunteers who repair the ravages of often violent winter storms. Locations include Saint-Denis-d̕Oléron (Plage de la Boirie), Les Portesen-Ré (Plage de Gros Jonc) and Ars-en-Ré (southwest of Le Martray).

Prominent sights whatever the tide state are our old friends the lighthouses, which come in a surprising assortment of shapes and sizes but were all created to enable mariners to determine their position and avoid known natural hazards. Many of those sited on the Nouvelle-Aquitaine coastline are listed as Monuments Historiques as well as by UNESCO for their historical and architectural importance. They’re certainly impressive when seen from the beach, but that’s as nothing compared to the panoramic views you can enjoy from their summit viewing platforms.

If you’re not up for a long climb, you can immerse yourself in their history and construction illustrated in the museum displays which have been created at the base of some sites. Among the more interesting lighthouses on our islands are the Phare des Baleines (1854) and its predecessor La Vieille Tour (1682), on the Île de Ré, the Phare de Chassiron (1836) on the Île d̕Oléron and the Phare de l̕Île d’Aix (1889). Meanwhile, on the mainland near La Palmyre the sandy beaches of the Côte Sauvage are overlooked by the magnificent 57m-high Phare de La Coubre (1905), while south of Royan you can visit the Phare de Vallières (1902) overlooking Saint-Georges-de-Didonne. The discoveries continue across the Gironde estuary behind the Pointe de Grave at the Phare de Grave (1860). Less than 2km further south is the Phare de Saint-Nicolas (1873), tucked away discretely on a modest high point among the dunes. The 18 | LIVING BEACHES
Phare des Baleines, Île de Ré Statue de la Liberté, Soulac-sur-Mer

footpath beside it leads to the vast expanse of the Plage de Saint-Nicolas, from which you can gaze out to the Phare de Cordouan (1611) 7km offshore.

Behind you on the rive gauche of the Gironde at Jau-Dignacet-Loirac, opposite Mortagne-sur-Gironde, is the Phare de Richard (1843) set beside a small beach flanked by a straggle of carrelets and a few weather-beaten naval cannon. Finally, further south is the Phare du Cap Ferret (1840) which rises assertively among the maritime pines behind the chic resort’s Plage des Dunes.

At the foot of the lighthouse is a restored German blockhouse built in 1943 which has been preserved as a poignant reminder that during WWII the Atlantic coastline’s magnificent sandy beaches offered numerous potential landing points for Allied forces. To address the sites’ vulnerability the Third Reich began constructing the Atlantic Wall – a series of defensive structures from Norway all the way to the Franco-Spanish border. Despite coastal erosion you’ll still come across many more examples than you might imagine, in locations on our own coastline. In recent years the original sombre appearance of many of those sited near more popular beaches has been transformed by vibrant decoration applied by graffiti artists, to the point where you can’t miss them. However, their interiors, where accessible, remain atmospheric time capsules.

More striking WWII coastal fortifications include those of Cap Ferret (Plage de l’Horizon), Soulac-sur-Mer (beaches to the north and south of the town), L̕Houmeau (Front de Mer), La Palmyre (Côte Sauvage), Ronce-les-Bains (Plage du Galon d’Or), Angoulins (south of Pointe du Chay), not to mention the Fort de Chef de Baie and numerous sites around La Rochelle.

As for the islands, we find more examples on the Île d̕Oléron including La Cotinière and Saint-Denis (Plage de Soubregeon), while among the Île de Ré̕s interesting sites

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Phare de Cordouan Grande Plage & Fort de Fouras

are La Couarde-sur-Mer (Plage des Follies), Les Grenettes (Plage des Grenettes) and Le Martray (Plage d̕Ars-en-Ré), plus the Karola Batterie (currently prohibited access, in woodland behind Plage Campiotel).

Altogether more uplifting are several features close to the water’s edge commemorating important historical events. At the mouth of the Charente, just a stone’s throw from the tourist office at Port-des-Barques, for example, is a monument marking the spot from which the Marquis de La Fayette set sail aboard the frigate Hermione to fight alongside American forces in the War of Independence in 1780. The historic voyage is also commemorated beside the Atlantic at Soulac-sur-Mer by a scale replica of the Statue of Liberty cast in bronze from the original

moulds of its creator sculptor Auguste Bartholdi.

A voyage of a very different kind was undertaken by the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ of Operation Frankton – a daring attack by Royal Marine Commandos who paddled kayaks down the Gironde in December 1942 and attached mines to several vessels in the Germanoccupied port of Bordeaux. You’ll find information panels and monuments at Royan, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne, Pointe de Grave, Montalivet-les-Bains, Jau-Dignac-et-Loirac and Bordeaux. After all this exploration you might feel like cooling off with a refreshing dip at the beach. That’s usually easily done, but at low tide you might find that the sea has retreated beyond the sand, exposing shingle or even rocks. Fortunately, some locations where

this is a regular occurrence have constructed pools which retain sea water and allow you to swim regardless of the tide state. You can see popular examples at Port-des-Barques (Plage des Anses) and Fouras-les-Bains (Grande Plage), not to mention Les Piscines d’Arros, whose raison d̕être was to combat coastal erosion between Soulac-sur-Mer and Le Verdon-surMer. Begun in 1839, work continued until the 1930s, many of the materials being transported by rail from the Pointe de Grave. Today the 7km line carries summer visitors beside a surfaced cycle track, the two options mercifully shaded by pine forest. Along the way the line passes several forest trails which emerge at secluded sandy beaches. Happy coastal exploration –both on the beach and nearby, too.

WWII blockhouse N of Soulac-sur-Mer WWII blockhouse, S of Soulac-sur-Mer La Fayette monument, Port-des-Barques Operation Frankton monument, Saint-Georges-de-Didonne

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Ici, ici, c’est La Rochelle!

If you live in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, you’ll have noticed our region is partial to a good game of rugger. And if you’re based in CharenteMaritime, there’s no way you could have escaped rugby fever when the Stade Rochelais won its second European championship title earlier this year. So what’s it all about? Who are the players ‘en noir et jaune’?

WORDS: Jessica Knipe PHOTOS: Julien Chauvet - Ville de La Rochelle

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This September, France will host the Rugby World cup, with five matches taking place in Bordeaux and several key NouvelleAquitaine towns acting as bases for the international teams taking part. The Georgian team, for example, will be camping out at the spa in Sainte Marie, on the Île de Ré, using La Rochelle’s Apivia Parc and Marcel Deflandre stadium as their training grounds. Even if you know nothing about scrums and drop goals, or conversions and crossbars, if you live in or around La Rochelle you will immediately have recognised the name of the stadium as the HQ of the town’s powerhouse club – the Stade Rochelais. Apivia Parc is their purpose-built training centre.

Although La Rochelle’s rugby club is just over 100 years old, it’s only in the last ten years that it has gone from second division regional hopeful to Top 14 contender and double European champion. And they’ve dragged the whole town along with them as they rise. “It’s been an incredible adventure,” says Catherine Leonidas, in charge of sport at the La Rochelle mairie. “Even people who know nothing about rugby have been swept up by the wave of

pure and simple joy that the team has brought to the town.”

The team hit Top 14 status (the absolute top of the French rugby league table) around the same time as Catherine’s team were elected into power, so she has been following them very closely. “It’s been an extraordinary human experience. There is a real osmosis between the players and their

fans – when 16,000 people share the same emotion at the same time in a stadium, something really special starts to happen.”

That sense of communion was never more evident than in May, when the team came home victorious from Dublin, where they had played their final European Championship match against Leinster Rugby, winning the 24 | LIVING RUGBY

European Rugby Champions Cup for the second year in a row. Over 40,000 people crowded La Rochelle’s harbour front to welcome home their team, who spent all afternoon sharing their joy with the fans and letting people hold the cup. Turning the whole parade on its head, the team had even made signs with the word ‘Merci’ to thank their fans instead of simply

receiving the gratitude themselves.

“It’s such an empathetic bunch, who always takes the time to meet their fans,” enthuses Catherine. “The audience always stays after the match, win or lose, to say ‘thank you, we support you’ and however tired they are, the team takes time to receive them.”

And it’s not just the cliché male beefcakes that make up the fan force

behind the Stade Rochelais – there are just as many women and children too, and from all sorts of backgrounds. “The female fans are very active – they almost know more than the men!” shares Catherine. “I like to think of the Stade Rochelais as a bunch of ogres, or gentle giants, who swallow everything on their path, while delivering joy to everyone, of all ages, all genders, all

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Page 23 and top left: Overjoyed supporters welcome the team bus home. Left: Last May the Stade Rochelais team won their second European Champions Cup. Above: Stade Rochelais sadly lost to Stade Toulousain in the Top 14 final in June. Left: The winning team celebrate at l’HÔtel de Ville.
“Evenpeoplewhoknow nothingaboutrugbyhave beensweptupbythe waveofpureandsimple joythattheteamhas broughttothetown.”

backgrounds. I remember one year, I was queuing to renew my yearly subscription at the Coursive, La Rochelle’s theatre in town, and the whole queue was worried that they would miss the match that was about to begin. The Stade Rochelais attracts fans from absolutely everywhere.”

In fact it’s not just the female fans that are trailblazing this year – the Élite Féminine teams are also leading on the scoreboards, making their way all the way to the top for a final against the Stade Français Paris in June. Not to mention the Espoir category, who are trained up in the Stade’s École du Rugby. Each year, young hopefuls with stars in the eyes come to get trained at the stadium that shaped the players in the Top 14 today.

“The rugby school is crumbling under new applications for the year to come,” says Catherine. “The Stade Rochelais is a real locomotive, not only in its victories across the board, but in creating an economic, touristic and athletic motor for the town.”

Another change that coincides with the team’s recent rise to victory is the recent appointment of a new manager:

Ronan O’Gara. The former Irish Rugby Union player was Ireland’s second most capped player and Munster’s all-time leading scorer before being appointed as the head coach of the Stade Rochelais. And as his track record with the team in the last three years goes to show, he has instilled a real desire to win in his players. A regular of the European Championship himself, he has set the team on fire and his volcanic attitude, that fans love to watch from the sidelines during matches, has worked its magic in leading them all the way to becoming champions on his home turf. “One thing’s for sure,” explains the club’s president, Vincent Merling, “the club has put aside the humility that was preventing it from having ambitions.”

Rugby fans and complete newcomers have watched in awe as the team scorches through the leaderboards, following up their European title. And wherever they go from here, they’ll have their tens of thousands of fans trailing in their wake. Next time you hear someone ask for the ‘score du Stade Rochelais’, you’ll know to join in with a ‘Ici, ici, c’est La Rochelle’! 26 | LIVING RUGBY


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Charente €180,000

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Château de Chambord (41) Bike hire, Orléans (45) Albi and the River Tarn (81)


Away from it all

The first part of our round-up of great places to discover by train, and ideally with a bike, looked at destinations on or near the coast. This time we’ll round things off by turning our attention inland.

It makes a lot of sense, in fact, particularly when most summer visitors are packing the beaches. By not joining those baking in the sun you should be able to find plenty of shaded spots in which to enjoy a picnic while keeping your cool. You’ll find that going car-free opens up intriguing possibilities like finally seeing places you’ve put off visiting because of the lengthy drives that would involve. The train, on the other hand, lets you relax while covering quite long distances –

Want to see deepest France? We explore car-free opportunities by using France’s rail network.


and when you reach your destination you’ll no longer have to spend time finding a parking space.

So, where’s it to be? Trying to choose from over 230 places served by the SNCF network could drive you nuts, so try to look instead at onward connections from just one of the main rail intersections – a city like Bordeaux, Limoges, Poitiers or Tours. If nothing grabs you move onto another of these key rail hubs and see where its own connections might lead. This way you’ll avoid getting overwhelmed by options and short-listing a few potential

destinations will be far simpler.

