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LIVING EDITOR’S LETTER | 3

S

to our Summer 2020 edition

o much has happened since I last wrote the editor’s letter that it feels an age ago. We were just going into lockdown, so it was a race against time to print the magazines and get them delivered to our warehouse. We wondered how wise we were to print the issue but no-one could have foretold the speed at which the borders closed and the barriers came down, so print we did. And we were the last magazine to print, the only spring edition that made it from the computer screens into the real world. Our subscriber copies were quickly dispatched but only a small number of LIVING were able to be delivered locally with the remainder locked down until the deconfinement began. The majority of the businesses who support the magazine could not trade during lockdown, or only in a very limited way, and you, our lovely readers, could not go out. And so, our April May edition, with its timeless features, became a May/June edition and it was almost as if the world stood still in the meantime. Against this backdrop, our advertisers supported our decision to delay the following issue – this one – to allow everyone breathing space to re-open businesses and work out what the summer ahead looks like. So, a huge welcome to our bumper summer edition and, we very much hope, normal service will be resumed from October. In some ways, this has been a challenging issue to prepare - normally our summer editions are packed with festivals and spectacular events but, this year, the calendar is sadly less crowded. So, instead, our features show you where you can go and explore, away from the crowds, even how to holiday from the comfort of your own sofa! We’ve also added 8 extra pages to give you more ideas and inspiration for the coming months. We haven’t forgotten that, for the British nationals among us, we’re waiting to enter a new phase although the promised online portal was, at the last minute, delayed until October. I’ve continued to work hard with the British in Europe team to ensure that this is as straightforward as can be and that your rights are protected as far as possible. Every one of us with only UK nationality who lives in France MUST register for residency, even if you already have a Carte de Séjour (which greatly simplifies the process) or you are married to an EU resident. Over at FranceRights.org we will be explaining everything once the full details are revealed. With everything that is going on, there has never been a better time to subscribe to receive LIVING to your door. This way, not only do you support the magazine through turbulent times but, for the next year, you will receive LIVING without having to leave the security of your own home. We have carried over the special subscription offer from the last edition - just pop the form in the post or visit our website to find out more. Keep safe and à bientôt! EDITOR

Read online at www.livingmagazine.fr


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Peace and tranquillity are priceless commodities – and they’re still to be found in sacred sites around the region

Sometimes we just need our favourite foods, so we rediscover some of Nikki’s most popular recipes

40

50

We speak to local businesses about what the recent lockdown meant for them

Our wine expert, Caro Feely, takes us through the red wine regions

SUBSCRIPTION SPECIAL OFFER

Cloistered Calm

Snippets News from around the region

Practical Advice

19

Out There Roger Moss shares some of the region’s best get-away-from-it-all spots for the summer months

42

26

Le Grand Tour Coming to the region for 5 days in September, it’s time to celebrate the Tour de France

See the World (without leaving home) If you’re missing the freedom to visit far-away places this summer, Jessica Knipe shows us how, with a little bit of homework, you can get away after all!

52

Living Property Pages A profile of Magné in Deux-Sèvres

Kathryn Dobson explains the latest information for British citizens here in France

58

44

A trip to stylish Les Jardins Sothys offers soothing calm and harmony important commodities in the world today

Earthly Escapes

Enjoying life’s simple pleasures is the order of day this summer in the Hays household

73

45

When things get tough, we look at how music finds new ways to keep our spirits up

Puzzle Break Our unique crossword by Mike Morris

For all editorial & subscription enquiries: editorial@livingmagazine.fr or phone + 33 (0)5 49 87 29 71

For all advertising:

contact@ammfrance.com or phone Jon on +33 (0)5 49 87 29 71

www.livingmagazine.fr

Seeing and Tasting Red

Citizens’ Rights

Midsummer Activities

30

Nikki Legon’s Cuisine

Not Fade Away

74

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

62-71

Business Directory The best local services & suppliers

72 Places To Go around the region


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Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Île de Oléron

Rochefort

CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes

Ruffec

Rouillac

Saintes Cognac Royan

Jarnac

CONFOLENS

CHARENTE (16)

ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne

News from around the region...

les charentes Abbaye Notre-Dame de Nanteuil

Blue Flag Beaches

12 Charente-Maritime beaches have achieved the coveted Blue Flag status this year. To receive the label, several criteria are judged including water quality, beach cleanliness and maintenance, and the use of renewable energy locally. The winners are: Bois-Plage-enRé, Île de Ré

La Rochelle: Chef de Baie, La Concurrence, Les Minimes Royan: La Plage du Chay L’île de Ré: Gros-Jonc, Les Gollandières at Bois-Plage-en-Ré L’île d’Oléron: Boyardville, La Gautrelle, La Plaisance, Les Sables Vignier at Saint-Georges-d’Oléron, La Grande Plage and Gatseau at Saint-Trojan-les-Bains The marina at Saint-Denis-d’Oléron is also the only marina in Nouvelle-Aquitaine to have been approved for a Blue Flag.

Un Violon sur la Ville

With large events prohibited, ‘Un Violon sur le Sable’ with its classical concerts on the beach ending with a fanfare of fireworks in front of up to 60,000 concert goers was, unsurprisingly, cancelled like so many other festivals. However, all is not lost, as ‘Violon sur la Ville’ will take place from 25-31 July. Smaller ticketed concerts will be spread around Royan with reservations only via the internet and conditions strictly controlled. The programme is still under development and will be revealed on www.violonsurlesable.com.

DIARY DATEs! Cancer Support France has postponed its sponsored ‘Cycle for Life’ (see April’s edition) until 23-26 September. See Facebook ‘activityforlife’ for full details. Nuit Archéo takes place overnight on Friday 7 August. Head to Cassinomagus (16) near Chasssenon (featured in our April edition) for an evening of outdoor events and fun for all the family from 7pm. See www.cassinomagus.fr Set outside, Barrobjectif (16) is still scheduled to take place from 19-27 September with a focus on forgotten figures of the feminist resistance at the beginning of the 20th century.

©CCValdeChar ente

©infiniment charentes

Saint-Trojanles-Bains, Île d’Oléron

Visits in English

Gallo-Roman Villa d’Embourie

Outdoor activities are going to be popular this year as we all do our best to socially distance. With this in mind, the team at Val de Charente have put together a programme of guided visits in English to three local sites for local residents and visitors alike: Gallo-Roman Villa d’Embourie (24 July & 7 August): Meet at the excavation site at 3pm to visit the dig and learn about the history of this site designated a Monument Historique. Price: 3.50€ (free for under-16s) – see www.villa-gallo-romaine-embourie.com. L’église Notre-Dame de Courcôme (31 July): Meet in the Square at 3pm to discover the mysterious sculptures within this 11/12th century church. Price: 3.50€ (free for under-16s). Abbaye Notre-Dame de Nanteuil (15 August): Meet at 3.30pm at the entrance to the Abbey to explore the history of this ancient monument. Price: 4€ (free for under 12s). >> To find out more about these visits, call 07 80 38 37 89.

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Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Île de Oléron

Rochefort

CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes Cognac Royan

Ruffec

Rouillac Jarnac

CONFOLENS

CHARENTE (16)

ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne

News from around the region...

les charentes

Festival des Potiers

Organic Soirees

La Ferme de Chassagne at Villefagnan (16) is continuing to hold organic open-air markets over the summer having put all necessary social distancing measures in place. As well as a multitude of local bio producers (check their website for the full list and to order meats in advance), there will be live music and plenty of space to picnic. The dates for this year’s Friday evening markets are: 3 and 17 July, 7 and 21 August, 4 September and 2 October. Stalls set up late afternoon and the markets stretch into the evenings but, given circumstances, check the website at www. campingdechassagne.fr for full details beforehand.

www.livingmagazine.fr

Coinciding with the Journées du Patrimoine in Aubeterre-sur-Dronne (16), one of France’s most beautiful villages, a veritable feast of all things to do with clay is being held on 19 and 20 September from 10am to 7pm. In this, the 4th edition of the Association Albaterra’s ‘Festival des Potiers’, 30 artisan potters will be showing and selling their work in the potter’s market. There will be films, demonstrations, free workshops for adults and children, and the chance to discover Aubeterre whilst following the route of the ‘parcours’ – a series of installations by clay artists through the village. Robert Lapousse, the guest of honour last year, returns to demonstrate some of the fast disappearing techniques used locally in the last century to make ceramics, and there will be a concert outside the Eglise Monolithe on Saturday evening. For full details, check www.albaterraparcoursdargile.com or www. aubeterresurdronne.com before travelling.

the IZIboat

Tucked away on the Ile de Ré, sailing fanatic François Tissier has turned his dream into reality. Living in South Pacific, he wanted to navigate from island to island using a hybrid that would combine the trusty stability of a catamaran, the simplicity of transport of a windsurf and the steering style of a car, without the technicality of a traditional sailing boat and so IZIboat was born. Weighing only 152kg, this craft can be towed by bike and assembled on the beach in minutes. To own one will set you back about thirteen thousand euros but you can also hire one from Rivedoux-plage – see en.iziboat.com for details.


Île de Ré

LA ROCHELLE Surgeres Île de Oléron

Rochefort

CHARENTE-MARITIME (17) Marennes Saintes Cognac Royan

Ruffec

Rouillac Jarnac

CONFOLENS

CHARENTE (16)

ANGOULEME Barbezieux Aubeterresur-Dronne

News from around the region...

les charentes

Gift Vouchers

To kick-start the tourist season, Infiniment Charentes, the tourism organisation for Charente and CharenteMaritime, have offered 10,000 gift vouchers worth 100€ each to visitors. After registering online at infiniment-charentes.com, visitors need to send in receipts for two consecutive nights in the Charentes, a meal in a traditional restaurant for two people and a visit to a tourist site for two people to claim their refund. While it remains to be seen how many people actually claim the refund given the terms, the millioneuro giveaway did raise the profile of the Charentes in national press at a time when advertising budgets have been slashed.

The Civility Mask

When entrepreneur Pierre Blondon, a graduate of l’Ecole d’Arts et Métiers d’Angoulême, could not find a mask to fit his 3-year old daughter, he decided to create the design he wanted to buy – one that was lightweight, effective, designed to last and, most importantly, allowed him to see her smiles. A few months later, after working with a team of engineers and designers from across France and further afield, the design for Civility was ready and an Angoulême manufacturer lined up. Now the challenge is to raise 150,000€ on Indiegogo to finance the first production run this summer with masks being delivered from September. To pre-order a mask, visit the project page at bit.ly/lmcivi.

© Airbus Flight Academy

Airbus Flight Academy

The buzz of training aircraft has been a familiar sound to many in the area since 2014 when the Airbus pilot training school moved to the Angoulême-Cognac airport at Champniers. It now represents 80% of the airport’s activity. The scheme supports both the French Air Force and French Navy pilot schools for elementary, basic and advanced pilot training. As well as onsite simulators the academy operates a fleet of 100 aircraft, both single- and twin-engine, of which 54 are state owned and 46 company owned. The school has recently expanded becoming the Airbus Flight Academy Europe offering cadet training, including 750 hours of ground school and 200 hours of flight training (including night flying). Flights are spread across the region (over Limoges, Périgueux, Royan, Cognac, Saintes, etc.) to try to limit noise disturbance. They have now opened a website where you can inform them of anything abnormal, which includes the flight route, the noise level and the flight timing. See bit.ly/ lmairbus.

www.livingmagazine.fr

A win for the environment

The Poitiers court recently ruled against approved plans to build six new water storage reservoirs in Charente-Maritime. Local environmental group ‘Nature Environnement 17’ argued that the project was over-sized and built without serious consideration to the challenges of the territory. It would impact Natura 2000 wetlands and aquatic environments as well as local species of flora and fauna. A total of 1.66 million cubic metres of water would have been taken from the aquifer to supply 13 farms which, the organisation argued, given the predicted impact of climate change, was disproportionate. There have been protests across the region about similar projects.


• Terrace in Abbaye Royale courtyard

• • Tues-Fri business lunch menu only • Evenings & weekends, à la carte Fresh, local produce

(average 30€ per person without drinks). 4 entrées, mains and desserts changed regularly

• Reservations recommended • Parking Follow us on Le Scorlion and see website for details www.restaurant-le-scorlion.fr

Restaurant le Scorlion

5 rue de l’abbaye 17400 St Jean d’Angély Tel: 05 46 32 52 61 E: restaurant-le-scorlion@hotmail.com www.restaurant-le-scorlion.fr

CHARENTE-MARITIME

Calls will be answered by a local counsellor


Nontron

Brantôme

Riberac

PÉRIGUEUX

DORDOGNE (24)

Bergerac

Montignac

Sarlat-laCanéda

News from around the region...

Dordogne

Canteen bio

Plage JemayePonteyraud

© tourisme isle perigord

A school canteen at Belvès stepped up to the challenge to be the first secondary school canteen to only offer completely organic meals to the students. The staff at Collège Pierre-Fanlac collaborated with Dordogne’s Jean-Marc Mouillac, the first chef in France to obtain the 100% Ecocert label for using only organic produce back in 2013. The new menu was put in place from the 2019 rentrée with the process filmed for a documentary on France 3 Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Both staff and students were delighted with the results and it is hoped that the experiences can help other schools work with local producers for the benefit of all. ‘La révolution des cantines!’ can be watched on na.france3.fr.

Blue Flags too

Three sites in Dordogne have been awarded the Blue Flag label for quality which is recognised by many international visitors. In Tamniès near Sarlat, the plage at the Etang de Loisirs will be flying the flag along with the main beaches at the lakes at Jemaye-Ponteyraud and Saint-Estèphe. The lakes at Gurson and Saint-Saud Lacoussière lost their flags but this is not necessarily due to a lack of quality. With the application costing around a thousand euros and daily monitoring required, Saint-Saud Lacoussière decided that finances were too strained to apply this year. The lake at Gurson has had a series of low level pollution incidences that did not require the beach to close but would have counted against it in the judging. The council thought it best to reapply next year once the issues are resolved.

Le Festival Musiques aux Cœurs de Montignac will be holding a scaled-down version this year from 31 July–2 August. Three ticketed outdoor performances will be held on the Terrasse de l’Amitié but the surrounding activities will be held over to 2021.

DIARY DATEs!

© guide du perigord

Le Festival du Périgord Noir will also be smaller this year and held from 6-10 August opening at l’Abbaye de Saint-Amandde-Coly with Guido’s ‘The Four Seasons’, thought by many to have inspired Vivaldi’s later version.

Firework factory

European Heritage days, les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, will be held over the weekend of 19-20 September with a theme of ‘Heritage and Education’. Check locally for the many sites and events that will be on offer.

At the Brézac firework factory near Ste Foy la Grande, which employs fifty people, the cancellation of so many festivals and possibly the public firework displays on the national holiday on 14 July is worrying. One of the market leaders in France, the company has a 9-million euro turnover and normally supplies fireworks for five hundred displays on the national holiday. Already expecting a drop of up to 80% of their revenue, the company is hoping for a reprieve if some of the events are allowed to go ahead.

www.livingmagazine.fr


Thouars

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Bressuire

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Les Herbiers ts

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Montalgu

v Sé

de moutier

St Jean de Mon

Parthenay

x de Vie

St Gilles Croi

LA ROCHE SUR-YON Les Sables d’Olonne

Chantonnay

VENDÉE (85)

Luçon

La Tranche sur Mer

DEUX SEVRES (79)

St-MaixentL’école

NIORT aise

Sévre Niort

Melle

News from around the region...

Pool Rentals

Deux-sèvres & Vendée

Website swimmy.fr expects to have a bumper year as people look for private pools to rent for the day or half day to maintain social distancing. Based on a model similar to Airbnb, owners can list their pools with photos and conditions such as maximum occupancy, as well as any additional services offered, for example towels and barbecues. Renters choose the time and pay through the site with Swimmy taking a commission from their payment before forwarding the balance to the pool owner. The rental is covered by insurance from Maif. Initially popular around the cities, more rural locations are being offered as the tourism industry restarts for summer. So, if you have an under-utilised pool and would like some help with the running costs or just to see it being enjoyed, it’s certainly worth considering.

An apple a day

Apple orchard Pom’2 Sèvres at Sécondigny (79) found a silver lining to the UK lockdown when apple orders for British supermarkets increased by twenty per cent as people ate at home. To cope with the extra demand, the company reorganised their work hours and were able to fulfill their orders with their forty employees. Thankfully, there was a good harvest so orders from both sides of the Channel could be satisfied and the company is now looking to recruit 300 seasonal workers for the main summer harvest.

ArtenetrA, the classical music festival held in the grounds of the Abbey at Celles-sur-Belle (79) hopes to be able to hold a series of open air, free concerts from 30 July to 8 August. See www. artenetra.com for details.

DIARY DATEs!

Vendée Gliss is still planned to run over the weekend of 22-23 August at Saint-Jean-de-Monts. A weekend dedicated to board sports for all levels from beginners to elite athletes includes a new 7-9km ocean race for paddle boarders. See www.vendeeglissevent.fr. Ironman 70.3 returns to Les Sables d’Olonne (85) on 6 September after a successful inaugural event last year. This edition is half the traditional Iron Man course so 1.9km swimming, 91.5km cycling and 21.1km running.

