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95c | ISSUE 12 | JULY 2012


News and What’s On for Côtes d’Armor, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan

Brittany Ferries set to cut UK services by SAMANTHA DAVID

Dylan to headline Brittany’s Glasto Page 6

Monaco prince on trail of Breton ancestors Page 3

BRITTANY Ferries is considering axing some of its out-of-season cross-Channel routes in the wake of four years of financial difficulties at the cross-Channel ferry operator. Passengers will be following the developments closely this summer, after the firm announced it needed to become more competitive. It is also looking at suspending some staff benefits. Despite rising annual turnover and highly profitable lines between Spain and the UK, rising fuel costs have hit the company hard, as has the weakness of the euro against the pound. The company also points to the economic situation in the UK – Brittany Ferries announced a net loss of €18m in 2011. The aim is to cut operating costs by ensuring that each sailing is better filled, and to cut staff costs by reorganising working hours. Announcing the move, management said that it was imperative to adapt the company’s economic model in the face of the ongoing euro crisis, and competition from other companies which are not “constrained by the same employment laws” and are not exposed to variations of the sterling-euro exchange rate. Î Turn to page 2

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Contents News What’s On Feature Leisure Time

1-5 6-11 12-13, 24 14

Food and Pets 15 Directory 16-17 Home and Garden 18-19 Property and Finance 20-23

Useful Numbers EMERGENCY NUMBERS 18: Emergencies: Calls the fire brigade (Sapeurs Pompiers), but they deal with medical emergencies and are usually the first port of call in rural areas. 112: Emergency calls from your mobile: Be ready with your name and where you are calling from and do not hang up until told to do so. 17: Police (gendarmes). 119: Child abuse. 1616: Sea and lake rescue. 01 40 05 48 48: Anti-poison centre (Paris) 08 10 33 30 + your department number (eg 76 for Seine-Maritime): Gas & electricity emergencies UTILITIES FRANCE TELECOM Website in English: To report a fault online: (click on the UK flag). English-speaking helpline: 09 69 36 39 00 (from France); + 33 1 55 78 60 56 (outside France). ORANGE: English-speaking helpline: 09 69 36 39 00. SFR: 1023 (+ 33 6 10 00 10 23 from outside France). FREE: 1044. BOUYGUES: 1034. EDF: 24 hour breakdown line: 08 10 33 30 87; Helpline in English: 05 62 16 49 08; From outside France: + 33 5 62 16 49 08; Email: GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS CAISSE D’ALLOCATIONS FAMILIALES CAF:; Tel: 08 10 25 14 10. L’ASSURANCE MALADIE (AMELI, formerly known as CPAM – the health service):; Tel: 36 46 (MonFri, 8am-5pm) English spoken. URSSAF: English-language website: - Finistère - 29455 Brest Cedex, Tel: 02 98 76 42 42 | Côtes d’Armor - Saint-Brieuc, 53, boulevard Clémenceau, 22093 Saint-Brieuc Cedex 9, Tel: 02 96 77 47 01 | Morbihan - Vannes, Zone d’activité de Laroiseau, 2 rue Anita Conti B.P.10323, 56018 Vannes Cedex, Tel: 02 56 56 25 25 | Ille et Vilaine Rennes, 6, rue d’Arbrissel, Quartier Beauregard, 35052 Rennes Cedex 9, Tel: 02 23 46 82 00 PREFECTURE: Finistère - 42 boulevard Dupleix, 29320 QUIMPER CEDEX, Tel:

02 98 76 29 29 | Côtes d’Armor - 1 place du Général de Gaulle, BP 2370, 22023 ST BRIEUC CEDEX 1, Tel: 02 96 62 44 22 | Morbihan - 24 place de la République, 56019 VANNES CEDEX, Tel: 02 97 54 84 00 | Ille et Vilaine - 3 avenue de la Préfecture 35026 RENNES CEDEX 9 Tel: 02 99 02 10 35 OTHER HELP IN ENGLISH COUNSELLING IN FRANCE: for a qualified therapist near you or counselling over the telephone; SOS HELP: similar to the Samaritans, listeners who are professionally trained, Tel 01 46 21 46 46; NO PANIC FRANCE: for help with anxiety disorders; Tel: 02 51 28 80 25, ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: An English-speaking Alcoholics Anonymous group meet at the Mairie at Paule, 10 Km from Carhaix in Finisterre (29). The open meetings are weekly on Tuesdays at 14:00; there is wheelchair access. CANCER SUPPORT FRANCE: for advice and someone to talk to: National Office Email:, Tel: 05 45 89 30 05 SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN AND FAMILIES ASSOCIATION FORCES (SSAFA): In France: 05 53 01 64 54, Email: AVF: help with integration into French life; OTHER INFO YELLOW PAGES: SPEAKING CLOCK: 3699. WEATHER: 08 92 68 02 + dept. number. LAST INCOMING CALL ON YOUR PHONE: 3131, then ‘5’ if you wish to connect. BRITISH CONSULATE British Consular Services, Paris: Postal address: British Embassy, BP111-08, 75363 Paris Cedex 08. Tel: 01 44 51 31 00 Tel (after hours Emergency Service only): 01 44 51 31 00 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS THIS MONTH July 14 - Bastille Day

Brittany Clubs and Associations Association Dis-Want Scrignac Meeting Monday evenings during school term times at Scrignac school, a mixed French and English discussion group. Informal atmosphere and special events including excursions. Pauline Bruce: 02 98 78 20 02. Association Giroulis: Jeu de Peindre Play of Painting: A different approach to painting (using the Arno Stern method), open to all giving the opportunity to paint as freely as possible, for oneself with natural colours. Maryse Prat: 02 98 93 90 60 Cine Club Part of the Franco-American Institute in Rennes: free and open to members of the institute. English language films once a month on a Thursday (details are on the website, which is always kept up to date). At 7, Quai Chateaubriand, Rennes (35). Marie de la Villebrunes: 02 99 79 89 23 Club Cricket de l’Oust Cricket Club based in Serent (56). Friendly games of cricket throughout the summer against other teams based in north-west France and also against UK touring teams. Jon Ward: 02 97 70 61 38 Compagnie Legitime Folie Drama club for all ages. Situated at 135bis boulevard Jacques Cartier, Rennes (35). Blandine Jet: 02 99 51 99 29 Kora Cantas The adults’ choir at the Carhaix Music School. All welcome, whatever your experience, but basses are urgently needed! Practices on Monday evenings from 19:30 - 21:30. Elizabeth Conan: 02 98 93 08 20

Summer sailings should be safe from cutbacks Î From

page 1 Two years ago, the company suspended some winter sailings from Cherbourg for the same reasons, and last winter it cut working hours for crew, but now says that it is forced to cut more sailings in order to stay afloat. It may even have to cut one of its vessels from the fleet entirely. As far as staff cuts go, the company wants to reduce the number of seasonal staff it employs each summer, by making their permanent staff work more hours during the season and less in the winter. They also want to increase the total hours worked in the year by 35, effectively adding an extra week’s work to the annual hours. As for which benefits might be cut, the company is refusing to specify but employees fear that those working at Cherbourg might be forcibly moved to other ports as the company’s activity there is reduced. Brittany Ferries is a French company employing 2,500 permanent, full-time staff and transporting 2.6m passengers a year (85% of them British). The company does not wish to comment on possible dates for cuts, or in fact on any other details. A spokesman said: “We are in negotiation with staff and unions over these propositions and it will not be possible to announce anything until that negotiation process is complete.” Pressed on whether passengers with tickets for sailings this summer might be

Judge says power line is in public interest RESIDENTS of an Ille-etVilaine village in the path of a new high-voltage overhead power line have lost their legal bid to withdraw the line’s planning permission. A court in Rennes refused the application made by exminister Pierre Mehaignerie, who is now the mayor of Vitré, along with various private individuals and pressure groups. They had argued that electromagnetic rays from the 400,000-volt line would pollute local water supplies. One pylon which will straddle a water storage area in the Pertre woods was particularly contentious having been declared a potential health hazard by the local authorities, and then declared safe by the same authority only a week later. Apart from health and pollution concerns, there are complaints that the power line will adversely affect property prices and tourism in the area. The Cotentin-Maine power line from the new nuclear reactor in Flamanville (Manche) will be 160km long, strung on 414 pylons, 45-65m tall, across Ille-et-Vilaine, Calvados, Mayenne and Manche. The judge in Rennes ruled that the power line would be overwhelmingly in the public interest, which overrides any other consideration.

Photo: Mike Cattell/Flickr

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July 2012

Brittany Ferries carries 2.6m passengers a year and 85% of them are British affected, the spokesman said it was unlikely, but refused to make any firm statement. Howard Vian, a committee member of the AIKB association, which helps English-speakers integrate in Brittany, said: “I can understand the firm’s point of view, that if you’re running a business you have to cut your coat according to your cloth, and fuel prices have been increasing. “However I would personally be affected by this, as I do go back to the UK by sea as opposed to flying.” He said the seriousness of the impact on expats would depend on to what extent out-of-season cuts are applied:

“Quite a few expats are retired and they may be quite flexible, but if there were no more ferries outside high season that would cause considerable inconvenience. “Low-cost flights are an alternative, but people tend to use those more when, for example, one person is going to the UK on their own to see family. When couples go together they tend to use the ferry and if they have pets, which is quite a number of them, it is the only option. “In terms of ferrries, from here, Brittany Ferries are really the only option – driving up to Calais is an awfully long journey, expensive in petrol and possibly even involving an overnight stop.”

Brittany Pages

News 3

July 2012

Islanders try electric cars

CONCARNEAU shipyard in Finistère has signed a major new contract to build a cruiseship specifically kitted out for scientific exploration. The luxury cross-ocean Piriou ship will take three years to build and creates 200 jobs. It will accommodate up to 18 passengers with stateof-the-art technology designed for scientists on long missions.

Fly Rennes to Shannon

Photo: apollorv/Flickr

IRISH airline Aer Lingus has begun a new summer link from Rennes to Shannon. It will run every Saturday until September 1, leaving the Irish city at 15.35 and returning from Rennes at 19.05. Prices start at €48 each way. Aer Lingus also flies from Rennes to Dublin and Cork.

Site rents out motorhomes TWO young web developers from Ile-Grande (Côtes d’Armor) have set up a new site allowing motorhome owners to easily hire out their vehicle to holidaymakers. does not charge for adverts. Owners Adrien Pinson and Benoît Panel have reached a deal with an insurance firm that ensures that the vehicles are adequately covered while they are being rented out to a third party.

Breton win at Euromillions A EUROMILLIONS ticket holder in Plougastel-Daoulas (Finistère) has won €144,244 by getting five correct numbers in the draw. The winning ticket was bought in Le Galopin bar-tabac and La Française des Jeux says it has yet to hear from the winner.

A FAMOUS Rennes brasserie under renovation had its furniture stolen by bare-faced thieves who pretended to be removal men. At least €10,000-worth of property was taken by the burglars, who broke into the Le Picca restaurant, next to Rennes opera house, and calmly removed its contents over a bank holiday weekend. Co-owner David Le Roux, also proprietor of the nearby Café de la Paix, said it is thought they parked up a lorry and spent the three days stripping the brasserie, which has been closed for work since the start of the year. Mr Le Roux, who recently acquired the brasserie along with Jacques Faby of the Cours des Lices, is doing it up before a planned reopening next year. He said: “They took all the equipment and tables, terrace chairs and parasols that we had planned to sell at auction – worth at least €10,000. “No one was there because it was the weekend, but passers-by and neighbours thought it was legitimate. “I suppose the more it’s done to look natural, like that, the less people pay attention to it. “We found out on the Tuesday

Rennes opera house with Le Picca brasserie under arches to right afterwards. We have reported it to the police but have no news yet.” Mr Le Roux said it is expected the brasserie will reopen for summer 2013. He added: “It will be similar to before, but all new and more beautiful.” The renovation has been beset by delays and legal wrangles as the building was found, after acquisition, to suffer from a variety of structural problems requiring heavier renovation work than had

Mayors seek help to keep villages alive THE MAYORS of small villages in Brittany have gathered in Quimper to stage a demonstration over the decline of rural communities and a lack of government funding. The main problem, they say, is the tendency of successive governments to favour urbanisation at the expense of communities in the countryside. They want more government funding and a relaxation of laws such as the Loi Littoral, which is designed to keep the French coastline accessible to the general public, but is often used to turn down coastal planning applications. The mayors say that attracting newcomers to their communes is vital – during the 1990s many small villages saw their populations halve and unless they encourage population growth they face becoming ghost towns. But in order to tempt people to move into them, villages have to offer facilities such as a primary school with an on-site canteen, a corner shop and a bakery, which is not easy for a commune with a population of only a few hundred. To provide these facilities, many small communes have taken out bank loans and now have no further access to credit. But the mayors say

During the 1990s many small villages saw their populations halve that without these investments, their villages might have died all together. To pay the loans off, they want central funding per capita to match the funding received by urban centres, which they say is double what is awarded to countryside districts. When classroom sizes shrink, teachers are reassigned to other schools often meaning that year-groups are taught together in one classroom. Getting teachers back once school numbers rise again is often very difficult. The mayors want a more flexible approach to this problem. Mayors in small communes often subsidise businesses such as village grocer’s shops and cafes in order to keep the village alive but this costs money which the mayors say they simply do not have. They are only allowed to borrow 30% of their annual income, and say this does not give them enough flexibility.

been planned. An adviser at Rennes tourist office said: “It has been taking a long time, with various expert studies, and now burglars have taken what was left to be stolen. “It is one of the most beautiful old brasseries in Rennes, an institution, so it is very annoying.” The brasserie is situated in the galleries at the side of the opera house, the whole complex having originally opened in 1836.

