L i ving FREE!
magazine dec | jan 2018
wishing you a
! s a m t s i r Merry Ch
~ Passionate about life in south west France ~
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IN what seems like the blink of an eye another year is coming to a close, and a new year begins full of promise. We’d like to thank our advertisers and subscribers for all their support which keeps Living going from strength to strength. And, of course, we thank you our readers for all your kind words and importantly, for responding to our adverts which completes the circle of Living! In many ways 2018 is looking to be a challenging year from the outset. Here at Living Magazine, we are at the front of the battle to keep the rights of British citizens living in the EU foremost through the Brexit process. We need your support more than ever as negotiations reach a critical stage, so please take the time to read the latest information on page 20 and add your voice to ours. But don’t worry, we still have plenty of festive cheer in our pages - the best markets to visit, our celebration menu, how to choose the perfect wine, and much more. We also have some simply stunning photography of both the wonderfully snowy mountains and our sunny Atlantic coastline. There is something for everyone! So, all that remains is for us at Living HQ to wish you a joyous Christmas and a very happy 2018, may it bring you everything you wish for. À bientôt
News from around the region
Rise to the challenge of our exclusive crossword
White Magic Celebrate the beauty of our own winter wonderland here in France with Roger Moss
Fit for a King Susan Hays looks forward to Christmas and beyond to the arrival of la galette des Rois
Our battle to safeguard citizens’ rights for British living in Europe Nikki Legon’s Cuisine continues, we bring you up to date Entertaining for two
Hall stories Covered market halls are the centrepiece to so many of our towns and villages - find out more about their unique history
High Flyer Jessica Knipe interviews Maxime, the aerial photographer who soars high over the Atlantic coastline
Warming wines for festive times Caro Feely helps you pick the perfect wines to accompany your festive feast
Living Property Pages Limoges offers historic charm with all the benefits of city living
How to keep ‘Living’ free for you Please support our advertisers and tell them you found them in ‘Living’ Now available across 7 départements & adjoining areas: Charente (16), Charente-Maritime (17), Dordogne (24), Deux-Sèvres (79), Vendée (85), Vienne (86), Haute-Vienne (87) 120,000 readers 1,000 stockists www.livingmagazine.fr
Gloves are off Native to south west France, Box is under attack from all sides we look at ways of fighting back
Hook, Line and Sinker Fishing for pike with Ron Cousins
Belle Jingles Christmas hits for your playlist
Pardon! Linguistic shortcuts with Emma Lee
Business Directory The best local services & suppliers
64 Places to go around the region
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ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne
News from around the region...
Marché at the Manoir
Don’t miss the 16th Christmas Market at Manoir de Longeveau, a former cognac estate in south Charente. Seasonal fun, food and shopping are promised at this year’s fair being held on Sunday, 3 December from 10am to 5pm. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride in the beautiful countryside, sip mulled wine and explore the stalls piled high with an array of gift ideas, beautiful decorations, clothing, artisan food and drinks. A selection of sandwiches, cakes and mince pies will be on offer alongside their wide range of hot and cold refreshments throughout the day. And with Christmas Carols on the menu too, there is no better way to kick off the festive season! Le Manoir de Longeveau, Golf d’Aubeterre, 16390 Pillac; tel: 05 45 98 55 13; www.longeveau.com
Jazz a Saint-Sat Celebrating ten years (and 136 concerts) in 2018, Jazz à Saint-Sat is extending its programme, and plans to fill ten days with jazz. 21 concerts will take place between 12-21 January. The concerts are hosted in 6 communes around Saint-Saturnin and feature young local talent alongside international stars as well as soloists to big bands. Tickets cost from 10€ with under-12s free - full details can be found on www.acamac.info.
DIARY ! DATEs
Laugh off the January blues at Ruffectival (20-21 January at La Canopée) which this year includes an Irish dance show. The Festival International de la Bande Dessinée returns to Angoulême for its 45th anniversary edition between the 25-28 January. Hiro Mashima (Fairy Tail) and Naoki Urasawa (20th Century Boys, Monster, Billy Bat) headline the list of visiting artists. www. bdangouleme.com
When Alsatis signed an agreement to provide Wimax services to rural areas of Charente in 2009, it was seen as a significant step forward in the provision of internet services across the département. Not so recently. As Francois Bonneau, President of Charente, recalls: “The Alsatis contract expired at the end of 2016. It was extended with an amendment while we called for bids. Nomotech’s offer was the most interesting but Alsatis challenged the decision. They can continue to operate the network until the end of 2017, but Nomotech is already operational and offers a service based on the existing network and its own network.” Some 1500 Alcatis customers have recently experienced 6 days without internet or landlines caused by an unspecified fault, along with a demand to pay 10 euros more per month to maintain the service. Meanwhile Nomotech are ready to welcome Charente residents and have also indicated that they will be trialling high speed connections via radio (4G TD-LTE).
News from around the region...
Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd: 10 December: Carols at Jarnac, 10.30am 17 December: Carols at Barbezieux, 10.30am 21 December: Carols at Cognac (St Martin), 7pm 24 December: Christmas Eve Service at Alloue, 6pm 25 December: Christmas Service at Jarnac, 10.30am (tbc) www.church-in-france.com
C’est la fête Aubeterre 26 November
Christmas market in the attractive market square with plenty of activities for children, refreshments all day and a visit from Père Noël. L'Abbaye de Bassac 1-3 December
Enjoy the creations for the 'Plus Belle Crèche de Noël' at the Marché de l'Avent at this historic abbey near Jarnac. Soyaux, Angoulême 2 December
Château de la Tranchade's atmospheric Marché de Noël features a costume parade on Saturday evening between 6 and 7pm. Entry costs 4€. Montron
Forty stalls packed with gift ideas, refreshments and a visit from Père Noël draw people each year to this 'Grand Marché de Noël'. Ruffec
Over sixty stall holders gather, many with unusual items which are perfect for gifts. Inside and outside l'Espace Matisse from 9am to 8pm.
Christmas festivities in the grounds of the Abbaye. Manoir de Longeveau, Pillac 3 December
Enjoy the Marché de Noël from 10am to 5pm - carols, mince pies, carriage-rides and lots of stalls.
Choir Concordia perform their Christmas Concert at 3.30pm. Lesterps
Traditional Christmas entertainment at 'Noël comme Autrefois', freshly baked goods, chestnuts, children singing and Père Noël arriving at 5.30pm. All dates were confirmed at the time of printing. Please double check the details before travelling long distances in case of last minute changes.
Domaine de Chatelard
Renowned for its peaceful, private location with beautiful lake views only 8km from Angoulême, Domaine de Chatelard is a favourite for terrace dining in the summer months. In winter, the cosy yet stylish restaurant features an open fire and continues to serve a varied menu featuring local speciality ingredients every lunch and dinnertime from Tuesday to Sunday. The twelve individually furnished hotel rooms in the heart of the 18/19c country lodge offer the opportunity to extend your stay making a relaxing break away. This year, the Domaine is offering seasonal gastronomic menus over Christmas and New Year (24 December lunch and dinner, 25 December lunch, 31 December dinner, 1 January lunch) but book quickly as spaces are limited. And, if you have a special event to plan in 2018, Ivan and Pascale would be delighted to discuss how they can help. To find out more, contact their English-speaking reception desk on 05 45 70 76 76 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.domaineduchatelard.com.
One of the longest-running fairs in the département with more than 50 covered stands, from 9am-6pm. St Amant de Boixe 9-10 December
Les Artisanales de l'Abbaye discover the unique works of local artists, an ideal opportunity to find those hard-to-get presents. 10am to 6pm.
Île de Ré
LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Île de Oléron
CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes
charenteNews from around the region... maritime
While information on Christmas markets in La Rochelle is late being published (we are assured the programme will be available by the end of November), two events scheduled at the exhibition centre will provide some festive cheer. 45 wine producers will be presenting their wares at the ‘Marché aux Vins and Gourmandises’ (1-4 December) while across the hall the ‘Salon du Chocolat, Café et Saveurs du Monde’ (1-3 December) opens its doors. Find out more at www. parcexpo-larochelle.net.
C’est la fête Rochefort 1-4 December
The Grand Marché de Noël opens at 2pm on Friday with more than 70 stands undercover. Trampolines and games await the children as well as a live crèche and Santa will visit at 4pm on Sunday. Combine with a trip to the ice-rink, open from 2 December-7 January.
ChâtelaillonPlage 20-23 December
Enjoy the Christmas market before watching as more than 80 volunteers bring to life the Christmas magic with a unique son et lumière in front of the church. Follow the scenes of the nativity and the arrival of the three Kings. Starts at 7pm.
Saint-Porchaire 2-3 December
A Christmas Market in the wonderful setting of Château de la Roche Courbon's theatre and barn. 35 stalls and a visit from Santa.
St-Savienien-surCharente 9 December
A small, friendly Marché de Noël featuring artisanal food producers and crafts.
Christmas Services Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd: 14 December: Carols at Courcelles, 7pm 25 December: Christmas Service at Courcelles, 10.30am www.church-in-france.com
Saujon & Mornac
The end of the year celebrations open with Sainte Lucie, a candle lit procession led by ten 10-year old Châ telaillonnaises and the switching on of the town's illuminations.
At 2pm, climb aboard the Père Noël Express, run by the Train des Mouettes, for a special ride to visit Father Christmas at the Mornacsur-Seudre Marché de Noël .
Celebrate the arrival of Father Christmas with a parade and show for children starting at 2pm.
The highlight of the Christmas market is the street theatre and fireworks on Friday night.
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News from around the region...
Birdlab The LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux) which is headquartered in Rochefort, has teamed up with a Paris tech company to bring out BirdLab, the first app that allows you to combine bird-watching with a game, all in the name of science. By setting up two bird tables or feeders and downloading the free app, you can take part in a nationwide experiment to better understand the behaviour of birds at bird feeders over winter. The app will help you recognise the 24 most common species and then record their coming and goings while comparing with other observers. The game runs until March 31, 2018, when the data will be analysed. Download from the App Store or Google Play.
Comptoir Déco d’Angély
With a professional background in interior design, Catherine McIntyre returned from 16 years in Asia to Saint-Jean-d’Angély a couple of years ago where she followed her dream to open her own decoration business, Comptoir Déco d’Angély. However, the chosen site for her shop on the edge of town was less than perfect so Catherine jumped at the chance to move into the centre of the town. Now facing the market square, a few doors down from the Mairie, her shop is packed with hand-picked treasures; fabrics for drapes and upholstery, light printed cottons, haberdashery, curtains, bed covers and quilts. Whether you pop in for a zip or to find the perfect fabric, Catherine is on hand to give you the benefit of her professional advice. Comptoir Déco d’Angély opens Tue-Sat 9am-12.30pm and 2-6.30pm (6pm on Sat). 14, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville / Place du marché 17400 Saint-Jean-d’Angély. Tel: 09-83-72-34-90; www.comptoirdecodangely.com.
Theatre Tricolore will perform ‘Whatever the Weather’ on 9 and 10 December in Lorignac. Tickets 15€ from firstname.lastname@example.org Don’t miss La Chantonge Franco British choir perform their Christmas concerts: Fontenet Salle de Fêtes – 8pm on 1 Dec. Saintes Temple – 5pm on 9 Dec. Saint Savinien church – 6pm on 10 Dec. Matha church – 8pm on 13 Dec.
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C’est la fête Périgueux 2 December - 6 January
For extra inspiration when shopping for presents this year, take a trip to Piegut-Pluviers at the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional du Périgord Vert where you will find Anywhere Creation, a new art gallery which opened its doors in spring of this year. Owner Thierry Leveugle, a painter himself, has already hosted three successful exhibitions over summer in the renovated 100m2 gallery. Over winter, he welcomes three more: paintings by Gedda (above), Cécile Clément, Marie-Edmée Seguin, S’Kwer and Benoît Thiel; photographs by Krystell Bonnet, Romain Thiery and Gilles Dauzac de la Martinie, and marble sculptures Daniel Sanchez. Thierry speaks excellent English and will be happy to help you find the perfect present for someone special. The gallery can be found at 6 Place de la République, 24360 Piegut-Pluviers, and opens between 10am and noon on Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat. Call Thierry on 06 64 23 34 43 or visit the website at www.anywhere-creation.com.
Christmas Services The Chaplaincy of Aquitaine is holding carol services across Dordogne: 3 December: Bertric Burée, 6pm 7 December: Ribérac, 6pm Chancelade Abbey, 4pm Limeuil, 5pm 14 December: Eymet, 6pm 15 December: Sainte Nathalène, 5pm 20 December: Négrondes, 6pm See www.churchinaquitaine.org for details of services in the Lot-et-Garonne.
Père Noël drops in regularly to this fair in the heart of the city. Ice rinks, chalets, carriage-rides and shows await you before you visit the city's illuminations. Join the guided 'Nuits Magiques aux Flambeaux' at 7.30pm on 23 & 29 Dec (2€ per person, reservation required).
Sarlat-le-Canada 6-31 December
Visit this popular Christmas village with over fifty chalets and lots of free events organised around an ice rink and carousel at the heart of this picturesque town. This year's theme is 'So British'.
Saint-Astier 10 December
5,000 candles light the town centre, organ concert at 5pm followed by a parade and dance show.
Périgueux & Bergerac 12-13 & 21-24 December
A festive show for children with plenty of your favourite Disney characters all in a big top. Cirque de Noël tickets cost 9€ from lemusic-hall.fr.
Cayla. Roasting chestnuts, crêpes and vin chaud plus plenty of free entertainment throughout the town.
Biron 16-17 December
Saturday afternoon and all-day Sunday, in the town centre. Père Noël visit, treasure hunt and more.
Eymet 17 December
More than 50 stallholders under the arcades. Open from 8am-6pm with Santa promising to drop in at 11am and 4pm.
Saint-Geniès 23 December
The Marché de Noël runs alongside the regular market which also sells truffles fresh for your Christmas feast.
Issigeac 23 & 28 December
A torchlight guided visit for children with a mixture of history, tales and puzzles. Begins at 6.15pm and lasts 45 mins, reservation recommended (Tourist Office: 4€ adults, 2.50€ children)
Eymet 13 December
Choir 'Cantabile' will be singing Christmas songs at the church from 6pm and then in the town centre where Pere Noël will visit and vin chaud will be served.
Bergerac 15-24 December
The Village Artisanal de Noël welcomes 35 artisans to Place
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DEUX SEVRE (79)
Deux-sèvres & Vendée News from around the region... Energie Musicale C’est la Fête NIORT
Les Sables d'Olonne (85)
Christmas Concert at 8pm.
Dating back to the 13th century and traditionally the start of Christmas festivities in the town, La Foire aux Voleurs offers over 200 stalls and free entertainment. Luçon (85) 2-3 December
A traditional Christmas market with 50 stalls in the town centre with lots to entertain the whole family. Doué-la-Fontaine (49) 2-3 December
Abbaye de Maillezais (85) 2 & 9 December
An atmospheric fair which opens from 2-10pm. Secondigny (79) 2, 3 & 10 December
KeyNotes choir will be performing carols and more at the churches of Secondigny (2 Dec, 8pm), Vouvant (3 Dec, 3pm) and Amailloux (10 Dec, 3pm). Terves (79) 3 December
Christmas Fair hosted by the Combined Services Support Group (CSSG) with mulled wine and mince pies. All proceeds to service charities in France and the UK. 11am to 5pm at the Salle des Fêtes. Sauzé-Vaussais (79) 8 December
Choir Concordia perform their
Le Grand Marché de Noël has over 80 stalls, lots of free entertainment and a magical atmosphere. Niort (79) 9-24 December
One of the better city Christmas markets with a good selection of artists and food producers, live events and illuminations including projections onto the Donjon each evening. Open until 7pm. Apremont (85) 9-10 December
Artisanal Christmas market with a British twist. Carols, Christmas puddings and more, organised by Les Beaux Cadeaux. FB: lbcapremont.
© Selbymay (WIKIPEDIA)
Just a short drive north of 79, this market is held in the troglodyte caves giving it a magical ambiance. 70 stalls, visits from Santa and more. Over-12s entry costs 4€ and doors open at 10am.
Since moving to Apremont (85) in 1998 and visiting local festivals, Maggie Pascoe dreamt of musical evenings with the 16th century chateau as a backdrop. Finally, nineteen years on, she is fulfilling this dream after creating the association Energie Musicale earlier this year. With several events already under their belt, the team’s planning for 2018 is well under way. To find out more and get involved, visit their Facebook page ‘Apremont - energie musicale’ or call Maggie on 06 03 83 26 22.