For our own short-list we’ll start in Tours, whose gare SNCF is actually a terminus in the vibrant heart of this historic city. With its partner SaintPierre-des-Corps on the nearby ParisBordeaux main line it’s well-connected, notably to some of the most celebrated sites of the Loire Valley. The TER Tours–Orléans line’s first highlight is Amboise, whose Château-Royal is set high on a plateau overlooking the river. Poised on the sheer ramparts is the Gothic chapel which contains the grave of Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his

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Lusignan (86) Midday in Sarlat (24)

Train travel with a bike

SNCF offers a range of options for those travelling with bikes. Flexibility varies according to the rail service you wish to use. Probably the most interesting for most of us are TER regional trains on which your bike travels free of charge. Be aware, though, that spaces are limited and most can’t be booked in advance (some TER routes are introducing booking during peak times so check in advance). Just arrive at the gare in good time for the best chance of finding a space, then simply hang or place your bike in a designated area (see our top tips over the page).

For longer TGV journeys on Ouigo Train Classique or Intercités you can reserve a bike space for €10 (or just €5 on Ouigo if you use a bike travel bag).

NB: on all services you’ll be responsible for your bike at all times during the journey, and must avoid inconveniencing other travellers. Info:

final years in the nearby manor house of Le Clos Lucé as honoured guest of King François I. The town is a fine place for dining out, and at sunset the chateau is a vision of loveliness from across the Loire. A 3km bike-ride away is the Chanteloup Pagoda, set beside a lake in landscaped parkland.

Beyond Amboise the TER line hugs the river to reach Blois, famed for the dazzling interiors of its own ChâteauRoyal. Another reason to stop? Take a bike or bus ride to the magnificent Château de Chambord, François I’s hunting estate in the forest of the Sologne and now a haven for wildlife and cyclists. If that doesn’t appeal then the train continues to the city of Orléans, with a medieval heart, a huge cathedral, a world-class fine art museum and historic quaysides.

The other important river up here is the Cher, which has another TER line for company, passing the exquisite Château de Chenonceau (part of which spans the river) en-route for Vierzon and Bourges, the notional centre of France. It’s also where you can see the astonishing five-aisled 12/13th century

Gothic cathedral of Saint-Étienne.

On the other hand, you can take a TER train in the opposite direction to follow the Loire west to Savonnières to visit Villandry’s world-renowned formal gardens or Saumur, home of the famous Cadre Noir equestrian school (UNESCO), a military vehicle museum plus the Ducs d’Anjou’s fairytale chateau, perched high above the river. Saumur is also on the famous Loire à Vélo cycle route, with other itineraries to ride locally. Alternatively, rejoin the train for the onward journey to the city of Angers or even Nantes, each of which is perfect for a weekend break. The same is true of Tours itself, of course, which also offers a third option for onward rail travel, namely north to Le Mans, where another magnificent Gothic cathedral rises assertively from the atmospheric historic streets of Vieux Mans, a world apart from the town’s world-famous racing circuit. Meanwhile, there’s lots more getaway potential further south. The TER route from Poitiers to Limoges, for example, serves a string of locations which might already be familiar, but the line 30 | LIVING GETAWAYS
Amboise (37)
Fun-filled Events Read online at
Gare SNCF d’Orléans (45)
Fabulous Days Out

rambles between them through carfree landscapes you’ve probably never seen. Alternatively, take the Poitiers–La Rochelle line to visit a bustling daily market beside Richard II’s mighty Donjon de Niort, or to ride the Vélo Francette towpath cycle trail into the leafy Marais Poitevin.

Limoges is the gateway to a whole host of TER services, as is Brive-laGaillarde, an important stop further

south. Between them their lines head in all directions, accessing some really worthwhile locations in Limousin and Dordogne, including Aubusson, Cahors, Le Dorat, Montluçon, Périgueux, Souillac, Tulle and Uzerche. If you want to go further you can even reach Figeac, Rodez and Albi. Connections are similarly interesting from Bordeaux (which, incidentally you can also reach by rail from Brive

Find out more

Maps of the entire French network are here:

Online satellite imagery offers valuable insight about any destinations you’ve short-listed and can help you decide where to visit.

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Le Mans (71) Périgueux (24) Angers (49)

via Périgueux). In the June/July issue of LIVING we mentioned direct services to Arcachon, Bayonne, Biarritz, SaintJean-de-Luz and Hendaye, down in Basque country. From Bayonne there’s a TER line down to Saint-Jean-Piedde-Port, beside the Spanish border, while another regional line follows the Adour and Ousse rivers via Orthez to Pau. From the elegant Belle Époque town’s Gare SNCF you can wander through palm avenues (or ride an antique funicular dating from 1908) up to the famous Boulevard des Pyrénées. You’ll be rewarded with views of the mountains, rising beyond the Jurançon vineyards of the Béarn. Note: if you plan to explore the countryside by bike or see more of Pau’s other attractions you can travel more swiftly from Bordeaux using Toulouse-bound mainline services via Dax.

A glance at Bordeaux’s other inland

rail connections will reveal many more temptations. Chances are you’ll access Saintes and beyond from Angoulême or Poitiers, but the original Paris–Bordeaux main line is still very much alive and well, with onward connections from Libourne and Coutras. The latter heads via Mussidan over to Périgueux – useful if Brive or Limoges aren’t convenient starting points. The line from Libourne, on the other hand, follows the Dordogne past Saint-Foy-la-Grande and Bergerac, before crossing the river’s meanders several times near Trémolat. Change trains at Le Buisson for a run up to Le Bugue, Les Eyzies and Périgueux or continue on for an enjoyable scenic run past Saint-Cyprien to the fascinating medieval town of Sarlat, which is worthy of a weekend visit. The final rail connection from Bordeaux is an intriguing southwesterly run

over to Marmande towards the river Garonne at Agen (from where a branch line heads through more beguiling landscapes while heading back up to meet the Sarlat line). Agen is famed for its tasty pruneaux, from plum trees whose ancestors were introduced by returning Crusaders back in the 11th century. If you’ve a mind to continue you’ll reach the historic pink-brick town of Montauban, or even drop down to Toulouse, Carcassonne, Narbonne... and the shores of the Mediterranean. Now that’s some train ride. It’s a lot to take in (and we haven’t even mentioned Paris) but that’s the whole point. The French rail network will take you to places you never knew were accessible without long, tiresome drives – along with others you’ve always intended to visit but somehow just never got around to seeing. 32 | LIVING GETAWAYS
Périgueux (24) Pau (64) Château de Saumur (49) Aubusson (23)

Bike & Train Travel Tips

Steve Molloy runs the popular website with his wife Bella. They’ve travelled across France with their bikes so who better to ask for top tips?


Perhaps my most important tip is to understand the rules for bikes on the service you are travelling on. TGV, Intercités & TER each handle bikes slightly differently. On both TGV and Intercités trains, you must reserve and pay for a bike space, while TERs allow bikes on without reservation. Some TGV services only allow bikes that are disassembled and packed in a bike bag or case.


If you are travelling on a TGV or Intercités train make sure you book your tickets and bike space as far in advance as possible. This is especially the case if you plan to travel in the busy summer period. TGVs and Intercités can be reserved up to 90 days in advance.


Train stations can be very busy places, especially in cities, and navigating them with a bike can be a bit tricky at times. Some stations have lifts to get you down or up to the platforms while some don’t, and you may need to navigate stairs. I plan to get to the station about 30 minutes before departure which has always worked well.


Early in the day is best to avoid crowds both at the station and on the train. As an example, I arrived at Bordeaux station late in the afternoon to a station that was packed with people and difficult to navigate with fully laden touring bikes. When I left Bordeaux the following morning at 7am, the station was practically empty as was the train.


carriages 1 and 4 on a four-car train and 1, 4, 5, and 8 on an eight-car train and generally have a large bike symbol on the door or nearby.


Make sure you use the designated bike space available to you. We have seen two different types: hanging and standing. Hanging requires you to lift your bike and hang it by the front wheel. The standing types are easier, allowing 3 bikes to lean against each other held by an elastic strap to prevent movement.


If you need to assemble your bike after your train journey just remain on the platform once everyone is off the train. I found it provides a safe and quiet place to get everything ready for your bike before you set out.


Recumbents, tricycles and tandems cannot be taken on a French train. Ebikes pose no problems as long as they are a standard size.


If you plan to bring your bike in a case and store it in the luggage racks for free, don’t be surprised to find the racks full, especially if getting on later in the route. My experience has been mixed when I have had the bikes bagged to go in the luggage rack. I have always found somewhere to put the bike but there have been times the bikes have been stored in empty seats or next to the luggage rack.

Platforms are announced 20 minutes in advance, so this gives you plenty of time to make your way to the required platform.


The vast majority of Intercités and TER trains that we travelled on have had the designated bike areas in

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All Shook Up

When the earth moves beneath our feet the consequences can be life-changing. How prone is south west France to earthquakes and what caused the recent one?

Many readers will have felt the earthquake which recently rocked the village of La Laigne in Charente-Maritime. It arrived without warning and local scientists are now trying to understand the cause.

The earthquake struck at 6:38pm on 16 June 2023 and was strong enough to be felt (and heard) across much of western France. According to the Côte d’Azur Observatory and the Institute of Earth Physics of Paris, the quake’s strength was estimated at around 4.8 to 4.9 on the moment magnitude scale, a measure of an earthquake’s energy.

The epicenter, or the point on the Earth’s surface directly above the

quake’s origin, was located 11km north of Surgères and approximately halfway between La Rochelle and Niort. The earthquake’s depth was just 3km, causing strong tremors in the surrounding region. Such shallow earthquakes can often be felt over larger areas and sometimes cause more damage than deeper ones.

Measurements suggested that the shaking was strong enough to cause moderate damage to weaker buildings, and this is what was observed around the epicentre (see the photos above taken in the locality soon after the event). Following the initial earthquake, there were several smaller tremors or aftershocks, the two largest

of these were on 17 June, one at 4.27am and another at 9.31am.

So, why La Laigne? The village sits in a region marked by a complex geological history. Underneath the ground lies a sedimentary layer of mudstone and limestone, which is about 150 to 200m thick. These rocks formed during the Jurassic period, roughly 150 to 175 million years ago. Underneath these layers are older, harder layers of rock, like granite, some as old as 500 million years.

The geography of the region was shaped by several significant geological events. Among these are the Variscan (also known as the Hercynian) orogenesis which took place roughly 34 | LIVING GEOLOGY
Damage in Cram-Chaban and neighbouring La Laigne

du 16/06/2023 18h39 (heure locale) 45.5˚

EMS98 47.5˚

46.21°N 0.73°W Prof.: 3.0km [source 46.5˚

macrosismiques et instrumentales) 45˚

16:38:30 GMT 46˚

Rochelle -2˚ -1˚ 0˚ 1˚

USGS 47˚

290-420 million years ago. In simple terms, two tectonic plates (parts of the Earth’s crust) collided creating a huge mountain range across what is now Europe and North America. This included the Armorican Massif which covers a large area in northwest France, and the opening of the Bay of Biscay. More recently, the Iberian and Eurasian plates converged, which created the Pyrenees and the Alps. While scientists understand these general geological events, the exact details of the fault that caused this earthquake are not yet clear. This is due, in part, to the complexity of the underlying bedrock, which is riddled with many smaller faults, or cracks in the Earth’s crust.

très légers modérés quelques effondrements partiels

très faible faible modérée forte brutale très brutalesévère violente extrême

Immediately after the June earthquake, local geologists installed instruments to record the aftershocks. This information will help them learn more about the earthquake and why it happened. They also created a “shakemap” (left), which shows how the ground moved during the event, helping to predict where damage may have occurred. This indicates a concentration of potential damage around the epicenter, which fits with the reports coming in from the area of damaged roofs and chimneys, and walls that were cracked or collapsed.


The Richter scale and the moment magnitude scale (Mw) are both used to measure the energy released by earthquakes, but they do so in different ways and are best used for different sizes of earthquakes.

nombreux effondrements partiels nombreux effondrements effondrements généralisés

(témoignages internet)

The La Laigne earthquake wasn’t the first for the region. Over the years, it has seen a few serious ones like those in 1772 in Parthenay, in 1780 near Luçon, in 1835 in Haut Poitou and in 1972 on the Île d’Oléron. The latest one seems to have been of similar strength to those in 1780 and 1972.

It is estimated that some 5,000 buildings experienced cracking plaster and falling objects according to one insurance expert, with around 100 buildings being more seriously damaged; particularly older, rural properties which have little resistance to earthquakes. An emergency rehousing fund was set up by the goverment, while insurance companies were quick to confirm up to 12 months of relocation assistance for policy holders. A natural catastrophe for insurance purposes has since been confirmed for 12 communes.

