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MAY 2012


News and What’s on information for Normandy and the surrounding area Photos: OT Honfleur


10,000 new jobs in €7bn energy project by SAMANTHA DAVID


Our school bus is a horse-drawn cart

Full story:

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provide up to 10,000 new jobs across the region and, as part of a wider international development project NEW off-shore windfarms to be built with the UK and Germany, will make in Normandy will bring huge investnorthern Europe the world’s largest ment and thousands of new jobs in wind energy production area. construction and maintenance as part Initial employment will be provided of a €7 billion plan. to build the factories in SaintThe plan brings a whole new indusNazaire, Brest, Cherbourg and Le try to Normandy and BasseHavre which will conNormandie regional presistruct the 600 wind turdent Laurent Beauvais said bines needed for the first it marked “a new page in tranche of the project. industrial history” and Maintenance plants are “new hope for the future”. to be built in La Turballe, Two sites, at Fécamp Saint-Brieuc, Ouistreham (near Le Havre) and at and Fécamp. Courseulles-sur-Mer As further contracts are (north of Caen) have been awarded, it is expected the chosen for the first windarea will become a major farms, along with two furLaurent Beauvais manufacturing hub for ther sites, at St-Brieuc in greeted a “new wind turbines as the plans Brittany and St-Nazaire page in industrial will eventually see around (Pays de la Loire). history” 1,200 wind turbines built The government award20km off the French coast. ed the Normandy and The first four wind farms are Pays de la Loire contracts to a conexpected to produce 2,000 megawatts sortium led by energy giant EDF and of electricity and, as further farms are engineering company Alstom while constructed, this is expected to rise to the Brittany contract was awarded to 6,000mW by 2020. Mr Beauvais a consortium led by Spanish energy group Iberdrola and engineering Î Turn to page 2 company Areva. More deals are on the horizon, with prospective sites selected in NorM 05198 - 29 - F: 0,95 E mandy, at Le Tréport (near Dieppe) and Noirmoutier, Pays de la Loire. Industry Minister Eric Besson said the €7bn project was expected to



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Contents News What’s On Feature Coffee Break

1-7 8-11 12-13 14

Food Directory Home and garden Property & Business

15 16-17 18-19 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: - Calvados - 22 rue d'Isigny, 14045 CAEN CEDEX 9 Tel: 08 20 39 51 40 | Manche - 50013 SAINT LO CEDEX Tel: 08 20 39 55 00 | Orne Pôle d'activités d'Ecouves, Rue François Arago, 61250 VALFRAMBERT Tel. 08 20 39 56 10 | Eure - Parc d'activité de la Forêt, Rue Henri Becquerel, BP 250 27092 EVREUX CEDEX 9 Tel: 08 20 39 52 70 | Seine-Maritime - 61 rue Pierre Renaudel, BP 2035X, 76040 ROUEN CEDEX 1 Tel: 08 20 39 57 60 PREFECTURE: Calvados - rue Daniel Huet, 14038 CAEN CEDEX 9 Tel: 02 31 30 64 00 | Manche - place de la Préfecture, CS 10419, 50009 ST LO CEDEX Tel: 02 33 75 49 50 | Orne - 39

rue Saint Blaise, 61019 ALENCON CEDEX Tel. 02 33 80 61 61 | Eure boulevard Georges Chauvin, 27022 EVREUX CEDEX Tel: 02 32 78 27 27 | Seine-Maritime - 7 place de la Madeleine, 76000 ROUEN Tel: 02 32 76 55 00 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: Bilingual meetings French/English: Picauville (50) At: Centre Socio-Culturel, Prieuré (opposite the church) Tel: 02 33 40 66 53, Friday at 20:00 | Alençon (61) At: 22 Rue Porchaine, Alençon Tel: 02 43 24 88 40 Monday at 20:30-22:00 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 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 May 1 - Labour Day, May 8 - VE Day May 17 - Ascension Day May 28 - Whitmonday

Normandy Clubs and Associations Alliance Anglo-Normande A helping hand to integrate through French lessons, meetings and a social calendar, with members of many nationalities. Based between Livarot and Vimoutiers. Amicale Culturelle Européenne Offers cultural events and welcomes all nationalties Calvados Polo Club Polo matches and events in Lisieux area (14). Open to non-members. Mme Garmond: 02 31 31 19 85