Les Sables d'Olonne (85) 16 December
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, La Balade des Pères Noël, the annual costumed motor-cycle rally with 1,200 bikes, departs from 10.30am to arrive in La Roche-Sur-Yon at 5.30pm. Entry forms and route details: www.asphalte85.fr Bressuire (79) 16-17 December
Visit the illuminations and artisanal market before joining in the 4km Les Foulées de Noël’on Sunday for charity. Chez Les Houmeaux (79) 27 December - 10 January (tbc)
This tiny hamlet near Lezay goes to town with a light display in aid of charity. Started in 1994, more than 20,000 visitors now enjoy the illuminations each year.
Cartes Grises There is now no need to head to the préfecture to replace or change your vehicle’s registration document known in France as the ‘carte grise’. Instead, it can all be done online with the Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés or ANTS as part of the government’s drive to reduce bureaucracy. Simply create an account at ants.gouv.fr, fill in the relevant form and your new carte grise will be sent directly to your home address.
French sailor Antoine Cousot will take part in the 2018 race
Golden Globe Race 2018
When Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won the Sunday Times Golden Globe in 1968, he became the first man to sail solo non-stop around the planet. It is therefore fitting that the 2018 50th anniversary race would set out from the UK coast with some 30 skippers hoping to sail the 30,000-mile course non-stop with no outside assistance. Initially Falmouth was the preferred location for the start but this moved to Plymouth for financial reasons. Now, due to the impact of Brexit on the confidence of sponsors in the UK, the sailors will depart from Les Sables d’Olonne (85).
At a press conference, Yannick Moreau, President of Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomeration said: “The port of Les Sables d’Olonne, home of the Vendée Globe, is happy to welcome the ‘Golden Globe Race’, the father of all the solo round the world events, a pure race that places man and not the machine at the heart of this maritime adventure.” The town will use the expertise gained from hosting the Vendée Globe to ensure the success of the race which will bring thousands of spectators to the area. The race is due to start on 1 July, see goldengloberace.com.
The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd: 12 December: Carol service at Pompaire church (79), 7pm, see www.church-in-france.com. All Saints Vendée: 10 December: Lessons and Carols at Puy de Serre (85), 11am; 17 December: Lessons and Carols at La Chapelle Achard (85), 11am and Christingle Service at Puy de Serre (85), 4pm; 24 December: Christmas Eve Service at La Chapelle Achard (85), 4pm, see www.allsaintsvendee.fr
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Following another successful book sale which raised over 17 thousand euros, the Hope Association has made donations totalling 89,050€ year to date to four SPA centres and several other welfare associtaions including Association Orfée, Association Galia, Félin Pour l’Autre, Borderline Collie, CSFSP, LPO Vienne, Association Pas à Pattes, Le Chat Bleu 79, Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs, Les Amis des Animaux, Association CATS and Poor Paws. As well as hosting events, HOPE Association also has four shops across the region (Lezay (79), Confolens (16), ArnacPompadour (19) and Eymoutiers (87)) which sell a wide variety of household goods, clothing and secondhand items. The Deux-Sèvres Lezay shop will be moving over the Christmas break to nearby Sainte-Soline, closing its doors at 4pm on 12 December and reopening in its new location on 6 February. The opening hours will remain the same, every Tuesday 10am-4pm and the last Saturday of the month from 10am-2pm. Visit the new shop at 8 rue d’Aunis, 79120 Sainte-Soline.
vienne & News from around the region... haute-vienne
The Chaplaincy of Christ the Good Shepherd: 18 December: Carols at Civray (86), 7.00pm 25 December: Service at Genouillé (86), 10.30am. See www.church-in-france.com The English Speaking Church of the Valley of the Loire: 17 December: Candelit Carols at Arçay (86), 5.00pm See www.escoval.org
C’est la fête Poitiers (86)
25 November - 2 January
Traditional Christmas chalets, carriage rides, ice-rinks, carousel and festive events are planned for centre ville. Don't miss the Polychromies at l'eglise Notre-Dame-la-Grande.
A favourite with families, visit the Christmas village, take Le Petit Train to see Santa, go skating or down the luge and discover plenty of free events.
Civray (86) 6 December
Association Attitude will be holding their Christmas market from 10am-2pm with proceeds going to local charities.
Saint Laurent les Eglises (87) 8 December
A night market in and around the gymnase from 5pm, wrap up warm!
charroux (86) 9 December
Traditional Christmas market under the covered Halles with carols by the Fun Choir.
Bosmie L'Aiguille (87) 10 December
For a Christmas fair with a difference, visit the Marché de
Noël et Foire à l'Orange from 9am6pm which offers products from the Spanish region of Pédralba alongside more traditional fayre.
Castaways drama group in La Souterraine will be performing ‘Crossed Wireless’ on 7-9 December at l’Ancienne Mairie. Tickets cost 10€, see www.castawaysdrama.org. Until 24 December, join Inspirations Droux, a local arts and crafts group, at their pop-up shop which sells a variety of crafts perfect for Christmas gifts. Open Tue-Fri 10am to 4pm, Sat 9am-noon at 5 Place Carnot, Bellac (87).
Saint-Benoît, Poitiers (86) 16 December
Don your Father Christmas outfit and join in the Course des PèresNoël, a 7.5km fun run with 1,200 participants which raises money for 'Un hôpital pour les enfants'.
Château-Larcher (86) 16 December
From 3-11pm, join in the fun around the chateau during the Féerie de Noël. Shows, stalls, nativity scenes and refreshments will entertain both young and old.
Coussac Bonneval (87) 16 December
Market in the park of the Château de Bonneval from 11am to 7pm.
Bellac (87) 23 December
A popular evening market with a good atmosphere perfect for last minute gifts and some Christmas cheer. Open 4 to 10pm.
La Souterraine (23) 23 December
Combine some last-minute shopping with a day out in Creuse at this well-known market. With 180 stalls, free animations and a visit from Father Christmas, it's a great way to get into the festive spirit!
Every two years, dancers flock to Limoges for the contemporary dance festival Danse Emoi hosted from the middle of January. 23 performances across 3 weeks featuring different styles are supported by exhibitions and workshops. Included in the programme are two shows suitable for youngsters, several emerging talents as well as many established artists from across France and abroad. The shows take place across the city in venues including the Opéra. Outside the main 3-week festival, several additional dance performances are scheduled through until April. Ticket prices range from 5€ to 35€ with full details on www.centres-culturels-limoges.fr.
News from around the region...
Meet the Ambassador
Poitiers Airport There was concern amongst our readers when the administration of Nouvelle Aquitaine unexpectedly withdrew support from Poitiers airport suggesting that the LGV train link to Paris would meet all local needs. Clearly, for the many travellers to the UK, trains and planes offer different advantages and for those whose destination is outside central London or who do not wish to transfer across Paris, the low-cost service from Poitiers is an important part of the region’s attractiveness. With planes averaging around 85% occupancy for both London and Edinburgh routes, it is clear there is a demand for them alongside the busy Poitiers to Lyon flight. However, with the
current management contract ending at the end of 2019, the airport will need to review the way it is funded and managed. An additional challenge is that one of the airport’s three partners, the Vienne CCI, have also had budgets slashed, meaning that their participation in the funding of the airport is under doubt. They are working with the two other partners (Grand Poitiers and Vinci Airports) to ensure the future of the airport is safe after this contract ends. In the meantime, they will be asking the region to review their decision and to support Poitiers’ regional airport as they are supporting the other airports in Nouvelle Aquitaine. Watch www.livingmagazine.fr for details of further developments.
Lord Llewellyn, formerly chief of staff to David Cameron and now British Ambassador to France, is visiting the region on 11 December to discuss the implications of Brexit (the details are being confirmed as we go to press). As part of a nationwide tour, the Embassy team hope to meet many of the British citizens living in France to explain the UK Government’s current position. Rather than stay in the cities, Living Magazine recommended that the visit took place in one of the smaller communes such as Civray (86) where the majority of Brits live and we are delighted that this has been agreed. The timing of the meeting has been confirmed as early evening to allow both working members of the community to attend, as well as those who are retired. Please read the review of the current negotiation position on pages 20-21 to understand why this visit is important. As Ambassador, Lord Llewellyn is able to listen to our concerns and take them back to London, giving us a voice. We hope that as many of our readers as possible will come to the meeting which is free of charge. Full details of the event and how to reserve your seat will be posted on www.livingmagazine.fr when confirmed. We look forward to seeing you there.
16 | living places to visit 14
White Magic Immersing yourself in the beauty of snow-covered mountains can be exhilarating. WORDS & PHOTOS: ROGER MOSS
espite what you might think, skiers aren’t all competitive, white-knuckle thrill seekers. With that in mind we decided to celebrate the beauty of our very own winter wonderland, and offer some suggestions as to where you’ll find the best of it, whether on skis,
a snowboard or snowshoes. Oh, and many ski resorts now have dedicated lift-accessible circuits for those who are happy just to walk. You might expect that the quest for scenic beauty rules out the big, feisty ski domains which tour operators seem to love. French purists refer to this kind of experience disdainfully as ‘ski à l’usine’, but you can
usually still find perfect peace if you know where to look. Big ski areas obviously attract high mileage skiers, who inevitably have to head through central areas to get around, but on the edges of the piste map lies quite insignificant-looking terrain which is often overlooked and is thus much less visited. Out on the margins, far from the hum of chairlifts, you’ll be
living The lower end of the long run linking La Plagne (Paradiski) with Champagny-en-Vanoise.
Above Orelle, which offers high-speed gondola access to Val Thorens and the vast 3 Valleys ski area from the Vallée de la Maurienne.
much closer to nature, the only sound being the gentle swish of snow beneath your skis and the echo of birdsong among larch or pine forests. Sound appealing? Then try it. Away from the big-name resorts the scenic rewards are potentially even richer, prices are lower and the welcome noticeably warmer, as you’ll be among local people rather than
seasonal staff. Small can be beautiful, particularly if you set your sights a little further south, where the skies are often bluer yet snowfalls can be prodigious. The area beside the Franco-Italian border is enchanting, and there’s a sense of liberation in knowing that you can ski across any time you like. Either way you’ll often be floating through scenery whose
places to visit | 15
The wild and beautiful Val d’Allos is linked to Pra Loup in the sunny Alpes-de-HauteProvence.
look and feel are a reminder that the Mediterranean isn’t far away. Of course, it’s not all about the Alps. The Pyrénées, for example, offer real big-mountain skiing amid truly magnificent scenery, but here too it’s the smaller resorts which offer the most natural, unspoilt settings. So you see, winter can be beautiful...
16 | living places to visit
Heavy snowfalls followed by sunny days and low temperatures keep things looking fresh and magical. Location: Sainte-Foy Tarentaise, close to Les Arcs, La Rosière, Tignes and Val d’Isère in Savoie, French Alps.
Betweenplaces Morzine, Châtel and Avoriaz living to visit | 17in
the Franco-Swiss Portes du Soleil ski area. Below: Hautacam (Hautes-Pyrénées) is small, but is a delight to ski and the panoramic views are spectacular.
Where to find your paradise If your family has its heart set on Les Arcs’ in the giant Paradiski area, you can still escape the crowds and get back to nature on the woodland pistes between Arc 2000 and the more traditional ski village of Villaroger. After fresh snowfalls they’re simply magical, as is the run from Les Arcs’ partner La Plagne over to Champagny-en-Vanoise. You’ll find similar outer-limit opportunities in other big resorts including the Grand Massif (take a 14km cruise from Flaine to Sixte Fer-à-Cheval), the Chamonix Valley (Les Houches is well worth getting to know) and the Portes du Soleil, where you’ll be skiing in both France and Switzerland. Beside it is Praz de Lys, a paradise for cross-country skiers and walkers, while its downhill terrain is linked to similarly charming Sommand. Not far away, both La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand have village charm and scenic skiing in the Massif des Aravis. The Espace Diamant is currently little-known, but if both Megève and
18 | living places to visit
Les Contamines finally join the party then skiers will finally wake up to the beauty which lies along this full circuit of the mountains between the Val d’Arly and the Beaufortain. A little further south, above the Vallée de la Maurienne, is another little-known area with big potential. Les Sybelles combine the respective piste networks of six mostly traditional villages, the result being a huge area whose grandeur you’ll long remember – and if you prefer something smaller then just nearby are the panoramic views above Albiez-Montrond. If you’ve never skied on the uncrowded mountains of the Hautes-Alpes and Alpes d’Haute Provence then you have a pleasant surprise in store in resorts like Montgenèvre, Orcières Merlette, Val |d’Allos and Vars. Meanwhile, in the Pyrénées you’ll find that the celebrated Tour de France climb to Hautacam will bring you to a tiny ski resort with stunning views – or you might even, as happened to me while springskiing in Piau Engaly, encounter a marmot newly emerged from hibernation and wandering sleepily across the piste. Alternatively, in the Auvergne, when blanketed under freshly fallen snow Le Mont Dore offers the powerful visual drama of skiing down the side of an extinct volcano – something you’ll never forget. For more inspiration: www.mountainpassions.com
Above: Epic snowfalls in La Plagne (Paradiski, Savoie).Below: Albiez is just a few km drive from the Les Sybelles ski area (Savoie).
The Merdassier area above La Clusaz and neighbouring Le Grand Bornand in the Massif des Aravis (Haute-Savoie) is deservedly popular with weekend skiers from nearby Annecy and Geneva.
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20 | living brexit
BR BREXIT news. BRE Kathryn Dobson examines the latest developments for British citizens living in France in the ongoing negotiations regarding Citizens’ Rights post-Brexit
promised to preserve our rights of free movement. The EU have been inflexible about modifying the application of their laws to those affected by the unprecedented circumstance of a Member State leaving the Union. They will not relax the 2-year rule under which a person with permanent residence in a State loses that right if they are absent for two years. It seems the UK offered to grant an unlimited right to return to EU citizens in the UK (EUinUK) within the Withdrawal Agreement in exchange for freedom of movement for UKinEU, which should have been accepted immediately.
David Davis (left) and Michel Barnier give a briefing following the latest round of negotiations
Stumbling blocks for the UK made their own offer some weeks later which did not even refer to the EU’s. By making a low offer knowing they would have to raise it, they showed that they saw Citizens’ Rights as a matter for standard commercial negotiation. They have since made a number of concessions, but they still have a long way to go. Unfortunately, the EU’s reaction to this approach appears to have been to harden its line.
There is a serious risk of a political stitch-up in December, where progress falling well short of protecting our rights is certified by the EU to be ‘sufficient’ just so that the sides can move on to discussing trade. If that happens and Citizens’ Rights are discussed in parallel with trade and other matters, we will be ‘bargaining chips’ in the full sense of the term. It is vital to avoid that. For the same reasons any agreement which is made now must be ring-fenced to prevent it being revisited as part of the trade negotiations.
The 27 EU Member States (EU27) drew a flawed distinction between the rights of citizens who have already moved and the future relationship between the UK and the EU. This led them to: • refuse to discuss the position of current posted workers (an employee sent by his employer to carry out a service in another EU Member State on a temporary basis), • cut off at Brexit the freedom of movement rights of UK citizens now in the EU (UKinEU), including to work in other member states, • limit dramatically the recognition of professional qualifications on which people already depend to earn their living, as well as the scope of economic rights. This was a surprise to campaigning groups ‘British in Europe’ and ‘the3million’ as the EU Negotiating Directives, amended after discussions between them and the EU,
Why is there no deal yet? Each side has said that Brexit should not alter people’s daily lives but the negotiations are far from achieving that. The EU made the first offer – a principled proposal which protected our existing rights. Rather than agreeing and bringing the matter to a swift conclusion, the UK
Stumbling blocks for the EU27
British in Europe is the largest coalition group of British citizens living and working in Europe. With representation across the EU27, they actively campaign for the rights of UK citizens in the EU (UKinEU) and support EU citizens in the UK (EUinUK). They proudly stand up for an inclusive, open, British and European identity. British in Europe work hand-in-hand with the3million who represent the EU27 nationals living in the UK.
PHOTO: © European Union , 2017 / Photo: Lukasz Kobus
Since our last edition, two more rounds of negotiations have taken place. We are rapidly approaching the point at which Michel Barnier will recommend to the EU27 whether ‘sufficient progress’ has been made on the three priority areas (Citizens’ Rights, the Irish border and the ‘divorce’ bill) which would allow the talks to move on to trade. So where are we and what are the next steps?
Firstly, the UK refuses to accept the simple continuation of the existing system of EU residence rights and insists on requiring EU nationals to be brought under UK immigration law where ‘leave to remain’ is granted to ‘applicants’. This is fundamentally different to the concept of Citizens’ Rights in the EU and would confer much less protection on EUinUK. The UK Government insist that this is because “the
living brexit | 21
REXIT news. BREXI BREX Get Involved!