If you are interested in understanding more about the earthquake, the French Geological Society (BRGM) have published their initial report about the earthquake (available in English) which you can read on the BRGM website at

RICHTER SCALE: Developed in the 1930s by Charles F. Richter, the Richter scale measures the amplitude of seismic waves (the vibrations in the Earth caused by the earthquake) recorded by seismographs. It’s a logarithmic scale, which means each whole number increase on the scale represents a tenfold increase in measured amplitude and roughly 32 times more energy release. However, the Richter scale becomes less accurate for very large earthquakes, those above a magnitude of about 7, because the size of the seismic waves generated can be beyond the range of some seismographs.


Developed in the 1970s to overcome the limitations of the Richter scale, the moment magnitude scale measures the total energy released by earthquakes. It calculates this based on the area of the fault that slipped (the break in the Earth’s crust where the earthquake occurred), the average amount of slip along the fault, and the rigidity of the rocks involved. The Mw scale provides a more accurate measure of an earthquake’s size, particularly for very large earthquakes.

So, while the Richter scale is still sometimes used for smaller earthquakes, and is more commonly known to the general public, the moment magnitude scale is the preferred measurement among scientists, especially for larger seismic events.

To find out more about earthquakes in your department, check the interactive map at

LIVING GEOLOGY | 35 Do you Living Magazine? Subscribe today
Niort Cholet Angoulême Châtellerault Périgueux Saumur Rochefort Challans Olonne-sur-Mer Saint-Junien 0 km 50 Estimation régionale de la secousse (à partir des données
M 5.3
Renass] Date de mise à jour : 23/06/2023 16:42:29 GMT basé sur ShakeMap®
Perception humaine Dégâts potentiels bâtiments peu vulnérables Dégâts potentiels bâtiments vulnérables Intensités
Contribue au calcul Ne contribue pas au calcul Type d'observation Intensité d'après données macrosismiques
Intensité issue d'une conversion à partir du PGA / PGV
Faultlines can move in a variety of ways causing an earthquake. Scientists have established that the June event was caused by a strike-slip movement where a vertical (or near vertical) fault causes the plates to move horizontally. instrumentale) Conversion PGA, PGV intensité basée sur Caprio et al. (2015)
très légers modérés effondrements partiels nombreux effondrements

Those of us who remember our school summer holidays, will probably remember the July influx of ‘back to school’ posters which used to hang depressingly in shop windows during the six-week break. How I hated them. As a parent, my feelings towards the September restart are less hostile. Perhaps because, after my five children are let loose for a whole summer, la rentrée brings some blessed relief. But I like to think, too, that it has to do with how in France la rentrée extends much further than the classroom.

C’est La Rentrée!

Doing it for the kids?

La rentrée is for everyone!

WORDS: Gillian Harvey

“I love la rentrée – there’s such an atmosphere of positivity,” says English teacher Becky Johnson. “Students and adults are all trying to turn over a new leaf – it’s an invigorating time.”

La Rentrée Scolaire

Parents may be looking forward to slightly easier days come September, but the lead-up to la rentrée may prove a little frantic. Admin and shopping will take up many a day in August, but making sure your little ones are ready is a must.

If your child is starting at school for the first time or moving to a new institution you will need to complete registration forms. Contact the local school directly or speak to the Mairie for more information on the local maternelle and élémentaire, or for collège or lycée, get in touch with the regional education authority. You will also need to arrange Assurance Scolaire – compulsory insurance required for every child. It’s worth shopping around for this, as policies (and prices) vary considerably.


Preparing your children for school can take a little time – schools will usually provide a list of equipment that needs to be purchased for each student, and these can sometimes be quite specific and extensive. When it comes to items such as textbooks it’s advisable to order them quickly in case demand outstrips supply. Leaving things to the last minute may well mean starting back without the proper equipment.

The Financial Bit

For many families, this can be an expensive time. However, if you are registered with Caisse d’Allocations Familiales (CAF) you may be eligible for l’allocation de rentrée scolaire - a sum of money granted to families to furnish their children with the right equipment 36 | LIVING LA RENTRÉE
Left to Right: Robbie, Tim, Evie and Joe returning to school.

come September. It is means-tested and the sum granted will depend on the age of the child as well as your family’s financial circumstances.

Emotional Preparation

Once those basic needs have been met, how else might we want to prepare our children for September’s new start? While some children take change in their stride, others might feel more nervous about the prospect of a new term or new school than others. If you are worried your child might struggle to settle, it’s worth contacting the school directly.

“If your child is particularly nervous, get in touch with the Conseiller Principal d’Éducation (CPE) of the school,” advises Becky. “Signal they are anxious or worried about being isolated. You can ask the CPE for your child to be in the same class with someone they already know.”

La Rentrée for All!

Once the kids are sorted, it’s worth thinking about what la rentrée might mean for you.

Much of France seems to close down during August as families flock to the coast or take the time to chill out in the warmer months. Many businesses are closed or operating a skeleton staff during this time. When September starts, well-rested workers return to their desks. But rather than a ‘business as usual’ attitude, there’s a tendency to ease in gently, catch up with colleagues

before business resumes in earnest. If you’ve got some non-urgent admin to do, or need to make a routine appointment, it’s often advisable to wait until September is underway and life begins to function as normal.

La Rentrée Sportive

Anyone who’s taken a class in France – whether academic or aerobic – will know that the many of these classes run during ‘term time’ and finish in the summer. September is the time to reinscribe and get those muscles pumping again.

If you’ve been meaning to get moving this is the time to enquire at your local Mairie or check out posters in shop windows to see what sport clubs might appeal.

La Rentrée Littéraire

Books, too, get their own ‘back to school’ moment. In France, publishers often choose this moment to bring out new books from well-established authors. This period, which starts in late August, is often chosen by publishers in the hope of being selected for literary prizes such as the Goncourt which are announced in November each year.

If your French doesn’t yet enable you to enjoy the new crop of books en français, perhaps use it as a time to write your own reading list and goals for the ‘new term.’ Failing that, have a flick through the TV listings now you have a little more time to yourself.

A Positive Time?

For many parents, despite the sense of relief at having a few more free hours or less childcare worries, there can be a certain sadness when September starts and newly groomed children are sent off to make their way in a new school year. But, if we use this time to turn over a new leaf or try something different ourselves, we’ll be far too busy facing new challenges to feel an emotional break.

And if all else fails, this sense of loss is quickly mitigated by consuming the first uninterrupted cup of tea you’ve had in months!

LIVING LA RENTRÉE | 37 Do you Living Magazine? Subscribe today
Gillian Harvey is a freelance writer and author living in the Limousin. Her latest novel ‘A Month in Provence’ has just been released with Boldwood Books.
Keep an eye out for the ‘Forum des Associations’ in your local town which is held in early September. It is the ideal opportunity to find out what is happening for all ages in your area.

Small Actions, Big Changes

Seemingly minor acts can help the environment around us as Rosie Neave discovers...

Afew years ago, because I’m a dreamer with fanciful notions, I decided to try and transform some ugly paving we’d inherited with the house into a place where I could sit in the evening and watch the sun set. The slabs ran along the front of the house and were one of the first things you noticed as you arrived. I had no budget for a properly designed renovation project and as we weren’t living here full-time, I needed a solution that could look after itself

while I was away. With little thought, I pulled up a few of the slabs and planted a row of five small lavender (Lavandula) plants, along with a tiny rosemary plant (Salvia rosmarinus) by the front door.

Fast forward five or six years and this little patch has been transformed. The lavender has grown to waist height and now forms a long, sweeping hedge that stretches across the front of the house. The rosemary is a thick, sturdy bush which blends into the lavender in front of it. Whilst my idea to create

somewhere attractive to sit has worked far more successfully than I’d imagined, it’s also had a much greater impact on wildlife than I’d thought possible. Now, not only does it look incredibly pretty but the plants have attracted hundreds of pollinators which, during the spring and summer months, make the area literally buzz with life. The rosemary flowers first, much to the delight of the honey bees (Apis mellifera) who find it as they emerge from winter. They’re quickly followed
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by dozens of other insect species. It can get really quite noisy out there on a hot summer day with the beating of a thousand tiny wings. The scent of lavender hangs in the air, especially in the early evening, and I can’t resist running my hand through it as I come in and out of the kitchen to release its unmistakeable, musky fragrance. The variety of species that this small patch supports is surprising: as well as honey bees, there are bumble bees (Bombus), stunningly iridescent violet carpenter bees (Xylocopa violacea), all number of different hoverflies (Syrphidae), of which there are 530 species in France, hummingbird and bee hawk-moths (Macroglossum stellatarum and Hemaris tityus) and scarce swallowtail and cabbage white butterflies (Iphiclides

podalirius and Pieris rapae), to name just a few. The hummingbird moths are a particular favourite – undeniably dainty and delicate-looking but emitting the low, steady thrum of a Lancaster bomber. With the insects has followed a thriving community of common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) who make the most of the plentiful supply of food around them (one lives in a little planter on the window ledge and sometimes peeps in through the window at us in the evening). It’s made me realise how it’s possible to support biodiversity and wildlife at home without necessarily making grand, expensive gestures. Small steps can lead to tangible results. The amount of life that these few plants support is obvious and it hasn’t taken

a deep commitment from me to sustain it. Plants such as lavender and rosemary are naturally drought tolerant which make them ideally suited to our long, hot summers. If they look like they’re in need of a drink, I throw a bowl of washing-up water over them, rather than tipping it down the sink, but that’s really as far as it goes when it comes to looking after them. It’s very joyful to realise what a positive difference something as simple as replacing a few paving slabs with plants can make.

I’m now considering other small changes I can make which might create a similar impact and have plans to build a micropond from a large tin bowl I bought at a brocante. Hopefully, it will provide a helpful water source for all the thirsty insects in the lavender and rosemary but who knows what other wildlife it might attract to my doorstep? I can’t wait to see what surprises it might bring.

LIVING NATURE WATCH | 39 Do you Living Magazine? Subscribe today
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SURGEON ARBORIST Rosie Neave is a nature coach who lives in Vienne. She will be hosting day-long nature retreats for women from September. For more information please go to her website at Left to right: Honey bee; Hummingbird hawk-moth; Scarce swallowtail butterfly


Inheritance Tax Planning

QI am looking into inheritance planning. Could you please explain the rules as my daughter lives near me here in France but her other parent lives in the UK so I am wondering how she will be taxed when either of us die.

AHere in France, inheritance tax is regulated by the tax code “code general des impots” (CGI), specifically by article 750 ter. This part of the code clarifies the scenarios where an inheritance (or a gift) might be taxed in France. It's important to understand two primary scenarios that determine if and when French tax applies.

The deceased is domiciled in France

If the person leaving the property resided in France,

French inheritance tax applies to the whole estate, whether it's located in France or another country. This circumstance could potentially result in double taxation - once in France and once in the country where the property is. To counter this, French law allows for a tax credit on foreign tax paid (Article 784A of the CGI). However, this credit only applies to the tax paid in another country on the inherited property and it is limited to the amount of tax you would owe in France for the same property.

The beneficiary is domiciled in France but the deceased is based outside France

If the person leaving the property resided outside France, but the beneficiary has lived in France for at least 6 of

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the last 10 years, then French inheritance tax applies to all inherited assets, regardless of where they're located.

Article 784A of the CGI also applies here to prevent double taxation. But for UK residents this is not the end of the story.

The Double tax treaty between France and the UK, signed in 1963, also plays a role. It stipulates that France has the right to tax the estate of a deceased person, but not the beneficiary. Therefore, if you die in France and have assets in the UK, it is likely

that the assets will be taxed in France, subject to the interpretation of the Double tax treaty.

Conversely, if you inherit assets from the UK while residing in France, you may be exempt from tax, according to the treaty's interpretation. Even when you're not required to pay tax as a beneficiary, you must declare inherited assets by submitting a French inheritance tax form (2705-sd) to the Tax Office for Non-Residents (Direction des Impôts des Non-Résidents).


Green Investment Funds

QWe are keen to make sure we are doing what we can for the planet and have been looking at green investment funds. How do we ensure they really are green?

AInvesting in green funds has become increasingly popular in recent years as more people become aware of the impact of climate change and the need to transition to a more sustainable economy. However, not all green funds are created equal, and some may be guilty of greenwashing - this is making false or exaggerated claims

about their environmental credentials. Here are some tips on how to check if an investment fund is truly green or just greenwashing.