Writers in France Relaxed, friendly creative writing group which meets on first Tuesday of every month at the Bistrot du Coin in Passais Royal British Legion Normandy/Calvados district branch Goona Naidu: 02 31 78 36 40 Ron Matthews: "Ville-Beau-Son" Choir Anglo-French choir based in Villebaudon (50). Welcomes enthusiastic singers of all abilities. Meets every Wednesday at 20.30 at the Salle Culturelle. Sylvia Miles: 02 33 59 21 81or 02 33 51 13 20

May 2012

Windfarm contracts give €7bn of jobs

Photo: Thomas Jouanneau-Signatures


All change at the Mont THE CAR park that has for dozens of years blighted the Mont-Saint-Michel has now been closed as part of the scheme to make the site an island again. Visitors can gaze from afar, walk or take shuttle buses from the new car park 2.5km away. However, plans for maringote horse-drawn trams to cross the causeway – and the new bridge when it is finished in 2014 – have been delayed as the prototype carriages, which are built by a specialist in the Manche, are not reliable enough for full-time operation. Aluminium-framed, the carriages can carry 50 passengers and are drawn by pairs of draught horses – mainly Cob Normands but also Postiers Bretons and Percherons. In all, 36 horses are waiting to start work and

the pairs can pull an eight-tonne carriage – with a fully-laden maringote weighing around five tonnes. They hark back to the 19th century when calèches took passengers to the island. They are suitable for wheel-chair use. It is hoped to get the service running by the start of the summer season but the problems have been a bitter blow for tourism officials. Otherwise, travellers can use new reversible shuttles and buses. Cyclists can use the causeway and new bridge between October and March but, for safety reasons, are banned in high season. The changes come after a 2009 scheme to dam the Couesnon river upstream and use the release of water to push sediment out to sea away from the Mont.

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greeted this as a step towards the “reduction of the part nuclear power plays in our electricity production” and a move to catch up on renewable energy production where France was behind other European neighbours. Mr Besson said the plan would be a step forward for renewable energy production in France, whilst also positioning the country at the head of an emerging new global industry, the construction of windfarms. EDF chief executive officer Henri Proglio greeted the news it had won three contracts and said it was the start of a “new renewable energy adventure for France”. The choice of Courseullessur-Mer as a site for one of the windfarms caused controversy, as campaigners objected it would disfigure an area of historic importance as the centre of the beaches where the Normandy D-Day landings took place during the Second World War.

News in brief Online shoppers get own store SUPERMARKET giant Leclerc is to open a new-style Drive store at the Expansia centre at Falaise which will allow customers to order their shopping online and then pick up their order at the shop when ready.

485 turn up for family gathering A FAMILY gathering at Mortagne-au-Perche in Orne saw 485 from the Gaudré family meet up. They are the descendants of Almire and Léontine Gaudré, a farming couple who married in 1894, and had 18 children.

Floyd tribute band for festival TRIBUTE band Australian Pink Floyd Show will be the headline act at the Papillons de Nuit festival in Avranches on May 27. The band is a favourite of Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour. Also there are Pete Doherty, Charlie Winston and Nolwenn Leroy.

€7m conman gets five years A MAN has been jailed for five years after swindling nearly €7 million from two dozen people in Lisieux, Caen and Paris between 2001 and 2007. Former Lisieux basketball president Christian Vauchelles claimed to invest money in shares but was caught when a client who had invested €2m decided to ask for his money back.

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.

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May 2012

News 3

THE building of a €343 million 163km high-tension power line between Cotentin and Mayenne has sparked fury among residents in the path of its 420 towers. Planned to stabilise power supplies to the west coast, it crosses 64 communes. DARRYL MILES looks at what it means for those affected

