Living Magazine Aug/Sept 19

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Nurturing nature belles Bastides La Mercerie revisited & much MORE

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le Poitou & les Charente

August/September 2019




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discover the coast & beautiful villages

50 What a scorcheR we have had so far, perhaps a sign of things to come? With this in mind, we are continuing our green theme in this edition by exploring how to encourage biodiversity, and look at some of the wildlife conservation work being carried out in our local zoos and animal parks. As always, we’ve got insightful features about our region with stunning photos which we hope will inspire you to go exploring. This time we focus on the beautiful bastide villages in the Dordogne and revisit the Château de la Mercerie in Charente to see the progress. We are only able to produce features like this by employing professional writers, photographers and designers - something we are proud to do and we believe the quality shines through. However, this is also expensive so once again, we have to ask that if you appreciate the quality of Living Magazine, please let our advertisers know that you saw their advert here. Alternatively, help us continue Living by paying just six euros per year to our Ko-fi fund at livinghq. We hope that you will agree that 1€ per edition is a price worth paying to ensure that you can pick up your own copy of Living.Wishing you all a wonderful fun-filled summer, À bientôt!

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News from around the region

Grab a coffee and pit your wits against our crossword by Mike Morris

A profile of La Mothe SaintHéray in Deux-Sèvres



The First New Towns Roger Moss visits the 800-year old bastide towns and villages of the Périgord


More than Meets the Eye Jessica Knipe discovers the wildlife conservation projects being supported by some of the regions’ best loved animal parks and zoos


Transformers In the Charente countryside, Château de la Mercerie is coming back to life thanks to an impressive team of volunteers


Citizens’ Rights Kathryn Dobson reveals the latest news for British nationals living in France

Puzzle Break


Practical Advice We put your questions to our professional experts


Pond Life Susan Hays welcomes all creatures great and small into her garden


Nikki Legon’s Cuisine Delicious summer recipes, perfect for entertaining friends and family

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Create a WidlifeFriendly Garden With a little thought our gardens can become precious resources for wildlife


And There’s More! A round up of summer music


Pardon! More fun French expressions with language expert Emma-Jane Lee



In an organic vineyard, encouraging biodiversity is important, as Caro Feely explains

64 Places To Go

Wine-growing and Biodiversity

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The pick of the news that will affect you wherever you live in south west France…

News round up

Journées du Patrimoine 2019

Always popular events, the 2019 European Heritage Days will once again see a host of buildings opening and events happening across the region. Over the weekend of 21-22 September and with a theme 21-22 Septembre 2019 of ‘Arts and Entertainment’, there will be activities for all the family. Last year 1,500 Arts et Divertissements sites hosted over 2,600 events across NouvelleAquitaine alone. A full programme can be found nearer the time on www.culture. or pop in to your local Tourist Office or Mairie. LE MINISTÈRE DE LA CULTURE VOUS INVITE AUX



Prime Minister Edouard Philippe

Taxe d’habitation

In June, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced the next stage in the taxe d’habitation reform for principal residences as promised by Emmanuel Macron during his election campaign. Reduced by a third for many already, in 2020 eighty per cent of households will be exempt and all households will be exempt by 2023. On average, this will save households 723€ per year across the region.

watch your speed! Just after our last edition went to press, the Government announced a reversal of the 2018 test reducing speed limits to 80km/h on 400,000km of secondary, single carriageway roads. Somewhat bizarrely, the implementation of this reversal is at the discretion of each département resulting in a patchwork of maximum speeds. As this edition goes to press, France Inter reported that, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the majority of depts will return to 90km/h on at least one road but Gironde, Landes and Lot-et-Garonne have yet to decide. Vendée too will return to 90km/h on at least one route. However, these depts may keep the 80km/h on some roads or reduce to 70km/h on dangerous sections. Nationally, at least 7 depts will remain at 80km/h (Ardennes, Gard, Loire-Atlantique, Meurthe-etMoselle, Pyrénées-Orientales, Rhône and Var) until the end of the test in 2020.

And, be warned, driving a UK registered car gives no immunity from speeding tickets as many readers are finding out. Fines from France, which can be paid online, have been wending their way to homes across Europe for infringements from last summer and autumn. Finally, watch out for the new ‘radars tourelles’ appearing. Eventually, 6,000 towers raised up to 4m above the carriageway will carry advanced cameras capable of scanning 8 carriageways of traffic over a 200m stretch. In addition, they can recognise other offences such as tailgating, jumping red lights and even not wearing a seatbelt, although only speeding and control of red lights have been approved for use here currently. The towers will be much harder to vandalise. Not all will have cameras – 1,200 cameras will be distributed among the towers as required.

LA reNtrée

Frazzled parents may be delighted to know that the end of the les grandes vacances is in sight with children going back to school on Mo n 2 September!

Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Rochefort

CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes



Rouillac Jarnac




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les charentes Pottering about ANGOULEME



Butler Art & Craft Centre

A new art and craft centre has opened in the medieval village of Nanteuilen-Vallée (16) to showcase the region’s wide range of artistic and artisanal skills. Set up earlier this year, the team behind the gallery hope that their interesting exhibitions will add to the many other village attractions such as the 12th century abbey, local walks and renowned auberges in this Petite Cité de Caractère. Monthly art and craft exhibitions will be featured throughout the summer, highlighting the work of exciting, local and new artists, and a limited amount of permanent display space is also available for those who desire it. The team is also keen to hear from artists and craftspeople who might like to showcase their craft and join The ulti mat e them on their quest. The centre is open from 1-5pm, Thursday to Sunday at 28 Rue Guilleme La Noble, 16700 Nanteuil-en-Vallée; email: le Poitou & les Charentes Free; tel: 06 78 04 80 06. Guide magazine

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There will be a veritable feast of all things to do with clay over the weekend of 21 and 22 September in south Charente. Coinciding with the Journées du Patrimoine, in one of France’s most beautiful villages, the 3rd edition of Association Albaterra’s Festival des Potiers features 36 artisan potters on hand to show, discuss, explain and sell their work. A programme of films, demonstrations, free workshops for adults and children complements the potters’ market and you can discover Aubeterre-surDronne while following the route of the ‘parcours’, a series of installations by clay artists through the village. Local octogenarian guest of honour Robert Lapousse will be demonstrating some of the fast disappearing techniques used in this area in the last century to make ceramics, plus there will be a concert by DJAÄMI in the Eglise Monolithe on Saturday night. Find out more at www.albaterraparcoursdargile. com. Doors open from 10am – 7pm.


Île de Oléron




For a full list of festivals across the Charentes, pick up a copy of our free 2019 Ultimate Summer Guide or read it on our website.

Restaurant Le Bonnieure “Hidden Gem” “Great little venue” Tel: 05 45 39 67 66 Open Wednesday - Sunday 12h-13h30 & 19h-21h 106 Avenue de la République 16260 Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure


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Lunchtime menu for €13.50 (except weekends) Limousin beef & homemade chips Salads Childrens’ menu Vegetarian options Reservation recommended English spoken

Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Île de Oléron


CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes



Rouillac Jarnac




ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne

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les charentes Don’t miss Charentales’ 1st Anniversary party at their brewery in Paizay-Naudouin (16). Enjoy a pint with a BBQ and hog roast, and music by Martin Lavansch and Black Jack V. On Sat 24 Aug, doors open at 4pm and music from 6pm. See


Sunshine Dividends

The largest solar energy park in Charente is nearing completion at Nersac (16). On land previously owned by Lafarge and purchased by the Mairie, the company Urbasolar have installed panels capable of generating 17MWp. The 40,000 panels were financed partly by local residents raising one million euros of the 13 million euro investment in the form of convertible bonds via crowdfunding. The rent for the land and the income from the electricity will bring the commune 75,000€ per year with the project being maintained and managed by Urbasolar. As well as providing renewable energy that can power up to 4,500 homes, the brown field site is no longer left abandoned.

The work of African artist George Lilanga is on exhibition at La Chapelle des Dames Blanches at La Rochelle (17) until 1 Sept. Entry is free with the gallery open Wed, Sat 10.30am-12.30pm and Thu, Fri 3-6pm.

Save Maurice!

Owners of Maurice, the most famous chicken in France, have gone to court in Rochefort where they are being sued by their neighbours, second-home owners who, like many others, holiday at Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron. The retired couple from Limoges say that Maurice makes too much noise, waking them up at around 6.30am and so are asking the courts to remove him. But thousands have signed petitions for him to remain. Cockerels have, after all, been accepted countryside alarm clocks for centuries and le coq is a symbol of France. Owner Corinne Fesseau has the support of the local Maire as well as many neighbours and even Dominique Bussereau, the Charente-Maritime President, tweeted her support. #Maurice LeCoq trended on twitter with correspondents from across the globe reporting on the proceedings. The court is expected to publish their judgment on 5 September.

The association Champagne Movietown based in ChampagneMouton (16) is organising its inaugural festival of FrancoBritish cinema on 6-8 September celebrating the career of Greta Scacchi. The actress will be discussing her work with association president Martyn Auty. Angoulême’s Circuit des Remparts (16) turns 80 this year – see the classic car races and more from 13-15 September.

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Soaring Prices

La Rochelle has seen an above average increase in house prices over the past year. Properties in the city centre have risen by 8.4% which is explained by its access to Paris, only 2.5 hours away. President of the CharenteMaritime notaires, Christine Brunet, explains that this not new; “There has been an increase of 25% in recent years and there is currently a strong demand.” Elsewhere across the Charentes, prices are more stable. Meanwhile, the government has introduced a new tool which they expect to help property buyers across France – the app DVF (Demande de Valeur Foncière) allows buyers and sellers to check the real price of homes and land that have sold in the past 5 years. Click on the interactive map and properties that have been sold recently will have prices listed based on tax records. See

The association 1617vins was created last year to promote Charentais wines and the team of volunteers are preparing for their second wine festival to be held over the weekend of 7 and 8 September. President, Florence Durand-Baudrit, explains: “Our local wines once had a poor reputation but today they have improved immeasurably and are now affordable, cheerful and entirely quaffable. They are regularly awarded Gold medals and are even considered ‘semi-garde’ wines”. Florence is not a producer herself, just a consumer passionate about her town of Saint-Jean d’Angély and the local wines. The inaugural festival was a hit with plenty of local news coverage so the hope is to build on the success with this year’s festival which will also offer food from local producers. Don’t forget to bring your cutlery. The festival is held around the bandstand in the gardens on Avenue Charles de Gaulle and gates open from 10am-6pm. See 1617vins on Facebook for full details.

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Supporting our Coastguards

Following the tragic loss of three SNSM (Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer) rescuers off the coast of Sables d’Olonne in June, the question of how sea rescues are funded has once more come to the fore. Currently the SNSM relies on public donations for eighty per cent of its funding, receiving an annual income of 32 million euros which it argues is not enough to function and renew its fleet of 450 boats around the coast of France and training of their 8,000 volunteers. However, the transport law in France forbids rescued individuals being charged - only the towing of a boat back to port can be billed and then for just a few hundred euros. There is now discussion that a tax should be paid by pleasure boat owners who make the majority of rescue calls. The amounts would be small (5€ for boats under 7m and 30€ for larger ones) but this could bring in an additional 5 million euros each year for the organisation. A bill co-signed by 57 parliamentarians has been presented to the Assemblée Nationale for review.

Scouts and Guides

Baden-Powell organised the first scout camp on Brownsea Island in 1907 and the idea quickly spread across the Channel. While the movement was banned during the Occupation, in 1945 scouts and guides regrouped and the Barbezieux & Sud Charente company was formed. Today the group welcomes 70 children from 6-20 years old across five age groups, with meetings for each age group held monthly on a Saturday or Sunday. The goal is to help children develop their autonomy and share experiences with others from different backgrounds through the planned camping trips and activities. Covering the south Charente, the group welcomes children (and parents) of all nationalities. To find out more, visit during their rentrée weekend (see the Facebook page RGSGDF for details) or meet them at the Forum des Associations on 7 September at Barbezieux.

Shakespeare Returns

Celebrating their 15th anniversary, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are returning to Maison St Louis at Passirac (16480) with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in September. Performed in the open air with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance, the UK’s premier all-male theatre company will once again enthral the audience as they perform Shakespeare’s enchanting comedy. This supernatural tale of mischievous fairies, confused lovers and rude mechanicals is an intoxicating tale of clarity found from chaos as tangled love gives way to happily ever after. Bring a chair and a picnic, and spend a glorious summer evening watching one of Shakespeare’s best-loved works. Tickets cost 20€ with under-16s free. Performances take place on Friday 6 Sunday 8 September at 7pm with gates open from 5pm. Tickets can be booked online at or ring 05 45 78 23 42.









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Tiger mosquitoes

La Roque-Gageac

The jury is out on the latest art installation at one of France’s Plus Beaux Villages. Perched on the north bank of the Dordogne river with a steep cliff rising behind, La Roque-Gageac is a popular tourist spot just a few kms out of Sarlat. A canvas 60m long and 3.2m high has been painted by three contemporary artists and installed on the river wall. Maire Jérôme Peyrat believes it reflects his village ‘of art and artists’ and reassures those who are not so happy with it that all trace will be gone at the end of the summer.

Following a case of dengue fever in Bergerac, the warning to watch out for tiger mosquitoes has been renewed. The areas where the individual may have contracted the disease have been cleared of mosquitoes but with a doubling of the highly invasive mosquito population in the last two years, more cases are expected across France. Recognisable by its black and white stripes, it is smaller than the common mosquito. “Once installed in a district, the tiger mosquito is practically impossible to get rid of,” the Ministry of Health has warned.

t Free days ou free


For a guide to 170 sites that are e all year round, the Conseil Général be can has published a leaflet which downloaded at


Show at









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Wolf Watch Thirty-two people have been specially trained to recognise and track wolves as part of the nationwide project which began in the Mercantour National Park in 1992 when a wolf pair were spotted after crossing from Italy. By collecting evidence of the presence of any wolves and transmitting it to the ONCFS (l’Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage) the spread of the species can be recorded. There are now estimated to be 500 wolves in France, a population that is considered viable and while there are no official confirmations of wolves living in Dordogne, the expectation is that there will be one day. In May there were two attacks on sheep which farmers believe were by wolves. The re-introduction of wolves to France and their control, as they are a protected species, is a hotly debated topic.

HOPE ASSOCIATION CHARITY SHOPS helping animals in need

HOPE 16 - Confolens

Le Four à Chaux, La Tulette 16500 Ansac-sur-Vienne Tuesday, Friday & 2nd Sunday of each month, 10am - 4pm @

HOPE 87 - Eymoutiers

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ssais HOPE 79 - Sauzé-VauzéVaussais

90 Sau 17 route de Civray 791 each month, 10am - 4pm of day Sun 1st & day Every Thurs 4ho @ shopseventynine Our shops are very important sources of income and all their proceeds go to Hope. We sell good-quality clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac, books, jewellery, ornaments, dinnerware, pots & pans, artwork etc, all at low prices. Come along and grab a bargain and stop for a cuppa and a piece of cake. We’re looking for support as volunteers and cake bakers as well as shoppers, so please send us an email if you feel able to help out at any of our shops. • • N°RNA W792002789

For all things nutty head to the Fête de la Noix 10-11 August at Nailhac.

Visit the Hoop’Festival at the Château d’Excideuil for a weekend of concerts and events on 10-11 August. Week-end Geek with its video game vide-grenier can be found at Saint-Astier from 31 Aug-1 Sep. From 14-29 Sep, the Pastel & Dessin des Bastides festival has Paul Dumestre as its guest of honour at Saint-Agne, open 2-6.30pm daily.

Night Markets

In the heat of the summer, night markets are a wonderful opportunity to socialise away from the glare of the sun and there is plenty of choice in the Dordogne. Here are a few suggestions for August, but do double check the details before setting out: Sundays: Monbazillac offers a marché gourmand nocturne from 7pm with local wines. Mondays: Sainte-Mondane marché gourmand begins at 7pm on the banks of the Dordogne. At Veyrines-de-Domme the market is held at the Boutique des Bois d’Envaux. Tuesdays: Eymet hosts its regular marché nocturne with live music in the Place Gambetta from 7pm. At Coux-etBigaroque, find the marché gourmand from 7pm beside the Salle des Fêtes. Bouzic provides barbecues at its farmers’ market from 7pm. At Grolejac the marché gourmand begins at 7pm beside the shopping centre. Wednesdays: Mussidan offers live music with your meal at Parc Voulgre. Bordeilles market

is held in the Place de la Mairie from 6pm. Thursdays: Sarlat holds a marché nocturne bio from 6pm in the Place du 14 Juillet. Les Jeudis Gourmands, with live music, take place in the parc Gabriel Forestier in Eymet. From 6pm, Paulin holds its marché gourmand in the village centre while at Loubejac, tables are set out from 6.30pm. Fridays: Montagrier hosts Monta’grillades with live music from 7pm in the square. Besse holds a farmers’ market from 7pm, bring your cutlery. The Salignac-Eyvigues evening marché gourmand is held in the village centre while Aillac’s marché gourmand is themed around fish and begins at 7pm. Brantôme market begins at 7pm on 9 and 23 August.



n de Monts

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a Roche ur-Yon

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e La Tranch sur Mer

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e Guid 19 20


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Château de Pougne-Hérisson

The ruins of the medieval chateau close to the site of Nombril du Monde have been selected to benefit from the Loto du Patrimoine as one of five Poitou-Charentes sites chosen including the amphitheatre in Saintes (79) and the abbey at StBrice (16). Built in the 12th century, the chateau is one of the most important in the area today but its poor condition has meant it has had to be closed to the public. The cost of the work required is estimated at 430,000 euros, a heavy burden for the 400 residents of the Deux-Sèvres village, so the award has been welcomed. Volunteers are being sought to help with the work under the guidance of an archaeological expert.

summer! explore the region

discover the coast & beautiful villages

Pick up our 2019 Ultimate Summer Guide for details of festivals and more great days out in and around 79!


For something a bit different, try an all-terrain, motorised scooter available at Brétignolles-sur-Mer and Les Sables d’Olonne (85) this summer. They may look like bikes, but step on the platform and it will whizz you along at up to 25km/h. Prices start at 20€ per hour, suitable for over 14s. See for details.