Deserted Marais Poitivin

Concern is mounting for the tourism businesses in and around the Marais Poitevin as new bookings for the summer season appear few and far between. With the Marais and Niort accounting for a third of DeuxSèvres tourism revenues, the expectations were that the deconfinement would lead to bookings coming back but this has not materialised. The first group to suffer are the seasonal workers with only one quarter of the usual number being hired this year. So, if you are looking for a day trip without the crowds, why not head to our very own Green Venice?

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www.livingmagazine.fr

*Price applies until 31.12.2020 on all orders deposit paid before that date

www.naturalispools.com

Telephone - 06 31 17 25 60 - email - contact@naturalispools.com


News from around the region...

Parc de Pierre Brun

Visit this popular family park in the Fôret de Mervent which is open daily. New for this year, you can meet Echo, Pierre-Brune’s elf as he comes to enchant the whole family each weekday. Every weekend enjoy the circus acts in the park’s Big Top with its program of new and original shows. All activities at this popular family park are now open except for the water-ball and ball-pit and full social distancing measures are in place to keep everyone safe with all information in English too. The mini-park for the youngest visitors has also been completely redesigned. The park is open from 10am to 6pm during July and August and weekends in September, see the website at www.pierre-brune.com for full details, or visit their Facebook page. Prices remain the same as last year: over-10s cost 12.50€, 3-9 years 11€ and 65+ 9.50€. Under-3s are free. There are snack bars and picnic areas on site, everything you need for a great day out!

MAKE OUTDOORS YOURS Outstanding collection of heat and grill clean burn stoves to extend your outdoor living or stay vacation

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Loudon

Chatellerault

POITIERS

VIENNE (86)

Chauvigny Montmorillon

Le Dorat

Charroux Civray

Bellac Nieul

Rochechouart

St-Mathieu

VIENNE & NEWS FROM AROUND THE REGION... HAUTE-VIENNE

Ambazac

LIMOGES

HAUTE-VIENNE (87)

St-Yriex-la-Perche

DIARY DATEs!

Nuits Musicales de Cieux (87) are hoping that their festival dedicated to the guitar will still take place from 23-26 July – reserve tickets at www.nuitsmusicalesdecieux.com.

Festival des Lumières will take place in Montmorillon (86) with a revised programme from 28-30 August, see www.festival-des-lumieres.com for details nearer the time. Warm up for the Tour de France by first watching the Tour du Limousin with four stages starting at Couziex (87) and finishing in Limoges between 18-21 August, see www.tourdulimousin.com. The Tour Poitou-Charentes follows shortly after when riders will race from Montmoreau (16) to Poitiers over 5 stages between 27-30 August. See www.tour-poitou-charentes.com for details.

VIENNE INVITATION

Futuroscope re-opens

Objectif Mars, the new rollercoaster at Futuroscope, received rave reviews as the park reopened midJune. With a reduced capacity and stringent hygiene conditions in place, the park will open daily in July, August and September. Even with the lower capacity limits in force, you can still use the generous coupon on our back cover for your tickets on the day. Just present it (or a photocopy) at the ticket booth. Once you are in the park, you can use the Lineberty virtual queue app to book your tickets for the 6 major attractions in the park to reduce queuing. The majority of attractions are open, although 3D attractions are showing in 2D. With its 60 hectare parkland setting to explore (see the feature in our October edition), you can enjoy your day out without worrying about it becoming too crowded.

www.livingmagazine.fr

Digging for Treasure

To boost the department’s tourism, the Vienne is offering a 50€ refund to visitors. Running from 1 July to 1 November, you can apply for your refund on presentation of receipts for visits to two tourist attractions and a meal in a local restaurant for at least two people. For full details and the terms and conditions, see tourisme-vienne.com.

Limoges has a long history dating back centuries, but little is known about what lies under the roads and buildings in the Cité district. Before the installation of a new electricity network, the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) is conducting nine surveys by excavating sections to study what lies beneath. So if you spot the archaeologists at work, they really are digging for treasure!

ER DATES TO REMEMB RENTRÉE 2020

:

Tuesday, are planned to return on All schools across France liday runs from Saturday 1 September. Toussaint ho vember inclusive and all 17 October to Sunday 2 No y 18 December. schools break up on Frida


Everyday banking Current accounts and bank cards that provide you with the services that you need

My Local Bank Your mobile banking app in English, available in the usual stores

Need Insurance?

English-speaking service

Streamline your banking and insurance admin by keeping them under the same roof.

Contact our advisers from Monday to Friday : 8.30 am – 6.30 pm & Saturday : 8.30am – 1.30pm on 05 49 00 06 46 customerservices@ca-tourainepoitou.fr

To open an account in the Vienne (86) & Indre et Loire (37) :

credit-agricole.fr/ca-tourainepoitou Contact your adviser for more information about our products and services. Crédit Agricole de la Touraine et du Poitou, Cooperative company with variable capital, registered as a credit company – Head office : 18 rue Salvador Allende - CS50 307 - 86008 - Poitiers Cedex 1 - 399 780 097 RCS POITIERS. Insurance brokerage company registered under matricule Nr 07 023 896. Ed. 12/19.


MAISON HINE

16 quai de l’Orangerie 16200 Jarnac +33 5 45 35 59 59 | visites@hine.com ht tp://w w w.hinecognac.com/visits/ @hinecognacs |

Hine Cognac


living places to visit | 19 Drifting downstream on the Dordogne at La Roque-Gageac

Out There We’re social creatures, but after a prolonged confinement, and with an open-ended need to avoid big social gatherings, the idea of heading off to enjoy the great outdoors is sounding more attractive than ever before. Fortunately, here in Nouvelle-Aquitaine we don’t need to venture too far to find perfect peace, so here are some of our favourite away-from-it-all spots.

Canoe or kayak on the Dordogne (24)

When visitors are jostling for parking spaces at Périgord’s attractions, both big and small, why not take to the water

Evening strollers at Pointe de l’Aiguillon

and see things differently at your own pace? You can hire a canoe or kayak from various locations on the Dordogne (and other rivers around the region). Choose from a short 90min taster or a longer trip lasting up to a full day, paddling gently downstream to a pick-up point for a bus-ride (included) back to where you originally set off. More: www.canoe-kayak-dordogne.com

Pointe de l’Aiguillon (85)

Located on the tip of a modest peninsula extending into the Baie de l’Aiguillon below La Tranche-sur-Mer, there’s a satisfying sense of away-from-it-all remoteness among the windswept

Need some space? Here’s our rundown of perfect places in which to enjoy the great outdoors Words: Roger Moss

sand dunes. The nearby reed-beds, tidal mudflats and wetlands at the mouth of the Sèvre Niortaise river make this a halt for countless migrating and nesting birds, so the spot is a protected nature reserve. There’s also a small beach, if you feel like a bracing stroll. More: www.sudvendeetourisme.com


20

Near l’Ecluse | de Vibrac

living in the garden

Vibrac (16)

There are few more relaxing pastimes than gazing idly into the gently flowing currents of one of our rural waterways. They make great walking or cycling companions, and the antics of those messing about on the river can be high on entertainment value, particularly when negotiating locks. Vibrac, between Angoulême and Jarnac, offers just this kind of escape, as the River Charente divides briefly into three courses – and there’s a lock. More: www.vibrac16.net

A stretch of the Vélodyssée trail, Côte Sauvage

This near endless succession of fine sandy beaches between Ronce-les-Bains and La Palmyre offers lots of opportunities for anyone in search of some plage-style open space (with more beaches almost to Royan). Along the way lie some interesting landscape features, including WWII defences and the incredible Phare de la Coubre lighthouse overlooking the Gironde Estuary. There are lots of cycling opportunities too, including a section of the 1,200km Vélodyssée long-distance route. More: www.royanatlantique.fr

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PHOTO BOTTOM right: © La Vélodyssée J.DAMASE

Côte Sauvage (17)


living places to visit | 21

Vallée du Thouet (79)

Here’s a little-known area whose leafy lanes take very little traffic, even in summer. Add the fact that there are few hills but some great unspoilt scenery and you have fantastic cycling country. It’s now part of the Vélo Francette, in fact, which links Caen Ouistreham (14) with La Rochelle (17). A good starting point is historic Parthenay, from which you can ride to Gourgé for a lunch stop, or continue to the chateau town of Thouars (37km). More: www.lavelofrancette.com

The 11th century Pont-Vieux spans the River Thouet near Gourgé

Lac de la Vassivière (23/87)

A glance at the map reveals the vast scale of this outdoor playground straddling the Creuse/ Haute-Vienne border. With a surface area of 1,000 hectares and shoreline paths extending to around 30km, there’s plenty of potential for walking, cycling, fishing or waterborne activities – or simply finding your own secluded space away from the rest of the world. Here and there you might almost believe you’re in Canada, and there’s lots more landscape to explore on the surrounding Plateau de Millevaches (see separate entry). More: www.lelacdevassiviere.com

Pineau, Cognac Grande Champagne : 1st cru for cognac and wine

A F ss re is e ta nc e

Lac de la Vassivière, a haven for water sports

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Le Pinail’s remarkable landscape

22 | living places to visit Near-silent pastures, Plateau de Millevaches

Plateau de Millevaches (19, 23 & 87)

Limousin’s vast upland Parc Naturel Régional benefits from green tourism, yet remains sparsely populated – what isn’t forested is mostly pastures and rugged heathland grazed by hardy sheep and cattle. Here and there granite outcrops compete for attention with the outlines of the nearby Monts d’Auvergne, while the Vienne and other rivers spring into life here, adding to the biodiversity and making this a haven for walkers, kayakers and anglers. More: www.pnr-millevaches.fr

Réserve du Pinail (86)

A real curiosity, some 142 hectares of the landscape below Châtellerault is peppered with thousands of indentations from centuries of granite extraction for circular millstones. Around half are water-filled, and the rich diversity of

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Afternoon sun, Lac Lavaud

living places to visit | 21

habitats, flora and fauna makes this a protected national nature reserve. Freely accessible all year, there’s a 2km discovery trail to help you get the most from your visit – or join a guided tour. More: www.reserve-pinail.org

Lacs de Haute-Charente (16)

For a relaxed waterside walk, and perhaps a family picnic, two large man-made lakes between Chabanais and Massignac are worth getting to know. Lac de Lavaud and Lac du Mas Chaban offer canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, angling, etc., but without compromising their natural appeal. That’s something which attracts many bird species, which can best be appreciated at the Observatoire Ornithologique de Foucherie on the shores of Lac de Lavaud. More: www.tourisme-charentelimousine.fr

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24 | living places to visit

Fôret de la Braconne (16)

Get back to nature with a host of flora and fauna for company in the ancient Forêt Domaniale de la Braconne, which covers around 4000 hectares of the Charente landscape between Angoulême and La Rochefoucauld. The kind of forest you always hoped you’d find, around half of the trees are noble, mature oaks, among which are way-marked trails, with interpretation panels giving information about wildlife you might encounter. There are also picnic tables plus a 4km discovery circuit, supported by a ‘Défi Braconne’ smartphone app. Find out more – see our dedicated feature in the Oct/Nov 2018 issue of Living.

La Grande Fosse sink-hole, la Braconne

Île Madame’s western shoreline

Trek with a horse or pony (86) Robert Louis Stephenson famously travelled through the Cévennes with a donkey, and you can still do something similar nearby with a fourlegged friend for company. You’ll find that it’s an enjoyable way to unwind for an afternoon, and if you want more you can do it in style by spending several happy days exploring lanes and tracks through villages, peaceful valleys, rivers, streams and much more in the rural landscapes of Poitou and Limousin. Everything is organised. You’ll be following a carefully pre-prepared itinerary, and can sleep soundly each night under canvas, in a caravan or if you prefer in chambres d’hôtes. More: www.cerfcheval.com

www.livingmagazine.fr

Île Madame (17)

Summertime is a busy period for popular sites on the coast, but come to this diminutive island in the early evening and you should have few people for company. You’ll find it at the mouth of the Charente river, just off Port des Barques, from which it’s accessed via a slender tidal causeway – la Passe aux Bœufs. Beyond it are some surprising features, including a 17th/18th century fort complex, a poignant monument to 254 martyred priests, an organic ‘ferme aquacole’ with a restaurant, an auberge and some contented Scottish black-face sheep, all set within a rocky shoreline dotted with traditional fisherman’s carrelets. More: www.ilemadame.com

Ride on the peaceful riverbanks of the Gartempe or Vienne


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26 | living event 2020’s unplanned re-schedule will miss our sunflowers

2007 Stage 18: Sandy Casar, Michael Boogerd, Laurent Lefevre and Axel Merckx sprint through Dignac (16)

The Grand Tour

In September our region will welcome one of the world’s greatest sporting events, so it’s time to celebrate the Tour de France Words: Roger Moss

P

erhaps more than any other nation, France has maintained an enduring love affair with the bicycle, so it’s entirely logical that for well over a century competitive cycling’s toughest challenges should have taken place on French soil. The testosterone-fuelled power struggles between various teams and their star riders would alone be enough to generate worldwide interest, but there’s another key factor which helps

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 contact@contefilles.com Chez Grimaud - 16480 Chillac www.contefilles.com

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keep millions of people across the globe glued to the their TV screens for hours each day, year after year, for the length of the tour: the French landscape. TV coverage follows the Tour’s progress through a seemingly endless succession of settings, revealing something which those of us who call it home already know, namely that France is more like a continent than a single country. The peloton might be seen beside a stretch of coastline, then riding for miles between


living event | 27 2019 Stage 20: Britain’s Geraint Thomas, congratulates Colombia’s Egan Bernal as they cross the finish line

left: © ROGER MOSS; ABOVE: © Pauline Ballet; RIGHT: ® A.BROADWAY

fields of sunflowers and cereal crops before slipping into another region, where the scenery undergoes dramatic changes. Anything is possible, and along the way we also see towns, villages and cities whose architectural styles reflect startling regional and cultural diversity. Add the drama of classic climbs in the Alps, Pyrenees and other mountain ranges and you have all the ingredients for compulsive viewing. Nothing quite compares to being right there in the thick of it, though, as we can see from the fever-pitch behaviour of the crowds who line the route, or the growing numbers who follow the Tour each year in their camper vans. Happily, this year we’ll have an opportunity to stake out our own place at the roadside with no need to set off on a long drive – we’ve outlined the stages taking place in our region, to help you plan your own vantage point.

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28 | living event

Believe it or not... In 1903: The very first Tour de France began on the afternoon of 1 July, when sixty cyclists lined up in Paris to tackle an epic 467km opening stage ending in Lyon. First across the finishing line was Maurice Garin, whose time of 17hrs, 45min and 13 seconds clearly caught the race officials by surprise, since he arrived before they did. In 1904: The second event produced some highly creative cheating, with riders holding onto motor vehicles or even travelling sections of the route by train. As a result the first four to finish were disqualified, although the official results weren’t announced until five months later, for fear of reprisals. In 1905: Anxious to thwart passionate fans’ efforts to help their heroes cheat by holding other riders back (or even assaulting them with clubs and stones) event organisers revised the route, adding an experimental mountain stage in Alsace. In 1909: François Fabier ran the final kilometre of a stage between Grenoble and Nice while pushing his bike, after breaking a chain. The following day he was blown off his bike twice by strong winds on the Col de Porte, before being knocked down by a horse. Undaunted, he went on to win the Tour. In 1910: True high-altitude stages were added with a 326km stage in the Pyrenees between Luchon and Bayonne, via the Col de Peyressourde (1569m), Col d’Aspin (1498m), Col du Tourmalet (2115m) and the Col d’Aubisque (1709m). The winner, Octave Lapize of France, completed the gruelling stage in just over 14 hours – around 7 hours ahead of the last rider. Amazingly, these early bikes had just two gears, and changing gear involved removing and turning the back wheel to use a different cog on the opposite side of the hub. In 1913: While descending the Col du Tourmalet Eugène Christophe’s forks broke. He then ran down the mountain, carrying his bike for 14km until he reached a blacksmith. After spending over four hours effecting his own repairs, race officials awarded him a 10 minute time penalty because the blacksmith’s apprentice had operated the forge bellows. In 1919: The Tour’s longest-ever stage was contested, from Les Sables-d’Olonne to Bayonne – 482km. In 1921: To prove to officials that he had replaced a component through necessity, rather than as an outlawed modification, Léon Scieur rode for 200km with a damaged wheel strapped to his back. He won the Tour but suffered permanent scarring. In 1929: Spectators watched open-mouthed, with the rest of the peloton, as five riders raced and narrowly beat an express train steaming towards a level crossing.