Photo: ©PHOTOPQR/OUEST FRANCE/Fabien Paillot

Protesters target new pylon sites

Graphic: RTE

High tension over power line

WHEN the European Pressurised Reactor being built at Flamanville was being planned energy giant EDF also had to look at a way to get the electricity to where it is needed – further south to supply the whole west coast. With increasing costs and delays on the EPR scheme, this CotentinMaine THT (très haute tension) project has now been extended to include “green” power supplies from offshore and onshore wind farms plus tidal turbines. It will use new 400,000 volt pylons marching for 163km across country from just north of Coutances to Beaulieu-sur-Oudon in Mayenne. Pylons ranging in height from 40m-65m will be, on average, every 500m along the route – which means a considerable eyesore for those living underneath and real health concerns as high-tension power lines have been linked to severe illness, including cancer. Many people oppose the project – The 163km power line runs from Coutances to Mayenne and has sparked demonstrations from street marches to activists’ treetop protests especially those who bought houses built in a wood at Montabot they are have a pylon near their properties. Mayors and local councils found d’Electricité and power company several years ago and now find they waiting to see just what will happen Residents also had a difficult themselves in a very difficult situaEDF identified three possible routes are being forced to accept pylons in next. choice as RTE offered to buy the tions as communes with pylons in for the pylons – then chose the line close proximity to their homes. At Montabot RTE applied for and homes of those who were within their area receive a fairly substantial with the least environmental impact. Protesters at one site say: “We are gained a court order to get them 100m of the power line – while rent from RTE. In all, around one But that is not how the people livfighting against the THT line removed. those living farther away were million euros a year is being shared ing under the pylons have seen it because we have no proof there is Michel Roussel of Percy Sous offered compensation for a loss of by the 64 affected communes. and once the final route was chosen no danger for those living nearby. Tension said: “They were claiming visual appearance. In addition, RTE has set up a Plan there were concerned meetings in The state and RTE does not want €2,000 per hour damage per indiThe protest changed as RTE d’Accompagnement de Projet worth the communes nearby. new research done because they are vidual who were stopping the trees released the final exact position of €20m which can be spent on Initially these meetings were with scared of the results. They prefer to being felled for the THT lines.” the pylons and some give lots of money to He added: “Mayors have a duty to protesters, who had councils. protect their residents against anybeen in the original “They said in the public thing which could harm them, withchosen corridor but inquiry that the line was in reason. On the other hand the now found themselves vital for the Flamanville supply of electricity is classed as a sufficiently far away EPR – and now that there public utility so EDF has a lot more from the pylons, tended is a problem with building freedom to do what it wants.” not to continue but oththat they are saying it is for An RTE spokesman said: “We ers less fortunate who renewable energy. advise people to keep away from found themselves close “RTE lies all the time.” pylon working sites. to the new line became Protests have ranged “Anyone unbolting or taking apart increasingly militant. from street marches pylons is causing a danger for themThen, in January, as involving up to 40,000 selves and for workers.” work on building the people to undoing bolts on The anti-THT lobby highlights the pylons started with partially-erected pylons danger to health of living close to around 40 companies and “taking to the trees” to pylons, notably the increase in canemploying up to 900 prevent woodlands being cer risks. staff, the protests cleared for the pylons. One study, from researchers at the switched to direct Local associations and Centre de Recherche et action: dismantling pressure groups were d’Information Indépendant sur les pylons and blocking formed, including Percy Rayonnements ÉlectroMagnétiques access for site workers. sous Tension and Tessy non Ionisants compared the health One leading opponent Survolté, and mass demonof those living in proximity to existis Jean Claude Bossard, strations have taken place, Le Chesfresne mayor Jean Claude Bossard with anti-THT protesters in his wood ing 400kV THT lines and those farthe mayor of Le notably in Rennes where ther away. Chesfresne who has been fighting schemes such as building a new vilthe mayors and councillors with no thousands of demonstrators They found residents in close against the plan since it was lage hall, a new mairie, insulating residents present and these were tarmarched around the town. proximity to the line had increased announced as the line goes right the roof of the local school etc in the geted by protesters. They tried to Many were dressed in yellow to likelihood of contracting cancer and across his woodland. affected communes. stop the meetings taking place or support calls from anti-nuclear suffering other ailments such as He has helped anti-THT protesters Mayors had to decide between the stop the officials leaving the buildgroups that France should switch memory loss, headaches etc. to get installed in tree huts to halt possibility of substantial additional ings by blocking vehicles in using renewable energy – wind turbines, This study was challenged by EDF the builders with a 24-hour vigil. income to spend in their communes tractors etc. Gendarmes were called solar panels etc. and RTE, who said it was not offiAfter gendarmes were brought in or satisfy the wishes of handfuls of in on several occasions to clear exits During planning, national grid cial and was open to bias. to evict protesters from tree huts residents with the misfortune to for RET officials. staff at the Réseau de Transport