Third-party certifications

One of the easiest ways to determine if a green fund is legitimate is to look for thirdparty certifications. These certifications are awarded by independent organisations which assess the environmental and social impact of investment funds. Some of the most wellknown certifications include the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the United Nations Principles for Responsible

Investment (UNPRI), and the Carbon Trust Standard.

Check the fund’s holdings

Another way to determine if a green fund is legitimate is to check its holdings. A true green fund should have a portfolio that is heavily weighted towards companies that are actively working to reduce their environmental impact.

Check the fund’s investment strategy

A green fund should have a clear investment strategy that is focused on environmental and social impact. Look for funds that have a specific mandate

Amanda Johnson works as an Independent Financial Advisor with The Spectrum IFA Group.

to invest in companies that are working to address climate changes. If the fund’s investment strategy is vague or does not mention environmental or social impact, it may be a sign of greenwashing.

Look for transparency

A legitimate green fund should be transparent about its investment strategy, holdings, and impact. Look for funds that provide regular reports on their environmental and social impact, as well as their financial performance. If a fund is not transparent about its impact or performance, it may be a sign of greenwashing.

T: 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43;;

To register for their newsletter, attend a roadshow event or speak directly to Amanda, call or email her. There is no charge for their financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations.

« The Spectrum IFA Group » is a registered trademark, exclusive rights to use in France granted to TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L. Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 « Société de Courtage d’assurances » R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384) Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 - « Conseiller en investissements financiers, référence sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers »

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TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L. | Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 Paris | R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384) | « Société de Courtage d’assurances » Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 – « Conseiller en investissements financiers », référencé sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers »

L o o k i n g f o r a n s w e r s ?

A s k A m a n d a

Tel: 06 73 27 25 43

amanda johnson@spectrum-ifa com


Wine Days Out this Summer

Caro Feely recommends more wine-themed destinations, this time in and around the Médoc and the outskirts of Bordeaux

Planning a day of wine tours can be daunting, particularly in regions like the Médoc where you need a visit booked well in advance to be welcomed by many châteaux. The good news is that options are improving along with availability, and booking online is possible for most of the places below, making it easier to plan your trip.

Bordeaux City Outskirts

The vineyards of Bordeaux circle the city, and some are even located within the metropole. You can reach several

wineries in the outskirts of Bordeaux with TBM (Transport Bordeaux Métropole) public transport. West of Bordeaux centre, in the suburb of Pessac, is Château Pape Clément, grand cru classé de Graves, about a 30-minute tram ride from the Grand Theâtre plus a 7-minute walk. The winery, château and gardens are impressive. More than 600 different plants are on display making this much more than a simple vineyard visit. Enjoy a free visit to the gardens (make sure to reserve online in advance), book the standard tour and tasting (€20pp), or enjoy the more in-depth ‘5 Senses’ tour and tasting (€49pp) or one of the other workshops on offer. You can even stay overnight in one of their suites for the fully immersive experience.

The Médoc Wine Route

The Médoc wine route stretches for about 50 kilometres along the Médoc Peninsula. The region is famous for strong red wine blends with Cabernet Sauvignon typically the leading grape usually accompanied by Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. For red-wine lovers, driving the

Château Road (D2) and seeing the premier grand cru classés, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Lafite Rothschild, is often a dream come true. The fifth estate in this ‘Big 5’ premier grand cru classé line-up is Haut-Brion, which, strangely, is in Bordeaux Metropole, not far from Pape Clément. It is the only estate in the 1855 red wine classification that is not in the Médoc.

The ‘Grand Châteaux’ architecture is often as impressive as their reputations. As you drive the Château Road also look out for the turreted beauties of 2nd grand cru classées, Château Palmer, just before Margaux village, Château Pichon Longueville Baron, just before Pauillac and the pagodas of Cos d’Estournel, just after Lafite Rothschild as you cross the border into Saint-Estèphe appellation. While the premier grand cru classé are difficult, or even impossible, to visit, there are many others that are more accessible in terms of availability of visits, and price of wines.

For a day in the Médoc, I recommend starting with a morning visit in Margaux. From there lunch at the
Château Pape Clément La Maison d’Estournel PHOTO TOP LEFT: B BOLTON; ABOVE CENTRE AND BELOW LEFT: PHILIPPE DACQUIN The chai at Château Pape Clément


Restaurant St Julien in St-JulienBeychevelle, or drive to Pauillac for a more casual experience at La Salamandre on the quayside. For a restaurant on a vineyard, consider Café Lavinal at nearby Lynch-Bages. It is in the hamlet of Bages within the Lynch-Bages estate, but unfortunately there are no views onto the vines. For a luxury experience, the Restaurant La Maison d’Estournel by Cos d’Estournel offers excellent cuisine in a small luxury hotel created by the owner of Cos d’Estournel, luxury hospitality

specialist Michel Reybier.

Going car-free is more difficult in the Médoc as there is less public transport. However, cycling is a good method of transport, as the area is fairly flat. Like drivers, cyclists can use spittoons provided by the wine estate. If they don’t provide one, ask for one, I always do. For easy online booking three organic estates have their visits available on Rue des Vignerons which is an online wine tour aggregator: Château Paloumey in Ludon-Médoc, Château de Côme in St Estèphe and Château

Caro has recently published her powerful new memoir ‘Cultivating Change’ which is available locally and online. Join Caro as she explores the climate crisis, marriage, yoga, food and biodiversity.

Fourcas Hosten in Listrac-Médoc. I also enjoy visiting the biodynamic grand cru classé estates of Claire Villars Lurton, Château Haut-Bages Libéral in Pauillac and Château Ferrière in Margaux. Both can be booked by calling or emailing in advance.

In the Médoc advance planning is indispensable. The options for a day of wine tourism are not as easy to organise as a day in St-Émilion but they are getting better. Here’s to happy days of wine touring this summer!

Make yourself a long, cool drink and settle down to solve our latest crossword set by Mike Morris. If you need a helping hand, take a peek at page 47.


1. Hidden store provided by that man after disturbing account. (5)

4. False accusation of French perfume being spilt over head of education. (5 - 2)

8. Wyatt perhaps perfects his skill in listening devices? (9)

9. It’s a ban on free speech whichever way you look at it! (3)

10. Weapon was retested in boomerang form? (5)

11. Failing that, is leaving out Harry from speech of gratitude. (7)

13. Cliff feature is your Hard Severe dilemma when climbing? (6, 7)

15. Princess’s brand of fragrance upset, then upset again! (7)

16. Tracks down servants? (5)

18. Advance in underwater craft? (3)

20. An “in” team I tore into for being lifeless? (9)

21. Fall of stones on church causing one to cry out. (7)

22. Go into the heart of forbidden territory. (5)


1. ET replacement approached unnoticed; no more waffle! (5)

2. Reconsidering its charms for a festival. (9)

3. Northern Ireland pulling out of not one, nor the other, in outer space? (5)

4. That bunch including a fee; very bad form for a summer pleasure? (3, 2, 3, 5)

5. Squash association turns up on back lane where weapons are stored. (7)

6. Origin of every grey goose? (3)

7. Far from pretty Muppet character? (3 - 4)

12. Cross about dating in new fashion. (9)

13. School tests on smear; now they are cruel! (7)

14. Learned queen is acceptable tied up! (7)

16. Balance shown by first person in sitting. (5)

17. See through the hearts of ash the new set are displaying? (5)

19. Could be the object of a raise if success keeps coming. (3)

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Château Haut-Bages
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With summer here, we're all looking for inspiration for picnics, lunch in the garden, or simply easy meals for family and friends...

Nikki Legon's cuisine

Scotch Eggs with Mustard


Makes 4

800g sausage meat

4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled 60g plain flour, seasoned

2 large eggs, beaten 150g breadcrumbs


3 egg yolks (keep the whites to make meringue)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

200ml sunflower oil

1 lemon juice only

3 crushed cloves of garlic salt and pepper


Begin by making the mayonnaise. In a blender, blend together the egg yolks and Dijon mustard and slowly add the oil until the mixture thickens. Add the garlic and lemon juice, season well.

Wet your hands (to stop the meat sticking to them) and divide the sausage meat into four even portions. Flatten into a rough circle, then wrap around the eggs, dip each one into flour then into the beaten eggs, then breadcrumbs, pressing together to make a nice round shape.

Place into the fridge 30 minutes to firm up. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer, wok or wide saucepan to 160°C and fry for around 8 to 10 minutes until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the mayonnaise.

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Cheese Scones

275g self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

100g butter

150ml milk

50ml sunflower oil

1 egg

2 tbsp snipped chives

150g grated cheddar

12 rashers of bacon, finely chopped (optional)


Heat the oven to 200°C. If using, fry the bacon until crispy

and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and 1 tsp salt. Using your fingers, mix the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk the milk, oil and egg, keep back a little to brush the tops of the scones. Tip this into the flour mixture and gently mix until the mixture is mostly moistened. Stir in the cheese, chives and bacon (if using). Spoon onto a baking tray, shape into triangles and gently flatten the top. Brush with the remaining egg wash, bake for 20 minutes.

Sausage Rolls and Vegetarian Rolls


1 red onion, peeled and finely diced

4 fresh sage leaves, finely diced

6 good sausages, skin removed

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

1 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

250g readymade puff pastry

1 egg

1 tbsp milk


250g mushrooms, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves

2 leeks, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

A good splash of white wine

1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves

1 tbsp chopped parsley

80g breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 180°C.


Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook gently for about 20 minutes until soft and golden brown, add the sage leaves, and cook for a couple minutes more. Leave to cool. Put the skinned sausage meat into a large bowl add the cooled onion mixture and the breadcrumbs, add the nutmeg, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.


Fry the leeks, celery, garlic for 15 minutes along with a pinch of salt. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat. Add the sage leaves, parsley, mustard and a splash of white wine and let it simmer until all the liquid has evaporated. Cool the mixture, once cool add the breadcrumbs and mix well.

To make the rolls, on a floured surface roll out the pastry into a large rectangle and cut it lengthways into two long strips. Split the filling evenly into two and roll each out to fit the pastry strip.

Mix the egg and milk and brush the pastry edges with the mixture, then fold one side of the pastry over, wrapping the filling inside. Press down with a fork to seal the join.

Cut into the sizes you want and transfer to a baking tray. Brush with egg and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and cooked through.


Summer Honey Vinaigrette Salad

Serves 2

½ cup of diced cucumber

½ cup of diced tomato

½ cup of sliced avocado

½ cup of sweetcorn

½ cup of sliced red onion

½ cup sliced radish

½ cup of grated carrot

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

½ cup of cheddar, diced


2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp runny honey

2 tsp Dijon mustard


Assemble the salads, start with the onion, then layer it with all the ingredients as you wish topping with the sweetcorn.

Add the dressing just before eating.




Cheese and Onion Pasties


450g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

120g unsalted butter

1 egg yolk

50g parmesan cheese, grated (or vegetarian equivalent)

120ml water

1 egg beaten for glazing


1 medium potato, diced

3 large onions, sliced

1 tbsp plain flour

50ml thick cream


½ tsp mustard

½ tsp cayenne pepper

150g hard cheese, grated

Salt and pepper


For the pastry, pulse the flour, baking powder salt, butter and egg yolk in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the

grated Parmesan and stir to combine. Gradually add the water, a tbsp at a time mixing continuously until the dough just comes together. Roll it into a ball, then wrap in cling film, chill in the fridge for one hour. For the filling, add the diced potato to a saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook until tender. Drain well and set aside.

Cook the onions the same way, using just enough water to cover, until softened (around 3 minutes). Drain well, add the flour to the onions and stir well to coat.

Add the cream and heat the mixture over a medium heat for 3 minutes stirring continuously until the liquid has thickened slightly.

Add the cooked potatoes, grated cheese, mustard and cayenne pepper stir well then set the filling mixture aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry and cut out circles, place a tbsp of filling into each circle and brush the edges with the beaten egg wash fold the edges together and place onto a baking tray brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

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   

Club Sandwich

This sandwich can be as easy or as elaborate as you want. I like to fill mine with:

cooked bacon slices

cooked turkey or chicken slices

cooked ham






Lightly toast 3 slices of bread per person.