Official Tour souvenirs are irresistible

Where to catch theTour

> Sun 6 Sept (154km):

Stage 9: After setting off from Pau the route is relatively flat, passing through Côte d’Artiguelouve, Lasseube, Oloron-Sainte-Marie and Lanne-en-Barétois. It then climbs to Col de la Hourcère (1440m) and the Col de Soudet (1540m), before descending to Arette and LourdoisIchère. The next climb is to the Col de Marie Blanque (1035m), descending to Bilhères-en-Ossau for the final race to the finishing line in Laruns.

> Wed 9 Sept (167km):

Stage 11: It’s back to ChâtelaillonPlage for the departure, then via La Jarne, Forges, Virson and Benon to La Grève-sur-Mignon. Once in Deux-Sèvres the route passes through Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud, Sansais, Coulon, Saint-Maxire, Échiré, Cherveux, Saint-Maixent-l’École, Exireuil, Chantecorps, Vausseroux and Vasles, entering Vienne for the run past Vouneuil-sous-Biard to the finish in Poitiers les Couronneries.

> Mon 7 Sept (Rest Day): > Thur 10 Sept (218km); The teams will be unwinding at unspecified locations in Charente-Maritime.

> Tue 8 Sept (170km):

Stage 10: After leaving Château d’Oléron and crossing the pont-viaduc to the mainland the riders will pass through Marennes, La Tremblade, La Palmyre, Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and Royan, then head north via Jaffé, L’Éguille, Nieulle-sur-Seudre, Saint-Just, Brouage and Moëze into Rochefort. The final section then hugs the coastline towards Châtelaillon-Plage and into La Rochelle, before heading across to Rivedoux-Plage and the finishing line at Saint-Martin-de-Ré.

Stage 12: The longest stage of the tour begins in Chauvigny, passing through Leignes-surFontaine, Montmorillon, LathusSaint-Rémy, entering HauteVienne north of Le Dorat. The route continues via Droux, Roussac, Saint-Pardoux, Ambazac, SaintMartin-de-Terressus, SaintLéonard-de-Noblat, Eybouleuf, Saint-Bonnet-Briance, Linards, La Croisille, Surdoux, before crossing into Corrèze and climbing to Sucre-au-May (908m), dropping to Chaumeil for the run to the finish in the small village of Sarran. For descriptions of all stages see: www.letour.fr/en/and click Route.

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living promotion | 29

Le Ruffecois revealed

Good De a Vouche ls r

River Charente at Lichères

R

uffec is a friendly market town with a huge 12th century Romanesque church – pick up a brochure revealing over 27 remarkable Romanesque churches from tourist offices. To the southwest lies one of the most important concentrations of neolithic monuments in all France. Here 6,000 year-old dolmens and tumuli (ancient burial sites) are gradually being excavated and faithfully restored by researchers to their original appearance. Key locations include Vervant, Tusson and Fontenille. Close by are three characterful villages to discover: Tusson preserves the 15th century residence used by Marguerite de Navarre, sister of King François I; Nanteuil-en-Vallée’s abbey was founded in 780 and the village has medieval timber-framed houses and an arboretum; Verteuil-surCharente has a huge fairytale chateau Follow signed cycling routes

Over 20 discoun ts to use in visit site s or for leisu re activit es is available in the Ru ffec Tourist O ffice in Mansle & Ruffec

The River Charente meanders among gardens, ancient monuments & Romanesque treasures – the perfect place to discover secret France

Saint-Amantde-Bonnieure’s Romanesque church

beside the River Charente. A few km further south is the lovingly restored 12/15th century Château de Bayers. The village of Saint-Fraigne’s church interior has Historic Monument decoration by Louis Mazetier. Near Paizay-Naudouin Embourie are the Château de Saveilles, an elegant 14th century fortified residence, and the Châteliers Gallo-Roman villa, with an antique garden. In the Charente valley south of Mansle lies the 12th century abbey of Saint-Amant-de-Boixe. See things differently with a relaxing canoe/ kayak journey on the beautiful River Charente – there are hire points at Mansle, Réjallant and Taizé-Aizie. New for 2020 are the 9 heritage and nature walks around ‘les Villes et Villages Fleuris‘ supporting the environment and biodiversity. Find them at La Faye, Mansle, Moutonneau, Ruffec, SaintFraigne, Saint-Groux, Verteuil-surCharente, Vouharte and Xambes. Finally, don’t miss our summer brocante and producers’ markets in our towns and villages, 2 CV car hire in Montignac, donkey walks plus horse and carriage rides, or the five Inspector Rando fun trails for children – booklets are available for 1€ from tourist offices.

1

More info

Office de Tourisme Ruffec: 05 45 31 05 42 Office de Tourisme Mansle: 05 45 20 39 91 www.ruffecois-tourisme.com accueil@ruffecois-tourisme.com Pays Ruffécois Tourisme

8 great Gardens 4

Bioussac’s Parc de l’Abrègement has installation works by renowned artists Andy Goldsworthy & Antony Gormley. In the village of Bioussac are fantastic creatures created from repurposed objects at the family-friendly Jard’Imagine. Nanteuil-en-Vallée’s Jardin de l’Agentor arboretum.

2

3

Verteuilsur-Charente

Le Jardin de la Rose in Ruffec with an amazing 226 varieties on display Tusson’s Jardin Médiéval Mansle’s Parc Floral J. P. Lanson Saint-Fraigne’s seasonal Jardins Éphémères feature fleeting gardens by artists & designers. Embourie’s Jardin Gallo-Romain

5 6 7 8

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30 | living STAYCATION Learning Arabic calligraphy in the markets of Marrakech

Every day started with a “flight” complete with baggage checks and passport control

A sushi feast in Japan is easier to prepare than you’d think!

See the world

If you’re missing the freedom to visit far-away places, Jessica Knipe might just have the answer.

W

Hot dogs and Bud beer at Wrigley Field, Chicago

www.livingmagazine.fr

ho else was going to write that great novel during lockdown? Or reorganise the entire house? Perhaps you were going to make the most of the time at home to finally learn a new language? If you’re like me, you started the recent period of forced isolation full of good intentions, but the only thing you actually got accomplished was keeping the kids fed, washed and relatively up-to-date on their multiplication tables. But aside from those thwarted ideas of self-improvement (as I discovered, when I said “if only I had the time to tidy everything thoroughly”, it wasn’t actually time that I was lacking…), the

one major thing that we have all had to give up is any dream we had for a long, culturally-exotic holiday in a country far away. If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that as well as those eye-opening, soul-boosting experiences, far-flung international trips also bring with them a fair number of problems. And anyway, even if I didn’t care about their impact on the planet, the borders are closed now, for who knows how long. As it turns out, though, the virus has also taught us to be resourceful, to make do with what we have lying around the house, and to see the positives in every situation. Let’s not forget that in the age of the internet we


living STAYCATION | 31

In Seville the kids made their own fans out of paper plates Making a ‘Statue of Liberty’ crown

(without leaving home) don’t actually need to go anywhere to get our culture fix, and thanks to a relatively large choice of ingredients available, we can even sample most foods from the comfort of our own home. That’s why, frustrated that I wouldn’t be able to take the “trip of a lifetime” that I had been promised for a significant birthday this year, I decided to make the most of the absolute explosion of creative outlets online to take the kids on a round-the-world holiday, from within the safety of our home. The premise was easy enough: each day, we would visit a city on the map, anywhere at all, with no consideration for jet-lag or the hours needed to travel there. YouTube has a surprisingly large selection of videos of flights taking off and landing, seen from the cockpit or from a passenger seat, so we even

“Each day, we would visit a city on the map, anywhere at all, with no consideration for jet-lag”

had an accurate experience of what it would actually be like to land there. We “flew” all over the place, and I sometimes thought the kids enjoyed making their own passports, packing their suitcases and climbing aboard Corona Airways (our two sofas reshuffled to sit one behind the other) more than the destinations themselves. The in-flight meals on tiny trays might have helped, of course. Upon arrival we made the most of the huge amount of virtual content

LA FERME de la Vallée des CerFs

available to visit museums and monuments, used music streaming services to hear playlists of local sounds, and cooked typical local meals with whatever ingredients we had available to us. We explored the fantastic virtual collections of London’s British Museum and New York’s MOMA, took a rickshaw ride through the streets of Tokyo and watched a flamenco performance by Sara Baras. We saw a performance of Treasure Island at the National Theatre, an improv show at Second City and had a Studio Ghibli marathon in Tokyo. It wasn’t all virtual though – as much as possible, we scavenged the house for items that would make us feel like we were there. For our trip to Marrakech, two runs on the sewing machines soon converted old bed sheets into kaftans,

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32 | living STAYCATION Mini Lady Liberty in New York

A trip to Morocco wouldn’t be complete without some time at the hammam

Oscar learns to write his name in arabic

and an old clothes rack hung with tablecloths turned the living room into the souk on Jemaa el-Fna. A race with the kids to find anything with a cactus or coloured blue transformed the garden into the Jardin de Majorelle, where we sat drinking green mint tea, listening to the sounds of the oud while we painted our names, which we had translated online into Arabic… if it wasn’t as good as being there in person, it wasn’t far off! Within the space of a week we travelled from France to London, Morocco and Seville, before heading transatlantic to Chicago and New York. Our trip ended in Tokyo, and we came back as fresh and rested as the day we’d left. We ate tagines to the sound of the muezzin one day, tapas with a show of freshly-mastered flamenco the

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“We travelled from France to London, Morocco and Seville, before heading transatlantic to Chicago and New York” next, and then enjoyed hot dogs and a Budweiser with a game of baseball at Wrigley Field before a feast of homemade sushi (turns out, it’s totally achievable at home). The kids got a real education and I got a well-deserved bubble of escapism, with none of the fatigue of jet-lag, none of the expense of flights and restaurants and none of the stress of avoiding the germs of a worldwide pandemic. We are living through a very odd time right now, but with a little creativity and a good internet connection, the world really can still be your oyster.

Salmorejo, tortilla and croquettes for a tapas dinner in Spain

Beautiful riverside development of 1, 2 & 3 bed apartments. A conversion project of a historic building into 49 new luxurious apartments on the borders of the Vienne river, in the charming and scenic city of Confolens. This is your chance to own a piece of true French living, fully customised to suit your taste and needs. Move-in-ready, with prices for a studio with Residents will enjoy a home finished with the most up-to-date specifications mezzanine room from • Stunning river views • Heated swimming pool • Remote control home technology €87,000, a one bedroom • Light, airy rooms • Bicycle parking room • Lift access to all upper floors starting at €99,500 and • High ceilings • Double glazing • 24/7 security cameras two bedrooms from • Stylish bathrooms • Efficient heating • Intratone entry system €139,500 - Mention • Modern kitchens • Gym & sauna • Remote control gate you saw us in 'Living' • Parquet floors • Sound insulation • Beautifully landscaped garden • Wooden windows • Allocated car parking and courtyard magazine to enjoy more • Stylish paneled doors space for each home • On-site concierge special offers!

Contact our sales team for more info on personalising your new home in France www.zedimmobilier.com/ info@zedimmobilier.com/ +33 (0)6 38 21 59 38


living STAYCATION | 33 Where are we going to next?

It’s always more fun to wear a yukata to visit Japan

Close to home

You don’t need to choose far away locations to get your fill of fascinating and exciting experiences at home. Here are our favourite virtual activities to make the most of in the region…

Visit a museum

There’s nothing like seeing a work of art up close, but swanning through a museum’s collection without the foot ache has its upsides too. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Pau has digitised its collection for all to enjoy online (bit.ly/ lmmbapau), and in Gironde, there are over 8,000 works to discover thanks to the online collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (bit.ly/ lmmbaba).

Learn about local history

The best way to learn is through play, and there are tons of great games to help you navigate the region’s treasures, such as the online board game created by the Refuge de Grasla, the historical reconstruction of a village in 1794 (bit.ly/lmgresla). You could also see what’s like to

become Athanas Carteau, a “poilu” in the first world war, thanks to the “Serious Game” written by the EDAP in Vendée (bit.ly/lmedap). Or if you fancy something lighter, the Puy du Fou will teach you one of the choreographies from its shows, available via its Facebook page. Braver lockdown travellers could even learn how to fight like a gladiator! The Centre de Minier de Faymoreau (bit.ly/lmcmven) will give you the tools to recreate the conditions of a mine in your own home (minus the mess!) and for a complete, in-depth discovery of the Nouvelle Aquitaine from the peanuts of Souston to the beaches of Bayonne, the minds behind the always entertaining Terra Aventura have created an online Escape game for explorers who were frustrated by their physical geocache sites being down (bit.ly/lmteav).

Catch a show

Just because you aren’t leaving the house, doesn’t mean you can’t get your glad rags on and catch yourself some culture. The Opéra de Bordeaux has been streaming its performances for those stuck at home on their Facebook page, as has the Opéra de Limoges via YouTube. The Cité du Vin is also streaming the diverse list of its cultural calendar. Try their sound naps, a 15-minute relaxing soundtrack created to help you take a quiet break. While it prepares for its pared back, reduced audience concerts in August, the 1001 Notes Festival has been streaming its concerts on YouTube for all to enjoy, and film lovers will be able to attend the Festival du Film de Contis in their pyjamas, as it will be streamed online this year (bit.ly/lmcinc). Who says you need to go out to get the good stuff?

For bookings please call: + 33 (0) 5 45 89 67 00 7th July - 20th September Le tour du monde en 80 objets

Summer Programme A rch i t e c t u ra l Pa r k To u r | R i ve r s i d e M i l l C a f e | S e a s o n a l E x h i b i t i o n | C o n f e re n c e s a n d E ve n t s

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1939-1945 - WWII MUSEUM

Wanted Quality Properties! Selling houses not just marketing them since 2002

LE BUNKER La Rochelle

300m 2

Near the Vieux Marché, visit an authentic bunker! Discover the history of La Rochelle from 1939 to 1945 through a themed, chronological tour with: - explanation panels illustrated with photos - videos with archive images - numerous historical objects and plans - recreated scenes with mannequins - special bunker for U-Boat officers

Open daily from 10h to 19h Adults 8€ - Children (5-12 years) 6€ 8 rue des Dames - La Rochelle Tel: 05 46 42 52 89

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Contact Nigel & Kim Cowles Tel: 05 49 27 01 22 Mob: 06 77 97 93 68 nigel@allez-francais.com

www.allez-francais.com


living places to visit | 35

Cloistered Calm

BrantômE

Climb the oldest campanile in all France, then discover the ancient caverns behind the site

charroux

The 37m high octagonal Tour Charlemagne is the former lantern tower of a once-vast abbey church

As recent events have reminded us, peace and tranquillity are priceless commodities – and they’re still to be found in sacred sites around the region.

T

hroughout many centuries of peace and occasional turmoil the medieval abbeys of France have sought to preserve the air of solace which those who built them originally intended. Conceived as places for peaceful contemplation, many have been lost along the way, but several hundred abbeys are still with us and fulfilling their intended role, so here’s a selection of some of the more interesting sites which we can now visit around our region.

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LA RÉAU

36 | living places to visit

BASSAC

The former Augustinian abbey complex, founded during the 12th century near Saint-Martin-l’Ars

Romanesque meets Gothic in the ancient abbey church

Bassac (16)

This largely 11th-13th century Benedictine abbey was founded in 1002 by the first Lord of Jarnac and his wife, who were buried here, and consecrated around 1015 by the Bishops of Angoulême and Saintes. It was attacked by Anglo-Gascon troops in 1434 during the Hundred Years War, pillaged by Protestants in 1564, relegated to become a parish church during the Revolution and received Monument Historique listing in 1880. You can discover its harmonious blend of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architectural styles either unaccompanied or during a 1 hour guided tour. Details: www.infiniment-charentes.com

abbey and accommodate the increasing numbers of pilgrims bound for Santiago de Compostela. Today tourist office guided tours reveal the 15th century abbey-église interior (still with the precious relics brought by Charlemagne) and enables visitors to climb the oldest campanile in all France for overviews of the abbey, the town rooftops and beyond them the ancient forests of northern Dordogne. Details: www.perigord-dronne-belle.fr

Cadouin (24)

Behind the vast timeworn western façade lies a Romanesque/Gothic abbey church consecrated in 1154 before becoming a Cistercian monastery. The interior is relatively austere, apart from some vibrant stained glass and foliated capitals, but the adjoining cloisters are spectacular, with frescoes, flamboyant Gothic tracery and vaulting plus another curiosity. For centuries pilgrims came to view a shroud said

Brantôme (24)

Brantôme’s vast Benedictine abbey was founded on the banks of the River Dronne in AD769 and became a pilgrimage destination when Charlemagne donated relics of Saint Sicaire, one of the innocents massacred by Herod. Later Brantôme was attacked by Viking raiders, so the monks retreated to ancient caves behind the abbey. During the 11th century they provided limestone to enlarge the

CADOUIN

The sparsely-decorated exterior gives few hints of what lies within

www.hotel-valdevienne.com

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Join us, Melanie and Jean-Christophe, at our delightful Hotel de Charme on the banks of the Vienne. Relax in our outdoor, heated swimming pool and our on-site restaurant open to guests (and friends) for dinner Mon-Sat (7-9pm, reservation recommended). Daily Menu du Jour featuring regional specialities. Mon-Thu: 3-course meal 22€, Fri & Sat: 25€ 1 hour from Poitiers, close to Le Vigeant race track. Event venue hosting up to 44 people - weddings / meetings and more.