Write to your MEP to explain your situation and what Brexit means to you and your family. For your MEP, search on www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/. Don’t miss the visit on 11 December by the British Ambassador to the region (see page 13). It is important that he hears our concerns and reports them back to London. UK will no longer be subject to EU law”. However, they are happy for this to happen where convenient, having said from the outset “the UK will seek to protect the healthcare arrangements currently set out in EU Regulations and domestic law”. Moreover, it is the approach of the UK Government’s Withdrawal Bill to continue to apply existing EU law except where it is specifically changed. Secondly is the argument (used to justify the proposed restriction on the right of EUinUK to bring an ageing relative to live with them in the UK or to bring a future spouse), that the rights of EUinUK should be no better than those of UK citizens. The flaw in this argument is that the ageing relatives of most UK citizens in the UK live in the same country and the majority marry fellow-nationals, hence there are no restrictions on them.
The Way ahead ‘British in Europe’ and ‘the3million’ have come together to recommend: 1) MOVEMENT: Confirm a solution on free movement and the 2-year rule providing
reciprocity in practice: an agreement should be made conceding continuing free movement rights to reside and work across the EU27 for UKinEU in exchange for a lifelong right to return to the UK for EUinUK. The UK also needs to relax the rules restricting the family members UKinEU can bring with them if they decide to return to the UK. 2) Professional qualifications: mutual recognition of qualifications should be confined to those who have been residing or frontier-working away from their country of origin at Brexit. Otherwise it should not be restricted to the country of residence, work or individual recognition-decision. Recognition of professional qualifications, whether generic or individual-specific, should apply across the EU28 and a professional who has practised under their home title should continue to be allowed to do so. Degrees obtained post-Brexit by EU27 students in the UK and vice-versa (including GB passport holders who have lived in the EU27 and vice versa) should be recognised. 3) Economic rights: Again, economic rights such as the right to become a selfemployed person or to run a business should continue to be allowed across the EU for those who are living here pre-Brexit. 4) Export of benefits: the UK should not limit the right to export benefits to those currently being exported (pensions and health benefits excepted as agreement has been reached on these). 5) LIFELONG RIGHTS: Children born to citizens after Brexit should have lifelong rights but these cannot be passed on to future generations. British in Europe Steering Team at their recent meeting in Brussels
Have the talks been a total failure? No. A number of important points have been agreed so far, including: • confirmed rights of residence in the country where they are living for all those living legally at Brexit, • confirmed rights to work or be selfemployed in the country where they are working at Brexit (except for posted workers), • some recognition of professional qualifications, • the continuation of S1 reciprocal healthcare arrangements for pensioners and others on certain benefits, • that UK pensioners in the EU will continue to receive inflation increases, • that the past and future pension contributions by those who have worked in various EU countries to continue to be aggregated (combined). Unfortunately, those for whom these are the most important issues cannot relax yet because they are all conditional on ‘no deal’ being avoided. If there is no final agreement, we are back to square one.
Next Steps Following the last round of negotiations, Michel Barnier confirmed that neither the ‘divorce’ bill or the Irish border issues have yet progressed enough. Therefore, the UK is under pressure to make concessions to ensure the ‘sufficient progress’ decision in mid-December enables them to move on to trade. In parallel, the Withdrawal Bill, the bill that details how to transpose directly-applicable EU law into the law of the UK at Brexit, is being debated in Parliament. Over 450 amendments have been tabled and so its progress will not be smooth. The next few weeks will prove pivotal in the fight to maintain and safeguard Citizens’ Rights so your help is vital in ensuring the best outcome for us all.
keep in touch To keep up to date with the latest information, follow British In Europe on Twitter, Facebook or see their website at britishineurope.org. Join ECREU (Expat Citizen Rights in EU) who send out regular e-newsletters with the latest developments. www.ecreu.com For a good explanation of the background to the talks, see RIFT at www.remaininfrance.org
22 | living places to visit
We continue our occasional series on the architecture of France by celebrating our much loved covered market halls.
hroughout France an age-old spectacle continues to unfold in the traditional market squares which bring welcome splashes of colour to daily life in countless towns and villages. More important markets possessed covered halls, the idea being to protect perishable goods from the summer sun and shoppers from the intempéries of winter. Over the years, however, many structures have been either replaced or lost altogether, but happily many are still with us, the more venerable examples providing unbroken links with the past. Our own Nouvelle Aquitaine region has many handsome ‘marchés couverts’ in a wide range of sizes and styles. You’ll find what is perhaps our earliest surviving example in the bastide town of Villeréal (47), where a charter dated
WORDS & PHOTOS: Roger Moss
20 April 1288, decreed that a market be held on the first Saturday of the month. The first hall was constructed around 1305, employing sturdy oak columns from the then surrounding forest of Montlabour and seasoned for many years in the waters of the Dropt river. The hall was clearly built to last, for around three centuries passed before any major rebuilding was required and, even then, elements from the earlier construction seem to have been retained. Whichever way you look at it, the 30m square market hall is impressively proportioned, with three concentric arcades of oak piers, the middle set supporting an upper storey which once accommodated the town’s Juridiction Royale responsible for municipal administration (a layout also used at Montréjeau, in Gascony). For a while it was adorned with a slightly
incongruous skeletal campanile, which was removed in the 1960s. Now lovingly restored, the Halle de Villeréal remains a much loved feature of the town, and in 2007 was awarded Monument Historique status. Elsewhere you’ll chance upon similarly atmospheric survivors, many of which are still fulfilling their original functions. Take some time to look up at the ancient networks of structural timbers keeping it all together above your head and you’ll be astonished by the complexity of medieval construction. Now turn your attention to the time-worn stones beneath your feet, where the footfall of centuries has glazed the limestone ‘dalles’ (flagstones) and worn heavily-trafficked areas into something resembling a giant relief map. To help find their locations our factfile panel has a list of those which are
living places to visit | 23
OPPOSITE PAGE: Les Halles d’Angoulême, completed around 1890; ABOVE LEFT: The marché couvert in Marans (17) dates from 1882; TOP RIGHT: La Halle de Cadouin (28) features stone and timber construction; MIDDLE RIGHT: One of Chef Boutonne’s (79) two market halls; BELOW: The retro-style market hall in Arcachon (33), built in 2005.
24 | living places to visit
listed as historic monuments or are of particular architectural interest. Not surprisingly, many halls employed stone rather than timber for the columns supporting the heavy roof structures. Stone was plentiful and easily worked – in all probability by the same quarrymen and masons who were responsible for constructing numerous churches, abbeys and other ecclesiastical buildings. The use of stone suddenly removed previous constraints, so market halls began to rise higher than their all-timber counterparts, with the involvement of more formally trained architects. In 1770 the Académie d’Architecture began to include market hall projects in its competitions, eventually requiring designs to take account of factors like convenient street access and to indicate specific areas intended for the sale of bread, fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, etc. As artisan market hall (and other) builders began to sense the hand of formality meddling in their affairs, a conflict developed between traditionalists and those with a more progressive approach, particularly when it came to construction materials. Things came to a head in the late 18th century when the Halle aux Blés, a circular grain market, was built in Soissons (02). Local architects made a case for a dome supported by wrought iron trusses and covered with copper sheeting, but they were ignored by those responsible for the overall design, who instead specified lightweight timber. In 1802 the structure was ravaged by fire, and dissent arose once more when considering the rebuilding. The traditionalists favoured stone, but the progressives revived their original alternative approach. Breaking the deadlock required the intervention of the both
ABOVE: The magnificent Halles de Niort (79), completed in 1865; TOP RIGHT: The mid15th century Halle de Belvès (24); BELOW RIGHT: La Halle de Villeréal (47) is thought to be the region’s oldest example.
the Minister and the Emperor, their decision (by Imperial Decree in 1807) being to accept copper on ironwork skeleton framework. It was an early victory for the progressives, but the real turning point in the adoption of construction using new industrially produced materials can be attributed to the troubled creation of the Halles Centrales in Paris. A first attempt, constructed almost entirely in heavy stonework, was greeted with near universal criticism when it was inaugurated in 1853, earning it the nickname ‘le Fort de la Halle’. Soon afterwards Emperor Napoléon III stepped in, ordered its demolition and specified cast iron and glass for its replacement. Construction began in 1854 and would continue until 1934, by which time ten huge pavilions (of the twelve originally planned) had been completed. They proved themselves to be a great success, and were only removed in 1971 when their inner-city access problems had finally become insurmountable. You
can see one of the dismantled pavilions, which was re-erected in the Parisian suburb of Nogent-sur-Marne. Once traditional stone and timber had been superseded by mechanical, unit-construction style iron and glass large towns and cities were free to build the dramatically larger market halls we see in places like Angoulème, Limoges and Niort. Not that the advances stopped there. The region’s covered market halls
LEARN FRENCH www.livingmagazine.fr
living places to visit | 25
Some of our more notable covered markets Corrèze:
MH = Monument Historique listed
Bort-les-Orgues: Early 19c. stone and
slate octagonal former grain market (MH).
Built with stone piers during the 18c. but looks much older (MH).
Collonges-la-Rouge: 16/17c. red
stone and timber covered market (MH). Meymac: 16/19c. stone, timber and slate covered market (MH). Meyssac: 18c. red stone and timber covered market (MH). Treignac: 16/17c. stone and slate covered market (MH).
Deux-Sèvres Melle: Large brick, iron and glass structure completed in 1903, on the site of 19c. timber market hall. Niort: Late 19c. brick, stone, ironwork and glass structure housing daily markets (MH). Pamproux: 17/18c. stone and timber structure in village centre (MH).
Haute-Vienne: Limoges: Large late 19c. brick, iron, zinc and glass market hall (MH). Mortemart: Early 18c. timber covered market (MH).
Large brick, iron and glass structure completed in 1883, on the site of timber market hall.
Belvès: Large early 15c. stone and timber covered market (MH). Domme: 18c. stone and timber covered market (MH). Le Buisson-de-Cadouin: 15c. stone and timber covered market (MH). Monpazier: 13c. timber covered market (MH). Montferrand-du-Périgord: 16c. stone and timber covered market (MH).
Charroux: Large 16c. covered
market, timber on stone (MH). Couhé: Large 16c. covered
market, timber on stone (MH). Lusignan: Late 19c. covered
market, stone and timber (MH). Les Ormes: 17/18c. timber
covered market (MH). Scorbé-Clairvaux: Large 18c.
timber covered market (MH).
Monségur: Large late 19c. cast iron and glass covered market hall (MH).
Angoulème: Huge late 19c. market hall
in stone, brick, ironwork and glass (MH).
Villebois Lavalette: 18c. stone and
timber covered market (MH).
Gontaud-de-Nogaret: 17c. timber covered market surmounted by 18c. timber pavilion (MH). Laparade: Late 18c. timber and stone covered market (MH) Saint-Pastour: Small late 18c. timber and stone covered market (MH) Villerèal: 12/13/16c. timber and covered market surmounted by timber pavilion (MH).
Charente Maritime: Cozes: Large 15-18c. stone and timber covered market (MH). La Rochelle: Huge 19c. stone, iron and polychrome brickwork market hall. Marans: Large 19c. iron, brick, stone and glass market hall. Pisany: Early 17c. stone and timber covered market (MH). Rochefort: Huge Italianate stone market hall. Saint-Jean d’Angely: 17c. timber covered market (MH).
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Late 19c. octagonal former grain market in Italianate stone (MH).
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include not only fine examples of both approaches, but also the influences of Art Déco and Modernism made possible by the introduction of reinforced concrete as the construction material of choice for large covered areas. Whatever your personal preference, though, it’s clear that the best examples not only fulfilled their intended functions, but did so with great style and grace, which is a considerable achievement.
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26 | living interview
Maxime’s personal favourite, the Île de Ré from 4,000 metres
Maxime’s most popular image - a unique view of La Rochelle
living places living to profile visit || 27 17
Sharing his love for the beauty of the French landscape, a young pilot from La Rochelle takes to the skies to find new perspectives with his camera. Jessica Knipe talks to photographer and pilot Maxime Pagnoux about his fabulous flights of fancy
+article en Français
ALL PHOTO© Maxime Pagnoux
o one can argue with the fact that France is a breathtakingly beautiful country, especially not Maxime Pagnoux, the man from La Rochelle who was so stricken by it that he decided to start recording it from the air. Flying to the four corners of the country, soaring above majestic mountain ranges, dazzling seascapes and rolling country hills, the young pilot was so overcome by the magnificence of the landscapes below that he couldn’t stop himself from getting his camera out to record the moment. A keen photographer from a young age, Maxime was more familiar with how to push a camera’s buttons than how to pull on a plane’s yoke. But the very first time he took to the skies after someone gave him a certificate as a birthday gift, he was immediately lovestruck and set his heart on learning to fly himself. “I never really thought about planes before that,” says Maxime, “but on that first flight, something
clicked and made me want to make a career out of it.” He put everything he could into getting his own wings. Five hundred flying hours and tens of thousands of photos later, Maxime has not only accomplished his dream of becoming a pilot, he has also made a name for himself as the region’s top aerial photographer, taking photos of views from France’s western littoral all the way from the Sables d’Olonne, down to Royan, publishing books and calendars that sell out as soon as they hit the shelves. As his new photographic hobby soared, so did Maxime attract scores of followers, with thousands of fans “liking” his photos on Facebook. His personal favourite is a full shot of the Ile de Ré, taken from an altitude of 4,000 metres, but his fans chose another as their top shot: “My most popular photo is one of La Rochelle,” says Maxime, “because it was taken from an angle most people are unfamiliar with. I took it from the north, and the sea was particularly blue that day.” But as with
Pour mieux partager son amour de la beauté du paysage français, un jeune homme de La Rochelle s’envole vers de nouvelles perspectives, appareil photo à la main. Jessica Knipe parle au photographe et pilote Maxime Pagnoux de la France vue du ciel La beauté du paysage français est à couper le souffle, on est tous d’accord. Maxime Pagnoux le premier: ce jeune rochelais en a été si ému qu’il a décidé de l’immortaliser depuis les airs. Aux quatre coins du pays, survolant des montagnes majestueuses, des paysages marins éblouissants et une campagne ondoyante, le jeune pilote a été tellement touché par la magnificence des paysages qu’il n’a pas pu s’empêcher de sortir son appareil pour la prendre en photo. Photographe passionné depuis son plus jeune âge, Maxime était plus à l’aise
28 living places profileto visit 18 || living
Above left: Île d’Aix Above right: Phare des Baleines This Photo: Fort Boyard
“You can visit the same place at 8am, midday, 2pm and 6pm and you’ll get four completely different photos...” most magical photographic moments, there is also a huge element of being in the right place at the right time to Maxime’s art. “I could have taken that shot three times at different moments and it wouldn’t have been the same. That’s what’s so great about this region – you can visit the same place at 8am, midday, 2pm and 6pm and you’ll get four completely different photos, even if you frame them exactly the same way.” The first book of photos came about after Maxime’s pilot training was complete, in 2015, when he decided to take his wife on a tour de France by air. In one incredible week, with 25
different landings, from the air the couple marvelled at the wild charms of Brittany, held their breath as they navigated between the peaks of the Alps and gasped at the colours of the calanques of Marseille. Wanting to add a human, charitable element to their experience, they used their trip to bring media attention to the Papillons de Charcot, an association dedicated to helping people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS, or Charcot’s disease). All of the proceeds of the book that came out of the voyage went to the association. Since then Maxime has put together a calendar of his best shots every
Maxime flies from his base at La Rochelle airport
living places to visit | 19
Bridge to the Île de Ré
Sunset over Oléron
avec les boutons de son appareil photo qu’avec les manettes d’un avion. Mais pendant un baptême de l’air qu’il a reçu pour son anniversaire, c’était le coup de foudre. Il s’est tout de suite mis en tête d’apprendre lui-même à voler. “Je n’ai jamais vraiment pensé aux avions avant ça,” dit Maxime, “mais pendant ce premier vol, il y a eu un déclic qui m’a donné envie d’en faire mon métier.” Il a tout mis en œuvre pour pouvoir déployer ses ailes. 500 heures de vol et des dizaines de milliers de photos plus tard, Maxime n’a pas seulement réalisé son rêve de devenir pilote, il s’est également fait un nom en tant que photographe aérien dans sa région, partageant des vues du littoral ouest français des Sables d’Olonne jusqu’à Royan, et publiant des livres et des calendriers qui se vendent la minute qu’ils paraissent. Et alors que
la popularité de sa passion photographique monte en flèche, Maxime attire de nombreux adeptes, avec des milliers de fans qui “like” ses photos sur Facebook. Son cliché favori est une vue globale de l’île de Ré, prise à une altitude de 4 000 mètres, mais ses fans en préfèrent une autre : “Ma photo la plus populaire est une vue de La Rochelle,” dit-il. “Elle est prise sous un angle que la plupart des gens ne connaissent pas, du nord, et la mer était particulièrement bleue ce jour-là.” Mais comme souvent quand il s’agit de la magie de la photographie, il y a aussi un très gros élément de chance dans l’expression artistique de Maxime. “J’aurais pu prendre cette photo à trois moments différents, et elle n’aurait pas été pareille. Voilà ce qui est bien dans cette région : vous pouvez visiter le même endroit à 8 heures, midi, 14 heures et 18 heures et vous obtiendrez quatre
20 | living profile 30 places to see
Phare de Chassiron, île d’Oléron
year, and has just recently published his second book concentrating on his home turf, the coastline of the Charente Maritime. Although he has witnessed breathtaking beauty all over the country, Maxime says that it’s his native La Rochelle that wins his vote every time, especially when he sees it from the sky, which he tries to do as often as possible. “I fly every week, whenever I can,” says this new generation Yann ArthusBertrand. And now that he is a father of a one-year-old boy, he has decided to look for a stable job that will allow him to spend as much time as possible in the air. As the Ryanair flight from Stansted lands behind us, Maxime tells me about the difficulties of becoming a pilot in these days of economic pressure and financial corner-cutting. But he hasn’t lost hope: “I’d love to get a job as a long-distance pilot. It’s a dream, and I know it’s within my reach. I just need to find the right opportunity.” And the right lenses to capture the exotic landscapes he will discover along the way… You can buy Maxime’s new book, Paysages de lumières et nuages éphémères, as well as his 2018 calendar on his website at www.les-vols-de-max.fr or from his Facebook page, Les Vols de Max.