Water Restrictions

With the recent canicule, water restrictions have come into force early across much of the country. As we go to press, Vendée has announced ‘crisis level’ restrictions and asked residents to restrict usage, while factories and farmers face stricter bans. To see the restrictions in place in your commune, visit the Propluvia website which features an interactive map allowing you to see the arrêtes in force.

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Medieval Fête

The white towers of Château de la Commanderie, Ensigné (79170), will once more be the backdrop to a medieval festival over the weekend of 21-22 September. Dating back to the 12th century, the chateau welcomed pilgrims on their way to Aulnayde-Saintonge in the days of the Knights Templars. Each year, owners Patrick and Bénédicte Durand welcome visitors to their home which they have renovated over the past twelve years after it had been abandoned for seventy years. Come and see costumed knights, medieval troupes, acrobats and artisans. The medieval tower is open for tours (also available in English). Buy local products at the market where refreshments are available all day. Entry costs 4€ and the gates open from 10am-6pm.

Alexandra Palace

Back in the spring of 2016, the Château du Petit Chêne at Mazières-en-Gâtine (79) was ravaged by fire during its renovation into a luxury hotel by its American owner. One wing was destroyed. Three years on, the refurbishment has been completed and the hotel has opened its doors under the new name of Alexandra Palace. Twelve million euros have been invested in renovating this Historic Monument and converting it into a 5-star hotel set in a wooded park adjoining a popular golf course. Owner Zaya Younan has also transformed the Hotel Saint Martin in Saint-Maixent-l’Ecole (79) and invested 100 million euros in France to expand the portfolio of ‘La Grande Maison Younan Collection’. The Californian billionaire hopes to have 25 luxury hotels across France and was recently awarded La Médaille d’Or du Tourisme for his investment in the country.

Doctor Doctor

Across rural France, the recruitment of GPs is causing concern with many small communes offering housing and support to anyone willing to re-open closed surgeries. In Vendée, the situation is critical in some areas where they have less than 4 GPs per 10,000 residents against a national average of 13 GPs. Overall in Vendée, the average is 7 per 10,000 residents. The département has been fighting this decline since 2005 and has invested two million euros in setting up Maisons de Santé which offer several disciplines under one roof. Now they are opening two Centres Vendée Santé (CVS) at Sainte-Hermine and Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits, with salaried GPs supporting existing GPs to offer appointments from 8am-8pm during the week and from 8am-noon on Saturdays. There will be full administrative support for the doctors. It is hoped that these improvements in conditions will entice healthcare practitioners to allow these centres to open in the autumn.

Stare skywards for the Festival d’Astronomie at La Chapelle-aux-Lys (85) on 10-11 Aug. Entry is free, see for full details.


Autrefois Challans (85), the traditional market that transports you back to the early 20th century, takes place on 8 and 22 August. Entry is free, see The 2nd Médiévales de Tiffauges will take place on 28-29 September. Attractions include a medieval market, reenactments with more than 300 costumed participants, and a trip back to 1368! Book your tickets online to save 1€ per person. www.

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The Aubusson tapestry museum is a fascinating day out, as we discovered in a recent edition of LIVING, but if it is too far to travel then you can see some of the collection at the Chapelle Saint-Louis in Poitiers up until 22 September. 26 works chart the history of tapestry from 1650-2019, from classical 17th century creations to contemporary works of art. As well as marvelling at the time and skill involved, the tapestries show the fascinating relationship between the artists and artisans, and the region over the centuries. Entry is free and the exhibition is open daily in August and weekdays in September, for hours see


© Yann Gachet / Service communication Poitiers

Aubusson Tapestries

The 16th Légend’Air airshow and vintage vehicle display will be held on 7-8 September at the Aérodrome Maryse Bastié in St Junien (87). 20-25,000 people are expected to attend the event whose theme is British aviation and British vintage vehicles. A replica Spitfire will be one of the 40 aircraft giving aerobatic displays on Sunday and there will even be a red phone box, a double decker bus and several Rolls Royce vehicles. The show traditionally includes a WW2 US Army encampment (and a rotavator display, this being the Limousin after all) and there will be a vintage vehicle display and parade. Guided tours around the planes assembled on the apron are available on both days as well as initiation flights in small aircraft. Entrance is free and you are welcome to attend in vintage costume.

For the route of this year’s Tour du Limousin, see www.tour The tour starts on Wednesday 21 August at Condat-sur-Vienne (87) and finishes at Limoges (87) on Saturday 24 August.


The work of award-winning artist Laetitia Baudet inspired by the film ‘The Man who fell to Earth’ is exhibited at the Rochechouart (87) Musée d’Art Contemporain until 16 September. Open daily except Tues from 10am-12.30pm and 1.30-6pm, entry costs 4.60€. The second edition of the FAE Dynamisme’s Street Art festival in Civray (86) is being held on Saturday, 21 September. Come along and watch artists at work or try your hand from 10am – 7pm, free entry. The 2019 edition of Festival des Lumières at Montmorillon (86) takes place from 22-24 August at l’Espace Gartempe. 3 days of baroque music and theatre with ticketed and free events for all the family – see for the full programme.

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St Benoît Swing Futuroscope While the Parc du Futuroscope gets ready to install its first rollercoaster, code name Mission Kepler and expected to open in 2020, there are plenty of other developments around the Technopole. As well as the 6,000-seat arena set to open in 2021, the first vertical wind tunnel in Nouvelle-Aquitaine is being installed by zerOGravity to offer indoor skydiving simulating the free-fall conditions equivalent to a jump at 4,200m. Meanwhile on the lake next summer, Bordeaux entrepreneur Laurent Hequily will generate artificial waves perfect for surfing while at the same time they increase the oxygenation of the lake. His 24m-diameter, moveable wave generator can be transported between lakes, improving the water while providing entertainment on the surface.

Organised by the association Bel Air Jazz, the 3-day swing festival prides itself on featuring local as well as international talent. Myles Sanko, the UK-based soul singer who recently supported Gregory Porter on tour, headlines on Thursday supported by the 1930s-inspired The Daisy Pickers. Friday sees a homage to Didier Lockwood by Aurore Vouilqué with a first half by So & So, a Poitiers band who take inspiration from 1980s British pop. They are fronted by Sophie Thiam who has been a backing singer to Cèline Dion and Johnny Hallyday amongst others. Saturday welcomes the Kyle Eastwood Quintet, a group of English musicians with a passion for the music from films, along with Sweet Mama, a local band with a mix of blues, swing, boogie-woogie and more. Tickets cost 26€ per concert (21€ reduced rate) or buy a pass for all three days for only 60€ (48€ reduced rate), see for full details. Concerts take place at La Hune in St Benoît (86280).



Zone Commerciale de SAVIGNÉ (86400) - Tel: 05 49 87 07 78

16 | living places to visit Monpazier’s geometric layout Beaumont-duPérigord was founded in 1272

The first new towns


After 800 years or so the bastide towns and villages of Périgord have become a familiar part of the scenery.

pend some time planning a spot of scenic touring on the road maps of France and you’ll notice that many ancient towns and villages (particularly in the south) have a circular layout. Why this should be isn’t always obvious, but in most cases there will be a church or market square ringed by streets bisected here and there by routes heading off to and from the outside world. There again, a circular plan might turn out to be a legacy of times long ago when the constant threat of attack compelled villagers to surround themselves with sturdy defensive walls, to create a ‘castrum’. Here in the south west, however, we’ll occasionally chance upon historic villages with a curious rigid geometrical layout, which tells us we’ve found a bastide. When a more structured society began to emerge in Europe so too did

WORDS: roger moss

the idea of town planning – not merely how but also where to build new towns. Between 1222 and 1373 almost 400 ‘bastides’ (from the Occitane ‘bastida’, meaning a collection of buildings) were established in Aquitaine, around 25 of them in the comté of Périgord, which equates to the present-day Dordogne département. Their creation was partly a reaction to the Cathar insurrections quashed by the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) and partly to generate revenue for powerful landowners whose territories were sparsely populated. Existing towns, on the other hand, were unable to accommodate a steadily growing population. There was, however, another driving force: the great campaign of construction began at a time of mounting tension between England and France over possession of Aquitaine. For a while the cat-and-mouse game found both sides constructing towns

and villages with a defensive role in mind, Edward I and Henry II of England responding to new French settlements with their own sites such as Beaumont, Eymet and Monpazier. When the bitter dispute finally came to a head in the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) some bastides changed hands several times, while others were totally destroyed or were ravaged by famine or plague. Medieval life was unpredictable, so communal living in a fortified environment had obvious advantages, not merely for security, but also to benefit from the presence of the markets around which the villages’ square or rectangular street plan would be laid out. As well as serving villagers and those living nearby, some markets staged annual great fairs which attracted both traders and buyers from further afield, boosting the local economy and the prestige of the village. In much the same way that communes still offer ’lotissement’

living places to visit | 17

Place des Cornières, Monpazier

PHOTOS: © Pays de Bergerac Vignoble & Bastides

Issigeac is circular, unlike its geometric bastide neighbours

building plots at knock-down prices, there were further inducements for anyone who pledged to build a family home on one of the medieval plots and take up residence within a specified time, typically 2-3 years. In exchange for paying their taxes to a commune bailiff, villagers were assured some degree of protection in times of turmoil, would be exempted from military service and had access to water supplies and to the herb gardens (medieval forerunners of modern-day pharmacies) planted with healing plants to combat disease. Eight centuries later, the Périgord landscape preserves many bastide towns and villages, each with its unique personality. To help you plan a tour we’ll look at some classic examples, starting with those which were founded under English rule. Twenty or so km upstream from Bergerac is Lalinde, one of the earliest bastides, founded on the banks of the Dordogne in 1261. Despite the devastation of the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion the geometric layout remains unmistakable, and sections of the medieval ramparts still survive, along with several maisons à colombages (half-timbered structures).

“Their creation was partly a reaction to the Cathar insurrections quashed by the Albingensian Crusade..”

There’s also a broad river crossing and a couple of attractive squares, one with shaded benches for picnics with riverside views. Not far south of Lalinde lies Beaumontdu-Périgord, founded by order of King Edward I in 1272. A section of the original stone ramparts survives, complete with the 13th century Porte de Luzier, one of several gateways controlling access to the interior. Life still revolves around place Jean Moulin, a broad, arcaded market square with a recent recreation of a medieval covered market hall. Overlooking it is the heavily fortified Église Saint-Front, complete with a 30m-high donjon and a well to provide vital water reserves during times of siege. Continue southwest of Beaumont and you’ll reach Monpazier, perhaps the definitive bastide village, with over 30 medieval structures enjoying

Monument Historique protection. Founded in 1284 by order of Edward I of England, Monpazier passed between Capetian and Plantagenet hands before emerging from the Hundred Years War as a French possession under Charles V. The architectural showpiece of place des Cornières is a broad market square flanked by 23 mostly arcaded houses dating from the 13th-17th century plus a huge medieval timber market hall. Less obvious are ‘carreyroux’ – narrow connecting alleyways just wide enough for a mule to pass, while excluding the horse-drawn carts which bastide roads were designed to accommodate. Not surprisingly, this is one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. Now for something a little different. Also founded in 1284, Molières was held under a treaty of equal ownership – paréage – between the English monarchy and the nearby Abbaye de Cadouin. It was never completed, however, leaving instead numerous tantalising clues as to how things might have looked, including a geometrical plan with cart roads and still undeveloped plots plus just one arcaded dwelling in the market square. Also uncompleted is the adjoining feudal chateau begun in 1316 by Sénéschal du Périgord Guilhem de Toulouse to defend the village and protect pilgrims

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Domme is set high above the River Dordogne

18 | living places to visit

en-route to Cadouin from attacks by robbers haunting nearby forests. Finally, on the border with Gironde roughly midway between Mussidan and Libourne, we find Villefranchede-Lonchat, founded in 1287 by Gascon nobleman Jean III de Grailly for Edward I. Profiting from a commanding elevated site, the new town was originally protected by ramparts, a few signs of which are still visible, and by a chateau which was destroyed during the Wars of Religion. The 14th century Gothic Chapelle Sainte-Anne survives, however, and the stately mairie just across the market square houses a small museum of local history. The French bastides might be fewer in number but their names will be

familiar. The most dramatic location is that of Domme, founded in 1281 on a limestone promontory high above the River Dordogne a few km south of Sarlat-la-Canéda. The fortress-style ramparts have survived and the village within justifies its celebrity status, with all the classic bastide features you’d expect, plus a glorious panoramic belvedere and extensive underground caverns to which villagers could retreat in times of conflict. Twenty or so km southwest of Bergerac lies Eymet, founded in 1270 by Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of Louis IX. Among the best-preserved of the bastides, Eymet retains numerous half-timbered and Gothic stone medieval buildings, particularly around the arcaded market square. Sitting beside the River Dropt, its barges transported cereals, wines and timber to the River Garonne and Bordeaux. The 13th century Château d’Eymet predates the village, and was seized

Eymet has classic bastide features

Lalinde, one of the earliest bastides

15th century halle, Belvès

PHOTOs TOP LEFT & BOTTOM LEFT & RIGHT: © Pays de Bergerac Vignoble & Bastides

“narrow connecting alleyways just wide enough for a mule to pass...”

Beaumont-duPérigord was havily fortified

7 rooms and 5 suites, all individually decorated, in the heart of Angoulême L’Algorithme gourmet restaurant offers seasonal cuisine and a vegetarian menu Available for private functions and conferences Absolute comfort & sophisticated design Hôtel Le Saint Gelais**** 12 rue du Père Deval, 16000 Angoulême Tel: +33 (0)5 45 90 02 64 Restaurant open Tuesday to Friday: lunch & dinner Saturday dinner

20 | living places to visit

Cadouin’s Cistercian abbey A quiet moment in Monpazier

from the English by Bertrand Du Guesclin’s troops in 1377 during the Hundred Years War. Despite 19th century rebuilding, the guardhouse, northern gateway and lofty donjonstyle Tour Monseigneur survive. Finally we come to Villefranchedu-Périgord, roughly 20km southeast of Monpazier and founded by Alphonse de Poitiers in 1261. It suffered near-destruction during the Hundred Years War, but was fully rebuilt after its charter of privileges was reaffirmed by Louis XI in 1463. Today the scene is satisfyingly authentic in the arcaded place du Marché, where a substantial covered market hall preserves ancient measuring vessels used by grain traders. Nearby streets contain more medieval houses including the 16th century Tour des Consols. Discovering bastides can be rewarding, with many more to see, including Beauregard-et-Bassac, Belvès, Bénévent, Fonroque, Monestier, Puyguilhem, Roquepine, Saint-Aulaye, Saint-Barthélemyde-Bellegarde, Saint-Louis-en-l’Isle, Tocane and Vergt. And that’s without leaving Périgord...

Monpazier’s medieval market hall

Sounds so bourgeois...

The name ’villefranche’ denoted a ‘free’ town of ‘bourgeois’ – those not subject to the strict feudal regime of a lord. Occasionally a lord might wish to encourage the settlement of a region, attracting newcomers by granting such ‘franchises’, as was often the case for the new bastides. Other familiar town names with ‘ville de bourgeoisie’ references include Bourgneuf, Sauveterre, Salvetat, Sauveté and Villeneuve.

Find out more


Fascinating in-depth insight into bastides and more besides: 10 plus belles bastides du Périgord: bastides-perigord Bastide touring and more essential sites along the way: Bastides, historic villages and much more:

PHOTOS TOP LEFT & BELOW RIGHT: © Pays de Bergerac Vignoble & Bastides

Domme is much-visited in summer

living promotion | 21

The cosy terrace opens in early April

The contemporarystyled dining area

The region’s finest Jean-Christophe Roger’s passion for our very finest produce is expressed in each day’s menu at his celebrated Restaurant Le Terminus in Angoulême.


oitou-Charentes is proud to contribute to Nouvelle-Aquitaine’s enviable gastronomic reputation, and our leading restaurateurs can find the very highest quality fresh produce locally, as we discovered when we met Jean-Christophe Roger, patron of Angoulême’s renowned Le Terminus Restaurant. Featuring prominently on his popular menus are sea-fresh fish and seafood from the coastal waters of the Atlantic and landed at the small fishing port of La Cotinière, on the Île d’Oléron. Most mornings find Jean-Christophe setting off early to select the pick of the catch from his regular poissonniers at markets in Châteauneuf-sur-Charente, Jarnac or Saint-Michel. Thanks to his dedication, diners at Le Terminus know they have no need to travel to the coast to enjoy freshly caught, expertly prepared fish and seafood, including oysters from the Bassin de Marennes-Oléron and farmed by multi-award-winning producer Yves Papin of La Tremblade. While the Atlantic coast provides bountiful harvests, inland a whole host of other regional produce is nourished by our fertile soils. As Jean-Christophe

puts it: “Our region has its own distinct personality, which we celebrate and preserve in our own ‘fait maison’ philosophy at Le Terminus – we prepare everything, including desserts, right here from fresh ingredients. Today very few establishments can honestly say that.” Many of his most prized local delicacies are strictly seasonal, so their fleeting appearances on his menus are eagerly anticipated – tender tomatoes and salads grown by a market gardener on the outskirts of Angoulême, for example, or sweet myrtilles from Le Lindois, in north-eastern Charente. Since the goats cheeses of Poitou-Charentes have AOC status, the cheese trolley selection at Le Terminus includes creamy fromages de chèvre fermier from an artisan producer in Roullet-Saint-Estèphe, southwest of the city. There’s even an underlying regional dimension to the most traditional of meal accompaniments: the bread served to Jean-Christophe’s diners is baked by a nearby artisan boulanger, using premium quality flour milled at Saint-Jean d’Angély. What’s more, the wheat used is grown within a 20km radius of the mill, using ethical, sustainable agricultural practices. For liquid accompaniments, Le Terminus offers more of the region’s finest, in the shape of Charentais and Bordeaux wines, Pineau des Charentes plus rich, golden cognacs. Despite Jean-Christophe’s regional pride, Le Terminus is also outwardlooking, as he explains: “We’re aware that not everyone speaks French,

although most of the world understands at least some English, so we produce our menus in both languages and we provide at least one member of our team to welcome and assist the growing number of anglophone guests who dine with us at Le Terminus. To us it’s an important gesture of hospitality – a longstanding tradition of welcoming guests which we take great pride in upholding.”

