Living Magazine June/July 19

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magazine june | july 2019

Business Directory

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Fabulous Summer! go with the flow Sizzling days out inspired Recycling & much much more...

~ Passionate about life in south west France ~


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The ultim ate



Free Gu0id19e 2


le Poitou & les Charente

June/July 2019



with ideas for


great days out

festivals, family fuN & much more

explore the region

discover the coast & beautiful villages

Summer is hEre and our thoughts can turn to enjoying the many festivals and events ahead, les vacances and, of course, entertaining our steady flow of visitors over the holiday period. If you live in PoitouCharentes, don’t miss our 2019 Ultimate Summer Guide which is bursting with fabulous ideas. For those of us with exam-age children, we’re not out of the woods yet as the next few weeks do still hold some tribulations, so good luck to everyone, parents and students alike! Some of you may have seen that the gremlins got into the last magazine, for which we can only apologise. Hopefully you found the missing page on our website at As part of our commitment to helping climate change, we have another green theme running through this magazine - reducing, reusing and recycling wherever we can. We explore a Vienne town that has successfully reinvented itself following the departure of industry and see how an initiative to reduce food wastage from the UK has inspired an association in La Rochelle. Nikki Legon shares delicious recipes for leftovers while, out in the garden, we have recycling projects and tips for reducing water usage. Wishing you all a wonderful summer, À bientôt!






Practical Advice


News from around the region

We ask our professional experts your questions

A profile of Aigre in Charente



Disarmingly Châtellerault Roger Moss visits the town celebrating the centenary of its former manufacturing complex


Puzzle Break


Get the grey cells working on our crossword by Mike Morris

Water is a precious commodity in our long hot summers - how can we best save it in our gardens?


Food Fighters


Jessica Knipe discovers how a UK food initiative has inspired a team in La Rochelle

Part 2 of winemaker Caro Feely’s introduction to organic wine



We take a look at this small Dordogne village with a big heart

To help reduce food waste in our kitchens, Nikki shares her favourite recipes for leftovers

Vibrant Verteillac


Citizens’ Rights Kathryn Dobson tries to make sense of the situation for British nationals living in France

Think Green, Think Bio

Nikki Legon’s Cuisine

120,000 readers 1,000 stockists

Don’t Waste a Drop


Curtain Up! A round up of summer music


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


Waste not, Want not

Business Directory The best local services & suppliers

Susan Hays gets crafty in the garden in the name of recycling

64 Places To Go


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

News round up

Archaeology days New Préfète

The 10th Journées Nationales de l’Archéologie will be celebrated across the region from 14-16 June as well as, for the first time, across Europe. A varied programme of educational and fun activities is planned at many museums and sites and there will also be exhibitions, reconstructions, reenactments and more. For full details see

Drug prices

A recent survey by the association Familles Rurales has shown that the price of non-prescription drugs can vary widely depending on where you buy them. Often they are behind the counter in pharmacies without clear price tags, meaning that you have to ask for them before you know the cost. One antiviral cream that they looked at (Activir) normally retails between 2.49-2.99€ but was found on sale at one pharmacy for 9.20€ and online for 6.66€. In addition, while online prices looked appealing, the savings were often far less than the shipping costs. As a result, the website which currently lists pharmacies, their opening hours and services, will soon provide information on over-the-counter drug prices. It is worth noting that you can already find information on all drugs available in France (including prices for those drugs that are refundable through your carte vitale along with the rate of reimbursement) on the government website at: base-donnees-publique.

Nouvelle-Aquitaine has welcomed a new Préfète to take over from Préfet Didier Lallement who moved to lead the Préfecture de Police de Paris in March. For the past two years, Fabienne Buccio (centre) has been Préfète of the Normandy region where she was primarily responsible for managing the Calais refugee crisis. Originally from Gap, in July 1998 she was named Préfète for Corrèze where she impressed Jacques Chirac and went on to serve in his cabinet at the Elysée Palace from 2003-7. Married with two grown-up children, she is the granddaughter of an Italian who fled fascism, and has worked her way through the ranks of the civil service to become the only regional Préfète today. In her role, she is the State’s representative for the region, sitting between central and local government. As such, she will be influential in how any new status in the light of Brexit is rolled out for the many British residents in the region.

schools out!!

Good luck to all our families with students sitting the Brevet and Baccalauréat exams. The Bac Générale written exams take place from 17-24 June with the Brevet exams on 27-28 June. All schools break up for the summer holidays on Friday 5 July although

many collège and lycée students may be home earlier to ensure silence for the exam periods. Results for the Bac will be published on 5 July with the dreaded rattrapage the following week. Brevet results will be published between 8-12 July depending on the Academie.

Fête Médiévale - La Roche à Foucauld 20 & 21 July 2019

Falconry shows ~ Artisan market ~ Shows ~ Hog roast Saturday 12h-23h & Sunday 10h-19h ~ Entry 5€, under-10s free

Under The Lime Tree Spa B&B Fontfaix le Haut 16260 Cellefrouin Come to Under The Lime Tree to enjoy nutritious, delicious, colourful and creative lunches & dinners in beautiful surroundings. B&B and ‘Pop-up’ catering since 2000. Cooking masterclasses available. Booking essential.

www.livingmagazine.frThe Place to Be for Vegans & Veggies!

La Rochefoucald Tourist Office (16110): 05 45 63 07 45 Website:

Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Rochefort

CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes



Rouillac Jarnac




ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne

News from around the region...

les charentes

Ferme de Chassagne

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


Having been put up for sale by the state in 2016 along with eight other stud farms, after the Haras Nationaux and the Cadre Noir merged to form the Institut Français du Cheval et de l’Èquitation (IFCE), the Saintes site with its 170 years of history has been sold for 1.2 million euros. The buyer, Philippe Védiaud, heads up a Parisian advertising company and grew up in the town. As well as an offshoot of his own company which he hopes will employ up to one hundred people, he also plans to develop a restaurant, a business incubator and perhaps some housing units. Of all the studs put up for sale, Saintes is so far the only one that has been sold into the private sector. On an extensive site close to the centre of the town, the worries that it would become a wasteland have been allayed, much to the relief of both the Maire and local residents.

The ult im ate





Saintes Stud Sale

Bio cereal producers Céline and François Péloquin will be hosting their convivial Farmers’ Market at Chassagne, near Villefagnan, from 7 June. Buy from the selection of bio stalls selling everything from honey to cheese and meat, pair with some homemade bread and salad, and settle down in the open air to enjoy the local entertainment. Held every fortnight, just bring along your plates and cutlery, and your friends and family - it’s the perfect way to unwind and relax into weekend mode. This year, the free-to-enter Friday evening markets are on 7 June, 5 & 19 July, 2 & 16 August and 6 September with stalls setting up from 4pm. You can also buy fresh bread from the farm on Tuesdays and Fridays between 4-8pm. Chassagne, 16240 Villefagnan:

L i ving

Île de Oléron


s rentes le Poitou & le Cha



with ideas for


great days out

festivals, family fuN & much more

explore the region

t discover the coas & beautiful villages

For great days out and the best of the summer events, pick up a copy of our FREE Ultimate Summer Guide 2019, or read it online at

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

Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Île de Oléron


CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes



Rouillac Jarnac




ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne

News from around the region...

les charentes Cassino magus Located just outside Chassenon (16), the

3-storey thermal baths at Cassinomagus are some of the best-preserved monuments from the Roman Empire. The visitor centre explains the site’s history and the 25-hectare park has plenty of activities for adults and children alike. Pick up an English language audio-guide and be transported back in time or join one of the English language guided tours throughout the summer.

Don’t miss the many special events over the summer: 7-9 June: Rendez-vous aux jardins 14-16 June: National Days of Archeology 6 July: Archaeo Night – free family entertainment all evening 27-28 July: Thermal Baths Days historical re-enactments with evening entertainment on Saturday night 5 August: Gypsy and baroque music concert.


The Charente Art Society is holding its annual summer art exhibition on 20 July. Doors open from 10am-5pm at La Cour d’Argent, 1 Grand Rue, 16350 ChampagneMouton, and entry is free. The summer exhibition at the Musée de Royan (17) features the history of seaside resorts from the 17th century in ‘Tous à la Plage’. The Exhibition is open daily except Tuesdays, see the website for details.

Forest fires

In both Charente and Charente-Maritime brush clearing is obligatory if you live beside woods and forests unless local laws say otherwise. To contain fires, if you own land within 200m of a wood or forest, the 50m around your house needs to be cleared (up to 100m in some communes) and access roads should be cleared up to a maximum of 10m on either side. Check at your mairie for the requirements in your commune. If you do not respect this obligation, the municipality can serve you a notice to clear the grounds (which must be done in one month) and you could face a fine of up to 30€ per m2. In addition, in case of a fire, your insurers may deduct an additional 5,000€ if the ground has not been cleared. Similar rules exist in Deux-Sèvres, Dordogne, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne and Vienne. For more information see

Join Jean-Luc & Virginie for lunch or dinner in the heart of historic Saintes. Choose the terrace or air-conditioned restaurant, a menu or à la carte. Using the freshest local ingredients and offering seasonal daily specials. Children, vegans & vegetarians welcome. Booking is recommended. Mon-Sun 12h-14h & Mon-Sat 19h-21h 2, place du Théatre, 17100 Saintes T: 05 46 74 62 62 - English spoken E: Included in the Michelin Guide since 2010

Bring your friends and family for a relaxed meal “à la française” made from the finest local ingredients. Perfect for the young, the busy or simply those wanting to dine informally on the terrace. Eat-in or takeaway.

Burgers,mussels, fish & chips, salads, vegetarian options Mon-Sat:12h-14h30, 19h-21h45 Brunch on Sat: 10h-12h 3 Place du Théatre,17100 Saintes 05 46 74 47 63 - English spoken

News from around the region...

No Smoking

From 31 May, two out of the three beaches at La Rochelle (17) will become non-smoking areas as the city expands the number of smoke-free public spaces. Following a unanimous vote at the last conseil municipal meeting, both the Minimes and La Concurrence beaches will ban smoking between 31 May and 15 October with the same planned for 2020. Smokers can still smoke on the beach at Chef-de-Baie. While fines will not be given out this year, teams will be on the beaches to explain the new regulations and why they are needed. Nice was the first French city to create a non-smoking beach in 2012 and there are now over twenty around the country.

LGV silencing

Since the opening of the new LGV line from Paris to Bordeaux, residents living nearby, particularly in Charente, have complained that the noise-reducing measures put in place are not working effectively. While the average level of noise does not exceed approved levels, the peaks do. After much discussion and many measurements, a report issued by the CGEDD (Conseil général de l’environnement et du développement durable) confirmed the reports of the residents. As a result, Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne has agreed to invest 22 million euros in additional noise reduction work, the cost of which will be shared equally between the state and local authorities. This money will cover enhanced protective slopes, extension of noise barriers and insulation of houses. Work is expected to start later this year.

• Terrace in Abbaye Royale courtyard

• Fresh, local produce • Weekday lunch menu 18.50€ • Daily menus 27€ and 40€ • Open for both lunch & dinner

(Tue-Sun except Wed & Sun evenings)

• Reservations recommended • Parking Follow us on Le Scorlion and see website for details

Restaurant le Scorlion

5 rue de l’abbaye 17400 St Jean d’Angély Tel: 05 46 32 52 61 E:









News from around the region... Saint-Jeande-Côle


La Flow Vélo in Dordogne

If you’re hesitating about setting off to discover the many charms which lie along the course of this newly-dedicated cycling itinerary then there’s no need to commit to the full 290km. Almost 50km – some of the most scenic sections, in fact – are among the Parc Naturel Régional Périgord Limousin countryside. Here, between Thiviers and Varaignes, you’ll have the option of making a small early detour to Saint-Jean-de-Côle, officially one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, before riding on through Saint-Pardoux-la-Rivière (with a couple of river crossings), Nontron, and the attractive village of Javerlhac-et-la-ChapelleSaint-Robert. If you should feel like seeing more then you can add further legs of the journey whenever you like, which will take you all the way to the Atlantic coast and beyond, to the diminutive Île d’Aix:

Beynac Reversal

Controversy has again hit the Beynac bypass project as France’s highest administrative court upheld the ruling of the Conseil d’État to stop work on the bypass. The Bordeaux Tribunal Administratif found that there was insufficient public interest to justify the project and ordered that work done so far be dismantled with the locations restored to their original state. Readers of our February edition will remember that extensive work has already begun, including on the two bridges required, and 15 million euros have been committed to the project. The Conseil départemental has vowed to appeal, with the leader of the Conseil, Germinal Peiro, determined to see the project through. However, questions are being asked as to why the work started before the legal battles were finished. Beynac’s residents are split on whether the bypass is necessary but both sides agree that the wastage of so much public money is scandalous.

Gold Trophy

LIVING’s resident wine expert Caro Feely and husband Sean have had much to celebrate recently with Chateau Feely winning a gold trophy in the first national wine tourism competition, beating estates from all over France. Organised by Terre de Vins and judged by a panel of eleven professionals, the Feelys won the award in the category ‘Education and Valorisation of Ecological Practices’ and were finalists in the ‘Accommodation at the Vineyard’ category. Congratulations Caro and Sean!

Tippett Quartet

Chamber music lovers are in for a treat at Issigeac when the highly acclaimed Tippett Quartet visits for a week of concerts and tuition. As part of the Issigeac International Music Academy (IIMA) being held from 18-22 June, the quartet is joining with renowned British violinist Ishani Bhoola who recently performed at the Festival International de Musique de Chambre en Charente. Together they are offering a week’s tuition to amateur musicians and will themselves be performing at three concerts in the village. For musicians, this is a wonderful opportunity to play chamber music and receive private lessons in a beautiful location. Tickets for the concerts on 18, 21 and 22 June and more information on the music course can be found at:

Les S arabandes 28+29+30 juin 2019 St-Genis-d'Hiersac (16) Un festival pas comme les autres ! Spectacles / Mise en lumiere / expositions

As featured in the new Channel 4 series, “A New Life In the Sun”

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News from around the region...

Lucky Escape

Step back in time with 3 days of retro camping, vintage vélos and more at Saint-Astier from 8-10 June. The inaugural ‘Les Puces du Retro Campeur’ is open to vehicles over 30 years old, with a dance on Saturday night and a market on Sunday with foodtrucks on site all weekend.


Château de Varaignes on the Charente/Dordogne border is holding its 39th Marché des Tisserands from 8-10 June. The theme this year is ‘Cocoon’ and it is an ideal opportunity to meet textile professionals and amateurs alike. Entry costs 3€. SWAT, the association that raises money for animal charities, holds its Summer Fair on Sunday 30 June at the Salle des Fêtes in Saint-Méardde-Gurçon (24610). Entry is free and doors open from 10am to 3pm. Lots of stalls and refreshments - don’t miss the sausage sizzle! The popular mime festival MIMOS returns to Périgueux from 23-27 July.