photos complètement différentes, même si vous les cadrez exactement de la même manière.” Le premier livre de photos de Maxime est paru à la fin de ses études de pilotage, en 2015, quand il a décidé d’emmener sa femme faire un tour de France par avion. Pendant une semaine incroyable, avec 25 atterrissages différents, le couple s’est étonné des charmes sauvages de la Bretagne, a retenu son souffle en naviguant entre les sommets des Alpes, et s’est émerveillé des couleurs des calanques de Marseille. Désireux d’ajouter un élément humain et caritatif à leur expérience, ils ont aussi utilisé leur voyage pour attirer l’attention des médias sur les Papillons de Charcot, une association dédiée aux personnes atteintes de la sclérose latérale amyotrophique (aussi connue sous le nom de SLA, ou maladie de Charcot). Les bénéfices du livre qui a suivi le voyage ont été intégralement reversés à l’association. Depuis, Maxime édite chaque année un calendrier de ses meilleurs clichés et publie ce mois-ci son deuxième livre, qui a pour sujet son territoire natal – le littoral de la Charente Maritime. Bien qu’il ait été témoin d’une beauté
indescriptible dans tout le pays, Maxime dit que c’est La Rochelle qui gagne son coeur à chaque fois. Surtout quand il la voit du ciel, ce qu’il essaie de faire aussi souvent que possible. “Je vole chaque semaine, dès que je le peux,” dit ce Yann Arthus- Bertrand à propos de la nouvelle generation. Et maintenant qu’il est le père d’un petit garçon d’un an, il a décidé de chercher un emploi stable qui lui permettra de passer autant de temps que possible dans les airs. Alors que le vol Ryanair arrivant de Stansted atterrit derrière nous, Maxime me parle de la difficulté de devenir pilote en ces temps de raccourcis économiques et de pression financière. Mais il ne perd pas espoir : “J’aimerais travailler comme pilote de ligne de longue distance,” dit-il. “C’est un rêve, mais je sais que c’est à ma portée. J’ai juste besoin de trouver la bonne opportunité.” Et le bon objectif pour capturer les paysages exotiques qu’il découvrira en cours de route ... Le nouveau livre de Maxime, Paysages de lumières et nuages éphémères, ainsi que son calendrier 2018, sont disponibles sur le site www.les-volsde-max.fr ou sur la page Facebook, Les Vols de Max.
living PUZZLE | 31 1
Settle down by the fire to tackle our exclusive crossword kindly compiled by Mike Morris. See if you can find the theme as well as the answers before checking the solution on page 64. Across 1. If not this, it’s said to be neither fair nor upright. (7) 5. It is to do with them living in South Eire environment. (5) 8. Current queen is taking tea still. (5) 9. Rod’s classic marine work coming from a sling I unpinned. (7) 10. Student taken on by golfer placed centrally to get measurements. (4) 11. Somersaulting on my pool, leaving no space for anybody else? (8) 14. Amphibian turtle flipping easily, at first backwards. (3) 16. West country show of French in centre of common marsupial. (5) 17. Little creature that no selfrespecting naturalist keeps in captivity. (3) 19. Game question in salutation, often described by 1 down. (8) 20. Thanks to the force of the sea,
a body of water is preserved. (4) 23. Somebody talking about you if you are within this? (7) 25. Took a picture to capture a ruminant. (5) 26. Afterthought following addition of drains. (5) 27. Polite ladies are warming to good sounds of cattle. (7)
Down 1. Take away food from man, 19 since he was disruptive. (7) 2. Perfect personality for a kind of field organisation? (5) 3. Essential part of secret I kept 23 turned up flying object. (4) 4. Poetically it is very short. (3) 5. French symbol starting the revolution in calling on aristocrat to be cut off. (8) 26 6. Classic example of great work on the making of pie. (7) 15. Proposition to put inverted 7. Sport a very common hairpiece fish eggs in with the others. (7) on edges of boundary. (5) 18. Building barriers could be seen 12. Express hesitation after nothing on the road is put in the right place. (5) as dodging the issue. (7) 19. He’s well within the limits of 13. Violent, hard gust declining to class game of strategy. (5) weaker currents. (8)
21. French qualification in the very best class of calculators. (5) 22. Puts loop over horses used in this activity. (4) 24. Appropriate label for children’s game? (3)
INDIGO PRODUCTIONS ET TF1 SPECTACLE PRÉSENTENT
Choreographers : Ciaran Connolly / Ashlene McFadden musical director : Anthony Davis • Direction artistic director : Toby Gough
Find all tour dates on www.indigo-productions.fr/en | for further information: +33 (0)5 49 73 66 16 irishcelticshow
www.livingmagazine.fr www.livingmagazine.fr | 32
32 | living family
Avec les enfants
Fit For A King
For more cartoons by Stig see www.artisart.com
It’s incredible to think that we are once again right in the midst of the festive season. This year it has sort of crept up on us without anyone really noticing, but then I’ve discovered that in France Christmas tends to do that. It’s very much a softly, softly affair, as there is no fanatical marketing of excessive merchandise in the shops until well into November, and we don’t find endless adverts on television about upcoming festivities in October. No, here it’s a far more down to earth time of year.
I’ve said it many times before: Christmas in France is all about the family. Like most aspects of living in a foreign country, it all took a little getting used to. Our children were accustomed to starting the fun at school halfway through the Michaelmas term; they would be practising nativity plays, designing cards, making gifts and learning carols; in fact by the time December rolled around they were always in a state of heightened frenzy, but not here. They still count down the days as if their lives depended on it, but in our children’s school the only nod to the season is the Christmas lunch, a traditional meal which in content is close to its typical English counterpart. Roast turkey is served, of course, and for dessert there are individual chocolate Yule logs. While it might be only a very small observance of the season it certainly packs a huge punch and is met with much eagerness. Don’t worry, though. While it might be a calm time of year, I think the lack of commercialism actually increases the overall charm, and in general there is nothing vulgar about the Christmas season in France. In villages and towns Christmas markets pop up, ranging in size from tiny little affairs with just a few stalls in a local salle des fêtes, to beautifully themed Christmas villages complete with fake snow and even polar bears. Ice-skating rinks also make their annual appearance, and are great places in which to socialise with friends with glasses of vin chaud, whilst watching the kids slide around frostily to loud music. I remember my first tentative steps on
the ice a few years ago, wondering if I was going to make a complete fool of myself, but I was desperate to join in the fun and I had no intention of sitting on the sidelines. I wanted to be in on the action and I was, and no one minds in the slightest. There are always the expert skaters of course, who spin around at lightning speed while somehow dodging in between everyone, and then there are the family skaters like us, who make their appearance just a few times a year. They can be spotted a mile away, holding hands and moving gingerly, but fast or slow there’s always a huge smile plastered on their faces, cheeks flushed red from the cold air and eyes sparkling, because it is after all a magical time. Just in case my children should read this I might add that they all far outclass me, and on a good day a couple of them can give a convincing show of being nearly as quick as the aforementioned experts! At this time of year almost every town
living family | 33 37
Galette des Rois 2 packs puff pastry (pâtes feuilletées pur beurre) 100g softened butter 125g ground almonds 100g sugar 3 eggs
and village across France will also be lit up with festive lights of some kind. Our village is small, with only just over 600 inhabitants, but the Maire still proudly hosts an evening of aperitifs, held outside a few days before Christmas under the cover of an ancient markethall. It’s an occasion for all ages, from babies in prams to grandparents and great grandparents. It may not be an endless round of riotous parties but it’s still one of the most exciting times of the year for young and old alike. I have yet to meet a child, French or English, who is not bursting with eager anticipation for presents, who does not love decorating the tree or dressing up. It’s enchanting and delightful and even more so for the lack of bling. However, the fun doesn’t come to an abrupt end with the ringing in of the New Year. There’s another great tradition waiting in the wings, namely the season of the Galette des Rois, which begins on Twelfth Night (Epiphany) and is celebrated on the 6th of January. Which reminds me that this is the day when traditionally the tree is taken down, the baubles and glitter are put away for another year, back into boxes to gather dust in the attic. I wonder how many parents find themselves in my shoes? The youngsters love decorating the tree, on a night we turn into a real occasion with Champagne
and Champommy, music, and dancing. Invariably it turns into a small party, but quite the reverse happens when it has to all be dismantled, and no one seems keen to help. Perhaps it’s because someone is busy being King or Queen for the day and this is not a job for royalty! You see, the Galette des Rois, a puff pastry cake most traditionally made with a frangipane filling, hides something else inside its yummy interior: la fève, a small figurine. Whoever is lucky enough to find the charm buried in their slice of dessert becomes King or Queen for the day and all of their wishes are realised – which quite obviously might include not having to be involved with the plebeian task of dismantling decorations. In biblical terms the tradition represents the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. You’ll find these cakes in every bakery in France; many have their own varieties and it’s a tradition which was even enjoyed by Louis XIV and his court. In the 18th Century la fève was made of porcelain and represented characters from the Nativity. Nowadays these figures are highly sought-after collectibles, but there’s one last thing which goes with the title: a crown, of course. Every cake is sold with a cardboard version on top and whoever becomes Monarch for the day can naturally choose their own Consort, so remember to buy a Galette des Rois next time you see them in your local bakery, join in another great French tradition and play along.
METHOD In a bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Lightly beat two eggs and add, mixing well. Stir in the ground almonds. Unroll a sheet of puff pastry on its baking paper on a baking sheet. Wet the outside edge with water. Spread the almond mixture evenly in the centre adding your fève if you wish. Place the second pastry sheet on top, pressing the edges to seal. Mix the remaining egg with a tbsp of water and brush the top, taking care to avoid the sealed edges. Place in the fridge for half an hour before repeating the egg wash. Preheat the oven to 240°C. With the point of a sharp knife, decorate with diagonals or a pattern of your choice. Cook for 10 minutes and then reduce to 180°C for 20 minutes. replace one egg with * For a twist, cognac or add a handful of
2 tbsp of whole almonds to the filling mixture.
Susan, husban d Roddy and th eir five children live clo se to the coast in the Charente-Mariti me where she shares her expe riences on her popular blog at www.OurFrench Oasis.com
For the latest developments on citizens’ rights for Brits living in France after Brexit, visit
www.britishineurope.org If you would like to help us safeguard your rights to live and work in France, please consider volunteering or donating - see our website for more information.
www.livingmagazine.fr www.livingmagazine.fr | 32
34 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Baked cep tart
Lobster and mango salad
Entertaining for two can be a challenge so we asked Nikki for her suggestions for the festive season ahead… Deep fried prawns
Lobster and Mango Salad 1 cooked lobster tail of about 550g 250g mixed salad leaves 1 ripe mango 2 large radishes 2 tbsp olive oil ¼ tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp lemon juice METHOD Remove the meat from the cooked lobster tail. Slice the radishes very thinly. Peel the mango and cut 6 neat slices, put the remainder into a small blender with the mustard, lemon juice, olive oil and blitz. Arrange the lobster onto the plate with the mango slices and salad leaves. Decorate with the sliced radishes and spoon over a little of the mango dressing.
Coquilles Saint-Jacques 200g scallops with 2 shells 1 tbsp unsalted butter 1 shallot, finely diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 handful of finely chopped parsley 1 tbsp plain flour 125ml white wine 125ml cream 2 tbsp of grated cheese METHOD Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the scallops on each side for 2 minutes, season, remove to a plate and keep warm. Add the onion and garlic to the frying pan and fry for 2 minutes until translucent. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and
living nikki legon’s cuisine | 35
Roasted fillet of monkfish
cream, and stir well until thickened. Place the scallops into the shells, spoon over the sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Place under the grill until golden.
Baked Cep Tart with Walnut pastry 175g plain flour 50g walnuts 100g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1 egg, beaten salt and freshly ground black pepper For the filling 25g butter 2 small shallots, chopped finely 200g small ceps (cèpes) cleaned with a brush 3 eggs, beaten 150ml cream salt and pepper METHOD In a food processor add the flour, walnuts, butter and a little salt. Whizz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and a splash of water and mix until a ball of dough is formed. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and either make one tart or two smaller individual ones (freeze any leftover pastry). Line your tin or tins with baking parchment and place the pastry in the
tins. Put in the fridge to chill. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the pastry from the fridge and line with baking parchment. Fill with beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the shallots and ceps for 4 minutes, then cool. Whisk the eggs and cream together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cep mixture. Remove the tart case from the oven and lift out the baking paper and beans, trim the overhanging pastry edge. Evenly fill with the cep mixture before baking for 20 to 30 minutes until golden and set.
Roasted Fillet of Monkfish served with a Red Wine sauce 1 small monkfish tail, about 400g 4 slices of pancetta For the sauce 1 shallot, minced 2 cep mushrooms, sliced 1 small garlic clove, crushed 150ml red wine 150ml chicken stock 1 tsp balsamic vinegar ½ tsp cornflour mixed with a splash of water salt and pepper oil for cooking knob of butter
METHOD Cut the monkfish tail down the middle on each side of the bone. Lay the pancetta side by side on a sheet of cling film. Place the two monkfish fillets in the middle, laying them side by side but head to tail, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the pancetta around the monkfish, making sure it is completely covered. Wrap the parcel tightly in the cling film, twist the ends to tighten the wrapping and chill for at least an hour to help set the shape. When ready to cook the monkfish, preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the cling film and tie up the fish to keep its shape. Heat a little oil and butter in a frying pan and when it begins to foam, add the monkfish and cook, turning frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof dish, drizzle over the pan juices and roast for 5 to 6 minutes until the fish is firm to touch. To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a medium pan, add the shallot and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms, cook a further 2 minutes then add the red wine, stock and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour, stir into the sauce to thicken slightly. Whisk in the butter to give a lovely shiny finish before pouring around the fish.
36 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Guinea fowl with Pizzaiola sauce
Guinea Fowl with Pizzaiola sauce 1 guinea fowl (pintade) 8 rashers of streaky bacon 50g soft butter For the sauce 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 large cloves garlic, crushed 12 green olives, sliced thinly 1 heaped tsp capers 5 anchovies, chopped 1 tbsp dried oregano 200g tin chopped tomatoes 100ml veal stock METHOD Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the guinea fowl, wash and wipe out the inside of the cavity. Mix the butter with some seasoning, then push and spread some under the skin over the breasts. Rub the remainder over the legs and lay the bacon over the breasts. Roast the bird for 15 minutes, then lower the oven to 160°C and roast for a further 35 to 45 minutes for a 1kg bird (longer if larger).
Red cabbage salad
Check the bird is done by piercing the inside of the thigh with a knife and making sure the juices are clear, not bloody. Cover with a clean towel to keep warm whilst you make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic, chilli, olives, capers, anchovies and oregano. Cook over a high heat for around 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the stock, bring to the boil and turn the heat down and cook for a further 5 minutes.
mustard and olive oil in a small bowl to emulsify. Put all the shredded vegetables into a bowl and add the dressing, mix well. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Add the nuts, cranberries or raisins, season to taste just before serving.