PRINCE Albert of Monaco is to visit the small Côtes d’Armor commune of Matignon on July 5 and 6, because of his ancestral links to the town. In 1715, the local lord of the manor, François-Léonor Gouyon married Louise Grimaldi, eldest daughter of the then prince of Monaco, on condition that he take the Grimaldi name (the royal family having no male heir). He became prince of Monaco under the name Jacques I. Albert, who still has the title, Sire de Matignon, was invited to visit by mayor Roland Petit, who has described it as a “private visit, but that must be treated as an official one”. Matignon residents are still sometimes jokingly called Monégasques, and the church bells are rung for special events in the royal family. The town of 1,500 residents also gave its name to the residence of the French prime minister, which was formerly owned by lords of Matignon, including Prince Jacques I.

Beer cheese on sale BRITT brewery in Finistère has joined forces with an Ille-et-Vilaine dairy firm to produce what is believed to be Brittany's first beerflavoured cheese. It will be available to order online at

Photo: David Sifry -

Luxury ship for scientists

‘Removals’ thieves clear out brasserie Photo: Rawac/Flickr

HIGH petrol prices on BelleÎle, off the Morbihan coast, have prompted a growing number of residents to switch to electric cars. About 40 vehicles have been shipped to the island so far, about half of which are available to hire. The cars have a battery life that equates to about 100km driving, making them ideal for the small 20km-long island, where petrol costs almost €2 per litre.

Monaco prince begins search for Breton ancestors

4 News

Brittany Pages

British-style police searches proposed

Men stole €1.5m yacht 'for a jaunt' TWO young men have appeared in court after stealing a €1.5 million motor cruiser from the marina at Antibes on the Riviera and taking it for a jaunt on the Mediterranean. The two unemployed men from Douai, Nord, had been on holiday in Antibes. They had never driven a boat before and just followed instructions on a sticker on the bridge. Appearing before the court in Grasse, they said: “We just fancied a little ride.” One has been jailed for a year and the other given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

Retire at 60 - new pension rules revealed MOTHERS and older long-term jobless people will get the right to retire at 60 under new pension measures. Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine’s decree to the Conseil des Ministres will, in part, overturn one Photo:

TOURISTS are giving animals diabetes by feeding them chocolate, warns an association in the French Alps. Cecile Corellou, of Apvem, an association protecting the animals in the Hautes-Alpes, Apvem, said: “The problem is it has terrible effects. A study on another site in the southern Alps has shown they are becoming diabetic and developing eczema.” Normally marmots eat only leaves and vegetables.

A CALL by housing minister Cécile Duflot for cannabis to be put on the same legal footing as alcohol or tobacco has opened a potential split in the new government of Jean-Marc Ayrault and President François Hollande. Duflot, who is still leader of the Europe Écologie-Les Verts, said she was putting forward her party’s position five days before the first round of the parliamentary elections. Ayrault, when questioned by reporters, said the “government had said nothing”. However, during the presidential election campaign Hollande had refused to support a call by his security adviser, François Rebsamen, to ease laws on cannabis and other “soft drugs”.

Sex workers call for say in rules NEARLY 200 sex workers took to the streets in Paris recently to protest against "police repression" and plans to penalise clients. The sex-workers' union Strass told journalists they wanted “our views to be taken into account when decisions concerning us are taken.” Prostitution is legal in France but Morgane Merteuil, of Strass, said sex-workers were being repressed all the time. The prostitutes – who walked the streets from Place Pigalle to Châtele – say new laws such as the ban on vans in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and the proposal to penalise clients were pushing prostitutes towards working illegally with pimps and as part of illegal networks.

Socialists win decisive majority Photo:

of the most controversial reforms introduced by former president Nicolas Sarkozy.People who started work at 18 or 19 and have been paying charges for at least 41 years have the right to take their pension at the age of 60 rather than the Sarkozyimposed age of retirement at 62. There will also be help for mothers who started work early but who, while raising a family, had a broken contributions record and have not paid enough into the system. Older workers on long-term unemployment will also be given a boost, especially those who are close to retirement age.

Eurotunnel wins SeaFrance fight CHANNEL Tunnel firm EuroTunnel has been given the green light to buy three ferries from bankrupt DoverCalais ferry firm SeaFrance in a €65 million deal. SeaFrance collapsed under debts thought to be around €150m and took with it 880 jobs in France and 130 in the UK. Now Eurotunnel will lease the ferries back to a cooperative of former SeaFrance staff under a French flag and save the jobs of 560 in the Calais area. No date has yet been set for the restart of crossings.

opened fire on them with several weapons. Ms Moktari said they would be presenting proof of their claims, thought to be videos sent by Merah via his phone to his father, Mohammed Benalel Merah.

Inheritance rules change approved A NEW EU regulation enabling Britons to bypass restrictive French inheritance rules has been given the final go-ahead. The Council of the European Union has adopted, unchanged, the regulation which means expats who live permanently in France will have the right to stipulate in a French will that they want the inheritance law of their country of nationality to apply to their whole estate. This means that Britons will be able to leave all their property to anyone they like, as opposed to being obliged to leave set portions to their children. The regulation will “enter into force” later this month

but will not apply in practice until summer 2015.

Ban to be lifted on gay blood donors THE BAN on homosexual men giving blood in France is to be lifted. Health Minister Marisol Touraine said the criteria for assessing risk from infected blood did not depend on the “nature of sexual relations or sexual inclination” but on the “multiplicity of partners”. She said she would put forward proposals for the change to allow homosexuals to give blood in the coming months. Previous governments had maintained the ban on homosexual donations as the male gay community was seen as having a greater prevalence of Aids. In the UK, the ban was lifted in November 2011 in England, Scotland and Wales for homosexual and bisexual men who had not had sex with another man in the last 12 months.

PRESIDENT Hollande has been given a decisive majority in the new Assemblée Nationale after the Parti Socialiste returned 314 MPs in June’s elections - it needed just 289. However, it came at the cost of losing 2007 Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, above, and former minister and party stalwart Jack Lang - and seeing the Front National win two seats; although party leader Marine Le Pen was beaten in HéninBeaumont, Pas-de-Calais. The UMP lost more than 100 MPs and now has 215. The election gives the socialists control of parliament for the first time since the presidency of François Mitterrand in 1981 - it also has control of the Sénat and the presidency. Photo: © Freddy Smeets -

Diet of chocolate ‘bad for marmots’

Minister isolated on cannabis call

Photo: Matthieu Riegler, CC-BY -

BRITISH-STYLE stop-and-search procedures may be introduced to improve relations between the police and public, says Interior Minister Manuel Valls. This would, notably, include police handing out receipts with their identity numbers to anyone they stop. In Britain people stopped are also asked to give their ethnic origin so this can be noted as part of a report on the stop (Mr Valls did not say if this would be done, however France has rules against keeping files on ethnic origins, so it is less likely). The aim is to give the public more confidence in the police, and to avoid so-called délit de faciès, which refers to people being stopped and questioned – allegedly sometimes several times the same day – because of their race, colour or appearance.

July 2012

Scooter killer father in murder claim THE father of scooter killer Mohammed Merah has lodged formal legal action against the police for “murdering” his son. His lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, said they were alleging “murder in aggravating circumstances”. Merah, who admitted killing three soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi in Toulouse and claimed connections with Al-Qaeda, was shot in March by the elite RAID squad as they tried to get into his flat to arrest him after a 32-hour siege. Police bosses said afterwards the officers were forced to kill him as he

Six wine merchants accused of fraud SIX Burgundy wine bosses have been questioned over suspicion of fraud involving the mixing and labelling of wines. Leaders of one of the main Burgundy wine merchants, Labouré-Roi, were questioned in police custody after investigators found possible evidence of banned practices – a scandal

which the Dijon public prosecutor, Eric Lallement, said “has upset the profession and changed the image of the wine”. It is alleged that in around half a million bottles, the firm mixed wines of different origins, even adding table wine to ones labelled appellation contrôlée.

It is also alleged that there was fraud over date labelling. The enquiry, by the gendarmerie and anti-fraud officers, relates to a period from 2006-2008. Bosses have admitted there may have been “errors”, but claimed there was no intention of fraud.

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News 5

July 2012

Horse death may not be linked to seaweed Photo: Benjamin Féron/Flickr

‘Seismic’ effect on region if firm’s 3,500 jobs axed

The beach at Saint-Michel-en-Grève


JUDGES have been urged to rule that there is no proof that toxic seaweed was to blame for the death of a horse and injuries to its rider on a beach in Saint-Michel-en-Grève two years ago. The rider, Vincent Petit, is seeking a ruling from the local administrative court that the state was responsible for the accident by failing to act against the tide of algues vertes that is washed up on Brittany’s beaches and gives off a foul-smelling gas when it decomposes. The rapporteur public – an independent magistrate who gives an opinion on the case before judges retire to consider their verdict – told the court that natural gases emitted from the mud and slime on the beach were more likely to have caused the horse to lose consciousness and collapse in July 2009. The judges are expected to give their verdict within a matter of weeks. Brussels is taking legal action against France over the amount of nitrates from intensive farming that make their way into rivers and the sea. They are thought to cause the proliferation of toxic seaweed on Breton beaches.

BRITTANY poultry firm Doux, which is one of the largest in Europe, is threatening up to 3,500 job losses – which would have a knock-on effect on the region as a whole, union representatives warn. There are fears that the collapse of the company could provoke even more job losses in the region as associated suppliers and other related companies also lose business. Far-left political organisation Les Alternatifs said that if Doux, one of the region’s biggest employers, went bankrupt it would be “seismic” for Brittany, affecting the economy as a whole. They blame management for the current financial difficulties, accusing them of not having developed a high-quality range, of using battery eggs, bad transport practices and of having squeezed producers’ margins. Patrick

Massard from the Confédération française démocratique du travail said his union had been extremely concerned about the future of the company for a long time. He said: “This situation isn’t really new, it’s been going on for some years, but what is new is the attitude of the banks and that is worrying.” He said the union had not been contacted by management at Doux and were relying on the press for information. The family-run firm is seeking to cut administrative jobs, especially higher-paid ones, in a bid to cut costs and increase competitiveness. It is also seeking refinancing from the banks, but so

far has said that the only propositions on the table are short-term and will not secure the group’s long-term future. The company’s managing director, Guy Odri, was replaced in March by Jean-Charles Doux, the son of the company’s president Charles Doux, who holds 80% of the company’s shares. Together the family is tackling the company’s debts which are in excess of €430m, and which have been exacerbated by the rising prices of cereals. The company has said that it will not declare bankruptcy but is considering selling off some less profitable sections of the group, the fresh products range for example, in order to concentrate on its more profitable frozen products and processed foods such as chicken nuggets. It says it is in discussions with investors to reinforce funding and restructure the debts.

Lost: a sheep and two geese CARHAIX town hall recently became a temporary home for a sheep and a pair of geese after the animals were found lost in the town centre by municipal police. The sheep was found eating its way through plants in a local resident’s garden and police had to call for extra support to deal with the animal. Municipal police officer Denis Thoraval said dealing with lost or abandoned animals was a regular part of the job. Recently, another sheep, a tortoise and a parakeet were among the creatures taken into temporary care by the mairie. All the animals have now been reunited with their respective owners.

Next step in turbine plan AN UNDERWATER cable has been laid that will link a new group of water turbines in the Paimpol bay with the mainland, generating enough electricity for up to 3,000 homes in the area. The major project began in 2003 and the first of the turbines is due to be submerged this summer off the coast of Launay, near Ploubazlanec. A distribution plant will be built on the shore in September.

American director helps save Brittany orchestra

The orchestra has always had a reputation for being innovative, and trying new things.

Allen side to me which is always expecting the worst.” The new season has just been announced to public approval and the newly appointed musical director Darrel Ang is also expected to make great strides. This is a real achievement

Photo: Raphaël Auvray

THE NEW American director of Brittany’s symphony orchestra has been widely credited with turning around the group’s fortunes and safeguarding its future. Mark Feldman, whose connection with France stretches back more than 30 years, was hired to turn around the orchestra after a period of disarray. However, he is modest about his work: “The star of today is the goat of tomorrow. I’m originally a New Yorker, so I have this little Woody

Mark Feldman jumped at chance when he saw ad because only two years ago the orchestra was in serious trouble, following a report which concluded that the administration was ineffective, that money had been misspent, that there was no proper management in place and that the orchestra’s finances were a disaster. The end result was that the old director left along with the musical director and nearly 50 members of the

orchestra. The future looked bleak, but the local authorities, who fund the orchestra to the tune of about €1.8m a year, appointed a new administrator, Martial Gabillard, to see if it was possible to save something from the wreckage. He then set about finding a new director and is now delighted to report that the orchestra’s future is assured. Mr Feldman added: “I’m excited about the new season, and about the future of the orchestra. There’s so much going on and we have so many projects in the pipeline.” His connection with France goes back to 1981 when he came to the country to study. He went on to marry a Frenchwoman and work in France until he moved to California to direct the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra. “When I saw the position advertised, I applied for it immediately,” he said. “The orchestra has always had a reputation for being innovative, and trying new things.” For full details of the forthcoming season, and for ticket sales see the website:

New guided walks around city of Lorient LORIENT has launched a series of walks (promenades urbaines) around the city including a 5km guided walk in French which starts at the Enclos du Port and takes in 25 noteworthy architectural sites along the way. Some 100 people took part in the first walk, which can be retraced using the maps which are available for download at or ready printed from the tourist office and mairie. More walks are planned, to take in the areas of Eau Courante, Nouvelle-Ville, and Saint-Armel although these are not expected to be ready for this summer.

Inheritance Solutions French inheritance rules may mean that your worldwide estate will not be distributed according to your wishes.

Look after those that matter. Jennie Poate, Regional Manager Tel French Head Office: 05 56 34 75 51 Email: French finance in plain English Siddalls France SASU, Parc Innolin, 3 Rue du Golf, 33700 Mérignac - RCS BX 498 800 465. C.I.F. No E001669 auprès de ANACOFI-CIF association agréée par l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers et Courtier d’Assurances, Catégorie B - ORIAS 07 027 475. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier et L 512-6 et 512-7 du Code des Assurances.