4 News

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

Pupils get up early Ancient oak tree also for school horse ride has two chapels inside THIS tree is a building, too, and is a church at AllouvilleBellefosse, north of Villequier in SeineMaritime, which stands guard over one of the oldest trees in France. The trunk of the 1,300 year old oak hides two chapels (one above the other); both have a roof, a floor and are panelled in wood. A wooden staircase spirals around the outside of the trunk to provide access to the upper chapel and the top part of the tree is covered in boards to protect it. THE ONCE fashionable spa of Bagnoles-deL’Orne may be a magnet for tired executives search-

ing for cures from its rejuvenating waters, but not many will know that it owes its origin to medieval Seigneur Hugues de Tessé who left his once-glorious horse Rapide in the nearby Andaines Forest believing that it was

reaching the end of its life. Some hours later, he was amazed when the animal returned home, strong and totally revitalised. It was from this that the thermal spa developed.

ONE of the strangest village names is Villedieu-lesPoêles (God’s Town of The Pots), which is a centre of metalwork, especially brass and copper pans and basins, the poêles in its name. It is also famous for its manufacture of large church bells. No surprise that the inhabitants are called Sourdins from the word els inside its trunk sourd for deaf. ap ch o tw s ha k oa nt This ancie

Photo: Virginie Corbin

Did you know?

Smiling faces on board the carriage as the horses get ready to set off to school CHILDREN in a Calvados village are getting up early for school so they can get a run on the school “bus” – a horse-drawn carriage. The village is pioneering a comeback of the working horse through the scheme which takes 35 primary children to and from the Paul-Héroult school in Thury-Harcourt in a coach pulled by percherons – a draught horse breed with Norman origins. Set up by the association Les Roulottes de la Suisse-Normande, which promotes day-to-day use of the horse, the scheme has a dual advantage: getting the youngsters to school and cutting car parking problems there. Association president Virginie Corbin said: “It’s for children who live less than 2km away and are not entitled to travel by school bus. For little children it is a long way on foot and the parents don’t car-share, so that meant a lot of cars, with parking and safety problems.” They now hope to arrange another, earlier, trip to double the number of pupils benefiting. Ms Corbin said they had the idea after hearing there were concerns about getting children to school. “One child had his foot run over, so we suggested this. It is a partnership with the

mairie and the regional and departmental councils and private sponsors. It is a €27,000 project, as there are costs for the horse and driver and coach rental, even though we are volunteers.” She added: “Horse-drawn transport is more eco-friendly and more fun – parents say their kids get up earlier because they don’t want to miss the bus. “Plus we almost do door-to-door, more than 3.5km, which is practical with horses, but there’s no point running a bus at 15kph. It’s a solution to problems associated with fossil fuels, and there’s a social side – parents now meet together at the stops.” Ms Corbin said they wanted horses to be used more often: “We hope it will snowball. It can be put in place easily and councillors don’t always think of it. It’s much cheaper than an electric vehicle.” In Trouville a horse is used to collect bottles and oyster shells from bars after the council found it cheaper than an electric van. Another, in the commune of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives, takes 12 children to primary school as well as helping with tourist visits and excursions.

Norman language Gallo is in danger REGIONAL language activists say the the traditional Norman language of Gallo is fighting a losing battle for survival in Normandy. Around 8,000 people turned out at a demonstration in Quimper to show their support for regional languages including Breton and Gallo, and to demand that the government ratify the European Charter on National and Minority Languages. The charter has been stalled for years as it contradicts the constitution, which says the only official language is French. President Sarkozy and National Front leader Marine Le Pen have both said they will not ratify the charter, but socialist candidate François Hollande, Green candidate

Eva Joly and centrist François Bayrou have all said they are in favour of ratification. Signing would not make minority languages official, but would give recognition and open the way to grants to help preserve this element of France’s cultural heritage. Gallo is a romance language from the same linguistic family as French which was once spoken widely across Brittany and parts of Normandy. Today it is less visible than Breton, which is still spoken in Brittany, but Gallo is used in some signs in Rennes and Nantes, the traditional heartlands of the language. There are different dialects within Gallo and although there is a written tradition, the language is more frequently used for story-telling, theatre and song-writing.