Red Cabbage Salad
3 parsnips 3 carrots 2 tbsp sunflower oil ½ tbsp grain mustard 2 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tsp honey 1 tsp grain mustard 2 tbsp olive oil 1 small beetroot, finely grated 1 carrot, finely grated 1 small firm apple, finely sliced ½ small red cabbage, finely sliced 1 tbsp cranberries or raisins 1 tbsp nuts of your choice salt and pepper to taste METHOD Whisk the vinegar, lemon, honey,
Roast Parsnips and Carrots with Honey and Mustard
METHOD Preheat the oven to 200°C. Top and peel carrots and parsnips. Cut the parsnips into two shorter pieces, then cut the thick ends into quarters and the bottom ends in half, cut the carrots in half. Put the carrots and parsnips into a baking dish, with the sunflower oil and turn in the oil to coat well. Roast for 30 minutes. Mix the honey and mustard together, drizzle over the vegetables and
living nikki legon’s cuisine | 37
Roast parsnips and carrots
stir to coat evenly. Roast for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through and crisp at the edges.
1 cup of water 2 gelatine leaves ½ cup of raspberry cordial 200g frozen raspberries 6 sponge fingers
2 tbsp sherry 250g tub mascarpone 1 tbsp icing sugar 1 small tub of raspberry sauce punnet of red fruits to decorate METHOD Place the gelatine leaves in 1 cup of cold water. Once softened, pour in the cordial and heat together, stirring, to dissolve the
gelatine. Add the frozen raspberries and let this mix cool. Spoon into your chosen glasses and place into the fridge to set. Beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar, and layer 2 tbsp of the cream over the jelly when set. Crumble the sponge fingers, sprinkle with sherry and top with the remaining cream. Drizzle with the raspberry sauce and decorate with red berries.
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: www.hotelkarina.net
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 www.aafrance.net
BAKING BASICS Home baking lessons in 16350
Learn to bake with Master Baker Keith Weekly lessons or 1-day workshops. Call now to reserve. Bread, pastry, cake & dessert. Contact Keith for local rates Tel: 05 45 31 41 78 E: email@example.com www.jambondeprintemps.com FB: jambondeprintemps
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 or choose something from our new bar menu. Menu du Jour (Tuesday – Friday midday): 15€ www.hotelkarina.net | firstname.lastname@example.org | 05 45 36 26 26
38 | living wine
Warming wines for
e feel winter closing in now, and the daylight hours shortening with each passing day. It’s time to change gear to stews and hearty fare, while my wine choices also move with the seasons from fresh whites and rosés to sparkling, oaked whites, and red wines. On the organic farm in Saussignac near Bergerac which has been our home for the past twelve years, Seán starts his pruning and vine maintenance marathon – three months of hard work (the time it takes to get through our seven hectares) as soon as the vines drop their leaves. Despite some back pain he loves these quiet moments among the vines, enjoying them more than the heat of summer and the associated hours on the tractor. Things are quieter and we take time to enjoy ‘nature’s TV’, watching the flames of our woodburning stove. Thoughts turn to Christmas menus and associated wine pairings. If you’ve been reading this column regularly then you’ll know that regardless of your Christmas wine choices I recommend that you select organic wine; with 9%
By Caro Feely
of the French vineyards now certified organic, there are great organic wines in all the wine appellations and styles. Choosing organic respects both your own body and the people living in and around the wine-growing areas. Christmas and New Year wouldn’t be the same without a good sparkling wine. If your budget can stretch to a fine biodynamic Champagne like Fleury it will be a real treat, but you can find less expensive and still delicious wines that are perfect for celebrating. Look for Méthode Traditionnelle Brut sparkling wines like Crémant de Bordeaux and Crémant de Loire, or pick a Vin de France Méthode Traditionnelle quality sparkling. For a warming white I usually turn to a barrel-aged wine from grapes like Sémillon (from Pessac Léognan, Montravel or another South West France appellation) or Chardonnay from Burgundy (perhaps from a lesser known appellation like Viré Clessé in the Mâconnais, the most southern wine region of Burgundy). While I enjoy these whites, one of the great luxuries of winter is sipping a fine red wine next to the fire, chatting,
reading or simply watching the flames. For a rich red from the South West seek out Merlot Cabernet blends from Bordeaux or Bergerac, a salty Tannat, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend from Iroulequy or a Malbec from Cahors. Further afield I love a rich Southern Rhône wine from grapes like Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre - to name a few of the thirteen grape varieties that can be used in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. For a less expansive but similar appellation try Vacqueyras or Gigondas. It wouldn’t be right not to mention Languedoc, a region which produces wonderful warming herbaceous reds in the hilly regions a little away from the coast – places like Faugères, St Chinian, Corbières, Minervois and Fitou – using a blend of grapes like Carignan, Grenache and Syrah (Shiraz). If you prefer a sweet fireside experience a local botrytis dessert wine like Sauternes, Monbazillac or Saussignac would be a delight, or a Port style fortified wine like Maury. As we go into the festive season – often a moment of excess, of packaging, of food, of wine –
living wine | 39
I remember a Christmas card from the president of the Aquitaine region a few years ago which had a photo of a pristine mountain and lake, followed by a one-liner from Mahatma Gandhi: ‘Live simply, so others may simply live.’ It’s a great reminder of what is important: love, health and simple joys; hugging a child; feeling good and tired after a hard day’s work; walking in nature.
One of my favourite Christmases in France was the year when our electricity was out for 48 hours, starting on the morning of Christmas Eve. Once the stress associated with emailing last minute vineyard share gift orders off to clients using a dodgy generator was over it was truly magical: peaceful and glorious. We cooked spinach, beans and steak on a gas hob. Our candlelit preparation and
Château Feely (www.chateaufeely.com) is a biodynamic and organic wine estate with accommodation, wine tours, vineyard walks and a wine school. Contact Caro for more details or to subscribe to the newsletter caro @chateaufeely.com, or via FB chateaufeely, Twitter and Instagram @carofeely. You can also read about the Feelys’ adventures in Caro’s book series: ‘Grape Expectations’, ‘Saving our Skins’ and the latest ‘Glass Half Full’.
dining was followed by chatting around a blazing fire and playing charades. We vowed to do it again but haven’t – the temptation of wifi, social networks or a ‘must-see’ film being too attractive. Perhaps 2017 is the year to get back to this simplicity. “Joyeux Noël! ”
ARTISANAL PRODUCTS DIRECT FROM THE FARM
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ve We ha 00 60 over 1 ties proper on e for sal site eb our w
Thinking of buying Contact Leggett Immobilier, winner of ‘Best real estate agency in
Vienne €445,000 Ref: 81046 Marvellous 5 bed Maison de Maître offering a heated pool and over 1Ha of land.
Lot et Garonne €1,102,500 Ref: 81002 Magnificent 9 bed / 9 bath château with grounds of over 22Ha and splendid views.
Deux Sevres €130,800 Ref: 81070 Wonderful 3 bed / 2 bath farmhouse with workshops and large garden in a pretty village.
6% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D
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Auvillar €264,950 Ref: 50294 Busy B&B with pool on the pilgrim route ‘chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle’
Vaucluse €229,000 Ref: 73037 Restored 3 bed stone village house with a small attached garden. Close to amenities.
Charente Maritime €145,800 Ref: 75278 A charming 3 bed stone house with a south facing sunny courtyard garden.
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Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: E
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Nr Aignan €325,500 Ref: 37993 Equestrian property and gîte with 6Ha of fenced pasture and indoor stables.
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Charente €267,500 Ref: 80878 A very pretty 4 bed stone house with in-ground pool, outbuildings, lake and 4Ha.
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7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A
Castelnaud €720,800 Ref: 70568 Stunning 5 bed Maison de Maître with 2.2Ha park, large outbuilding and pool.
Charente €178,200 Ref: 54672 Beautifully presented and elegant 4 bed / 3 bath 18thC home in a pretty riverside town.
Var €525,000 Ref: 79280 Detached 4 bed villa with pool and garage. In a quiet hilltop location with views.
Deux Sèvres €266,430 Ref: 75842 Renovated farmhouse with outbuildings including a separate cottage. Set in 1.3Ha gardens.
6% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D
8% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D
Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: D
7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: C
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Charente Maritime €599,000 Ref: 57756 Clifftop house with three troglodyte caves, fishing platform and amazing views.
Charente €194,400 Ref: 80850 Charming 4 bed farmhouse and 1 bed guest house with outbuildings and 5Ha of land.
Drome €849,000 Ref: 61646 Magnificent 8 bed / 6 bath old stone property with pool, garden and rental possibilities.
Dordogne €736,700 Ref: 57177 Imposing château set in 3.4Ha of land with numerous outbuildings. Elevated position.
Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: D
Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: E
Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: C
6% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: E
Charente Maritime €306,000 Ref: 81088 Maison de Maître from the early 1800’s with numerous outbuildings. Renovation project.
Mayenne €130,800 Ref: 75351 A real gem of a home, renovated with outbuildings and a garden bordering a trout stream.
Côtes d’Armor €77,000 Ref: 64622 Handsome 3/4 bed stone character house with garden located in quaint little village.
Deux Sèvres €119,900 Ref: 80869 Beautifully renovated 3 bed property and small house with scope for further renovation.
6% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: G
9% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: E
10% TTC agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: F
9% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D
Dordogne €175,000 Ref: 81053 Renovated 2 bed / 2 bath stone cottage with garden and covered terrace. Hamlet setting.
Vienne €254,400 Ref: 54269 Completely renovated ancient water mill in an idyllic setting with over 4.6Ha and a lake.
Loire Atlantique €199,999 Ref: 64548 Smart 4 bed house and separate 3 bed house currently rented. Independant gardens.
Deux Sèvres €560,000 Ref: 76928 Stunning 5 bed townhouse with garden and pool, walking distance to all amenities.
6% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: E
6% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D
7% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A
4% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: A
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L i ving
If a rural setting is not for you, city life in LIMOGES might just be the answer...
For anyone who enjoys dining out, going to the theatre, visiting art galleries or simply having lots of shops and services on the doorstep, living in a big, bustling city could make a lot of sense. Limoges, for example, has a lot going for it, plus a long and colourful history stretching back to the ‘Lémovices’ tribes. Their primitive settlements were eclipsed, however, by the Roman city of Augustoritum established during the 10th century BC at a spot which offered a viable crossing of the formidable Vienne river, for a strategic route from Avaricum (Bourges). The multi-arch stone bridge they constructed was destroyed by Henri II Plantagenêt in 1182 but the ancient footings still underpin the Pont Saint Martial, completed some 25 years later, which remains a familiar and muchloved landmark. Augustoritum’s eventual refinements included a vast amphitheatre plus a forum whose senate issued its own currency. After the fall of Rome the city was rebaptised ‘Lémovices’ (which subsequently mutated to Limoges) but the vulnerable riverside location prompted the urgent addition of fortifications, vestiges of
the coveted Ville d’Art et d’Histoire label in recognition of its remarkable cultural and architectural heritage. It can also claim to be among our greenest cities, with some twenty parks and botanical gardens, a mature chestnut wood and around one tree per head of population. Add museums, an opera house, a conservatoire of music, dance and theatre plus several cultural centres, and you’ll see that boredom is not an option. www.ville-limoges.fr
which are still visible. Eventually, after centuries of repeated setbacks from Viking and other incursions, stability returned and Limoges began to prosper. Riverside tanneries supplied a thriving leather goods trade, while a new ceramics industry was founded upon abundant local deposits of kaolin, vast timber reserves to fire the kilns, and of course artisans whose creativity soon propelled Limoges to worldwide celebrity as a producer of fine porcelain and exquisite enamels. Today ‘la capitale des arts du feu’ has a population of around 140,000 (180,000 with the surrounding communes) including some 8,000 university students. A similar number are either employed as medical staff or being trained at the city’s renowned ‘hôpital universitaire Dupuytren’ or ‘CHRU’, which comprises three separate hospital sites plus an ‘EHPAD’ care home for older patients with medical needs. Another important employer is the ESTER Technopole, a high-tech site for training and research into ceramics, engineering, electronics and communications, health and biotechnology, water and the environment and more. Not surprisingly, Limoges also possesses
Making connections... Distances/drive-times by road from Limoges: Angoulême: 104km/1hr 30min Bordeaux: 220km/2hrs 50min Clermont-Ferrand: 224km/2hrs 37min Périgueux: 95km/1hr 52min Poitiers: 129km/2hr 06min TER rail services direct to: Angoulême (for Cognac, Royan, Bordeaux), Brive (for Rodez, Toulouse), Châteauroux (for Paris),Guéret (for Montluçon, ClermontFerrand, Lyon), Périgueux (for Bordeaux, Bayonne) & Poitiers (for Tours & Paris) Aéroport de Limoges scheduled flight destinations include: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds Bradford, London (Gatwick & Stansted), Lyon, Manchester, Nottingham, Paris & Southampton.
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Agence Eleonor Estate Agency 36-38 rue du Temple, 24500 EYMET T: 05 53 27 83 45 email@example.com Offices at Beynac, Monpazier and Villeréal
Character Properties in France
Bessines sur Gartempe, Haute Vienne, €79,999* Pretty cottage, 4 beds, great village 5 mins. DPE: E
Sillars, Vienne, €126,000* 13 flat acres, big barns, house to renovate. DPE: Vierge
Nere, Charente Maritime, €149,000* Renovated 3-bedroom, edge of village. DPE: Vierge
Ref: 6709-VI €2,940,000€ HAI DPE: N/A Magnificent national heritage Château set in 56 acres. Originally a stronghold for Eleonor of Aquitaine, the castle was built in the 15th century and during the renaissance era the northern wing was added. The property can now boast 12 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 7 reception rooms, swimming pool and splendid French gardens. An entire wing dedicated to professional activities (weddings, functions etc.) The property has been impeccably and respectfully renovated over the last 30 years. Taux d’honoraires €140,000 (5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur
Ref: 6711-EY €167,400 HAI DPE: Vierge Renovated village house, walking distance to local amenities with a fitted kitchen and dining room, lounge and office/tv room, and 2 double bedrooms. Outside there is a covered terrace, pretty courtyard garden and a jacuzzi.
Ref: 6713-VI €499,260 HAI DPE: E Superb family home built in the 1970s using stone and old oak beams, this house oozes character and offers kitchen, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a spacious living room, large basement with garage, pool and over 2 acres of land.
Taux d’honoraires €12,400 (8%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.
Taux d’honoraires €28,260 (6%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.
Ref: 6764-MO €588 000 HAI DPE: E Exceptionally well renovated 5 bed stone house and a 3 bedroom gite. The house offers: large light spaces, several en-suite bedrooms, character features, approx. 2½ acres of land, swimming pool and countryside views.
Ref: 6746-EY €199,800 HAI DPE: D Attractive bungalow in walking distance of Eymet with almost an acre of garden, comprising: large light lounge/ dining room, fitted kitchen, 3 bedrooms, bathroom and a laundry room. Outside is a covered terrace and a garage.
Taux d’honoraires €28,000 (5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.
Taux d’honoraires €14,800 (8%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.
Saint Gilles, Indre, €163,000* Converted watermill, river frontage. DPE: D
See more online:
www.selectionhabitat.com Tel: 05 65 70 10 49 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
La Foncière Charentaise
NEW! Bergerac office opening January 2018
Sovimo immobiLier ExclusivE
The friendly face of properTies in s/W france
28 000€ HAI
(25 000€ plus 11% fees payable by buyer)
Prix 118 000 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) Prix 184 000 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) Renovated 3 bedrs “Charentaise” 5 mins Charming 3 bed. stone property with to the market town of AIGRE. Entrance pretty private garden & workshop in hall, kitchen/diner, lounge, living room, village near the market town of MANSLE. mezzanine + 2 bdr ‘s Cottage. It has been renovated to provide modern Enclosed garden comfort with traditional character. Ready to move into Réf : 9365 DPE: F Réf : 9359 DPE: VIERGE
Close to Asnieres/Blour (86), detached cottage to renovate, 2 bedrooms, attic to convert, gas heating + wood burner, closed hangar, cesspit, courtyard and adjoining land, all set on 718m2.
265 000€ HAI
(250 000€ plus 6% fees payable by buyer)
Near Confolens (16), ideal horses, renovated 3-bed farmhouse set on approx. 18 acres, attached barn with 3 boxes, outbuilding with terrace, septic tank, adjoining and separated land with well and small lake (1230m2). Prix 82 000 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) 3 bed town property full of character with south-facing terrace, private courtyard with large barn. Spacious living room leading onto terrace, kitchen, TV room, veranda. In good condition just needs updating. Réf : 9376 DPE: E
+ 33 (0)6 82 85 36 32 Cecile + 33 (0)6 33 22 57 22 Tony (CommerCial agenT)
office + 33 (0)5 45 21 78 38
We are always looking for new quality properties! please get in touch!
............ www.foncierecharentaise.com ............
(65 000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)
Confolens (16), centre town. Building for habitation & commercial shop on 2 flrs (40m2 & 30m2). 2nd flr: Duplex 50m2: 3 rooms with attic. Heating, main drains to connect.