Spread the mayonnaise over the first slice, add turkey, tomato and cheese. Put the tomato in the middle so the bread does not get soggy.

Next layer put the ham, lettuce and then the bacon.

Top with the final slice of toast, cut to quarters and secure with a toothpick.

Blueberry Muffins

2 medium eggs

250ml milk

250g golden granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

350g plain flour

4 tsp baking powder

250g fresh or frozen blueberries

finely grated zest of 2 lemons


Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

Mini Crustless Quiches

6 eggs

100ml cream

½ tsp mixed herbs

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ cup of sweetcorn

8 cherry tomatoes, halved chicken or Quorn

60g cheese, grated

Optional additions: chopped red pepper, broccoli, chorizo, grated courgette, prawns, smoked salmon, bacon


Whisk together the eggs, cream, herbs, cheese and salt and pepper. Add in any extras you would like to include.

Place into buttered muffin moulds.

Put the eggs, milk and sugar into a bowl and mix well.

Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

In another bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the blueberries and lemon zest, toss together and make a well in the centre. Pour the egg mixture into the well, mix in gently, divide the mixture equally between the paper cases.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Bake in the middle of the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes or until set and golden, they should have a little wobble.

Nikki Legon is the chef and owner of the Hotel Restaurant Karina in Les Métairies, just outside Jarnac in Charente, which has been transformed from an old cognac distillery into a luxury 10-bedroom hotel and restaurant. For more information:


Character Properties in France

CUISINE | 49 Do you Living Magazine? today We specialise in the sale of châteaux and prestige country homes with stone character You can entrust us with your valuation, the professional presentation of your home, targetted communications, qualification of buyers, proper feedback, and sale management 06 43 95 15 52 www agence-hamilton com Andrew Portsmouth Sue Lake Nathalie Hoefnagels
Nachamps, Charente Maritime €189,500* 4-bed/2-bath renovated stone house, large living room, terrace, garage, workshop, fibre. DPE: E Availles-Limouzine, Vienne €139,000* Three-bedroom town-centre, large attached garden, covered terrace, garage, fibre, mains. DPE: F Genouillé, Vienne €690,000* Two large renovated houses, 14 hectares attached, 2 in-ground pools, barns, lake, quiet. DPE: D Please contact us if you have a character property to sell, we have a devoted team located throughout the area. Information on the risks to which these properties are exposed is available on the Geohazards website: *agency fees charged to the seller Tel: 05 65 70 10 49 Email: Visit our new agency: 20, rue du Maquis Foch, 16500 Confolens EXCLUSIVE Haimps, Charente Maritime, €308,000* 2 renovated houses (3-bed, 2-bed) and a studio, original features, 2 renovated barns, fibre DPE: D



Chabanais has had a long and colourful history. Research suggests that Bronze Age traders used a relatively shallow point at which the formidable waterway might be forded during dry periods. Doing so at other times, though, would require the construction of a bridge, something the Romans would eventually provide a couple of kilometres upstream at Pilas to serve the Via Agrippa between Périgueux and Poitiers. Their Lyon–Saintes strategic route also passed just south of the river, which inspired the creation of the villa and a thermal baths complex of Cassinomagus close to where the routes intersected.

Today’s visitors still pass through Chabanais en-route to the remarkable archaeological attraction, although the town no longer receives the intense traffic movements of the RN141 trunk road that it endured prior to being bypassed in 2013. Anyone whose arrival coincides with the midday lull will find shaded picnic tables perfect for an al fresco lunch on the riverbank beside the Salle des Fêtes. The relaxed mood is also a good time to see the sights, starting with the graceful Pont de

la Vienne (1959), which replaced a multiarched stone structure destroyed in 1944 during an intense battle to liberate the town from German occupation.

A footpath follows the riverbank to Chemin des Tanneries and Rue d’Alsace Lorraine, where you’ll find the former Presbytère Saint-Pierre, seized during the Révolution to house prisoners destined for detention in Rochefort. The early 17th century Église Saint-Pierre survives nearby in Rue Gambetta, facing the level crossing of the Limoges-Angoulême line. Across the tracks Rue du Champ de Foire rises steeply to the pink granite Clocher Saint-Michel, the imposing former belfry of a Romanesque church which was demolished in 1819. The Champ de Foire itself lies a few steps further on, beyond the Logis Saint-Michel, an elegant manor house with a walled courtyard and a round tower constructed during the 16/17th century.

Predating it by around three centuries is the Église Notre-Dame de Grenord-l’Eau, probably the commune’s oldest structure, which in 1837 witnessed the baptism of Sadi Carnot, Président de la République

We profile a market town on the banks of the Vienne river in Charente-Limousine.

from 1887 until his assassination in Lyon in 1894. His memorial stands in Place Colbert beside the Promenade de la Vienne.

On the river’s opposite bank is the Arboretum du Chêne-Vert, established in 1977 and whose 3-hectare site now accommodates around 3,000 plant species, including many rare varieties.



Rochechouart: 10 km/12 min

Saint-Junien: 15 km/15 min

Confolens: 17 km/18 min

Limoges: 46 km/35 min

Angoulême: 60 km/48min

Poitiers: 91 km/1 hr 37 min

Périgueux: 97 km/1 hr 42 min

Bordeaux: 178 km/2 hr 06 min

TGV & TER RAIL & BUS SERVICES: The town’s former rail connections to Angoulême have been replaced by a TER bus service, but the Gare de Saillat-Chassenon (9.4km) retains its Nouvelle-Aquitaine Ligne Régionale 18 services to Limoges for connections (including TGV) to Poitiers, Saintes, Périgueux, Royan, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Biarritz, Paris, etc.


La Foncière Charentaise


Prix 309,750 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) Special 3/4-bed character property 13km from La Rochefoucauld. Cellar, large garage/barn, workshop, beautiful landscaped garden.

Ref: 9723 Energie / Climat: en cours

Prix 71,500 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) 5-room house in the heart of Aigre to renovate with attic and cellar. Entrance hall, kitchen, loung, 2-beds and bathroom. Garden.

Ref: 9701

Energie: E Climat: E

Prix 174,900 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) Charming 3-bed pavilion with living room and fitted kitchen downstairs. Fenced garden with pool. Countryside views, garage and workshop area.

Ref: 9718 Energie: D Climat: D

Prix 139,100 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.)

Townhouse with character in Angoulême area, with garden and parking space. Kitchen/diner, 2 bedrooms and office space. Calm area.

Réf: 6888 Energie / Climat: en cours

+ 33 (0)6 82 85 36 32 Cecile

OFFICE + 33 (0)5 45 21 78 38


3, place de la Liberté, 16500 Confolens

Looking for a career in property sales? Want to be part of a team of motivated, independent property consultants?

Ref : 10498-MO - Location: Monflanquin - Price: 285,000€

Elegant 4-bed stone house completely renovated, this house would be perfect as a main residence or as a holiday home. The house benefits from a stunning living room with an open kitchen, a garage for a small vehicle or a workshop, plus additional outbuildings. Taux

Good news, Agence Eleonor are recruiting! You’ll be joining a great team, with free training and ongoing support through all stages of your development. Contact Terrie Simpson at info@ to find out more or arrange an informal chat.

Ref : 10591-VI - Location: Beaumont - Price: 418,700€

In a beautiful and peaceful little hamlet, this typical “Perigourdine” 2-bed stone house has been completely renovated and offers cosy accommodation. An additional building offers garage and car port spaces, and the covered terrace enjoys views onto the garden of 3600m², that includes a well.

We are looking for properties to sell!

Agence Eleonor is an independently owned business with an experienced team of property specialists, based in the South-west of France, with offices across the region. Our offices all have overseas and local buyers ready to buy. If you are considering selling your property please contact us for a free valuation at info@

Visit us in Eymet, Villeréal, Saint Cyprien, Monpazier, Bergerac, Miramont de Guyenne and Issigeac
d’honoraires 18,644€ (7%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur. Classe Energie: D Classe Climat: B
Taux d’honoraires 23,700€ (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur. Classe Energie: C Classe Climat: A
Taux d’honoraires 13,800€ (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur. Classe Energie: D.
Ref : 10515-EY - Location: Eymet - Price: 312,700€ Within walking distance of Eymet’s centre, this lovely property offers kitchen, living / dining room, master bedroom, bathroom plus a self-contained 1-bedroom studio gite with ensuite shower room and kitchenette. The large basement has a 2-car garage, a workshop and two additional rooms. Set in a mature garden of just under 1/3 acre.
Classe Climat: D
Agence Eleonor Estate Agency 36-38 rue du Temple 24500 EYMET T: 05 53 27 83 45 info@
(200 000€ + 8% fee payable by buyer) ABZAC (16): In a village, 4-bed 19C house with convertible attic. Cellar, oil heating.Outbuildings. Adjoining Land with well set on 5292m2 Classe Energie B Classe Climate B
Ref. 34495 216 000€ HAI (108 000€ + 8% fee payable by buyer) ECURAS (16). In hamlet, great potential. 4-bed detached with outbuildings & barn. Wood heating, septic tank. Set on 1941m2 Classe Energie G Classe Climate C Ref. 34500 116 000€ HAI (180 000€ + 8% fee payable by buyer) BENEST (16). 1975 detached bungalow with view. 3 bedrooms, basement, 2 garages, gas heating, mains drains, terrace. Set on 5990m2 Classe Energie n/a Classe Climate n/a Ref. 34505 194 400€ HAI (155 000€ + 8% fee payable by buyer) AVAILLES LIMOUZINE (86).Pretty house in town centre. 4 bedrooms, 2 with dressing. Convertible attic, mains drains. Set on 666m2. Classe Energie n/a Classe Climate n/a Ref. 34492 167 400€ HAI (220 000€ + 8% fee payable by buyer) CHIRAC (16): 7 kms from shops, in a village. Comfortable and spacious 3-bed country house with gite potential, set on 2427m2 Classe Energie B Classe Climate B Ref. 34507 237 600€ HAI (240 000€ + 8% fee payable by buyer) ST JEAN D’ANGÉLY (17): 19C wine property with great potential for renovation. Main house, 3 outbuildings (total 700m2). Set on 3153m2 Classe Energie en cours Classe Climate en cours Ref. 34496 254 400€ HAI S O V M O Votre Agence Immobilière Familiale de Proximité S O V M O Votre Agence Immobilière Familiale de Proximité
Tel: 05 45 85 45 65

Gathering Seeds

As plants finish flowering and seed pods set, thoughts turn towards next year. Gardeners across the region start to gather the seeds they, or their friends, want to plant next year. Seeds can be collected from vegetables, herbs and flowers, and with a little care you can produce better seeds than bought ones. Also, plants adapt to local conditions and their seeds will therefore be better suited to your garden.

Seed collecting also conserves local diversity; plants associated with certain areas are passed down over the years, prolonging local character. Flowers such as valerian and Californian poppy which are evocative of the region are easily grown from collected seeds. And what would the Charente-Maritime be without its hollyhocks which seem to appear on every postcard?

Some plants will cross-pollinate with other varieties growing nearby and so you could wind up with seeds that produce plants that are not true to type. For example, different types of squash, beans and carrots can cross-pollinate. Seeds from these, called F1 hybrid plants, will not produce the same plant. They are bred from a combination of different varieties so the seed will be that of a different parent.

Dry-seeded vegetables such as beans

and peas have pods or seed heads which are left to dry on the plants before collecting. Soft fruiting vegetables such as pumpkins, squashes and tomatoes are harvested for seed collection when they are ripe for eating.

For dry-seeded plants let nature choose harvest time. When the seeds are almost dry, tie paper bags over their heads for them to spill into. During wet spells dig up or cut down whole plants and hang them upside down in a dry place. Pods such as peas are easy to collect seeds from. They are ready when the pods are brown and the seeds rattle. Use the paper bag method or remove the pods from the plants when ready. Once the pods are really dry, shell the peas or beans and dry them further on a tray in a warm place with a maximum temperature of 30°C for a few days. This further drying extends the seeds’ life.

Tomatoes should be left on the plants until they are ripe for eating then picked and left for a little longer to ripen further, but not to rot. The seeds should then be thoroughly washed to get rid of the gel and then rinsed and dried in the usual way.