Dairy firms sued over camembert SOME of France’s largest dairy firms are being sued over their use of the “Made in Normandy” statement on camembert. Producers are accusing Lactalis, Bongrain and Isigny Sainte-Mère plus several supermarket chains of improper use of the slogan Fabriqué en Normandie when they are not in the “Camembert de Normandie” Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. The producers say the companies have misused the slogan for many years and want them to take it off packaging and take camemberts with the slogan off the market. AOC camembert is made from hand-ladled raw milk from Normandy cows and produced within a certain geographical area. Only 5% of camembert is made this way.

Normandy Advertiser

FIVE months after a onetonne German bomb was discovered beside William the Conqueror’s castle in Falaise it has been defused in a complex evacuation operation. The Second World War bomb, 1.6m long, was defused after police set up a 400m exclusion zone round the site, which meant evacuating a hospital, three old people’s homes and many residential buildings as well as the town hall. It is thought to be the first time a French hospital has been completely cleared. In all, around 500 people had to move out of the town centre during the operation. First step was to find temporary accommodation for the 20 hospital patients and this started 15 days before work at the foot of the château in the heart of the town could go ahead. Buses were also brought in to take residents from Alma, Bernardin and Saint Louis nursing homes to the Forum auditorium for the day. Nearly 150 nurses, trainee nurses and hospital staff were used in the transfer and while around 130 residents spent the day at the Forum many others were also taken in by their families. However, some of the patients were confused about


Hundreds evacuated as WWII bomb is defused by DARRYL MILES

News 5

May 2012

Gendarmes from the bomb squad prepare the one-tonne device for transfer to a dumping ground

Contrasting results for pupils in exams SCHOOLS in Basse Normandie are doing better than colleagues in Haute Normandie according to recent exam pass figures. Collated results show that in the Académie of Caen, 13,876 pupils sat their “bac” (baccalauréat) exams in 2011 and overall 87.3% passed, up from 87.2% in 2010. The Académie of Rouen had 19,577 pupils sitting and overall 84.2% passed, down from 84.3% in 2010. This compares with an average of 86% across France, up from 85.8% in 2010. For the bac général Caen scored a pass rate of 87.5% (up from 87% in 2010) and Rouen scored 86.3% (up from 85.3% in 2010) compared with 88.5% (up from

87.4%) in France. Top was Strasbourg with 92.9% (up from 91.8%) and bottom was Créteil with 83.5% (up from 81.3% in 2010) For the bac technologique Caen was well above the average: 85.6% (down from 85.8% in 2010) and Rouen lagged behind with 79.8% (up from 79.4% in 2010) compared with 82.8% (up from 81.9%) across France. In line with the rest of the country, bac professionnel results fell slightly but Caen stayed high: 88.4% (down from 89% in 2010) which put it third after Grenoble (89.9%) and Nantes (90.5%). Rouen results were disappointing: 84.6% (down from 88%) as against 84.1% (from 86.5%) across France.

Quevilly in French final what was going to happen. The daughter of one told the website “many of the old people thought that they were going to sleep at the Forum. My mother was not very happy.” Four hundred householders

were also evacuated from private homes, although around a dozen decided to stay put. Staff in the hospital, old people’s homes and town hall were advised to leave windows open to reduce shock wave damage from any blast.

Many of the old people thought they were going to sleep at the Forum. My mother was not very happy

When the bomb disposal squad finally got to grips with the device they were able to defuse it within an hour in a delicate operation. By just after midday the remains were loaded on to a “Securité civile” lorry bound for a designated dumping ground. Falaise was intensively bombed in a decisive engagement in the battle of Normandy as encircling Allied forces destroyed the trapped German Fifth and Seventh Panzer armies.