Visit Blandine and Anne-Laure at their family’s domaine. Every day at 10am, 3pm and 5pm. Have a real immersion in the World of Cognac and Pineau des Charentes. Reserve your tour : tel : + 33 6 62 38 37 06 / + 33 6 80 41 87 34 Chez Grimaud - 16480 Chillac @VignobleConteFilles

© WIKI/ Harmonia Amanda

The recent fire at Notre-Dame de Paris has shot a local firm to fame. Just five days earlier, SOCRA, a specialist restoration company based in Marnac-sur-l’Isle, had overseen the careful removal and transport of the 12 apostles and 4 evangelists that had flanked the flèche for the past 160 years. Made from copper, the main pieces are 3.4m high, each weighing up to 150kg, and the planned restoration was expected to be completed by 2022. The statues were designed by the architect Viollet-le-Duc who restored the cathedral in 1844 at which time the timber flèche, lost in the recent fire, was added. His face can even be found on the statue of Thomas. SOCRA are regularly opening the workshop to members of the public interested to see the restoration in progress, see their Facebook page for details.

Brantôme in Summer

There are few places more inviting in summer than the pretty village of Brantômeen-Périgord with its stunning abbey, trips on the river and lively bars and restaurants. Combine a visit with market day or join in one of the nocturnal markets for the quintessentially French summer’s evening. For something different, visit the prehistoric cave remains under the abbey by candlelight on 1, 15 or 21 July. Reserve your place at the Tourist Office for the visit leaving at 9.30pm (cost 9€). Animal lovers will enjoy visiting Brantôme Police Horses which opens every Weds until the end of September from 3pm (entry 14€) or join in the Classic Car Show and Afternoon Tea fundraiser on 28 July. Brantôme weekly market is every Friday morning from 8am-12.30pm while nearby Bordeilles’ market is every Sunday morning. Brantôme Farmers’ markets are held every Tues morning from 8am beginning 18 June until the end of Sept. Nocturnal markets are held on 12 & 26 July, and 9 & 23 August from 7pm and include an artisanal craft market too.



n de Monts La Roche sur-Yon


y Chantonna


Les Sables d’Olonne

e La Tranch sur Mer

Bressuire Parthenay




News from around the region...

Highland Games

Zoodyssée arrivals

As part of its aim to double the visitors to the park, Zoodyssée in Chizé (79) is investing 2 million euros over 4 years in the creation of a new Mediterranean zone which will be home to 40 new species of animal. The first arrivals were 15 flamingos from zoos in Germany who they hope will soon be joined by toucans and jaguars. But it is not just exotic animals that can be seen – endangered bee species from Provence can also be found among the thousand Mediterranean plants already being cared for by the gardeners.

© AJEF - McGiraud

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For great days out and the best of the summer events across Deux-Sèvres, pick up a copy of our FREE Ultimate Summer Guide 2019 or read it online at

ie © Sophie de Rouman

The Fête des Plantes et du Jardin held in the grounds of the Domaine de Péré in south Deux-Sèvres continues to go from strength to strength. Celebrating its 40th year, the fête will welcome more than 130 exhibitors. Over 5,000 visitors come from far and wide to browse the many stalls set up by nurseries, artisans and more featuring everything you need for your garden. There are refreshments available throughout the weekend and a free concert on Saturday night with Tzigane band Le Cheval Rouge. The gates open from 10am to 6pm on the 8 and 9 June with entry costing 6€ per person (free for under-16s, 1€ for students and unemployed). For more information see; tel: 06 08 23 67 92; Domaine de Péré, 79360 Prissé la Charrière.

The Highland Games return to Bressuire (79) on 15-16 June to celebrate the 10th Celtic weekend. This edition features the Highland Games Amateur World Championships where 12 competitors will be testing their skills to fight for the title, and the Black Tartan Clan will rock the chateau grounds on Saturday night. Irish and Scottish dance troupes will entertain the crowds alongside a competition of marching bands with a performance by Breton pipe band Bagad de Lann Bihoué (France’s only professional military band). The Games are organised by local association l’Association des Jeux d’Ecosse en France (l’AJEF) with help from their many volunteers, and previous editions have been enjoyed by up to 10,000 visitors. Entry costs 15€ for over-13s for a weekend pass or 10€ for Saturday and 8€ for Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online:

British insurance agent

Deux-sèvres & Vendée

Garden Party


News from around the region...

Under New Management

Melon and apple growers in the region are struggling to find enough seasonal workers to pick this year and are even considering reducing the volume grown as a result. Rouge Gorge, the leading melon grower in France based in Thouars (79) looks for between 1,000-1,500 seasonal workers each year to plant and pick melons, and to pick apples. The apple harvest is particularly difficult as labour is needed in September and October once the schools and universities are back. To find out more see


The popular Café Cour du Miracle in Vouvant (85) recently said g’day to new owners Sue and Dean Richards after their predecessors Karen and Paul retired. In February, the couple returned to Europe from Australia where they have spent the last 26 years working and bringing up their four daughters. Excited about their move, they have plans to bring a little of the southern hemisphere with them as Sue explains: “We hope to instil some of the cafe and coffee culture that is so popular in Australia to our new venture at Café Cour du Miracle, whilst continuing the tradition of supporting the artist and tourism community in and around the medieval village.” Promising to continue to serve the much-loved homemade cakes and pies, they are also introducing new specials such as Nasi Goreng and Satay sticks to the menu. They also cater for vegetarians. You can keep up to date with their plans on their Facebook page: Cafe Cour du Miracle.

Fruit picking

Nature reserve

The opening of the new museum at the Nalliers-Mouzeuil-Saint-Martin (85) nature reserve is the culmination of work to create two areas – one for scientific study and one for education - within the 146-hectare park in the north of the Marais Poitevin. At the visitor centre, learn about the huttiers who lived in the marais in the 18th and 19th centuries alongside the wealth of wildlife to be found in the area. 4km of discovery trails take you deep into this unique environment which, among other things, is home to more than 350 species of butterflies and moths. See for full details of opening hours as well as the programme of events on offer.


Visit the Tumulus de Bougon museum (79) to meet Félix, a life-size mammoth who would have roamed our planet 20,000 years ago. On loan from the Paris Natural History Museum, Félix and the associated exhibition will be on display until 4 November. The Festival de Poupet is one of the largest festivals on the Vendée calendar and has been drawing thousands of visitors to its concerts cradled in the Poupet valley. The 2019 edition runs between 1-19 July. The pretty medieval village of Vouvant (85) is holding its 3rd annual Fête de Music on 22 June.

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Chauvigny Montmorillon

Le Dorat

Charroux Civray

Bellac Nieul



vienne & News from around the region... haute-vienne





Freshly Press

Sheep shearing For a world championship with a difference trot over to Le Dorat (87) from 4-7 July when the World Sheep Shearing Championship will be contested for the first time on French soil. Bringing together 35 nations, 300 shearers and expected to welcome 30,000 visitors, this is a major undertaking for such a small town. National teams are made up of 6 shearers, two from each discipline: machine shearing, blade shearing and wool handling. Speed and quality will be judged during the competition which requires some 5,000 sheep to be sheared. Choose which team to support – will it be France or one of the many Anglo-Saxon teams heading over to take part? There will also be sheep dog trials, logging demonstrations, a farmers’ market and other live events. See for the full programme and to buy tickets (5€, under-12s free).


La Table du Lavoir Chez Madeleine


© Vincent Kriéger

Three entrepreneurial women in south west France are combining their experience in writing, marketing and PR to help local authors get noticed. At Freshly Press, Tracy Stewart, Emma Gray and Maria Barry offer a wide range of services to new and experienced authors including coaching, proofreading, editing, manuscript critiquing, social media, marketing and much more. They can help you approach publishers or navigate the selfpublishing process before moving on to promote your finished book through traditional methods and social media. They can even produce a book trailer for you. With their backgrounds in the industry, they offer the all-important insider influence that helps authors get noticed by reviewers and journalists. Working with writers from across the world, they also facilitate learning sessions at Writer’s Retreats and organise literary events. To find out more about how they can help you bring your writing to a wider audience, see or email on

Join this racing event with Les Gendarmes et les Voleurs de Temps over the Pentecôte weekend (8/9 June) at Ambazac. Take part in the CaniTrail with your dog, chase the voleurs on one of the courses ranging from 5-52km or just come along and add your support.

The seventh Race for Life organised by Sarah Berry in La Croisille-surBriance will take place on Sunday 30 June. All money raised during this day of family fun will go to support the Ligue Contre le Cancer. For a weekend celebrating everything that flies, head to Estivol at Blond from 27-28 July.

Do You Know Moya? Some old friends are anxious to trace Moya (last known as Josling, née McDermott) with whom they have lost contact. The only information we have is that she lived near Poitiers, just off the N10. If you can help, please contact Mike Morris on 05 49 64 95 33 or 06 76 35 17 52.

Concert at l’Abbaye de Saint-Savin (86)

The English Ladies Director: Janet Kelsey Accompanist: David Neil Jones

TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2016-18

A programme of Sacred Choral Music including Pergolesi Stabat Mater and music by Rutter, Mendelssohn, Schubert and others

05 55 60 24 88 6, place de l’école 87330 Montrol Senard

F1M 414, F1L 514 & F2L 514 1936-1960

5pm Saturday 6th July 2019

Delicious French cuisine in friendly surroundings

Open Lunch & Dinner

Looking for old DEUTZ tractors

Free admission with a retiring collection for the Abbey

in any condition dans n’importe quel état

Call Jon on 05 49 87 29 71 E:

News from around the region...

Fire Risks

The fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has re-opened the debate as to how best to protect historic monuments here in France as most churches and 154 cathedrals are not insured for either their structures or works of art. In Vienne, the UNESCO recognised abbey at Saint-Savin is not insured against fire as the expense is too high for the commune who own the site. Experts have advised that the cost to insure the buildings would be 80,000 euros per year which represents 10% of the town’s budget. However, the abbey houses 12th century wall paintings symbolising the Old Testament which are unique in Europe, so the Maire, Jean-Marie Rousse, and his team have to maintain constant vigilance.

Wildwater Championship

Hop into the Corrèze from 5-10 June to see world-class wildwater canoeing on the Vézère at Treignac. Between 120-150 boats are expected from twenty nations for the only World Cup event in this discipline. The first World Championship was held here in 1959 and the competition has taken place every two years since. A timed event, it consists of two forms of racing: classic and sprint. When the sport began only the longer-distance format (now known as classic) was in use until a shorter sprint version was also introduced and both will be on show at Treignac. Wildwater courses can contain class two to class four whitewater, with classic courses varying from three to six miles in length (taking 10 to 60 minutes) and sprint courses between 200 and 600 metres (lasting from just one minute). Some athletes specialise in one format, but the majority compete in both. France has recently dominated the men’s canoe team sprint events so up to 10,000 spectators are expected to cheer them on. This year will feature the first classic mass start with 10 to 15 boats leaving at the same time in a race to the finish line. Throughout the competition water will be released at 15m3 per second allowing athletes to exceed 25km/h so expect plenty of thrills and spills!

Les Heures Vagabondes

Thirteen free concerts across the Vienne from 5 July – 9 August mark summer in the département. The festival starts on 5 July with Marc Lavoine at Loudun, Babylon Circus perform at Saint-Pierre d’Exideuil on 12 July, Jive Me on 3 August at Montmorillon and the programme culminates with Alpha Blondy at Maisonneuve-Missognes on 9 August. A broad range of genres means that there is something for everyone and the icing on the cake is that all the concerts are free.



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16 | living places to visit

The Pont Henri IV, completed in 1611


Disarmingly Châtellerault 2019 marks the centenary of the town’s celebrated former arms manufacturing complex, so it’s the perfect excuse for a visit.

ver the years, researching our popular Changing Places series has taken us to quite a few desirable locations around the region. Every now and then, however, we chance upon somewhere which draws us back for a much closer look. Châtellerault turned out to be just such

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a place, and has quite a story to tell, so join us as we discover the Vienne département’s second largest town. The name will already be familiar to anyone who travels from time to time between Poitiers and Tours, although it’s a safe bet that leaving the busy A10 autoroute for a look around town is usually the last thing on their mind.

It’s absolutely well worth a special trip, though, particularly in early summer, when everything is looking at its pristine best, including the local architecture, which in recent years has benefited from financial aid to restore and improve privately owned properties in the heart of the town. The notional heart of things is boulevard

living places to visit | 17 Châtellerault’s grandiose Mairie

The 45m-high towers ‘les jumelles’

Blossac – not just one but two, on either side of a large square created by order of Louis XV during the 18th century and today offering shady car parking beneath avenues of stately trees. The architectural highlights set around this leafy space include the grandiose façade of the former Grand Hotel Moderne and the early 19th century neo-Classical Hôtel de Ville, tucked away behind which is the similarly styled Palais de Justice, whose sculpted decoration depicts somewhat bizarrely both the creative arts and arms manufacture (of which more anon). The real treasure, however, is the Théâtre Blossac, whose lovingly restored Italianate jewelbox interior offers the opportunity to step back into the 19th century when the theatre was created within a former religious structure from a convent founded four centuries earlier. Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the square you’ll find further exuberant architectural showcases, behind which lies a network of narrow, pedestrianised streets which are worth discovering

“The Office de Tourisme has created a parcours architectural which enables visitors to discover the principal sites...” if you’re a fan of boutiques, bars and smaller traditional businesses. At the southern end of the boulevard (beyond a stylish Art Déco La Poste building) are the ornamental gardens of square Gambetta, which has long been a desirable location judging by the elegant townhouses which were constructed around it. The gardens themselves are an agreeable spot for relaxation, and you can appreciate them more fully by climbing one of two ornate stone stairways leading to an elevated viewpoint whose elegant masonry conceals a reservoir inaugurated in 1868, an event recorded

proudly in gold leaf on a large inscribed tablet. The commanding eminence was in turn chosen as a fitting site for a stirring monument to ‘La Gloire de la Révolution Francaise’ erected in 1890 during the centenary year of the fall of the Bastille. Surmounting it is a Marianne-style figure cast in bronze, as are the two lions seated at the foot of the monument. The Office de Tourisme has created a ‘parcours architectural’ which enables visitors to discover the principal sites located around the town. As an incentive to attract future investment, Châtellerault has been working on an ambitious re-landscaping initiative to transform the old quaysides of the Vienne. When the project is completed, walkers and cyclists will be free to enjoy lots of green, car-free open spaces, an idea which has proved hugely successful further south in Bordeaux. From earliest times the river has been a major factor in the fortunes of Châtellerault, which developed on

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18 | living places to visit

‘La manu’, from the spiral staircase

both sides of a broad stretch of the mighty river. Today no fewer than six crossings link the main town on the eastern bank to the Châteauneuf quarter, its smaller western counterpart on the rive gauche. The oldest surviving bridge, the magnificent nine-arched Pont Henri IV, stands near the confluence with the River Clain and replaced a previous timber structure. Work commenced in 1565 by order of Catherine de Médicis, although repeated disruptions during the Wars of Religion meant that the 144m long bridge was not completed until 1611. A study in serene elegance, it was conceived by none other than Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, the architect responsible for the celebrated Pont-Neuf in Paris.