Herb and spice seeds such as coriander, dill and parsley are left on the plants until almost completely dry. If unsure whether the seeds are ripe, gently tap the plant - if the seeds fall off it is time to

harvest. Place a paper bag or a seed tray lined with newspaper under the plant to collect your seeds or cut the plants and hang several stems upside down inside a paper bag to catch falling seeds. Some, such as basil, have pods that need to be removed by rubbing.

To collect flower seeds allow them to go to seed throughout the season. Leave them on the plant to dry, but collect them before their pods or seed heads begin to open. On a dry, windless day carefully cut or break the seed heads or pods off the plants and invert them in a paper bag. Close the bag without crushing its contents and place in a warm place to completely dry out.

Ten flowers that are easy to collect seeds from are cosmos, corn poppy, cupid’s dart, foxglove, French marigold, hollyhock, honesty, love-in-a-mist, sunflower and zinnia. Once collected and dried, store all types of seeds in envelopes in air tight containers in a cool, dry and airy place.

Collecting your own seeds is easy, sustainable and saves money.

Business Directory

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Chris Kern

These local businesses are waiting for your call!
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Back to Soul
Caf�s, Bars & Restaurants Bars, Nutrition, Days Out Personalised nutritional advice to make you feel your best Orinta Giuliano Tel: 06 66 00 73 57 Registered Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach Book your complementary 20-minute discovery call Online consultations Bou�que Homeware Store In the heart of the Charente countryside, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, close to the beau�ful historic village of Poullignac. Bel Air, Pouillignac, 16190 Mobile 06 07 43 19 70 Siret - 89173343800016 Our purpose built cra� studio hosts monthly s furniture workshops and children cra� sessions. Furniture Workshops Guest Cra� Workshops s Cra� Par�es Our pe�te bou�que is filled with unique homewares and exquisite handmade gi� items lovingly cra�ed by local ar�sans. Stoney Oak Farm produce is also available. Come and meet our friendly flock of rescued farm animals, large and small - from giant rabbits, guinea pigs & goats, to hens & horses, ducks & donkeys, pot-belly pigs and Tula the talking parrot. re celebra�ng a special occasion or spending �me out with friends, enjoy an a�ernoon at the Bistro on our poolside terrace. Ar�san Pizzas - Daily Specials Advance booking is essen�al Open Thursday to Saturday Shop from 9h00, Bistro from 12h00. In the heart of the Charente countryside, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, close to the beau�ful historic village of Bel Air, Pouillignac, 16190 Mobile 06 07 43 19 70 Siret - 89173343800016 Our purpose built cra� studio hosts monthly adult s furniture workshops and children Furniture Workshops s Cra� Par�es Our pe�te bou�que is filled with unique homewares and exquisite handmade gi� items Stoney Oak Farm produce is also available. Come and meet our friendly flock of rescued farm animals, large and small from giant rabbits, guinea pigs & goats, to hens & horsbelly pigs and Tula Whether you re celebra�ng a special occasion or spending �me out with friends, enjoy an a�ernoon at the Bistro on our poolside terrace. Daily Specials Open Thursday to Saturday Shop from 9h00, Bistro from 12h00. Cra� Workshops In the heart of the Charente countryside, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, close to the beau�ful historic village of Poullignac. Bel Air, Pouillignac, 16190 Mobile 06 07 43 19 70 Siret - 89173343800016 Our purpose built cra� studio hosts monthly adult s furniture workshops and children s Furniture Workshops Guest Cra� Workshops Children s Cra� Par�es Our pe�te bou�que is filled with unique homewares and exquisite handmade gi� items Stoney Oak Farm produce is also available. Come and meet our friendly flock of rescued farm animals, large and small from giant rabbits, guinea pigs & goats, to hens & horses, ducks & donkeys, pot belly pigs and Tula the talking parrot. Whether you re celebra�ng a special occasion or spending �me out with friends, enjoy an a�ernoon at the Bistro on our poolside terrace. A�ernoon Tea Open Thursday to Saturday Shop from 9h00, Bistro from 12h00. In the heart of the Charente countryside, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, close to the beau�ful historic village of Poullignac. Bel Air, Pouillignac, 16190 Mobile 06 07 43 19 70 Siret - 89173343800016 Our purpose built cra� studio hosts monthly s furniture workshops and children cra� sessions. Furniture Workshops Guest Cra� Workshops s Cra� Par�es Our pe�te bou�que is filled with unique homewares and exquisite handmade gi� items lovingly cra�ed by local ar�sans. Stoney Oak Farm produce is also available. Come and meet our friendly flock of rescued farm animals, large and small - from giant rabbits, guinea pigs & goats, to hens & horses, ducks & donkeys, pot-belly pigs and Tula the talking parrot. Whether you re celebra�ng a special occasion or spending �me out with friends, enjoy an a�ernoon at the Bistro on our poolside terrace. Ar�san Pizzas - Daily Specials Advance booking is essen�al Open Thursday to Saturday Shop from 9h00, Bistro from 12h00. Bistro and Bar Bou�que Homeware Store Farm Tours Cra� Workshops In the heart of the Charente countryside, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, close to the beau�ful historic village of Poullignac. Bel Air, Pouillignac, 16190 Mobile 06 07 43 19 70 Our purpose built cra� studio hosts monthly adult s furniture workshops and children s cra� sessions. Paint A Piece Furniture Workshops Guest Cra� Workshops Children s Cra� Par�es Our pe�te bou�que is filled with unique homewares and exquisite handmade gi� items lovingly cra�ed by local ar�sans. Stoney Oak Farm produce is also available. Come and meet our friendly flock of rescued farm animals, large and small - from giant rabbits, guinea pigs & goats, to hens & horses, ducks & donkeys, pot-belly pigs and Tula the talking parrot. Whether you re celebra�ng a special occasion or spending �me out with friends, enjoy an a�ernoon at the Bistro on our poolside terrace. A�ernoon Tea - Ar�san Pizzas - Daily Specials Advance booking is essen�al Open Thursday to Saturday Bel Air, 16190 Poullignac 06 07 43 19 70 Open Thursday to Saturday Shop from 9, Bistro 12-16h (bar open until 18h) Afternoon tea Artisan pizzas Daily specials Booking Required Unique homewares Handmade gifts & produced created by local artisans Meet our friendly flock of rescued farm animals, large & small Craft studio hosts adult and children’s craft sessions & parties SIRET: 891 733 438 00016 From C4's 'A New Life in the Sun' Come and discover what makes our little alpaca farm so special lapetitefermedalpagas com 06 70 62 24 39 14 Rue René III Comte de Sanzay 79150 Prepare & give the alpacas their breakfast Bond with them on a walk around the chateau Tailormade visit & stay on our private glamping site or chateauview gite
Sat 26:
Sat 16:

From traditional manicures and pedicures to exquisite facials and waxing, I cater to every aspect of your beauty needs. My true specialty lies in harnessing the power of cutting-edge technology, including the revolutionary Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) systems. Witness the transformative results of long-lasting hair removal as it delicately targets hair at its roots. Eliminate ingrown hair and experience reduced regrowth with each treatment, allowing you to revel in super smooth, hair-free skin for an extended period of 4 to 6 weeks.

Delight in the wonders of microdermabrasion, superficial fruit acid peels, and novel LED light treatment. Additionally, my advanced radio-frequency skin tightening for both face and body deliver noticeable results, leaving your skin plumped, toned and hydrated with a luminous glow.

2 Rue de l’Abbe Paul Guillon, 86250 CHATAIN (on the Charente/Vienne border)

Antique Rose


These local businesses are waiting for your call! 54 Shops Shops, Wellbeing ALL OUR MEATS ARE LOCALLY SOURCED & OUR SAUSAGES ARE GLUTEN FREE Homemade Pâtés English sausages Bacon & Gammon 28-day hung Limousin beef Handmade pies & sausage rolls We’re regularly at local markets: Tue/Fri: Civray Wed/Sat: Ru ec Thu: Sauzé-Vaussais Sunday: Verteuil Boucherie Calluaud SAMANTHA CALLUAUD - 06 50 04 37 30 ROUTE DE CHAMPAGNE-MOUTON - 16450 SAINT CLAUD | FACEBOOK: BUTCHER CALLUAUD 26 rue du Commerce, 86400 CIVRAY Renaissance - hair, beauty, nails Tel: 05 49 87 16 33 RENAISSANCE - hair, beauty, nails Siret: 509 861 902 00013 * SOCIAL DISTANCING IN PLACE * Our bi-lingual team are waiting to pamper you. CACI trained and registered to perform non-surgical facelifts and more. Ring now to book your appointment. ~ PLUS! Wedding hair & make-up team ~ Visit Alison, Julie, Stephanie & Laura at... Large selection of home fabrics, made-to-measure curtains, bedlinen, wallpaper & paint. Friendly English-speaking staff in a cosy atmosphere! 14, rue de l’hôtel de ville, 17400 Saint-Jean d’Angély Beside the market square. Phone: 09-83-72-34-90 Tues to Fri 9h-12h30 & 15h-18h30 Sat 9h-12h30 &15h-18h comptoirdecodangely Custom framing for arts, crafts & memorabilia E: Tel: 09 77 00 66 38 Encadrement D’Art EI 87150 Oradour sur Vayres Siret : 892 358 342 00012
Restoraon & Sales Rm Renovaon Paint Workshops Visit at Bel Air, 16190 Poullignac OPEN: Thursday to Saturday 9-18h Tel: 06 07 43 19 70 Siret: 891 733 438 00016 �� ☏ 06 71 91 10 52 ✉
Step into a world of refined elegance and experience beauty treatments perfected over 30 years of working in central London and now based in Chatain (86) near Civray.
Thank you to our Advertisers for helping to keep Living free 55 The Homecheckers For your unoccupied home solutions Key holding & property checks House & garden maintenance Meter reading Mail forwarding and more Short-term, long-term & flexible packages available, contact us for a free quote: 06 71 07 45 38 / +44 7481 475379 Based in 79190 Sauzé-Vaussais. Fully insured. Siret 901 854 836 00011 Services, Associations English Speaking Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes A warm welcome awaits you at Sunday services in our centres in: Courcelles (17400) Cognac (16100) Champagne-Mouton (16076) Chef Boutonne (79110) and online All details can be found on +33 6 70 45 67 32 Business consultancy services to English speaking enterprises ghay G I L L I A N H A Y C O N S U L T I N G PROCESS RE-ENGINEERING PROBLEM SOLVING Providing advice and operational assistance with: www gillianhayconsulting com EI SIRET: 915 203 939 000 11 Contact me today to arrange a free no obligation initial meeting UK QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANT (FCCA) WITH OVER 20 YEARS EXPERIENCE, PARTNERING BUSINESSES TO SUCCEED FROM MY BASE IN SOUTH WEST FRANCE SETTING A BUSINESS STRATEGY BUSINESS PLANS DESIGNING ACCOUNTING METHODS & PROCEDURES BUDGETS & FORECASTS COST REDUCTION
Did you know? There are Englishspeaking lodges in France. Our lodge in Saintes (17) meets 6 times a year. If you would like to find out more, email: Freemasonry in France ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS For help or information, telephone: 05 31 60 90 95 or visit: All enquiries are treated in the strictest confidence. If you, or someone you know, has a drinking problem, join one of the English-speaking AA meetings across the south west of France. Alcoholics Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so that they may solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help others achieve sobriety. Associations, Churches f f f Furniture for France Tel: +44 7845 272 242 Email: Quality UK furniture direct to your door in France Furniture for your bedrooms, dining room and lounge From sofas to mattresses, wardrobes to dining tables, all just one phone call away Look at our website to see the latest ranges available 20 years’ experience & great customer service

Insurance and asset management advice in English

Hello, my name is Isabelle Want. For the past 9 years, I have been working for Allianz as an asset manager. Being married to an Englishman and having lived in the UK for 8 years gives me a better insight into what British people are experiencing and what they need. Being French and born in the Charente has enabled me to offer some answers. I am, as always, available for any free advice on the following subjects:

- INHERITANCE LAW - who inherits, how much are death duties, what solutions exist

- TAXES - everybody’s fear! Annual tax forms in May, etc.

- INVESTMENTS - what is available, what rate, etc.

- LIFE INSURANCE - how to protect your loved ones

- FUNERAL COVER - preparing for the inevitable, unfortunately!