Prix 71 500 € (Fees paid by buyer incl.) This old farm has basic but tidy accommodation & comprises of entrance hall, 3 groundfloor bedrooms, large kitchen, lounge & office room. The adjoining barn offers a good opportunity to enlarge the living space & lots more Réf : 9360 DPE: VIERGE
318 000€ HAI
(300 000€ plus 6% fees payable by buyer)
Close to Availles (86), countryside, EXCEPTIONAL AREA, approx 42ha. Hunting park with buried fences 2m high. Wood & agricultural land, 5 ponds, walkways for hunting, 18 miradors.
28 000€ HAI
(25 000€ plus 11% agency fees payable buyer)
Close to Availles (86), in a small market town with all shops. Building plot set on approx 2852m2 on the river bank, water meter installed, electricity & main drains nearby.
55 000€ HAI
(50 000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)
Close to Confolens (16), semi detached village house in stone, all comforts, 4 bedrooms, electrical heating, main drains, adjoining garage, separate semi-detached building.
3, place de la Liberté, 16500 Confolens Tel: 05 45 85 45 65 email@example.com
Idimmo, Prestige & Châteaux 42 Rue Grosse Horloge, 17400 St Jean D’Angély. Tel: +33 (0)5 16 51 90 52 http://adeline.idimmo.net/ €446,250
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
Elegant and comfortable architect-designed house dating from the 1980s set in walled garden of approx 2032m2. Inside is spacious with light filled rooms. Ground floor: large living room, kitchen, laundry, bathroom, office, music room, dressing room and bedroom with ensuite. 5 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a dining room served by a dumb waiter on the first floor. Basement, pool, garage, terraces. 5 mins walk to town centre. DPE: C Ref: idiade 2632
Ex Farmhouse renovated to an excellent standard using quality materials, ie PVC double glazing and excellent insulation Spacious kitchen/dining room of 46,16m2 with an arriére cuisine (utility room) of 14,75m2, light and airy lounge with beautiful fire place of 27m2, office and conservatory on the ground floor. On the 1st floor 5 bedrooms , large bathroom and seperate WC. Attached garage, large ‘L’ shaped barn-ideal for conversion. DPE: D Ref: idiade 2936
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
Close to the heart of town, this 239m2 house is beautifully renovated with quality fittings. Open plan living room leading to terrace, garden and heated Pool. State-of-the-art kitchen, dining room and 2 other rooms for use as a downstairs bedroom if required. On 1st floor: 4 bedrooms, one with en suite, and bathroom with WC . 2nd floor: studio/ loft for a teenager! 33m2 attic room to be renovated. Attached garage. DPE: C Ref: idiade 4281
This pretty Charentaise house has a large lounge and dining room. One bedroom on the ground floor and 3 on the first floor. The open plan gite of 80m2 has a mezzanine bedroom and bathroom. Both the house and gite are tastefully decorated. DPE: D Ref: idiade 4096
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
A spacious and charming property ready to move into straight away! On the ground floor a lounge of 39m2 , a dining room of 30m2 and a dining kitchen of 33m2! On the first floor are 5 bedrooms. Gas central heating on the ground floor. Heated pool (12m x 6m). Garage and workshop. A quality renovation. DPE: Vierge Ref: idiade 3990
Charming longère charentaise with 194m2 of habitable area and the possibility to extend further. Large covered garage, stone outbuilding of 145m2 . Heated swimming pool. An elegant property 15km from Surgères and 6km from Tonnay Boutonne. DPE:D Ref: idiade 4250
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
A spacious and well maintained Maison de Maitre surrounded by large, mature garden and reached via a wooded drive. Terraces to the front and back of the house overlooking the pool. Large 91m2 attic allows for further extension, with 2 velux and 5 windows in place and insulated/membraned roof which was replaced in 2016. A comfortable property, well worth a viewing in a village halfway between Saint Jean d’ Angély and Surgères. DPE: D Ref: idiade 3843
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
A spacious open plan ground floor with dining room, living room, kitchen, a separate WC and utility room. On the first floor are 2 bedrooms an bathroom and a landing which can be used as an office. The independent one storey gite has either 2 beds or one bed and one living room with shower room and WC. A very pretty garden with its own brook running through it. DPE: D Ref: idiade 4228
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
This stunning Maison de Maitre has not been touched for approximately 50years and is in need of renovation. Attached and connected to this property is a habitable and spacious property with 3 bedrooms and large living rooms. This property will be a joy for anyone looking to lovingly renovate this wonderful house. DPE: n/a Ref: idiade 4401
E xc l u s i v e
Exclusively with Idimmo. Contemporary one storey house, well designed and sunny with a beautiful view of the countryside. Large terrace, open plan kitchen, dining room, living room, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, 2 toilets. Double glazing, electric shutters. Workshop on the back. In front of the home land with its access to the Boutonne river with its private pontoon. An interesting product, to visit! DPE: D Ref: idiade 2912
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
A spacious property with kitchen, lounge, laundry room, shower room and 2 downstairs bedrooms both with a mezzanine for extra space. Upstairs the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom. Garden with pool, garage and 2 other parking places. Mains drainage. Shops and services 1km. DPE: C Ref: idiade 4256
Honoraires à la charge du vendeur
In spacious private courtyard (2446m2), this Maison de Maitre has 2 receptions, kitchen, utility with pantry/wine store, hall and bathroom on ground floor. 1st floor: 6 beds, one with dressing & bathroom, plus bathroom. Independent, 2-bed 93m2 gite. Large outbuildings of quality - 330m2. Outside dining area, paved pool terrace in quiet and pleasant environment. Land & orchard across small lane. DPE: D Ref: idiade 528
Wishing all our customers a very Happy Christmas, may 2018 bring you your dream home!
L iPRACTICAL vingliving
Property Build Awards - Best independent Agent - France - 2015 & 2016 € 60 000 H.A.I.
If you are selling your French home, our knowledgeable local team would be delighted to meet you as soon as possible. We offer: A valuation based on current local market conditions A dedicated contact to guide you through the whole process Worldwide marketing through our own website and market-leading portals Access to thousands of buyers already registered with us
CB11418 (€5 000 Agency fees (9.1%) which includes TVA @ 20%)
Great Town House, with Manageable Garden in Magnac Laval DPE: C
€247 000 H.A.I.
(€12 000 Agency fees (5.11%) which includes TVA @ 20%)
A Substantial 5 Bed House, with Gîte Potential and Views over the Vienne River DPE: D
Cathe Bower - Agent Commercial Tel: 0033 (0) 5 55 68 39 89 firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0033 (0) 6 09 60 60 82 www.PropertySalesInFrance.com
AWARD WINNING SERVICE SO L
Beaux Villages Immobilier Tel : 00 33 (0)8 05 69 23 23 E : email@example.com
Recruiting sales agents in Nouvelle Aquitaine
5, place Maréchal Leclerc 86500 MONTMORILLON Tél : 05 49 84 08 88 firstname.lastname@example.org www.agencemercure.fr
9 place Gambetta 86400 CIVRAY Tél : 05 49 97 11 30 email@example.com www.agencemercure.fr
AIGRE (16) Ref 22925 Price 299 600€ FAI
CIVRAY AREA (86) Ref 22928 Price 889 000€ FAI
MONTMORILLON (86) Ref 32574 Price 97 200€ FAI
MONTMORILLON (86) Ref 32541 Price 194 740€ FAI
(280 000 net + 7% fee paid by buyer)
(850 000€ net + 4.59% fee paid by buyer)
(90 000€ net + 8% fee paid by buyer
(185 000€ net + 7% fee paid by buyer)
uthentic 18th c. manor to renovate offering 498m² of living space, 4 reception rooms, 6 bedrooms, outbuildings and 1.6 hectares. DPE: Vierge
RARE : Botanical park with beautiful renovated character house, other period buildings to convert. Exceptional flora collection on 1.16ha. DPE: Vierge
Bungalow offering 66m² of living space, 2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and lounge. Close to all services, quite residential area. DPE: F
Modern bungalow (2016) offering 3 bedrooms, 1 shower room, open plan kitchen/living room with 2000m² of garden surrounding the property. DPE: Vierge
SAINT MACOUX (86) Ref 22922 Price 339 200€ FAI
SURIN (86) Ref 22924 Price 225 000€ FAI
MONTMORILLON (86) Ref 32328 Price 273 000€ FAI
PAIZAY LE SEC (86) Ref 32568 Price 445 200€ FAI
(320 000€ net + 6% fee paid by buyer)
(210 000€ net + 7.14% fee paid by buyer)
(260 000€ net + 5% fee paid by buyer)
(420 000€ net + 6% fee paid by buyer)
Country property in quiet location, no close neighbours : main house, gite, pool and mature garden of 5678m². DPE: C
Previously renowned restaurant + large accomodation, garage & 3.28 hectares. Ideal business & family opportunity DPE: Vierge
Villa 270m² of living space, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, heated pool and landscaped garden of 4900m². DPE: C
Maison de maitre 300m² of living space, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, heated pool and private landscaped garden of 1ha with pond. DPE: D
L iPRACTICAL vingliving
7 rue du Temple 24500 Eymet T: 05 53 63 22 27
Built of the hardy pines growing under the northern lights on Polar Circle
The perfect solution for expanding your gite business. A guest house full of character for family and friends. An inspiring garden office or The Best place for a bbq and family fun! EcoLodge sizes start from 10m2 and their prices keep your wallet happy.
APS3065 - €99,360 HAI A little jewel in the heart of Eymet with 2 bedrooms and a pretty garden - to view quickly. DPE: n/a
APS3018 - €380,000 HAI Established B&B in immaculate condition in the centre of the popular Dordogne town of Eymet. DPE: n/a
Fees of 8% VAT inc at the expense of the purchaser Fees of 6% VAT inc at the expense of the purchaser
Start with one and add another – or more! – when the time is right. Delivery in elements with the option for self-build or turn-key. APS3140- €188,000 HAI APS3105 - €299,600 HAI Medieval Townhouse in Eymet offering 3 Stunning, spacious, recently-renovated beds, fantastic living space and gorgeous 4-bed villa with enormous basement, private south facing courtyard. DPE: D swimming pool & mature gardens DPE: D
FOR MORE INFORMATION: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 06 40 05 74 38 www.primuseco.com
Fees of 7% VAT inc at the expense of the purchaser
Fees of 7% VAT inc at the expense of the purchaser
APS3044 - €318,000 HAI Stunning 4 Bed home with swimming pool close to Eymet and with fabulous views DPE: n/a
APS3085 - €487,600 HAI Stunning 6-bed farmhouse & 1-bed cottage, with 2 pools and land, in idyllic countryside setting, DPE: D
Fees of 7% VAT inc at the expense of the purchaser Fees of 5% VAT inc at the expense of the purchaser
LookIng For dedIcATed cAreTAker coupLe Here’s an opportunity for a couple to move to the French countryside, in the beautiful Charente region. If you can imagine life on an agricultural estate, waking up to peaceful nature, and helping out around the property, this could be a perfect setup for you. The owners, a German/American family of 4 live on the property. Here is what we are looking for:
A dynamic and reliable couple, ideally with an independent income (retirement income for instance), to take on some of the responsibilities that involve running the day-to-day business of the estate, such as receiving deliveries, keeping the surroundings tidy and organized, and helping with handy work. We have 3 holiday rentals. You will receive and look after the guests, maintain the swimming pool and the public areas, and be their point of contact. Pino, the estate’s Poodle Pointer will be in your care – he’s adorable and gets you exercising!
French language skills, even if only a basic understanding, is a requirement. It’s an advantage if you speak English or German. Basic IT knowledge, including Internet, Microsoft Word, Excel, email, scanning, and phone messaging would be ideal.
Instead of a salary, we offer an exchange “in kind” for the above mentioned tasks (estimated at 40 hours per month in average). We offer free accommodation in a secluded charming house (100 square meters) + a large private garden. Water, fire wood, and electricity are also covered. You are welcome to decorate the house depending on your personal taste and needs.
The position is available from January 2018. If you are interested, please send us an email with your CV & motivational letter to: email@example.com
living gardening | 47
in the garden
Our precious Box plants are under attack we look at the adversaries, and how to fight back.
48 | living gardening Cydalima perspectalis caterpillar
Box topiary at le Jardin de Fortran (86)
ttempting to create a sense of peace and harmony in the garden often feels like fighting an ongoing battle, the best outcome we can hope for being a series of small but rewarding victories. In the grand scheme of things, of course, the battle is never really won. Those of us who live and garden in rural locations are well aware that if we let our guard down then whatever we’ve managed to achieve will be snatched back in no time to nature’s own plan. That’s not to say that we can’t enjoy creating our own private Eden and feel proud of our efforts at landscaping, as gardeners have always done. Among our most powerful allies in the power struggle are the hedging plants which provide shelter from the chill of prevailing winds; take away the wind chill factor with an enclosing wall or dense boundary hedge and you can create something approaching a micro-climate,
Looking for old Deutz tractors: F1L 414, F1L 514, F2L 514, D15
La Vilotte 87440 Milhaguet
to the tune of 3°C or so. The same species have many other uses, enabling us to compartmentalise our outdoor spaces, screen unsightly features, border parterres and create sculptural elements, including extravagant topiary, should you feel so inclined. Long ago the influence of formal Italian landscaping swept throughout much of southern France, inspiring numerous private gardens, and showed its full potential at two magnificent Périgordin showpieces: les Jardins du Manoir d’Eyrignac and les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac. Their original creators clearly appreciated the appeal of a largely unchanging aspect, whatever the season. The British love affair with clipped evergreens has largely focused (for those with sufficient patience) on dependable European Yew (Taxus baccata), which can be remarkably long lived. The 06 89 95 63 17 05 55 78 76 14
Residential and commercial excavation Tree removal and trimming Stump removal and grinding Field mowing and “modern harvesting” services
Your satisfaction is our priority travaux agricoles et territoriaux firstname.lastname@example.org Call Jon on 05 49 87 29 71 E: email@example.com www.sarlphilips.com www.livingmagazine.fr
Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, Scotland, for example, is believed to be 2-3,000 years old. However, in France and Italy the preference has more often been for ‘buis’ – common native Box (Buxus sempervirens), which is both hardy and faster growing than Yew but similarly poisonous if any part is ingested. Left to its own devices, Box will in time reach 5m or so, with a similar spread. For centuries it’s been a vital component in the formal landscaping of some of our most celebrated gardens. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, though. The plants are susceptible to attack from an assortment of diseases and pests, most of whose effects have been either relatively minor (meaning that we’ve learnt to live with them) or have been treatable by gardeners with patience and determination. The latter category includes scale insects, which are troublesome on many
TREE SURGEON ARBORIST
Covering all areas
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.
05 45 30 61 41 / 06 45 90 30 67 | firstname.lastname@example.org
www.homme-vert.com Facebook: @hommeverttreesurgery
living gardening | 49
CASE STUDY: Marqueyssac
garden and indoor plants. For Box the guilty party is Mussel or Oystershell scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi), which causes damage from within denser areas of growth, and which if left untreated has the potential to kill plants. Happily, spraying with a natural insecticide should sort them out. A newer problem first seen in the UK in the mid-1990s (and more recently in Europe and the USA) is ‘Box blight’, the result of two fungal pests. The lesser of the two evils is Volutella buxi, whose pale pink fungus spores are found on the undersides of leaves, which rapidly become discoloured and unsightly. Treatment by the timely, careful application of a specialist fungicide should prevent further, more serious die-back. More widespread are the effects of Cylindrocladium buxicola, whose spores are white, rather than pink, and which not only turn leaves
The spectacular swirling topiary of Les Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac, poised high above La Roque-Gageac and the Dordogne river, displayed early signs of box blight in 2010. The situation worsened during the subsequent relatively mild, damp years, so the garden teams began spraying a fungicide at 3-4 weekly intervals throughout the summer months. These chemical treatments were moderately successful, so the next step focused on strengthening the Box plants’ own natural defences by various means including boosting potassium uptake with monthly applications of fermented plant extract-based fertilisers. The favoured formula is derived from nettle, horsetail and comfrey, rounded off with a little savon noir (a dilution of 5-10% seems to help weakened plants resist infection, and speeds the healing of wounds that result from clipping). Fighting the problems caused by the
Taylor-Made Gardens www.taylor-madegardens.com
Garden Design and Landscape Gardening Consultancy & advice designs & planting schemes Garden creation & make-over Plant supply Lorne & Tracy Campbell Chez Callois, 16310 Massignac tel 05 45 21 69 63 mob 06 17 37 64 64 / 06 13 84 75 78 email@example.com
arrival of Box moths at Marqueyssac (first seen here in 2015) begins with reducing the number of males and monitoring by pheromone traps. That’s followed by the release of Trichogramma – tiny parasitic wasps which have long been used for biological pest control by fruit and wine producers. Deployed at just the right moment, they waste no time laying their own eggs in those of the Box moth, thereby halting the emergence of caterpillars. Finally, Bacillus thuringiensis is applied by spraying, to deal with any survivors (with another application in early spring to eliminate any which have survived the winter). So far the three-stage treatments have been surprisingly effective, but obviously require complex management, plus significant and open-ended commitment. Here, as elsewhere, fingers are crossed for the arrival of new pheromone treatments currently at the research stage.