Two robust stone towers which survive at the Châteauneuf end actually predate it, having been built during the 16th century to collect toll payments and to control entry to the town with the aid of a drawbridge. Originally they were linked by an archway demolished during the 19th century, although they’re still connected by vaulted stone cellars hidden from view. While the towers were never intended to perform a defensive role, their solidity meant that one was used for many years to accommodate prisoners. Cross the river on foot today and you’ll notice one of the bridge’s more surprising features in the shape of a wrought iron cross from which are suspended two small anchors. It’s easily missed, but you’ll find it roughly midway across, where it stands as a reminder of the long period when transport on the river was a key factor in the success of the town’s

metalworking industries, which were founded during the Middle Ages. Châtellerault’s reputation for fine cutlery and sword-making spread far and wide until 1819, when Louis XVIII ordered the construction of a weapons manufacturing complex sited on the banks of the Vienne, where state-of-the-art machinery could be powered by the dependable currents of the river. The manufacture of cavalry sabres was soon eclipsed by large scale production of army rifles, and as output rose so did employment, the site eventually employing some 7,000 workers – peaking at 8,000 during WWII. In its time the stateowned facility supplied not only the French military but also managed to produce around half a million rifles for the Imperial Russian Army, using both French and Russian workers. Not surprisingly, benefits to the local economy were similarly impressive,

The canal de l’Envigne

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

20 | living places to visit The Italianate Théatre Blossac

Café culture, boulevard Blossac

The former Grand Hôtel Moderne

but as peace and stability returned to Europe the demand for conventional weaponry declined, and on 1 October 1968 the Manufacture d’Armes de Châtellerault ceased all production, leaving the vast site standing silent as a painful reminder of its lost glory days. Its legacy continues locally, however, in present day precision engineering activities (not least the highly demanding manufacture and maintenance of aeronautical engines) while ‘la Manu’ has also reawakened after long years of abandonment. The site has a new sense of purpose, housing not only the French military archives but also the École National de Cirque, a conservatoire for dance and music, an ice rink plus Châtellerault’s celebrated Musée Auto Moto Vélo

collections and much more. Four of the site’s colossal redbrick chimneys have been preserved, the largest soaring 62m skywards, although the big visitor attraction is a pair of 45m ‘jumelles’ which in 1994 were linked by an 18m-high ironwork viewing platform designed by artist Jean-Luc Vilmouth. Climb a skeletal spiral iron staircase and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic bird’s-eye views of the site, the river and across to the skyline of Châtellerault. Round off your visit to le Jardin du Directeur – an oasis of leafy tranquillity in which the site’s director could cast off his daily pressures by taking a stroll beside the Canal de l’Envigne, at its confluence with the Vienne. Find out more: Public gardens, square Gambetta

Art déco decoration, La Poste

living promotion | 21

The region’s finest


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

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

personality, which we celebrate and preserve in our own ‘fait maison’ philosophy at Le Terminus – we prepare everything, including desserts, right here from fresh ingredients. Today very few establishments can honestly say that.” Many of his most prized local delicacies are strictly seasonal, so their fleeting appearances on his menus are eagerly anticipated – tender asperges grown by a market gardener on the outskirts of Angoulême, for example, or sweet myrtilles from Le Lindois, in north-eastern Charente. Since the goats cheeses of Poitou-Charentes have AOC status, the cheese trolley selection at Le Terminus includes creamy fromages de chèvre fermier from an artisan producer in RoulletSaint-Estèphe, southwest of the city. There’s even an underlying regional dimension to the most traditional of meal accompaniments: the bread served to Jean-Christophe’s diners is baked by a nearby artisan boulanger, using premium quality flour milled at Saint-Jean d’Angély. What’s more, the wheat used is grown within a 20km radius of the mill, using ethical, sustainable agricultural

practices. For liquid accompaniments, Le Terminus offers more of the region’s finest, in the shape of Charentais and Bordeaux wines, Pineau des Charentes plus rich, golden cognacs. Despite Jean-Christophe’s regional pride, Le Terminus is also outwardlooking, as he explains: “We’re aware that not everyone speaks French, although most of the world understands at least some English, so we produce our menus in both languages and we provide at least one member of our team to welcome and assist the growing number of anglophone guests who dine with us at Le Terminus. To us it’s an important gesture of hospitality – a longstanding tradition of welcoming guests which we take great pride in upholding.”

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

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

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22 | living foodies Cathy Hardern (left) found inspiration in the UK

+article en Français

Food fighters Jessica Knipe visits a food recycling initiative in La Rochelle which has its roots on the other side of the Channel…


aste not want not”. “Reduce, reuse, recycle”. “There is no Planet B”. We all know the score, and few would doubt that we need to change our ways of consumption, yet in the last year alone 10 MILLION tonnes of edible food were thrown away in France. We can make small changes towards reversing the trend (buy only as much as we need, find recipes that use every scrap of what we’re cooking, don’t be too religious about ‘sell-by’ dates…) but one English teacher in the Charente-Maritime is taking things a step further. Cathy Hardern arrived in France from Nottingham 25 years ago, found herself a career and a French husband and never looked back. Today Cathy teaches students at the business school in La Rochelle (17), and on a trip back to the UK to set up three-month social and humanitarian placements for them she bumped into Adam Smith, the revolutionary founder of The Real Junk Food Project. “He’s

such an inspiring person,” says Cathy. “As a chef he saw how much food gets wasted, so he opened his own restaurant using food which was past its sell-by date, but still perfectly edible.” Smith’s project now has hundreds of offshoots throughout the UK, all united by a desire to fight food

waste. While Cathy was discussing the project with him, he remarked that while the idea was his it didn’t belong to him, so perhaps she should open a branch in France. She took his encouragement to heart and dived right in. With the help of an initial donation from local bio champion LéaNature, Cathy started Remplir les Ventres Pas les Poubelles, an association which collects from markets and supermarkets food that would otherwise be destined for the bin, then uses them to cook joyous monthly brunches. The idea is to educate people about food waste, encouraging them to think about what and how they are eating. As well as providing students with “Freegan Boxes” of free, slightly tired fruit, vegetables and bread, with recipes for how to prepare them, Cathy organises monthly meals for all to enjoy. Anyone can help prepare the food on Fridays, and can come along to eat the food on Saturdays on a Pay-AsYou-Feel basis. “Those who can’t pay, don’t pay,” says Cathy. “But they can help do the dishes if they wish!”

living foodies | 23 « Qui jette un œuf jette un bœuf », « Réduire, réutiliser, recycler », « Il n’y a pas de planète b ». On connaît tous la chanson, et peu d’entre nous ignorent le besoin de modifier notre manière de consommer. Pourtant en France, rien que l’année passée, nous avons jeté 10 MILLIONS de tonnes d’aliments comestibles à la poubelle. Nous pouvons tous changer des petites choses pour inverser la tendance (n’acheter que ce dont nous avons besoin, trouver des recettes pour cuisiner chaque dernier morceau d’un ingrédient, ne pas suivre trop religieusement les dates limites de consommation…), mais une prof d’anglais en Charente-Maritime est allée un peu plus loin dans sa démarche. Cathy Hardern est arrivée de Nottingham en France il y a 25 ans, s’est trouvé une carrière et un mari français sans jamais

se retourner. Aujourd’hui elle enseigne à l’école de commerce de La Rochelle (17), et c’est lors d’un voyage au Royaume-Uni pour organiser des stages humanitaires de trois mois pour ses étudiants qu’elle est tombée sur Adam Smith, le fondateur révolutionnaire du Real Junk Food Project. « C’est une personne tellement passionnante », dit Cathy. « En tant que

chef, il a vu la quantité de nourriture qui est gaspillée, alors il a ouvert son propre restaurant en utilisant des ingrédients dont la date limite de consommation était dépassée, mais qui étaient encore parfaitement comestibles. » Le projet de Smith a été incorporé par des centaines d’associations à travers le Royaume-Uni, toutes unies par le désir de lutter contre le gaspillage alimentaire. Pendant que Cathy discutait du projet avec Smith, il lui a fait remarquer que même si l’idée venait de lui, elle ne lui appartenait pas, et qu’elle devrait peut-être ouvrir une succursale en France. Elle l’a pris au mot, plongeant la tête la première. À l’aide d’un premier don du champion bio local Léa Nature, Cathy a fondé l’association Remplir les Ventres Pas les Poubelles, qui collecte dans les marchés et supermarchés les aliments qui seraient autrement destinés à la poubelle. Ils sont ensuite utilisés pour préparer de joyeux brunches mensuels, l’idée étant d’éduquer les gens sur le gaspillage

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24 | living foodies

“Markets & supermarkets are only too happy to help, providing up to 100kg of unsightly but still delicious food at a time.“ Markets and supermarkets are only too happy to help, providing up to 100kg of unsightly but still delicious food at a time. Local restaurants play along by lending their kitchens, where volunteers can roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Any waste from these cooking sessions goes straight to the compost bin of local climbing club The Roof. This week the venue is Le Bathyscaphe, a quirky student haunt just behind the Aquarium. Through the heavy velvet curtains of the closed bar about 20 volunteers of all ages,

backgrounds and nationalities are peeling parsnips, chopping carrots, and discussing what they can do with some wrinkly turnips that have just arrived from the morning market in Villeneuve-les-Salines. Cathy buzzes around, busily organising the work stations, establishing a meal plan with the day’s volunteer chef, while spreading good cheer among her jolly band of helpers. The most wasted ingredient? Bananas. As soon as they start to blacken they’re taken off the shelves, but thanks to one of Cathy’s student’s recipes and a donation of some oats by a local health food shop, the heaps collected each month become delicious banana cake for the colourful, vitamin-packed brunch buffet. Everything served is vegetarian, and more often than not vegan, too. “We collect mainly fruit

living foodies | 25

« Ceux qui ne peuvent pas payer ne paient pas, Mais ils peuvent aider à faire la vaisselle s’ils le souhaitent ! »

alimentaire, en les encourageant à réfléchir à ce qu’ils mangent et comment ils cuisinnent. En plus de fournir gratuitement aux étudiants des « Freegan Box » remplis de fruits, de légumes et de pain légèrement passés, ainsi que les recettes pour les préparer, Cathy organise des repas mensuels pour le plaisir de tous. N’importe qui peut aider à préparer la nourriture le vendredi et/ou venir manger le repas le samedi, selon le principe de la participation libre. « Ceux qui ne peuvent pas payer ne

paient pas, » dit Cathy. « Mais ils peuvent aider à faire la vaisselle s’ils le souhaitent ! » Les marchés et les supermarchés participent volontiers, fournissant jusqu’à 100 kg de nourriture inesthétique mais encore délicieuse à chaque livraison. Les restaurants locaux jouent le jeu en prêtant leurs cuisines, où les bénévoles peuvent retrousser leurs manches et se coller à la tâche. Tous les déchets de ces séances de cuisine vont directement au composteur du club d’escalade local The Roof.

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20 | living foodies and vegetables,” explains Cathy. “But nothing perishable, as we don’t have anywhere to store it.” Any spices, eggs or yogurts needed for cooking are purchased on the day using donations and, as you would expect, not one gramme goes to waste. In fact, Cathy recommends that people bring containers to the brunches, to take home anything not eaten on the day. More than a teaching experience, Cathy’s initiative is tackling important environmental issues and social injustice in a smiley, friendly manner. She has knitted together an ever-growing community which

Caption for this picture

Cette semaine, le rendez-vous est au Bathyscaphe, un endroit excentrique aimé des étudiants, situé tout près de l’Aquarium de La Rochelle. Derrière les lourds rideaux de velours du bar fermé pour l’après-midi, une vingtaine de bénévoles de tous les âges, origines et nationalités épluchent des panais, coupent des carottes et discutent de ce qu’ils peuvent faire avec ces navets ridés qui arrivent du marché de Villeneuveles-Salines. Cathy papillonne, organise les postes de travail, établit un menu avec le chef bénévole de la journée, tout en répandant de la bonne humeur parmi sa jolie bande d’assistants. L’ingrédient le plus gaspillé ? Les bananes. Dès qu’elles commencent à noircir on les retire des étals, mais grâce à la recette d’une des élèves de Cathy, et à un don de flocons d’avoine d’un magasin bio, les tas de bananes recueillis chaque mois deviennent de délicieux gâteaux sur le buffet coloré et vitaminé du brunch. Tout

ce qui est servi est végétarien, et le plus souvent végétalien. « Nous récoltons principalement des fruits et des légumes », explique Cathy. « Mais rien de périssable, car nous n’avons nulle part où le stocker. » Les épices, les œufs ou les yaourts nécessaires à la cuisine sont achetés le jour-même grâce aux dons et, comme on peut s’y attendre, pas un gramme n’est gaspillé. Cathy recommande aussi aux gens d’apporter des contenants aux brunchs pour rapporter à la maison tout ce qui n’est pas mangé le jour-même. Plus qu’une démarche pédagogique, l’initiative de Cathy s’attaque à des problèmes environnementaux importants et à l’injustice sociale, d’une manière souriante et amicale. Elle a tissé des liens sociaux au sein d’une communauté de plus en plus importante, qui fait bouée de sauvetage pour les élèves isolés, seuls et souvent mal nourris, tout en créant des amitiés. « Rien ne rapproche les gens

is saving isolated students from loneliness and poor nutrition, creating friendships along the way. “Nothing brings people together like food,” says Cathy. In addition to monthly brunches, the freegan boxes and the odd student cook-off, in February RVPP organised the creation and distribution of soups to feed people marching against climate change, and has also collaborated with La Boulanche to make beer from unsold bread. RVPP isn’t only filling ‘bellies, not bins’, but also the minds and hearts of a local community. FB: @RemplirlesVentrespaslesPoubelles

comme la nourriture », dit Cathy. En plus des brunchs mensuels, des Freegan Box et de l’éventuel apéro d’étudiants, le RVPP a organisé en février la création et la distribution de soupes pour nourrir les gens qui manifestaient contre le changement climatique, et a également collaboré avec La Boulanche pour faire de la bière avec du pain invendu. Le RVPP ne se contente pas de « remplir les ventres, pas les poubelles », il remplit aussi l’esprit et le cœur de toute une communauté locale. FB : @RemplirlesVentrespaslesPoubelles

« Les marchés & les supermarchés participent volontiers, fournissant jusqu’à 100 kg de nourriture inesthétique mais encore délicieuse à chaque livraison. »

PÉRIGORD Dronne Belle



ach year tens of thousands of tourists from around the world descend on rural France, searching for a quintessential slice of French life; bars and cafes spilling out onto terraces, warm, summer evenings dining alfresco with friends in picture postcard small villages steeped in history. The ever-popular Dordogne offers just that, and nowhere more so than the vibrant village of Verteillac. Surrounded by rolling green countryside, patchwork fields of sunflowers and corn, and with many charming hamlets to be explored, Verteillac sits between the hustle and bustle of Angoulême and Périgueux. It’s an excellent base for tourists visiting the worldfamous sites of Lascaux, Sarlat, Saint-Emilion, the Bordeaux vineyards and picturesque villages like Rocamadour, Brantôme and Aubeterre, but while these popular tourist hotspots can be overrun during the summer months, Verteillac retains its friendly village atmosphere, even in peak season. It also has a surprising history. The name of Verteilhacum appears in the 13th century, when the

village huddled around a feudal chateau, although little remains from the medieval period apart from some older parts of the church, the Château de la Meyfrenie and a few features of houses in the heart of the village. After the French Revolution the commune became an important administrative centre, whose chief economic activity was wine-growing until the 1880s, when the vineyards of Verteillac were among those destroyed by the phylloxera epidemic. By then the population had risen to its peak of 1147 inhabitants, and between 1894 and the late-1940s Verteillac had a railway station on a line between Angoulème and Bergerac. Among the passengers who took this train during the early 20th century were the de Gaulle family, who would spend summer in their house at Fontaines, where 15 year-old Charles, the future General, wrote a fictional story in which he refers to “the battle of Verteillac”. Further moving evocations of rural life in the local countryside include the sculptures and paintings of Camille Merlaud (1877-1957).