- TOP UP HEALTH INSURANCE - why you need it and how much it is

- INSURANCES - get a free quote to see if you can save money

We also have a dedicated bilingual person to deal with claims. And, finally, we have an English website with all sorts of useful information and tips on all of the above subjects.


We find the best insurer for you, at competitive rates MOTOR, HOUSE, BUSINESS, TRAVEL

MEDICAL insurance: top up and for Residency Permits

For information and quotes contact Penny

G.S.A.R. 05 53 40 15 71

Orias: 07007057

English Speaking Ask for Corinne

For all your insurance needs in France

Special discount for new owners - 50% o the rst year

Fully comprehensive covers at competitive prices and all explained in ENGLISH. We respond quickly to enquiries and in the case of accidents or claims, we are here to help.

O ces at Champdeniers and St Pardoux (79). Come and visit us.

Agence Michallon


These local businesses
56 Help, Insurance, Services Help & Advice
are waiting for your call!
BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures 16700 Ruffec tel : 05 45 31 01 61 10 bld du 8 mai 1945 16110 La Rochefoucauld tel : 05 45 63 54 31 102 ave de la République 16260 Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure tel : 05 45 39 51 47 Contact Isabelle directly Mobile: 06 17 30 39 11 Email: N° ORIAS : 07020908 3 place Gambetta 86400 CIVRAY Office: M: Siret N o 520 382 805 00049 Administrative Assistance & Solutions Private Individuals & Small Businesses Translator: English (cert.), French, Portuguese (cert.) & Spanish Professional Liability Insurance HELP WITH ALL FRENCH ADMINISTRATION MATTERS eloisa@e www.e The Fixer Call Rick Denton now on 06 46 25 30 87 or Email: Based in Charente and covering 86, 79, 16, 17, 24 & 33 Experience you need....Results you want Fluent French speaker with over 15 years professional ‘hands on’ experience assisting expats in France Personal Taxation – Carte Vitale – Carte de Séjour Business set ups - CPAM – French Administration Tax regularisation and much much more…. Siren: 818 390 916 Valérie PATARD 1, rue Basse 85370 Mouzeuil-Saint-Martin Tel: +33 (0)6 84 78 21 57 Email: Val Assist Translation Services PROFESSIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE HELP Translations, Health, Tax, Legal Paperwork, Telephone Calls, Property, Banking, Business Services, Residency Find out more: Val Assist provides clear explanations about the French system, advice on the best way to sort out problems and generally acts for people on their behalf in French. ASSISTANCE ALL OVER FRANCE Siret N°48825664500018 HELP & ADVICE HELP & ADVICE Established since 2004 Depts 16, 17, 79, 86 SIRET 453 520 298 00010 Expert in French Administration Carte de Séjour CPAM & ANTS Personal Taxation Legal matters Phone calls & meetings Tel: 05 46 96 44 11 Andrew Harrison 4 Business set ups - all regimes 4 Foreign rm set up and payroll 4 Customs assistance 4 TVA for ME’s and ME declarations 4 Residency Visa assistance 4 Tax returns - France 4 Carte Vitale, Carte de Séjour 4 Vehicle registration, driving licenses 4 Access to nancial aid 4 Legal paperwork 4 Dispute mediation 4 All administrative services and phone calls 4 Advice and assistance on government grants for homeowners EI / SIRET: 510046261 00010 SOLUTIONS solutions16700 Comprehensive administration services for individuals and businesses All areas of France covered Karen and her team of associates are here to help you with: Fully Insured Simplis Pro/ CNPM Mediation M: 07 80 44 37 00 Chemin des Gordins, 16700 Ruffec Call us for Accountancy Recommendations Contact Nick on email: or T. 05 45 71 33 36 • Certificates issued for every sweep • Over 10 years’ experience • Covering departments 16, 17, 79 & 86 Registered with the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat Siret 81968203000013 Chimney Sweep Nick Wright

There’s really only one way to choose a carpet - that’s to see it and touch it! - the way it feels plays a very important part when you’re selecting what suits you. While we still make free home visits (over 200 during 2022) with plenty of samples, you can come to our showroom and see the thousands of options we offer, whether you’re looking for carpets, vinyl, LVT ...... or anything flooring! As we go into Spring, why not come and see us at our showroom in Treignac (19260)there’s a couple of decent restaurants nearby or at the very least come in and have a coffee with us!

Obviously things have changed over the past few years and since Brexit we source a large part of our ranges directly from European manufacturers, which negates

any import or customs duties. In fact many Belgian companies, for example, send half their manufacturing output to the UK so they are the type and style we are used to seeing. This doesn’t mean we don’t still import from the UK - some of the best carpets in the world are manufactured in Britain, especially good quality wool materials - and we still have direct accounts with many of the more important UK suppliers.

So, we can offer the best that both the UK and European manufacturers offer with a huge range of samples here for you to see and feel!

As we are a small family business, please let us know if you are making a special journey to see us - we’d hate to miss you!

Thank you to our Advertisers for helping to keep Living free 57 Transport Services, Concierge Services, Flooring SHOWROOM ADDRESS 22 route de Gueret, Les Rivières, 19260 TREIGNAC what3words: underlay.numbing.decamp jonthecarpetman E: 09 63 56 23 10 / 06 42 19 82 12
CARPETS AND COFFEE! PM CARPETS & FLOOR ING For all your flooring needs • We supply and fit a range of carpets to suit all budgets • We also fit amtico, vinyl, wood and ceramic tile
Over 25 years experience, 100% customer satisfaction
Now selling a selection of wool and mixed fibre rugs Contact Paul on 06 60 07 54 78 or 05 45 84 27 75 Email: revive-cleaning HARDFLOOR, TILE & GROUT UPHOLSTERY - CARPET JET WASHING FREE ESTIMATE Contact us today Nettoyage Professionnel ARC EN CIEL Key holding / conciergerie. Cleaning of commercial and domestic premises and window cleaning. Rugs, carpet & upholstery steam shampoo extraction. Hard floors / surfaces treatment: marble, granite, terracotta etc & wood floor parquet. Swimming pool & garden maintenance. Office: 05 53 07 52 71 (9 to 18.00) Mobile: 06 31 31 06 76 / 06 70 39 83 96 Siret: 813 442 860 00017 PROFESSIONAL CLEANING & HYGIENE SERVICES Cleaning Access up to 65 metres - no need for ladders or sca olding No risk of falling o roofs No direct contact with roof tiles Approved cleaning products All debris removed from site Fully insured, registered, professional drone pilots ROOF & WALL CLEANING by DRONE Siret: 912 900 206 Tel: 07 56 80 87 82 Email: Website: Based in 24100 Covering 24, 16, 17, 47 French & English spoken Unsightly wall stains Moss on your roof and in gullies Blocked gutters Dirty walls and sills DO YOU WORRY ABOUT: We can help you with our new, cost-e ective cleaning service Call for FREE quote Siret: 889 641 726 00019 IT Help & Advice Problem Solving, Repair & Maintenance Website Creation & Management Data Security Guaranteed 06 29 61 47 88 Frapa IT Service & Support STORAGE SPACE FOR RENT Please email for more information: From 20m² to 500m² Close to La Réole (33190) 16, 17, 79 and west Vienne Tel: 05 45 21 16 13 E: SIRET: 51031234100017 MR. PIANO MAN All types of pianos restored, reconditioned & repaired Piano Tuning Ex-BBC London Piano Tuner with a lifetime experience in the piano trade

2, 6 and 8 person available

Hot Tubs in France the home

Wood-fired Cotswold Eco Tubs

RELAX. REPLENISH. REWIND. Easy to install in even the most remote locations of the quietest air bubble/Hydro systems on the market

Efficient wood-fired boiler - minimal electricity used for bubbles and LED lighting

Robust wood and fibreglass construction means years of weather-resistant service

Thoughtful design ensures they are hygienic and easy-to-clean

Comfortable seating allows users to immerse their shoulders, perfect all year round Bespoke range of options and colour combinations

For more information, please contact Nicola or Tim: E: T: 07 49 19 46 84

siret: 879 912 855

Facebook: HotTubsinFrance | Google business: | LinkedIn: hot-tubs-in-france

These local businesses are waiting for your call! 58 Owner/operator cost effective transporter Contact David Glenn Hundreds of successful cross Channel deliveries Read our 5-star reviews on Trustpilot “I would recommend Dave again and again” “Excellent service” Transport Transport These local businesses are waiting for your call! Packing services • Customs clearance Full/part loads to and from the UK Vehicles transported • Containerised storage Competitive prices • Transit /storage insurance FRANKLINS REMOVALS A family business established in 1985 o ering a quality, professional service Call - 0044 121 353 7263 or Email - George White European Transport Special rates to SW France 13.6m / 45ft trailer Full/Part loads Removals - Vehicles - Materials Owner Driver RHA member Tel: +44 (0)7768 867 360 Fax +44 (0)1773 570 090 Fr Mobile: +33 (0)6 23 03 85 59 Tel: 05 49 07 24 85 E: Franglais Deliveries Siret: 502 021 660 00019 Moving In France? Full & Part Loads Relocations in France Packing & Storage Options FRANGL AIS DEL IVERIES FRANGLAIS DELIVERIES E: Tel: 09 83 70 01 33 | Mob: 06 61 25 41 09 YOUR ONE-STOP TRANSPORT SERVICE Cars, Boats and Caravans a speciality Full or part loads undertaken - a box to a full removal Full European coverage Secure storage available in France and UK UK depot available for deliveries Every item is covered by GIT and CMR insurances C J Logistics Full trade references Fully conversant withUKexports Collections & Deliveries All DIY building jobs Renovation work Barn/House Clearances Brico collections Dept 17, 16, 79, 85 Contact Ray The Handyman with a Van Siret: 532 526 001 00013
NEW Wood-fired saunas available


For those of you that don't already know us, we are a purpose-built kennels with a large secure paddock area where dogs can run free and play while having their 2 walks per day on or off the lead. Large family kennels are available. You are welcome to call if you have any questions or would like to visit the kennels.

Thank you to our Advertisers for helping to keep Living free 59 Animal Care | Check out our website for more information about all our services Garden Services
Services Home Cleaning & Maintenance The UK’s Premium Pet Transport Company Regular trips throughout Europe Services tailored to your needs DEFRA Type 2 licensed, custom built vans T: +44 (0)7855 401 102 T: +44 (0)1932 875 227 Insulated bedrooms, Individual exercise areas Heat lamps & Sneeze barriers Small family-run cattery Unit sizes regulated by FAB LOOF registered LE-CATTERY PENSION POUR CHATS 24400 SAINT LAURENT DES HOMMES Please call by to visit the le-cattery We look forward to meeting your feline friends Dan, Kirsty & family kirstyflos@gmail com 07 81 59 59 39
Anita Frayling - Le Baillat, 16220 Rouzede T: 05 45 66 14 62 E: Siret: 822 175 527 0016 15 mins from La Rochefoucauld & 20 mins from Rochechouart Lime Tree Kennels 06 87 92 68 22 A half hectare fenced eld with dog play platforms, picnic benches, wet weather viewing cabin, changing rooms, bubble entry… and more! 4 play sessions per week. Behaviour, agility & hoopers training. We are a super friendly canine community. Suaux 16260 Caniparc16
These local businesses are waiting for your call! 60 Pools & Pool Services BECK CHERRY PICKER HIRE Tel: 07 84 12 44 97 E: Nacelle Telescopique 17m tracked cherry picker with IPAF operator For all exterior works: roofing, painting, tree cutting etc. Hourly, daily or weekly rates Based in south 86, can transport as required Siret: 827 978 636 00013 Emptying of grease traps, fosse septiques, filtre compacts & micro stations. Cleaning & maintenance of all types of sewage treatment plants. T: 06 71 83 16 69 / 05 49 87 27 29 E: 2 Verrières, 86400 CHAMPNIERS Covering south 86 & 79, north 16 David GABARD • Installation • Renovation • Cleaning and Maintenance t: +33 (0) 549 290135 t: +33 (0) 785 372144 Based near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) Full Décennale Insurance siret: 897 609 293 For Pools For Outside Living • Terraces & Patios • Summerhouses • Roofs • Fencing • Blockwork • Pointing • Rendering • Outside Rooms Complete Pool Care Gardening | Home Maintenance POOLS BY JONATHAN Agent and installer for several rectangular & shaped pools including Seablue & Astral Pools FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Competitive prices, try me for a quote Terracing and landscaping service also available ALL WORK GUARANTEED phone 0549840362 mobile 0622361056 SIRET 47994761600021 POOL PROBLEMS? CONSULT THE EXPERTS • Pool renovations • Hi-tech leak detection • Underground pipe repairs • Liner replacement and fitting • Automatic dosing systems • Pump/filtration/pool technical rooms • Pool heating/heat pumps • Maintenance/cleaning contracts • Home buyer/seller diagnostic reports ------ 20 years doing business in france -----06 3117 25 60 Pools, Services Wooden shutters made, restored and spray painted Metal shutters sandblasted Exterior / Interior walls airless spray-painted Contact Alan Tel 05 45 21 72 01 Mobile 07 80 00 51 65 HAVE YOUR SHUTTERS SEEN BETTER DAYS? Over 30 years’ experience All areas covered