Boy, 14, finds unexploded shell A 14-YEAR-OLD boy found an unexploded Second World War anti-aircraft shell while using a metal detector to hunt for ancient coins in Hambye. Mrs Jackie Ward had been on holiday at her second home in Manche when she let Gabriel Bossard, her friend Agnès’s son, check her garden. He found the 20cm shell and called his mother and Mrs Ward. “I was terrified,” Mrs Ward said. “I thought it could have gone off at any minute. I showed it to my elderly neighbour but he did not seem concerned, but I could not sleep that night thinking it might explode.” After a sleepless night Mrs Ward went with Gabriel and his mother to the fire station who took the shell from them. Hambye chief fire officer Joel Guichard said: “While it was still dangerous it was heavily corroded and so presented less of a risk. All they need is a large shock to

Jackie Ward was terrified by shell trigger them off such as being hit with a spade. We are getting called out less and less for this sort of things now but they still happen. They can still be dangerous. They can go off.” Mrs Ward’s find came just shortly after she had a new septic tank installed and she said there had been JCBs and earth-

moving equipment driving all over the land close to where the shell was found. Mr Guichard said that anyone finding a suspect device should leave it well alone. “Do not touch it. Leave it exactly where it is and call the fire brigade, do not try digging it up or try to move it. Leave it to the experts.” Mrs Ward said she “panicked” and took the shell to the fire station as her house had no a landline in France and she had no phone directory to see who to call. Anyone else who finds a suspicious object should call the pompiers through 18 on a landline or 112 from a mobile, even a UK mobile as this is the Europewide emergency number. Pompiers will examine the object and call in the bombdisposal division of the Gendarmerie. Residents have also been warned that there is a lot of wartime shrapnel still embedded in trees in Normandy – an extra hazard when chain-sawing wood.

Fear for TGV plans Red pandas arrive PLANS for the high-speed Paris-Normandy rail line which could cut journey times to Rouen to just 45 minutes may be shelved due to financial problems. Olivier Guerin, president of the public consultation committee, raised fears over funding when he said in Rouen the participation of rail network owners Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) remained unsure. The cost of the link is estimated at between €10 billion and €14bn and the RFF contribution was a key component before the project team determined what was to be financed by the state and local councils. There is now uncertainty on the government’s ability to fund the link during a financial crisis and with competition for funding from other projects. This has already seen the line cut from a full TGV link to a partial link with increased capacity. RFF has until June 21 to decide if the project can continue.

TWO RED pandas have arrived at the Cerza zoo in Lisieux, Calvados, as part of the European breeding programme for vulnerable species being coordinated by Frédéric Houssaye, head curator at the Hermival-lesVaux zoo. Red pandas, like their giant panda cousins, eat bamboo but also enjoy fruit and eggs. Unlike the giant pandas they will only grow to about 40 inches.

THOUSANDS of Norman supporters were heading for Paris as Normandy Advertiser went to press and amateur team Quevilly got set for their first Coupe de France final since 1927. National league side Quevilly played Olympique Lyon at the Stade de France after giant-killing games that put their tails in the air. They beat Marseille in the quarter-finals and Breton rivals Rennes in the semi-final at Caen to grab their chance. A win would put Quevilly into the Europa League next season – plus a Trophée des Champions final in New York against the French league champions – while a loss could also see them in the Europa League if Lyon get a Champions League place.

6 National News

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

News from across France

Social security deficit falls PROGRESS is being made on the problem of the social security deficit, new figures show. The good news was announced by director of the health branch of social security, Frédéric Van Roekeghem. The deficit of the branch (concerned with funding/reimbursement of healthcare) was €8.6 billion last year, down from €11.6 billion in 2010 – which is €900 million better than had been predicted. The comments contrast with the views of employers’ body Medef, which recently said the state health insurance system was “on the verge of bankruptcy”. It has urged the presidential candidates to prioritise a radical overhaul.

Photo: © lightpoet -

Brangelina’s wedding plan

tury chapel there. However, Brad’s agent, Cynthia Pett-Dante, said : “Yes, it’s confirmed. It is a promise for the future, and their kids are very happy. There’s no date set at this time.”

Efforts to keep taxes down RESIDENTIAL taxes for the coming year are being kept roughly in line with the past year, as mayors and departmental councils have reined back increases in the taxe d’habitation and taxe foncière. However, that does not mean impôts locaux are staying the same. Local taxes are levied on the theoretical potential rental value of the property, which is set at national level each year, and that has been increased by 1.8%. This means households will face a minimim 1.8% rise even where local councils have decided to maintain taxes at the 2011 level.