PHOTOS Clockwise from bottom left 1,2,3,5,6: © Studio Lavalette ; 4: © Rachel boy

A small village with a big heart

living promotion | 29

Verteillac During WWII the commune of Verteillac was crossed by the line of demarcation separating occupied territories from ‘free’ France. After the war, the population declined, but thanks to the energy of those who stayed, and the arrival and attachment of British and other ‘outsiders’, it remains one of the most lively and active spots in the Riberac area, with something for everyone There are three bars and restaurants (each with its own terrace for outside dining), shops and amenities including a tabac, bakers, butchers, paper shop, bank, post office, pharmacy, two hair salons, a vintage clothes shop and more. However, the jewel in Verteillac’s crown is ‘Merlauds’, whose traditional supermarket exterior conceals a TARDIS-like interior offering an emporium worthy of a city department store. It’s often said that: “If you haven’t been to Merlauds, you haven’t been to Verteillac”. Verteillac even boasts its own 25-metre outdoor swimming pool, deservedly popular with locals and holiday makers seeking respite from the hot summer sun. The village attracts crowds all year round, drawn to the many regular events. The brocantes on the 1st Sunday of each month attract between 80 and

100 stallholders – perfect for antique hunters and window shoppers alike (call 06 64 00 98 86 to reserve a place). On Thursday nights in July and August there are producers’ markets in the main square – bring a plate, a glass plus a knife and fork, and tuck into local produce while making new friends and listening to live music. The last Friday in July sees an annual Arts and Crafts Night Market, with street entertainment and music, while in December the village hosts a Christmas Fair with a visit from Father Christmas himself. Just 2 hours from Bordeaux International and Limoges airports, or just 1 hour from Bergerac airport, with TGV rail services into Angoulême, in just a few hours you can be shopping on the Champs Elysées or strolling beside the Seine. With every amenity on your doorstep, it’s no wonder that so many ex-pats have made this corner of the Dordogne their home. With fewer than 700 inhabitants living and working in the surrounding area, at any time of year the village is a hub for local life, a chance to catch up with friends for a coffee or to enjoy lunch or dinner and watch the world go by. Point Info Tourisme – Verteillac: 05 53 91 38 45

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Citizens’ rights after


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

Steve Barclay (left) discusses citizens’ rights with British in Europe’s Jane Golding (2nd right) and Jeremy Morgan QC (right of centre)

Several cliff-edge ‘no-deal’ dates have arrived and passed but British nationals across the European Union continue to live in limbo. If an agreement can be cobbled together to save the two main parties, Britain could leave the EU as early as 1 August.

The drubbing that both lead parties had in the recent local elections should have been a call to reason; instead both saw it as a green light to ‘get Brexit done’ despite the seemingly clear switch of voter allegiance to Remain parties. As we go to press, we are days away from the European elections where there is little doubt that both Conservative and Labour support will take another

Driving licences Finally, only a few days before the first ‘no-deal’ cliff edge, the French government confirmed in law that, if Brexit happens, UK licences will be added to the list of non-EU licences which are legal in France. This has released pressure on both the ANTS offices and the British nationals who stood to lose their ability to drive in France. Exchange requests submitted in early 2018 are being processed but all others are being returned unless licences are lost, damaged, need penalty points adding or are close to expiry.

pounding. Sadly, there have been no lessons learned from the illegal spends and social media misinformation prior to the referendum, so it seems that history is repeating itself. For British nationals living in France, we are still in the same place. We know the details for the ‘no-deal’ plans here (see the last edition). Macron even announced France was ready to implement these had there been a nodeal exit on 29 March although it is hard to see how, logistically, they could have been. Unable to effectively process the flow of applications for cartes de séjours already, préfectures would not be able to cope with the deluge that would follow a no-deal exit without a significant reform of the process, and the 6-month window for all applications still appears ridiculously short. The delay does at least mean that there is more time to lobby, although it is clear that the ten-member volunteer team at British in Europe risk becoming burnt out as the fight for our rights continues into its third year. BiE and the3million (the team campaigning on behalf of EU citizens living in the UK) finally had a meeting with Steve Barclay, Brexit Secretary. Arranged by Alberto Costa MP who recently won the support of Parliament for the ring-fencing of the citizens’ rights outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement (WA), it was a productive meeting and provided an ideal opportunity to dispel the myths about British nationals living in Europe. The BiE team were able to explain the issues we face and to continue to lobby for the rights contained within the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) to be ringfenced. Ring-fencing would protect our rights to some extent allowing us to get on with our lives as we were promised.

RESIDENCE PERMITS Effectively nothing has changed since the last edition and so the official recommendation from both French and UK governments remains the

same - apply for a carte de séjour if your préfecture is processing applications. The Interior Ministry have written to all préfectures reminding them of their obligation to respond to applications. Some offices, such as Vienne, stopped processing over the no-deal dates but have now restarted. Others, such as Dordogne and Charente-Maritime, continue to process applications at a frustratingly slow rate if at all. As part of the no-deal planning, an online application portal was promised to speed up the process but this would only be available at the point of exit from the EU. Whatever the situation in your département, you should take this time to make sure that you are legally resident here in France to avoid any unpleasant surprises, and collect the paperwork required for your application.

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

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

The UK Government Their series of ‘Living in’ guides reflect the latest official information from the UK Government. The site also holds the unofficial translations of parts of the French Government site.

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

living brexit | 31

British in Europe (BiE) is the largest coalition group of British citizens living and working in Europe. With representation across the EU27, BiE actively campaigns for the rights of UK citizens in the EU and supports EU citizens in the UK. British in Europe has been instrumental in the protection of rights so far and continues to be sought out by both sides of the negotiation for its expertise and knowledge although it still receives no funding from either the UK or EU. Donate today to ensure it can continue to protect the rights of British citizens living in Europe. UK state PENSIONS We have received many questions about pension uprating following recent statements from the UK Government. At the moment, the situation is:

past this period if the EU reciprocates but they have not managed to explain what this means in the case of pensions. BiE is cautiously optimistic that, in the case of no-deal, pensions will continue to be uprated following the negotiation of bilateral agreements but this is not yet certain. Private pensions are not impacted.


If there is a Withdrawal Agreement then those covered by the WA will receive uprating of their UK state pension for life so long as they stay within the scope of the WA. • If there is no-deal then, so far, the UK Government has only agreed to uprate pensions until 2020. BiE has had, and continues to have, direct discussions with both DExEU and DWP to encourage them to make this period longer to allow bilateral negotiations between the UK and host states to take place. The UK has stated they will only continue to uprate

Following the proposal that EU students would be expected to pay international fees to attend UK universities from 2021, BiE has requested urgent clarification on the application of home fees for UK universities for British students resident in the EU. So far the Education Department has only committed to home fees for our children for 7 years after the UK leaves the EU which would cover those currently in secondary education. After this time they would be expected to pay international fees. It is not yet clear whether students who have begun a course within the 7 years would benefit for home fees for the complete course or would be expected to pay higher fees for those years outside the 7 year cut-off. It is also not clear when the clock starts if there is a transition period.

New ! LE






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

Tickets 16 aug - 18 aug 2019

FRi or SAT EVENINGS: Adults 40€; 18-25 yrs 30€; 15-17 yrs 25€; 8-14 yrs 12€ 3-day Weekend: Adults 95€; 18-25 yrs 55€; 15-17 yrs 40€; 8-14 yrs 18€ SUNDAY CHILL: Adults 15€; 15-17 yrs 8€; 8-14 yrs 5€

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

Book your tickets now:

FROM The Jam Animals and Friends Clearwater Creedence Revival Coco and the Butterfields Imperial Leisure Rusty Shackle Joshua Burnside The Lagan The Rin Tins Huw Eddy and the Carnival Paddy James Itchy Teeth

for more cartoons by stig see

and more...

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

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

practical living | 33

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

Money Matters


We are planning on buying a holiday home, we have the funds available, but are cautious because of the weakening exchange rate, what is the forecast for the pound/euro in the coming month?


When purchasing a property overseas, having the funds already available is an advantage. It means that you will have more options in terms of trading strategy and will be able to choose between a spot or a forward contract (each has its own benefits), depending on the state of the market and forecast. Many factors influence the foreign exchange market. First, the economic outlook for a country and its economic releases are the most important determinant of a currency’s value. Traders and analysts focus on these factors to understand and predict how the currency will evolve. It includes the most obvious economic report, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report as it reflects the country’s economic performance and strength. Other indicators such as the inflation, retail sales, manufacturing indexes and employment reports are equally important, as well as the Bank of England announcements. Sometimes, even random factors such as the weather, can influence the FX market. For instance, in February last year, Great Britain and Ireland were affected by a cold wave, dubbed the Beast from the East, which brought unusual low temperatures and heavy

snowfalls, forcing consumers to stay in instead of shopping. The car industry and the service and construction sectors were hit, weakening the pound. Another factor, that has become more obvious in the last three years, following the Brexit referendum, is the political landscape of a country; whether it’s a change in a nation’s government, budget or fiscal policy, or an upcoming election, the consequences on the foreign exchange market can be drastic. Prior to June 2016, the pound was a strong currency and traded above 1.40 against the EUR. When the UK voted to leave the European Union, the uncertainty that this vote brought made the British currency reach its lowest levels since 1985. Although it’s impossible to predict what the market will do and where the pound and euro will be trading exactly in the coming months, it’s always best to speak to a currency expert to understand the market and how/when to trade. For a free quote or for updates and forecast about the currency market, please visit Audensa Financial website or contact Virginie on +44 (0) 203 582 3957 or via e-mail: Virginie Marin is a senior foreign exchange broker and co-founder of Audensa Financial, with 11 years’ experience in the FX industry. Audensa Financial is an FCA authorised currency broker, handling international payments for both private and corporate clients.

Succession Law


I’ve been asked what type of Will I want; what are the differences?

• Testament international: This newest form of will was created in 1973 and thirteen countries (not including the In England, a Will is UK) have signed the convention. dactylographic, that This leads to some confusion is to say signed by the and it is rarely recommended. will-maker or testator in the However, because it may be presence of two witnesses. typed rather than hand-written, France, unsurprisingly, is more it can be useful for disabled inventive and offers the choice of testators. It can also be written four forms of Wills or testaments. in any language but it does The first two, the olograph and require, in France, a Notaire authentique are more common and two witnesses. Witnesses than the newer international may be French or foreigners, while the mystique is rarely used. however, they must necessarily • Testament olograph: This understand the French language, is written, dated and signed be of age, know how to sign and entirely by the testator. It does have full civil capacity. not need to be witnessed and it To find out which type of Will can be written in French or any best protects your wishes after other language. However, when your death, it is best to consult you deal with a French estate it your legal advisor. is always a good idea to have it written in French. It is strongly Christophe Dutertre is recommended that you file the a bilingual Will with a Notaire who will register it with the central index Frenchin France so it is traceable on your qualified death. The original Will is kept by Notaire with the registering Notaire and it will over 22 years’ experience, be opened and registered after 15 of which death by the same Notaire. were working • Testament authentique: in law offices in Monaco and Written by a Notaire, it requires with the banking industry in two witnesses or a second Luxembourg. FranceTaxLaw Notaire. This is probably the specialises in French and European safest way to transcribe your notarial law and advises clients wishes in a Will. A testament on all aspects of civil or tax law. authentique has the same ‘force; tel: +44 (0)20 8115 7914; probant’ as a title deed and is email: rarely challengeable.

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34 | practical living

Accident insurance explained


With summer here, what should I do about insurance for holiday accidents?

Should you fall ill, or have an accident within the EU, you’ll want to know that your medical bills will be covered. Obtain a CEAM (Carte Européenne d’Assurance Maladie) from your heathcare caisse or EHIC if your competent state is the UK. This will cover your medical costs at the rate offered by the EU country’s state insurance, should you be taken to a state hospital. In France this is about 80%, UK 100% and so on. If your household insurance policy has an Assistance cover included, it could come in extremely handy if you were to have an accident away from home (within the EU), as it may cover additional costs involved consequent to such an event.

However, if you holiday outside of the EU you’ll definitely need holiday insurance cover as your CEAM/EHIC will not cover you. Closer to home, accidents can happen too. Swimming pools, lawn mowers and barbecues are just some of the causes of trips to urgences. Most of these accidents are not life threatening, but they could easily be life-changing. Did you know that there are insurances available in France to help cover the additional costs incurred by accidental life-changing events? French people know to take them as part of their regular package, but they are rarely sold in the UK. Called ‘garantie des accidents de la vie’, or GAV for short, they help to cover costs such as refitting your home, purchasing a more suitable car or getting necessary help at home. For a small annual premium, a GAV

will cover the whole family including children ‘fiscalement à charge’ or within your

household. One thing less to worry about while you soak up the sunshine.