Visit Restaurant Le Terminus 3 place de la Gare, 16000 Angoulême Tel: 05 45 95 27 13

Lunch: Menu at 15.50€ Lunch: Formule Express Menu at 22.50€ Lunch and Evening: Menus at 28€ or 35€ plus à la carte Restaurant-Le-Terminus Open all year. Mon-Sat; lunch (12-last orders at 2pm) and dinner (7.30pmlast orders at 10pm). English spoken.

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22 | living promotion Now in its 9th year, this vibrant annual event has become an eagerly awaited highlight on the calendar

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Rent a tent all weekend or bring your own. Glamping in cotton bell tents ready with mattress and bedding also available. Surcharges apply for motor homes, caravans, awnings, dogs.

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Deep in the peaceful southern Deux-Sèvres countryside near the village of Caunay, a noble 18th century logis. It’s home to Mad Hatter’s Kitchen Restaurant, a popular live music venue whose 2019 Wonderland Music Festival kicks off on Friday 16 August and continues all weekend. As usual there’s a super professional line-up featuring world-class touring bands, so don’t miss this unique opportunity to see them in our part of France! Festival options include weekend day/evening tickets, single day/ evening tickets and camping (camping tickets include both 2- and 4-person tents with mattresses and bedding supplied). Non-campers can reserve a beautiful family suite – prices include breakfasts and all festival music performances. Gates open at noon on Friday, with entertainment from 1.30pm each day, continuing throughout the afternoon

and evening on Friday and Saturday, finally finishing at 1.30am! For the full festival experience book onto the camp site – the camp fire burns into the early hours, and impromptu acoustic sessions keep the party mood going. Tasty festival food is homeprepared, with the offer of a bright and vibrant café menu in the food hall, where breakfasts are served each morning. Also in the festival ground is the event’s famous pig roast BBQ, serving hot pork rolls, burgers and sausages, along with vegetarian stews and curries. Fully-licensed bars are open throughout, serving refreshing Pimms, locally made Real Ale, Cider and many other drinks. Despite presenting some of the best bands around, a site capacity of just 1,500 means that this very special festival will remain like that, so you can be sure to enjoy the whole experience in a wonderful and relaxed way!

Provide living a safe, living Conservation days out | 23 secure place for hedgehogs

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A day out at the zoo is fun for the whole family, but our animal parks also play a vital role in the conservation of the wildlife they showcase. Jessica Knipe goes behind the scenes to discover the role local zoos play in protecting the world’s biodiversity


ho doesn’t love a day out meeting the animals at the zoo? From feeding a giraffe some popcorn to getting up close and personal with the tiniest of monkeys, it’s an exciting way to reconnect with nature and learn more about the environment. More than 140 million people visit zoos each year in Europe, and although zoos are indeed profit-making businesses, that’s not all they are. Today’s zoos don’t only showcase animals for the entertainment of we humans, they also play a crucial role in the protection of endangered species in the wild. “Zoos have changed a lot,” explains Florence Perroux, in charge of conservation at the Zoo de la Palmyre, in Royan (17). “We now have to report to the Ministry of Ecology, with three main missions: conservation, research, and education.” Conservation concerns


More than meets the eye what the park is doing within its walls to maintain and help species reproduce, of course, but there’s also a huge amount of work done in-situ, whether directly by the park itself, or through the funding that it contributes to NGOs. “At the moment we fund about 20 programmes,” says Florence. “A lot of the money we receive is used to fund the protection of animals in the wild. You could say that our animals are like ambassadors for their peers.” Zoos have also started to unite on national, European and interna-

tional levels to cement their role as professionals of animal welfare and conservation, rather than just places to display animals. The AFdPZ (Association Française des Parcs Zoologiques), the EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and the WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) all contribute to helping bring zoos together to agree on conservation actions. These include researching animals, releasing them back into the wild, helping local populations protect indigenous

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24 | living Conservation Two mandrills were born in May at La Palmyre

The pied tamarin is an endangered species from the Brazilian rainforest

Une journée au zoo est un

moment privilégié pour petits et grands, mais les parcs

animaliers jouent aussi un rôle vital dans la conservation

Jessica Knipe passe derrière le rideau pour découvrir la place que tiennent les zoos de la région dans la protection

de la biodiversité mondiale


Thanks to La Palmyre’s participation in a breeding and reintroduction programme, the golden lion tamarin population has multiplied in the wild

explique Florence Perroux, responsable de la conservation au Zoo de la Palmyre, à Royan (17). Nous dépendons maintenant du ministère de l’environnement, avec trois missions principales : la conservation, la recherche et l’éducation. » La conservation concerne ce que fait le parc entre ses murs pour maintenir et aider les espèces à se reproduire, évidemment, mais il y a aussi un énorme travail qui est fait in-situ, soit par le parc directement, soit avec l’aide financière qu’ils apportent aux ONGs. « Aujourd’hui nous finançons une vingtaine de programmes, dit Florence. Une grosse partie de l’argent que nous recevons est utilisé pour protéger les animaux directement dans la nature. On peut dire que nos animaux sont des sortes d’ambassadeurs pour leurs congénères sauvages. » Les zoos se sont aussi rapproché sur le plan national, européen et international afin de cimenter leur rôle en tant que professionnels de la protection et la conservation des animaux, et non pas juste des endroits où les présenter. L’AFdPZ (l’Association Française des Parcs Zoologiques), l’EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) et le WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) contribuent tous à mettre les zoos d’accord en termes de conservation, et mettre en place des programmes pour décider quels animaux ont besoin d’être étudiés, comment les relâcher dans la nature, que faire pour aider les autochtones à protéger leurs espèces locales et aussi comment éduquer les

PHOTOS: © F. Perroux/Zoo de La Palmyre

des animaux qu’ils présentent.

Qui n’apprécie pas de passer un moment avec les animaux au zoo ? Donner du popcorn à une girafe, être à deux doigts du plus minuscule des singes… C’est un moyen agréable de se reconnecter avec la nature et en apprendre plus à propos de notre environnement. Les zoos reçoivent plus de 140 millions de visiteurs chaque année en Europe, mais ils sont aujourd’hui bien plus que de simples entreprises qui cherchent à faire un profit. Loin de n’être qu’un présentoir d’animaux pour le seul divertissement des humains, les zoos jouent aussi un rôle crucial dans la protection des espèces en voie de disparition dans la nature. « Les zoos ont beaucoup changé,

living Conservation | 25 species, and also educating local populations on the benefit of saving them in the first place. “We need zoos now more than ever,” explains Jean-Pascal Guéry, director of science and conservation at La Vallée des Singes, in Romagne (79). “The zoos of the past were a threat to animals, but today they are one of the major actors in their protection and conservation, through communication and reproduction in the park, but also


Roloway monkeys are endangered due to habitat loss

through funding efforts and research grants in the field.” The Vallée des Singes’ most recent grant was awarded last May to a local researcher in Nigeria, who will study one of the last known populations of chimpanzees, both there and in Cameroun, to find out how many are still present in the wild. From this research, a natural reserve will be created for the chimps, to be managed by the local villagers. “We fund

Help is needed to save Madagascar’s s radiated tortoise on cti tin from ex

Close animal encounters in local zoos allows visitors to make a real connection with their environment

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26 | living Conservation Feeding the pelicans, La Palmyre

La Palmyre has successfully bred Bornean orangutans and supports the Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project

Brown bears have recently been introduced at Zoodyssée

PHOTO top left & right: © F. Perroux/Zoo de La Palmyre

populations humaines sur le besoin de les protéger au départ. « Nous avons besoin des parcs zoologiques aujourd’hui plus que jamais ! explique Jean-Pascal Guéry, directeur des sciences et de la conservation à la Vallée des Singes, à Romagne (79). Les zoos du passé représentaient une menace pour les animaux, mais aujourd’hui ils sont un des acteurs majeurs dans leur protection et la conservation, à travers la communication et la reproduction dans le parc, mais aussi à travers les efforts de recherche sur le terrain. » La dernière bourse en date à la Vallée des Singes, en mai, a été accordée à un chercheur au Nigéria, qui étudiera une des dernières populations connues de chimpanzés du Nigéria-Cameroun afin d’évaluer combien il en reste vivants à l’état sauvage. A partir de cette étude sera créée une réserve communautaire gérée par les villageois. « Nous décernons des bourses de recherche en conservation deux fois par an, explique Jean-Pascal, en privilégiant les projets ayant des retombées sociales pour

les populations humaines. » Ces programmes de conservation ont sauvé de nombreuses espèces qui étaient considérées comme éteintes, tels que l’oryx d’Arabie, le cheval de Przewalski, le bison d’Europe et même le loir. Dans les années 60s, il n’existait que 250 tamarins lions dorés à l’état sauvage, mais grâce à la contribution de zoos à travers le monde et un programme de reproduction européen auquel a participé le Zoo de la Palmyre, leur nombre atteint les 2 000 aujourd’hui. La Palmyre a aussi vu naître deux mandrills en mai, une cause de célébration pour la famille des babouins puisqu’ils sont classés comme ‘vulnérables’ sur la liste rouge des espèces menacées de l’UICN (l’Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature). Mais avec tant d’espèces en danger, comment choisir une espèce à protéger plutôt qu’une autre ? « C’est difficile, admet Florence. On peut dire aujourd’hui que Thanks to conservation pratiquement toutes les espèces efforts, the Arabian oryx sont en voie de disparition. Nous

was the first animal to revert to ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List, after being extinct in the wild

Lynx are being re-introduced to France

accueillons 110 espèces, c’est difficile de participer à la préservation de toutes. Mais nous faisons ce que nous pouvons pour celles qui sont particulièrement en danger, qui sont en général peu connues du public. Les gens viennent voir les lions et les girafes, mais une fois sur place, au détour d’une allée, ils tombent sur une tortue étoilée de Madagascar, par exemple, qui est en danger critique d’extinction. » Certains parcs, tel que le Zoodysée, à Chizé (79), tentent de se spécialiser dans la faune européenne. « Chaque parc a ses spécificités et sont, par la même occasion, complémentaires, estime Guillaume Romano, directeur général de Zoodysée. C’est par l’émerveillement que commence la sensibilisation à la fragilité d’une espèce. Demander d’éteindre ses lumières parce que l’ours polaire est impacté, ça ne répond pas à tout le monde. Montrer les espèces qui évoluent dans les champs à proximité ou les forêts voisines permet d’établir un lien direct avec les visiteurs. » Tous ces parcs ont en tout cas une chose en commun : reconnecter les gens à leur

living Conservation | 27 PHOTO: © LA vallée DES SINGES

Feeding time is an opportunity to share information with visitors

conservation research grants twice a year,” explains Jean-Pascal, “giving priority to projects which have an impact on human populations, too.” Thanks to the creation of these conservation programmes, many species which were considered all but extinct have been saved, such as the Arabian oryx, Przewalski’s horse, the European bison, and even the common dormouse. In the 60s there were only 250 golden lion tamarins left in the wild, but thanks to funding from zoos around the world, and a Europe-wide breeding programme which included the Zoo de La Palmyre, their numbers have now recovered to over 2,000. La Palmyre also welcomed the birth of two mandrills last May, a cause for celebration within the baboon family, as they are ranked as “vulnerable” on the Red List of Threatened Species established by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). With so many animals in danger of extinction, though, how do zoos choose which animals to protect? “It’s The black lemur population difficult,” says Florence. is classed as “And it’s safe to say that vulnerable in today, almost all species Madagascar are endangered. We house 110 species – we can’t save them all, but we do what we can for those in the most danger, which are usually not well-known to the public. People come to see lions and giraffes, but once they are here, they’ll bump into one of Madagascar’s

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environnement. Cette mission éducative est vitale pour faire de la protection animale une cause mondiale. Non seulement une visite au zoo pourrait déclencher une passion pour la biologie dans les esprits des jeunes visiteurs, mais les zoos nous permettent aussi d’avancer dans notre compréhension d’espèces qui sont compliquées à étudier dans leur habitat naturel. La Vallée des Singes investit beaucoup dans cette reconnexion des visiteurs avec la planète sur laquelle nous vivons tous. « Les singes (et les autres primates) sont les plus proches espèces de l’homme, dit Jean-Pascal. Ils sont notre famille biologique. Si nous ne parvenons pas à protéger notre propre famille, comment pouvons-nous espérer réussir à sauver les autres espèces ? » Bien que de voir ces sublimes créatures en captivité nous rappelle le nombre toujours croissant d’espèces en voie de disparition dans la nature, les parcs zoologiques représentent un grand espoir pour la communauté animale, et l’argent que les visiteurs dépensent pour s’y rendre contribue énormément à la sauvegarde de ces animaux dans leur habitat naturel.

radiated tortoises, for example, which are also in critical danger of extinction.” Some local parks, like Zoodysée, in Chizé (79), try to focus purely on European fauna. “Each park has its own specificity, which complements the others,” says Guillaume Romano, Zoodysée’s general manager. “A sense of wonder is a great way to alert people to a species’ fragility. And all of these parks have one thing in common: connecting people to their environment. Asking people to switch their lights off because it has an impact on polar bears doesn’t work for everyone. For us, showcasing the species which are found in neighbouring fields or forests creates a real link for visitors.” This educative mission is vital in making conservation become a worldwide concern. Not only could a visit to the zoo spark a passion for biology in the young minds of those exposed to them, but zoos also allow for the advancement of our zoological understanding of species which are complicated to study in their natural habitat. The Vallée des Singes invests heavily on this reconnection of its visitors with the planet on which we live . “Monkeys (and other primates) are the closest species to humans,” says Jean-Pascal. “They are our biological family. If we can’t protect our own family, how can we hope to save other species?” Although seeing these beautiful creatures in captivity reminds us that so many species are facing extinction in the wild, zoological parks represent a huge hope for the animal community, and the money people spend to visit them contributes massively to saving animals in their native habitats.


28 | living places to visit

Few heritage projects compare to what has been progressing in southern Charente, but the Château de la Mercerie is clearly in safe hands as Roger Moss finds out‌

The original 19th century neo-Gothic chateau underwent a dramatic transformation

Numerous paintings have been restored

Excuisite decorative detailing


living places to visit | 29

nyone who has visited the astonishing Château de la Mercerie in Magnac-Lavalette will be aware of the sheer scale of what has been called ‘le Versailles Charentais’. Three years have passed since our first visit – not long at all in the world of major architectural restoration, but the volunteer teams have already managed to make remarkable progress. Not that they had any choice, for this was a race against time, if catastrophic damage to the fabric of the long-abandoned building was to be averted. Once initial weatherproofing and general renovations had been addressed (with funding from the Département de la Charente, the government and the EU) a new staircase was installed in the tower of the original 19th century neo-Gothic chateau, to enable visitors to enjoy rooftop views of the magnificent setting. Attention then turned to the rooms below, occupied for many years by the Réthoré brothers who owned the property, but which were in a pitiful state, due to their incompletion and long years of abandonment. First water-damaged timber ceilings and floors were replaced, while black mould and green slime were carefully removed from the walls. Most rooms had never received their intended finishing touches, which are finally being added

by a team of volunteers who make latex moulds from surviving original decorative features. The resulting faithful plaster of Paris replicas include complex Corinthian-style column capitals, the volunteers’ workmanship so impressing the professional who trained them that he donated his own ceiling work to the project.

“Other teams have been cleaning, oiling and waxing panelling and other timber features, including a large canopy supported by four huge hardwood pillars..” Other teams have been cleaning, oiling and waxing panelling and other timber features, including a large canopy supported by four huge hardwood pillars commissioned by Raymond Réthoré and turned on a periscope lathe at the Fonderie National de Ruelle near Angoulême. They’ll soon add a certain gravitas to a new entrance planned for the chateau, while returning visitors will find that the huge rear vestibule area finally has

a suspended ceiling. Completing the effect overhead is a newly-restored oil painting whose dimensions exceed even those of the vast Portuguese ceramic panels adorning the walls. Like many other fine art works, it was expertly repaired and restored by chateau volunteers. While these and other aesthetic challenges have been progressing other teams have been carrying out essential practical works, the most major being the installation in the largest spaces (thanks to grant aid totalling 458,000 euros from the above official sources) of a central heating system fuelled by wood chips from the estate’s own 45Ha of forest. To minimise heat loss external walls have been insulated and windows double-glazed. These measures are about more than mere comfort; during the 1980s Raymond handed Alphonse’s personal library collections to the city of Angoulême, in lieu of monies owed to the local authority. Having been provided with the stable environment necessary for their conservation, the collections, which include important architectural works, will eventually return to the chateau, taking their rightful place on the original library shelves. Outside, dilapidated farm buildings have become a ticket office/gift shop, a kitchen plus a food and dining area

Craftsmanship is meticulous

The vestibule now has a ceiling The flamboyant Gothic Saint-Jean transept, c1530

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30 | living places to visit Huge areas have been re-landscaped

Visitors will see big changes

How it all began... The restored library

A new staircase and stained glass window

for special events. Volunteers have also undertaken extensive re-landscaping, cleared brambles, undergrowth and weeds from large areas of woodland and created footpaths and a new access road. A rose garden has also been established with 700 plants, they’ve planted 153 walnut trees and now tend some 7km of box hedging, vast lawned areas and ornamental flowerbeds. We’ve barely touched on the full extent of what is being achieved at La Mercerie, so we’d recommend making a visit from time to time, to see it all coming together. Full details, including times of guided visits in English are here:

If you missed our report in the Aug/ Sep 2016 issue of Living, the story began when brothers Alphonse and Raymond Réthoré were gifted a 600-hectare estate, complete with a late-19th century chateau. They then spent 34 years transforming it into a vast neo-Classical showpiece, employing local masons working with pale Charentais limestone. While work progressed they sourced an eclectic assortment of furnishings from fine arts and other auction sales, until an ill-fated business deal deprived them of the funds needed to complete the project. Upon the death of the brothers the vast structure stood forlorn and decaying for many years, until the commune was able to lease the property in exchange for a peppercorn rent. A charitable association was then formed to protect the structure and restore things for future generations, using volunteer labour and revenue from official sources and visitor admissions.