Southwest France Fosse

Thank you to our Advertisers for helping to keep Living free 61 Fosse Septiques, Plumbers Plumbing - Heating Chimney sweeping Full service with certificate (boiler, fuel, wood, gaz) Installation of Wood Burners Registered RGE QUALIBOIS Fully insured with over 15 years’ experience Tel: 06 58 86 55 91 30km around 86400 (Saint Macoux) Siret: 900 570 490 00012 English spoken Ambroise PRÉE Jb Plumbing & Renovations Kitchen & Bathroom Installations Plumbing repairs, Tiling Plaster boarding, Flooring, Decorating, Interiors, Electrical Tel: 06 29 90 24 89 E: Based in dept 79 near Sauzé-Vaussais Fully insured Siret: 804 390 862 000 14
Trained-Approved & recommended by SPANC Email: Installations of all types of Micro Stations / Compact lters and Fosse septiques 06 35 97 49 10 06 04 14 84 86

Enershop have been installing renewable energy systems in France since 2008. Each system designed and installed is specifically for your needs, whether your property is a new

build, extension or a renovation, whether it is a cottage, chalet or château - the flexibility of our systems means there is a solution for all. We offer a free devis, with no obligation and no hard sell. Now is the time to consider a renewable heating system. There are reduced rates of TVA available and significant incentives for systems installed by Enershop as we

hold the QualiSol and QualiBois accreditation. Our website has lots of information on our services which include :

• Solar thermal domestic hot water

• Wood gasification boilers

• Wood / Pellet boiler stoves

• Pellet boilers

• Accumulation tanks

• Air source heat pumps

• Central and underfloor heating systems

• Swimming pool / hot tub heating

Tel: 07 67 04 07 53 Email: Website: Enershop WINDOWS

Over 20 years’ trade experience in both the UK & France with a dedicated British team, here to help your dream project become a reality

Aluminium, Wood and uPVC options available in all colours, manufactured in Europe. We feature brands such as KOMMERLING, CORTIZO & VEKA

These local businesses are waiting for your call! 62
Enershop – renewable energy heating systems for your property
+33 (0)754 55 60 86

A ordable UK Designs

Thank you to our Advertisers for helping to keep Living free 63 Phone: 06 38 68 72 53 SIRET: 514 636 257 00016 ALL WORKS COVERED BY ASSURANCE DÉCENNALE ▶ Drylining ▶ Ceilings / suspended flat / apex / joist infills ▶ Partition walls ▶ Hydro wet rooms ▶ Ensuites / walk in wardrobes ▶ Acoustic and thermal insulation ▶ Plastering skim and set ▶ Tape & jointing Established in France in 2009 ALL TYPES OF DRYWALL WORK COVERED ANDY MS Kitchens & Bathrooms from A-Z All leading Brands All associated minor works, modifications and repairs also undertaken e.g.. replace Kitchen worktops, taps, toilets etc. Dept. 16, 17 05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01 website: email: siret:50263448800014 Planning and designs for permis de construire and déclaration préalables for extensions, renovations, conversions and new builds. Ian Dickinson BSc (Hons) Mob: E: ID Planning & Design Departments: 16, 17, 24, 79, 86 & 87 Siret: 492 277 918 00024 M&M PROPERTY Painting & decorating services Tiling / Flooring Plasterboarding Suppliers of Crown Paints Providing a quality service since 2005 Kevin Smith 16100 Chateaubernard 05 45 36 46 70 / 06 72 21 80 27
Depts 16 & 17 Siret 482 718 640 00022
UPVC & Aluminium Double Glazing, Fitted Kitchens FREE PLAN, DESIGN & COSTING THROUGHOUT SOUTH WEST FRANCE - OTHER AREAS BY ARRANGEMENT UPVC Windows, Doors & Conservatories in all colours & styles. Aluminium and UPVC Bifold doors Made to ‘A’ Grades spec in French styles! www.a SIRET: 513 577 809 00017 Phone: 05 49 42 99 41 Mobile: 06 63 71 09 81 E: Building services, Artisans T: 07 80 53 54 11 E: Based in 17240 SEAN THEOBALD EI Carpenter All elements of 1st and 2nd fix carpentry undertaken Over 35 years experience specialising in, but not limited to High-End Residential and Heritage Projects Siret: 848 507 042 00010 JAMES RICHARDSON Imajica Joinery ESTABLISHED COMPANY, CONSCIENTIOUS & RELIABLE SERVICE For a superior finish in wood, tile, plasterboard and general restoration Specialising in kitchen fitting & creative challenges Siret: 48115588500017 05 49 87 09 63 Barry Baldwin Cabinet Maker & Joiner Furniture Restoration Manufacture of staircases, doors & cupboards 16240 La Fôret de Tesse T: 05 45 30 39 85 Covering depts 16, 79 & 86 Siret: 804476 034 00017 Building services, Artisans Handyman Services No Job Too Small Household Repairs Small Plumbing Jobs Garden & Ground Maintenance Decking Repairs Key Holding Services Property Clear Outs Swimming Pool Maintenance Wood Cutting Charlie Ganly 07 77 85 41 34 16120 Chateauneuf sur Charente SIRET: 89854551200011 PAINTER & DECORATOR Interior and exterior painting Paper hanging, tiling, flooring & dry lining Areas 16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 86 ADAM BLACKABY Artisan Peintre T: 05 45 98 07 25 M: 06 23 18 30 95 Siret: 441 490 992 00027 L’Atelier de Fer Fraser W. Eade General Engineering Turning, Milling, Welding Quality & Precision Guaranteed Forgeix, 87200 Saint Junien 05 55 71 41 75 Siret: 512 945 874 00018 Jeff’s Metalwork E I Ornate interior / exterior designs Gates constructed / refurbished Industrial furniture General Welding ~ Over 25 year’s experience ~ Mob: 07 77 83 77 10 or 0044 7917 03 02 49 Siret: 811 895 309 00011
These local businesses are waiting for your call! 64 Ecuras 16220 AABA ROOFING FRANCE Assurance Décennale Quality Roofing & Building for you New roofs ~ Slate and tiling Fibreglass flat roofing ~ Repairs Gutters and facias UPVC or zinc All leadwork ~ Timberwork References available 05 45 63 52 88 / 07 80 08 85 76 Siret 53210969100024 E: ~ T: 05 49 27 22 67 Registered artisan with Décennale & Civile Responsabilité Insurance Covering depts 79, 86 & 16 Siret: 499 474 302 00043 The Roofing Company Andy Quick Zinc work ~ Guttering ~ Chimneys Repairs ~ Insurance Quotes SINCE 2007 ESTABLISHED ECNARFNI
Thank you to our Advertisers for helping to keep Living free 65 Building services, Artisans Building services, Artisans T: 05 45 95 44 34 or 06 98 29 76 45 E: Graham Medhurst Renovations Established reputable builder in Charente From basic changes to complete renovations, bathrooms, kitchens, floor and wall tiling, dry-lining & more Guaranteed customer satisfaction Contact me for a free no-obligation quotation Based near La Rochefoucauld, covering areas 16, 86 & 79 A1SL COUVERTURE is a new French based company serving dept. 79, 86, 16, 17, 87, 85, 24 & 33 with well-established roofing experience previously based in the UK. We pride ourselves on top quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We have built a solid reputation over 25 years in the UK and receive most of our work from customer recommendations. Shaun B LLOYD A1SL COUVERTURE (ROOFING SERVICES) WE COVER ALL ASPECTS OF ROOFING WORK FROM SMALL DOMESTIC REPAIRS, ROOF CLEANING AND LARGE NEW ROOF PROJECTS UTILIZING CLAY TILES AND SLATE; SPECIALIST IN LEAD WORK. Registered with the Repertoire des Métiers, siren: 877 636 050 Mobile: + 33.(0). Email: All work is fully guaranteed and we are fully insured. Our services are available 6 days a week, no-obligation
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Pard on?

Languages aren’t exactly sporting at times. Just as you think you can taste victory and you’re about to finish on a high note, you’ll be thrown a curveball out of left field that takes you right back to square one. You find yourself on a sticky wicket and it’ll make you want to throw in the towel. If French has got you down for the count, then this article might just put the ball back in your court.

To be fair, lots of sporting expressions are exactly the same on both sides of La Manche Rester sur la touche relates to someone who’s on the sidelines or to having been sidelined, for example. Mettre la barre haute translates easily to ‘setting the bar high’. None of these expressions would be likely to give us much trouble if we translate them into their exact English equivalent.

Like English however, French is also filled with sporting idioms that don’t always translate well if you take them literally. Thankfully, Anglo-Franco relations mean we share a love of most sports and we often find terms from rugby, football and tennis have rough equivalents. Perhaps the least comprehensible involve that very English pastime of cricket, where even our Atlantic linguistic cousins might find themselves in need of a short course. It’s only when you realise how many cricketing idioms we have in English that you can see that, well, it’s not exactly cricket.

In fact, when it comes to explaining that something just isn’t cricket, the French may find themselves relying on one of those dreaded anglicisms: ça n’est pas très fair-play. French doesn’t

always do well with anglicisms in sporting terms. I’m sure there must be French speakers who scratch their head in wonder when their English friends don’t take them up on their offer to faire du footing. ‘Jogging’, it turns out, was already taken. Jogging in French is often used to mean a tracksuit.

If French isn’t busy sticking ‘-ing’ on the end of English words, it’s also happily chopping suffixes off. Les baskets is a good example, for basketball shoes. Il est bien dans ses baskets, literally ‘he’s good in his basketball shoes’ doesn’t mean that a person is as good as Kareem, LeBron or Michael Jordan. It just means that you’re comfortable with yourself. This lovely expression is sadly missing a really good English equivalent. Being comfortable in your own skin doesn’t really capture it in the same way. I find myself quite often describing people as ‘good in their trainers’ to my English-speaking friends, only for them to look at me strangely. ‘They’re at ease with themselves’ sounds a bit like they’ve had some hideous disease and don’t have long left on this mortal coil.

Sporting talk with language expert

Cricket also gives us the delightful English expression of being hit for six. I guess, in a metaphorical sense, you could take the sporting être mis(e) K.O. or ‘being knocked out’ as you’d find in a boxing ring, but this expression is more common for being exhausted: je suis K.O. meaning the same kind of thing as je suis crevé or je suis HS. Crevé in this sense would be ‘punctured’ or ‘deflated’, where HS stands for hors service or ‘out of order’. Rester bouche bée or standing with your mouth wide open is probably more what we’d say in French if you’d been ‘hit for six’.

French has its own expressions which work delightfully in French but don’t always have an exact equivalent. Another one besides being good in your basketball shoes might also have come from basketball courts: prendre la balle au bond. Au bond in this sense is a ball in mid-air, think of the ‘bound’ or bounce bit before the ‘rebound’ and you might imagine that ball in mid-air. In French, if you say il prend la balle au bond, it means he seizes an opportunity, he hits the ground running, with a little bit of a sense of someone who takes advantage of a situation. Perhaps ‘he takes the ball and runs with it’ might give us a little of the same sporting sense.

Language is rarely a whole new ball game. Most of it is above board and a level playing field. Nevertheless, you’re in the home stretch now and you’ve got the wind in your sails.

Emmaisajack-of-all-language-trades, writingEnglishtextbooks,translating, markingexamscriptsandteaching

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