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











It’s time to relax in a shady spot in the garden and see if you can find the theme to our crossword compiled by Mike Morris. whether you need them, the answers are on page 64. Across 1. Ditch the Foreign Office directions on energy? (5) 4. Being the foremost of those bringing us blight of newts in coming plague. (7) 8. Record company boarding ship with very small parts of discharged products. (9) 9. Evidence of forthcoming delivery, but powerless, leading to low quality deal, for example? (3) 10. Strain of first lady following agreement in Madrid? (5) 11. Choose to have no leader on front part of ferry in current form? (7) 13. Gentle rep near arrangement for ambition of ecologists? (7,6) 15. French peer installed in marsh plant to get less, 8 Across,

for example? (7) 16. Ladies have triumphed over this crossword compiler? (5) 18. Garment for church leaders of Baptists leaving and then coming back. (3) 20. In the early stages of “I’m Corbyn” e-broadcast? (9) 21. Support ambition of leaderless Dane? (7) 22. Catches about direction in homes for flyers? (5) Down 1. Fossil, for example, driving our society, for now? (5) 2. Having unusually weird hens will call up the old farmer. (9) 3. Follow in French, then bring court action. (5) 4. Read a bible! God! This sort of language could lead to a breakdown! (13) 5. Following personal hygiene problem, rich guy becomes a biographer? (7) 6. Rubbish container tipped over to make a point? (3)

10 10

11 12




12 14

14 16


17 16

20 18


17 21


20 24


7. Finding love for politician in how much paid for rubbish? (7) 12. Eastern men living in camp end up in apartment building? (9) 13. Bishop hiding in out-building is to be put out? (7) 14. Unfinished lunch thrown onto


organ produces a kind of energy? (7) 16. Entry of those leading women and young infant nurses? (3-2) 17. Steals from country boys following NH exchange event? (5) 19. Horrible article in French comic book? (3)

living PROMOTION | 35

Financial roadshows


How can I find out more about financial services available to expatriates in France?

There are a number of ways that you can find excellent information. The most common options are to have a personal financial

review with a qualified adviser, sign up to newsletters, follow regular editorial pieces such as this one, or a very popular approach is to attend a financial roadshow event. Financial roadshows are an informal yet informative way of hearing from and meeting

those working within financial services. You will find out about any changes to tax or inheritance laws, valuable planning opportunities, product availability, investment market news, etc., and you can speak to experts not usually accessible to the general public. Two roadshow events are scheduled for June, hosted by The Spectrum IFA Group in association with Currencies Direct. They are in Nieuil, 16270 and Saint-Nexans, 24520 on the 5th and 6th

respectively. Further details can be found at www. These events are usually well attended, so it is advisable to book in advance to secure your seat. They are free to attend, starting at 10am with a welcome coffee, followed by a series of short, topical talks by industry professionals, then a complimentary buffet lunch, where you can informally ask questions of our guest speakers. We typically finish by 2pm.

Amanda Johnson works as an Independent Financial Advisor with The Spectrum IFA Group. T: 05 49 98 97 46 or 06 73 27 25 43;; “Thank you very much for a most informative and enjoyable day in Vannes…The day was in fact very enjoyable, interesting and informative and I did enjoy meeting some very nice people. I look forward to meeting again in the future and wish you well in your endeavours. Thanks again” I.S. Audierne, 29770

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

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36 | living wine

Think GREEN Think bio


recent visit by fourteen professionals for an in-depth wine tour revealed that none of them had ever considered why it would be a good idea to select organic rather than chemically farmed wine. I realised that while as a farmer and wine teacher I am deeply immersed in the subject, most people live in cities and are removed from how their food and drink is grown. There is growing awareness of environmental issues and how to reduce waste, for example by re-using and recycling, but a lack of information on organic farming in the mass media. With more than ten years of certified organic farming at Château Feely, and as a wine educator for our wine school, I care passionately about this subject. As we saw before, put simply, organic farming means no chemical fertilisers, no herbicides or chemical weed killers and no systemic pesticides (including both insecticides and fungicides). When you buy organic you are guaranteed that the product has been grown free from these products and from GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Organic winemaking rules guarantee lower sulphites and far fewer additives than those accepted in conventional wines, so overall you are guaranteed a purer wine. But how do you know if a product is organic? All wines with the European leaf logo are guaranteed to have been

farmed organically and the wine made organically. In the EU it is illegal to mention the word organic anywhere on your product unless you are certified by one of the approved certification bodies, and three years of organic conversion are required for vines. With demand for organic products increasing, there is incentive for farmers to claim they are organic when they are not. If a farmer really is farming organically, they would be crazy not to be certified, so I would question anyone making this claim (you can find a detailed article on this on our blog). As organic rules and wine labelling regulations are strictly enforced in France, buying French wine labelled as organic here offers certainty – care for yourself and the environment, and fewer food miles. Of course, the impact on the environment doesn’t stop with the wine itself. The bottles and boxes of your wine are 100% recyclable. Natural corks are great as kindling for your fire or can be composted (a good reason to prefer cork over plastic or screwcap). We collect our used boxes from our local restaurant clients and reuse them, and all the plant waste from our winegrowing and winemaking is composted or distilled – nothing goes to waste. When faced with the extra cost of organic over chemically farmed wine – on average 28% more in our region, due

Part II of winemaker Caro Feely’s introduction to organic wines…

to the lower yields and higher labour costs of organic farming – it can seem a difficult choice to make. But as a famous ecological activist in France says: “I buy organic because I can’t afford a cancer treatment.” It is important for you, for us and for the broader environment. Here’s to a happy summer with great organic wine and good friends! If you have a question or a wine theme you would like to hear about please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. Château Feely (www.chateaufeely. com) is a biodynamic and organic wine estate with accommodation, wine tours, vineyard walks and a certified Wine Spirit Education Trust wine school. Contact Caro for more details, or via Facebook. You can also read the Feely’s adventures in Caro’s book series.

Park Homes & Glamping Pods

HOPE ASSOCIATION CHARITY SHOPS helping animals in need

HOPE 16 - Confolens

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

HOPE 87 - Eymoutiers

rs 11 avenue de la paix 87120 Eymoutie , 1pm 10am rday Satu y Ever 5pm Wednesday & Friday from 2pm & every 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month, 10am - 12pm om @ shopeightyseven4hope@gmail.c

ssais HOPE 79 - Sauzé-VauzéVaussais

Several model and sizes, fast delivery, excellent price. FOR MORE INFORMATION

90 Sau 17 route de Civray 791 m - 4pm day of each month, 10a Sun 1st & day urs Th Every com pe@gmail. @ shopseventynine4ho Our shops are very important sources of income and all their proceeds go to Hope. We sell good-quality clothes, shoes, bric-a-brac, books, jewellery, ornaments, dinnerware, pots & pans, artwork etc, all at low prices. Come along and grab a bargain and stop for a cuppa and a piece of cake. We’re looking for support as volunteers and cake bakers as well as shoppers, so please send us an email if you feel able to help out at any of our shops. • • N°RNA W792002789

38 | living nikki legon’s cuisine The kitchen is the ideal place to practice the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle - so we asked Nikki for her favourite recipes for when she has leftovers in her fridge…

Nikki Legon's

cuisine Potato Crisps from Peelings

Potato Crisps from Peelings Guests will love these homemade crisps potato peelings (wash the potatoes first) oil for deep frying METHOD Heat oil to 175°C, be careful if you are not using a deep-fat fryer.

Homemade Pesto

Dry the peelings well and cook until golden. Remove from the fat and dry on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and serve with a nice glass of wine.

Vegetable Leaf Pesto The joy of this recipe is that you can use any vegetable leaves, nuts, oil and cheese you have available

2 cups of fresh leaves ½ cup grated cheese ¼ cup nuts 2 garlic cloves ½ cup oil Salt and pepper METHOD Place the greens, nuts, garlic and cheese into a food processor and pulse to a paste. Add the olive oil while the machine is running, add salt and pepper to taste.

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 39

Infused Vinegar and Oils A dual-purpose recipe for herb vinegars and oils for salads, or place into spray bottles for eco-friendly cleaning jobs Distilled white vinegar or sunflower oil Choose your infusion. Some ideas are rosemary, thyme, mint, peppermint, lavender, lemon balm, pine needles, peelings from any citrus fruit, ginger, rose petals.

Infused Vinegar and Oils

METHOD For the infused oils, bruise the chosen herbs or spices to release their flavours. Place them in a bottle and add warm, not hot, sunflower oil. Cover and leave for two weeks. The oil should last in the fridge for two months. For the vinegars, fill a large glass Kilner jar with your chosen herb or citrus fruits. Cover with distilled vinegar and leave for one week, shaking occasionally. To use as a cleaning spray, mix one part flavoured vinegar with one part water in a spray topped bottle and use as you would any household cleaner.

Potato Skins

Beetroot Pilaf with Pearl Barley

large white or sweet potatoes, quantity as required olive oil sea salt and black pepper METHOD Preheat the oven to 200°C. Prick potatoes all over with a fork and rub well with oil, season with salt and pepper. Depending on the size of potato, cook for around one hour or until cooked through and crisp. Leave until cool enough to handle then scoop out the filling and keep for mashed potatoes. Slice the skins into quarters, brush with oil and season the insides with salt and pepper. Return these to the oven and bake until crisp. Fill these with any leftover chilli, curry, cheese, bacon, or use as a dip for guacamole or chilli sauce.

Potato Skins

Beetroot Pilaf with Pearl Barley 1 tsp ground coriander 2 tsp ground cumin 3 cloves 1 cinnamon stick 50g unsalted butter 1 large onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 or 2 chillies, finely chopped (optional) 250g pearl barley 700ml vegetable stock

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40 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Curry Pasties

4 raw beetroots, scrubbed and coarsely grated, no need to peel keep the small beetroot leaves, wash and dry small bunch of coriander roughly chopped, stalks chopped finely 1 handful roasted flaked almonds salt and pepper METHOD Dry fry the spices in a frying pan until fragrant. Add half the butter and the onion, garlic and chillies, cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes or until soft. Rinse the pearl barley well and add to the pan with the stock and grated beetroot. Season, stir and then bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover, reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for about 50 to 55 minutes, stirring a couple of times but try not to add any more stock. The pearl barley should be soft but still retain some bite. Remove from the heat and stir. Add the beetroot leaves and coriander stalks along with the remaining butter. Put the lid back on for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, then lightly fork through the coriander leaves. Scatter the almonds and beetroot leaves over the top and serve.

Curry Pasties As kitchen recycling goes this is probably the most useful recipe of all, as you can use any leftovers serves 4

For the Pastry 400g plain flour 1 tsp salt 200g butter or equivalent for vegan pastry 2 to 4 tbsp ice cold water For the Filling 2 tbsp curry powder salt and pepper 600g cooked potato, diced left over vegetables and meat (optional) as available METHOD Preheat the oven to 200°C. To make the pastry Place the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and blend until it resembles fine bread crumbs. With the motor running, gradually add a little

Traditional Panzanella Salad water until the pastry clumps together and finish bringing the pastry together with your hands. Wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. For the filling Mix your chosen ingredients with the curry powder. Divide the pastry into 4 even pieces and roll each into a ball. Roll each ball out on a lightly floured work surface to about 3mm thick. Place 2 heaped tbsp of the filling onto the pastry, dampen the edge and fold over. Twist the edges to seal. Brush with a little milk, bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve with a salad and chutney.

Bubble and Squeak This is a great way to use up leftover mash, sprouts, cabbage or kale and if you have a couple of bacon rashers, some smoked salmon or prawns, or a fried egg even better! Serves 4

500g mashed potato cooked green vegetables of your choice 1 onion, sliced 1 clove of garlic, crushed bacon rashers, optional smoked salmon, optional prawns, optional fried egg, optional

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 41 METHOD Melt a little butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the onions and garlic with the chopped bacon if using. Add the greens of your choice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the mash and stir it to bind everything together. If you are making one big cake continue to cook pressing it down into the pan so it turns a nice golden brown before turning it over to cook the other side. To make individual cakes, tip the onion mixture into the mash and mix well. You can add the smoked salmon or prawns at this stage. Shape into cakes and fry in butter and oil until golden. Very delicious with a fried egg on top.

Traditional Panzanella Salad

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding

Bubble and Squeak

A tasty way to use up yesterday’s bread! serves 4

200g day-old bread garlic clove 6 large ripe tomatoes 280g jar of red peppers, drained and roughly chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 red onion, finely diced 2 anchovies, finely chopped 1 tbsp capers 4 tbsp white wine vinegar 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil small bunch of fresh basil METHOD Rub the bread with a garlic clove then cut into chunks. Roughly chop the tomatoes and place into a colander over a large bowl to catch the juice. Once the tomatoes have stopped dripping, stir the chopped anchovies and capers into

the juice. Add the vinegar then whisk in the oil and season well. Add the bread to the dressing with the peppers, tomatoes and diced onion. Mix well and leave for at least 30 minutes before adding the torn basil and serving.

Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding serves 4

12 slices of day-old baguette 50g soft butter 4 tbsp orange marmalade 300ml milk 250ml cream 3 eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 4 tbsp caster sugar 1 tbsp whisky or cognac METHOD Preheat the oven to 160°C. Butter each piece of bread on both sides, then spread with marmalade. Butter a baking dish well, place the bread in rows close together. Beat together the milk, cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar and whisky or cognac then pour over the bread. Leave to soak for 1 hour pushing the bread down twice, before baking in the oven for 30 minutes.

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:

Bhajélicieux @ Mon repos à côté de l’eau Cookery Courses In The Charente

Virtuously Vegan Devilishly Delicious Follow all our events around the region on Facebook Katie HALL 05 49 87 19 20 LeBourgVouleme

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

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42 | living family

Avec les enfants

. .. t o n t n a w t o , n Waste



Between the two old lime trees outside our kitchen window is a pile of stone. Not just any old stone, but great lumps of lintel, fireplaces complete with mantlepieces and other dressed lumps - either discarded from some renovation and laid out to rest by the previous owner to lie undisturbed amongst the greenery, or perhaps a collection bought some time ago to be used for a project now long forgotten. Either way, it has certainly been untouched for decades. Ever since we bought this house many years ago,


Roddy and I have had great plans for the stone, but the means to move it has always eluded us there’s no room for a tractor, and we have no heavy lifting gear or an Egyptian pyramid-building team with rollers to hand. But then this spring our ‘woodman’ came through the gates with our last stère of wood for the year on his nifty mobile pallet-lifting system, and with a sudden shaft of brilliance, all sorts of plans immediately came to fruition. A short conversation ensued and we enlisted his help with his trusty machine. The biggest piece, a mantel so large that even the machine balked a little at getting it out of the ground, became the bench we had always wanted beside an old stone pond. There’s something therapeutic about sitting by water, watching dragonflies, frogs and our growing fish, and when it was all assembled it seemed that it had always meant to be there. Several trips from the pile beneath the trees to the bottom of the garden led to a bench in the potager – good for trays of seedlings and cups of tea that previously would lurch about on soft grass, slopping their contents adrift at the mere sight of a spade. And even better for children to perch on, swinging their legs in the sunshine, chatting endlessly without a care in the world while I toil away most happily with the vegetables. Several indeterminate and unrelated pieces were taken away at Roddy’s request and laid in front of the gîte on a patch of scrub. I had the idea of making a herb bed; it would be right beside the BBQ and perfect for summer cooking. By day’s end, he had rolled, rotated and tapped them into position and made a herb-bed fit for a king. By the time Jack had planted it out for me (at seventeen he’s just starting, thankfully, to take a serious interest



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in gardening) it looked as if it had been there for several centuries, or at least decades. The largest flat piece of stone under the trees was made into a table for the terrace. Placed carefully on other large lumps with a couple of judicious handfuls of loam as dry-wall glue, it’s something that will not only stand up to scrutiny but also song and dance, I suspect. Recycling has always been an important part of our lifestyle, and for many years Roddy and I have used or reused so many objects and materials

living family | 43


that we have lost count. Roddy is a hoarder, and at any time he will have a junk-yard’s worth of scrap and leftovers hidden away somewhere. It never ceases to amaze me that sometimes when I want for a certain ‘something’ he will appear with either the item itself, or a suitable replacement made out of something he will have had hidden for years. Many of our wooden plant tubs have been made from the timber we had left over from an old fence, perhaps one that we built when we first moved here to stop the chickens completely devouring our newlyplanted potager. Now they have their own garden, complete with a vintage stone bird bath for their water. The cardboard he hoarded from our moving to France has found many uses, particularly under the mulch on our new potager beds two years ago. Of course, these are bordered by small stone walls conjured up out of the pile of rubble we found in the nettles by another garden wall. My latest project which I began over the winter has been to gather

driftwood with the children. On one particularly warm February day we amassed a vast amount, which has since been drying in the sun and now I have plans. I would like to try a garden sculpture, but I can’t do it alone. Fortunately, our children are all extremely artistic and I hope during the holidays that together we can make something special, a family project about which I am rather excited.