Citizens’ rights after


Kathryn Dobson, a member of British in Europe’s steering team, examines the latest developments for British nationals living in France as the Brexit debacle drags on

British in Europe once more giving evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee

situation no-deal would create. Likewise, it is disappointing that the EU will not move to secure our future. Judging by the questions asked at the Select Committee, many MPs are still a long way from understanding the complexity of dealing with short- and long-term residency issues across 26 other sovereign states. That said, both sides promised that we would not be bargaining chips and yet here we are.

HERE IN FRANCE Two months on and we now find ourselves hostage to a Conservative party leadership battle where keeping the party together is the priority, over the Union, the economy and our rights.

As we go to press, we are ten days away from learning who the new Prime Minister is and, with this news, what the Brexit strategy will be. With regard to citizens’ rights, there is little difference between the two candidates. Both are committed to Brexit and both have said they will pursue a no-deal Brexit on or near the end of October if there is not a deal in place. As the current Withdrawal Agreement (WA) is unlikely to be approved by Parliament, and the EU are steadfastly refusing to re-open the WA, the impasse remains irrespective of who wins the leadership competition. It is possible that there will be a General Election if the Tory party splits but this could lead to a Brexit Party coalition with the hard right Tories. Our departure from the EU would then be more disorderly than currently being forecast. Citizens’ rights are caught in this mess and we

Select Committee Watch the committee session and read the full evidence on the British in Europe website at

continue to be used as pawns in the game. With all this in mind, British in Europe submitted a detailed analysis of what no-deal looks like for British citizens in the EU to the House of Commons Select Committee on Exiting the EU. BiE were also called to give oral evidence. Through this process, these facts are now officially recorded, MPs cannot claim not to know the risk that no-deal presents. The evidence was highly praised and spurred cross-party MPs to write to Michel Barnier to request an urgent meeting on the subject. This follows a string of letters between Steve Barclay, Minister for Exiting the EU, and Michel Barnier, initiated by BiE’s meeting with the Minister earlier in the year. While the UK is directly requesting ring-fencing of citizens’ rights to take the majority of our issues off the table in the case of no-deal (freedom of movement, family reunification and some professional qualifications are among the issues still outstanding), the EU is refusing to discuss this. Their fear appears to be that any movement on any element within the WA will lead to re-opening the WA in full. Here at British in Europe, we would hope that if there is a political will then a way could be found, but do understand the EU’s reluctance to take the UK on its word given the experience so far. It is shameful that it has taken so long for the UK to begin to react to the

Effectively nothing has changed and so the official recommendation from both French and UK governments remains the same - apply for a carte de séjour if your préfecture is processing applications. The Interior Ministry wrote to all préfectures reminding them of their obligation to respond to applications, with somewhat limited success. However, behind the

WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION With so many rumours and illinformed opinions being shared, where should you look for up-to-date information?

French Government Exclusively in French although the UK Embassy has published some unofficial translations to help.

UK Government Their series of ‘Living in’ guides reflect the latest official information from the UK Government.

RIFT This independent website publishes information that is easy to read and understand. The site is curated by Kalba Meadows, a key member of the BiE steering team.

living brexit | 33 WHat No-Deal MEANS

British in Europe (BiE) continue to fight for the rights of British nationals in France and across the EU. To continue to advocate for our rights, the group needs funds as they receive no funding from either the UK Government or EU organisations. If maintaining your rights to live and work in France are important to you then Donate today at: They need your donations to continue.

scenes, preparations are underway for managing a no-deal scenario. A central portal is in development to manage online applications which would then be sent to the relevant préfecture. The jury is out on the effectiveness of the process given the experience over the past two years.

So, what do we know about no-deal? From the legislation issued so far, we know that all Brits resident in France on Brexit day will need to apply for a residence permit or carte de séjour within 6 months. For those with one already, there will be a much simplified process. Those that haven’t applied within 12 months will have to adhere to the current third country national regulations which are more strenuous. It’s not clear what happens to those applying between 6-12 months. Each carte will cost 119€. The tests for legal residence are already known. The paperwork which will be requested, on the whole, is already known. Therefore, everyone can prepare their files in advance and ensure that they meet the requirements. RIFT have issued a useful Reality Check including details on legal residence at: frlegres

WHEN WILL I BE TOLD WHAT I NEED TO DO? This is a frequent question but from discussions with both the French Interior



Ministry and the British Embassy, it is clear that any communication plans they have will only be launched at the last minute, once no-deal is confirmed. There are no central lists of British nationals living in France, even the size of the population is unclear with estimates ranging from 150-250,000 people, nor has funding been released to support any activities beyond the outreach meetings already underway. The bottom line is that if you wait to be told what to do, you will be at the back of the queue or even miss the deadlines. You need to take the responsibility to be ready to act should no-deal happen. At that point, the official websites will be updated and notices will be put out on social media. You will have six months to ensure that your dossier is correctly submitted.

Register to Vote If you have been out of the UK for less than 15 years, make sure you are registered to vote in case there is a General Election.








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It’s time to relax in a shady spot in the garden and see if you can find the theme to our crossword compiled by Mike Morris. If you need them, the answers are on page 64. Clues Across 1. Group putting secret agents around central London area? (7) 5. Animals seeing fan going crazy over gold. (5) 8. Plants Delores’ heart in nothing? (5) 9. Prevailing conditions cut short ascent; tea to be brewed! (7) 10. Coral barrier perhaps placed in front of middle of centre effect? (4) 11. Savage existence of 5 Across? (8) 14. Large river blocked off for nothing! (3) 16. Applaud Sonny’s partner over energy? (5) 17. Shock for leaders of Members of Parliament? (3) 19. Morag’s in turmoil about essential form of life? (8) 20. Rub error out is vehicle to get a lift? (4)

23. Monk’s garb put on preposition for natural environment? (7) 25. Origin of wizard putting on singular layer? (5) 26. What are the chances of rugby competition having no starter? (5) 27. Fragile environment giving us time to come to earth? (7) Clues Down 1. Being extra loud in Nora’s turnover of crocus product? (7) 2. Run away from Springbok, for example, leaving worker behind? (5) 3. Prayer leader heading inspired movement at mosque? (4) 4. Cited as seen, but sounding unwell? (3) 5. Identified explorer by slipping a pound between other discoverers? (8) 6. Element generally acceptable, organised, and then I showed hesitation? (7) 7. Rare textile having the edge? (5) 12. Upset, i.e. sad, thoughts? (5) 13. Monk’s hood possibly, is at once pulled over. (8)


11 12


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16 16


19 20 23






21 22


24 26


15. A form of libel e.g. is perfectly clear. (7) 18. Predict the demise of Dover for instance? (7) 19. Church found buried in mineral clay. (5)

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21. Both 5 and 8 Across are second class before such a small amount. (5) 22. Large crowd give modern greeting to holy man? (4) 24. Fibre reported to be on the end of the foot? (3)

Living at

34 | practical living

law&money << OUr experts answer YOur questions...

Health insurance


Why do I need health insurance and what is covered?

Once you are accepted into the French health service you will receive a Carte Vitale which should be updated immediately, and thereafter annually, or if your situation changes. Your local pharmacy should be able to do this for you. The state covers about 70-80% of medical costs and a top-up insurance or mutuelle can be purchased to cover most, if not all, of the rest. With the cost of a one-night stay in hospital costing about 700€, plus blood tests, x-rays, ambulance and so on, it’s worth considering a top-up to cover some of these costs. Your insurers will be able to provide you with a range of options so you can find one that best suits your situation. When a visit to the dentist entails more than a simple filling, you will be provided with a quote or devis for further work. Ask your top-up insurer if it’s within the scope of your cover. If it’s not, it may be possible to increase your cover for one year in order to guarantee the cost of this work. This will help you to decide whether to proceed or not. Spectacles can only be changed every two years unless there is a change in your prescription. Reimbursement may be based on each lens plus frames and the shop will check with your mutuelle to


My Belgian partner and I (a UK national) are considering getting married or having a PACS later this year here in France. I’ve heard of recent law changes regarding matrimonial regimes and PACS, can you explain them?

As regards the law applicable in the absence of a choice for marriages, this should be the spouses’ first common habitual residence after the conclusion of the marriage or, failing that, of the spouses nationality at the conclusion of the marriage or, failing that, with which the spouses jointly have the closest connection at the time of the conclusion of the marriage taking Until 29 January 2019, account of all the circumstances. the civil rules in France were different if you For civil partnerships, in the were married or if you were in a absence of choice, the law civil partnership (PACS - pacte applicable to the property consequences of the registered civil de solidarité). However, as part of the drive for consistency partnership is the law of the state according to the law of which the across the EU, a new law was registered partnership was created. introduced that considerably It is important, therefore, changes the way that your Notaire will consider your assets. that any Notaire you consult understands the implications of The aim of this regulation is to the new regulation should the have one law that applies to all relationship break down or property regardless of where it is located and to both marriages when one of you dies. and civil partnerships. Previously, for couples married before 1 September 1992 the law applicable was determined by the location of the first matrimonial domicile. Under the 1978 Hague Convention, the same rules apply with a further option for couples to choose, for their property, the law where it was situated. The new regulation (EU Christophe 2016/1103), currently signed by Dutertre is 19 member states, allows couples a bilingual to choose the law of either: Frenchone of the states of which at least qualified one of the partners/spouses is a Notaire with national or the law of the habitual over 22 years’ residence of either spouse at the experience, time of the agreement (not neces- 15 of which were working in law sarily the marriage itself). Married offices in Monaco and with the couples are no longer able to banking industry in Luxembourg. partially change their matrimonial FranceTaxLaw specialises in French and European notarial law and regime to choose the law where the property is situated or for civil advises clients on all aspects of civil or tax law. www.francetaxlaw. partnerships, the law of the state com; tel: +44 (0)20 8115 7914; under whose law the registered email: partnership was created.

A explain what you may need to pay depending on the style chosen. Preventative care such as holiday vaccinations, stopping smoking and prescribed contraception are usually offered as a maximum payment for the year. For those of modest means, government help is provided through CMU-C (la CMU complémentaire) or the ACS (l’aide au paiement d’une complémentaire santé) both of which are means tested. CMU-C covers full medical costs including payment for GP appointments, while the ACS is a financial aid towards purchasing a top-up. Once in receipt of this aid you will need to complete the form annually to prove your continued eligibility. If you are living in France and not affiliated to the French health service (either directly or via an S1) you will require full private health insurance.

Miriam MIDDLETON is bilingual and advises clients on all aspects of French insurance, both personal and professional. Agence Billaud, 16260 Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure; email: agence@; tel: 06 76 65 81 67 Assurances Solutions - ORIAS 13001728 - 13001611 (www. - SIRET 790 805 303 00019, Garantie Financière et RC Professionnelle Police CGPA C110110.

Marriage v PACS

practical living | 35

French inheritance tax explained


How does French inheritance tax work?

to beneficiaries. There is no inheritance tax between spouses and the allowance between a parent and a child is currently Firstly, it is worth recognising that €100,000 per child per parent. French law restricts the For anything left to other nonrelated beneficiaries, including extent to which you can freely transfer wealth during your stepchildren, the allowance is only €1,594 and anything above lifetime. It also, unless that is taxed at 60%. you have planned properly, governs how your estate is There are strict rules on distributed on death – notably, succession in France and children are entitled to inherit prescribed heirship laws a proportion of each of their override individual choice parent’s estates. For example, when it comes to nominating beneficiaries. Inheritance if you have one child the Tax planning is therefore proportion is half, for two children it is one third each high priority if you have and if you have three or more chosen to live in France. children then three quarters The basic rule is that if you of your estate must be divided are a resident in France, you equally between them. Careful are then domiciled in France planning however allows for inheritance purposes and your worldwide estate becomes flexibity and choice about how taxable in France, with tax rates your estate is distributed. Some assets do not form determined by your relationship

part of your taxable estate, such as assurance vie policies. Mortgages also need to be taken into account when considering your overall inheritance tax liability. For those who have assets in more than one country, children from previous marriages, or wish to use European succession regulations and have a UK will alongside their French one, it is important to speak to a qualified adviser to understand your position and the planning opportunities available to you. Amanda Johnson works as an Independent Financial Advisor with The Spectrum IFA Group. T: 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43;; « 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 »

Should the worst happen, are you prepared? We’ve got you covered Haute-Vienne - Tony Farrell - Tel: 06 15 28 54 82 Vendée - Maeve Hoffman - Tel: 06 42 00 27 96 Charente-Maritime - Brian Furzer - Tel: 06 25 36 30 65 Dordogne - Tony Delvalle - Tel: 06 89 02 84 74 Deux-Sèvres - Amanda Johnson - Tel: 06 73 27 25 43

With Care, You Prosper | The Spectrum IFA Group is a founder member of the Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers. • 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 » « Intermédiaire en opération de Banque et Services de Paiement » 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 »

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36 | living family

Avec les enfants ) e r o m s t o l f ( e & Pond Li


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while watching our latest acquisitions. A discussion ensued on the imminent new water feature. A week later a neighbour arrived with a digger. A giant hole was dug, over a metre deep at one end, in a simple rectangle, the idea being that it should look as if it had been here for decades. At first the pond was lifeless, lacking any plants, and no wildlife came near it, until eventually the ducks (who turned out to be two males, who obviously needed female company) went to live with friends who have a farm. Left alone at last, the pond started to attract new life, and a year later we had added some lilies, papyrus plants and a few small goldfish. Frogs began to appear – sunning themselves on the side, first one, then another and then dozens of them! Some friends gave us a few small mosquito fish which have prospered enormously, and this year we must now have over 100 of them. The goldfish have grown and so have the other inhabitants; there are now newts, salamanders, diving beetles and toads. It’s become a haven of aquatic life. This year we finally found a way to move a lot of the old dressed stone which had been left untouched for nearly a century at the end of our garden. With the help of a lawnmower-powered forklift, we made a bench out of an old fireplace mantle which was among the pile of ruins, and arranged it just in front of the pond. I thought it would be a place where we could grab a quick five minutes and relax watching the comings and goings of pond life.



A few years ago we adopted two Muscovy ducklings. We were at a Sunday Farmers’ Market in Trizay with friends when we came across a farmer selling ducks. Somehow the children convinced the adults that ducklings would be a good idea! We returned home with our newly-acquired feathered pair in a cardboard box, and carefully set about filling a child’s paddling pool for them, knowing that in due course they would need a pond. Sunday lunch followed; I remember it was a gorgeous day and we sat around the terrace table, shaded by lime trees





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However, sitting without moving and staying silent for a few minutes reveals an entirely new world of wonders in our seemingly simple watering hole. The mosquito fish go about their daily business, appearing from under the plants where they’ve been nibbling on the natural algae and weeds. Then, one by one, frogs start popping up - climbing onto the stones bordering the pond, slipping onto lily pads, poking their heads just above the surface in the shade of the papyrus, and generally doing what frogs do. There are many different species, too — little grey ones, big brown ones and light green ones with yellow stripes down their backs – all having made a journey from some distant water source, guided by unknown means to our little oasis. If we stay still long enough, eventually the goldfish will emerge, sliding slowly through the shadows as flashes of white or orange. They are now so large that their koi carp DNA has started to show. Water beetles and insect larvae have also made this their home — it truly is its own micro-ecosystem. But perhaps what surprises me the most has been the reaction of our children, who are drawn to the stone bench as if it is a magnet. I often see two of them sitting there, talking in hushed voices, eyes never leaving the water, totally focused and fascinated by our unique ecosystem.

living family | 37

activities, and in the future could become severely degraded. We therefore have to act now so that future generations can enjoy what we love. Individually we cannot change the world, but we can do our little bit to help, and if we can make this fun for kids at the same time then they will surely appreciate it all the more. Mother’s Day present, welcomes rare species, and we’ve even seen purple yellow-spotted salamanders in the drain under the driveway. Through a little observation, and taking care to protect the wildlife and plants around us, nature has brought our family an amazing range of sights and sounds. For the kids it’s a natural classroom and it has made them so much more aware of the need to protect our planet. It’s very important for us all to teach our children about the environment and how to care for it. Today biodiversity is threatened by human



Our garden is truly organic. Just over an acre in size, it certainly has more than its fair share of weeds and wild areas, but by not using pesticides and by making places for insects and small animals to hide, the property has become home to many species. Insects have made their own hotel out of a small woodpile. Several families of hedgehogs nest in the large compost heap and among the low lying plants and bushes in the chicken garden. A bird feeder, handmade by one of the girls and given to me as a

Susan, husband Roddy and their five children live close to the coast in the Charente-Maritime. She shares her experiences on her popular blog at www.OurFrench

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38 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Having friends over for lazy summer days is what living here is all about. Nikki gives us a little inspiration with some of her favourite recipes for sunshine entertaining...

Nikki Legon's


Gin Cocktails

Selection of Three Gin Cocktails

large punnet of strawberries, sliced black peppercorns in a grinder tonic water to taste

Cucumber & Rose 1 litre water ice cube tray 12 pink rose petals 35 ml gin per person 1 cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced lengthways into ribbons tonic water to taste

Melon & gin cocktail 1 litre of water ice cube tray to make 12 ice cubes one melon (any type), cut 12 melon balls 35ml gin per person tonic water to taste

Strawberry & black pepper 1 litre of water ice cube tray to make 12 ice cubes 12 slices of strawberries 35ml gin per person

METHOD For each cocktail, fill the ice cubes with water and add rose petals, strawberry slices or melon balls, then freeze.

Cucumber & rose cocktail Pour the gin into the glass. Add the rose petal ice cube then the cucumber and pour in tonic to taste. You can add more rose petals if you like.

Strawberry & black pepper Pour the gin into the glass. Add the strawberry ice cube and slices of fresh strawberries, then a twist or two of black pepper, now top with tonic.

Melon & gin cocktail Using a melon baller cut out lots of balls of melon. Add the gin to the glass and a melon ice cube. Add more melon balls and top with tonic. SantĂŠ!