6 What’s On

Brittany Pages

July 2012




July July 13-19 Les Tonnerres de Brest – Every four years, more than 250 boats and a million visitors descend on the harbour in Brest for this huge celebration of sailing and the sea. Some 30 countries are invited to each festival and for one week Brest is transformed into the biggest port in the world. This year the guests of honour are Mexico, Russia, Norway, Morocco and Indonesia, each of which will host its own quayside “village”, giving visitors a taste of their culture. There is also a children’s village to keep the younger ones happy.The quaysides roll out the red carpet to historic sailing boats and other remarkable vessels and about 20,000 sailors parade to the tune of dozens of musical performances. Watch the races or admire the boats in action, climb aboard and even go out to sea. A one-day ticket is €15 for adults, €12 for under 18s, but there are various prices for those who wish to visit on more than one day. Entry on the final day is FREE. For the full programme and to book tickets, see


Gourin FOOD

July 28-29 Fête de la Crêpe – Crêpes are the pride of Gourin and are not just a speciality reserved for Pancake Day. Every July, the village gets cracking, despite the heat of summer, to celebrate the humble crêpe. Even if you are not a fan of galettes, Brittany’s savoury buckwheat pancakes, dancing, Breton pipe bands, traditional fest noz nights, concerts, games and entertainment are all on the menu. The main event revolves around the pancake-makers’ competition and bets are on for who will make the biggest crêpe. Day entry is just €6 and FREE for under 16s. Visit


Carhaix MUSIC July 19-22 Festival Vieilles Charrues – Bob Dylan, Sting, Metrononomy, The Cure, and Other Lives (pictured) are just a few of the well-known performers featuring at this year’s Vieilles Charrues festival.The festival name which translates as “old ploughs” – a reference to the Breton countryside setting and roots – is now in its 20th year and is established as one of France’s major rock festivals. It is similar to Glastonbury as most visitors camp in tents, but the advantage is that tickets are considerably cheaper.This year’s dress code? Superheroes! 1-day pass €41; 3-day pass €105; 4-day pass €145; FREE under 9s. Camping is FREE for ticket holders Call 02 98 99 25 45 or visit

Photo: Husky - wikimedia


Brittany Pages

What’s On 7

July 2012


Landerneau FESTIVAL July 11-15 Festival Kann Al Loar – Music, dance, theatre, literature, games and competitions, bring the sleepy town of Landerneau to life every July. For the last 20 years, this hub of Breton culture has been mixing contemporary trends with the more traditional. The festival provides a real insight to Breton culture, from music and maritime tradition to literature and street entertainment. Call 02 98 30 30 45 or visit


Perros-Guirec SPORT

Photo: Lsantilli -

Photo: Informatique -

July 6-8 Festival du Saumon Three days of concerts and entertainment celebrating the venerable salmon. The 16th edition of the festival features concerts, walks, music and cookery workshops and large, friendly meals based on salmon. The main event is on Saturday, with a firework display and a live show from a Pink Floyd tribute band. Call 02 97 32 50 27 or visit

July 21 Solitaire du Figaro This annual solo sailing race starts in Perros-Guirec and covers around 1,700 nautical miles. It attracts participants from all over the world. Land lubbers can also enjoy the start of the event as there is lots of on-land entertainment and fireworks too. Visit

Pick of the rest in Brittany town for one night with performances in the town centre. See Los Diablitos Cubanos, Beat Decker with their camels, zebras and llamas, the trapeze artists The Flying Caraibes and of course the Cardinal clowns. Tickets prices range from €14 to €45.Visit

BRITTANY July 14 Bastille Day This marks the storming of the Bastille, Paris’s highsecurity prison, in 1789, and the beginning of the French Revolution. It is France’s most important national holiday. The whole of France celebrates with fireworks, balls and street parties in all the major towns. FINISTÈRE La Forêt Fouesnant Every Monday in July Stretching on the beach, Plage de Kerleven 11.30 to 12.30 – Gym class with a professional stretching teacher. No need to register. Bring a towel, hat and a bottle of water. FREE. If it rains, the class will be at the salle polyvalente in the Old Harbour. FINISTÈRE La Forêt Fouesnant July 31 Pinder Circus, 17.00 and 20.00 The circus is in

Quimper FESTIVAL Photo:

Pont-Scorff FOOD

Côtes-d’Armor Finistère

Photo: Lionel Coste

Vannes July 30-August 4 The Vannes Jazz Festival – A stream of acclaimed international artists descend on this south Brittany town each summer. Performances take place at several spots across town and some concerts, usually those on L’Esplanade du Port, are FREE. Call 02 97 01 62 30 or visit

CANCALE July 10-14 Breizh Sable Tour – Come to the Place de l'Eglise in the town centre and admire the amazing work of Laurent Dagron, a professional sand sculptor.The sculptures are illuminated at night.There is a FREE workshop for children to introduce them to the art of sand sculpture. Fun for all the family in a sandcastle-building competition. AUDIERNE Nautical knots - At the Maritime Museum in the centre of this pretty harbourside town, this kids' workshop is always great fun. No matter if your French is limited, come and watch, you'll soon be tying impressing maritime fastenings... at a rate of knots. Call 02 98 70 12 20

July 24-29 Festival de Cornouaille – This festival takes place in Quimper every year and is Brittany’s biggest celebration of Breton culture.There is music and dancing outside the cathedral, along the medieval streets and the quayside.The festival’s origins stem from the inter-war period, but it became increasingly popular after World War II when the survival of Breton culture became a local issue. Cournouaille is the name for the region in Brittany where Cornish migrants settled, so its ties with Cornwall, both culturally and linguistically, are very strong.This event includes concerts and workshops, dances, cooking demonstrations and tastings, fashion shows and fest noz – the traditional Breton “night parties”. Most events are FREE or reasonably priced. Call 02 98 55 53 53 or visit

8 What’s On

Brittany Pages

July 2012

Lots of events for everyone July 6

Nocturnal Wolf Walk Finistère, Brélès

Imagine a summer night with a walk in the dark woods learning about – and on the lookout for – the legendary local wolves. From the Château de Kergroadez, 22.30 to 00.00, it promises to be unforgettable. €6 adults, €4 concessions. Call 02 98 32 43 93 July 6-8

Grande Fête Maritime Côtes d’Armor, Plerin

July LISTINGS July 1-8

Folklores du Monde Ille-et-Vilaine, Saint-Malo

A truly international festival, including participants from Trinidad and Tobago,Tahiti, Mongolia, Poland and the UK. Daytime events in the street, evenings in the Salle du Panier Fleuri. Events around €7 adults, parade FREE. Call 08 25 13 52 00 or see July 1

Standing stone celebration Morbihan, Plumelec

This Fête des Mégalithes is all about the standing stones and megalithic monuments in Trédion, Plumelec and Plaudren with family activities all day and plenty to entertain and fascinate. FREE. Call 02 97 60 49 06 or see

Festival Celtytud Ille-et-Vilaine, Parthenay de Bretagne

An all-day event including around 200 stalls, this is ideal for browsing plus activities for the kids, located 12km west of Rennes. FREE entry Call 02 99 96 18 70

Salon des Vieux Papiers Finistère, La Forêt-Fouesnant

Exhibition and sale of all things bookish and paper-related: ancient tomes, engravings, vintage cartoons, collectable postcards, posters and stamps. Call 02 98 51 42 07 or see

Plouman’arts Côtes d’Armor, Perros-Guirec

An outdoor gathering of artists to inspire you, including painters, sculptors and more, in the beautiful harbourside setting of the Port de Ploumanac’h. FREE entry. Call 06 99 46 38 69

Up to 50 traditional boats arrive in the Port du Légué on Friday night, including a reconstruction of a traditional regional sailboat from the late 19th century. Expect music and street shows, stages with dancers and concerts, a brocante on Sunday, outings in the bay and even classic car collections. FREE entry. Call 08 25 00 22 22 or see July 7

Festi Val de l’Oust Morbihan, St Servant

English-speakers welcome for this event, which tends to have a Celtic feel to its live music.Tickets can be bought in advance throughout the town. €10 in advance, €12 on the door. Call 06 83 41 68 59 July 8

Pottery Fair Morbihan, Rochefort-en-Terre

Certainly one of the prettiest towns in Brittany, today’s event makes it even more appealing as there will be around 20 potters and ceramic artists showcasing their talents. Earthenware, porcelain, traditional hand-painted Faïence and individual designs to admire. FREE. Call 02 97 26 56 00 or see July 9

Fest Noz Morbihan, Quiberon

Traditional Breton evening with live music, dancing in a relaxed and friendly way that’s open to everyone no matter what age, the scent of sausages, mussels and crêpes in the night air… FREE. Call 02 97 50 07 84 or see July 11 - 15

Festival Kann Al Loar Finistère, Landerneau

The Dubliners are headlining this year, along with Brittany’s own Nolwenn Korbell.There’s a procession with dancers and 600 musicians as well as live gigs, theatre, children’s shows and night-time parties. Concerts are ticketed, but the Grande Fête du Port on Thursday is FREE. €5 – €32 for concerts; FREE Fête on Thursday. For more information see page 7. See

July 3

Boat Trip to Île de Bréhat Côtes d’Armor, Binic

Enjoy a return day-trip to discover this beautiful floral island, leaving at 08.00 and returning at 19.00, with a day to explore. Tickets must be booked in advance (by 16.00 the day before). Crossings: €28 adults €20.50 children 4-11 years €5 infants 0-3 years. For details Call 02 96 73 60 12 or see July 4, 11, 18, 25

Guided visit in English Finistère, Loctudy

The church at Loctudy is certainly worth a visit, even more so when you can learn all about its history in English. Simply turn up at the church just before 11.00. FREE. Call 02 98 87 53 78 or see

All about Oysters Morbihan, Plouharnel

Come and learn how oysters are raised here, with a short film, a visit and a tasting session of six oysters with a glass of white wine. Please book in advance – it’s likely to be popular! €7.50 adults, FREE for under 12s. Call 02 97 52 32 93 or see July 5

Seaweed Discovery Day Côtes d’Armor, Plouha

One for the whole family: discover how seaweed used to provide an income for locals, how it’s used for beauty products and even cookery.The outing includes an outdoor exploration for 90 minutes then 2½ hours for a cookery workshop. Bring your boots! Book online or at the Tourist Office. Entry from €8 Call 02 96 20 24 73 or

Fête de la SNSM Finistère, Guissény

July 7 During summer, you’ll often see these events, to raise funds for the French lifeboat associations.This one, right on the northwest coast, includes beach games for the children, sea shanties, rides in a pony and trap, demonstrations of sea rescues, and refreshments including barbecues and crêpes. FREE 02 98 25 65 44

Viking Drakkar

Côtes d’Armor, Saint-Quay-Portrieux July 1 At the Port d’Armor, there’s an impressive vessel today: Le Dreknor is a recreated Viking ship that you can visit for free and even climb aboard for a trip in the bay.

FREE visits; Trips €10 adults €8 children 06 16 98 89 97

Brittany Pages

What’s On 9

July 2012

this month across Brittany Festival de l’Insolite Finistère, Mahalon

Celtic Harp

Côtes d’Armor, Lannion A rare chance to enjoy a harp concert in the beautiful setting of the Eglise de Brélévenez. Nolwenn Arzel is a celebrated soloist specialising in traditional and Celtic music. 02 96 05 60 70

July 12-16

Fête des Brodeuses Finistère, Pont l’Abbé

This annual event is one of the greatest shows of Breton costume and culture in Brittany, with regular grand parades, shows, concerts and a festive family atmosphere. Over 30,000 people come each year to enjoy this event, it is popular for good reasons! FREE. Call 02 98 82 37 99 or see July 13

Fireworks Côtes d’Armor, Saint-Quay-Portrieux

This evening includes a convivial moules-frites to sample the local mussels from 19.30, then at 21.00 everyone has the chance to pick up a lantern for a magical effect as the fireworks go off at nightfall. FREE. Call 02 96 70 40 64 or July 13-18

National Horse-racing event Côtes d’Armor, Saint-Quay-Portrieux

Three days of racing including the gallop, trot and attelé rather like modern chariot races. Both amateur and professional riders compete, it’s a free event and there’s plenty to entertain. FREE. Call 02 96 70 40 64 or July 14

Firework display Côtes d’Armor, Moncontour

Music from the Fanfare St Mathurin then the crowds leave the centre to watch the fireworks set off above the city ramparts. FREE. July 13-19

Fêtes Maritimes Finistère, Brest

If you are into boating, this is THE big event of the summer, as the Brest event only happens every four years and this happens to be its 20th anniversary.You can see the hundreds of sailboats gracing the waters, take part in the activities on the quayside, watch the races, maybe even go out in one of the vessels and see the coast from a new perspective. For more information, see page 6. Two-day pass €26 adults (€21 children) 1-day pass €15 (€12 children). FREE for 0-11 years. July 19-22

Festival les Vielles Charrues Finistère, Carhaix-Plouguer

Now in its 21st year and still increasing in popularity, attracting big names from all over Europe – this year that includes Sting and The Cure. One of the best aspects of this event is its openness to all ages, types of music and people. For more information, see page 6. 1-day pass €41 adult. 3-day pass €105 adult. July 20

Night market and Fest Noz Morbihan, Pluvigner

From 20.00 in the centre of Pluvigner there’ll be a night market together with live music and oysters, a bustling market then a Fest Noz in both of the town squares. Being held at Place du Marché and Place Saint-Michel. FREE. Call 02 97 24 79 18 or see

July 14-15 This is exactly what it says: something quite different. It includes the world championship of bed-racing, pedal car-racing, a great picnic, dancing then fireworks in what is otherwise a sleepy little village! €3 adults, FREE for children 02 98 74 52 76

July 21-22

Fête des Remparts Côtes d’Armor, Dinan

Step back into the Middle Ages for a day at this fantastic annual festival that even includes a horse show (Place du Duc Jean IV).There’s authentic-style jousting, period music, ancient spectacles and comedy and an unforgettable atmosphere. €12 adults, €8 children. Call 02 96 87 94 94 or July 22

Craft market Morbihan, Auray

In an idyllic harbour setting, come and browse the stalls: sculpture, ceramics, textiles and jewellery, leather goods, hand-made items and finely crafted pieces to adorn your home. FREE. Call 02 97 24 09 75 or see July 27-29

Fest Jazz Finistère, Chateauneuf-du-Faou

On the banks of the picturesque river, this event grows in popularity and reputation every year, with good reason.The result of a collaboration between the British and French musicians of the Good Time Jazz group, the festival now welcomes nearly 3,000 visitors and jazz lovers. €12 to €35. Call 02 98 81 83 90 or see July 28-29

Rallycross Championships Côtes d’Armor, Cohiniac

France’s most popular automobile sport comes to Cohiniac (southwest of Saint Brieuc) for two days of competitive driving by the top 120 French drivers – professional and amateur alike.Weekend pass €20 adults FREE for 0-11 years Saturday only €10 Sunday only €16. Visit July 30

Boat Trip Côtes d’Armor, Lézardrieux

This unique excursion on a traditional sailing ship departs from Lézardrieux, on one of three beautiful vessels.Take a packed lunch with you and follow in the footsteps of Henri Rivière, local painter inspired by these seascapes. €45 for adults, €40 children under 14. Call 02 96 22 16 45 or see July 29

Fête des Moules Ille-et-Vilaine, Cancale

If you’re a fan of mussels, this is for you: all along the Port de la Houle, mussels are the star with fresh batches cooked all day long. For non-fans, there are also sausages and other snacks! FREE to attend, pay for meals. Call 02 99 89 63 07 or see

10 What’s On

Brittany Pages

July 2012

Get Involved!