Subscribe today Welcome drink offered to all guests booking through LIVING! > see page 5 www.livingmagazine.frPort de Salles 86150 Le Vigeant | Tel: 05 49 48 27 27 contact@hotel-restaurant-valdevienne.com

Superb location on the bay of Saint Tropez! Quiet, shady site with easy beach access and new aquatic centre. Only 5 mins stroll to Port Grimaud with waterways and canals to explore. The ideal holiday for all the family.


living places to visit | 37

Saint-Savinsur-Gartempe

The slender 78m spire rises from a site founded on the riverbank in 800

to bear the impression of the head of Christ. The visits ceased in 1936, after the shroud was finally dated conclusively to around 1100. It has recently undergone restoration, but a facsimile is displayed instead. Details: abbaye-de-cadouin.com

Fontdouce (17)

recognised its historic importance, have restored the remaining largely-Gothic architecture and the idyllic landscapes (part of which is dedicated to a familyfriendly activity park) which surround it. Details: www.fontdouce.com

LA RÉAU (86)

Founded as a monastery in 1111, it extended both its territories and influence substantially with the patronage of Alienor d’Aquitaine. After suffering damage during the Wars of Religion it was sold during the Revolution and became a farming estate. Today the owners’ descendants, who

The former Abbaye-Royale Notre-Dame de La Réau stands in a remote, peaceful setting beside the River Clain in the ancient province of Haut-Poitou. Signs of hasty fortifications around the site survive to tell of attacks by English forces during the Hundred Years War in 1372. The largely 17th century monastic buildings have been

preserved and the atmospheric interiors reopened to visitors. Details: abbayeroyaledelareau.com

Ligugé (86)

The oldest-known abbey in Gaul was founded during the 4th century by Saint Martin and later became a priory, which did not emerge unscathed from the Hundred Years War. The 16th century abbey church was constructed by Geoffroi d’Estissac (a close friend of Rabelais) who became Bishop of Maillezais. Today 25 monks continue to celebrate mass with Gregorian chants. Visit details: www.tourisme-vienne.com

Domaine du Pompinaud Gîte, Rooms, Table d’Hôtes

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> see our directory page 62

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Newly opened in great location where the Périgord, Limousin and Charente meet. 3 comfortable chambre d’hôtes rooms or rent the property as a gîte in low season. Adapted for reduced mobility, shared pool, independent access. Delicious regional meals a speciality - confit, magrets, rillettes. Animals welcome by prior agreement, stables & paddock available for horses.

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38 | living places to visit

SAINTES

The magnificent Abbaye-aux-Dames was founded in 1047

Maillezais (85)

The former 10th-15th century abbey church became a cathedral in 1317 and its monks began the process of draining the surrounding marshes to create the Marais Poitevin. During the Revolution it was sold for its stone, but gained Monument Historique status in 1924. Today many sections are still visible among the romantic ruins, along with sections of the old quays, beside which you can hire a boat to explore the waterways. Details: www.sitesculturels.vendee.fr

Saint-Amand-de-Coly (24)

This haunting Romanesque-meetsGothic abbey church was constructed by Augustinian monks during the 12th-13th century to protect their monastery. To get the point across, its heavily fortified tower was pierced by arrow slits (while within there’s a gallery for secondary defences). In 1575 it survived a Huguenot siege including six days of cannon bombardment. Today there’s a peaceful serenity to the simple interior, which slopes steadily upwards to the altar. Details:

survivor from an Augustinian abbey founded by a monk from Fontevraud, but ruined during the Wars of Religion. Classified as a Monument Historique in 1948, the Romanesque abbey church is being lovingly restored by an association who have launched a public fundraising campaign. The west façade has been completed and work continues elsewhere on the site, which sits among cognac vineyards. Details:

www.colysaintamand.fr

soutenir.fondation-patrimoine.org

Saint-Brice (16)

Saintes (17)

The 12th century Notre-Damede-l’Assomption de Châtres is a

SAINT-AMAND-DE-COLY

Périgord’s finest fortified église, a survivor from a once-grandiose abbey at Saint-Amand-de-Coly

The vast Romanesque Abbaye aux Dames (in which young ladies of noble families were educated during the 17th-18th centuries) was consecrated in 1047 and ravaged during the Wars of Religion. After the Revolution it served as a convent, a prison and a military barracks, before being reconsecrated in 1939. Today the extensive and beautifully restored site is a magnificent setting for classical music performances during the annual Festival de Saintes. Details:

Saint-Savin-surGartempe (86)

The monastic site was founded in 800 with patronage from Charlemagne. Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the vaults of the 17m-high interior are adorned with 460m2 of vibrant 11th - 12th century frescoes, and there are more in the crypt. The exterior is equally impressive and crowned with a slender Gothic spire rising 78m above the leafy banks of the River Gartempe. Details: www.abbaye-saint-savin.fr

Maillezais

The romantic ruins of an important abbey complex stood amid marshland drained by monks to create the Marais Poitevin

www.abbayeauxdames.org

Abbeys, Monasteries & Priories...

In simple terms, an abbey is the seat of a religious community presided over by an abbot. Most influential was the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, founded in 910 by Duke William I of Aquitaine, and which rose to become the most important religious and financial institution in France. A monastery is home to a community which maintains a strict ‘ascetic’ regime of

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austere self-denial and rigorous religious devotion. Its devotees are typically monks, who can again be headed by an abbot. The first priories were established as outlying subsidiaries of the Abbey of Cluny. In time priories might contain communities of Augustinian, Benedictine, Carmelite, Cistercian, Dominican, Trappist and other friars or nuns.


living promotion | 39

SSAFA TO SUPPORT MILITARY COMMUNITY FOLLOWING BRITAIN’S EXIT FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is supporting the British military community in France following Britain’s exit from the European Union. SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity has been awarded a grant of £295,000 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to assist British nationals in countries across Europe, including France, as Britain exits the European Union. The funding is designed to allow SSAFA to provide practical support to UK veterans who may struggle to complete the necessary paperwork to maintain their right to be a resident in the country where they live now, such as France. The funding will provide support until March 2021 to the Armed Forces community in France, Germany and Cyprus. The Government fund aims to help

those that may struggle to complete the relevant paperwork such as those who need language translation. SSAFA’s support is in addition to guidance provided by British Embassies and High Commissions. Now, there are a number of particular challenges in France. Firstly, as mentioned in RIFT’s latest report, the number of British citizens who are resident in France is unknown, with current estimates between 150,000 to 400,000. Secondly, because registering for residency has been optional for EU nationals in France for a number of years, many British citizens are not familiar with French systems, or may have concerns about or struggle to understand the requirements of legal residence under free movement law. To receive support, or find out more email UKVIE.Support@ssafa.org.uk or call our Freephone line on: +33 (0)805 11 96 17.

* RIFT, RIFT Sounds the Alarm Bell for Brexit British in France, 2020, March 2020, page 4.

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40 | practical living

<< BUSINESS&money

Working through the Lockdown We speak to local business owners about the impact of the recent confinement...

JOANNA leggett leggett immobilier We used the time during lockdown to source PPE, rearrange our offices and create new working protocols. We have introduced one-way systems to our office space as well as ensuring social distancing, with some internal doors removed entirely. We’ve also made extensive use of electronic signatures, a trend that is set to explode. Throughout lockdown, we were offering “virtual” tours of our property listings to

potential buyers. We are now able to undertake real life visits and the market has gone mad. We had more offers accepted on properties in one June week than in any time during our 21 years of trading! Our visits are undertaken with the greatest of care. We make sure that the vendor is OK to receive visitors and we ask buyers to limit numbers, travel in their own car, make sure that they have no symptoms as well as asking them to wear PPE and to use hand sanitiser. www.leggett-immo.com

MARTIN DIX BRICO 16 We run a paint colour-matching service and, since colours change with the light, we’ve always had customers coming in and out all the time. The lockdown meant we had to look at all aspects of our business, from supply (our base paint is from the UK) to getting the paint to the customer. We increased our stocks of paints to overcome transport issues and started to supply paint to

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customers as the lockdown lifted. We’ve now put in place

Paul elliott ecopower europe We install heating and solar energy systems and so the lockdown stopped our sites overnight added to which the supply of parts dried up while the transport rules were worked through. Each year we review what we are selling against market opportunities and this year we had already been looking at wood burners for outdoors which are more environmentally friendly than gas-fired patio heaters. It was clear people would be staying at home for their holidays and investing in their outdoor spaces so we moved forward with our plans and are launching clean burn stoves.

My partner, Lindsey, has been finding partners so we can work together and we are confident that we will make back the revenue that we lost while unable to work. I’m back on sites now with social distancing in place and have a backlog of jobs to manage so the rest of this year is already looking busy. It’s been challenging but we now have a great new product line to sell. www.ecopowereurope.com

CARO FEELY chateau feely

We’re a vineyard, wine school and accommodation provider, all of which rely on people coming and trying our wines and staying

an appointment system and invested in signage, perspex shielding and PPE as well as adding a Drive service (call & collect). It takes a little getting used to, and it was frustrating not being able to get our paint to customers who wanted to repaint their homes during confinement! But overall, we’re happy with the way the business is now running and know that we are keeping our customers and ourselves safe. www.btpcrownpaints.com

here. As soon as the shutdown was discussed we knew we had to make changes and so we decided to accelerate our online plans. After some long days and nights, we launched 4 categories of virtual experiences - a wine discovery course with videos and documents, private virtual wine tasting parties where you join in from your own home, live events around wine and food pairing, and virtual corporate and team events. While setting them up was intensive, we are delighted with the uptake and we are reaching new markets that we couldn’t before. The experiences are a new line of business for us, one that will remain long after Coronavirus, and already some of our new virtual clients are planning to visit once they can travel safely. It’s a silver lining to this cloud. The grape harvest cannot be picked virtually, though, and so that is our next challenge! www.chateaufeely.com/virtual/


practical living | 41

Investment Portfolio Planning

Q

The coronavirus pandemic has seen the value of my investment portfolio fall. Should this cause me undue concern?

A

Nobody likes to see their investments reduce in value; however, as the widespread marketing from the Financial Conduct Authority always tells us: “The value of investments can go down as well as up”. This isn’t making light of what has happened, yet if we look at previous severe corrections within the stock market, we always see them recover once the issue has been addressed in the markets. This was evident in

the recession during the 1980s, the Hong Kong flu outbreak in 68/69, after 9/11, and after the financial crash of 2008. The investments we recommend are long-term, tax efficient products, which over their life are designed to deliver

that during a severe market fall the value of your investments is less affected. On a final note, it is worth recognising that financial wrappers such as Assurance Vies can also provide inheritance tax benefits should the worst happen. These multi-faceted features should be taken into account when assessing good returns. The fund managers the overall benefits your are experienced in their field investments are delivering. and know when and what assets If you have any concerns to buy. In some cases, the fund or questions regarding your managers undertake what we investment portfolio now is refer to as ‘smoothing’, which a good time to speak to your means that some of the profits financial adviser, via telephone from good times are saved so or video conferencing.

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; amanda.johnson@spectrum-ifa.com; www.spectrum-ifa.com/amanda-johnson. To register for their newsletter, attend a roadshow event or speak directly to Amanda, call or email her. There is no charge for their financial planning reviews, reports or recommendations. « The Spectrum IFA Group » is a registered trademark, exclusive rights to use in France granted to TSG Insurance Services S.A.R.L. Siège Social: 34 Bd des Italiens, 75009 « Société de Courtage d’assurances » R.C.S. Paris B 447 609 108 (2003B04384) Numéro d’immatriculation 07 025 332 - www.orias.fr « Conseiller en investissements financiers, référence sous le numéro E002440 par ANACOFI-CIF, association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers »

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Citizens’ rights after

BREXIT

Kathryn Dobson, member of British in Europe’s steering team and co-founder of France Rights, examines the latest developments for British nationals living in France We’re four years on from the referendum, half-way through the transition period, and yet there are still many unknowns...

RESIDENCY REGISTRATION The latest version of the online registration procedure was promised to launch in July but, at the last second, has now been delayed until October. So what do we know about the process? At France Rights, part of British in Europe, we know that the website and process are based on the no-deal model that almost went live last year. The décret detailing the conditions determining residency now that the Withdrawal Agreement has been signed is currently with the Conseil d’Etat to

WHERE TO FIND RELIABLE INFORMATION The French Government site is at brexit.gouv.fr. The UK Government continues to update its ‘Living in’ guide (gov.uk/living-in-france). Several groups on social media offer help but do check their legal expertise. Immigration law is a complex subject and advice can only be given by lawyers who carry professional liability insurance. Therefore, we recommend you get your information from expert sources such as British in Europe groups before referring to a lawyer, should you need individual advice. This is not the time to rely on enthusiastic amateurs. For quality, independent information focused on France, see France Rights at www.francerights.org or visit the Facebook page at FranceRights where the latest news will be shared.

www.livingmagazine.fr

Local préfectures will process online applications

approve and publish. So, for now we wait, scanning Légifrance, the legislation website, for news. It is important to remember that with all the talk around ‘no-deal’ at the moment, this is referring to ‘no trade deal’. The Withdrawal Agreements for Citizens’ Rights has been signed and is an international treaty that cannot be ignored. The information we have received so far reassures us that the process will be as straightforward as possible: • if you applied on the no-deal portal last year, you do not need to reapply, your original application will be processed • if you have an application pending with a préfecture, you will need to apply online unless you hear otherwise • if you already have an EU carte de séjour permanent, you will need to apply on line but it will be a much simplified process • all individuals aged 18 or over need to apply.

We are also assured that staff at préfectures will be generous in their application of the rules, and steps have been taken to reduce the variation in processing that we have seen to date (see the survey results below for details on applications processed by NouvelleAquitaine départements so far). In the meantime everyone is recommended to prepare their paperwork and understand the changes that will take place at the end of the year. To help, British in Europe has published a series of easy-to-understand guides about the rights contained within the Withdrawal Agreement, plus new guides based on the recently-published Guidance Note. They are all free to read and download on the website at www.britishineurope.org. Once the décret is issued, we will be publishing easy-to-understand Francespecific guides on www.francerights. org so sign up to our email newsletter or like our Facebook page to be kept in the loop.

While the application will be online, it will then be sent to your local préfecture to process. Only one visit to the préfecture will be required in order to take fingerprints (it looks like this will still be needed even if you have had your prints taken before). We continue to ask for this to be waived for those who are medically unable to attend.

FRANCE RIGHTS SURVEY In preparation for the launch of the registration process, France Rights ran a survey to find out how British residents feel about the new process. Shared across several platforms, 2,727 people took part and the results are not just interesting, but sobering too ... almost half of all respondents feel nervous to


living brexit | 43

UK Immigration BIll Jeremy Morgan, QC and vice chair of British in Europe, recently succeeded in getting an amendment to the Immigration Bill, drafted by British in Europe, put forward by the SNP. The amendment requested the rights of non-UK family members to return to the UK to continue under the same terms as now (known as Surinder Singh rights). Currently, under free movement laws, they can return to the UK with us. However, as things stand, if we return with non-UK family members after 29 March 2022, they will be subjected to the stringent domestic immigration regulations in force at the time, such as the need for the UK citizen to be earning over £18,600 per annum which, for inactive or self-employed individuals, will be difficult. Not only is this moving the goalposts for families but it puts UK citizens in the EU at a significant disadvantage compared to EU citizens in the UK who maintain their free movement rights to return to their country of origin with family members. The amendment was rejected by the Tory minister who appeared to misunderstand the basic premise but the SNP committed to amend and re-submit.

European Parliament Resolution The BiE advocacy team spent some weeks lobbying hard behind the scenes for amendments to be made to the crucial European Parliament resolution dealing with the EU’s current negotiations with the UK. Reflecting the increasingly fraught state of relations between the UK and EU, initial drafts of the resolution had left out any mention of UK citizens and only focused on problems with Britain’s treatment of EU citizens. Working closely with ‘the3million’, BiE pressed for reference to be made to UK citizens and ensured that the amendment was supported by four key committees including that chaired by David McAllister. The final resolution ‘urges the Member States to fully respect and protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement and to give them all the information they need and legal certainty about their situation and rights, including whether they are implementing a constitutive or a declaratory residence scheme’. It was adopted with 572 votes for, 34 votes against and 91 abstentions.

Advocacy by Zoom - representatives from British in Europe and ‘the3million’ lobbying to ensure that David McAllister, chair of the influential UK Coordination Group, supports an important amendment to the European Parliament resolution

Given that most British citizens are not EU citizens any longer and we have no MEPs, this ability to influence at the highest levels of government is a testament to the strong relationships built over the past 4 years and the partnership with ‘the3million’. Help British in Europe reach their fighting fund target of 100,000€ so they can continue to represent you. Donate today at bit.ly/BIEGFM .

www.britishineurope.org half of all respondents feel nervous to a greater or lesser degree about the application process that lies ahead, rising to 57% for those who have no current residence card. The survey results can be read at bit.ly/lmfrsurvey.