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 39

Toss in the coriander. To cook the beef skewers, carefully thread each steak strip on a soaked skewer. Grill on a medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the tomato and onion salad and the dipping sauce.

Avocado Salad

Spiced Beef Satay

Spiced Beef Satay with Tomato & Onion Salad serves 4 450g lean rump steak, cut into 1cm strips Beef marinade 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp grated ginger 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp chilli paste 1 tsp fish sauce 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground cumin 16 skewers (if wooden, soak in water)

METHOD In a bowl whisk together the beef marinade ingredients. Add the beef strips, toss well and leave to marinate at least one hour but preferably overnight. Prepare the dipping sauce by whisking together all the ingredients and adding warm water until you reach the desired consistency. For the salad, mix the lemon juice and sugar and add the onion slices for ten minutes. Put the tomatoes and chilli into a bowl, add the onion and lemon juice and stir to combine.

serves 4 2 large avocados 8 on-the-vine cherry tomatoes ½ Charentais melon 2 kiwi fruit 1 mango ½ cucumber lemon juice olive oil METHOD Using a melon baller make several balls of melon. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Peel the kiwi fruit and slice into quarters. Peel the mango and chop up the flesh. Cut the cucumber into quarters. Mix all the fruit and salad together in a bowl. Blend a little lemon juice with olive oil to your taste, season with salt and pepper and pour over the fruit. Cut the avocados in half, remove the stone and fill with the fruit.

Avocado Salad

Peanut dipping sauce 4 tbsp creamy peanut butter 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp fish sauce 1 tsp chilli paste to taste warm water Tomato & onion salad 6 ripe large tomatoes, quartered 2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1 tbsp sugar half a lemon, juice only 1 red chilli, seeds removed and chopped very finely handful of coriander leaves

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40 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Lamb Chops with Pink Peppercorns

Cajun Chicken

Lamb Chops with Pink Peppercorns serves 6 12 lamb loin chops rosemary sprigs 1 tbsp pink peppercorns salt and freshly ground black pepper Dressing 3 garlic cloves, crushed 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 4 tbsp olive oil juice of 1 lemon 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley METHOD Begin with the dressing. Place all the ingredients in a small processor and whizz until well mixed.

Almond Trout Meunière

Taste and season. Grill, pan fry or barbecue the lamb, brushing with rosemary sprigs dipped in olive oil. Add the pink peppercorns to the dressing, heat and pour over the lamb.

Almond Trout Meunière serves 6 6 trout, cleaned well plain flour for dusting, seasoned 100g clarified butter 75g flaked almonds 1 lemon, zest and juice salt and freshly ground black pepper lemon wedges and chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish

METHOD Preheat the oven to 170°C. Dip the trout in the seasoned flour and fry in 20g of clarified butter until the skin is golden. Transfer the fish to a baking tray, pouring over the butter from the pan. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size. Fry the almonds in the remaining butter till golden, do not burn or they will taste bitter. Arrange the fish on hot plates and pour over the almonds and butter. Sprinkle with lemon zest, juice and parsley, and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Cajun Chicken SERVES 6 6 chicken legs, thighs or breasts Cajun seasoning 1½ tsp paprika 1 tsp dried onion flakes ½ tsp cayenne pepper 2 tsp dried thyme ½ tsp red pepper flakes ½ tsp oregano salt and pepper METHOD Dry the chicken pieces with kitchen paper and cut diagonal slashes across the smooth sides. Mix the spices and coat the chicken all over. Cook the chicken on a hot griddle or barbecue and serve with sweetcorn and guacamole.

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 41

Vegetable Tempura with Soy Chilli Dipping Sauce 2 courgettes 1 aubergine 1 red pepper 1 small cauliflower batter 225g plain flour 2 small egg yolks 340ml cold sparkling water pinch of salt Sauce 2 tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp grated ginger 2 tbsp clear honey 2 tbsp chilli sauce

METHOD Slice all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce. Mix the batter ingredients to a lumpy consistency. Heat the oil until a piece of bread turns golden when dropped in. Dip the vegetables into the batter and deep fat fry until golden, drain on kitchen paper. Arrange on hot plates and serve with the dipping sauce.

and frozen raspberries. Mix gently and pour into the loaf tin. Cover with the cling film and freeze minimum 3 hours. Top with crushed pistachios, decorate with fresh raspberries. Slice and serve. Chocolate sauce or raspberry coulis is nice dribbled over.

Raspberry & Meringue Semifreddo

Raspberry & Crushed Meringue Semifreddo 2 eggs 5 egg yolks 75g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla paste 500ml thickened cream 300g frozen raspberries plus extra fresh to serve 6 tbsp crushed meringues 2 tbsp crushed pistachios to decorate

Vegetable Tempura

METHOD Grease a loaf tin and line twice with cling film leaving an overhang. Place the egg, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Heat over a saucepan of simmering water; using a whisk or hand held beaters, whisk until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, whisking for a further 3 minutes. Beat the cream in a bowl until thickened. Add the cream gently to the cooled egg mixture, folding in to combine. Add the crushed meringues

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

Alcoholics Anonymous

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. Tel: Angela on 05 49 87 79 09 or Roger on 05 55 76 22 65

À L’ABRI DES PINS Restaurant en Charente

Philippe & Yveline offer traditional French cuisine using fresh local ingredients Fixed menu from Weekdays 15.50€ Weekends 24€/27€ (2/3 courses) Open lunchtimes Tues -Sun

T: 05 45 35 81 27 06 31 64 85 14 Repas gastronomique

A warm welcome awaits you ……. Come and discover the Hotel Restaurant Karina, set in a haven of greenery, just 3km from Jarnac in the beautiful Charentaise countryside. Enjoy dining by the open fire in winter or on the terrace in fine weather with a choice of à la carte or fixed menus. In our bar, you will find the original copper alembic and here you can relax with an aperitif. Join us for fish and chips on Fridays - lunch or dinner. We cater for special group occasions, call for more information See our menus on our website | | 05 45 36 26 26

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Living at

42 | living wine

Wine-growing & biodiversity

depends on plants, and much of the food Caro Feely reflects on the we eat depends on pollination, so we need them more than they need us. benefits of encouraging a Our farming by monoculture is not variety of species to thrive helping, for depending on intensively chemically-farmed single species (as is in vineyards. the case with many of our foods) is not a robust way forward. If you have read the e are in the throes of a story of Cavendish bananas and Panama modern, man-made, mass Disease, you’ll know what I mean. extinction, the scale of Bananas are a global staple in the middle which has not been seen of a wipe-out. Monoculture means less since the dinosaurs, when an asteroid resilience in our food system. There is hope, though. I recommend crashing into our home planet wiped swiftly following your reading of out three-quarters of the Earth’s plants and animals. Elizabeth Kolbert outlines Kolbert’s book with a second work: ‘Wilding’ by Isabella Tree. This is the facts in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book ‘The 6th Extinction: An Unnatural a book of hope, about how quickly biodiversity took off, after Tree and History’. In May 2019 a UN report by partner Charlie Burrell transformed the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem their intensively and chemically farmed 3500-acre property in Sussex into Services (IPBES) also sounded the alarm, estimating that 1 million species ‘wilderness farming’ with hardy breeds living as they would in the wild. It’s a (including 25% of all mammals) are at fascinating and uplifting read, and one risk of extinction. According to the authors, the threat which offers optimism and belief in the posed by these accelerating losses of speed and robustness of recovery, once biodiversity and the challenge they nature is given a chance. On our 35-acre farm in France we have represent for us humans is on a par with seen similar hope-filled results. After the climate crisis. Biodiversity is also connected to it, as the three main drivers three years of organic farming the wild orchids (including two types of pyramid of decreasing biodiversity are habitat orchid, the tongue orchid and two types of loss, climate change and pollution. Our bee orchid) returned. The biodiversity of small blue planet is a massively complex biosphere, with all species interconnected plants, insects and small mammals grows and often dependent on each other. One with every year that we farm this way. We have 21% of our farm set aside disappearance might not seem important but it has a knock-on effect, so the losses as a wilderness area, which aids biodiversity. We also allow wild plants are accelerating. The air we breathe


to grow between our vine rows, creating plant biodiversity that brings insect biodiversity. Through insect biodiversity we have a large population of the good bugs like ladybirds, predatory mites and lacewings that keep the bad bugs like aphids and spider mites at bay. We enter our 15th year of farming this way with excitement for the future. We humans are realising the scale and challenge of the threats of climate crisis and biodiversity loss, and that each of us has a part to play in meeting it. Every step we take from ‘re-wilding’ our gardens, giving up Roundup, choosing organic products and saying no to plastic is helping to turn the tables. Cheers to a biodiverse summer, with great organic wine and good friends! Château Feely (www.chateaufeely. com) is a biodynamic and organic wine estate with accommodation, wine tours, vineyard walks and a certified Wine Spirit Education Trust wine school. Contact Caro for more details, or via Facebook. You can also read the Feely’s adventures in Caro’s book series.

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Property 47 rue Gambetta 17400 Saint Jean d’Angély Tel: 05 46 32 00 59 06 13 66 51 73 and 06 33 91 96 53

192 600€ HAI Ref 9662

Ref. 4706 - 1,350,000€

SOUTH-CHARENTE (16) 25 min to SouthAngoulême, in a calm, beautiful village. 13thC seigneurial residence (I.M.H) on over 1Ha of park. Magnificent, fully restored main building offering 680m² on 3 levels with monumental stone staircase. Beautiful reception rooms, 6 bedrooms and a gallery. Spirit and character preserved. B&B activity. Caretaker’s cottage. DPE: C (Fee paid by buyer 3.97% / 51,500€)

BAIGNES(16) - In the heart of the village, bourgeois Art Deco 5-bed residence. Elegant building of about 230m² with period features. Requires work. Beautiful reception rooms. Independent building used as a garage, workshop, laundry room and shed. Private garden of about 1800m². It is possible to acquire more adjoining land in a building zone. DPE: D (Fee paid by buyer 5.21% / 12,370€)


1, rue St Mathias 16300 - BARBEZIEUX Tél : 05 45 78 61 01

Renovated by artisans, 3 bedroomed character property. Lovely original features including fireplace, beams and open stonework.

Stunning detached property 380m² living space, entirely renovated in 2012, 2 784m² enclosed land, pool and 2nd small house.

192 600€ HAI Ref 9514

156 600€ HAI Ref 9669

Beautiful old character property, 260m² living space with 1 411m² enclosed land and house to renovate 90m².

Old town house. 150m2 living space with 262m2 gardens, mains drainage.

176 550€ HAI Ref 9313

92 650€ HAI Ref 9638

Pretty stone village house entirely renovated, 4 bedrooms, 100m² living space, 316m² land. Workshop. Walkable to all amenities.

Charming stone 2 bedroomed townhouse 112m² living space with 806m² gardens, ideal holiday home.

DPE : D Price nett : 180 000€

DPE : D Price nett : 180 000€

Ref. 5119 - 676,000€

Ref. 5120 - 241,980€

DPE: B (Fee paid by buyer 4% / 26,000€)

DPE: Vierge (Fee paid by buyer 5.21% / 11,980€)

Between BORDEAUX and ANGOULEME (17) Between BARBEZIEUX and SEGONZAC (16) Edge of a village, superb 19thC residence on In the heart of cognac vineyards, old farmhouse 3Ha enclosed parkland. Warm, bright interior a few kims from all amenities. 310m² hab. (365m2), parquet floors and original features. living room, dining room, and an aesthetic and ergonomic, bright kitchen. Upstairs, games Kitchen, dining room, 3 living rooms, bedroom with dressing & bathroom off large hall. Upstairs room and 5 bedrooms including one suite. Re4 beds and dormitory. Garages, stables, 100m² furbishment and finishing work required. Large stone outbuilding. Approxi.1.9Ha of land. caretaker’s accommodation or gîte. Meadows.

65 Avenue de la République 16260 CHASSENEUIL-SUR-BONNIEURE Easy to find opposite the Mairie 05 45 68 05 50 or 06 17 76 75 20

65 500€ HAI - Ref: 109JS16

112 350€ HAI - Ref: 107JS16

Roumazieres-Loubert (16). Countryside, detached house 70m² to freshen up, 3 bed, wooded land with river frontage. Views. 2/3 acre plot, peaceful situation, basement workshop.

Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure (16), edge of town, detached, architect designed property 120m², 3 bed, really interesting with superb surrounding private gardens.

DPE: vierge 9% fees included

DPE : C Price nett : 165 000€

DPE : C Price nett : 475 000€

DPE : C Price nett : 11 600€

DPE : C Price nett : 85 000€

Park Homes & Glamping Pods

DPE: D 7% fees included

322 400€ HAI - Ref: 101JS16

169 600€ HAI - Ref: 109JS16

Superbly presented house and 2 gites, barn, outbuildings, in centre of 1 acre plot with no close neighbours. Views over countryside and public lake in popular ‘Lacs de Haute Charente’ area.

Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure (16). Country village house with 2.5 acre plot, eco air con heating system, 3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms, new roof, barn under conversion, 2nd cottage to renovate and outbuilding.

DPE: n/a 4% fees included

494 000€ HAI Ref 9666

Ref. 5114 - 249,870€

DPE: vierge 6% fees included

Several model and sizes, fast delivery, excellent price. 180 200€ HAI - Ref: 151DK79

485 000€ HAI - Ref: 086JB79

Lorigné (79). Edge of village, 4kms to town Sauzé Vaussais, 4-bed modern house. 192m² living, swimming pool, garage and workshop in over an acre parkland gardens.

Mazieres-sur-Beronne, close to Melle. Outstanding watermill: 2 renovated mill houses 315m² living space, 11.5 acres of land, no close neighbours, Interesting property with old windmill too!

DPE: n/a 6% fees included

DPE: D 4% fees included





Thinking of buying Contact Leggett Immobilier, winner of ‘Best real estate agency in

Maine et Loire €136,250 Ref: 101605 Fabulous cute cottage on a large plot. Habitable but requires modernising.

Vendée €299,600 Ref: 89759 Grand country property with outbuildings, gîte and a bakehouse in 2 acres with a lake.

Dordogne €272,850 Ref: 87613 Pretty 4 bed hamlet home in a secluded and tranquil location with far-reaching views.

Deux Sèvres €267,500 Ref: 100923 Large 4 bed character house in a peaceful hamlet with a 2 bed gîte, garden and pool.

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: N/A

7% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

7% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: E

7% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

Dordogne €147,150 Ref: 101774 Pretty 3 bed barn conversion plus farmhouse and additional barn for conversion.

Maine et Loire €198,720 Ref: 101597 4 bed cottage packed full of original features. Near the vibrant villages of Vernoil & Parcay.

Charente Maritime €165,850 Ref: 100947 Remodelled 3 bed bungalow, with open plan living room and a detached garage.

Charente €36,000 Ref: 101766 House to renovate, attached barn, bread oven and large plot. Near leisure lakes.

9% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: D

8% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

20% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Vienne €130,800 Ref: 99915 Partly renovated 3 bed house in a very quiet location with 2 acres of land.

Charente Maritime €119,900 Ref: 101425 Spacious 3 bed house wth terrace, in a hamlet close to St Jean d’Angely with all amenities.

Dordogne €128,000 Ref: 101291 Delightful pair of cottages in lovely setting with nearly 1 acre. Edge of village location.

Charente Maritime €371,000 Ref: 82180 Exquisite 4 bed village house with a pool, all in a very private, walled garden setting.

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: N/A

9% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

5% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: F

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: E

Charente €89,925 Ref: 76671 Spacious 2/3 bed village home with attached barn and garden. Near amenities.

Charente Maritime €395,000 Ref: 54687 A superb example of a well renovated 3 bed / 3 bath property with gardens and a pool.

Vendée €1,195,000 Ref: 51837 Immaculate coastal windmill featuring 3 gîtes, a covered pool and over 1.7Ha of land.

Charente €214,000 Ref: 100013 Beautiful and spacious 6 bed stone longère in excellent condition. Hamlet location.

9% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

6% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: C

4% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: N/A



or selling a property? France’ six years running. We have over 500 agents across France ready to help you.

Charente Maritime €275,000 Ref: 81839 Handsome 3 bed / 3 bath house - private enclosed garden, workshop, garage and pool.

Charente €295,000 Ref: 101720 Family home set in almost 1Ha, conveniently situated on the edge of a vibrant village.

Maine et Loire €219,350 Ref:100722 Restored longère in a secluded position featuring kennels, horse boxes and great views.

Charente Maritime €448,350 Ref: 101201 Exquisite 8 bed mill in a lovely peaceful location. Features a pool, streams and barns.

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: E

5% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

5% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Vienne €194,000 Ref: P1601 Delightful equestrian property in 3Ha of land with an attractive garden and pool.

Charente Maritime €139,520 Ref: 92388 Character 3 bed / 2 bath house in a beautiful setting with outbuildings and woodland.

Deux Sèvres €115,000 Ref: 101189 Well maintained 3 bed villa with garden, garage and independant one bedroom studio.

Dordogne €149,800 Ref: 99634 A 3 bed farm set on over 1.8Ha of land including woodland and a water well.

5% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: N/A

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: E

7% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Dordogne €119,900 Ref: 100969 Open to offers - a 3 bed village house with stunning views, small garden and a stream.

Vendée €445,200 Ref: 87433 Beautiful maison bourgeois only a short walk to amenities. 39kms from La Rochelle.

Charente €294,250 Ref: 101100 Immaculate 3 bed / 3 bath home with double garage and superb views. Edge of a village.

Vienne €159,950 Ref: 75861 Attractive 3 bed stone cottage with numerous barns and a large plot. Close to Blanzay.

9% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: E

6% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: B

7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: A

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Changing Places Proud possessor of both ‘Villages Fleurie’ and ‘Petit Cité de Charactère labels’, La Mothe SaintHéray is one for aficionados of historic market towns, and for foodies (it’s the home of Mothais goats cheeses, wrapped in chestnut or plane tree leaves). The town’s slightly unwieldy name resulted from a 15th century fusion of a medieval stronghold and an ancient farming settlement founded during the 6th century by a great-nephew of Frankish king Clovis. The attractive location is at the confluence of several water courses, whose wooded valleys are noted for their rich biodiversity. Flowing through the town is the Sèvre Niortaise, on which goods were once shipped to the coast via Niort and the Marais Poitevin. In time the river also powered a string of watermills, including the Moulin du Pont l’Abbé, founded in 1041 and active until 1960. Today it enjoys Monument Historique protection, retains most of its impressive machinery and is home to la Maison de la Haute-Sèvre, the town’s tourist office. The arboretum on the riverbank beside it is a perfect picnic spot, and nearby is

the starting point for ‘Les Jardins Secrets’ a signed footpath which threads its way past mills, lavoirs, bridges, feudal chateau ruins and hidden gardens, en-route to the town’s star attraction. The Orangery, an elegant Louis XIII-style creation in limestone and pink brickwork, was designed by the Cardinal de Richelieu’s master mason and completed in 1634. When the mighty chateau which stood beside it was systematically dismantled two centuries later, the Orangery narrowly escaped the same fate, and was instead awarded official protection in 1925. Three years later it was purchased by the Commune and now, after years of painstaking restoration and the recreation of a formal Renaissance-style garden, is freely accessible to visitors during exhibitions and other organised events. The town’s expansive market square is overlooked by the striking 15th century Église Saint-Héray, set beside a former Bénédictine convent and its 400 year-old pigeonnier. Hidden away in a tract of adjoining woodland is a Neolithic dolmen. Below the square are the vast 19th century Mairie and

La Mothe Saint-Héray (79)

We visit a well-connected market town in Deux-Sèvres another architectural showpiece, namely the Maison des Rosières. Crowning its extravagant neo-Classical façade is a bust of Charles Benjamin Chameau, a wealthy lawyer, parliamentarian and brother of the Canon of Poitiers. His legacy included provision for generous endowments to three virtuous young brides marrying in the Commune on the second Monday of each July. The tradition survived for many years and is today commemorated in the colourful annual Fête des Rosières – this year’s events unfold on 30 August to 1 September.

Making connections Distances/drive-times by road from La Mothe Saint-Héray: Saint-Maixent l’Ecole: 10.5km/13min Melle: 18km/19min Niort (centre): 32km/33min Poitiers: 51km/40min La Rochelle: 98km/1hr 20min TGV & TER rail services: TGV services from Niort to Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Bayonne, etc. TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine services from gare SNCF de La Mothe Saint-Héray to Niort, La Rochelle, Poitiers, etc.

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Agence Eleonor Estate Agency 36-38 rue du Temple, 24500 EYMET T: 05 53 27 83 45 Eymet, Villeréal, St.-Cyprien, Monpazier, Bergerac, Lalinde, Lauzun and Issigeac Opening soon in Sainte -Foy-la-Grande

Ref: 7973-EY 397,500€ HAI DPE: B Fabulous barn conversion in a quiet situation with no close neighbours. Work has been carried out to a high standard throughout by craftsmen and is tastefully decorated. There are 3 en-suite bedrooms, lounge/dining room, fitted kitchen,barn & 1-bedroom gite. ©Lundgren Photography

©Lundgren Photography

Taux d’honoraires 22,500€ (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref: 7943-EY 294,250€ HAI DPE: D Attractive stone house comprising 2 kitchens, two living / dining room, 5/6 bedrooms, 2 shower rooms and a bathroom. The property is set in almost an acre of attractive mature gardens with an above ground pool. Taux d’honoraires 19,250€ (7%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref: 7619-EY 370,000€ HAI DPE: Vierge Former station master’s house dating back to 1885 retaining many original features including the platform and waiting room. There are 5 bedrooms a large light lounge, bathroom dining room swimming pool and an outbuilding that could be converted into guest accommodation. Taux d’honoraires 20,100€ (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Sovimo immobiLier Character Properties in France E

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DPE: n/a

Ref. 34058

248 400€ HAI

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(230 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Lizant (86), in a beautiful landscape, old mill converted into main house, mezzanine, 2 bedrooms, electrical heating, old septic tank, adjoining land composed of small islands, set on 4751m2.

DPE: n/a

Ref. 34056

237 600€ HAI

(220 000€ plus 8% agency fees payable buyer)

Lesterps (16), in the countryside. Pretty, detached, renovated, stone farmhouse set on approx 6 ha 39. 3 bedrooms, electrical heating, septic tank, pool, outbuildings.

ExclusivE Villefavard, Haute Vienne €99,900* Large living space with logburner and patio doors, quality kitchen, original features. 3 bedrooms, one ensuite. Double-glazing. Lovely gardens, barn.

La Chapelle Baloue, Creuse €287,000* Well-established bed and breakfast with a bar licence IV and a shop. Two rentable rooms plus a gite, separate owners accommodation.


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DPE: n/a

Ref. 34055

149 000€ HAI

(138 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Abzac (16), pretty detached village house built in 1948, completely renovated, Basement, 3 bedrooms, garage, air/water heat pump, terrace main drains, adjoining land set on 1127m2.


Ref. 34045

183 600€ HAI

(170 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Alloue (16), view over the river. Old restored farmhouse with charm and authenticity set on approx 2.5 acres. 4 bedrooms, oil heating, main drains, terrace, outbuildings, artificial pond.


L’Isle Jourdain, Vienne €59,900* Two-bedroom house with attached garden close to the town centre, double-glazing, mains drains, quiet street.

Messeux, Charente €249,950* Tasteful 2015 barn conversion with 3 bedrooms, exposed stonework and beams, nearly an acre with a pool. Stylish modern kitchen. Views.

DPE: vierge

DPE: C Tel: 05 65 70 10 49 Email: Please contact us if you have a character property to sell, we have a devoted team located throughout the area.

*agency fees charged to the seller


Ref. 34044

33 000€ HAI

(30 000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

Brillac (16), on the main road. Semi-detached cottage to renovate: 4 bedrooms, old septic tank, well with motor pump, adjoining land, all set on 3050m2.

Ref. 34041

DPE: n/a

162 000€ HAI

(150 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Lesterps (16), in a pretty village, detached old charming stone village house, 2 bedrooms, oil central heating, attic to convert, mains drains, attached barn with stable. All set on 2990m2.

3, place de la Liberté, 16500 Confolens Tel: 05 45 85 45 65

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4km north of Rochechouart area in small, quiet village. Ground floor: large living/dining room with small kitchen plus cellar. 1st floor: bedroom with terrace and shower room, wc. Surface: 74m2. In front of house, a barn of 159m2 can be used as a garage. Field of 894m2 located 100m from house. DTI completed in 2016. E: Tel: 06 31 46 19 27



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PRICE: 173,000€

In a quiet and practical location (20 minutes from Brive-la-Gaillarde, 30 minutes from Périgueux) Built in late 2010, habitable space 111m2. 5 rooms including 3 bedrooms. 2 independent garages of 30m2. Well-maintained 1500m2 garden. Close to shops, next door to the Doctor’s surgery. E: Tel: 06 89 68 86 34

Passionate about property? Would you love to be independent and in control of your own successful career? Beaux Villages Immobilier is recruiting in and around Chauvigny, Gençay, Le Blanc! Why not join the family! Whether you’re just starting or a seasoned professional, we can help you develop your potential. We are a company evolving in a stressful environment We value your experience rather than your qualifications or sales techniques Being bilingual is an advantage Self-motivation is essential Transport and IT skills are required Our offer: Commission is attractive, motivating and progressive; in line with the number of sales you make - and there is no limit! You will not work alone, and will be supported by an experienced and friendly team made up of managers, administrative secretaries, financial experts, trainers and mentors.

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Idimmo, Prestige & Châteaux 42 Rue Grosse Horloge, 17400 St Jean D’Angély. Tel: +33 (0)5 16 51 90 52



Idiade 6255: Superb 4-bedroom town house in the centre of St Jean d’Angély, with garden, pool and garage. All commodities within short walking distance.

Idiade 6201: Beautifully and sympathetically renovated. Large reception rooms, 5 beds, flexible accommodation. Large barn. 5 mins from shops, between Cognac and Saintes.

DPE E Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE C Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

We can help you find your perfect home and sell your current one too! €129,600


Idiade 5934: 2/3 bed bungalow with views, requires updating. Full basement. 6km to St Jean.

Idiade 1259: Spacious 3-bed village house. Garden, 2 small outbuildings, parking, log store.

DPE F Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE vierge Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur



Idiade 5448: 4-bed cottage. Pretty courtyard garden leads to an old lavoir. Large veranda.

Idiade 5777: 3-beds, landscaped private garden, heated pool, open living space. 2 terraces.

DPE Vierge Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE C Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur



Idiade 2521: Spacious 3 bed Charentaise village house with large conservatory. Pool 11x 5m.

Idiade 6264: Light, spacious 4-bed bungalow, edge of Aulnay near shops. Garage, mains.

DPE vierge Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE A Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur



Idiade 5584: Charming 5-bed Charentaise house with outbuildings, enc. garden and pool.

Idiade 6198: 3-bed Charentaise house excellently renovated. Spacious rooms, views, Jacuzzi.

DPE D Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE C Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

50 | living in the garden

Provide a safe, secure place for hedgehogs

in the garden

Create a

Wildlife-friendly garden

Our future is linked to that of our wildlife, so it makes sense to do all we can to encourage garden biodiversity Provide clean fresh water for birds to drink and take a bath

A meadow-style wild area will attract all kinds of creatures

living in the garden | 51 Nuts and berries provide food for birds and mammals


Over the years the notion of bending nature to our will has produced some spectacular examples of formal landscaping, which we can still enjoy and celebrate. However, closer to home and in a fast-changing world, it’s time to heed mounting environmental danger signs and instead find ways of gardening hand-in-hand with nature. Some of them we’ve probably already adopted, none involves undue hardship on our part, and the returns far outweigh the modest efforts required. Here’s our rundown of these simple steps to give nature a hand without leaving your garden.

Dedicate a wild area

Sometimes it’s less about what you plant than what you don’t. That doesn’t mean total abandonment, but trying to recreate how the landscape would have looked before the arrival of intensive farming. If you have more land than you’re comfortable mowing then this

could prove particularly attractive. Let grass grow and you’ll have hay, from which you, or someone who could use it, could take (and remove) a ‘hay cut’ just now and then. That traditional approach encourages wildflowers to re-establish and provides valuable cover for wildlife – the chirp of crickets is one of the defining sounds of summer, and might entice swallows and swifts in the adjoining fields to skim your land, too.

Produce nuts and berries

We discover just how much birds love raspberries, strawberries, grapes and most other soft fruits when they get to them before we have a chance to – blackbirds will even take your precious olives from the tree. The fruiting season is relatively brief, however, and wildlife needs whatever nourishment it can find throughout the seasons. We can help by finding room for some berry producers like cotoneaster, dog roses (Rosa canina), holly, hawthorn,

Andy Coope

GENERAL HANDYMAN 05 49 87 81 17 / 06 95 41 78 49 All types of gardening undertaken Wood cut, split and stacked Gite management/Changeovers Key holding/House checks Pet/house sitting Groundworks including gravelling and small patios

752 604 256 00012

pyracantha, and rowan. In fact, some will make attractive and impenetrable boundary hedging. Nut-producing trees such as hazel, walnut and oak will be appreciated by many bird species plus mammals such as squirrels, badgers, pine martens, stone martens, dormice (including the familiar loir and lérot) etc.

Create a pond

A water feature in your garden can be a great asset and will both attract and support all manner of wildlife if you plan it well, creating some shallow, shelving areas from which creatures like frogs, toads and newts can emerge with ease, whatever the season. Providing a variety of depths in your pond (a maximum depth of 50cm is plenty) will create a range of water temperature zones suited to different animal and plant species. Site-wise, choose a sunny, level spot well away from trees, whose falling leaves

Call a Kiwi House & Garden Care Lawnmowing Van Jobs Clark Judd 06 47 84 04 65 45 mins around Montbron (16)

Garden Services

Pool Care Property Management

05 45 25 05 37 Anything you cannot do,Show or do nothow much you Living at wish to do, please give me a call. Siret: 842032401 00015

52 | living in the garden Carpenter bee

would decay and pollute the water. The pond will need an impermeable liner, of course. Fill with rainwater – depending on the season, nature might do that for you – and add aquatic plants around the margins. As things settle and word gets around, wildlife will start to show up and take up residence, although it’s best not to add fish, who will happily eat many water creatures.

Put up some bird, owl or bat boxes

© roger moss

Grow some climbers

Growing climbers against walls will not only provide birds (and insects) with shelter, but also roosting and breeding sites. Ivies are self-clinging, which can be a mixed blessing, but keep them under control and they can be very useful to wildlife. Given a sunny spot, Hedera helix ‘Buttercup’ produces lime/yellow variegated leaves, and is evergreen. Less vigorous and happy in shadier areas, is Hedera helix ‘Cristata’. Another useful (deciduous) ally is climbing hydrangea – Hydrangea anomala petiolaris. Given occasional cutting-back to contain its exuberant habit, it will thrive in sun or shade and produces masses of large white flower heads.

Provide clean, fresh water

for more cartoons by stig see

Build an insect hotel

Just like our pets, who will seek water after eating, birds and other wildlife need hydration, and even if you have a pond it’s still worth providing a birdbath or other water vessel off the ground, out of reach of predators, not least our own domestic cats.

Create a pond to attract aquatic species

Unlike domestic supplies, rainwater is untreated, so is preferable for topping up. Vessels need cleaning, too, as birds often take a bath to rid their feathers of mites and other unwelcome guests.

Put up some bird, owl or bat boxes

All wildlife needs somewhere safe to breed and shelter, but birds have their own ideas of what constitutes a desirable location. Tits, sparrows and starlings, for example, like to be 2–4m up a tree or a wall, and all birds will generally avoid areas exposed to high winds or direct sunlight. A spot with a clear flight path and facing between north and east will boost the chances of finding a tenant. If you have a barn or a big, mature tree then it could well be a candidate for an owl box. Both barn and tawny owls do like to nest up high, and will tolerate human presence, but barn owls in particular have fewer options as

Evergreen Hedera helix ‘Buttercup’ produces lime/ yellow variegated leaves

living in the garden | 53 Bees love foxgloves

Befriend the bees

Bee populations have been in decline, but we can all play a part in ensuring their survival by growing plants which provide the pollen they work so hard to gather. Honey bees are not aggressive away from the hive, and are fascinating to watch. Lavender and the more exuberant lavandin are particularly effective bee-attractors, as are peonies, honeysuckle, roses and of course the blossom on our fruit trees. Bumblebees play an important role in our ecosystem too, and their numbers are also declining. They love courgette flowers (males have been known to doze in them overnight) along with most other pollen producers. If you find one unable to fly some sugar water or honey will

often restore its energy levels. Similarly non-threatening are our familiar black carpenter bees, which lead more solitary lives than their social, hive-dwelling cousins. They have a particular fondness for the tall flower spikes of foxgloves (Digitalis) and bear’s breeches (Acanthus spinosus), which do well in our sunny climate. Help them by leaving dead tree stumps or a wood pile in which they can find holes to inhabit and lay eggs.

Build an insect hotel

These days you can buy ready-made small ones, but bigger is obviously better, and they’re quite simple to make. For the framework you can make use of discarded palettes, and the filling can be an assortment of timber strips, logs, pots, bamboo canes, bark, moss, etc., which between them will provide lots of palatial accommodation for all kinds of beneficial insects. Attracting bees, ladybirds, beetles, spiders, etc.,



Covering all areas

SHUTTERS AND EXTERIOR PAINTING Wooden shutters made, restored and spray painted, metal shutters sandblasted Exterior/Interior walls airless spray-painted Over 30 years’ experience

AMC CONTRACTS Tel 05 45 21 72 01 Mobile 07 80 00 51 65

All depts in Nouvelle Aquitaine covered

Siret: 808 903 074 00017

All aspects of tree care from planting and pruning to reductions and removals. Hedge cutting, ground clearance and maintenance. Fully insured & registered. 27 years’ experience.


Facebook: @hommeverttreesurgery

Help our hedgehogs

We gardeners love hedgehogs, which help us keep slugs and snails under control. They can cover a lot of ground in search of food (typically 1km or more in a single night), so if your garden borders open land then there’s a good chance you can attract one or two. A log-pile of old, dead wood in a quiet undisturbed corner of the garden can provide a safe, secure place for breeding or hibernating hedgehogs. Heap up some fallen leaves and you’ll add to the kerb appeal. Hedgehogs are surprisingly good swimmers, and need a fresh water supply, so a nearby pond is another plus-point.


Grind away tree & hedge stumps leaving no trace! Specialist equipment and know-how to cleanly remove stumps. ALL AREAS COVERED

Call me today on

05 17 34 14 37 06 02you 30 66 69 Show how much Living at

05 45 30 61 41 / 06 45 90 30 67 |

will help to control garden pests and boost the pollination process, and are themselves part of the food chain, as insects attract birds. And when you come to turn your composting garden waste in springtime, remember to keep an eye out for stag beetle grubs.

Siren: 452 821 101

the number of abandoned agricultural buildings diminishes. There’s lots of useful guidance for making, siting and installing owl nesting boxes at:

Business Directory ADVERTISE WITH L i ving The leading English language magazine


elcome to our new look Business Directory, packed full of the best English-speaking services suppliers across the region. Whatever you need, our advertisers can help you and, in return, just tell them you saw their advert here and you will help to keep Living Magazine free.

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Guide 2019

The u lt im

te sumam


grea days t

le Poitou

& les Ch



with id

festiva out ls, fami fuN & much ly more

e summas for er! explor e the re

gion disco ve & beau r the coas t tiful village s

DeuxSèvres (79)

CharenteMaritime (17)

Vienne (86)

Charente (16)

Haute-Vienne (87)

Dordogne (24)


Ring Jon on 05 49 87 29 71 or email Pay monthly by debit/credit card.

Our 2020 Summer Guide is open for bookings!

Packed with fantastic days out, beautiful photography and detailed information, it really is the Ultimate Summer Guide for the thousands of English-speaking visitors arriving across the Poitou-Charentes and neighbouring regions. If you have a business you would like tourists to find, a summer event or festival to promote, call Jon today to see how we can help you.