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

Tel: 05 45 78 05 39 26 Rue Elie Vinet 16300 BARBEZIEUX-SAINT-HILAIRE

283 500€ HAI

(270 000€ plus 5% fees payable by buyer)

Barbezieux. 7-bed Art Déco style house from 1930s. Many features, high ceilings. Tucked away on 1805m2. No 1704 DPE: D

123 050€ HAI

(115 000€ plus 7% fees payable by buyer)

Farm to be renovated with outbuildings. In hamlet 10km from Barbezieux. 136m2 footprint on 3063m2 land. No 1654 DPE: vierge

220 500€ HAI

(210 000€ plus 5% fees payable by buyer)

442 000€ HAI

(425 000€ plus 4% agency fees payable buyer)

Nr Baignes-Sainte-Radegonde. Quality renovation of stone barn. 3-bed. Over 6ha land + stables, pool, garage. No1854 DPE: D

143 900€ HAI

(134 500€ plus 7% fees payable by buyer)

Superb 2-bed longère 10km from Barbezieux. Attached barn, 655m2 land. Perfect for holiday home. No 1666 DPE: vierge

262 500€ HAI

(250 000€ plus 5% fees payable by buyer)

Nr Brossac, beautiful 5-bed home Nr Jonzac, 4-bed traditional house in own wooded parkland (2669m2). fully renovated. Large, pretty garden of 9897m2 with stream. Outbuildings. New heating. Must be seen. No 1633 DPE: Cyou No 1830 DPE: vierge Show how much Living at




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

Dordogne €546,000 Ref: 83904 Beautifully renovated 5 bed / 4 bath house with a separate annexe and pool.

Vendée €169,500 Ref: 91467 Renovated 4 bed longère, retaining many original features including large fireplaces.

Charente €223,630 Ref: 99516 Wonderful farmhouse, restored with a blend of traditional and contemporary style.

Vendée €267,500 Ref: 99425 Rustic 16thC 10 bed farmhouse set in 1Ha of land with a pretty pool and terrace.

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

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

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

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

Vendée €172,800 Ref: 98890 Sea front apartment in La Tranche sur Mer with a terrace and views over Ile de Ré.

Deux Sèvres €167,400 Ref: 85273 A bright 5 bed barn conversion with underfloor heating, set in wonderful rolling countryside.

Maine et Loire €158,050 Ref: 99424 Restored longère in a lovely position with almost 1Ha of land including woodland.

Charente Maritime €242,355 Ref: 99446 Charming 3 bed house on located close to Néré with plenty of amenities.

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

8% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: F

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

Charente €278,200 Ref: 98854 Immaculate village home with pool and large garden only 2 kms from Mansle.

Vendée €742,000 Ref: 77126 Large country house complex with 4 gites and a pool accommodating up to 40 guests.

Deux Sévres €333,900 Ref: 86415 Stunning 3 bed farmhouse and 1 bed gîte, set in beautiful riverside grounds.

Dordogne €549,500 Ref: 92557 A magnificent 8 bed property with two gîtes, tennis court, large garden and a pool.

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

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

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: C

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

Charente Maritime €498,200 Ref: 52025 Lovely 7 bed / 4 bath property including a gîte, pool and a beautiful garden.

Dordogne €192,700 Ref: 85990 Attractive house and large garden with views and an appartment on the ground floor.

Vienne €147,150 Ref: 79331 Spacious property with attached barn, cottages to renovate, courtyard and garden.

Deux Sévres €88,000 Ref: 79091 A former vicarage now a 2 bed characterful house with attached 1 bed gîte. Private garden.

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

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

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

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: E



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

Dordogne €214,000 Ref: 99207 A pretty, restored barn located in a quiet village yet only 16kms from Bergerac.

Maine et Loire €125,350 Ref: 99568 Very sweet and deceptively spacious 3 bed cottage just outside the village of Vernantes.

Vienne €256,800 Ref:99473 A beautiful 3 bed / 3 bath house with a heated pool and direct access to a cycling road.

Charente Maritime €145,800 Ref: 92011 Cosy 3 bed house with a large private garden in the centre of Archingeay.

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

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

Agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: C

8% agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: N/A

Charente €418,950 Ref: 88602 Stunning home in immaculate condition with a lovely garden overlooking the vineyards.

Deux Sèvres €69,000 Ref: 97871 A cute 2 bed cottage with a 1 bed house attached, plus a garden, garage and great views.

Charente Maritime €299,995 Ref: 96597 Nicely renovated 5 bed property with an operating B&B business. Close to Chevanceaux.

Vienne €349,800 Ref: 87362 Magnificent stone home with beautiful gardens that feature a river flowing through.

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: C

10% TTC agency fees included paid by the buyer DPE: D

Agency fees included paid by the seller DPE: D

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

Dordogne €725,000 Ref: 82871 Traditional 18thC stone house set in over 23Ha of land with 2 tobacco barns.

Charente €280,000 Ref: 83119 Renovated farmhouse with 2 gites, a large garden and a pool. Idealy located for amenities.

Charente €299,600 Ref: 79671 Traditional maison de maître, with a cottage to renovate, benefits from geothermal heating.

Vienne €384,800 Ref: 76101 Fabulous house and gîte business in a beautiful setting accommodating up to 20 people.

4% 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: D

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

L i ving



Changing Places Around the region lie many small towns and villages whose fortunes have been visibly affected by changing patterns of rural life. Some have yet to recover, while others have managed to turn themselves around and find a new sense of purpose and optimism for the future. The northern Charente town of Aigre is a good example, having revitalised itself almost beyond recognition during the past twenty or so years since we first encountered it. Having kept the faith, it’s now reaping the benefits, including ‘Ville Fleuri’ status. The location has a lot going for it, being roughly half-way between Ruffec and Rouillac, and within easy reach of both Mansle and the city buzz of Angoulême. That’s in addition to Pays Ruffécois character villages like Tusson, Nanteuil-en-Vallée and Verteuil-sur-Charente, while Aigre itself has a long history of its own. The settlement of Acriacis agria was established beside a meander of the Aume river (a modest tributary of the nearby Charente) and remained relatively obscure until the 15th century, when

Louis XI ordered the establishment of a post relay halt on what had become the ‘route royale’ between Paris and Spain. Soon hostelleries and other businesses appeared and the town’s economy took off, as Aigre became an important crossroads between Bordeaux, Flanders, Lyon and the port of La Rochelle. In 1669 the celebrated Corderie Royale ropeworks opened in the naval dockyards at Rochefort, creating a sudden demand for hemp. Aigre was happy to respond, cultivating the plants on a massive scale (peaking at around 1,800 hectares) in fertile soils irrigated by plentiful local streams to produce not only ropes but also fine quality canvas. Also important locally were oignons d’Aigre, whose quality saw them gracing tables in the royal court, although more important commercially were vines for cognac eaux-de vie. The tradition continues, with the presence of the Maison Gautier distillery, on the riverside site of the Moulin du Château, a flour mill which turned to ‘Angélus’ liqueurs during the 19th century and which now produces fine cognacs. The remaining local vine plantations

aigre (16)

We focus on a market town in Charente which is doing very nicely fall within the ‘fins bois’ sector of the Cognac AOC production area. The canton of Aigre comprises 15 communes and the town itself now supports a surprisingly balanced range of businesses, a tourist office and a large indoor market hall (Thursday is market day). There’s also a gendarmerie, a centre de secours plus an école élémentaire and a collège d’enseignement secondaire – and the attractive surrounding countryside is the cherry on top.

Making connections Distances/drive-times by road from Aigre: Ruffec: 23km/26min Angoulême: 34km/41min Cognac: 41km/50min Saint-Jean d’Angély: 47km/51min La Rochelle: 114km/1hr 50min TGV & TER rail services: TGV services from Angoulême to Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Bayonne, etc. TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine services from Luxé (10km) to Poitiers, Angoulême, etc.

L i ving

Property Agence Eleonor Estate Agency 36-38 rue du Temple, 24500 EYMET T: 05 53 27 83 45

Eymet, Villeréal, St.-Cyprien, Monpazier, Bergerac, Lalinde, Lauzun and Issigeac

Ref: 7797-EY 585,000€ HAI DPE: D Two fabulous properties in a private setting with no close neighbours, renovated to a high standard and benefitting from lovely views. An attached barn could be converted into additional accommodation. Less than 5 minutes’ drive to shops bars and restaurants. Taux d’honoraires 27,900€ (5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref: 7787-EY 556,500€ HAI DPE: D Maison de Maître, set at the end of a long private driveway in the countryside and situated between the two popular villages of Eymet and Duras. Comprising 6 bedrooms, four bathrooms, three reception rooms plus a garden of just under an acre and a garage. Taux d’honoraires 16,500€ (5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref: 7789-EY 222,525€ HAI DPE: Vierge Within a 10-minute walk of a popular bastide village with all amenities, this 3-bedroom house with landscaped gardens and a swimming pool, consists of a bright living room, fully equipped kitchen / dining room, a shower room, and a garage. Taux d’honoraires 15,525€ (7.5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Sovimo immobiLier ExclusivE

Character Properties in France E

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Les Salles Lavauguyon, Haute Vienne €189,000* Detached fully renovated 4 bedroomed house in tranquil setting, garden and stunning countryside views. DPE: A and G


vE usi xc l

Fromental, Haute Vienne €259,900* 4-bedroom house plus 3-bedroom cottage, original features. Beautiful gardens, views. Double garage. DPE: D


Villefavard, Haute Vienne €99,900* Large living space, quality kitchen, original features, 3 bedrooms. Lovely gardens, barn with good roof. DPE: F

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vE usi xc l

L’Isle Jourdain, Vienne €196,000* Stunning location on the Vienne river, walk to the town centre. 3-bedrooms, one ensuite. Mains drains, garage. DPE: E Tel: 05 65 70 10 49 Email: Please contact us if you have a character property to sell, we have a devoted team located throughout the area.

*agency fees charged to the seller


Ref. 34017

110 000€ HAI

(100,000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

Montrollet (16), detached renovated cottage, furnished, 3-beds, 2 shower/wc, gas heating, septic tank, terrace, swimming pool, adjoining garden, all set on 835m2.

Ref. 34011

140 000€ HAI


(129 630€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Confolens (16), 10 mn walk from centre town, panoramic views, nicely renovated 4-bed with basement. Approx 3.5 acres. Elec heating + air/air heat pump, wooden terrace, old septic tank, outbuildings, photovoltaic panels.

DPE: n/a

Ref. 34029

46 750€ HAI

(42 500€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

Oradour Fanais (16), ideal holiday home, fitted kitchen, lounge, 1 bedroom, bathroom, wc, central wood stove heating, mains drains, attached garage, courtyard, all set on 186m2.

DPE: n/a

Ref. 34013

82 500€ HAI

(75 000€ plus 10% agency fees payable buyer)

Confolens (16), nice view, pleasant semidetached house, all comforts, 2 bedrooms,oil heating, mains drains, garage, storeroom, adjoining garden, all set on 424m2.

DPE: n/a

Ref. 34031

140 400€ HAI

(130 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Availles Limouzine (86), town with shops, 4-bed detached house with all comforts. Bathroom/ wc, 2 showers room/wc, terrace, elec heating, main drains, big detached garage, adjoining land, all set on 3036m2.

Ref. 34033

DPE: n/a

99 000€ HAI

(90 000€ plus 10% fees payable by buyer)

St Junien (87), 1km to shops. 5-bed detached house without comforts, attic, gas central heating, mains drains, outbuildings, well with pump, adjoining land, all set on 2980m2.

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

L i ving

Property Private Property Sellers Ltd.

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

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

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

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Idiade 6170: 4 bedroom Manor house with 3 independant gites, swimming pool, garages for 4 cars, workshop. Mains drainage.

Idiade 5465: Exclusively with Idimmo. Spacious 4 bed Charentaise with outbuildings and garden sloping down to the river.

DPE D Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE C Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

We can help you find your perfect home and sell your current one too! €274,540


Idiade 5616: Centre of St Jean d’Angely 4-bed house with basement living space. Pool, garage.

Idiade 5346: Exclusive! Maison de Maitre to completely renovate. Slate Roof replaced in 2014.

DPE E Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

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Idiade 6155: Pretty 3 bed village house with terrace and garden. Septic Tank conforms

Idiade 5711: Neat bungalow with pool in a large garden, views. Walking distance of shops.

DPE D Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE encours Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE vierge Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur



Idiade 5602: Pretty village house with enclosed garden, shops and services within walking distance.

Idiade 5635: 2km to St Jean D’Angely centre, 5-bed Logis with large attached barn, land.

DPE vierge Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE C Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur



Idiade 6159: Perfect ‘lock up and leave’ one-bed house with garage.

Idiade 6104: Well renovated 5-bed village house, enclosed garden, garage & outbuildings.

DPE vierge Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE D Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Protect reservoirs from sunlight to prevent algae forming

50 | living in the garden

in the garden

Don't waste a drop


With climate change ever in our thoughts, we look at ways of saving one of our most precious commodities.