Place to share interests

A talk is always followed by a slap-up lunch at Probus Pontivy

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THE Probus Pontivy Association is a great place for retired people to make friends. It is part of a worldwide network of clubs aimed at people who have retired from professional or business life, but who want to stay in touch with likeminded people. (The name is a fusion of the words professional and business.) The very first Probus club was set up in the 1920s, but the Pontivy branch in Morbiham (56) was formed in 2008 by Geoff Baldock and three friends. The main activity of the club is a talk by either a member or a guest speaker, followed by slap-up lunch on the second Tuesday of every month. They meet at the Robic Hotel in Pontivy, and the talks can vary from travel adventures to spin-doctoring. A popular recent talk was an explanation by a French pharmacist of the precise inner workings of the French health insurance system from a financial point of view.

“Our members really appreciate the French health service,” says president John Harris. “You get personal attention, GPs tend to have small practices, so you get the amount of time you need, rather than being shown the door after six minutes, you get appointments really fast. It can sometimes be a crash course in French of course!” The clubs are sponsored by the Rotary Club and worldwide they have 300,000 members in about 4,000 different clubs all over the world. Pontivy is the only English-speaking Probus club in France. It is also unique in that it is open to women as well as men. The club has links with the Probus Jersey club, which is bi-lingual, and the clubs at St Malo and Dinard which are French-speaking. “It’s fun and an opportunity to practice French,” says John. “We have to go the National Convention in December in Lille and that’s going to be quite a challenge because it’s all in French!”

Brittany Pages

What’s On 11

July 2012

What’s On in the capital

July 20August 19 – Visitors to Paris this summer can combine city sightseeing with a trip to the beach with the return of Paris Plages for its 11th year.A stretch of the right bank of the Seine, from Pont Neuf to the Pont de Sully will be closed to traffic for a month and turned into an urban beach, with sunloungers, mist machines to cool off, ice-creams, restaurants, table football, children’s activity areas, taichi and a pétanque pitch. The main stretch of “beach” is narrow and can get very busy with tourists. Locals looking for a less stressful experience prefer the second Paris Plages site – the much more spacious Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement, with all the same features plus pedalos and other watersports, a


OUTDOORS July 7 – Paris’s tropical carnival is without doubt one of the city’s liveliest and most colourful outdoor events, with 4,000 dancers and musicians from France’s overseas territories joining the procession in dazzling bright costumes.The event grows in size every year and attracts tens of thousands of spectators of all nationalities.This year’s route starts and finishes at the Place de la Nation, passing by the Boulevard Voltaire, Rue du Chemin Vert and Boulevard Ménilmontant. 14.00 to 18.00.

July 19-22 – To mark the launch of Paris Plages, culture superstore Fnac and the Mairie de Paris put on a series of more than 20 free open-air pop and rock concerts on the impressive square outside the Hôtel de Ville over a long weekend.A mixture of popular and up-and-coming French and English-language acts is expected, with full details available shortly at


Celebrate all things Japan Exclusive July 5-8 – From manga to music and TV, this wide-ranging new exhibition celebrates Japanese popular culture in all its forms, including performances and seminars. It takes place at the Parc des Expositions in Villepinte, on the RER B towards Charles de Gaulle airport. Open daily 10.00-19.00. Tickets from €9 to €14 depending on day of visit.


Evenings of chamber music July 19-August 15 – The beautiful orangery in the Parc de Bagatelle, part of the vast Bois de Boulogne, is the venue for a chamber music festival this summer, with concerts every Thursday at 20.30 and Sunday at 16.30. Works from Beethoven, Bach, Rossini, Mozart and Schubert are among those on the programme, and most performances are priced at €25.


The Boss performs at Bercy

previews at Paris film fest

Until July 10 – The Paris Film Festival is back for its 10th year, with more than 30 exclusive preview screenings, director talks and a special evening dedicated to films from Hong Kong. Most screenings are €5 (3D films are €7). A pass for the whole festival is €35.The venue is MK2 Bibliothèque cinema, M° Bibliothèque François Mitterrand (line 14/RER C).


Riverside views as Tour de France cyclists reach capital Photo: traviscrawford/Flickr

July 4-5 – American rock superstar Bruce Springsteen plays two nights at the Palais Omnisports (M° Bercy) as part of his world tour. Tickets range from €68 to €100. Doors open 18.00, concert from 20.00.


Disco theme for fireworks

July 22 – After 20 days racing all over the country, the Tour de France cyclists reach the capital. Setting off from Rambouillet at 14.00, the first competitors are expected to enter Paris at 15.45, with a scenic ride along the right bank of the Seine opposite the Eiffel tower – where there are plenty of vantage points for spectators.They will then complete eight loops from the Louvre up the Champs-Elysées and back before reaching the Arc de Triomphe finish line for about 17.00.

July 14 – There are fireworks all over France today, but the display at the Eiffel Tower is one of the most spectacular. Lasting 30 minutes, this year’s theme is the 1970s-80s disco era and the first firework goes off at 23.00, but you will need to be there early for a good spot on the Champ de Mars. Earlier in the day is the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées from 10.00 – and on the evening of July 13, pompiers hold street parties outside their fire stations.

Photo: tangi_berlin/Flickr



mini-golf course, cycle track, early evening concerts from metro buskers and an openair cinema festival. „ Central site: M° Pont-Neuf, Châtelet or Hôtel de Ville. „ Second site: M° Stalingrad or Jaurès. Entry to both sites is free and open from 8.00 to 0.00.

Photo: Craig O’Neal/Wikimedia

Free summer music outside Hôtel de Ville

Sun, sand and Seine

Photo: slasher-fun/Flickr

Photo: Willy_G91/Flickr

Tropical carnival hits Paris streets

12 Currency special

Brittany Page

Make your money go further when buying a French home Buying a French property – whether a main residence or holiday home – is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, so it is important not to waste money by getting a poor deal on currency exchange. Here we look at some of your options WHETHER it is for regular mortgage payments or for a lump sum for a deposit or cash purchase, would-be homeowners often need a cost-effective way to transfer money to France. In fact, getting as much as possible for your pounds became increasingly important in recent years as the value of the pound dropped against the euro. Arranging a transfer through your own bank is the obvious option, but it is advisable not to do so without checking what it offers and whether there are cheaper alternatives. When moving money, costs fall into two main categories: charges and the exchange rate. It is crucial to examine both. Charges A variety of charges can apply, both for the sender and the recipient. Some providers levy several small ones so it may not be immediately clear how much the transfer will cost. Exchange rates This is the “hidden” charge. Some companies state they are commission-free, however an inferior exchange rate can still result in you getting fewer euros for your pound. The principal question to ask is: “How many euros will I get for my pounds, after all of the different charges?” Beyond that, practical considerations come into play, such as the speed of the service, how easy and convenient it is, whether the method is suited to regular payments or one-offs and whether any special safeguards are offered. If you are going with the basic option of using your bank – and many people do – you will need the BIC and IBAN numbers of your French account, which are printed on your relevé d’identité bancaire (RIB). Depending on the bank’s policies, you can arrange the transfer by phone, internet or in person. The bank sending the money applies their own exchange rate. They may also levy a commission fee and/or a transfer charge. Depending on where you are sending the money, there can also be up to another half a

per cent of bank receiving fees, charged by the bank receiving the money. Banks may offer an exchange rate that is considerably worse than the interbank one (the rate you see quoted in the press) which they usually set at the start of each day. They set their rate at a level to make sure if there are exchange rate fluctuations during the day these will be accommodated in the rate. Using a currency exchange company is the main alternative to a bank transfer. Advantages may include cheaper transfers, the chance to arrange your transfers over the internet and the option to set up regular payment schemes, sometimes with “locked in”, agreed exchange rates. People will generally think of using one of these firms when they want to transfer larger amounts, says Mark Bodega, a director of HiFX, one of the larger currency specialists. “Traditionally people will use a firm like ours on occasions like buying a property in France or when transferring larger sums of £5,000 or more,” he says. He adds that people use currency transfer companies for a variety of reasons, including monthly mortgage payments or ad hoc payments such as maintenance money to cover bills for a property in France. While some firms do not allow small transfers, policies vary, he adds. HiFX has an online service which allows people to transfer from £250 up to £300,000 and offers better online exchange rates for the transfer of smaller sums than are available by telephone.

A manager at another large currency exchange firm, Moneycorp, Christina Weis, says: “Currency transfer is our core business – it’s the only thing we do, which is why we are able to offer the best rates and more specific help compared to the banks. For example, we can track the rates and complete transfers when they reach a certain level.” To make use of a British currency specialist, you need to have a UK bank account. An agreement is made – for example via the specialist’s website – for transfer of a given sum at a given rate. The client then transfers the money to the specialist, who transfers it to the client’s bank in France. They can also transfer from your UK account to other third parties with bank accounts. No additional charges There are no charges directly levied by most of the larger currency specialists as any commission charges, transfer fees or bank receiving fees involved are paid by the currency specialist. The firm is able to make money based on the fact that they receive a more favourable exchange rate in the currency markets than an individual does and they share the benefits of this with the customer. HiFX report that their exchange rates are still typically better than those offered by banks, despite the fact that banks can profit also by levying other charges on top. Mr Bodega says: “The banks’ spread on the exchange rate – ie: the difference between the price they buy foreign currency at compared to what they sell it to you at – is so wide that we can afford to offer a better exchange rate and include all the fees within that, because currency is all we do. We don’t avoid those charges – we have to pay them.” Where a fixed rate has not been agreed, currency firms calculate their exchange rates

with reference to the actual interbank rate at the time of exchange, Mr Bodega says, as opposed to the banks’ system of setting a rate at the start of each day. He says this could help them to set more favourable levels because they do not have to factor in possible fluctuations. Regular payment plans For Britons paying overseas mortgages, regular payment plans offered by currency firms allow them to fix or “lock in” an exchange rate, typically for up to 12 months. This protects you from negative exchange rate fluctuations and makes sure you never miss a payment when it is due.


Currency special 13

July 2012


When buying a home, consider the purchase as well as ad hoc payments, such as for maintenance

We can afford to offer a better exchange rate and include all the fees withing that because currency is all we do Mark Bodega

Director at HiFX currency specialists Forward contracts This is a “buy now, pay later” agreement, allowing you to lock in a rate for a one-off payment that you plan to make in the future. Buying a house When using a currency transfer specialist to help you with buying a house, the deposit money can be sent over to whichever bank account you want, whether your own, an estate agent’s or a notaire’s. Regular mortgage payments can be arranged so they go either to your bank account or directly to the mortgage provider. Moneycorp’s Christina Weis says the option of fixing exchange rates for future transactions up to two years ahead is especially useful in the case of buying a house. “It gives risk protection, as regardless of exchange rate fluctuation, your currency will be secured. “If you don’t secure the rate, you agree on a purchase date and start signing paperwork and by the time the notaire has processed everything you need to pay the

balance. By that point, the exchange rates might have changed and you might have to pay more than you budgeted for.” A trader from another large firm, Baydonhill FX, Regis Grant, says: “Your broker can tell you how the markets operate and you can ask them to keep you informed of major market movements. That way you can make informed decisions about whether it is a good time to fix a rate.” He adds that you should never leave an important transaction to the last minute. “If the market takes a bad turn just ahead of your completion, you have no time to recoup your losses.” Picking a currency firm You should do your own research before making a decision. Among checks you will want to make on British ones are looking to see if they are FSA registered. See Larger providers are called an “authorised payment institution” and smaller ones are listed as a “small payment institution”. The larger ones must safeguard your money – that is, they must keep it separate from their own funds, so that if the firm went bankrupt your money would be safe. Small payment institutions may also choose to safeguard customers’ funds. Being authorised as either kind of body means the firm has agreed to abide by an EU directive on their terms of business. Individual firms may also stress other matters as proof of seriousness and security – for example, one major currency exchange firm points out that it is stock-exchange listed, which means its accounts get regular and public scrutiny.

Currency exchange helpguide – newly updated The Connexion newspaper has a helpguide to currency exchange that covers topics such as using your UK bank to make a transfer, understanding fees and rates, how to have your UK pension paid directly into your French bank account, and using a currency exchange specialist. The above article is extracted from it.