UK Nationals Support FUnd Following lobbying by British in Europe to the Foreign Office for funds to help individuals gain residency in their EU host state, a fund was set up last year. A total of three million pounds was set aside for organisations that could ‘deliver practical support to UK nationals and their family members to help them

complete the process of registering/ applying for residency in their host EU / EFTA state in the context of EU Exit’. Sadly, the surrounding financial requirements meant that BiE as a voluntary organisation, having fought for the fund itself, could not apply. However, two organisations covering some of this region were successful in their bids. • SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, have been awarded a grant to assist veterans in France, Germany and Cyprus (see page 39). • Dordogne-based Franco British Network (see page 21) have been awarded a grant for Dordogne residents.

The Institute of Migration (IOM), known for its work with refugees, received funding to support residents in Brittany, Normandy and Paris. But what about the rest of us? It appears there is no provision for vulnerable individuals outside these groups - you are recommended to ring the Embassy helpline. British in Europe has committed to monitoring the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and, as part of that, will be evaluating how this fund is helping those in need. The team is regularly called to give evidence to Parliament and will be doing so again on 30 June with an emphasis on France.

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44 | living family

Avec les enfants -----

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Whatever the world might have thrown at us recently, summer is back to remind us of life’s simple pleasures, and what’s not to love about the best season of the year? Usually it means blue skies and long sunny days – a time when evenings stretch out before us with the smell of barbecue smoke in the air, happy voices, laughter, a time when doors and windows are open and no-one worries too much about getting the children to bed at a civilised hour. It’s a time for kids to build camps and put

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up tents in the garden. And for many of us, summer also means the seaside, beaches, ice-creams and sand. In these unsettling times with the Covid cloud still lingering, this is fortunately the season when we can still enjoy so much, even if we’re still being rather cautious. If the crowded beaches aren’t your scene, or if you’re still feeling unsure about crowds, try heading inland. Find yourself a quiet stretch of river where you’re allowed to roam freely. Rafting, fishing, swimming and floating downstream... we love the simplicity and constant state of adventure that rivers and streams give us. Of all the local spots where we can get onto freshwater and float downstream, our favourite has to be Port d’Envaux (17). A charming village on the Charente just a few kilometres downstream of Saintes, it has a small, quaint main street with a slew of grand houses on one side that stretch down to the cool green water. Once a thriving and very prosperous river-traffic stop, it now throbs seasonably with its annual influx

of summer residents (even then there aren’t that many) and along the bank is a small business which rents out kayaks, paddleboards, and powered dinghies. For a few euros, it‘s easy to step into your chosen method of water transport and then take off in either direction to find your own piece of solitude. If you fancy trying out a stretch of river for yourself, we have some tips, the most important of which is to find a dry-bag – when you have children involved in wet pursuits you will need some protection for your phone, car keys, camera and dry clothing. It really is a necessity as a sea-battle somewhere on the reaches of the river is only too common an occurrence, as I learnt to my cost one summer when I ventured too close as the official ‘photographer’ during one skirmish. It’s all too easy to be drawn into the action as either an unwilling participant or as a means of protection, and a quick capsize is the inevitable result! A second piece of advice is to remember that you will all be wet when you get back into your car. We use our damp towels on top of our reusable shopping bags to protect our seats from water stains on the ride home. It’s a small tip, but a handy one to know... Swimming in the river is always different from the sea. It‘s a much more


living family | 45

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primeval pursuit, and takes me back to my childhood in England when on hot days long stretches of pebbly banks along small rivers would be home to people with lilos and inner tubes, rubbing toes with dace and roach, as reeds nodded along the banks. Just as it was then, so it is also wise now to note where cows graze and muddy the water, but otherwise there is little to fear from nature. Just keep an eye out for water-skiers, a rare but occasional hazard. We also thoroughly recommend keeping on at all times the flotation jackets provided by the

boat-hirer. One can then concentrate on the ‘joy of cold’ far more. However, if the ocean is calling you then you really are spoilt for choice. For us a day on the beach nearly always involves boards: skim boards, boogie boards, renting a paddleboard... there’s something about boards and teenagers! We’re not a family to lie in the sun for hours on end; we love the water and we love activity. Even on the sand it has to be a game of ball, skittles, you name it, but there is always something sporty involved. All along the Charente-Maritime coastline there are numerous places that rent kayaks and paddle boards and the calmer waters of the Gironde Estuary provide another perfect setting.

At the end of the day, wherever we’ve been, we head home, happy family and happy friends. We fling open the doors of the house once more, the kitchen spills out onto the terrace, the floor is once again covered in a fine sprinkling of sand, while glasses clink. Someone lights the firepit. Someone else heads down to the potager to pick some salad and tomatoes and the merry-go-round starts again. The summer holidays here really are the best. For us it’s a ‘staycation’, but then there really is nowhere else we’d want to be.

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 Oasis.com.

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If you have time on your hands, why not tackle our unique crossword set by Mike Morris. Once you have found all the answers the theme will be revealed, but if you get stuck you can get some help from the answers on page 72.

admirer has lost his head? (4) 22. Literally, someone we 10 might hang about for? (5) 23. Fellows closing down student 13 fund-raising event; the monsters! (7) 24. Talking is over, cannot be 12 re-recorded. (12)

ACROSS 1. Pirate, rider of the waves, is getting on and keeping up? (6, 6) 7. Remarkably, must have drunk ale, but has certain charms? (7) 9. All a man can do to control a ruminant? (5) 10. Component of Zeppelin is the first of parts to be installed on time? (4) 11. Spotted having a quick drink in the confines of schoolyard? (7) 12. Famous model loses weight, a consequence of ingredient of seafood diet? (6) 14. Reformer of chronicle? (6) 17. Old receiver has hidden tape recorder on the French ship? (8) 19. It’s finished for him; the

Down 1. Put your foot down to give power on the road? (5) 2. Stay-at-home fencer making a move over nothing? (7) 3. Missing start of temperature, as always? (4) 4. Crowd pleaser into new form of back-sliding? (7) 5. The French may get into the Spanish mode of contact? (5) 6. Having initiated hearing all next day’s lawyers’ evidence, sign off with this? (6) 8. Reportedly this locality is worth seeing? (4) 12. Wise man is in a position to cover the bet; what waste of human life! (6)

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13. Cocktail to get the party going with a bang? (7) 15. I love almost all being given treatment for cavities? (7) 16. American newspaperman exploited? (4)

18. Receiver being in front in tennis match in port? (5) 20. Siren going off when the cake is ready? (5) 21. American investigator given thanks for info? (4)

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46 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Sometimes old and trusted favourites are what is needed. Nikki takes a look back at some of the recipes that have proved to be popular with LIVING readers...

Nikki Legon's

Favourite

Living

cuisine

recipes

Fig, Caramelised Onion and Goat's Cheese Tart

Fig, Caramelised Onion and Goat’s Cheese Tart Pastry case 250g plain flour 125g unsalted diced cold butter 2 egg yolks large pinch of salt very cold water if needed Filling 6 white onions, sliced finely 4 goat’s cheese logs 1 handful crushed walnuts 5 or 6 figs depending on size honey to drizzle

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METHOD Put the flour and butter into a large baking bowl, rub the butter and flour together until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the egg yolks and pinch of salt and, using a knife, stir together. Roll into a ball, if the pastry feels dry add a touch of water. Pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature before rolling out. Line a 23cm flan dish with the pastry and place in the fridge for 30 minutes before blind baking for 20 minutes. Any additional pastry can be frozen for another time. Cook the onions in a little oil and butter for around 40 minutes until golden. Line the base of the tart with the onions. Cut each goat’s cheese into 4 and sit around

the tart facing upwards. Crumble the walnuts over and top with the halved figs, skin side down. Place a round of cooking parchment over the top of the tart and cook for10 minutes at 190°C. Removing the parchment, drizzle with a little runny honey and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Crostini serves 6

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar 3 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp light brown sugar 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed 2 tsp thyme leaves salt and pepper to taste 30 small tomatoes


living nikki legon’s cuisine | 47 Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted Tomato & Ricotta Crostini 6 slices of pain de campagne 1 large clove of garlic for toasts 500g ricotta cress for decoration Method In a large bowl add the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, and garlic, mix well. Add the thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Add the tomatoes and turn well, then pour onto a lipped baking sheet and bake at 200°C for about 25 minutes. Toast the bread and, using a fork, pierce the clove of garlic and rub over the hot toasts. Spread the ricotta over the toasts and place 5 roasted tomatoes on each. Sprinkle with cress and the pan juices.

Cauliflower Steaks with Ginger, Turmeric & Cumin Roast a cauliflower with health boosting spices as a main meal or side dish. Serve with salad or place it on top of the spicy rice. 1 cauliflower a little oil for frying 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp grated ginger 1 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp ground turmeric

Sticky Chicken Wings 1kg chicken wings or thighs

Sticky Chicken Wings

For the marinade ½ tsp sesame oil 2 tbsp lime juice 2 tbsp white wine 60ml soy sauce 2 tbsp honey 60ml tomato ketchup 2 tbsp hoisin sauce 2 tbsp oyster sauce 2 tbsp chilli paste 4 cloves of garlic, minced 1 tbsp minced ginger ½ tsp five spice powder

Method Preheat the oven to 200°C. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stem. Cutting from the top either side of the middle, cut out 2 thick steaks and season each steak with salt and pepper. Heat a little oil and a knob of butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Sear the cauliflower steaks for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Gently remove the steaks to a baking sheet. Whisk together 1 tbsp of olive oil with the ginger, cumin and turmeric and brush this onto the steaks. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until tender.

For the garnishes 1 tbsp sesame seeds finely chopped chives lemon quarters METHOD Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or zip lock bag. Add the chicken and coat well, leave aside for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Shake excess marinade off wings and place on baking tray, keeping the remaining marinade for basting. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, basting twice and pouring the remaining marinade over for the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chives and serve with the lemon quarters.

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48 | living nikki legon’s cuisine Quinoa and White Bean Burger

Quinoa and White Bean Burger 1 cup quinoa 2 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme 2 cups water salt and pepper 250g mushrooms

Chicken Xacutti Serves 4

1 whole chicken, skinned and cut into small pieces, or eight chicken thighs for four people

3 shallots, peeled 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp cumin powder 2 tsp chilli powder (optional) 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped 400g butter or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 3 to 4 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs 2 tbsp mayonnaise

METHOD Combine the water and quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add the thyme before leaving to go cold. In a food processor, add the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, cumin and chilli. Pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add a little oil to the frying pan and cook the pulsed mix for two minutes, add the fresh coriander, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place into a large bowl leave to cool. In the food processor, pulse the beans to just break them up. Add the beans, cooked quinoa and breadcrumbs to the bowl and mix with the mayonnaise. Form this mixture into patties and chill for 2 hours minimum. The best way to cook these is in a frying pan with a little oil. Fry for around 4 minutes each side on a medium heat.

Chicken Xacutti

For the marinade paste 1 whole garlic, cloves peeled 30g ginger, peeled 3 green chillies 1 handful chopped, fresh coriander leaves 1½ tsp salt For the dry spice powder 8 cloves 1½ sticks cinnamon 5 cardamom pods 1½ tsp aniseed 1½ tsp poppy seeds ½ nutmeg, grated 3 star anise For the curry 4 tbsp oil 4 onions medium, chopped 4½ tbsp coriander powder 85g coconut, grated

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12 garlic cloves peeled and crushed 1 tsp turmeric powder 2 tsp red chilli powder 1 handful of fresh coriander leaves and stalks, chopped 1 tin coconut milk METHOD Place the marinade ingredients in a blender and mix to a paste. Marinate the chicken in the paste for a minimum

of 2 hours or overnight if possible. Fry the spice powder ingredients (except for the poppy seeds) in a dry frying pan, making sure you do not burn the spices. You only need to heat gently to bring out the flavours and release the oils. Then grind to a fine powder. Add 4 tbsp of oil to a large frying pan, add all of the onions and fry until golden brown. Then add 2 tbsp of coriander powder and fry for another


Baked New York Baked quails Cheesecake with Sticky Cherries

minute. Remove from the heat and set aside, split the onions in half and reserve half for later. Lightly fry the grated coconut. In a blender incorporate the coconut and half of the onion mix with the dry spice powder and grind to a very fine paste. Ensure that the coconut is completely ground so it is not gritty between the fingers. In a large saucepan heat 2½ tbsp of oil, add the rest of the onions and the crushed garlic then cook for a minute. Add the turmeric, coriander and chilli powder, and mix well. Add the chicken with 1 cup of water. Add the ground coconut paste, then stir in the coconut milk and the chopped coriander. Cover and cook on a low heat for around 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Serve with basmati rice and green salad.

living nikki legon’s cuisine | 49

New York Baked Cheesecake with Sticky Cherries For the base 200g digestive or sablé breton biscuits 125g unsalted butter, melted For the filling 1kg cream cheese 200g caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract 4 large eggs For the cherries 500g pitted cherries 50g caster sugar Method Butter and line with grease proof

paper a 23cm spring-form cake tin. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Blend the biscuits and butter together, place into the tin and press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 2cm up the sides, cover and refrigerate while you make the filling. Put the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract into your mixer bowl with the paddle attachment (or use a hand held electric whisk). Beat on slow speed until you get a very smooth, thick mixture. Add one egg at a time while still mixing on low speed. Scrape any unmixed ingredients from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The mixture should be very smooth and creamy. The mixer can be turned up to higher speed at the end to make the mix a little lighter and fluffier. Do not overmix or it will separate. Pour the mixture onto the cold cheesecake base. Smooth over the top with your finger tip to remove any air bubbles to prevent uneven rise. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes in the centre of the oven - it should still have a wobble in the centre. Cool then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. For the sticky cherries, place the sugar into a small frying pan and caramelise. Add the cherries and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they are sticky and have released their juices. Remove the cherries, and place the juice onto a high heat to reduce to a sticky syrup. Cool then add the cherries and serve over the cheesecake.

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

Fancy a meal out? Traiteur/Catering for all occasions based in 87290 Rancon, can travel

www.chefericleclere.com SIRET 878 721 679 00016

>> See page 72 for some more great restaurants

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 www.hotelkarina.net | info@hotelkarina.net | 05 45 36 26 26

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50 | living wine

Seeing & tasting 1. Bordeaux

RED

The largest wine appellation in the world feels like a good place to start any round-up of French red wine. In fact, around 80% of Bordeaux wine is red, primarily Merlot and Cabernet In 2019 France was Sauvignon, supported by Cabernet Franc, the second largest wine Malbec, Carménère and Petit-Verdot. producer in the world (after A key part of understanding reds from Bordeaux is the idea of ‘left bank’ (Medoc Italy) and two-thirds of her and Graves grown to the left of the production is red or rosé. Gironde estuary and the Garonne river) Having previously looked versus ‘right bank’ (from appellations on the opposite sides) and north of the at white wine regions, this Dordogne river. The left bank has a time Caro Feely focuses on layer of gravel (over limestone and clay) major producers of reds. which was carried from the Pyrénées on a glacial melt millions of years ago, while the right bank has limestone and clay, people associate Burgundy more with hence cooler than the gravel. Cabernet reds. In the 15th century the Dukes Sauvignon prefers warm conditions, of Burgundy stopped other regions therefore it tends to be the primary red grape on the left bank, and Merlot prefers using the Rhone river to get their wines up to Paris and in doing so made the slightly cooler limestone, so tends a great monopoly for Burgundy in the to be the primary red grape on the right Parisian market – a smart move. bank. Going to the vineyards and seeing They also declared that only Pinotthe terroir up close helps us to appreciate Noir and Chardonnay should be these differences. used, helping to create the styles of Burgundy Burgundy we know today. Burgundy represents around 7% of the North of Beaune lies the ‘Côte de Nuits’ total French AOC vineyard area and and the ‘Route des Grands Crus’, with produces around 0.5% of global wine famous villages of Nuits-Saint-Georges, wine production (based on averages of Vosne-Romanée, Chambolle-Musigny 2010 - 2014) but significantly more in and Gevrey-Chambertin, where some value at 3%. It has 84 AOCs – ‘protected of the best Pinot-Noirs in the world are designation of origins’ or PDOs. Only produced. Vosne-Romanée is home to 30% of this production is red but many the world’s most famous Grand Cru

2.

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vineyards, including the hallowed Romanée-Conti, La Tâche and Richebourg.

3. Northern

Rhône Valley

The northern Rhône is a narrow valley which produces less than 5% of the total Rhône Valley’s wine, but what it produces usually carries a high price tag. The area stretches from the hallowed appellation of Côte-Rôtie in the north to Hermitage and its larger, relatively less prestigious (although still prestigious), neighbour Crozes-Hermitage in the South. Northern Rhône reds are made from Syrah (Shiraz).