STUMP GRINDING David Cropper
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50 | living gardening
Alternatives to Box
European Yew (Taxus baccata): Known as ‘if’ in France, this noble evergreen tree species can live for centuries, and responds to clipping into hedges and extravagant topiary. It’s hardy, shade-tolerant, thrives in well-drained alkali soils and is faster growing than you might imagine. It forms a dense, dark green hedge with lighter young shoots and red (poisonous) berries. Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata): Known as ‘houx japonais’ or ‘houx crénelé’ in France, this evergreen hedging plant is similar in appearance to Box, and has the advantage of being able to regenerate from older wood. It tolerates all but deep shade and is happiest in well-drained soil. It’s also hardier than Box, but best suited to low hedges of around 1m. Euonymus japonicus (pictured above) (‘fusain du Japon’ in France) is a dense, compact evergreen shrub which is suitable for hedges of up to 1m. It’s very hardy, easy to maintain, will grow in most soils and is happy in full sun to semi-shade. Lonicera nitida or Box Honeysuckle (‘Chèvrefeuille à feuilles de buis’ in France) is a bushy shrub with dense, evergreen foliage, and another good Box alternative for low and medium hedges. Small, glossy, oval, dark green leaves are joined in late spring by tiny cream/white scented flowers, followed by dark purple berries. The plants are rather fast-growing, hardy and easy to grow, adapting to most well-drained soils which are not overly alkaline. They prefer sunny positions but tolerate partial shade.
The caterpillars are voracious pests
brown but also cause black streaks and die-back on younger stems. If you have an outbreak in the garden then it’s vital to contain it without delay by attacking the problem on two fronts, the first being to remove any severely affected plants, cut back those which are less so and then remove all fallen leaves along with the top layer of soil, which will be harbouring dormant spores. While doing this don’t forget to disinfect any garden tools frequently, so as to avoid spreading infection. The final part of the treatment is to spray all plants (including those which seem to be completely unaffected) with an approved specialist fungicide, after which things will hopefully now begin to recover and you can start to think about replacing any lost plants. For that you can take cuttings from your healthy plants for replanting once they’re nicely established. If you prefer to buy new plants, though, then make a point of inspecting them carefully before purchase for any signs of infection, and if you’re still uneasy about the possibility of introducing a new problem then you might consider keeping them in their pots for a few weeks of quarantine, keeping a watchful eye on them before finally planting out. Such measures are actually less onerous than they might sound, and for such useful plants a little TLC from time to time is repaid handsomely,
as generations of gardeners have demonstrated. What they might not have imagined, however, is that our beloved Box plants would one day suddenly find themselves facing not only fungal infection but also an unprecedented threat from an unlikely source. The perpetrator this time is the caterpillar of Cydalima perspectalis, a nocturnal moth native to the Far East, and which for some reason appeared in Germany in 2006. Sadly, it didn’t stop there, and has since managed to colonise much of mainland Europe. As we’re all too aware, gardens in southwest France have been particularly badly affected, and it remains to be seen what the long-term survival prospects might be for the native Box species which are familiar features of our natural landscapes. If you’ve noticed brown or grey patches among your own Box plants despite our long, dry summer then your problems are most likely to be caused by caterpillars, something you’ll probably have confirmed by delving among the leaves here and there. These voracious pests aren’t exactly hard to spot, thanks to their striking green, yellow, brown and black markings. If you haven’t been aware of them in your garden so far, then a useful early indicator of their arrival is the sight of our good friends the Chaffinches starting to take an interest in the tops of Box plants – chances are
living outdoor | 51
Pour la Protection de la Nature
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they’ll be searching for a tasty caterpillar or two. As you’ll have gathered, it’s more a case of when rather than if your garden will be affected, so what can you do to fight back? In fact there’s no miracle cure, but we can pick up some tips from the pros battling with the problem on a much larger scale. The city of Toulouse, for example, has been using a two-stage treatment to tackle infestation problems in over twenty parks and public gardens. Throughout the summer months pheromone-emitting traps are deployed around the sites to attract amorous male moths in search of females. Weekly inspections allow the city’s parks teams to record any sudden rise followed by a gradual decrease in the number of butterflies caught. Armed with that knowledge, the teams know that 15 days later will be the optimum moment at which to spray the plants with Bacillus thuringiensis – a natural insecticide which will then be ingested by newly-emerged, hungry caterpillars. Three summers into the initiative, the city of Toulouse now judges its Box problems to be under control, which should encourage those of us who garden on an altogether smaller and more easilymanaged scale.
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52 | living Angling
Hook, line & sinker… Fishing for pike has long been a Christmas tradition as Ron Cousins finds out...
rriving right in the middle of the two best months for pike fishing and before the season ends on January 31, Christmas is when the angler of the house has to try to slot some fishing time into the busy festive programme. Meanwhile the rest of the household has the annual problem of what fishing tackle presents to give to the fisherman of the family. As it’s pike fishing time here are a few ideas that will delight any predator angler who could be excused for popping out for a while to put them to the test shortly after the wrapping paper is off. French tackle manufacturer Pezon et Michel have a new range of their famous Gunki Lures, as used by Pike Team France, that would be welcome in any predator angler’s Christmas stocking. The hot favourites are 16cm and 20cm Rolling Gun and Gamera 128 models with a long tail, cylindrical body and a rolling action that is claimed to be irresistible to any passing pike. Stocked by most French tackle shops, see the whole range on www.pezonetmichel.com. Another bang up-to-date range of lures in the tackle shops comes from Danish manufacturer Westin (www.westin-fishing.com). They have almost turned their selection of pike baits into family pets by giving them names like Mike the Pike, Percy Perch and Eric Eel along with new addition Danny Duck, which caters for the pike’s fondness for a tasty duckling quietly paddling on the surface. All these lures rely on the angler casting them out and then reeling them back in to impart the lifelike action that turns metal and plastic into a pike’s idea of high-end dining, but the latest lure to arrive from the USA does all the work itself. The e-Minnow is a fully motorised lure that runs on a rechargeable battery,
is pre-programmed, perfectly balanced and has a realistic swimming action. The lure starts automatically as it hits the water. It emits a clicking sound to announce its presence, pausing every few seconds and continually changing action. The e-Minnow can be fished on float tackle in the same way as a live bait. This high-tech assistance to outwitting old Esox, as seasoned pike hunters refer to their underwater opponent (which, as well as being a brochet in France, carries the Latin name Esox lucius), is now arriving in Europe and can be bought online at www.animatedlure.com. The pike, whose name comes from the old English for “pointed” describing the spear like weapon that resembles the long torpedo shaped body of the fish, uses a sit and wait approach to catching its prey. Slight movements of the dorsal and pectoral fins keep the fish stationary and a powerful movement from the added force from the caudal and anal fins sends it shooting forward to grab its swimming prey (or the angler’s imitation fish) sideways before turning it to swallow head first. They are doing it right now in our rivers and lakes so whether the tackle is freshly plucked from the Christmas tree or a long-time denizen of the tackle box, now is the time to put it to use. Pike are in peak condition, on the feed and at their fighting best as they build up for spawning in the spring. The angling high point of Christmas was, for many years, Boxing Day when angling clubs, large and small, held the annual pike competitions. Coachloads of anglers would leave the industrial cities heading for rivers and lakes for a day that ended with the weigh-in of fish, and presumably the quaffing of some ale, at the village pub near where they had fished. The landed gentry also showed the
The Christmas holidays are the ideal time to try to catch the ‘big one’
Christmas spirit by inviting locals onto their hallowed river banks for Boxing Day pike fishing. They benefited from the fact that the fish were taken away to be eaten which helped to control the number of pike in the water and the threat they posed to the salmon and trout stocks. Social changes and today’s practice of returning pike to the water put an end to the big Boxing Day bash, but some clubs still turn out to pike fish together each year. The chance of catching a Yuletide big ’un are good as fishing history books show a number of the largest ever pike were caught at this time of year. Fabian Suzan caught the record French pike weighing 45.75lb in January 2014 while Italy’s biggest at 55lb was banked near Christmas (by Carlo Aimonetti) as was Wilhelm Arno’s 67.25lb fish that is Germany’s biggest. Delving back further into the stories of legendary pike reveals that 3 January, 1777, is the date claimed for the Kenmure Monster that weighed 72lb and was caught in Scotland’s Loch Ken by John Murray. An even bigger fish is claimed for January 1862 when John Naughton is said to have caught a 90.5lb fish from Loch Derg in Ireland. In the same class and country but not so far in the past, is the 5ft 6in pike caught by a German engineer working at Meelick Lock on the River Shannon in December 1926. The monster wasn’t weighed but when it was reported in “The Field”, experts came up with an estimate of 90lb. Turkey, mince pies and catching a pike that swims on in the memory all through the New Year is my idea of a perfect Christmas. So, with Frank Sinatra singing ‘The Christmas Waltz’ as I give my vinyl Christmas Favourites their annual trip to the turntable - Merry Christmas, may your New Year dreams come true!
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thing and put that to good use when helping customers find the right furniture for their property,” said Brian Muir, the company’s managing director. “The website gives information on all the oak ranges offered, the sofa designs and mattress options. Start the ball rolling by e-mailing any questions you may have on the furniture or its delivery - we are always very pleased to help.”
Tel: 05 55 63 58 85
Our units are dry, clean and purpose brick built with double lock galvanised roller shutter doors for added security. Easily accessed off junction 47 off the N145 towards Aubusson. Whether you’re a business or an individual, we are here to help.
WEEKLY TRIPS - FULL/PART LOADS - DOOR TO DOOR FREE, no obligation quotations FREE advice & support We offer punctuality & reliability Up to 2 weeks free storage for all our clients Packing services & materials available Save time & money
Tel: +44 (0)20 8501 2069 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.europeremove.com
Man & Van Transport Genuine, Reliable & Honest Local + Europe + UK runs 14m3 capacity 4.2m load length English & French spoken “extremely professional, reliable and very good value for money” Siret: 530 213 644 00012
09 82 12 69 73
Storage, Transport services
SECURE SELF STORAGE UNITS
Photo above: Numerous oak furniture ranges available Photo left: Sofas available in a huge range of fabrics
C J Logistics 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 www.georgewhiteeuropean.co.uk
Full trade references available
REMOVALS - STORAGE - GENERAL TRANSPORT - EXPRESS SERVICE SPAIN - UK - FRANCE
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 www.murrayharper.com email@example.com
FRANKLINS REMOVALS LTD
Weekly services to & from SW France Internal moves within France Containerised Storage Range of Packing services available Over 30 Years’ Experience
Full or Part Load Removals To & From France Tel: 0044 1622 690653 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.anglofrenchremovals.co.uk UK Registration 543 77 60 UK
Tel: 09 83 70 01 33 Mob: 06 61 25 41 09 E: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR ONE-STOP TRANSPORT SERVICE Do you have an old rotavator, vigneron tractor or machine similar to these in your barn?
A family business for 30 years, offering a professional service Packing services Full/part loads to and from the UK Vehicles transported Containerised storage Competitive prices Transit liability included Contact; Stephen Franklin
0044 (0)1283 792838 email@example.com www.franklinsremovals.co.uk
If so, call Jon on 05 49 87 29 71 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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‘Your French Connection’
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
LET JON THE CARPET MAN KEEP YOU WARM AND COSY! Having experienced our first snowfall here in the Corrèze in early November (albeit only lasted a couple of hours) it does remind you that we are definitely into winter and need to be thinking about keeping warm and cosy. Understanding that non-insulated floors account for between 10-20% of heat loss in a room, what improvements can you make? One of the best ways to keep a home warm is with a carpet fitted over a good underlay - the insulation value of this can be up to 10
M&M PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Depts 16 & 17
Painting & decorating services Tiling / Flooring Plasterboarding Suppliers of Crown Paints Providing a quality service since 2005 Kevin Smith
Siret 482 718 640 00022
Property care, Flooring, Design
T: 05 55 73 63 16
16100 Chateaubernard 05 45 36 46 70 / 06 72 21 80 27 email@example.com www.mmpropertymaintenance.fr
times that of a hard floor. Not only will you be warmer but you’ll save money too - it’s proven that a deep pile carpet could save you up to 12% of your energy heating costs. Of course there are many advantages to a wall to wall carpet: LUXURY - Carpet gives the look and feel of luxury. COST - Although there is a huge choice of carpet they will always be cheaper to install than tiles or wood. HEALTH - Properly maintained carpet
will have a positive effect on indoor air quality by trapping dust particles within the fibres, reducing airborne dust by 50% more than hard floors and then the retained particles are removed by vacuuming. SAFETY - Soft carpets improve safety, reducing slips and falls - and if you do fall the landing is much softer! So, if you want to be warm and cosy this winter with a money saving, luxury looking carpet - give Jon the Carpet man a call......
CARPETS & FLOORING
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
10 years working in France, fully registered and insured to cover all parts of the country.
Architectural Designer Architectural designs, planning applications & project management for extensions, renovations, conversions and new build.
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
Departments: 16, 17, 24, 79, 86 & 87 Tel/Fax: 05.46.98.22.01
Contact Paul on 06 60 07 54 78 or 05 45 84 27 75
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.idarchitecturaldesign.com
05 53 52 36 05
email@example.com Peter Latus BA(Hons)
DOWN TO EARTH POOL DESIGN
All work completed by us, design, excavation, construction & landscaping on completion. All work guaranteed. Testimonials available on request. Prices from €18,476 for 8x4m www.DownToEarthPoolDesign.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
05 49 87 04 13
Metalwork, Fencing, Artisans
L’Atelier de Fer Fraser W. Eade
General Engineering Turning, Milling, Welding Quality & Precision Guaranteed Forgeix, 87200 Saint Junien
05 55 71 41 75
email@example.com www.latelierdefer.com Siret: 512 945 874 00018
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 www.poolsbyjonathan.com phone 0549840362 mobile 0622361056
C H A R E N T E OA K
All your metalwork needs catered for Ornate interior / exterior designs Gates constructed / refurbished Industrial furniture ~ General Welding Tel: 05 49 64 97 25 Mob: 06 05 54 87 81 firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 25 year’s experience
Sarl AUVIN Fabrication
A pair of 2m oak 5-bar gates (4m) ~ 599€* A single 3m oak 5-bar gate ~ 549€* 100% quality oak FREE FITTIN G on all order s placed in Dec/Jan * price includes 2 x solid oak posts (15x15) + galvanised field gate hinges & latches (variations in gate sizes possible)
E: email@example.com or Tel: 05 45 78 66 95 www.charenteoak.fr All departments covered - distance restrictions apply
Stairs & windows All carpentry Manufacture & renovation in and around Charente (16) www.auvin-fabrication.com
Le Bourg à Moutardon 16700 Nanteuil-en-Vallée Tel. 05 45 31 03 05
These local businesses are waiting for your call!
61 DESIGN AND RENOVATION OF SWIMMING POOLS
Your distributeur supplier of Piscines MAGILINE pools Votre MAGILINE across Vienne (86) LES BASSINS DE FAYOLLES Votre distributeur Piscines MAGILINE
LES BASSINS DE FAYOLLES 1, Route de Montmorillon 86400 SAVIGNÉ
Tél : 06 29 60 31 78
GENERAL BUILDING SERVICES
Part or full renovations Roofing Plaster boarding All building works undertaken Tel: 05 49 27 52 99 Mob: 06 74 95 21 00 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Based 79190
Building services, Artisans
Siret 487 581 209 00011
Kitchens & Bathrooms from A-Z
Emptying of grease traps, fosse septiques, filtre compacts & micro stations. Cleaning & maintenance of all types of sewage treatment plants.
All leading Brands All associated minor works, modifications and repairs also undertaken e.g.. replace Kitchen worktops, taps, toilets etc. Dept. 16, 17
05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01
David GABARD T: 06 71 83 16 69 / 05 49 87 27 29 E: email@example.com 2 Verrières, 86400 CHAMPNIERS
website: andyms.free.fr email: firstname.lastname@example.org siret:50263448800014
Covering south 86 & 79, north 16
MOving hOuSe...? 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
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
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. rOLLS OF knauF earth WOOL nOn-itChY in stock (100 & 150mm).