Read our 2019 Guide at


New delivery service - 24 hours from dispatch direct to your door anywhere in the whole of France. For more details see our website or Facebook Page Our premium quality meat is locally sourced in France and butchered the English way. 21-day matured selected beef, pork (with crackling), lamb & poultry. All our products are homemade on the premises. A range of English-style sausages, dry-cured bacon, meat pies, pasties, pork pies, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, haggis and more! We also have a range of condiments, check our website for a full product and price list.

** We supply Dick and Angel from Escape to the Château **

See for all our products and prices, and follow us on Facebook @elliottsboucherie

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

Dedicated deliveries/orders email: Elliotts Boucherie: 8 Place de la Houssaye, 53120 Gorron, Pays de la Loire Tel: 02 43 30 46 89



...making an entrance

100% QUALITY OAK GATES Offering a truly bespoke service, all our gates are made-to-measure to your requirements in our own workshop A single 3m* oak 5-bar gate including galvanised fixings and oak posts. Supplied & installed for only €699

Total installation package from initial survey through to completion All departments covered - distance restrictions apply * variations in size available as all gates made-to-measure

A pair of 2m* oak 5-bar gates including galvanised fixings and oak posts. Supplied & installed for only 799€

E: or Tel: 05 45 78 66 95


Regular temperature controlled deliveries from the UK of frozen, chilled and grocery Iceland products Domaine de la Goujonne 17270, MONTGUYON

05 46 48 32 44

Food, shops

Home-grown Limousin beef, hung for 14 days, and pork, butchered on site so all cuts available. English-style sausages, bacon and gammon. Free-range poultry. Farm shop and seasonal markets see website for details. Farm fresh handmade pies, cooked goods, regional & seasonal produce. Regular Pop-Up Shop and Pie Nights Mobile Event Catering Handmade Bespoke Cakes by Sue


10 route de Vilenne, 36200 Celon 02 54 25 34 73 / 06 84 61 52 39

Couleurs de Vie BE INSPIRED

14, rue de l’hôtel de ville, 17400 Saint-Jean d’Angély Beside the market square. Phone: 09-83-72-34-90

Your source for Annie Sloan Products. Workshop courses and commissions undertaken. Impasse Brisson, Le Souterrain, 16200, Courbillac Located between Cognac, Jarnac & Rouillac Please contact to make an appointment Tel: 05 45 67 70 62

 Colour matching service available  Free Technical advice and support Siret: 802 327 635 00016

Large selection of home fabrics, made-to-measure curtains, bedlinen, wallpaper & paint. Friendly English-speaking staff in a cosy atmosphere! Tues to Fri 9h-12h30 & 14h-18h30 Sat 9h-12h30 &14h-18h comptoirdecodangely

 Authorised suppliers of Crown Trade and Sandtex Trade paint based in Charente-Maritime (17)

 Tester pots available The paint the professionals use

Brico17paintsupplies 09 61 62 46 15

Deco, paint supplies

Official stockists of Chalk Paint™, a decorative paint by Annie Sloan.


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.

Contact Isabelle directly Mobile: 06 17 30 39 11

Siret: 509 861 902 00013

Well-being, Satellites

Visit Alison, Stephanie, Laura & Julie at...

RENAISSANCE - hair, beauty, nails 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 ~

26 rue du Commerce, 86400 CIVRAY Renaissance - hair, beauty, nails Tel: 05 49 87 16 33

BH Assurances

- 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.



Tues 19.30-20.45 / Weds 10.15-11.30


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 N° ORIAS : 07020908

Home Satellite Services • Satellite dishes, Sky/Freesat • Dish realignment/upgrades • Sky & Freesat TV boxes • A reliable service at sensible rates serving several departments

Thurs 10.30-11.45

YIN / BEGINNERS Thurs 13.30-14.45

Regular Sunday yoga brunches

ContaCt LuCy thompson for bookings: 05 49 87 36 26 Facebook: French Yoga Garden

Your Local Sky Expert Contact Steve for a free, no-obligation quotation on: 07 80 03 25 64 or 05 49 48 18 44 E:

@homesatservices Siret: 841733769 00019


Personal, Professional, Business Insurance & Investments

Are you a British national who values your rights to live and work here in France?

Car – Home – Health – Life – Travel – Savings – Retirement

Alexandre HULOT Bilingual Insurance Agent

05 46 59 01 75

36 rue Grosse Horloge, 17400 ST JEAN D’ANGELY

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E: W:'ANGELY Expert Expat Advice 15 years of personal experience living & working abroad


Document non contractuel à caractère publicitaire à jour au 05/03/2015 - Aviva Assurances, Société Anonyme d’Assurances Incendie, Accidents et Risques Divers au capital de 178 771 908,38 € - Siège social: 13 rue du Moulin Bailly, 92270 Bois-Colombes - Entreprise régie par le Code des assurances – R.C.S NANTERRE 306 522 665.

No Orias: 13004664


Do you want to improve your French but find you can’t get to lessons? Would you prefer to learn in the privacy of your own home? Try Frantastique, the online course with fun, daily lessons, for FREE for one month and see your French improve. Simply sign up on our website

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

Land for sale Private sale in the Aude, 15mn from Limoux and Couiza, beautiful plot of 5ha bordered by a river, on conservation site with fruit trees. Construction possible (also ideal for crops and animal protection projects). Additional plots beside totalling 11ha including 1/3 ha edible grapes in full production.

Please ring: +33 686 911 675 Orias: 07007057

English Speaking Ask for Corinne

For all your insurance needs in France

Special discount for new owners - 50% off the first 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. Offices at Champdeniers and St Pardoux (79). Come and visit us.

Agence Michallon Tel:


A Professional, Reliable Service - Everytime Charente Assistance have been looking after their international client base since 2015. Their expertise inside the home or outside in the garden has seen them expand their workforce and catchment area in the last 12 months. They offer a comprehensive range of services for the garden, a garden machinery maintenance and repair service, full pool care options and everything a client needs for their gîte or rental property. If you have a home in the Charente or Charente Maritime they are the people for you.

Property Management | Gardening | Pool Care | Garden Machinery Maintenance - -

Motor, House and Contents, Health, Business, Life Insurance and Savings

E: No ORIAS: 07009808

Free, no obligation quotes. Ask for Samantha, our English member of staff, with over 25 years’ experience in insurance.

The Fixer

Experience you need....Results you want

For information and quotes contact Penny G.S.A.R. 05 53 40 15 71

HELP & ADVICE Long established service at reasonable rates Depts 16 & 17 Expert in French Administration

Call Rick Denton now on 06 46 25 30 87 or Email: Based in Poitiers and covering 86, 79, 16, 17 & 24

Same road, new number!

30 rue du commerce, 86400 CIVRAY M: 06 33 11 64 05

www.Start BusinessIn

Business set-up Personal taxation

Personal Taxation – Carte Vitale – Business set ups CPAM – French Administration – Tax regularisation and much much more….

Administrative Assistance & Solutions Private Individuals & Small Businesses English / Français / Português & Espagnol

Legal matters Phone calls & meetings

Expert help and advice

Andrew Harrison

SIRET 453 520 298 00010

Translating is often about more than just the words. Being French, I understand the culture as well as the language ensuring that your communication is as effective in French as in English. Contact me for translations of all kinds of professional and personal documents including websites

Isabelle.rougier-dousseau 06-77-08-87-29


INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER The Spectrum IFA Group with over 20 years’ experience advising expatriates throughout Europe on all aspects of financial planning.

Tel: 05 55 89 57 94 Mob: 06 15 28 54 82


Tel: 05 46 96 44 11


Help & Advice

Fluent French speaker with over 15 years professional ‘hands on’ experience assisting expats in France



AGENCES PHILIPPE BOURDIN 3 Place d’Armes, 16700 RUFFEC Tel: 05 45 31 01 51 or Commercial site at SuperU, 79190 SAUZE VAUSSAIS Tel: 05 49 07 61 10

We find the best insurer for your needs at competitive rates

Insurance, Translations


Est. 2009

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 » « Intermédiaire en opération de Banque et Services de Paiement » 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 »

Help & advice, Translations

Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers


Affordable UK Designs

Fitted Kitchens, Upvc & Aluminium Double Glazing

Free plAn, Design & costing throUghoUt soUth West FrAnce - other AreAs by ArrAngement Upvc Windows, Doors & conservatories in all colours. Aluminium and Upvc Bifold doors Made to UK Spec in French styles! Made in the UK Fitted in France

phone: 05 49 42 99 41 Mobile: 06 63 71 09 81 E:


Homes, Cleaning, Transport

PORT GRIMAUD Bay of St Tropez


Bright and modern A/C, 2-bed Mobile Home in a fantastic location on Prairies de La Mer with its own private beach. Bars, restaurants, water sports facilities and spa centre on-site. For details, email

Claude’s Cat Hotel

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

LIME TREE KENNELS Anita Frayling - Le Baillat, 16220 Rouzede T: 05 45 66 14 62 E:

In a rural setting, Claude’s offers guests a calm, safe and caring environment. Heated accommodation with private outside space.

Les Chaillauds 16220 MONTBRON Tel: 05 45 24 01 45

Siret: 822 175 527 0016

Animal care, Transport services

SIRET: 513 577 809 00017

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)1656 670 856

C J Logistics Full or part loads undertaken a box to a full removal Cars, Boats and caravans a speciality Full European coverage Secure storage available in France and UK UK depot available for deliveries Every item is covered by GIT and CMR insurances

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.

Tel: 09 83 70 01 33 Mob: 06 61 25 41 09 E: or

15 mins from La Rochefoucauld & 20 mins from Rochechouart


Full trade references available

ANGLO FRENCH Transport services

EURO REMOVALS ‘Your French Connection’


1 cubic metre to full trailer loads - Dedicated express loads Warehouse drop-off service - Single box, part load specialist Professional export packing service

For a free quotation, call or visit our website: +34 952 79 34 22 +34 952 80 76 92

Weekly services to & from SW France Internal moves within France Containerised Storage Range of Packing services available Over 35 Years’ Experience

Full or Part Load Removals To & From France Tel: 0044 1622 296237 / 0044 1237 239255 Email: UK Registration 543 77 60 UK

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

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



Although it was cold long into Spring (minus temperatures and snow in the Limousin into May), things are now looking up, including the thermometer! So it’s a good time to get on with some work in the house and garden. While gardens begin to bloom into Summer colours, why not bring some colour indoors with a bright new carpet or flooring! Beige and grey may have been the predominant ‘colours’ for home decor for the past few years, perhaps now is the time to be bold! For example, look at the colours within the ranges from Adam Carpets ( especially their Fine Worcester Twist and Castlemead Twist which between them have 125 colours, all in both 4 & 5 metre widths. If you want to see the samples of these or any other carpets give Jon a call or arrange a visit to the showroom!

E: jonthecarpetman

SHOWROOM ADDRESS Les Rivières, 19260 TREIGNAC 09 63 56 23 10 / 06 42 19 82 12

Call Jon on 05 49 87 29 71 or email at to see how we can help you promote your business. Prices start at 35€ttc

A family business established in 1985 offering a quality, professional service

FRANKLINS REMOVALS Packing services Full/part loads to and from the UK Vehicles transported • Containerised storage Competitive prices • Transit /storage insurance

Trevor Bonner

Economical Removals & General Transport • Fully insured UK - France - Spain • Owner driver - friendly, personal service guaranteed • Full & Part loads • 7.5T curtain sider with Beaver tail to load cars etc.

Call today!

Call Stephen or Ben Franklin on 0044 121 353 7263 or email

Tel: 07 69 72 44 86 / +44 7871 975 859 Email:

Jeff’s Metalwork

L’Atelier de Fer Fraser W. Eade

Over 25 year’s experience

General Engineering Turning, Milling, Welding


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

Quality & Precision Guaranteed Forgeix, 87200 Saint Junien

05 55 71 41 75 Siret: 512 945 874 00018

All your metalwork needs catered for Ornate interior / exterior designs Gates constructed / refurbished Industrial furniture ~ General Welding Tel: 06 17 73 56 87 Mob: 07 77 83 77 10 or 0044 7917 030249


UPVC windows, doors & ConserVatories sPeCialists

all sizes, shapes & colours offered supplied & fitted to the highest standard using premium products

10 year warranTy on all products installed

~ Covering south west franCe ~

Tel: 05 46 70 25 87

Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers

Flooring, Mealwork


Transport services

Promote your business with Living Magazine - reaching the clients you can’t!


stallation Delivery & in

FROM £99

Furniture for France

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 18 years’ experience & great customer service

Bikehire, Swimming Pools

fff BikeHireDirect Quality bike hire across

16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 85, 86 & 87 FREE delivery & collection Gite Owner? Earn money with us!

05 45 36 19 09


Pools, Design

Let your dream pool design begin right now! Our philosophy is very simple, whether your budget is large or small, we offer you great value for money. So why not enquire about our pools? From design, excavation to installation, we offer you a full package, leaving you to enjoy your time. We also offer a landscaping service.

We buy and sell left hand drive cars, French & British registered. Delivery and collection across Europe - regular trips throughout France. New and used, tax paid and tax free. +44 (0) 1256 461173

Pool Maintenance Opening/Closure Weekly Pool Care Garden Services Property Management Find out about our Clear Water Guarantee

05 45 25 05 37

Architectural Drawing Service Renovating your next property? Dreaming of a new build? Let me help you. • Dossiers prepared • Permis de construire • Déclaration préalables Siret: 49377035800015

05 53 52 36 05 Peter Latus BA(Hons)

Getting your pool re a d y for the summer!

R J Coulson Pool services

Swimming Pool Cleaning & Maintenance

• spring opens

• winter close downs • seasonal cleaning and maintenance contracts

t: +33 (0) 549 290135 t: +33 (0) 785 372144 Based near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) siret: 831 373 048 00022

Ian Dickinson BSc (Hons)

ID Planning & Design Planning and designs for permis de construire and déclaration préalables for extensions, renovations, conversions and new builds. Departments: 16, 17, 24, 79, 86 & 87 Siret: 492 277 918 00024

Tel: Mob:


Metalwork, Fencing, Artisans

siret: 838271518

Left Hand Drive Place

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

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

ALL WORK GUARANTEED phone: 09 62 64 50 14 mobile: 06 43 03 77 18

Tel: 06 46 49 73 45 Email:



Enershop – renewable energy heating systems for your property 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 tax credits (credit d’impôts) for systems installed

Tel: 07 67 04 07 53


by Enershop as we hold the QualiSol and QualiBois accreditation. Our website www.enershop. eu has lots of information on our services which include : • Solar thermal domestic hot water • Wood gasification boilers • Central and underfloor heating • Wood / Pellet boiler stoves systems • Pellet boilers • Swimming pool / hot tub • Accumulation tanks heating • Air source heat pumps


Nick Wright

• Certificates issued for every sweep • Over 10 years’ experience • Covering departments 16, 17, 79 & 86

Building services, Artisans

Siret: 827 978 636 00013

Chimney Sweep


BECK CHERRY PICKER HIRE Nacelle Telescopique

Registered with the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat

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 81968203000013

Contact Nick on email: or T. 05 45 71 33 36

Tel: 07 84 12 44 97



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

Siret 482 718 640 00022

the roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof

Experts at working with slate & clay Over 40 year’s experience For a free estimate call 06 35 11 27 31 Strictly Roofing – Malcolm Cooke

16100 Chateaubernard 05 45 36 46 70 / 06 72 21 80 27

All reclamation bought & sold Demolition undertaken Specialists in oak beams Metalwork & stonework Indian stone flooring 50,000 sq ft covered showrooms 1km from Confolens D952 Ansac-sur-Vienne road

Mon-Sat 8.30aM-6pM open lunch-tiMeS SundayS cloSed

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

website: email: siret:50263448800014

CHIPBOARD type P5 1833 and 22mm tongue and grooved water repellent, chipboard comes in 8ft x 2ft sheets. C.L.S. stud work is a beautiful product to work with, clean dry and STRAIGHT. Currently held in 2.4m, 3m and 4.8m lengths. 38mm x 89mm C16 planed for eased edges C.L.S. profile. PLYWOOD All in 8ft x 4ft sheets. External grade suitable for construction uses with high quality finish on both sides. Held in 5.5mm, 9mm, 12mm, 18mm, 25mm. All Malaysian WBP BB/CC. MDF 18mm held OSB 9mm and 18mm held.

Happy to quote for all soft wood requirements.

SKIRTING BOARD AND ARCHITRAVE in stock. FLOOR JOISTS held in many sizes. ROLL OUT INSULATION in stock (100 & 150mm).


Full house clearances quoted for & complete contents bought. Use until the day you move knowing it is all sold.