4. Southern

Rhône Valley

The southern Rhône produces large quantities of Côtes-du-Rhône and Côtes-du-Rhône Villages and the Provence wine appellations. Reds are made from Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz), Cinsault, Mourvèdre and rosés from all the red grapes, but primarily Grenache. The best known commune appellation is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, between Orange and Avignon, producing rich, spicy, herby reds made from up to 18 different varieties, including several white grapes (traditionally it was 13 but the 2009 ‘cahier des charges’ for the appellation lists 18). Other famous appellations include Gigondas and Vacqueras both similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.


Hermitage, Northern Rhone Valley Carcassonne, Languedoc

Château Feely (www.chateaufeely. com) is a biodynamic and organic wine estate with accommodation, wine tours, vineyard walks and an accredited Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine school. Find information on their new range of virtual wine experiences on the website or follow on Facebook and Instagram. Read the Feelys’ adventures in Caro’s book series; ‘Grape Expectations’, ‘Saving our Skins’ and the latest ‘Glass Half Full’.

5. Languedoc

Languedoc is a massive wine region with 228,000 hectares, of which 89,000 are AOC. The red wines are made of Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah (Shiraz) and Mourvèdre. Appellations like Montpeyroux, Faugères and Minervois produce herbaceous reds which pair beautifully with lamb.

DISCOVER

ORGANIC

1 0 0 % Ma l b e c

&

living wine | 51

6. SW France

South west France includes many diverse appellation areas. Bergerac and Duras are similar to Bordeaux while others are quite different, like Madiran with its powerfully tannic Tannat grape, and Cahors with its deeply coloured Malbec. For many of us it looks like being

WINES

100% M erlot

a relatively quiet summer, so why not take some time to discover wines from your home? Buy a good quality organic wine from each of these regions and enjoy comparing them. Santé! here’s to good health and fine wine this summer!

LA

VIENNE VOUS

INVITE !

FROM

SCEA BILLONNEAU Along the coast, south of Royan

17120 Epargnes • FRANCE • Tél : 06 08 33 00 80 Visits & tastings welcome

(preferably on saturday morning or call to make a reservation)

www.domaine-la-prenellerie.com

* Offre non cumulable, limitée et soumise à conditions, pour un minimum de deux personnes, deux sites ou activités touristiques et un repas dans un restaurant « traditionnel », consommés la même journée entre le 1er juillet 2020 et le 1er novembre 2020.© Pomme verte.

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Property

PHOTOS: © ROGER MOSS

Changing Places Cities all seem to have an uncomfortable tendency to expand their territories, absorbing neighbouring villages and turning them into mere suburbs. While Magné has largely escaped such a fate it certainly hasn’t gone to sleep, having itself grown steadily over the years and added an impressive range of facilities and essential services to meet the daily needs of the local community. An object lesson in how to achieve near autonomy without selling your soul in the name of progress, it now boasts schools, a crêche, indoor and outdoor sport and leisure centres, a supermarket, commercial/light industrial zone and more besides. It’s also a remarkably worthwhile place to visit, particularly the historic heart, centred around the 16th century Eglise Sainte-Catherine. Behind it, just a few steps away, are the old quaysides of the Sèvre Niortaise river, which meanders peacefully through the Marais Poitevin for almost 100km to the Atlantic at the Baie de l’Aiguillon. From Magné you can follow the Sentier de Découverte de Port en Porta (a 2km circuit walk

among a group of tiny former ports) or walk or cycle on the river towpath to Coulon and beyond. En-route you’ll pass the Four Pontet (a 19th century pottery which now houses a cultural centre), a bateau à chaîne (a small, hand-powered chain ferry river crossing) and the Marais Pin barrage and lock – a reminder that the Sèvre Niortaise was once navigable between Niort and the Atlantic. The main centre of attention, though, is a skeletal ironwork lifting bridge constructed in 1901 to allow barges bound for the coastal ports and laden with salt, wine and pottery to pass unhindered. Some would then tie-up at the quayside to discharge live eels onto lines of carts waiting to take them to markets as far away as Limoges. Today the river has lost its once important commercial traffic, but the local economies are benefiting increasingly from tourism, particularly the greener, sustainable variety. Magné is a convenient stop on the ‘Vélo Francette’, an epic 600km cycle route linking the ferry port of Caen

magné (79)

We profile a thriving village with doorstep access to both Niort’s city buzz and the protected landscapes of the Marais Poitevin. Ouistreham with La Rochelle. In addition, a growing number of cyclists pass through Magné as they begin to explore the leafy lanes and car-free tracks of the Marais Poitevin. With its own waterways spanned by no fewer than five bridges, Magné offers a charming and accessible curtainraiser to its near neighbour, one of the rising stars of French tourism. www.ville-magne.fr

Making connections Distances/drive-times by road from Magné: Niort Centre: 5km/15min Fontenay-le-Comte: 35km/36min La Rochelle: 57km/1hr 11min Poitiers: 84km/1hr 05min Nantes: 141km/1hr 32min Bordeaux: 192km/2hr TER & TGV rail services: TER Nouvelle-Aquitaine services from Gare SNCF de Niort to La Rochelle, Poitiers, Saintes, Bordeaux, etc. TGV services from Angoulême to Paris, Bordeaux, Bayonne, etc.


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Property Sovimo immobiLier

www.agence-eleonor.com Agence Eleonor Estate Agency 36-38 rue du Temple, 24500 EYMET T: 05 53 27 83 45 info@agence-eleonor.com Eymet, Villeréal, St.-Cyprien, Monpazier, Bergerac, Lalinde, Issigeac and Sainte -Foy-la-Grande

ExclusivE

Ref. 34139

DPE: n/a

66 000 € HAI

(60 000€ plus 6% fees payable by buyer)

Lessac area (16). Nord Confolens, in a hamlet, 2kms to nearest shops. Detached renovated 2-bed cottage. Mains drains, covered terrace, adjoining land, all set on 379 m2.

Ref. 34138

DPE: n/a

49 500€ HAI

(45 000€ plus 10% agency fees payable buyer)

Mouterre/Blourde area (86). 8km to L’Isle Jourdain. In village, nice landscape, detached small 3-room farmhouse to renovate. 5,22 acres, outbuildings, adjoining land.

Ref: 3047-EY 226,840 € HAI DPE: D Modern 5-bedroom property with a large, light, open plan lounge/dining room and fitted kitchen leading onto a terrace overlooking the pool. Just under an acre of a garden with a workshop plus garage. The ground floor could be used as a separate apartment. Taux d’honoraires 14,840€ (7%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

DPE: E

Ref. 34129

135 000€ HAI

(125 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

LESSAC area (16), 5 mn from Confolens, town with all shops. In village, pretty detached 3-bed farmhouse. Elec. heating, mains drains. Attached barn, adjoining land set on 2525m2.

Ref. 34133

DPE: C

275 600€ HAI

(260 000€ plus 6% fees payable by buyer)

Confolens (16), 10 min walk to town centre. Detached 3-bed contemporary house with basement, sold furnished. Underfloor heating, terrace, landscaped land, set on 2720m2.

Ref: 8692-VI 228,900€ HAI DPE: C 3-bedroom bungalow with adjoining garage. Separate garage with adjoining carport and woodshed. A terrace gives onto an 8 x 4m swimming-pool with pool house and a fenced garden with stunning views over the valley. Taux d’honoraires 18,900€ (7%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Ref. 34134

DPE: E

124 200€ HAI

(115 000 plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Availles Limouzine area (86), near to river, village with shops. 3-bed detached cottage set on approx 1ha. Elec heating, terrace, outbuilding.

Ref. 34128

DPE: C

151 200€ HAI

(140 000€ plus 8% fees payable by buyer)

Roumazière area (16), 5km to shops, in the countryside. Detached renovated 3-bed farmhouse, terrace, garage, sheds, adjoining land with well, set on 4831m2.

3, place de la Liberté, 16500 Confolens Tel: 05 45 85 45 65 contact@sovimo.com

www.sovimo.com

Ref: 8669-MO 787,500€ HAI DPE: B Immaculate 4 bedroom maison de Maître with 2-bedroom gîte, artist studio, outbuildings, heated swimming pool and tennis court. Set on 6.25 acres of land with a barn, garage, carport, horse stables workshop & summer kitchen. Taux d’honoraires 37,500€ (5%) inclus à la charge de l’acquéreur.

Character Properties in France E xc

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L’Isle Jourdain, Vienne, €66,000* Newly-renovated 3-bedroom house with attached garden, mains drains, 2 minutes to shops and cafés.

Nanteuil en Vallée, Charente, €211,500* 3-bedroom character home to a high standard, good roof, electrics, mains drains, walk to cafés and bakery.

DPE: vierge

DPE: vierge

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Saint Auvent, Haute Vienne, €134,000* Renovated 3-bedroom house with 135m2 barn and 4 acres, garage, double-glazing, central heating, modern electrics.

L’Isle Jourdain, Vienne, €89,900* Beautifully renovated, exposed stone, good electrics, parking, garden, two bedrooms / two bathrooms, double-glazing, mains drains.

DPE: vierge

DPE: vierge

www.selectionhabitat.com Tel: 05 65 70 10 49 Email: info@selectionhabitat.com 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


L i ving

Property Reseau ArthurImmo Saintonge - 300 properties for sale www.saintonge-arthurimmo.com Contact Christine: contact.christinefrost@gmail.com or 06 50 51 74 95

A1143: 221 550€ HAI

DFE: 242/73 See fee scale on website

Charming three bedroom stone cottage with the most stunning garden. 5 mins from town. Absolutely no work to undertake.

GESTIMMO LA ROCHELLE

A1139: 195 175€ HAI

DFE: 211/6 See fee scale on website

4 bedroom beautifully renovated house, modern, bright with enclosed garden. Extremely well presented.

A1140: 91 800€ HAI

DFE: 362/82.55 See fee scale on website

Fabulous pied à terre, extremely good value for money. 5 mins from town, sector Nere.

LA ROCHELLE

ST JEAN D’ANGELY

Near Ile de Ré Thermal city in 2022 Exceptional architect-built property Original station hotel to renovate 590 000€ (Agency fees and TVA included) 110 000€ (Agency fees and TVA included) 1km to airport / 2km to Ile de Ré bridge. 1 hour to La Rochelle / 1h30 to Bor270m2 house, 5/6 bedrooms, office, 2 deaux. 700m2 building offering a real kitchens. Large pool, 70 m2 living room, opportunity to create a hotel business from scratch. Could be classified as a winter garden terrace, 4 000 m2 park, historical building. DPE: n/a GES: n/a mature cedar trees. DPE: D GES: E

Christian: 0033 (0)6 80 42 41 21 ~ gestimmo17@orange.fr Professional Agency card delivered by the La Rochelle CCI on 11/19/2018 Civil responsability and caution by GALIAN Paris

A1130: 199 975€ HAI

DFE: 250/65 See fee scale on website

The renovation is almost complete and the work undertaken is of a very high standard. Stunning conservatory with far reaching views, land 9565m2. Outbuildings to convert.

www.cabinetmadier.com 47 rue Gambetta & 16 rue Grosse Horloge 17400 Saint-Jean d’Angély v.guiberteau@cabinetmadier.com Tel: 05 46 32 00 59 or Call Nadine on 06 33 91 96 53

p.vandebrouck@immo-reseau.com

203 300 € HAI Ref 10122

Ref: 22872

€148,000 FAI

Inc agency fees of 5.71% paid by buyer. DPE D

Ref: 22814

Ref: 20752

€87,000 FAI

Inc agency fees of 4.44% paid by buyer. DPE En cours

Inc agency fees of 6.1% paid by buyer. DPE Vierge

Ref: 20644

Body of farm without vis-a-vis consisting of 4 dwellings (3 are habitable), set on 914 m2 of land. Big potential - price negotiable.

Beautiful old house with exposed stone in good state on 2 855 m2 of enclosed ground and wooded. Don’t miss.

254 400 € HAI Ref 10125

354 900 € HAI Ref 10136

Beautiful 4-bed town house with an attached garage on a closed ground and sports of 570 m2. A must see!

EXCLUSIVE! In quiet village, 7-bed beautiful contemporary house on 2 736 m2 of nonterraced, enclosed garden, with pool.

71 500 € HAI Ref 9615

468 000 € HAI Ref 10137

Ref: 21393

€297,440 FAI

Inc agency fees of 4% paid by buyer. DPE Vierge

DPE : D Price net : 170 000 €

€106,000 FAI

BEAUVOIR SUR NIORT (79). 2-bed Charentaise house being restored, several adjoining outbuildings suitable for conversion. 1,400m2 land, barn, ideal for touism. Inc agency fees of 6% paid by buyer. DPE D

DPE : B Price net : 240 000 €

Nr SURGERES (17) - 45km to sea. 4-bed house with character being restored. 2 independent outbuildings for conversion. Wooded grounds of 15,834m2.

181 900 € HAI Ref 10134

€282,000 FAI

Nr SURGERES (17) - 30mns to sea. Tastefully restored Charentaise 6-bed house. Outbuildings. Fenced & wooded grounds.

DPE : C Price net : 190 000 €

CHEF-BOUTONNE (79). Habitable 2-bed farmhouse with attic to convert. 240m2 outbuildings for conversion, enclosed 1,400m2 garden. Great potential.

What a stunning location for this property! Great touristic area, gite potential for large stone detached outbuilding. 3 bedrooms, to refresh.

Matha-immo 17 Place Sanson, 17160 Matha: 05 46 58 53 57 L’immobilière Saintongeaise 11 Rue de Gambetta, 17400 St Jean d’Angély: 05 46 59 06 00 Le Petit Logis 8 Place A. Briand, 17470 Aulnay de Saintonge: 05 46 58 64 14

Patricia VANDEBROUCK 06 85 79 24 25

Near BRIOUX SUR BOUTONNE (79). Tastefully restored - 3 beds with convertible attic. Outbuilding opposite to convert.

A1000: 199 395€ HAI

DFE: 206/56 See fee scale on website

Ref: 22374

€192,000 FAI

MELLE (79) near town centre and shops but in quiet location. Impeccable 3-bed bungalow with 150m2 basement. Wooded garden of 2105m2, magnificent view. Inc agency fees of 6.67% paid by buyer. DPE E

www.immo-reseau.com

DPE : vierge Price net : 338 000 €

Two houses to complete renovation. Main 4-bed 18C Maison de Maître with beautifully house plus small house of 38 m2. Enclosed carved stone doorway and walled grounds garden. Outbuildings. Double glazing, new roof. totalling 840 m2. Central heating, double glazing. DPE : Vierge Price net : 65 000 €

DPE : Vierge Price net : 450 000 €


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

E xc l u s i v e

€437,000 FAI

€954,000 FAI

Idiade 6738: Elegant & spacious 6-bed Charentais Logis. Central heating, double glazing. Adjoining 120m2 house to renovate with private garden plus other large outbuildings. All in a beautiful, tranquil setting bordering a branch of the river Boutonne (la Petite Boutonne) at the edge of the park for you to dip your toes in!

Idiade 6471: This stunning 1840 Manor set in its own tranquil woodland with unimpeded view across the surrounding countryside. It has all modern comforts but has lost none of its elegance and style. 9-beds with potential for more. It even has its very own spring.

DPE: D - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE: vierge - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

€118,800 FAI

€171,200 FAI

Idiade 6124: A pretty 3-bed village house with integral garage. The house has a spacious kitchen (22m2) and lounge (31m2). It’s in very good condition throughout and has a small garden to the front of the property.

Idiade 6448: Beautifully renovated 3-bed Charentaise village house with spacious rooms. Charm and character retained. Potential for downstairs bedroom. Pleasant terrace, parking in front of the house, small garden over a little lane. 12 mins to St Jean d’Angély.

DPE: Vierge - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE: Vierge - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

Call us today for your FREE Valuation PLUS we can now translate all legal documents into English for our clients

€275,600 FAI

€256,800 FAI

Idiade 6306: Pretty Maison de maître with large rooms and high ceilings. Ground flr bed & shower room plus 2 large beds and bath on the 1st floor with possibility of 2 further beds in attic. 82m2 house to renovate. Enclosed garden, additional land, shops 3km.

Idiade 6584: In a quiet ‘Place’ in Varaize village centre. Well renovated Charentaise house with open plan living. Downstairs bedroom plus 3 upstairs. Flexible floorplan, underfloor heating. The outside space is nicely landscape with parking for 3 cars.