Each year the first joyful sightings of migrating cranes and the welcome return of our friends the swallows, house martins, swifts and hoopoes seem to come a little sooner than expected. It’s a similar story for the first metallic clank of the familiar giant hose-reels which irrigate crops in fields around the region. The occasional wet spell will still show up to dampen things down, of course, colouring our impression of weather patterns, but for a more reliable picture of how things are changing in our gardens look no further than the classic ‘Max & Min’ garden thermometer. Not only will they record even fleeting overnight frosts we’d otherwise miss but also their absence, something which for many of us characterised the mild winter of 2018/9. Since seasons here in southwest France often seem intent on skipping springtime altogether, summer can be upon us almost before we know it,

and with it the need to keep our plants supplied with life-giving water. That’s likely to be a daily task for any which are growing in pots and tubs, since they’ll be heating up in the sunshine. Placing a ‘dessous’ beneath each of them will provide individual reservoirs to offset losses due to transpiration and evaporation, but their colleagues out there in the flowerbeds will require some advance planning. We’ve talked in the past about improving the soil by digging in plenty of homemade compost or well-rotted manure in springtime, as soon as things are workable. The notion of feeding your soil rather than your plants seems obvious enough, but less so is the fact that the more organic matter you can incorporate, the more moisture will be retained. If that sounds like the kind of exercise your back won’t appreciate (and you don’t happen to have a rotovator) just spread a thick layer of

compost across your borders and let the worms do the work, pulling it into the soil for you. You can also help individual plants become established by planting in oversized holes lined with cardboard, newspaper or non-biodegradable polythene perforated with a few holes. Then backfill, remembering to add compost or well-rotted manure to the excavated soil. It’s not an onerous task, and your added liner will prevent water from leaching away quite so quickly, retaining essential moisture around the roots. Another related topic we’ve discussed in previous issues is that of mulching, whose many benefits include protecting roots against frost, encouraging beneficial microbes and bacteria, supressing competing weeds and – here’s the relevant bit – reducing moisture evaporation from the soil. Most visually attractive are

living in the garden | 51

the pre-packed bark chips sold in garden centres and supermarkets, and whose effect is pretty well instant. The cost adds up, though, and they will eventually rot down, so if you have large areas to maintain then it might be worth considering making your own, while cutting down on your trips to take prunings to the déchèterie, by using a garden shredder. In fact, your local déchèterie might have one and offer a service to users. One obvious proviso is that whatever you shred should be disease-free, the other being that it should also be suitable for use as a garden mulch. Not all species co-exist harmoniously, among the more antagonistic bedfellows being eucalyptus, sage and the non-native Tree of Heaven. If in doubt about the presence of insect

larvae or other potential pests, leave your pile of fresh mulch for a few days to allow the core temperature to rise and kill off any bugs, as the natural composting process kicks in. By now we should be well on the way to making some worthwhile reductions in our plants’ watering requirements, so it’s time to turn our attention to how we might use our water supply more efficiently. Unless you’re fortunate enough to possess your own well or bore-hole then it’s likely that you’re accustomed to relying on the domestic mains supply for garden watering. The upside of this approach is that mains water pressure is generally high enough to produce a long-reaching jet from a hose or power a sprinkler, the most controllable

Andy Coope

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

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being scaled-down versions of those used for crop irrigation. Just set the stops to determine the arc required, turn the tap on in the cool evening or early morning and away you go. Alternatively, arm yourself with some ‘leaky pipe’ laid among the flower and vegetable beds and you’ll be able to restrict watering to just those areas which need it, achieving significant savings in water consumption. Inevitably there are obvious downsides to using tap water in the garden, which nevertheless currently accounts for around 6% of water consumption in France (compared to roughly 1% for drinking). First there’s the fact that supplies must undergo treatment in order to ensure that they meet the increasingly stringent

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

52 | living in the garden Mulching time

A pump will pressurise things

A shredder is invaluable

European Commission standards for domestic drinking water. That typically includes monitoring and dealing with the presence of bacteria, micro-organisms, nitrates, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. Doing so is designed to protect our health, but plants can be even more sensitive to the presence of even minute levels of impurities or residual purifying treatments such as ozone or chorine. Still wondering why your plants seem to put on a spurt after a drench by a

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Make compost if you have the space

summer storm? Another, more tangible downside to using tap water in the garden is that of cost, pushing up our water bills during long, hot summers. Then there are supply uncertainties due to restrictions on watering during increasingly familiar canicule conditions, which seem set to be the pattern for the foreseeable future. All of which means it’s worth thinking seriously about other options. Unlikely as it might sound, your land might have the potential for a modest borehole (‘forage’), something a water diviner (‘sourcier/ière’) will be able to determine – or you can have a go yourself at dowsing. If there’s water down there you should get a reaction. If not then at least we can make the most of our rainfall by storing what comes down our drainpipes from dwellings and outbuildings. It’s not a new idea; larger barns often had underground citernes nearby fed by downpipes for watering livestock. Your total roof area might surprise you, likewise the volume of rainwater you could collect for use in the garden

living in the garden | 53

Inter-connected 500-litre tanks

– substantially more than what the average 300-500-litre récupérateur d’eau de pluie will hold, in fact. That in itself is not a problem, since any excess can simply be bypassed once the vessel is full, and of course each subsequent shower will top up what you use. If you find you need more storage capacity you can simply add further units, connected by pipes at their bases to create a ‘daisychain’ system, which can be hidden from view by fencing panels or hedging. If you’ll be running off your reserves

with a gravity feed, remember to mount your reservoirs high enough to place a watering can under the tap (simple enough using base units sold for just this purpose). In fact, if you mount them higher still – in a large barn, for example – the increased flow, while nothing like mains pressure, should be enough to use a garden hose. If you’re looking for pressure-fed watering around the garden then of course you can use an inexpensive electric pump – either an above-ground or submersible unit, depending on your needs. Whatever you decide, your wallet, the planet and your plants will thank you!

More info

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, you can find any water restrictions in force in your commune on info-restrictions. In Vendée, the information can be found on and search for “Limitation des usages de l’eau en Vendée”


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Sunday 30th June 10am-3pm

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English & French Book Sale Pre-loved clothes at affordable prices A small range of quality bric-a-brac Many local artisans selling their produce including handmade candles and melts, English grocery products, jewellery, pictures & much much more Catering on site with a huge range of produce to eat on site or take a box of delicious cakes home with you. PLUS! our now famous Sausage Sizzle, freshly barbecued English sausages with a variety of sauces, definitely not to be missed! Salle des Fêtes, 24610 St. Méard de Gurçon

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Quote 'Living' help keep this magazine readers These localtobusinesses are waiting forfree yourfor call!



...making an entrance

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

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

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

E: or Tel: 05 45 78 66 95


Tues 19.30-20.45 / Weds 10.15-11.30


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

Thurs 10.30-11.45

RENAISSANCE - hair, beauty, nails


Domaine de la Goujonne 17270, MONTGUYON

Our bi-lingual team are waiting to pamper you. CACI trained and registered to perform non-surgical facelifts and more. Ring now to book your appointment. ~ PLUS! Wedding hair & make-up team ~

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

05 46 48 32 44


Thurs 13.30-14.45

Regular Sunday yoga brunches

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

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


Food, Wellbeing, Satellites

Regular temperature controlled deliveries from the UK of frozen, chilled and grocery Iceland products

Siret: 509 861 902 00013

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

Siret: 841733769 00019

Couleurs de Vie BE INSPIRED

Your source for Annie Sloan Products. Workshop courses and commissions undertaken. Impasse Brisson, Le Souterrain, 16200, Courbillac

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

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

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

Located between Cognac, Jarnac & Rouillac Tel: 05 45 67 70 62

 Tester pots available The paint the professionals use

Brico17paintsupplies 09 61 62 46 15

PRODUCERS & SUPPLIERS OF QUALITY BEEF, LAMB, VEAL AND POULTRY Our home-grown Limousin beef is hung for 14 days and, like our pork, is butchered here so all cuts available as well as English-style sausages, bacon and gammon Free-range poultry available all year round Farm shop on site and seasonal markets - see website for details Farm fresh handmade pies, cooked goods, regional & seasonal produce Regular Pop Up Shop and Pie Nights ~ Mobile Catering for events Special occasion, bespoke cakes made by Sue 10 route de Vilenne, 36200 Celon 02 54 25 34 73 / 06 84 61 52 39 @lesfromentaux

Shops, paint supplies

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

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


Insurance and asset management advice in English Hello, my name is Isabelle Want. For the past 9 years, I have been working for Allianz as an asset manager. Being married to an Englishman and having lived in the UK for 8 years gives me a better insight into what British people are experiencing and what they need. Being French and born in the Charente has enabled me to offer some answers. I am, as always, available for any free advice on the following subjects: - INHERITANCE LAW - who inherits, how much are death duties, what solutions exist - TAXES - everybody’s fear! Annual tax forms in May, etc.

- INVESTMENTS - what is available, what rate, etc. - LIFE INSURANCE - how to protect your loved ones - FUNERAL COVER - preparing for the inevitable, unfortunately! - TOP UP HEALTH INSURANCE - why you need it and how much it is - INSURANCES - get a free quote to see if you can save money We also have a dedicated bilingual person to deal with claims. And, finally, we have an English website with all sorts of useful information and tips on all of the above subjects.

Contact Isabelle directly Mobile: 06 17 30 39 11

Orias: 07007057

English Speaking

Personal, Professional, Business Insurance & Investments

Ask for Corinne

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

Alexandre HULOT


05 46 59 01 75

36 rue Grosse Horloge, 17400 ST JEAN D’ANGELY E: W:'ANGELY


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

Insurance, Cleaning, Holidays

No Orias: 13004664

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

AGENCES PHILIPPE BOURDIN 3 Place d’Armes, 16700 RUFFEC Tel: 05 45 31 01 51 or Commercial site at SuperU, 79190 SAUZE VAUSSAIS Tel: 05 49 07 61 10 E: No ORIAS: 07009808

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

For all your insurance needs in France

Special discount for new owners - 50% off the first year

Bilingual Insurance Agent

Expert Expat Advice 15 years of personal experience living & working abroad


Fully comprehensive covers at competitive prices and all explained in ENGLISH. We respond quickly to enquiries and in the case of accidents or claims, we are here to help. Offices at Champdeniers and St Pardoux (79). Come and visit us.

Agence Michallon Tel:

ARC EN CIEL Nettoyage Professionnel

BH Assurances 22 rue Jean Jaures 16700 Ruffec tel : 05 45 31 01 61

10 bld du 8 mai 1945 16110 La Rochefoucauld tel : 05 45 63 54 31 102 ave de la République 16260 Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure tel : 05 45 39 51 47 N° ORIAS : 07020908

INDEPENDENT BROKERS We find the best insurer for your needs at competitive rates

MOTOR, HOUSE, MEDICAL, TRAVEL, BUSINESS For information and quotes contact Penny G.S.A.R. 05 53 40 15 71



PROFESSIONAL CLEANING & HYGIENE SERVICES Key holding / conciergerie. Cleaning of commercial and domestic premises and window cleaning. Rugs, carpet & upholstery steam shampoo extraction. Hard floors / surfaces treatment: marble, granite, terracotta etc & wood floor parquet. Swimming pool & garden maintenance. Office: 05 53 07 52 71 (9 to 18.00) Mobile: 06 31 31 06 76 / 06 70 39 83 96

Siret: 813 442 860 00017

Quality bike hire across

16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 85, 86 & 87 FREE delivery & collection

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

Gite Owner? Earn money with us!

05 45 36 19 09


ELLIOTTS BOUCHERIE NEW! Traditional English butchers now offering deliveries to the Charente (16) and surrounding areas. Elliotts Boucherie are based in north west France where we have been supplying local customers for many years. Our premium quality meat is sourced in France but butchered the English way.

See for all our products and prices, and Delicious range of handcrafted English style sausages. follow us on Facebook Bacon dry-cured on premises. Homemade meat pies, pasties, pork pies, scotch @elliottsboucherie eggs, haggis, sausage rolls and more. We understand British tastes and cooking methods so don’t put up with tough meat any longer - try our minimum 21-day matured premium beef including Aberdeen Angus (subject to availability) Lamb locally sourced & premium quality from Ireland or UK Locally sourced premium pork (with crackling) & chicken

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

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

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


Garden Machinery Maintenance & Repairs Charente Assistance provides a full package of services that assist home owners in France, whatever their needs. Their desire to provide a comprehensive range of complementary services has led them to recruit Shawn Reeves to the team. With over 30 years’ experience as a mechanic, Shawn brings a wealth of knowledge to the business as he heads up their new garden machinery maintenance services. Scheduled maintenance or repairs of everything from mowers to chainsaws. Prices start from just €89 and quote Living20 to receive a €20 DISCOUNT from your first scheduled service.

Garden Machinery Maintenance & Repairs plus Pool & Home Maintenance and all Gardening Jobs - -

Claude’s Cat Hotel

Siret: 822 175 527 0016

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

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

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

Les Chaillauds 16220 MONTBRON Tel: 05 45 24 01 45


Legal matters Phone calls & meetings

Same road, new number!

Andrew Harrison

Tel: 05 46 96 44 11 SIRET 453 520 298 00010


Personal taxation

Expert help and advice

Est. 2009 T: +44 (0)7855 401 102 T: +44 (0)1656 670 856

The Fixer

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

Business set-up

DEFRA Type 2 licensed, custom built vans

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

Experience you need....Results you want Fluent French speaker with over 15 years professional ‘hands on’ experience assisting expats in France

Personal Taxation – Carte Vitale – Business set ups CPAM – French Administration – Tax regularisation and much much more…. Call Rick Denton now on 06 46 25 30 87 or Email: Based in Poitiers and covering 86, 79, 16, 17 & 24


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

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

Help & Advice

Expert in French Administration

Regular trips throughout Europe Services tailored to your needs

15 mins from La Rochefoucauld & 20 mins from Rochechouart

Long established service at reasonable rates Depts 16 & 17

The UK’s Premium Pet Transport Company

www.Start BusinessIn

Animal care, Business advice


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

Help & advice, Translations

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


Affordable UK Designs

Fitted Kitchens, Upvc & Aluminium Double Glazing

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

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

SIRET: 513 577 809 00017

Transport services

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

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


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

ANGLO FRENCH Transport services

‘Your French Connection’

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

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

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


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


FRANKLINS REMOVALS Packing services Full/part loads to and from the UK Vehicles transported • Containerised storage Competitive prices • Transit /storage insurance Call Stephen or Ben Franklin on 0044 121 353 7263 or email

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

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

G KR European Removals

National & International removals service UK & EU Very competitive rates Fully insured Storage UK & France Weekly UK - France Spain - western Europe Call Gary on 0033 684 82 47 34 or 0033 555 60 77 90 e-mail siret no 442 234 413 00017



Delivery & in

FROM £99

Furniture for France

Quality UK furniture direct to your door in France Furniture for your bedrooms, dining room and lounge From sofas to mattresses, wardrobes to dining tables, all just one phone call away Look at our website to see the latest ranges available 18 years’ experience & great customer service

Pool Maintenance Opening/Closure Weekly Pool Care Garden Services Property Management

Pools, Design, Cherry Pickers

05 45 25 05 37

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

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

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

05 53 52 36 05 Peter Latus BA(Hons)

Pool services

Swimming Pool Cleaning & Maintenance

• spring opens

• winter close downs • seasonal cleaning and maintenance contracts

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

POOLS BY JONATHAN Agent and installer for several rectangular & shaped pools including Seablue & Astral Pools FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Competitive prices, try me for a quote Terracing and landscaping service also available ALL WORK GUARANTEED phone 0549840362 mobile 0622361056

Ian Dickinson BSc (Hons)

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

Tel: Mob:


BECK CHERRY PICKER HIRE Nacelle Telescopique

17m tracked cherry picker with IPAF operator For all exterior works: roofing, painting, tree cutting etc. Hourly, daily or weekly rates Based in south 86, can transport as required Tel: 07 84 12 44 97


Metalwork, Fencing, Artisans

siret: 838271518

Architectural Drawing Service

R J Coulson

SIRET 47994761600021

Find out about our Clear Water Guarantee 30km around Courbillac (16200)

Getting your pool re a d y for the summer!