Call Terry on 05 45 30 72 04

Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers

Siren: 449 714 989

Depts 16 & 17

Painting & decorating services Tiling / Flooring Plasterboarding Suppliers of Crown Paints Providing a quality service since 2005 Kevin Smith

Building services, Artisans





Installation, servicing, repairs - oil, gas, solar, solid fuel Fully qualified, fully registered, 10 year décennale insurance Currently offering FREE supply & installation of bulk propane gas tanks 30% crédit d’impôt

Building services, Artisans

Tel: 05 45 29 68 73 | Mobile: 06 30 11 86 84 | Email:


Tel 05 17 30 18 35 Mobile 06 33 85 65 66 Javarzay, 79110 Chef-Boutonne Siren: 478 608 185 00011

Part or full renovations Roofing Plaster boarding All building works undertaken Tel: 05 49 27 52 99 Mob: 06 74 95 21 00 E: Based 79190 Siret 487 581 209 00011

Building services, Artisans


Imajica Joinery ESTABLISHED COMPANY, CONSCIENTIOUS & RELIABLE SERVICE For a superior finish in wood, tile, plasterboard and general restoration Specialising in kitchen fitting & creative challenges

05 49 87 09 63 Siret: 48115588500017

GK Bâtiment Général Swimming pools Septic tanks Roofing & General building Piscines, Fosses septiques Toitures et Bâtiment général Free Devis Decennial insurance

06 43 03 77 18 09 62 64 50 14 gkbatimentgeneral@

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 T: 05 45 95 44 34 or 06 98 29 76 45 E:


R J Coulson

• complete range of building services • renovations and refurbishments

Building services

For You and Your French Home

• pointing/rendering • block work

• plastering • kitchen and bathroom installation

• tiling • roof repairs • patios terraces • painting and decorating

France Fosse €3650

COMPACT FILTER 5EH €3900 HTC (prices plus installation and TVA @10%)

Over 30 years of experience See all our work on our facebook page T: 06 04 14 84 86

Email: These local businesses are waiting for your call!

t: +33 (0) 549 290135 t: +33 (0) 785 372144 Based near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) siret: 831 373 048 00022

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Les Les Bons Voisins Voisins

property management throughout france


no job too small, no project too large

exceptional service at competitive prices

key holding . caretaking . maintenance . supervision changeovers . cleaning . gardening . mail forwarding

. admin help . translation

friendly people providing professional help to home owners in france

Andy Quick

The Roofing & Renovation Company Established in 2007, registered artisan with Décennale & Civile Responsabilité Insurance

Siret: 499 474 302 00035

E: ~ T: 05 49 27 22 67

Multi Services

Plumbing Electricity Plasterboarding Tiling Satellite dishes and Systems for the reception of UK and French TV Dept. 16,17 No Job too Small

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

website: email: siret:50263448800014

ADAM BLACKABY Artisan Peintre T: 05 45 98 07 25 M: 06 23 18 30 95 Areas 16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 86 Siret: 441 490 992 00027

based South 79 All work is fully insured, references can be provided

SiReT: 502 497 365 00010

RobeRT WalKeR Tel: 05 49 27 36 98

Plumbing - Heating Chimney sweeping

EMERGENCY CALL OUTS 24 hours / 7 days a week Full service with certificate (boiler, fuel, wood, gaz) Fully insured with over 10 year’s experience Tel: 06 58 86 55 91 Based in 86400 Saint Macoux English spoken Siret: 831 980 487 00019

Kitchen & Bathroom installation Tiling Plumbing Repairs Tel: 06 29 90 24 89 E: Based in dept 79 near Sauzé-Vaussais Fully insured Siret: 804 390 862 000 14

Pool maintenance Tree Felling & Stump Grinding Grass Cutting & Odd Jobs Tel: 05 49 87 84 52 Mobile: 06 85 98 24 76 Covering 1 hour around Civray (86)

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: 842 376 139 00015 Siret: 804476 034 00017

Peter Amor Electrician

Large or small projects, from new builds, total rewires (including 3 phase) to Having additional sockets/lights installed to Conformity Inspections

Tel: 05 49 91 85 54 All departments covered SIret: 480 026 560 00012

Domestic Plumbing and Heating Installation & Repair of Woodburners Gas & Oil Heating All plumbing jobs large & small Contact Ken Fey 16220 Rouzede Tel: 05 45 23 76 49 M: +44 (0)75 99 17 90 39 E: Siret: 838 623 437 00012

ELECTRICIAN Experienced, French Registered Electrician Available for all types of electrical work renovations, small works, gate automations etc. Insured and guaranteed Areas 16, 17, 24

05 46 86 07 61 Siret 49376573200015

Emptying of grease traps, fosse septiques, filtre compacts & micro stations. Cleaning & maintenance of all types of sewage treatment plants.

David GABARD T: 06 71 83 16 69 / 05 49 87 27 29 E: 2 Verrières, 86400 CHAMPNIERS Covering south 86 & 79, north 16

Quote 'Living' to help keep this magazine free for readers

Building services, Artisans

Chauffage, Climatisation, Sanitaire Central Heating installations boiler Servicing bathroom, Kitchen installations Tiling, Solar Powered Hot Water Underfloor Heating & Heat Pumps

Jb Plumbing

Odd Job Tom

Building services, Artisans

Interior and exterior painting Paper hanging, tiling, flooring & dry lining

Ambroise PRÉE

Barry Baldwin



Robert Walker PlombeRie

t:+33 (0)5 45 70 20 98

Building services, Artisans

depts 79, 86 & 16


Places to go

Restaurants & Bar s, Events, Associations and C lubs.

Cafe Cour du Miracle


Sat 10: LIVE ~ 8pm ~ Jielpi ~ Soirée Française (moules frites + full menu) Wed 14: QUIZ NIGHT ~ 8pm (€10 includes food - €5 goes to charity) Sat 17: LIVE ~ 8pm ~ Martin Lavansch Mon 19: OPEN MIC ~ 8pm Sat 24: Country & Western + BBQ ~ 8pm ~ McKenzie Sat 31: LIVE ~ 8pm ~ The Billy Whizz


Sat 7: LIVE ~ 8pm ~ Bennett & Seags 16700 Londigny Wed 11: QUIZ NIGHT ~ 8pm tel; 05 45 29 05 07 (€10 includes food - €5 goes to charity) Mon 16: OPEN MIC ~ 8 pm FB: @aubergedunoyer Sat 14, 21 & 28: LIVE ~ 8pm ~ see FB/website

Vouvant Come along for a beer, a glass of wine, a cup of English tea and a slice of homemade cake, or a delicious home-cooked lunch. Vegetarian options available. Open 11.00am to 6.00pm - until 10pm Friday evening

La Brousse,

Tel: 02 51 00 54 93

Every Friday is fish & chip night, scampi too - 10€ (full menu also available) Roast every Sunday: 12-3 | *NEW* Chambre d’hôtes

Manot Ceramic

Cafe Ceramics: Tue-Sat 10am-4.30pm Snack menu: 12 noon-2pm 16 meals on our menu Full English breakfast from 10am Enjoy a tea, coffee, beer or glass of wine with your meal English Birthday/anniversary cards Tel: 05 45 30 69 56 E:

Café des Belles Fleurs

Open Mon - Sat for meals Open Sunday on reservation Meal formula starts at 7.80€ Large choice of spirits & wines See website and FB for Events Place d’Eglise, 79160 Fenioux Tel: 05 49 28 12 39

Closed Monday & Tuesday Find our schedule on

Restaurant Bar Coffee Shop Delicious homemade food using seasonal and local ingredients Vegetarian & Vegan options Twice monthly Curry Nights Fish & Chips Friday evening Open daily except Wednesday See FB for our daily changing menu Call Ian on 07 77 94 49 05 FB: lalunebleuerestaurant


Friendly bar / restaurant offering fish ‘n’ chips, full English breakfasts, music nights, theme nights and more Takeaways available Large beer garden to rear of property Open Mon-Sat for lunch (11am-2pm) and dinner (6-9pm) Great for groups and parties

Le Bourg, 16480 Passirac

T: 06 82 59 09 83 Le Petit Poisson Mobile Fish and Chips Fabulous Fish and Chips served from Renée in south Charente and north Dordogne Rougnac, St Front la Rivière, Champagnac de Belair, Coutures and Aubeterre Available to hire for special events and weddings

3 rue d'Offendorf, 87130 La Croisille-sur-Briance Tel: 05 55 71 34 22

The Irish Belle Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm Serving light lunches, cakes and drinks all day. Home to Mother Hubbard’s English grocery shop. Regular pottery painting and other craft classes, IT clinics, pop up shops from Younique, Neals Yard and others. See our FB page for details of dates! Le-Café-Civray Tél : 05 49 87 68 97 Email : 24 rue du commerce, 86400 Civray

Tea Rooms, Shop, Restaurant & Bar Food served all day. Bacon sandwiches, all-day-breakfast, baked potato with toppings, a side salad and more. Vegetarian/vegan options. Also selling Irish/English produce, Gluten-free products plus vegan/vegetarian frozen food. Come and enjoy the cosy country ambience. See Facebook for our regular events. Wheelchair access and plenty of parking. OPEN: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: 10h-18h Wednesday & Friday: 11h-17h 3 Place Jacques Soulat, 16490 Hiesse Tel: 06 14 12 54 61 / 05 45 31 23 31 Mary Burke(Theirishbelle)

ACROSS: 1. Species 5. Fauna 8. Flora 9. Climate 10. Reef 11. Wildlife 14. Nil 16. Cheer 17. Mop 19. Organism 20. Uber 23. Habitat 25. Ozone 26. Evens 27. Wetland Down: 1. Saffron 2. Elope 3. Imam 4. Sic 5. Flinders 6. Uranium 7. Arete 12. Ideas 13. Aconites 15. Legible 18. Portend 19. Ochre 21. Biota 22. Host 24. Tow theme: Biodiversity



living music | 65

And there’s more Our warm summer evenings can be pretty cool, thanks to some of the hottest live music acts around – here’s part 2 of our rundown of essential diary dates

s regions go, in NouvelleAquitaine we’re in the fortunate position of enjoying summers packed with so many great festivals and other music events to choose from, pretty much on our doorstep. The festival season reaches a climax in August, when visitors swell the audiences and make it possible for organisers to book big-name acts, so here’s our selection of live music highlights for your diary. In Dordogne the 39th Festival de Montignac (24) runs from 29 July-4 Aug, and features world music and dance with artists from Algeria, Belarusse, Canada, Kazakhstan, New Caledonia and elsewhere: On 6-8 Aug Vaux-sur-Mer (17) hosts ten free big-event midweek concerts. Festi’Vaux 2019 presents Electro Deluxe, Pony Pony Run Run, Raqoons and other great acts: www.festivaux. fr. On 3-7 Aug on the Île de Ré (17) the 10th Jazz au Phare presents class acts in styles from swing to gypsy jazz – 29 concerts on three stages around the lighthouse at SaintClément de Baleines: www.jazzauphare. com. Also in Charente-Maritime, on 10 Aug Saint-Jean d’Angély launches Festy’Blues – a one-day festival event in the atmospheric cloister courtyard of

Lewis Hall Musician

the Abbaye Royale. Acts include Bella Collins Band, Snatch It Back and The Curlytails: Meanwhile, over in Limousin the 32nd Festival au Champs fires up in Chanteix-en-Corrèze (19) on 8-11 Aug, with Jamait, Cats On Trees, Whiskey Paradis and lots more music: On 12-18 Aug the 62nd Festival de Confolens fills the riverside town with colourful international folklore performers: www.festivaldeconfolens. com. In Saint-Savin (86) don’t miss the 7th Gartempe Blues Festival on 14-17 Aug. The programme usually includes a Blues On The River boat trip and concerts in the Abbey courtyard: On 16-17 Aug Saillat-sur-Vienne (87) will stage the 12th Cheminées du Rock Festival, with bands from France, Canada and the USA: www.leschemineesdurock. Alternatively, on 16-18 Aug the annual Mad Hatter’s Wonderland Festival unfolds in a



Over 25 years’ experience Offering GUITAR LESSONS and EVENT ENTERTAINMENT - either solo or group performances for your special occasions.

E: T: 05 49 87 19 20 | FB@Vouleme

Piano tuner technician With over 50 years in the trade Complete Renovations New strings, hammers etc. Also repairs and piano tuning Ex Royal Albert Hall, BBC and Ronnie Scotts Restored Baby Grands for Sale Cover areas 16, 17, 79 and west Vienne

Tel: 05 45 21 16 13 Mobile: 06 43 31 58 17 E: SIRET: 51031234100017


Did you know? There are Englishspeaking lodges in France. Our lodge in Cognac (16) meets 6 times a year. If you would like to find out more, email: Freemasonry in France

beautiful setting near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) – headlining are The Rubettes, From The Jam and Animals & Friends: www.madhatters On 22-24 Aug Patti Smith headlines a long list of acts at Check In Party (‘Festival des Musiques Indépendantes’) at the Aérodrome de GuéretSaint-Laurent (23): www. Then in Deux-Sèvres on 24-31 Aug the Festival Dans les Jardins de William Christie presents Baroque concerts in a ‘Jardin Remarquable’ at Thiré (85): Down in Dordogne the Jazz en Chais season 2019 presents Jérôme Gatius Quintet’s ‘Homage à Sidney Bechet’ plus Red Fish on 6 Sept at the Château de Tiregand at Creysse (24): Finally, on 6-8 Sept Lembre’Africa Fest in Lembras (24) will be keeping the warm sounds of summer alive with free African and reggae concerts, dance classes, percussion workshops and more: We’ll leave it there for now, but when the festival season is over our healthy live music scene will carry on until the next one comes around. Venues of all sizes rely on local support to keep the flame burning after the visitors have departed, so keep an eye on events happening near you, and party on!

Auberge de blAnzAy

Situated on the village green opposite the church 10 minutes from the Vallée des Singes • Large Terrace & undercover barn area • • Traditional Sunday lunches • • Fish & Chips every other Friday •

Mix of French & English cuisine ~ Menu du Jour 12h -14h ~ Snack menu

For further details telephone 05 49 87 50 87

12 Rue Du Cedre 86400 Blanzay

See Facebook for events and opening times

Auberge de Blanzay

66 | living Language



ariety certainly is the spice of life and I’m sure it won’t come as a shock to consider that language is as diverse and rich as life itself. The evolution of language is endlessly fascinating, but it doesn’t really explain why the French use the same word for money as they do for species or why the idea of a sponge cake might fill them with horror. L’espèce is one of those wonderful French words that has a multitude of meanings. For me, I don’t think I’ll ever unlink it in my memory from Mrs Short’s French lessons when I was eleven. We learnt espèce could be tagged in front of all sorts of insults. Copies of Tintin and Capitaine Haddock gave us espèce de brute ! as well as much more curious insults like espèce de mérinos mal peignés. “You badly-combed merino sheep!” is such a wonderful insult. Capitaine Haddock had lots of other wonderful insults alongside those - and his “espèce de” insults were certainly among the best for me. You can, of course, use l’espèce in a neutral way, where it just means a ‘type of’, a ‘kind of’ or a ‘sort of’ thing. Une espèce de fruit or une espèce de voiture - a type of fruit, a sort of car. You can use the much more English-sounding type as in un type de véhicule or also the similarly English-sounding une sorte de if you liked. It was only years later that espèce took on a different sense, in its plural, for money or cash. Back at school l’argent was money. It never struck me as curious that the French word for money was the same as the word for silver. It certainly makes French sound very piratey if you pay in silver. La monnaie was ‘change’ of course, despite sounding like ‘money’.

L i ving

Emma-Jane Lee, our language expert, explores diversity in her latest column

of ‘sponging off’ someone. I think the concept is very similar: somebody who takes in everything that comes their way. In French, that image doesn’t work in the same way, although you can ‘live by hooking into someone’ vivre aux crochets de quelqu’un. This phrase reminds me of parasitic creatures like ticks and leeches that live by getting their hooks into another animal. One place where English use seems to have evolved very differently from French, however, is in the cake department. ‘Sponge cake’ and their best We definitely didn’t learn that you could of British regal relative, the Victoria also pay en espèces - in species - or en sponge, haven’t quite made their way liquide. Even those small, everyday words over the channel yet. Don’t be surprised seem to have evolved so differently from if your neighbour gives you a look of our own words for cash. Paying in disgust if you present un gâteau éponge… silver, species or liquid certainly seems they may well be imagining your cake is a little strange thinking about it now. made of real sponge although it’s much L’espèce also comes with its most more commonly heard than it used to common meaning for la biodiversité: be. Une Génoise is much more familiar to species, variety or type. It’s interesting, the French than a Victoria sponge and for me at least, to see how the word although it’s not made in the exact same espèce has evolved in French in ways way, you may have less explaining to do that it never did in English. about how you made it. When we’re talking about expressions A final sponge-related expression I like related to the animal species, French is very much from French is to ‘pass the just as diverse, from the simplest éponges sponge’. Passer l’éponge means ‘to wipe up to les grands singes or the great apes. the slate clean’ or ‘to turn the page’. Like The sponge may be one of the simplest the English, it has a sense that you’re animal species on planet Earth, but starting afresh. Just be careful not to it maintains a peculiarly intelligent get it mixed up with passer un savon à connection in English: if you are a quelqu’un or ‘to pass the soap’, which sponge, we don’t mean you are simple means to give someone a real telling off. life form without a brain, we mean you You’ve got to be careful what bathroom absorb everything and take everything metaphors you use in French! in. I love how being a sponge in English Emma is a jack-of-all-language-trades, has a sense of absorbing information writing English textbooks, translating, and becoming smarter. The same idea marking exam scripts and teaching is found in French too. languages. She lives near La Rochefoucauld There is another meaning of ‘sponge’ with her growing menagerie. See www. in English, however. This is the idea

Editor: Kathryn Dobson FEATURES EDITOR: Roger Moss Advertising: Jon Dobson Art editor: Nadia Van den Rym Production manager: Justin Silvester Regular contributors: Caro Feely, Susan Hays, Jessica Knipe, magazine Emma-Jane Lee, Mike Morris, Nikki Legon and Stig Tomas. WITH THANKS TO: John and Gill Bowler, Julia Moss. Photography: Shutterstock or Roger Moss unless indicated. Cover image: Lemur mother & baby © Milan Vachal - Shutterstock. Published by: SARL AMM, 2 Rue Buffefeu, 86400 Linazay FRANCE. Poitiers: 533 624 128. Printed by: Rotimpres S.A. Dépôt légal: A parution. ISSN: 0753-3454. Living Magazine is free. Living Magazine est disponible gratuitement. All material may not be reproduced without the written permission of SARL AMM. Toute reproduction même partielle du contenu est interdit sans l’accord écrit du magazine. Please ensure you verify that any company you are dealing with is registered in France and/or elsewhere around the world. Articles in this issue do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.





Jennifer MAIER











La Coquille




Verteillac Brantôme


Chalais St Aulaye




La Roche Chalais











Le Bugue Port Ste Foy

Sarlat St Cyprien

Lalinde Gardonne Belvès

Lamothe Montravel




William SERRE

We offer an established, dedicated, English-speaking department staffed with customer service representatives and financial advisors in order to facilitate and to meet your needs. Crédit Agricole Charente-Périgord regional branch, cooperative organisational structure with variable capital, approved as a credit institution - Head office : 28-30 rue d’Espagnac, Soyaux (Charente) - Registered on the Angoulême companies register, under the number 775 569 726 - Insurance broker registered on ORIAS, the French Organisation for the register of Insurance Intermediaries, under the number 07 008 428. © Photo credits : Jean-Marc Barrère - Design : Maïa - 07/2017.