Download a copy for €5 at or call 0800 91 77 56 for a printed version to be sent to you


Explains how France’s healthcare system works and gives a breakdown of the reimbursement system covering doctors, dentists, opticians and mental health specialists. Explains how to register with a GP and other practical information including pregnancy, cancer screening, disabilities and pharmacies. Especially written for Britons living in France. Published July 1, 2012

Excluding P&P

Download the helpguides at or call 0800 91 77 56 Education in France €5/£4.50 Moving To France €5/£4.50 The auto-entrepreneur business set-up €5/£4.50 CESU - employing people at your home €5/£4.50 How to complete French Tax Forms €9.50/£8

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French inheritance law €7.50/£6.80

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Buying or selling a home, produced in exclusive association with the Conseils des Notaires de France €7.50/£6.80 The Connexion can print out and post copies of the helpguides to you. The cost for this is: for a French address = €2.50/ £2.15; for an EU address = €3.50 / £2.90. This is in addition to the €5 / £4.50 (or €7.50 / £6.80 or €9.50/£8) cost of each guide. You pay this postage charge only once regardless of the number of helpguides on the same order. Payment must be by euro cheque (from a French bank) or sterling cheque (from a UK account). Cheques should be made payable to The Connexion and sent to The Connexion, 38 rue Grimaldi, Monaco 98000

14 Leisure Time

Brittany Pages

July 2012


PROMOTING BRITTANY - French-themed crossword

by John Foley

What’s in a word?



1. Sweet bread often served warm for petit déjeuner (7) 4. Eccentric composer Erik _____, best known today for his Gymnopédies (5) 7. Conductor’s instrument (5) 9. Healthy toast – à votre _____ (5) 10. Salty accompaniment in Chinese cuisine (3) 11. Greek goddess of victory (4) 12. Scene of first modern Olympics in 1896 (6) 15. Book title by Sir Thomas More now used to describe a perfect but unlikely society or state (6) 16. Toddler depository (6) 19. Musketeer mate of Athos and Porthos (6) 20. Le ____, a loosely defined area of several regions including Languedoc-Roussillon (4) 21. and 14 down: Legend has it this monk discovered méthode for making sparkling wines (3,8) 23. Informal for someone over 60 (5) 24. Writer born Françoise Quoirez who achieved fame with first novel Bonjour Tristesse (5) 25. A bleue one is useful in many transactions (5) 26. Small quantity, just to give a taste (7)

1. Michelin Man introduced at the Lyon Exhibition of 1894 (8) 2. Hollow jointed stem of a tall grass such as bamboo (4) 3. Made as a substitute for something, usually inferior in quality (6) 4. Dry white wine from the upper Loire valley (8) 5. Long lock or ringlet of hair (5) 6. Deadly Sin known in Latin as invidia (4) 8. Far Eastern city bidding for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (5) 13. Ancient province where the battles of Crécy and later of the Somme took place (8) 14. See 21 across 17. Type of peach whose flesh sticks firmly to the stone (5) 18. Upper arm muscle (6) 19. For some people, this sentiment is all you need (5) 21. Descartes said: “Je pense, ____ je suis” (4) 22. Twin brother of Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright (4)

Photo: Mike Knell/Flickr

Photo: Patrizia Tilly -

canapé IT IS the end of a sweltering hot day in midsummer and you are sitting out on a terrace or balcony when you hear the whine of a mosquito, out for its evening meal. Many an evening has been spoilt by the little pests. Even in Ancient Greece, they suffered. But, being Ancient Greeks, and very civilised, they took to the remedy of hanging curtains around the area where they were seated, as a form of protection from the flying predators. Since the Greek name for mosquito was konops, the curtained area was called a konopion. In later times the Romans took over the Greek idea, but the pronunciation altered slightly to canopeum. Over the centuries that followed, the word spread throughout the Roman Empire, but up in barbarous Britain the final syllable fell silent, and canopeum became canopy, and has, of course, remained in the language to the present day. In France, however, the concept was

The France quiz

by Paul Masters

„ 1 WHO did François Hollande appoint as the new prime minister of France? „ 2 WHAT feature will Eurostar be introducing to all of its trains from September? „ 3 MEMBERS of which age-old industry demonstrated in Paris last month to protest against “police repression" and plans to penalise their customers?

„ 4 WHERE was the starting point for this year’s Tour de France?

applied more to the seats within the area than to the curtains themselves. Thus the modern French word for couch or sofa is canapé. But the story does not end there. At some stage, the French word canapé took on its second meaning, describing a small piece of bread or toast spread with some savoury appetizer, such as foie gras. Maybe because the two shapes resembled one another, or because the bread provided a seat for the pâté. No one is quite sure.

„ 5 TO the nearest million, how many people in France are registered as looking for work at the Pôle Emploi (job centre) according to the latest figures? „ 6 FRANCE’S first match in the Euro 2012 football tournament was against which country?

Sudoku Intermediate


CROSSWORD ANSWERS. Across: 1 brioche; 4 Satie; 7 baton; 9 santé; 10 soy; 11 Nike; 12 Athens; 15 Utopia; 16 crèche; 19 Aramis; 20 Midi; 21 Dom; 23 Oldie; 24 Sagan; 25 carte; 26 soupçon Down: 1 Bibendum; 2 cane; 3 ersatz; 4 Sancerre; 5 tress; 6 envy; 8 Tokyo; 13 Picardie; 14 Perignon; 17 cling; 18 biceps; 19 amour; 21 donc; 22 Esau FRANCE QUIZ ANSWERS. 1. Jean-Marc Ayrault. 2. Quiet carriages. 3. Prostitutes. 4. Liège, Belgium. 5. Three million. 6. England


Puzzles by

Brittany Pages

Food and Pets 15

July 2012

Chutney is chic

Green tomato chutney


is cooked slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time, until soft. To test for readiness, draw the wooden spoon through the mixture. It should leave a clean path with no trace of unabsorbed liquid. Jars should be sterilised, either by running through the dishwasher or heated in a warm oven for 15 minutes and filled hot and to the brim. Because they contain such a significant amount of vinegar, the closures used for chutneys need to prevent evaporation and shrinkage, rather than spoilage. Lids should be tightly fitting and of course need to be resistant to vinegar, ie; avoid “bare” metal. The jars should be wiped and dried and labelled as usual, then stored for at least a month, preferably longer, in a cool, dark place. Once opened, chutney should be kept in the fridge. Here is a very easy starter recipe – anyone who grows tomatoes will always have a supply of green ones.

INGREDIENTS „ 1kg green tomatoes „ 1kg onions „ 1kg apples - can be wind-falls „ 500g raisins or sultanas often to be found in markets sold loose. „ 500g soft brown sugar „ 2 tbsp Dijon mustard „ Juice of 2 lemons „ 1.2 litres white vinegar (see above) „ Salt and pepper

influenced by the vinegar chosen. So, for example, if you are making a mango chutney, a white distilled vinegar (vinaigre d’alcool cristal) would be indicated so that the golden colour of the fruit is retained The same applies to the sugar; the darker the sugar, the richer the flavour and finished colour. As chutney needs to mature to develop its full flavour, it is no good tasting it when it is freshly made. You would get a very false idea. It may appear too hot or spicy, but this will mellow out during storage. When choosing a pan for chutney, avoid copper, brass, iron or chipped enamel. These impart a very unpleasant taste and give a poor colour. The fruit and vegetables should be washed, peeled, cored, stoned or seeded according to type. They are then either coarsely minced or finely chopped. The remaining ingredients, sugar, flavourings and spices are then added and the whole lot

Photo: Joan Bunting

I DO not think I am alone in noticing that what I used to consider to be a very British condiment, though of course originally imported from India, is making an appearance on French supermarket shelves and especially on upmarket menus – chutney. One of my favourite restaurants serves a variety of preserves with the cheese course including chutney, fig confit and cherry preserve. Chutneys are perhaps the easiest and most satisfying preserves of all. Even inexperienced cooks can be successful, so this is an excellent way to start. Unlike jam ingredients, fruit and vegetables used in chutney-making need not be perfect. This means that surplus or abundant ingredients can be used up economically. Here are a few tips. The type of vinegar used should always compliment the other ingredients. The final colour and flavour of the finished result will be

After winning the first BBC MasterChef in 1990, JOAN BUNTING was soon writing a food column and doing local radio for the BBC. Now she has retired and moved permanently to her home in France, but she is still keen to tell readers about good food

METHOD „ Chop, mince or process the fruit and vegetables. Put these into a preserving pan. Add the raisins and the other ingredients. „ Bring to the boil and then simmer for at least an hour, or until very thick (see above). „ Pot into hot sterilised jars, cover with suitable lids and store for a month before using. Note: If you wish to make a spicier chutney, add a large cube of grated fresh ginger and four to six chopped fresh or dried chillies.

Keeping pets comfortable in the heat

ONE of the reasons many expats cite for a new life in France is the glorious weather. But when the temperature rises there are steps all conscientious pet owners must take in order to protect their pets. While we might enjoy the long, sunny days of summer outdoors, hot weather can spell danger for our four-legged friends. Dehydration, heat stroke and sunburn are some of the severe ailments that can seriously harm – or even kill – animals. First up; never, ever leave an animal alone in a vehicle. The French authorities can and do prosecute for this. Do not forget, even with the windows open, a parked vehicle can rapidly become a furnace and overheating can kill an animal. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun moves throughout the day. When travelling with your pets, always carry a supply of fresh, cold water. Symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting, diffi-

Photo: alessandrozocc -

Animals do not handle the hot weather in the same way as humans. SAMANTHA BRICK explains the steps you can take to keep your pet safe and comfortable in the summer heat

Pet Care culty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness or even collapse. Always exercise your animal in the cool of the early morning or evening. Never force your animal to exercise after a meal in searing, humid weather. In extremely hot temperatures, do not keep your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to the hot asphalt and his body can heat up quickly. His paws can also burn since they are not protected by shoes. Also, avoid walking your dog in areas that you believe may have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the summer when gardens, lawns and trees are

This column is sponsored by

Give your dog a haircut and brush your cat’s fur more regularly to prevent problems with excessive heat sprayed. These chemicals are toxic, sometimes fatally so, for animals. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed. Vets have noticed an increase in the hot weather of pets – mostly cats – falling out of open windows or doors. Unfortunately the injuries sustained can be serious or fatal. Give your dog a lightweight summer haircut to help prevent overheating. Shave their coat down to a one-inch length, never to the skin, so your dog still has some protection from the sun. Brushing cats

more regularly than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. Ensure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is manufactured specifically for use on animals. Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat inside during the heat of the day and let them rest in a cool part of your house. Be especially sensitive to the needs of older and overweight animals in hot weather.

If you are attending any of the summer fetes which you know will have a bonfire and fireworks display afterwards, then leave your pet at home – and never use fireworks around pets. If you do attend barbecues or other summer get-togethers, remember the food and drink offered to guests may be poisonous to pets. Finally, always remember that pets can get dehydrated quickly, so ensure they have a constant supply of fresh, clean water when it is hot outdoors.

Tel. 06 58 01 82 76 Web. Email.

16 Directory

Brittany Pages

July 2012

Advertise here ALL YEAR from just €75HT Call free on 0800 91 77 56 or email


English-speaking firms near you For your security, we check that the French businesses in this section are officially registered with the authorities

Find registered tradespeople quickly and easily „ By advertising in our directory you get the chance to run advertorials (the articles you see on these pages). We are currently offering these at a two for one price, so two x 1/4 page advertorials, maximum 400 words plus photo, costs just €200HT. A minimum two month break between publishing applies and the second advertorial is a repeat of the first. If you wish to change the second there is a €25 fee together with a €15 fee if you want us to provide a photo. ANIMALS


Small established family run KENNELS & CATTERY - COLLOREC

Quality care for your pet

02 98 73 91 10 - 06 33 44 71 17 Siret: 492 349 931 00013

Canine Behaviourist

Solving your dog and puppy problems using calm, assertive and positive reinforcement methods Tel: 02 96 36 65 61 Mob: 06 45 79 01 67 Email: Siret. 481 238 483 00012


Breeder of Dutch Sheep, Ouissant sheep and Kune Kune Pigs Call Carole on 02 97 34 70 44


Fabrick 22

Solving all your Building Needs Office in Dinan Centre Tel: 02 96 39 27 67 Siret: 519 572 135 00019

J. S. H. Easy Access specialist in Ramps, Handrails, Door Frames, Non-Slip Surfaces, Wet rooms Free Quotes, Dep 22/29

Tel: 02 96 23 97 58 - Mob: 06 26 53 91 03 Email: Siret : 519 571 392

Getting it right first time Danish workmanship built to last Newbuilds - Extentions - Repairs - Carpentry - Roofing


If your job is worth doing It's worth doing well ANDREW ALLEN - ARCHITECT

02 96 83 47 25 JEREMY SMITH

FRENCH REGISTERED ARCHITECT Design - Planning permissions Project management - All building types and sizes

Tel: 02 96 21 23 67 Mob: 06 43 79 37 54 Email: Siret: 512004024300014 email : Tel : 02 96 29 51 66 Mob: 06 30 24 55 29 Siret : 489651976

Building Renovation & Property Maintenance Covering all of Brittany Shaun Lake

Tel: 06 31 26 16 21 / 02 97 43 57 81 Web Address: Email: Siret no: 500405089 Made to measure wooden staircases

Tel: 02 56 33 50 11 Mob: 06 04 17 26 65 Email: Web:

Plans Planning Permisions Mike Welby 0296875737

CHARLES HAIGH CONSTRUCTION Renovations - Extensions Alterations - Dry Lining Excavations - Fosse Septiques Covering Depts 22 & 29

Tel: 02 96 44 26 20 Email:

„ We will keep you up to date with features and special events in your area of France in all our publications which could help to boost your business. „ We include the text from your advertisement in our online directory for no extra charge. „ Want to advertise in our national paper The Connexion or sister papers in other regions? Call our sales team for more information.