DPE: E - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

DPE: C - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

€403,200 FAI

Idiade 6658: Small hamlet! Main house with large and comfortable rooms. Adjoining 45m2 accommodation (gîte) with ground floor bedroom, upstairs to finish. Additional 110m2 house/gîte. Large garage. Swimming pool with channels. 2 cabins, large garden. DPE: En cours - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur

€224,700 FAI

Idiade 6660: Two adjoining but independent single storey houses: 2 kitchens, 2 private terraces - flexible for families or rental. Underfloor heating, solar water heating, good insulation, walk-in showers, spacious living areas. Large garden, double garage, workshop. 9km from St Jean d’Angély. DPE: C - Honoraires à la charge du Vendeur


58 | living gardens Roses getting established in l’Escapade Roses

garden visit

Wetland area in l’Escapade Hydrante

Earthly Escapes WORDS: ROGER MOSS Lush vegetation in l’Escapade Velours

www.livingmagazine.fr

Mists waft through l’Escapade Hydrante

PHOTOS: TOP MIDDLE & bottom right: ©PhilippePerdereau; TOP RIGHT & bottom left: © CJA Fotografia

We visit a group of stylish contemporary gardens created to offer soothing calm and harmony


living gardens | 59

Oriental touches in l’Escapade Japonaise

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We’ve mentioned in the past the notion that gardening lets us create a little piece of Heaven here on Earth. A similar philosophy underpins some very special gardens which flourish in deepest Limousin, with an interesting twist: Les Jardins Sothys draw their inspiration not from ‘the heavens’ but from their brightest star. We call it Sirius but in classical antiquity it was known as ‘Sothis’ – a Goddess symbolising fertility, a precious commodity for any gardener. Fast-forward to 2007, when Les Jardins Sothys were established in a 4 hectare setting already rich in plant diversity beside Auriac, an unspoilt Corrèze village nestled between the Monts d’Auvergne and the valley of the Dordogne (a UNESCO World

Biosphere Reserve). The commune possesses both Terre Saine and Territoire BIO Engagé labels for its commitments to organic farming practices and landscape conservation, and Auriac has been home to generations of the Mas family, whose Sothys natural cosmetic and well-being products enjoy a global reputation. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the gardens’ owner, Bernard Mas, decided to explore the relationship between nature and our own well-being as an art de vivre, a conviction which underpins his company’s own products. The resulting collection of intimate spaces has received the Ministère de la Culture’s prestigious ‘Jardin Remarquable’ label and offers visitors a succession of sensory escapes

HOMME VERT Garden design, hard landscape construction and planting service based in Montmoreau (16). Kew trained, RHS show garden contractor & designer, 30+ years’ experience. Full references available. Richard 07 88 29 54 37 richard@boisbourdeau.fr www.boisbourdeau.fr Siret: RCS Angoulême 851 973 198 00019

or ‘escapades’. L’Escapade Hydrante, for example, is an area devoted to moisture-loving vegetation, including Alchemelia, angelica, Camelia, Carolina silverbell tree (Halesia carolina), fern, maple, rhododendron and willow plus giant Brazilian rhubarb (Gunnera manicata). Surrounding them are pale limestone pebbles found on the bed of the nearby Dordogne, while the setting is given a touch of theatricality in the form of cooling, zen-like mists. By way of a total contrast, stepping into l’Escapade Egyptienne (dedicated, appropriately, to the goddess Sothis) evokes the spirit of a remote desert oasis, with billowing palms beside a shimmering water-filled bassin, while underfoot is a bed of fine sand. On hot, sunny days the palms provide welcome

TREE SURGEON ARBORIST

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60 | living gardens Step into a Japanese garden

shade, while the water feature recalls those of antiquity which added a cooling element and would often have been stocked with fish. The illusion is intensified by dense, crisply clipped hedges isolating the space from the other gardens. One of them, l’Escapade Peau, takes as its theme the skin – in botanical terms, the outer surfaces of the planted species, some of which shed and replace sections of their bark during their natural growth cycle. Among them you’ll

find cork oaks, Chinese birches and southern beeches, plus copper-toned Tibetan cherries, dogwoods and snakebark maples. Both Serpentine and Rosalie or Père David’s varieties (Acer davidii) are represented, and are highlyprized for their distinctive striated bark and their vivid autumn foliage displays of fiery oranges and reds. L’Escapade Blanche, on the other hand, contains pure white flowering varieties such as magnolias (both loebnerii and sieboldii) and Wisteria floribunda Alba. The sun-soaked Escapade Soleil

Call a Kiwi House & Garden Care Lawnmowing Clark Judd 06 47 84 04 65 onthegallops@outlook.com 30 mins around Montbron (16)

STUMP GRINDING David Cropper

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

Siren: 452 821 101

PHOTOS: THIS PAGE: TOP & BOTOM LEFT: ©PennGraphics; TOP RIGHT: © CJA Fotografia

The oasislike Escapade Egyptienne

Siret: 842032401 00015

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Garden Maintenance & Hard Landscaping Light Renovations, Terracing, Stump Grinding, Hedging, Soil & Gravel Delivery/Dispersement Trustworthy Key-Holding Service Competitively priced professional service covering the Charente

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Call me today on

www.livingmagazine.fr

The sensory journey continues in l’Escapade Velours, where an extravagantly curved granite bench sits among the ‘lamb’s ear’ forms of Stachys lantana (a.k.a. byzantina and olympica), Virginian sumac (Rhus typhinum) and others plus clipped topiary. Nearby is l’Escapade Roses – not a garden exactly but a long walkway bathed in the heady fragrance of thirty or so French and English pink varieties reclining upon an elegant pergola. They include Cornélia (a small-flowered perpetual hybrid musk), Heritage (a Fée des Neiges x Wife of Bath hybrid), Narrow Water (a repeat-flowering semi-double hybrid rambler) and Cuisse de Nymphe Émue (an ancient, strongly-scented double shrub rose also known as Great Maiden’s Blush) plus familiar names like Gertrude Jekyll, Constance Spry and Cardinal de Richelieu. L’Escapade Senteurs brings further olfactory delights, courtesy of caramel tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), North American sweet pepper bush (Clethra alnifolia), honeysuckle, star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides), star

05 17 34 14 37 06 02 30 66 69

stumpgrindingcharente@gmail.com


living gardens | 61

From potager to dining table In addition to the themed botanical gardens a more traditional potager area provides a dependable supply of beans, carrots, chives, courgettes, leeks, radishes, strawberries, tomatoes and aromatic herbs for an elegant on-site restaurant, created in a former barn overlooking a large lake.

Purely Cosmetic

Recent years have seen new ‘bio’ areas established beside the gardens specifically to produce flower and vegetable varieties destined for the Sothys Beauty Garden range of organic tisanes and cosmetics. The emphasis is on plants which take the relatively high-altitude local climate in their stride, with carrots, cucumbers and pumpkins flourishing alongside chamomiles, elder flowers, mallow flowers and thyme.

Ancient mythology & a shining star Sothys evolved from ‘Sopdet’, a name given by the ancient Egyptians to a particularly dazzling pure white star whose radiance and beauty enchanted them. The ancient Greeks also fell under the spell and knew her as ‘Sothis’. According to legend, one night Saturn encountered the young star and instantly fell in love with her; Venus was jealous, and resolved to take her revenge; the chains stretched by Saturn to attract and embrace Sothys broke; Precipitated from the sky, she disappeared. Saturn’s tears flowed continuously for forty days and forty nights, flooding the earth...

Elevage de JOLAND Xavier & David GABARD

PHOTOS ABOVE: © OUI FLASH

or étoilé magnolia (Magnolia stellata), Koreanspice viburnum (Viburnum carlesii) and, of course, more fragrant roses. Finally a hilltop belvedere affords sweeping views across the various garden spaces against a backdrop of the Monts de l’Auvergne. Les Jardins Sothys are fascinating, and bring the kind of contemporary sophistication more typical of the sun-drenched hills of Provence to leafy Limousin, and contain many rare species selected to bring harmony to their beautiful, protected environment. The gardens themselves will also continue to evolve, the focus during the next winter closure period being the courtyard and the terraces, which will receive new plant and shrub plantings for fresh colours and fragrances plus trees to provide shade on hot days, while fountains will add a further cooling touch. One thing not destined to change is the gardens’ family-friendly welcome. www.lesjardinssothys.fr

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

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

Vendée (85)

CharenteMaritime (17)

If you have a business in the region and would like to showcase your services to our 100,000 readers, we can help. With over 1,000 stockists, Living is the leading English-language magazine covering your area. Advertising starts from 35€ per month on our monthly payment scheme. “We have placed several adverts with Living Magazine and each time our expectations are exceeded...As soon as the advert is placed the orders start coming in.” Shelly, eco-tabs

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

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

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M. Cochon Provides a full range of pork products from our fields to your table Including our special 10-day dry cured bacon COMING SOON: Our very own Fresh Plump Chickens (from September) & Fresh Turkeys Please order by October 1st for Christmas Based in 16270, we offer free delivery to most areas in 16, 87, 24 Suppliers to leading local restaurants

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These local businesses are waiting for your call!

Tel : 07 69 09 16 03

SIRET 848 719 42300016


63

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.

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Help & advice, Translations

64 Business Directory

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solutions16700

solutions-france.com Comprehensive administration services for individuals and businesses • • • •

Tax returns Business set up, Book keeping courses Carte Vitale, Carte de Séjour, Financial Aid Translations SIRET/SIREN 510046261 00010

Contact me by email & Skype, or visit my office, location is not a problem

Insurance, Help & Advice

HELP WITH ALL FRENCH ADMINISTRATION MATTERS Administrative Assistance & Solutions Private Individuals & Small Businesses Translator: English, French, Portuguese (cert.) & Spanish Professional Liability Insurance *NEW address from 6 July* 8 place Gambetta 86400 CIVRAY Office: 09.50.52.27.68 M: 06.33.11.64.05 eloisa@efficientranslations.fr www.efficientranslations.fr

Siret No 520 382 805 00049

Help & advice, Painting

contactsolutionsfrance@gmail.com

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

 Authorised suppliers of Crown Trade and Sandtex Trade paint based in Charente-Maritime (17)  Colour matching service available  Free Technical advice and support  Tester pots available The paint the professionals use

AMC CONTRACTS Tel 05 45 21 72 01 Mobile 07 80 00 51 65 amccontracts2@gmail.com

All depts in Nouvelle Aquitaine covered

Brico17paintsupplies 09 61 62 46 15

BRICO16 TRADE PAINTS

Official Crown Paints distributor South West France • • • • •

colour matching and mixing trade & DIY products and decorating sundries exterior paints - masonry, shutters, windows... interior paints - emulsions, satin, gloss... specialist primers & complete technical advice

Open Mon-Fri: 08h30 - 12h00 & 14h00 - 17h30

Brico16 Trade Paints, Chez Maugarny, 16460 VENTOUSE T: 05 45 95 45 36 M: 06 16 25 30 55 E: martin@brico16.com btpcrownpaints www.btpcrownpaints.com

These local businesses are waiting for your call!


65

Charente Assistance Garden Maintenance | Pool Care | Gîte Services | Home Maintenance 05.45.25.05.37 | www.charenteassistance.fr

Dog Guest Home

Claude’s Cat Hotel

(not kennels)

Regular trips throughout Europe DEFRA Type 2 licensed, custom built vans

Siret: 879 092 393

www.gofetch-ltd.com gofetchltd@hotmail.co.uk T: +44 (0)7855 401 102 T: +44 (0)1656 670 856

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 claudescathotel@gmail.com www.claudescathotel.com

Fraser W. Eade

PM

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. Lime Tree Kennels 15 mins from La Rochefoucauld & 20 mins from Rochechouart

Jeff’s Metalwork

www.jeffsmetalwork.com

General Engineering Turning, Milling, Welding

CARPETS & FLOORING

For all your flooring needs

Quality & Precision Guaranteed

• We supply and fit a range of carpets to suit all budgets • We also fit amtico, vinyl, wood and ceramic tile • Over 25 years experience, 100% customer satisfaction • Now selling a selection of wool and mixed fibre rugs

Forgeix, 87200 Saint Junien

www.pmcarpetsandflooring.com

Siret: 512 945 874 00018

Contact Paul on 06 60 07 54 78 or 05 45 84 27 75

05 55 71 41 75

frasereade87@gmail.com www.latelierdefer.com

Ornate interior / exterior designs Gates constructed / refurbished Industrial furniture General Welding ~ Over 25 year’s experience ~ Tel: 06 17 73 56 87 Mob: 07 77 83 77 10 or 0044 7917 03 02 49 jeff@jeffsmetalwork.com

Chimney Sweep Nick Wright

• 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: nickthesweep@gmail.com or T. 05 45 71 33 36

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

Carpets, Metalwork, Chimney Sweep

L’Atelier de Fer

Siret: 822 175 527 0016

Services tailored to your needs

Animal care

Anita Frayling - Le Baillat, 16220 Rouzede T: 05 45 66 14 62 E: anita.limetreekennels@gmail.com

The UK’s Premium Pet Transport Company

Your dog(s) looked after indoors at our country home with a safe enclosed garden area. Walked twice a day in our woods and surrounding fields. Must be able to socialise with other dogs. Free introductory trial: am or pm Nr. Châteauneuf-La-Foret, Linards 30 mins from Limoges airport 20€ per night/10€ per half day Please email first to waggingtails87@hotmail.com Call Jane on 05 55 00 34 79 or 06 18 58 93 88 or Emily 06 71 15 15 65

LIME TREE KENNELS


66

HOME SWEET (COLOURFUL?) HOME It would be fair to say that most of us have spent much more time this year at home than normal....and for many of us the enforced lockdown gave us the opportunity to give our homes a little TLC. We ourselves did plenty of painting & decorating, especially during the early weeks, and decided to use strong, bold colours - not our normal style but perhaps it was a reaction to the situation we were in....an unconscious decision to lift the spirits! We are slowly seeing some more colour coming back into carpets too....not everything has to be grey or beige! Look at these 2 of our suppliers – Adam Carpets & Westex Carpets – literally hundreds of colours across their ranges, all available anywhere in France. If you want to see samples of these, or any other examples, give us a call and we’ll make a free, no obligation visit. Makes yours a HOME SWEET (COLOURFUL?) HOME this year!

jonthecarpetman

E: jonthecarpetman@gmail.com 09 63 56 23 10 / 06 42 19 82 12

www.jon-thecarpetman.com

SHOWROOM ADDRESS Les Rivières, 19260 TREIGNAC

Transport Services

C J Logistics George White European Transport Special rates to SW France 13.6m / 45ft trailer Full/Part loads Removals - Vehicles - Materials Owner Driver RHA member Tel: +44 (0)7768 867 360 Fax +44 (0)1773 570 090 Fr Mobile: +33 (0)6 23 03 85 59 enquiriesgwe@gmail.com www.georgewhiteeuropean.co.uk

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: john.louch@orange.fr or cjlogistics8@gmail.com

YOUR ONE-STOP TRANSPORT SERVICE

ANGLO FRENCH

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

Transport Services

EURO REMOVALS ‘Your French Connection’

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

Full or Part Load Removals To & From France UK: +44 (0) 1237 431 393 FR: +33 (0)5 45 89 49 57 Email: info@anglofrenchmail.com

www.anglofrenchremovals.co.uk UK Registration 543 77 60 UK

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

2 Ladies & a Van Garden waste, barns etc. cleared Unoccupied holiday homes checked For enquiries & rates tel: 07 72 38 84 60 09 63 68 12 49

Charente, Vienne, Deux Sèvres Siret no 853 531 838

Call Stephen or Ben Franklin on 0044 121 353 7263 or email sales@franklinsremovals.co.uk

www.franklinsremovals.co.uk

FEATURED BUSINESS

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

Email: info@enershop.eu

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

Website: www.enershop.eu

These local businesses are waiting for your call!