Building services, Artisans
GARY MOORE HEATING 22 YEARS IN HEATING, 12 YEARS IN FRANCE Siret: 491827705 00022
Ò Ò Ò Ò
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: email@example.com
R & G Builders Siret No 4825499610019
30 years’ experience UK & France English & French spoken Free advice and estimates Works & PL insured
DOWN TO EARTH
Fosse septique and accredited Micro station installer
Professional, friendly reliable service with competitive prices. From conception to completion, we will even do the paperwork. • Renovations & new builds All drainage problems, groundworks patios & driveways. • Tiling • Plant & Skip Hire Established 14 years, french registered & insured • Roof repairs & replacement All work guaranteed - Testimonials available on request • Plastering • Lime Pointing www.downtoearthvienne.com 05 55 03 23 39 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 06 67 98 38 89 05 49 87 04 13 russellhainesbuilder Siret 45047931600033 @gmail.com
Tel 05 17 30 18 35 Mobile 06 33 85 65 66
email@example.com Javarzay, 79110 Chef-Boutonne Siren: 478 608 185 00011
Building services, Artisans
05 49 87 09 63 Siret: 48115588500017
SIRET: 789 956 125 00015
the roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof SLATE SPECIALIST
Roof repairs both large & small Roof replacement Roof renovations Roofing surveys for house purchase Chimney Removals Insurance claims Décennale (10 year) Insurance Now covering Dordogne EU validated Heritage Construction Company Tel: 06 32 19 50 53 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
ESTABLISHED COMPANY, CONSCIENTIOUS & RELIABLE SERVICE For a superior finish in wood, tile, plasterboard and general restoration Specialising in kitchen fitting & creative challenges
Accredited Installers of :
Micro Stations, Compact filters and traditional Fosse septiques For a guaranteed professional solution from initial application to achieving conformity
Over 30 years of experience See all our work on our facebook page
www.southwestfrancefosse.com T: 06 04 14 84 86
These local businesses are waiting for your call!
The Roofing & Renovation Company Established, registered artisan with Décennale & Civile Responsabilité Insurance Roofing - Traditional, Interlocking and Slate Rendering, Pointing, Full and Part Renovations, Conversions email@example.com
05 49 27 22 67
depts 79, 86 & 16 www.building-services-france.com Siret: 499 474 302 00035
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 www.LBVfrance.com
t:+33 (0)5 45 70 20 98
ty and Full Public Liabili surance In Civil Décennale
06 82 10 45 65
06 83 99 01 48 / 09 84 22 80 23 Siret: 517 604 997 00018
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
Carpenter Specialising in Kitchens, Bathrooms, Renovations & Building Works Registered Artisan with Décennale Insurance References available
79190 Clussais La Pommeraie E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.pamphilionrenovations.com
website: andyms.free.fr email: email@example.com
Siret: 509 487 534 00018
Chauffage, Climatisation, Sanitaire Central Heating installations boiler Servicing bathroom, Kitchen installations Tiling, Solar Powered Hot Water Underfloor Heating & Heat Pumps
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
PAINTER & DECORATOR
Experienced, French Registered Electrician Available for all types of electrical work renovations, small works, gate automations etc. Insured and guaranteed Areas 16, 17, 24, 47
05 46 86 07 61
Tel: 06 29 90 24 89 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Based in dept 79 near Sauzé-Vaussais Fully insured Siret: 804 390 862 000 14
ADAM BLACKABY Artisan Peintre
T: 05 45 98 07 25 M: 06 23 18 30 95
Siret: 441 490 992 00027
Siret: 492 277 918 00024
Ellis Electrique ExpEriEncEd QualifiEd ElEcTrician REWIRES, NEW BUILD, ELECTRIC HEATING, HOME SECURITY, LIGHTNING PROTECTION, TV & AUDIO. WORK GUARANTEED & INSURED Areas: 16, 36, 37, 79, 86, 87
Tel: 05 49 50 09 06 Mob: 06 70 97 59 56 Email: email@example.com siret: 45275539000013 RM8601
Peter Amor Electrician
Key holding/House checks Pet/house sitting Groundworks including gravelling and small patios
firstname.lastname@example.org Areas 16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 86
Tel: 05 46 98 22 01 Mob: 06 02 33 90 58 E: email@example.com
05 49 87 20 76 / 06 95 41 78 49 Interior and firstname.lastname@example.org exterior painting All installation Paper hanging, tiling, types of gardening undertaken cut, split and stacked Tiling flooring & dry lining GiteWood management/Changeovers
Based at Migron (17) and close to Cognac (16)
752 604 256 00012
Anything you cannot do, or do not wish to do, please give me a call.
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 email@example.com All departments covered SIret: 480 026 560 00012
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Building services, Artisans
Robert Walker Jb Plumbing PlombeRie Kitchen & Bathroom
Property maintenance, internal & external works, plaster boarding, painting and decorating, wall & floor tiling.
Building services, Artisans
16420 Saint Christophe firstname.lastname@example.org
ID Property Services
Building services, Artisans
3 New Builds 3 Renovations 3 Approved fosse septiques 3 Foundations 3 Driveways 3 Land clearance 3 Lake Management
Places to go
Restaurants & bar s, Events, Associations and C lubs.
Mad Hatter’s Kitchen Mad Hatters Kitchen serving freshly made good food just for you! Thurs & Fri lunches: 3 courses, wine included €15 Fri & Sat evening menu €25 Traditional 3-course Sunday lunch €19 All by reservation FULLY LICENSED BAR | BED & BREAKFAST
Taking bookings for weekday group Xmas lunch parties Christmas Day - all inclusive traditional lunch 65€pp New Year’s Eve - Masked Ball, live music with Fake Raccoons, disco, and buffet 55€ New Year’s Day - Afternoon Champagne buffet, live music with McKenzie 55€ Please ring or e mail for more info 0549 27 67 29 email@example.com / www.madhattersfrance.eu Le Logis, Le Breuillac, 79190 Caunay
Cafe Cour du Miracle L e P u b D es Ha l l es
Traditional English Food Large choice of beers Quizzes and Events Franglais every Monday evening
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. Open 11.00am to 6.00pm - until 10.00pm Friday evening
lepubdeshalles Closed Wednesday
Tel: 02 51 00 54 93
7 Place André Bujeaud, 85210 Saint Hermine 02 51 30 23 95 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.cafecourdumiracle.com Closed Monday & Tuesday
The Irish Belle 05 55 02 96 96 Siret: 50089497700015
www.alabonnevie.com 05 49 95 91 60
Changing Hours, please see our website for our current details. We look forward to you trying our Lunches (Fri & Sat: Fish & Chips are on the menu) Sunday Lunch, Evening Meals 2 rue de la Panique, 79130 Le Beugnon
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 email@example.com www.bellesfleurs.org
Tea Rooms Confolens
À L’ABRI DES PINS
Les Jouberties 87200 Saint Junien
Food served all day including bacon sandwiches, all-dayDine in our restaurant breakfast, baked potato with 12-14h/19-21h every day toppings, a side salad and more. Also selling Irish/English produce & Gluten-free products. Come and enjoy the cosy country ambience. Tuesday to Saturday 10h-17h (11h-16h30 Weds & 10h-16h Sat) 21 Rue du Maquis Foch, E: firstname.lastname@example.org 16500 Confolens www.golfdesaintjunien.com 06 14 12 54 61 / 05 45 31 23 31 golfdesaintjunien FB: Mary Burke(Theirishbelle)
Auberge du noyer
Bar & Restaurant Freshly cooked food, Menu du jour, Daily specials, A la carte, & live music
La Brousse, 16700 Londigny tel; 05 45 29 05 07 www.aubergedunoyer.com www.facebook.com/aubergedunoyer
LUXURY MOBILE HOME PORT GRIMAUD Bay of St Tropez
Beautiful bed & breakfast accommodation in St Mathieu at the heart of the Périgord Natural Park For more information, call 05 55 09 57 99 or visit www.number15 chambredhotes.com
Restaurant en Charente
Christmas & New Year’s Day Lunch €55 €66 with Drinks & Coffee New Year’s Eve Dinner €78 all inclusive
Philippe & Yveline offer traditional French Cuisine using fresh local ingredients Bourras 16200 Mérignac T: 05 45 35 81 27
06 31 64 85 14
www.abri-des-pins.com Repas gastronomic
Bed and Breakfast Chambre d’Hôtes
Chez Anne 2 rue des Rentes St-Même les Carrières (Jarnac 5 km)
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
Tel:05 45 82 07 87 3 épis
Gîtes de France
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Across: 1. Cricket 5. Their 8. Inert 9. Sailing 10. Ells 11. Monopoly 14. Eft 16. Rodeo 17. Elf 19. Chequers 20. Tarn 23. Earshot 25. Okapi 26. Sumps 27. Glowing Down: 1. Chinese 2. Ideal 3. Kite 4. Tis 5. Tricolor 6. Epitome 7. Rugby 12. Order 13. Draughts 15. Theorem 18. Fencing 19. Chess 21. Abaci 22. Polo 24. Tag Theme: Sports & games
living music | 65
M Belle Jingles UpBeat
Michael Bublé is a Christmas playlist favourite
It’s that time again Roger Moss celebrates the weird, wonderful world of Christmas Hits.
hoever said: “Christmas comes but one a year, but once it’s here it’s always here...” might well have done so under the influence of Christmas hit overload. Love them or loathe them, Christmas Number Ones never die – they just get reincarnated year after year until they drive us nuts or we simply cave in and embrace the seasonal spirit of goodwill. At least that’s how it seems to anyone who grew up to the soundtrack of UK radio and TV (not to mention now-omnipresent in-store sound systems) on the run-up to Christmas and New Year’s Day. In fact, the only means of escape was blotting them out with headphones or earbuds connected to a Walkman or iPod loaded with your idea of good listening, not theirs. That was then, of course, and since lots of things are different here in France, maybe it’s been spared these seasonal spikes in ear pollution. To find out, I consulted that nice M Google for his thoughts, using ‘Tubes de Noël’ in the Search box. Among the more promising responses was “Les 100 Plus Grands Tubes Noël” – a set of 5 CDs, no less, so I scrolled down to the list of tracks with mounting incredulity. The inevitable result of attempting to create a somethingfor-everyone compilation brought together such unlikely bedfellows as André Rieu, S Club 7, Nana Mouskouri, Johnny
Piano tuner and technician, great offers on tunings and piano services. Special Offer: Tuning for only €65! *excluding travel costs, for a limited time only
Based 24600 Ribérac
For more information please call 06 08 34 07 13 or visit www.pianoluigi.com facebook/accordeurpianoluigi
Hallyday, Englebert Humperdink, Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois, assorted Motown artists plus, of course, Slade. If nothing else, this surreal and otherwise pointless research exercise did at least underline the futility of trying to please all the people, all the time. So, what do you do if you’re planning a party or other seasonal get-together? Well, I’d argue that it probably depends on the expectations of who is on the guest list. If you’re planning a sedate, get-to-know-you affair then music is going to be something for background mood setting, in which case you could do worse than arming yourself with classic tried-andtested (and huge selling) Christmas albums
by artists like Sinatra, Crosby, Bublé, etc., and keeping the volume way down low. In other words, think ‘unobtrusive’. Plan B: If, on the other hand, you really want everyone to dance their socks off, why not hit them with a mix of ’70s and ’80s disco favourites, saving the Christmas titles until the very last minute, by which time everyone will be in the festive mood. Better still, why not book a live act with the style and repertoire (no, not punk, death metal, etc.) to deliver something your guests will long remember, for all the right reasons. Still stuck for ideas? By way of inspiration I’ll leave you with Rolling Stone Magazine’s thoughts.
Rolling Stone’s 10 Greatest Christmas Albums of All Time 10. Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas (Ella Fitzgerald, 1960) 9. Soul Christmas (Otis Redding, etc., 1968) 8. White Christmas (Bing Crosby, 1986) 7. Beach Boys’ Christmas Album (Beach Boys, 1964) 6. The Best of Christmas Songs (Louis Armstrong & Friends) 5. A Motown Christmas (Stevie Wonder, etc., 1973) 4. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) 3. James Brown’s Funky Christmas (James Brown, 1995) 2. Elvis’ Christmas Album (Elvis Presley, 1957) 1. A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector (Crystals, Ronnettes, etc.,1963)
Café de la Gare
MR. PIANO MAN
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: email@example.com SIRET: 51031234100017
Bar ~ Snacks ~ Music ~ Pool
open till midnight Weekends 12-12, Lunch Tue-Fri Thankyou to all my customers for a wonderful year! ORFEE Woofers Walk: Weds 14 Dec Christmas buffet: Sat 16 Dec New Year’s Eve - beach/Ibiza party!
Gourville (16170) Between Aigre & Rouillac
Tel: 0545 622516
FB: le bourg aka cafe de la gare
66 | living Language
hether you’re a Brit or an Aussie, a Manc or a Brummie, we love to shorten words in the English language. No doubt French speakers watching the Beeb on telly will tell you that it can sometimes be really hard to decipher these shortened words, working out your brekkie from your brolly. The same is true in French too, whether it’s restos, pubs, ordis or récré. Grab a cuppa and a biccie, make yourself a sarnie and we’ll sort through the persos and the profs. Many of our abbreviations relate to food, but they don’t always work in both languages. Breakfast isn’t that much of a mouthful for it to be often abbreviated as ‘brekkie’ but le petit déjeuner has long since been abbreviated to the more simple le petit déj’. At lunch, you might find yourself at le restaurant, but the French may equally say le resto which always amuses me since we’re stuck with the much longer ‘restaurant’ in English, and I’ve never heard anyone call it ‘a resto’. English speakers have formed the lovely portmanteau word ‘brunch’, and you may find yourself going out for le brunch in France, although it seems to be restricted to some restaurants in bigger cities. Whilst we may have ‘pubs’ in the UK, our happy abbreviation for ‘public house’, bars and inns seem to be more of the fashion these days. La pub in French is something a little different: an abbreviation of la publicité, meaning advertising, publicity or marketing. Of course, we also abbreviate advertisement to ‘advert’ too. Le pub is the French for an English-style public house, so you need to be careful with your le and la here.
L i ving
Understanding the shortcuts with language expert Emma-Jane Lee
which side of the Atlantic you’re from. Although the French terms for Higher Maths and Advanced Maths are no longer officially used, you’ll still find lots of people using these terms. Math sup stands for les mathématiques supérieurs and math spé for les mathématiques spéciales. I’m sure if you heard ‘mats-pay’ you might wonder what on earth your children are studying. La philo is fairly simple: la philosophie. Le bac is simple for anyone with a child studying for the baccalauréat, and la fac is short for la faculté or another way to say ‘university’, which we could shorten to ‘uni’ in English. Les profs is a nice shorthand for les professeurs, an abbreviation that we seem not to make in English. Likewise Advertisements are not the only for geography and recreation or break. modern media to have a handy French Usually, we don’t take the shortcuts our shortened version. You will of course find l’ordi for l’ordinateur, or a computer. French cousins do with la géographie and la récréation. Mind you, for la récré, you Still doesn’t help much with l’ordinateur portable, or the rather lengthy translation may find your work colleagues calling it la pause or even un break! La pause is a great of ‘laptop’, but at least mon ordi portable term for a breather or a break, but you’ll is a little less to get your mouth around. hear la pause clope for a cigarette break If you regularly check out French news too. Where I’m from, a ‘fag break’ might sites, you’ll often find les actus for les be incomprehensible not only to the actualités or ‘the headlines’, as well as les infos. Les infos, which is usually plural, just French but probably to a large number means ‘the news’. You may also find le fil of English speakers too. French people might not just faire une pause at work, d’info which is a news-stream or a news they might also say faire un break. feed on a website. Perhaps it’s just me, Hopefully now, you don’t need le bac but I don’t find we shorten ‘information’ or to go to la fac to make sense of these to ‘info’ as much in English these days. confusing abbreviations. Relying on le dico School is also a fertile ground for may not always be a necessity when you finding French shortened words. have mastered a few French shortcuts. Whether it’s les profs, math sup, math spé, la philo, le bac, la fac, la géo with la Emma is a jack-of-all-language-trades, writing récré in between, many parents may find English textbooks, translating, marking exam themselves bemused by all of these abbre- scripts and teaching languages. She lives near viations. Some exist in English, certainly, La Rochefoucauld with her growing menagerie. such as ‘Maths’ or ‘Math’ depending on See www.english-tuition.weebly.com
Editor: Kathryn Dobson FEATURES EDITOR: Roger Moss Advertising: Jon Dobson Art editor: Nadia Van den Rym Production manager: Justin Silvester Regular contributors: Ron Cousins, 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: Champagny-en-Vanoise © ROGER MOSS 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 the 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 magazine.
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