All types of work, Exterior-Interior, New - Renovation-Repair. Entreprise Brown Robert

Tel/Fax: 02 97 51 10 11 Siret: 424 531 069 00013

LA CASSIERE Installer of all types of sewerage systems, agent for BIOROCK. All groundworks undertaken. Tel: 02 96 26 22 56 Mobile: 06 11 18 22 19 Email:

Thistle Renovations Ltd

Registered and Based in Brittany

Property Surveys

Stuart Barker Plastering 35 years experience:

Brittany/Normandy/Loire - English Style Contact: Nick Warner Tel: (France) +33 (0)296 31 83 30 Email: Web page:

Boarding O Insulation O Floors O Tiling Painting O Block Laying O Digger Works Tel: +33 (0) 2 98 93 87 43 Mobile: +33 (0) 6 23 67 84 17 Email:

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Tel: 02 98 99 77 46 Mobile: 06 25 78 93 63 E-mail:

Bilingual English Electrician/Plumber Registered and insured in France

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Tel: 06 59 71 50 29 or 02 98 86 95 37

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SARL BCBP Stonework, Renovation Groundwork, Gardening Full and Part Renovations & Conversions Connection to Main Drain and Septic Tank From Mini-Diggers to 20t Diggers Paving & Decking Perfect English Spoken

Bruno Bonnier Tel: 06 71 05 60 82

Email: Siret : 47942748600010

BRETON BUILD Carpenter, roofer and general builder specialising in the renovation of traditional Breton Properties.

Troleron 29530 Plonevez du Faou


BUSINESS & WEBSITES Mobile PC repairs Mobile: 06 28 11 31 60 Evening: 02 96 13 14 48 Contact Paul - Operating Dept22 Radius 30km Corlay


Infortech PC & Mac Computer Engineer From teething troubles to total trauma We Can Help! Tel: 02 98 71 14 91 / 06 32 30 70 54 Email: Siret: 489 684 696 00011

ESTATE AGENTS Property for sale in Brittany Buying / Selling property in Morbihan Translation - Negotiation - Advertising Currency Exchange 02 97 38 57 61

Tel: 02 97 67 17 93 Mob: 06 27 14 51 14

Regions 29/56/35/22

Siret: 489 314 278 00032

English registered cars House insurance - Health cover


Siret 503 281 438

St Malo, Dinard, Dinan


CLC Building & Property Maintenance

Stonework z Block work z Plastering z Plasterboarding z Roofing Tel: 02 98 26 43 95 Mobile: 06 68 25 46 54 Email:

Siret: 519 751 465

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02 96 29 59 41

Electrical - Plumbing - Tiling Doors & Windows - Stud-walls Insulation TEL FR: +33 (0) 6 19 17 34 61 TEL UK: +44 (0) 7880 501 116

1700 British clients trust us 02 96 87 21 21 Dinan, Brittany

Renovations, Repairs, Conversions, Extensions

SARL Steve & Wendy Foster Renovations

English and Fluent French speaking agent, always needing more houses for sale, 8 years experience

Tel: +33 (0)2 96 84 86 28 Email: Web:

Timber Treatment, Preventative & Remedial Woodworm & Dry Rot, Plastering, Pointing

Siret: 453 231 920 00019

Wellesley House Surveying

Jon Oram

Plastering O Rendering O Pointing O Limework O Tiling O Decorating O Renovation O Restoration All Aspects of Work Undertaken

Tel: 05 55 65 12 19 GARDENS & POOLS

Le Jardinier Tree surgery services All tree work undertaken within 150km of Rennes. Specialists in dismantling difficult / dangerous trees, wood chipper, stump grinder, extreme hedge cutting.

FREE CONSULTATION +33 (0) 7 86 53 67 26 Siret: 483 859 203

Highest Quality Handmade Sheds

Outbuildings, Animal Houses, All Garden Furniture Made to your specifications 02 97 70 68 83 06 04 16 58 05


Garden Centre and Garden Maintenance Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday or on 'RDV' Le Garly 56480 Ste. Brigitte Tel/Fax: 02 97 27 62 19 - Mobile : 06 75 39 25 79 Email: Web: Siret: 40029026800020

Brittany Pages

Directory 17

July 2012


Trevor Dallas of TV Brittany explains how you can see every single event at the London 2012 Olympics

FROM 27 July the Olympics will be televised for over two weeks and will show 26 sports broken down into 39 disciplines. In total there will be in excess of 300 actual events broadcast in high definition by the BBC. Freesat has created 24 dedicated Olympic HD channels that will show every Olympic sport from every Olympic venue. In addition to the 24 temporary BBC HD Olympics channels listed in the Freesat TV guide, live “streams” will be available via the BBC Red Button service. Freesat customers with standard definition boxes will be able to see the 24 BBC Olympics channels in standard definition.

SD, HD and the HDR recording box are all subscription free and offer over 180 TV and radio channels all in superb digital quality,” said Trevor. There are currently five HD channels available on the high definition boxes: BBC One HD, BBC HD, IVT1 HD, Channel 4 HD and NHK World HD (HD-ready TV required). However, those with generic “nonFreesat or non-Sky” boxes may be losing

Want to watch 24 BBC Olympic channels in HD? “All 24 Olympic channels will be listed in the Freesat TV guide, so with a recording digibox you will also be able to programme your viewing choices in advance and watch at your own leisure,” said Trevor. “This is particularly useful if there are two events on at the same time that you just cannot miss. From archery to canoe slalom and judo to swimming, whatever your choice, it will be available to view when you want it.” For people with HD receivers and 3D televisions, the BBC is aiming to show the opening ceremony, the men’s 100m final and the closing ceremony in 3D. “The full range of Freesat digiboxes -

All 24 Olympic channels will be listed in the Freesat TV guide, so with a recording digibox you will also be able to programme your viewing choices in advance

TV Brittany will help you to ensure you do not miss a single event during the London 2012 Olympics

Rustique, antique and unique furniture Whether you dream of cooking in an old rustic kitchen yet want all of today’s modern conveniences or need bespoke, built-in furniture for a difficult-to-access room, cabinet maker Adam Pym can provide you with unique and competitively-priced solutions RUSTIQUE Revival is a small enterprise created by Adam Pym who makes furniture and kitchens in Brittany. After 25 years of having his own business in the furniture and antiques industry in the UK, he has managed to create a living from the same trade in France. As an experienced cabinet maker he designs, makes and fits kitchens and furniture to customers’ requirements. Kitchens are made to look old, but have all the “mod cons” including interior bins, sliding shelves, metal racking and so on. “You could start off with just a sink unit and then add to the kitchen as your

Les Bocages

David Robins Royal Forestry Society trained Arborist Felling, pruning, planting all aspects of tree care. Tel: 56160 LOCMALO Siret No. 480 997 584 00028


project develops,” said Adam. “This is ideal for renovation projects and makes the kitchen really fit into its surroundings.” Adam also makes kitchens in contemporary styles with painted finishes for a modern look. New wood is used to make

Even though all the kitchens and furniture that I make are made to measure, they are still affordable INSURANCE & FINANCE AXA INSURANCE

Guillaume POISSANT


02 97 60 08 23

Home Car Health Business Banking Locminé, Morbihan 56500


Exclusive Healthcare Your Helping Hand to the French Health System

Ian Torode Servicing / repairs for most makes of vehicle / garden machinery. Car Help - Advice - Parts. Web: e-mail: Tel: 02 56 22 90 12


all his projects but Adam uses a technique that distresses and ages the wood so it looks old. This technique also applies to custom-made furniture for the whole house, including built-in furniture. “In older houses it is often difficult to get furniture upstairs so I can even build furniture on site,” said Adam. “Even though all the kitchens and furniture that I make are made to measure, they are still affordable.” Adam also restores antique furniture and stocks items for sale at his showroom. He has been based in Saint Nicolas du Tertre since 2007 and has

Jerzual Plomberie Certified Gas and Electrical Heating Engineers. All your Gas and Electrical requirements including regular servicing Based Dinan Centre

02 96 27 16 53


Plumbing Heating & Sanitary Renewable Energy - Electricity Security Checks - Rewiring - Quotes in English

Tel: 02 97 23 42 15 or English: 06 71 78 71 74 Email: Siret: 417535572

+33 (0) 4 94 40 31 45

All Plumbing and Heating requirements

Oil Boiler Breakdowns & Servicing - Chimney Sweeping. Prompt /reliable service

Anna Pathfinder Your life coach in Brittany

Tel. 02 99 44 38 09 HEALTH & BEAUTY

Tel: +33 (0) 2 96 24 78 11 or Mobile +33 (0) 6 42 72 39 00 Email: - Web: Contact: Vince or Mandy Boon

Building Renovation & Property Maintenance Covering all of Brittany Shaun Lake

Tel: 06 31 26 16 21 / 02 97 43 57 81 Web: Email: Siret no: 500405089


Prestige Painting & Decorating Services Every aspect of Decorating, Interior & Exterior, Wall Papering, Tiling, Sealants Work, Power Washing, Wood Treatments Contact Adrian or Lena Baker

Tel: 02 96 83 97 49

Mob: 06 58 04 51 46

channels soon as their frequencies change to make way for newer and more exciting features. “Freesat boxes automatically update from the satellite giving seamless transition to any advances available,” said Trevor. “If a satellite dish is aligned to receive the UK channels from Astra 2, then the Freesat SD and HD boxes are a straight replacement for the generic box - so there will be no need to pay an engineer for installation. For the HDR recording box a new LNB (low-noise block downconverter) and second cable to the box is required to take full advantage of the recording facilities so may require some technical intervention.” For further information about the range of Freesat boxes, contact TV Brittany. 02 97 74 24 56

recently moved to larger premises, with a large workshop on the side of his showroom, which is just down the road from his old shop. “I have tried to capture time in the shop and offer old-fashioned rustic interiors to match the houses that surround us, I am very happy for people to pop in and browse around.” For a quote without obligation to purchase, or for more information on what Rustique Revival can offer, contact Adam directly. 02 97 93 79 56 06 37 31 97 34 As well as building furniture, Adam Pym also sells restored furniture from his showroom

The Holiday Exchange Home Exchange without the need to find a direct exchange partner.

Email: Tel: 02 97 93 91 56 Web: Siret: 53015743700019


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Property Management and Holiday Letting Services We will take care of your second home or holiday property leaving you free to enjoy it.

Tel: 0297398742

WOODBURNERS Ash Grove Stoves Supplier of Hunter - Villager -

Clean Burn - Fire Visible Boiler versions available Deliveries all over France Prices on our website Lowest Prices Guaranteed Tel: 00 44 (0) 1392 861579


FIVE STAR REMOVALS Light Removals to and from Northern France. Best prices, best service.

Kitchens & Furniture Siret: 497 736 272 Ad No. 18809

T: + 44 (0) 079705 30723 E: Ad No. 18589

TOURISM Siret 51442634500013


Mobile Hairdresser Huelgoat and its surrounding areas

Discounts available for group bookings

02 98 99 90 51 - 06 66 38 31 11 Email:

Ed Chalkley: Maitre Artisan

REDCLIFFE are a reliable Bristol based Remover and Storer with weekly trips to Brittany


Credit crunch specials

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Tel: 06 04 49 83 70 email: website:

Contact Andrew +44 (0) 7976 702 241 02 98 81 12 41

eco-nett Home Services

Complete Interior Renovation with all trades undertaken. Registered Carpenter.


View work at Tel:

Portable: Siret number: 513 187 153 00012

SIRET 528 090 152 00018

Guided walks in English

Book your advert now for the August issue - copy deadline July 5 call freephone from France 0800 91 77 56 or 0844 256 9881 (4p/min) from the UK

18 DIY

Brittany Pages

2012 Helpguide to

D I Y tips

Letting out your French home to tourists

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How to build a brick barbecue Photo: Alexey Polikarpov -


This helpguide provides you with the information you need to enter the world of short-term holiday lets. We also provide tips on marketing your home and giving it special touches which will make it more attractive to potential guests. Published February 1, 2012, to include the latest information Choose between PDF digital edition or paper copy posted to your French home

July 2012


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It only takes about a day to build a fixed barbecue WITH the summer months in full swing, there is nothing more convivial than inviting over family and friends for an alfresco meal and of course nothing beats a good barbecue when it comes to a summer get together. Impress your guests by cooking for them on a brick barbeque that you have made yourself. It only takes about a day to build and offers many summers of enjoyment. Materials needed are: bricks, cement, sand, spirit level, rectangular cooking tray, trowel, metal ties, length of wood, water, large paving slab. 1. Level the ground where you intend to build the barbeque. Lay out the first level of bricks in an E shape, making sure that bricks fit exactly around the shape of the cooking tray. If possible try not to cut the bricks. 2. Once the shape has been defined, mix the cement and lay the first layer of mortar directly on the ground then place the first level of bricks on top. Check that it is still level and that all corners are at right angles. 3. Use the metal ties to hold together and strengthen the inner, middle wall to the back long wall. 4. Continue to lay the next levels of bricks starting from the corners. Make sure to use the spirit level to check the structure is straight horizontally and vertically and that the bricks’ joints are staggered. 5. On the seventh level place the bricks on small outer and inner walls sideways to create a ledge on which to place the wood or charcoal tray. Build up another three layers (more if you are taller) and do the same again, this time to place the cooking grill on. 6. Build up another level but only on the side where the grill will be to act as protection. 7. Cement the large paving slab to the top of the wall on the right hand side which will act as a work surface. 8. Finish off the joints on the outside walls by taking a length of soft piping and running it along the joints. Wait for it all to completely dry and there you have it – a simple but chic barbecue. Bon appÊtit.