Soap spillage shuts motorway

WHILE Hollywood was abuzz with the news that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are to get married, it brought little reaction in the couple’s French “home town” of Correns, in the Var. Staff at the mairie knew nothing of the wedding. The couple own the Château de Miraval in the commune and there have been rumours that they were keen to tie the knot in the 16th cen-

TRAFFIC was disrupted on the A4 autoroute north-east of Paris after an HGV carrying liquid soap crashed, tipping its contents out. The accident, which involved a car, happened on April 12, between Sainte-Aulde in Seine-et-Marne and Orxois in the Aisne. The 40-tonne lorry veered into the verge and turned over, injuring the driver and dumping liquid soap tubs which broke open on the road. The motorway was closed in the Strasbourg direction, but was reopened later in the day.

Disneyland marks birthday DISNEYLAND Paris is 20 years old. With 250 million visitors since it opened in 1992, and 15.7 million last year, Europe’s top attraction is marking the date with a new night-

VISITORS to the Louvre can learn about the Old Masters with an audiovisual guide provided on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld console. The device has replaced the Paris museum’s electronic tour devices and allows visitors to see where they are at any moment on the map using the gadget’s dual screens. Through the Nintendo visitors can listen to interviews with curators and lecturers and get descriptions of more than 700 objects.

time show and a revamped parade. The park was originally known as Euro Disney, but was relaunched as Disneyland Paris in 1994 after poor hotel occupancy and takings. A second park, Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002. Despite high visitor numbers, the company registered a loss last year, of €56 million, despite a rise in its turnover of 5%, to €1.3 billion.

Police ‘sold off seized goods’ SENIOR police officers in Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing are under investigation for selling seized goods to help pay the running expenses of their police stations. The head of the Direction Départementale de la Sécurité Publique du Nord, Didier Perroudon, said since 2008 police had been selling off items found after burglaries or raids and which could not be traced back to an owner. Judges had ordered the items to be destroyed. The officers had used the money to buy lightbulbs, paint for an office wall or road maps. It was thought there had been no personal gain. Three superintendents and several officers have been investigated

intercommunal body from 20002010. The commission says it “doubts these measures were in conformity with directives relating to state aid to the aviation sector.” It is also looking into €8m in grants to the CCI for the running of the facility and grants to Véolia linked to the number of Ryanair services, as well as commercial agreements made between Rynair and Véolia and reduced airport charges.

Cost of living still rising INFLATION remains high in France, according to figures from official statistics body Insee. Average consumer prices were up 0.8% in

March over a month, and 2.3% over a year. Food is up 0.7% over the month and 3.7% over the year. However, Insee noted price falls in pharmaceuticals and electrical items like IT equipment , cameras, TVs, hi-fis and telephones.

Call for French food labelling CONSUMERS have called for a new food label to be created, to highlight products that are produced in France.

Nine out of 10 said there should be a collective Label France for food products, but added they did not want to pay more for the privilege as they found food too expensive. A poll, conducted for the National Association of Food Industries (Ania), found that two thirds of customers usually chose the cheapest products. However, they said food producers deserved a fair price for products. More than two thirds of respondents “trust French food businesses to ensure product safety”.

Lifts ‘could cause death’ AROUND 15,000 French lifts could kill or injure users, according to the Fédération des Ascenseurs (FA). Urgent upgrades – such as making sure doors are safe – were supposed to have been made by the end of 2010, but 8% of lifts are still illegal, the FA says. Nonetheless the FA says accidents are down (250 last year) and, since 2000, fatal ones have been cut by two-thirds. There have been 11 deaths since 2006.

Photo: © lightpoet -

AFTER two gangland shootings in 24 hours in Marseille, Interior Minister Claude Guéant has announced an extra 1,750 surveillance cameras across the city. The body of a 26-year-old man was found riddled with bullets in a seafront car park in the 8th arrondissement. The man was known to police for drug trafficking. Hours earlier the body of gang member Farid Tir was found in similar circumstances outside his home in the 3rd arrondissement. Guéant was speaking at the opening of a new Centre de Supervision Urbaine in Marseille which, he said, was the first stage in a project to have 1,800 cameras across the city.