Siret: 827 978 636 00013

Swimming Pools


Tel: 06 46 49 73 45 Email:

These local businesses are waiting for your call!



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

whether your property is a new build, extension or a renovation, whether it is a cottage, chalet or château – the flexibility of our systems means there is a solution for all. We offer a free devis, with no obligation and no hard sell. Now is the time to consider a renewable heating system. There are reduced rates of TVA available and significant tax credits (credit d’impôts) for systems installed

Tel: 07 67 04 07 53

• Certificates issued for every sweep • Over 10 years’ experience • Covering departments 16, 17, 79 & 86 Registered with the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat Siret 81968203000013

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




Kitchens & Bathrooms from A-Z

Depts 16 & 17

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

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

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

website: email:

Building services, Artisans

Nick Wright


Siret 482 718 640 00022

Chimney Sweep


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


• Heavy Duty Trade aluminium tubing, platform height up to 6m

SARL the roof, the whole roof and nothing but the roof

• Internal & external use

Experts at working with slate & clay Over 40 year’s experience

• Supplied & erected - weekly or monthly

For a free estimate call 06 35 11 27 31 Strictly Roofing – Malcolm Cooke

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

Orchard Services

Tel: 05 55 05 01 99 E:

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

Happy to quote for all soft wood requirements.

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


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

Call Terry on 05 45 30 72 04

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

Siren: 449 714 989

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

Siret: 831 666 656 00010

Building services, Artisans





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

Building services, Artisans

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


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

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

Building services, Artisans


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

05 49 87 09 63 Siret: 48115588500017

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

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

Graham Medhurst Renovations Established reputable builder in Charente From basic changes to complete renovations, bathrooms, kitchens, floor and wall tiling, dry-lining & more Guaranteed customer satisfaction Contact me for a free no-obligation quotation Based near La Rochefoucauld, covering areas 16, 86 & 79 T: 05 45 95 44 34 or 06 98 29 76 45 E:


R J Coulson

• complete range of building services • renovations and refurbishments

Building services

For You and Your French Home

• pointing/rendering • block work

• plastering • kitchen and bathroom installation

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

France Fosse €3650

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

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

Email: These local businesses are waiting for your call!

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

Find us on Facebook


Les Les Bons Voisins Voisins

property management throughout france


no job too small, no project too large

exceptional service at competitive prices

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

. admin help . translation

friendly people providing professional help to home owners in france

Andy Quick

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

Siret: 499 474 302 00035

E: ~ T: 05 49 27 22 67

ANDY MS Multi Services

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

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

website: email: siret:50263448800014

Qualified Interior Designer

Odd Job Tom Pool maintenance

Painter & Decorator

Tree Felling & Stump Grinding

Professional Service

Grass Cutting & Odd Jobs

Fully Insured Tel: 07 89 73 47 43 Tel: 05 49 87 84 52 Mobile: 06 85 98 24 76

siret 82179190200017

T: 05 45 98 07 25 M: 06 23 18 30 95

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

Siret: 441 490 992 00027

Jb Plumbing Ambroise PRÉE Plumbing - Heating Chimney sweeping

EMERGENCY CALL OUTS 24 hours / 7 days a week

SiReT: 502 497 365 00010

Full service with certificate (boiler, fuel, wood, gaz) Fully insured with over 10 year’s experience Tel: 06 58 86 55 91 Based in 86400 Saint Macoux English spoken Siret: 831 980 487 00019

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

Barry Baldwin Cabinet Maker & Joiner Furniture Restoration Manufacture of staircases, doors & cupboards

Stairs & windows All carpentry Manufacture & renovation in and around Charente (16)

16240 La Fôret de Tesse T: 05 45 30 39 85 Covering depts 16, 79 & 86

Le Bourg à Moutardon 16700 Nanteuil-en-Vallée Tel. 05 45 31 03 05

Peter Amor Electrician

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

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

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

Siret: 804476 034 00017

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

05 46 86 07 61 Siret 49376573200015

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

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

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

Building services, Artisans

Robert Walker PlombeRie

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

ADAM BLACKABY Artisan Peintre

Areas 16, 17, 24, 33, 79, 86

Siret: 842 376 139 00015

RobeRT WalKeR Tel: 05 49 27 36 98

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

Sarl AUVIN Fabrication

Building services, Artisans


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

Building services, Artisans

depts 79, 86 & 16

living music | 65

M Curtain Up... T UpBeat

As Summer breezes in a feast of festivals and live music events awaits, so here’s our annual rundown of some highlights.

hings kick off on 31 May-1 June with the 4th Festival La Voix du Rock, in Couhé (86):, while in Douchapt near Ribérac (24) the 7th Douchapt Blues has a string of summer concerts, whose artist line-up includes the Angie Palmer Band, from 2 June–1 Sept: On 7-9 June the Notes en Vert Eco-Festival presents music, craft workers, organic food producers plus fun family activities in the Parc de Périgny (17): www.mondomelodie. com. On 8 June Festival Moul’Stock presents free rock concerts in Charron (17) from 5pm-1am, with moules-frites topping the food menu: Further south, on 21-23 June the Lac de Montendre (17) fires up the 18th Freemusic Weekend:, while on 21 June the 24th Festival des Musiques Epicées stages free performances in varied musical genres, plus a local producers’ market, in the heart of Saint-Aulaye (24): www. Next come jazz concerts at the Abbaye de Puypéroux (16) on 28-30 June, including “Hommage à Freddie Mercury” by the Chorales des Lycées d’Angoulême + the Big Band du Conservatoire de Poitiers: On the same weekend Les Sarabandes present music, street performers, exhibitions, art installations and more in Saint-Genis d’Hiersac (16): This year’s Sites en Scène stages 70+ shows in Charente-Maritime from 22 June-9 September: On 4-8 July Cognac Blues Passions

Lewis Hall Musician

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

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

returns – headliners include Rickie Lee Jones and Toto: Meanwhile, from 5 July-9 Aug the Dépt de la Vienne’s Les Heures Vagabondes offer 13 free concerts with class acts including Marc Lavoine and Eagle Eye Cherry: www. On 10-14 July La Rochelle’s Vieux Port hosts Les Francofolies, whose 80+ line-up includes: Jean-Louis Aubert and Coeur de Pirate: From 13-20 July Jazz fans in Dordogne have the 44th Souillac en Jazz festival, featuring acclaimed musicians from throughout Europe, plus the sound of brass in the stone caverns of Lacave: At the other end of the cultural spectrum, the 48th annual Festival de Saintes’ 30 classical concerts run from 12-20 July in and around the medieval Abbaye aux Dames: Further inland, on 11-14 July Bessines-sur-Gartempe (87) hosts the 23rd Festival des Bandafolie’s, whose spectacular acts include Los Tchaopinos and the Moscow & District Pipe Band: Further south, on 16-20 July Villages Sessions celebrates its 20th edition with


Sell all types of pianos Traditional & modern uprights BABY GRANDS All professionally restored & guaranteed With a lifetime experience in the piano trade, ex-BBC Piano Tuner We are Specialists in piano restorations on all types of pianos Also Tuning and small repairs

16, 17, 79 and west Vienne

Tel: 05 45 21 16 13 E: SIRET: 51031234100017

Café de la Gare

Bar ~ Snacks ~ Music ~ Pool

open till midnight Weekends 12-12, Lunch Tue-Fri

Check our FB page for details of our events Sunday Lunch ~ Exhibitions Gourville (16170) Between Aigre & Rouillac

Tel: 0545 622516

FB: le bourg aka cafe de la gare

concerts from Broussaï, Melting Pot and others in five Lavalette-Tude-Dronne villages, with pre-concert aperitifs: www. Head east to Brive-laGaillarde (19) on 19-22 July for the Brive Festival whose programme includes Patrick Bruel: Then from 20 July-9 August the 14th Festival 1001 Notes presents 11 classical music concerts by world-class performers including William Christie, at interesting venues including the ancient abbey church of Solignac (87): On 20, 23 and 26 July Royan’s Grande Conche beach will host the 32nd Violons sur le Sable evening classical performances, closing with an epic firework display: Inland on 25-27 July Civray (86) festival fans will converge on Au Fil du Son and its free ‘Festival Off’: www.aufilduson. com. Back on the coast it will be party time when top DJs power out electro shows at the Stereoparc Festival beside Rochefort’s Corderie Royale from 19-20 July: It looks like being another long, hot summer, with the soundtrack of your choice!

66 | living Language

Pardon? Y

ou’d think the phenomenon of recycling and reusing things was a new one, from the way vocabulary related to the subject keeps appearing on dictionary lists. Many people seem to have forgotten the Make Do and Mend ethos of the past. In fact, many of the words we use in English to do with energy, environment and green living are almost exactly the same as they are in French, from l’environnement to le climat. Biodégradable, la biodiversité, le monoxyde de carbone and le changement climatique aren’t really that much different in English, are they? Put on a bit of a French accent and you could probably work your way through a conversation about la déforestation and la désertification. However, when it comes to something more simple like selling a pair of used shoes, you really can’t rely on saying it in a bit of a French accent. ‘Used’, for instance. There’s a perfectly good verb in French, user. First, you’d be forgiven for thinking you pronounce that like ‘user’, someone who uses something. Like your username on your computer. User in French has all those strange pronunciation rules to follow, like the u in French which is a bit like a short oo sound, and the s that sounds like a z between two vowels. You-zer sounds nothing like uz-ah. And you can’t rely on describing something as usé because it’s more like it’s falling apart, eroded, deteriorated. Like when the mechanic tells you your tyres are usé, he doesn’t mean they’re second-hand, he means you’re ready for a new pair. In fact, your mechanic and your contrôle technique is probably where you’ll see usé the most. A bit of wear and tear. But les chaussures usées sounds like

L i ving

Emma-Jane Lee, our language expert, explores some more linguistic idiosyncrasies

after the first but the second thing is the last thing. So if you said seconde classe on the train, that really should imply that there’s no third class. Une seconde chance really would mean it was a second chance, but there weren’t going to be any third chances. Une deuxième chance would really give the impression there could be others. But then nobody really sticks to that rule properly: if you get the train you can find deuxième classe even if there’s no troisième. And your child will be in classe de seconde after troisième. I’m assuming by now you have a terrible headache. Coming back to your second-hand shoes, you will certainly find les chausthey’re on their last legs, quite literally. sures de seconde main. I guess that So you’re still looking for a way to say the person who has them after you ‘used shoes’ in French. You might think is destined to be their final home. usager might work for ‘to use’ because L’Academie Française who rule in all it sounds so like a verb. Sadly not. This noun means people who use things, like things linguistique say using second or seconde is more elegant, more refined. les usagers de la route. Road users. You They say you should also only use it can’t use usager for ‘user’ in English all when there are only two things to be the time though. Sometimes it’s l’utilisateur. But you can use usagé to describe considered. Perhaps de seconde main something that has been used. Confused gives your used shoes a more refined air? yet? If you use a road or a public service, ‘Occasion shoes’ doesn’t sound like you’re a usager. If you use a computer, you mean ‘used shoes’, but you’ll find d’occasion used to mean second hand. It’s you’re a utilisateur. If you want to sell the most common way you’ll hear ‘used’ some second-hand shoes, les chaussures to describe things for sale that have had usées sounds like they’re for the bin previous owners. Occasion may sound like and les chaussures usagées doesn’t sound an occurrence, an opportunity, a circummuch better. Les chaussures utilisées stance or an event. In French, it can mean sounds okay as long as you’re going to go on to say ‘shoes used for/by…’ like les that, but it can also mean something that chaussures utilisées par les professionnels or isn’t new. Don’t get me started on ‘new’ in French. Is it nouveau or neuf? That’s ‘shoes used by professionals’. So you’re still no nearer to finding the right word definitely a discussion for another time. to describe your second-hand shoes. Emma is a jack-of-all-language-trades, Maybe you can go for a direct transwriting English textbooks, translating, lation de seconde main. Or is that deuxième marking exam scripts and teaching main? And what’s the difference? What a languages. She lives near La Rochefoucauld minefield! Second in French is supposed to with her growing menagerie. See www. be used when there’s something that came

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

Le Château de Duras

The Château de Duras is located in the Lot-et-Garonne at the heart of South-West France. It is an extraordinary monument where combining several eras: from the Middle Ages, through the 17th century to the Revolution and into contemporary times. The DurfortDuras family, elevated to the rank of Duke in the 17th century, transformed the medieval fortress into a splendid country residence. During your visit you will be able to discover the Château’s history and architecture through the 30 restored rooms in this classified Historic Monument. Explore the Hall of Ghosts, see the animated models, discover the external walkways which are unique in France, before completing the tour with a climb to the tower. Visit it on your own or with an audioguide (available in both French & English).


4D show in July and August on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 10.30pm on both sides of the Château (3€ for over-7s). Immerse yourself in the history of the Château and its legends with this 40-minute sound and light show. Guided tours at 3pm every day in summer (fr). P’tits Historiens on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from July 9 at 11am, visit for children (fr).

Place du Château 47120 DURAS - France Tel: +33 (0)5 53 83 77 32 Fax: +33 (0)5 53 64 97 99

Special Event

Furnishing part of the Château: Dining room, billiard room, small living room, bedroom..... Rediscover the splendour of the 17th century in the apartments of the Duke and the Duchess, refurnished in partnership with the Mobilier National. For the first time, the opening of the Allegories Room (former private chapel) for visits. It also allows people with reduced mobility to wait during visits.

VILLAGE VISIT After visiting the Château, discover the village with the help of a free audioguide from www. (available in both in French and English).

PRACTICAL INFORMATION The Château is open daily in June from 10h-13h & 14h-18h, and in July 10h-19h Entry: Adult 9€, students and 13-18 years 6€, 5-12 yrs 4.50€, under-5s free, reduced entry from 4.50€ to 8€. Audioguide 2.50€ (Fr & En).