(QJOLVK79LQ\RXU)UHQFKKRPH • • • • • • • • •




Brittany Pages

Home and Garden 19

July 2012

Al fresco party time

Gardening Sponsored by

les bocages Photo: © Ana Blazic Pavlovic -

Enjoy the benefits of a lawn and a meadow on one site

Combine lawn with a meadow

GARDEN parties are a must for summer – and one way of making sure yours is remembered is to have a theme. With so many possibilities, there is bound to be an idea that suits, whether it be a carnival with games for the kids or an altogether more tranquil affair with a traditional afternoon tea party complete with homemade scones. For a sophisticated evening party, why not go for a jazz or classical music theme and ask guests to come dressed in their finest, or a Victorian theme with paperlace doilies and sophisticated flower arrangements to decorate? If you want to go all out – and think your guests are up for it – you could even ask everyone to come in fancydress. Popular costume ideas include a 50s rock ‘n’ roll party, storybook characters or Bollywood. Once you are happy with your idea, you can set about matching your invitations, music and drinks to the theme. You can either make the invitations yourself or go online to download readymade ones. Alternatively, you could ask friends to RSVP online. If there is a dress code, be sure to mention it in the invitation. When it comes to decorating, flowers are the obvious choice for an outdoor do and can be used as centrepieces on tables. The classic look for garden party table decor is a white tablecloth, and garden arches can work well as an entrance to the party. It is a good idea to start from the top when decorating your garden. Starting at the bottom might mean you have to work around other decorations and risk breaking something. Guests could either sit at tables and chairs dotted around part of the garden, or on picnic mats for a more relaxed style. However, if you would prefer a more elegant garden party, have a table for glasses and nibbles. For a sit-down meal, a seating plan could be a good idea, and you could always add handwritten place cards. If you are lucky enough to have the weather on your side, make sure to have a place where guests can get some shade – either indoors, under canopies or in a summerhouse. Once the party is under way, it could be time to hit the dance floor. If your garden has some space to dance, be sure

Finger food allows guests to wander and mingle amongst themselves

Finger food is ideal, as garden parties are a place for mingling. Light, seasonal ingredients work well – and if you grow vegetables, have a fruit tree or plant herbs, put them to good use

to have music to hand; salsa tracks or slow romantic waltzes are often popular. You could also match the music to your theme. As for what to serve your guests, finger food is ideal, as garden parties are a place for mingling. Light, seasonal ingredients work well. And if you grow vegetables, have a fruit tree or plant herbs, be sure to put them to good use. Ideas include mini bruschetta toasts with mozzarella, basil and tomato, wraps, dips, plates of cheese and crackers, salads and mini quiches for savoury, and chocolate dipped strawberries, cookies, petits fours and fruit kebabs for dessert. While beer and wine are a safe bet, you could also offer pitchers of homemade lemonade, sangria or summer punch.

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Give some thought to the range of drinks you are offering – and arrangements for seating depending on formality

Photo: Yves Damin -

Photo: Dasha Petrenko -

THIS YEAR we are experimenting with a new idea, the half-and-half lawn of traditional lawn and meadow; which combines basic lawn care and propagating a meadow. Firstly, what type of lawn do you have? Is it a bowling green, a football ground or a patch that the chickens peck over, a bridge between flowers and potager? If you like bowling greens, you will know the intricacies of maintaining the green velvet spread; while the rest of us temper the care depending on day-to-day vagaries. This year’s weather, the mix of warm spring followed by extensive rain, has encouraged an impressive boost of growth and regular cutting every seven to 10 days is essential for maintaining a smooth turf. This weakens deep-rooted weeds but grass – which is essentially one long root on the surface, throwing up leaves at regular intervals – will grow leaves and give denser cover. Two problems are that water can pool on heavilytrodden ground and moss can establish itself on poor draining soil. The easiest way to drain and aerate is to take a fine-tined garden fork and spike the ground at regular intervals. This is effective at improving grass growth. Moss likes damp shady areas especially under trees where soil can be heavily covered. A spring-tine rake is needed to get to the heart of it and scarify the “thatch” which is the mat of loose grass that reduce aeration. Afterwards get a stiff besom – an old-fashioned witch’s broom of hazel twigs is ideal – and scrub the debris. This opens up the bare soil to grass rootlets, but needs to be done constantly if in shade. This year my children are experimenting with a patch of lawn that I generally mow as normal. After a wet period when the grass grew more than normal we got a wonderful carpet of meadow flowers. It is part of an old reclaimed field and it was interesting to see what came up. Lady’s bedstraw, soapwort, various daisies, trefoil, bugle, pimpernels and coltsfoot. However, it is a working garden and we tramp through it, gardening, playing, storing wood and hanging out clothes – so what to do? Well, basically I stopped mowing a large rectangular patch and we now have the equivalent of a drawing-room carpet of colours up the middle of the grounds. Very pretty. I am tempted to throw in nigella and poppies for next year. The cats love it, it cuts down on the mowing, but we still have functioning paths and access, and as long as precautions against vipers and ticks are taken – check for vipers before and ticks after – it is a wonderful place to flop down in on a sunny afternoon with a book and a cool drink.

There is plenty to consider when arranging a summer garden party. REBECCA LAWN looks at everything from themes and decoration to your choice of seating, food and drink

Photo: Moreno Novello -


20 Property Sponsored by

Brittany Pages

July 2012

Houses for sale across France Buying or selling a property? We can help.

age costs just €200TTC and gives you three months online advertising as well as a print advert in three editions of the Brittany Pages. Our 6+6 package is best value at €330TTC and provides the same, but for six months via each channel.

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Finistère Large 4 bedroom house needing improvements comprises lounge/dining, basic kitchen, bathroom, en suite, double glazed windows and garden to the rear. Ideal for a family.

Ille-et-Vilaine Hillside cottage nestles on a wooded hillside in a very tranquil area. Consist of spacious living/dining room, separate kitchen, 2 double bedrooms and bathroom.

Morbihan 4 bedroom house includes south facing conservatory, kitchen, living room and 2 bathrooms. The converted basement has garage, summer kitchen, boiler room and room.

REF: M879-6291477


REF: IFPC22274


REF: 225




Côtes-d'Armor This beautiful renovated 4 bedroom stone house set in 1.81 acres of land has a stable for 3 horses. House includes kitchen/dining area, lounge, 2 convertible attics and bathroom.

Morbihan A delightful 3 bedroom stone house set within the confines of a friendly little village. Internally it is set out in the French style with large open fires and needs modernisation.

St Servant Well-maintained 3 bedroom cottage comprises kitchen, lounge with fireplace, toilet, laundry room, shower room and south facing conservatory. Set on 11.418m2 of land.

REF: 40012


REF: IFPC21813


REF: 103


€240,750 REDUCED


Côtes-d'Armor This 3 bedroom traditional Breton stone longère with a mature garden. Consist of mezzanine area over the dining room, large utility/work room and garage with a store room.

Côtes-d'Armor A rare opportunity to purchase a house and 3 Gite Complex. The properties is set next to the lake making it an attractive prospect for fishermen, walkers, cyclists and holiday makers.

Côtes-d'Armor Set within 5 hectares this 3 bedroom manor is full of charm & character. It has potential for expansion with 2 outbuildings in which renovation has already been started.

REF: 700385


REF: KPS 1625


REF: KPS 1072




Finistère A very impressive stone building that has been partially renovated with new roof, concrete floors and PVC double glazed windows and doors throughout. The whole plot size is 2,100m2.

Côtes-d'Armor Magnificent 5 bedroom neo-Breton house comprises a living/dining room, kitchen, 2 bathrooms with shower and large cellar. Set on 2000m2 of land.

Morbihan Very light and spacious newly built 4 bedroom single storey house completed April 2007, south facing & set on 2.5 acres (11,000 m2) of meadowland with beautiful views.

REF: KPS 1815


REF: 117


REF: IFPC16806




Côtes-d'Armor Beautiful 5 bedroom family home with 9480 sq. of land and an outbuilding. The property comprises fitted kitchen, living room, office, utility room, bathroom, toilet and en suite.

Finistère Renovated farmhouse with 3 recently renovated cottages, reception room and bar. The property hosts parties, weddings, business meetings, etc. The spacious cottages are rented out.

Côtes-d'Armor Stone house with 3 bedrooms and a number of buildings set on 8 hectares of land.

REF: L10074


REF: BRE-455


REF: 2805






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Brittany Pages

Business and Legal 21

July 2012

JIM ADCOCK moved to France in 2007 after many years’ experience in corporate and small businesses, including practical freelance support. He runs Stairs2, providing made-to-measure wooden staircases, and is a founder member of The Brittany Business Network. He writes regularly for the Brittany Pages on local business issues and welcomes your feedback, comments and input.


Cultural shift needed towards responsibility

: oto Ph © an Bri n kso

Jac ia tol - Fo m


REGRETTABLY, since the start of the economic crisis, very little progress has been made towards increased responsibility and the contentious subject of bank bonuses has not gone away. Although there have been some token reductions, those without jobs or undergoing pay freezes will see the sums involved as huge or even obscene. But, first we should look at what form “responsible” capitalism needs to take. One train of thought that has gathered pace in recent months is that businesses should be run more on the John Lewis Partnership model, in other words on a mutual basis. This particular model is very commendable especially as it is protected in a form of trust; however there have

Photo: © granata68 -

The subject of capitalism or wealth creation has been raised previously in this column and views expressed that it is an essential ingredient in any economy but it needs to become “responsible” capitalism. What progress has there been?

How do we exit from an SCI? Some years ago we bought a property in France and set up an SCI. Now some of us want to get out. How can we do this? J.T. Economic crisis has not seen a big move towards increases in “responsible” capitalism

There is another issue that does not seem to figure in discussions of mutuality and that is the cultural shift required to make it succeed. Like many good ideas, topdown implementation does not always work. I found there were two challenges when I implemented a One thought is businesses sales team incenprogramme should be run more on the tive based on the team’s group profitability John Lewis partnership rather than previmodel, in other words on ous individual performance. a mutual basis. One was in changing the mind sets and the other was in been other mutual businesses empowering the individuals in the UK – remember with the knowledge to make Northern Rock was a mutual decisions that would affect business until a decade or so their profit performance. before it collapsed! While the idea of encouragThe idea of mutualised ing mutual businesses is very businesses would be good to laudable, this should not be pursue, maybe with governseen as a quick fix. ment incentives, but there has Meanwhile across Europe, to be long-term security built other than the resurrection in to prevent the vultures cirthe idea of a financial transcling when the profits and action tax, ideas seem few capital have been grown to a and far between. The substantial level.

Answered by

Eurozone failure to resolve its fundamental difficulties in a timely manner has not inspired confidence – a key ingredient for consumer and, therefore, business growth. The knock-on effect of the Eurozone lack of stability introduces interesting dilemmas for many expats living here in Brittany, especially those running businesses. There will have been pleasure – rightly so – at the rise in value of Sterling during the current year for those with pensions and investments in the UK. However for those importing goods or services from the UK they will inevitably be less competitive in an environment where making a living is not easy.

For those rubbing their hands at the benefits of the rate rise there is also a caution: exports from the UK become more expensive and risk damaging the fragile economy which needs to become stronger to protect and enhance those long-term investments held in the UK. With summer upon us, the end of term report for European governments – especially those in Northern Europe – must be “could do better”. We should hope for, and expect, some better contributions and thinking on repairing the damaged business models and therefore offering more hope for restoring sustainable economies for the future.

Useful websites Brittany Business Network Régime auto-entrepreneur Business information: To find SIREN numbers:

To contact Jim Adcock directly, email

THE authoritative guide to buying a home in France Written by the Notaires de France and published by Conseils des Notaires.

Available in English from The Connexion, priced €7.50 or £7 (plus postage and packaging) See our website

INDEED this happens quite frequently now and the process is not too complicated. The answer below is based on the assumption that the remaining parties will buy out the outgoing partners. This is achieved by a sale of shares by the outgoing partners / shareholders to the remaining shareholders 1. The property owned by the SCI must be valued in order to ascertain the value of the shares in the SCI and to justify the purchase price. 2. The value of the shareholders current accounts must be ascertained, this is usually done by a schedule showing the costs incurred and paid by the SCI, and reconciled with the SCI bank statements, and those discharged by its shareholders, which constitute a debt of the SCI towards the shareholder. 3. The transfer for consideration i.e the sale of shares by the outgoing partners / shareholders will be recorded by way of a share transfer agreement signed by all parties and then filed with the relevant company registry. 4. The SCI statutes will have to be amended to record the change in shares ownership, the necessary EGM and Board minutes will have to be drafted. 5. If one or several of the outgoing shareholders are managers / gérant, they / he / she will have to resign, and the necessary forms will have to be lodged at the relevant company registry held at the commercial court. 6. The shares transfer will attract stamp duty and there are transfer fees for the updating of the SCI records. It is also advisable to carry out a company search, in French a Kbis, and also apply for up to date office copy entry of the property, to ensure that there are no charges against the property. This is unlikely and is mentioned here a precautionary measure. The costs and fees of the transfer depend on the value of the consideration. The figures below are an estimate: Various search fees: €100 Stamp duty for the transfer of shares: 5% of the consideration Company registry fee: €200-300 Resignation of the gérant: €200-300 With twenty years of experience in the Anglo-French legal systems, Agnès Crompton-Roberts, Avocat are the choice legal representatives SERVICES OFFERED INCLUDE ADVICE ON: LITIGATION O DEBT RECOVERY O PROBLEMS WITH FRENCH FIRMS O PROPERTY DISPUTES O BUSINESS SET-UP O PROBATE O FRENCH INHERITANCE LAW O CONVEYANCING O ACCIDENTS AND PERSONAL INJURY

Agnès Crompton-Roberts Avocat Tel: +33 (0) 962 33 5884 Mob: +33 (0)6 16 38 94 15

22 Property

Brittany Pages

July 2012





Jumilhac-le-Grand, Dordogne This charming 1 bedroom stone cottage is set on 0.35 acre of land. Comprises living room, open kitchen and shower room.

Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon Lovely stone house including light living room, equipped kitchen and 2 bedrooms, perfect for holidays.

Sées, Orne This 1 bedroom stone house comprises living room, bathroom with jacuzzi bath, converted attic, garden, garage and barn.

REF: 44373


REF: 855


REF: 45662




Eymet, Aquitaine Charming 2 bedroom stone house in good condition comprises small kitchen /diner, small lounge, nice garden, well and garden shed.

Argeles sur Mer, Pyrénées-Orientales 1 bedroom apartment comprises cabin, mezzanine, terrace and private garden. The complex offers Spa, swimming pool and fitness centre.

Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon 2 bedroom first floor apartment (85m2) based in a small town with all amenities north of Beziers. Includes private garden with 3 garden sheds, terrace and a barbecue.

REF: APS2067


REF: 37060


REF: 10765-TNTBED125000E




Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon 3 bedroom stone village home offering equipped kitchen, 2 washrooms, and courtyard. The property has many original features such as terra cotta floors, exposed beams and doors.