Enershop


Delivery &

installation

FROM £99

67

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

fff

Tel: 06 46 49 73 45 Email: info@furnitureforfrance.co.uk www.furnitureforfrance.co.uk

F o r Po o l s

RJC Pool Services

• Installation • Renovation

Creating your Perfect Outside Space

• Cleaning and Maintenance

rjcpoolservices.com

For Outside Living • Summerhouses

POOL MAINTENANCE

t: +33 (0) 549 290135 t: +33 (0) 785 372144

• Roofs • Fencing • Blockwork • Pointing

05 45 25 05 37 www.charenteassistance.fr

Agent and installer for several rectangular & shaped pools including Seablue & Astral Pools

Here to help with your projects in 2020

FRIENDLY PROFESSIONAL SERVICE Competitive prices, try me for a quote

www.poolsbyjonathan.com phone 0549840362 mobile 0622361056

Fully insured

SIRET 47994761600021

Terracing and landscaping service also available ALL WORK GUARANTEED

• Outside Rooms

www.centrebatiment.com T: 06 62 92 48 17 eastmike@outlook.fr

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

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

Tel: 05.46.98.22.01

06.02.33.90.58

E: iancdickinson1960@gmail.com

Kitchens & Bathrooms from A-Z All leading Brands All associated minor works, modifications and repairs also undertaken e.g.. replace Kitchen worktops, taps, toilets etc. Dept. 16, 17

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

Siret: 49377035800015

Siret: 492 277 918 00024

Mob:

ANDY MS

05 53 52 36 05

lavieilleabbaye@orange.fr Peter Latus BA(Hons)

Cotswold Eco Wood-Fired HOT TUBS in France RELAX. REPLENISH. REWIND.

website: andyms.free.fr email: andyms@free.fr siret:50263448800014

Britain’s leading supplier

Easy to install in even the most remote locations Shhhh...one of the quietest air bubble systems on the market Efficient wood-fired boiler - minimal electricity used for bubbles and LED lighting Robust wood and fibreglass construction means years of weather-resistant service Thoughtful design ensures they are hygienic and easy-to-clean Comfortable seating allows users to immerse their shoulders, perfect all year round Bespoke range of options and colour combinations

For more information, please contact Nicola or Tim: E: hottubsinfrance@gmail.com T: 07 49 19 46 84 www.hottubsinfrance.com FB: HotTubsinFrance

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

siret: 879 912 855

Pools, Building services

POOLS BY JONATHAN

Based near Sauzé-Vaussais (79) Full Décennale Insurance siret: 831 373 048 00022

• Rendering

CENTRE BATIMENT Swimming Pool Specialists

Pools

enquiries@rjcpoolservices.com

• Terraces & Patios


68

Siret 800 969 438 00020

JM Roofing

All insurance work welcome

Carpentry ~ Roofing

Clay Tile Roofs All Timberwork Metal Sheet Hangars

All Zinc Work Zinc Gutter Fascia T. 07 70 37 15 98

Full 10 Year Décennal Insurance French & English Speaking

Email: jmtoitures@yahoo.com

JMToitures

Depts covered 16, 17, 24, 79, 86, 87

Building services, Artisans

Siret: 827 978 636 00013

www.artisancentral.fr/JMToitures

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

www.beckcherrypickerhire.com Tel: 07 84 12 44 97

HILL TOP TILING Interior & exterior tiling Travertine, marble, cement, ceramic, porcelain, mosaics 10yr dée éÉ cennale insurance Paul Hill: 05 45 24 01 45 hilltoptiling@ hotmail.co.uk

hilltoptiling Siret: 530 444 496 00018

Metalwork, Fencing, Artisans

M&M PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

ReIiable, Affordable Maintenance & Renovation Service

Depts 16 & 17

16100 Chateaubernard 05 45 36 46 70 / 06 72 21 80 27 lifeboatmoose@wanadoo.fr www.mmpropertymaintenance.fr

Decorating Ceramic Tiling u Dry Lining u Wooden Floors u Decking and Patios u Bathroom & Kitchens u Stone pointing u & lots more... u u

Siret: 789 563 392 00016

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

Siret 482 718 640 00022

Building services, Artisans

E: beckcherrypickerhire@gmail.com

Contact John Pearson www.hmjmaintenanceservice. weebly.com E: HMJMaintenance@outlook.com M: +33 (0)6 15 42 24 49 T: +33 (0)9 51 37 43 95 Work area 79/85/49, based 79380

A1SL COUVERTURE

Shaun B LLOYD

A1SL COUVERTURE is a new French based company serving dept. 79, 86, 16, 17, 87, 85, 24 & 33 with well-established roofing experience previously based in Merseyside, UK. We pride ourselves on top quality workmanship and excellent customer service. We have built a solid reputation over 25 years in the UK and receive most of our work from customer recommendations. WE COVER ALL ASPECTS OF ROOFING WORK FROM SMALL DOMESTIC REPAIRS, ROOF CLEANING AND LARGE NEW ROOF PROJECTS UTILIZING CLAY TILES AND SLATE; SPECIALIST IN LEAD WORK. Registered with the Repertoire des Métiers, siren: 877 636 050

AABA ROOFING FRANCE Ecuras 16220

(ROOFING SERVICES)

Assurance Décennale

Mobile: + 33.(0).6.95.49.60.89 Email: contacta1slroofing@gmail.com www.a1slroofing.com All work is fully guaranteed and we are fully insured. Our services are available 6 days a week, no-obligation free estimate and no call-out fee up to 70km.

Quality Roofing & Building

for you

New roofs ~ Slate and tiling Fibreglass flat roofing ~ Repairs Gutters and facias UPVC or zinc All leadwork ~ Timberwork References available

aabaroofingfrance@gmail.com 05 45 63 52 88 / 07 80 08 85 76

Siret 53210969100024

www.aabaroofingfrance.com These local businesses are waiting for your call!


69

LIOn rOUGe

UPVC windows, doors & ConserVatories sPeCialists

10 year warranTy on all products installed

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

~ Covering south west franCe ~

www.lionrouge.eu

Tel: 05 46 70 25 87

info@lionrouge.eu

IK-ROOFING

Covering 1h radius around Mareuil 24340

~ Free quotes ~ Decennial insurance

07 82 19 22 37 igor.kulenovic@gmail.com

Adrian Butterfield

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

Do you need help with:

• • •

Odd jobs Tiling, Painting Plumbing Plastering, Rendering • Kitchen fitting, Carpentry • Sandblasting • General Maintenance Call Adrian on 05 49 69 00 24 or 06 41 55 85 35, or email: adrianbutterfield@live.com for a FREE estimate

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

Over 20 year’s experience Siret: 843 784 638 00010

• renovations and refurbishments • pointing/rendering • block work

R J Coulson Building services

For You and Your French Home

rjcbuildingservices.com

• plastering

enquiries@rjcbuildingservices.com

• kitchen and bathroom installation • tiling • roof repairs • patios terraces • painting and decorating

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

Leaking roof - 48hr response!

Andy Quick

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

www.building-services-france.com E: andrewquick@orange.fr ~ T: 05 49 27 22 67 Siret: 499 474 302 00035

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

Building services, Artisans

• complete range of building services

depts 79, 86 & 16

Building services, Artisans

Renovations / new builds Roof repairs Velux installation Guttering Insurance claims

Do you have a DIY job that you are unable to do or don’t want to do?


70

GARY MOORE HEATING 22 YEARS IN HEATING, 12 YEARS IN FRANCE Siret: 491827705 00022

Ò Ò Ò Ò

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

Tel: 05 45 29 68 73 | Mobile: 06 30 11 86 84 | Email: gary.moore@orange.fr

Graham Medhurst Renovations

Building services, Artisans

JAMES RICHARDSON

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

05 49 87 09 63 Siret: 48115588500017

AMOS HANDYMAN

Plumbing Bathroom & kitchen installations Building maintenance Fully insured with over 15 years’ experience Covering dept. 16 Siret: 830691044

Contact Kai for all jobs Mob: 06 83 17 19 77 E: K2amos@gmail.com FB: @Amoshandyman16

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: graham.medhurst@orange.fr

Keith Bassett GENERAL BUILDING SERVICES

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

SEAN THEOBALD Carpenter All elements of 1st and 2nd fix carpentry undertaken Over 35 years experience specialising in, but not limited to High-End Residential and Heritage Projects T: 07 80 53 54 11 E: seantheobald@outlook.com Based in 17240

Siret: 848 507 042 00010

South West France Fosse We are the only dedicated installer Trained-Approved-Recommended by SPANC Can you trust your installation to anyone else? With over 30 years’ experience Accredited installers for the leading makes of compact filters and microstations Biorock - Ecoflo - Phytoplus - Elloywater - Hydroclear

Tel: 06 04 14 84 86 See all our work on

southwestfrancefosse

Email: southwestfrancefosse@orange.fr

www.southwestfrancefosse.com These local businesses are waiting for your call!


Affordable UK Designs

Fitted Kitchens, Upvc & Aluminium Double Glazing

71

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: scott.braddock1@yahoo.com www.affordableukdesigns.com

Specialist Carpenter/Joiner Bespoke Joinery & Renovations Doors - Shutters - Stairs Flooring - Kitchens

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

✓ Fully equipped workshop ✓ 40 years’ experience ✓ Lots of solutions for your requirements ✓ References available

16240 La Fôret de Tesse T: 05 45 30 39 85 barry.baldwin@orange.fr Covering depts 16, 79 & 86

05 45 31 14 58 / 06 63 20 24 93 adrian.luke.amos@gmail.com

Siret: 804476 034 00017

website: andyms.free.fr email: andyms@free.fr

ambroise1204@hotmail.fr Tel: 06 58 86 55 91 Based in 86400 Saint Macoux English spoken

siret:50263448800014

Siret: 441 490 992 00027

Plumbing - Heating Chimney sweeping

EMERGENCY CALL OUTS 24 hours / 7 days a week

Siret: 831 980 487 00019

Kitchen & Bathroom installation Tiling Plumbing Repairs Tel: 06 29 90 24 89 E: mrbirky2@yahoo.com Based in dept 79 near Sauzé-Vaussais Fully insured Siret: 804 390 862 000 14

Tel 05 17 30 18 35 Mobile 06 33 85 65 66

ktaylor.renovations@gmail.com

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

Javarzay, 79110 Chef-Boutonne

trevor.miell@btopenworld.com

Siren: 478 608 185 00011

Siret 49376573200015

Peter Amor Electrician

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

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

Conformity Inspections

Tel: 05 49 91 85 54 peter-amor@orange.fr All departments covered SIret: 480 026 560 00012

David GABARD T: 06 71 83 16 69 / 05 49 87 27 29 E: info@vf-services.fr 2 Verrières, 86400 CHAMPNIERS Covering south 86 & 79, north 16

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

Building services, Artisans

Ambroise PRÉE

Full service with certificate (boiler, fuel, wood, gaz) Fully insured with over 10 year’s experience

05 46 49 78 30 / 06 70 40 66 01

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

Jb Plumbing

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

Experienced, French Registered Electrician

ADAM BLACKABY Artisan Peintre

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

ANDY MS Multi Services

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

adamblackaby@aol.com

Siret: 508 248 747 000 18

ELECTRICIAN

PAINTER & DECORATOR

Building services, Artisans

Adrian Amos Barry Baldwin

SIRET: 513 577 809 00017


living music | 73

Not fade away Upbeat

W

for more cartoons by stig see www.artisart.com

e can plan all we like, but when something totally unexpected like COVID-19 comes along and puts our daily routines firmly on hold, events of all kinds are suddenly wiped from the calendar. For anyone who loves live music it can be depressing to watch the days slipping by, and with them all the events which have been carefully marked on the calendar since they were first announced. After all, the promise of good times ahead and among friends is something we’ve come to associate with the arrival of summer. Of course, for musicians the rewards of playing on stage before a live audience aren’t the only things to have been abruptly snatched away. Delivering a well rehearsed performance in this kind of situation is only possible after long hours of hard work for everyone involved. Musicians are social animals and feed off the kind of creative chemistry which requires familiarity and close communication, so being unable to rehearse together and keep everything in the repertoire sounding as it should is hard to take. Not surprisingly then, the enforced period of confinement has inspired resourceful musicians to find new ways of playing together while apart. Using modern video-conferencing software and broadband connections, some of the biggest names in the business (and from diverse musical genres) have not only performed together, albeit in a virtual environment, but have also explored the kind of creative collaborations we thought we’d never see.

When things get tough, music will find new ways to keep our spirits up

Foo Fighter’s ‘Times Like These’ on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge: with Dave Grohl, Dua Lipa, Rita Ora, Chris Martin etc.

It didn’t stop there. Performances televised from grand concert halls are nothing new, but on 28 May violinist Renaud Capuçon and a 23-piece orchestra performed “Metamorphosen” (composer Richard Strauss) from the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez at the Philharmonie de Paris. Nothing strange there, you might think, but for the fact that the 2,400-seat auditorium was empty, save for a handful of technicians – masked, of course, to comply with social distancing requirements. Members of the orchestra, on the other hand, were simply seated 1m or more apart. The concert was transmitted live to viewers of TV channel Arte, and was also recorded – you can enjoy the performance here: live.philharmoniedeparis.fr While online performances like these succeeded in lifting our collective spirits, we should also spare a thought for the countless people who work behind the scenes in the entertainment sector, and for whom the immediate outlook is pretty bleak. They include the sound and

lighting technicians, riggers, scenery and costume designers, cleaners, caterers, security staff and management teams who are all employed in static venues throughout France, not to mention a whole host of their counterparts (along with transport crews) who come together to work on touring productions. The recent cautious relaxations announced by the government were obviously intended to allow most of us to get back to something approaching normality in our everyday lives, but are unlikely to provide much comfort for those whose livelihoods depend on concert and theatre productions. If and when a vaccine becomes available we’ll all be able to party as before, but until then social distancing looks like being the new normality, and we’ll just have to learn to find ways to live with it. So where exactly does that leave live music? Both organisers and artists are just waiting for the green light, so keep a watchful eye on their websites and social media pages for news.

ANN’S PIANOS MR. PIANO MAN

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: mr-piano-man@hotmail.com SIRET: 51031234100017


74 | living Language

Pardon? W

hether you’ve used confinement to master French and hook up with online teachers or have perhaps been coping by burying yourself in gardening, one thing is for sure: both French and English have been evolving whilst we’ve taken a break from the world. Covid-19 may be the last phrase you want to think about. Whether it’s le Covid or la Covid, the Académie Française have been busy trying to decide which gender the virus should take. Despite most of France opting for le masculin, le Covid, the Académie decided Covid was definitely féminine. Their reasoning, simply enough, is that Covid was an abbreviation of Coronavirus, and in French, that would be la maladie du coronavirus. To shorten it would therefore be feminine. Simple enough. Yet virus is masculine and most newspapers and broadcasters decided early on that Le Covid sounded better. Le virus parainfluenza, for example, is masculine too. Whether you opt for correctness over popularity probably says a lot about you.  Part of the problem no doubt relates to the endings, which can determine whether something is feminine or masculine. Those -tion endings are la; if it ends with -ment it’s le. More or less. You’d have to learn a lot of exceptions, of course, like most -eau words like château, cadeau and agneau are le except la peau and l’eau, just to confuse you. Nobody said French was easy. But when you look at other -id endings for nouns like le nid, le raid and le rallye-raid, le froid and even le sangfroid, you can see why so many French think it sounds better as le Covid after all. Despite those tricky French sometimes requiring you not to say the final d on occasion, like le nid

L i ving

Emma-Jane Lee, our language expert, discovers the new language we all need in this health crisis.

French from la quarantina in Italian and la quarantaine in French. The Forty Days. Originally used by Venetians who made ships wait outside the city, according to popular legend, in times of plague, it was an advancement on le trentino or the thirty-day quarantine that had formerly been demanded. It still has the sense of “forty-ish” in French which “quarantine” has obviously lost in English. Although we may talk about plague and pestilence in English, la peste, la pestilence and l’épidémie show that so and then to say it on others, like le raid. many of our English words passed like a contagion via the French. “Plague” There are reasons, of course. Le raid is a word that came via English. Oh, mind (not to be confused with la plage) would surely trouble French tongues with that you, so did Covid. Difficult business, long A in the middle, and not without this deciding whether something is reason. “Plague” migrated into English masculine or feminine, that’s for sure. As if that weren’t bad enough, from Greek. Originally meaning a confinement has given us several strike, it passed through Latin la plaga faux-amis - those words that sound the to give us “plague” meaning a stroke or same in French and English yet mean a wound. The word plaie or wound in completely different things. Isolation is French comes from the same root.  Once you start looking at language, one. If you were one of the numerous you see disease everywhere. After all, French residents getting a number of calls a day about isolation for your home, Shakespeare may have used an outbreak of plague in London to write “King you’ll quickly realise that l’isolation Lear”, and used it as a plot device leading is insulation and nothing to do with to Romeo’s untimely death, due in no staying at home. Although l’isolement small part to the accidental quaranexists in French, it’s not a word you’ll tining of Friar John who couldn’t then hear as often as seul or alone, or even deliver his letter. Perhaps you too have confinement in terms of “lockdown” or been inspired into creativity by social “self-isolation”. Confinement certainly sounds less dramatic than “lockdown” to distancing. At the very least, la peste, le my English ear. Le confinement also has a (la?) Covid, le confinement and la quarantaine have provided me with a little food sense in French of quarantine, which it does not have in English. In fact, the word for thought, if nothing else.  “confinement” in English has been dying Emma is a jack-of-all-language-trades, out. Its curve has well and truly been writing English textbooks, translating, flattened, usage-wise. Flattening the marking exam scripts and teaching curve is as straightforward in French languages. She lives near La Rochefoucauld as it is in English: aplatir la courbe.  with her growing menagerie. See The English word quarantine comes via www.english-tuition.weebly.com

Editor: Kathryn Dobson FEATURES EDITOR: Roger Moss Advertising: Jon Dobson Art editor: Nadia Van den Rym Production manager: Justin Silvester Regular contributors: Caro Feely, Susan Hays, Jessica Knipe, magazine Emma-Jane Lee, Nikki Legon, Mike Morris, and Stig Tomas. WITH THANKS TO: John and Gill Bowler, Julia Moss. Photography: Shutterstock or Roger Moss unless indicated. Cover image: Arcachon Bay ©Arcachonphoto.com/Shutterstock. Published by: SARL AMM, 2 Rue Buffefeu, 86400 Linazay FRANCE. Poitiers: 533 624 128 Printed by: Rotimpres S.A. Dépôt légal: Juillet 2020 Issue: 73 ISSN: 2270-2709. Living is available by subscription. Living est disponible par abonnement. 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. www.livingmagazine.fr


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