Near Mareui, Aquitaine This spacious renovated 3 bedroomed property. Includes fitted kitchen/diner, lounge, family bathroom, conservatory, small garden, garage and several small outbuildings.

Region Pont d'Ouilly, Orne Attractive Maison de Maitre 3 bedroom property includes entrance hall, fitted Kitchen, 2 reception rooms, bathroom, separate toilet, garden and outbuilding.

REF: 10765-C136400E


€132,000 Bouriege, Aude This 3 bedroom house in the village of Bouriège and has views of the river Aude from the balcony-terrace. The property comprises living room, kitchen, utility, bathroom and garage. REF: 700095


€150,000 Quillan, Aude Well maintained 2 bedroom bungalow with mature garden 1053m². Includes lounge/diner, fitted kitchen, utility room, shower room, terrace and garage. REF: 2175


€167,750 Sainte-Marie- Laumont, Calvados Lovely 3 bedroom property set on over 1 and a half acres of land. Includes large barn, 2 smaller barns, pond and out of ground swimming pool. REF: 700151


€230,000 Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon 3 bedroom villa comprise a living/dining room, new fitted kitchen, bathroom, toilet, terrace, garden of 705m² and garage. REF: W545


€249,000 La Coquille, Aquitaine This 2 bedroom farm house with 2 large barns set on 6 hectares of land.



€265,000 Torigni, Manche Spacious 5 bedroom pavilion set on 300m2 of land. Comprises of dining room, entrance hall, dining room, fitted kitchen, lounge, 2 bathrooms and basement with garage for 2 cars. REF: 12259


REF: BVI0004618


REF: 13552PO



Percy, Manche 6 bedroom property consists of garden, small shed/stable building and an outbuilding which could be converted into a great 2-3 bedroom house if required.

Pouzolles, Hérault 3 bedroom charming townhouse be the local cinema. Includes south east facing sun terrace. There is potential for a 4th bedroom with en-suite bathroom upstairs.

REF: FP-25672EMW50


REF: IFPC21909



Quillan, Aude 6 bedroom detached house comprise 2 kitchens, shower room, toilet, sitting room, store room and garage. Close to Ski stations.

Near Lalinde, Aquitaine 3 bedroom stone house dating from 1902 with a mansard roof peacefully situated on land of 2400m2. This house has a lot of potential to create a spacious home or holiday let.

REF: 2065





Festalemps, Ribérac This renovated 4 bedroom house with a cottage garden and an attached 80m2 barn. The house includes kitchen, dining room, sitting room, studio/study, shower room and bathroom.

Near Gourdon, Aquitaine This spacious 4 bedroom property comprises large open plan kitchen/living room, bathroom, shower room, cellar, veranda, double garage and outbuilding used as a workshop.

REF: 40788


REF: 3747G



Near Domme, Aquitaine 4 bedroom stone house offers an enormous potential. Comprises lounge, kitchen, study, shower room, bathroom, 2 separate toilets, former shop, garage, workshop, garden and courtyard.

Gabian, Hérault Pretty 3 bedroom villa consist of living room , dining room, bathroom/shower room, separate toilet, terrace, garden and garage (utility room and 2 large store rooms).

REF: 300447


REF: 5678



Fouzilhon, Hérault 3 bedroom house with spacious living room, modern fitted kitchen, utility room, terrace, garden, garage, private parking and swimming pool.

Near Bernay, Eure Restored traditional Norman 3 bedroom farmhouse comprises terrace, garden, outbuildings.

REF: 342431389


REF: IFPC21434



Pyrénées-Orientales Old stone 4 bedroom house entirely renovated. Includes kitchen/family room, living room, 2 bathrooms, workshop, wine cellar, garden and garage.

Montpon, Aquitaine An attractive 4 bedroom house with large barn, workshop, garage, parkland garden and small woods.

REF: IFPC22162


REF: DT1082




Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon This 2 bedroom beautiful villa consists of living room with a mezzanine of 48m2, kitchen, bathroom, 2 terraces, garden, swimming pool, outdoor toilet, large garage and outbuilding .

Normand/Loire border, Orne Old stone house with 2 bedrooms, both en suite and over 6 acres of land includes gite with 1 bedroom, outbuilding with workshop, garage and a large store room.

Near Payzac, Aquitaine An idyllic setting for this 4 bedroom barn conversion with outbuilding to convert, 3 stocked fishing lakes set on 7.5 hectares of land.

REF: U538


REF: H3168


REF: IFPC21976











Brittany Pages

Property 23

July 2012




St Chinian Proche, Hérault 3 storey pigeonnier comprises 3 bedrooms, open plan living room , fitted kitchen, large circular bathroom, 2 terraces and large cellar.

Aquitaine New 5 bedroom house (1982) set on 4213m² of land. Includes kitchen, living/dining room, office, 2 bathrooms, 2 separate toilets and garge.

REF: M2892


REF: 100568

€318,000 Near Monpazier, Aquitaine 3 bedroom stone house build in 1970 set on 8610m2 of land. Includes living room with chimney, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, office, garage with workshop and attic.

REF: IFPC16232


REF: 200336



Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon 3 bedroom house comprises kitchen / living room, 2 bathrooms, terrace, balcony, 2 garages, workshop, wooden shed and pool.

Near Gournay-en-Bray This 5 bedroom former convent is set on 2.5 acres of land. Partly renovated the property includes wine cellar, outhouse containing pigeon-loft and 6 stables.

REF: W482


REF: IFPC20812



St Martin de Fressengeas, Aquitaine Renovated 3 bedroom farmhouse set on 4 hectares of land.

Magalas, Hérault This 3 bedroom villa comprises lounge, dining room, bathrooms, kitchen and gardens. There is a 22m2 Mezzanine which is currently used as an office.

REF: FP-25581NC24


REF: 342431375



Near Piegut Pluviers, Aquitaine Stunning Stone built 8 bedroom farmhouse with 2 gîtes set in 11,000m2 of land.

Region Domfront, Orne Peaceful location for this 3 hectare carp lake and fishing business. The 4 bedroomed house with fisherman's lodge/games room and shop look down over the lake.

REF: BVI0004913


REF: 13758POJD



Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon 4 bedroom Villa includes terrace, garage, double garage, cellar, reversible air conditioning, swimming pool.

Region Domfront, Orne Beautiful 6 bedroom stone house set on 1.356 hectares of land together with 70 metre long barn partially converted with new roof and a large bread oven, to restore/renovate.

REF: 37405


REF: 13582POJD



Near Cognac, Charente Established hotel business. Seven bedroom town house consists of 5 bathrooms, 2 receptions rooms, dining room, terrace, garden, garage and vaulted cellars.

Châtellerault, Vienne Entirely renovated 4 bedroom house and 4 bedroom guest cottage includes outbuilding and garden, small arboretum and 12 hectares acres of land.

REF: IFPC19503





Near Montcuq, Midi-Pyrénées Renovated 5 bedroom house set on 13 hectares of land comprise 2 bathrooms, garage, terrace, garden and pool. Ideal as an equestrian property.

Annepont, Charente-Maritime This 5 bedroom Mill includes fitted kitchen, large lounge, study, living room, shower room, terrace, large cellar, cellar, summer kitchen and swimming pool.

REF: 128


REF: P0087



Near Montréal, Gers Restored 5 bedroom Manor House set on 5 hectares of land with swimming pool.

Monflanquin, Lot-et-Garonne Renovated 5 bedroom farmhouse consists of conservatory, terrace, stables and paddock, outbuildings and swimming pool.



REF: IFPC22384



Near Mansle, Charente This imposing 6 bedroom Manor house is set peacefully and privately in 5600m2 of park garden. Includes 2 bedroom apartment, barn and garage.

Near Cazals, Lot Exceptional modern house built in the local style with swimming pool set on 11 hectares of private ground.



REF: BVI0007290

Sponsored by ENERGY RATING = Not given Photo: © Iurii Sokolov -

€298,000 Le Bec Hellouin, Eure Abbeystone (L'Abbeypierre) House is a fully restored 4 property in a popular holiday area. Set on over 4000m2 of land the property includes terrace and rear garden.




A hand-written will can ease succession formalities

Two ways to ease the cost of death ENERGY RATING = C & D







FOR British nationals owning a property in France, it is vital they understand how French law will apply to their French property and other assets which will be subject to French inheritance law in the event of their death or the death of their spouse or joint owner. MANY British buyers do not receive personalised advice when buying their French house and so do not set out specific estate planning measures to give greater security and protection to a surviving spouse in the event of a death. Regardless of whether habitually resident in France, the UK or elsewhere in the world, in the vast majority of cases, French succession law will govern what happens to your French property after your death. Specialist legal advice on your particular circumstances is invaluable. The existence of a French will cannot override the French law reserving a fixed proportion of the deceased’s French estate to his/her children (natural or adopted but not stepchildren). However, it can deal with the remaining proportion of the estate. A will can also be used to enhance (or deny) the rights of the surviving spouse, either absolutely or by the giving of a life interest. For the French notary administering the estate, the existence of a French will simplifies the succession formalities especially if the deceased was non French resident. The simplest way to make a French will is to write it, by hand, in French. Known as a Testament Olographe, to be valid it must be written, dated and signed entirely in the testator’s handwriting. No witnesses are required. Take care to ensure your French will does not revoke any existing UK (or other) will you may have written and vice versa. If you wish to leave all or part of your French property (real estate) to a UK charity be aware the charity may be taxed at 60% on the value of the asset. It may be better to leave such an asset to an international charity with a presence in France as it will receive the asset tax-free. In November 2009 the European Commission asked France to amend taxes on legacies to public-interest and non-profit bodies in the EU. As far as we are aware, however, France has not yet implemented the change requested. Adopting the French marriage regime of communauté universelle (universal community) is a useful tool and allows French property to pass entirely to the surviving spouse; postponing the interests of children until the second death. Most married couples whose children are common to the marriage and not from a previous relationship, will find this relatively straightforward to arrange. For the resulting benefit, the costs and tax involved are generally reasonable.

24 People

Brittany Pages

July 2012

No rest for Marilyn in bid to save Abbaye de Bon Repos Curiosity led British woman Marilyn Le Moign to the Abbaye de Bon Repos but a love for the historic Côtes D'Armor site means she is still there, 17 years on. SAMANTHA DAVID reports on the fight to get the abbey restored, and concerns for its future MARILYN Le Moign was born in Yorkshire but has been in France for 44 years. “I’ve been here so long that I feel completely French,” she says. “But being involved with the Abbaye de Bon Repos has nothing to do with nationality. I just fell into it because I was curious,” she adds. Her second husband is from Brittany, “and you know what they say,” laughs Marilyn. “Marry a Breton, marry Brittany!” In 1999, they moved back to his birthplace, Gouarec, which was very close to the Abbaye de Bon Repos. At that time the Cistercian abbey was being restored by the local DRAC (Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles), a state-sponsored body in charge of French heritage. The abbey was founded in 1184 as a burial place and had always been privately-owned. It was extensively rebuilt after the French Revolution, but by the second half of last century, it had fallen into ruins, so much so that trees were growing in the cloisters. The local authorities declared the building dangerous and said it either had to be pulled down or made safe. “At that point,” explains Marilyn, “a local association was formed to save the abbey and hundreds of people came with buckets and spades every weekend to start restoring it.” Some years later, the DRAC suddenly realised that a volunteer group was restoring a listed building and intervened. “They sent in a specialist architect, and suddenly everything became official,” says Marilyn. Meanwhile, another local association was running son et lumière events to raise money for the restoration. This group is still an

The Abbaye du Bon Repos today, and below, before restoration got started. Left, Marilyn Le Moign

The abbey is up and running, it has a life. But we have to look to the future, to 50 or 100 years from now. Who will be running it then?

independent fundraising association but in 1986, the Association des Compagnons de l’Abbaye de BonRepos was set up to apply for funding from the DRAC and other sources. Because that part of Brittany had just been declared economically deprived by the EU Commission, the Compagnons were able to apply for a grant.

“That’s where I came into the story,” says Marilyn. “I had just arrived from Paris, and I was curious as to what they planned to do with the abbey once it was restored. I went along, asking all sorts of questions and no-one had thought about it. So I’ve been president of the Compagnons since 2000.” Although her work for the abbey is

unpaid and voluntary, she says it is like running a large business. To date, €3 million have been raised and a third of the abbey has been fully restored. The association is continuing the restoration, but says there is less EU money available nowadays. They aim to get the abbey on to the tourist map, attract visitors, and boost local

prosperity. The association now employs four people full time. “We have three interlinked main branches to our work,” explains Marilyn. “Cultural tourism; people come here for the historical significance of the Abbey. “We also run it as a centre for modern art; installations and so forth. The third branch is education; we encourage school parties to come and do projects here.” Everything they do is linked to the local population and actively involves them. “Artists-in-residence here are expected to work with local people to create something, not simply bring in finished work to exhibit. It caused a bit of a shockwave at the beginning, but now we are recognised more widely, people are more used to the idea,” she says. The Belgian artist Bob Verschueren came and worked on a project with local people. They looked at what the monks who originally inhabited the abbey might have eaten and drunk, and linked it to the traditional produce still made in the area. One of the exhibits is a huge cube of oyster shells, and there is also a forest of chestnut trees topped off with fork prongs. “If people react, good or bad, it’s a victory,” says Marilyn. “The worst art is art that leaves people un-moved. But this exhibition is particularly loved.” She is also proud to say that 700 children come to the abbey every year on educational visits, learning not just about the history of the building but about how it was originally constructed and lived in. They also explore the links between heritage and contemporary art. “But our concern isn’t for today,” says Marilyn. “The abbey is up and running, it has a life, but we have to look to the future, to 50 or 100 years from now. Who will be running it then?” The Conseil Général has expressed an interest in buying the abbey, and Marilyn, along with the rest of the association, thinks this could be the best solution. “It could be quite radical,” says Marilyn, “and we’re not certain what they might want to do with it, but we would hope to convince them that we’re the best people to go on running it.”

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Brittany Pages - July 2012  

Brittany Pages, Brittany’s English-language monthly newspaper

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