Tour Louvre on Nintendo

Photo: ©PHOTOPQR/LE PARISIEN/Olivier Corsan

More CCTV after shooting

Airport under investigation THE European Commission has opened an “in-depth inquiry” into public financing at CarcassonneSalvaza airport, used by Ryanair. It wants to find out if grants made to bodies running the airport over the last decade are legal with regard to competition rules or may have favoured Ryanair. Similar enquiries are under way in Marseilles and La Rochelle. The airport was central government property until 2007 when it was transferred to the regional council. Véolia Transport took over last May. Its infrastructure benefited from €11 million from the region, department, town and

Fuel sales fall as prices rise PETROL prices have hit a new record, with SP95 averaging €1.6664 a litre across France. As prices have continued to rise since the end of 2011, however, fuel sales tumbled 3.5% in the year to March. Petrol prices in some Paris stations have been above €2

for several months. Diesel, the most common fuel in France with 80% of consumption, has also seen its average price rise after a modest fall last week. It now costs €1.4362 a litre, up from €1.4347 last week, but still far short of the mid-March record of €1.4584. Only the higher-octane SP98 petrol saw a fall in price: from its record of €1.7121 last week to €1.7095

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8 What’s On


Normandy Advertiser

May 2012



Photo: © OT Honfleur

Photo: © OT Honfleur

May 26-28 Sailors’ Festival – On every Pentecost Sunday since 1861 the people of Honfleur have celebrated the Fête des Marins. The Honfleur flotilla forms a circle in the Seine estuary for a blessing of the sea on Sunday and there is a special mass to honour the memory of all those who have died at sea. The cathedral is decorated, and boats from Honfleur and further afield are decked with flags and paper flowers made by local schoolchildren. On Monday, the highlight of the event is the pilgrimage to the Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel. Sailors and fishermen are joined by local children for the procession. Model boats covered in flowers are carried through the town, which is decorated especially for the occasion. The Society of Sailors holds an exhibition in Grenier à Sel, which is itself worth seeing for its architecture. Call 02 31 89 23 30 or email

Photo: © OT Honfleur


Manche, Sainte-MèreEglise May 19 Nuit Européenne des Musées, Rue Eisenhower, 19.00-22.30 – More than 4,000 museums in more than 40 countries will open their doors to the public free on the European Night of Museums.The Airborne Museum will join them, and opens from 19.00 to 22.30. The museum pays tribute to American parachutists of the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions who dropped on Sainte-Mère-Eglise on the night of June 5, 1944. Visitors on the night can see an exhibition of military vehicles and there will be music from the band Les Carottes Râpées, as well as extras in period costume. FREE Call 02 33 41 41 35

Marie Ravenel has a vast millpond and two pairs of grinding stones. During the Bread Festival, in addition to the regular guided tours, bread is made in the wood-fired oven and sold to visitors. Entry €4; 16-25s €3; 6-15s €1.50 Call 02 33 54 37 20

Eure, Fleury-la Forêt May 27-28 Teddy bear Days 11.00 to 18.00 – Factory teddies, hand-made teddies, accessories, decorations, even teddy bear kits at the Salle des Mariages at the château. Bring your old teddy for advice on conservation. Children can play teddy-bear hide and seek in the park for prizes or have a picnic. Entrance €7, Children 6-16 €6, under-sixes and teddy bears FREE. Call 02 32 49 63 91

Calvados, Lisieux May 3 Théâtre de Lisieux, Bach's Goldberg Variations 20.30 – Alexandre Tharaud’s interpretation of Bach is consistently well reviewed. The Goldberg variations represent the summit of Bach's keyboard compositions.They are ferociously difficult to play on a piano, but Tharaud is a technician of the highest order. Tickets €5 to €20 Call 02 31 61 12 13: email

Eure, Réthoville May 17-20 Fête du Pain 14.00-19.00 – The Moulin de

Orne, Bellême May 13 Motos Rétros – Vintage motor-cycle fanatics

Manche Mont-Saint-Michel

meet at the Salle Philippe de Chennevières all day, with parades through the town Contact: 02 33 73 08 00 Manche, Granville May 12 Stars in Dior, Musée Christian Dior – Running until September, an exhibition of gowns and accessories worn by stars of screen and theatre including Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor. Entry €4-7 Call 02 33 61 48 21 Eure, Fontaine-sous-Jouy May 13-20 Scarecrow Festival – For a week every year the squares and doorways of this charming village are filled with scarecrows (Épouvantails). It’s a great time for an amusing and interesting stroll. Call 02 32 36 71 70


Photo: ©

Photo: © Duch.seb

Seine-Maritime, CanyBarville May 21-27 American Week – Shops take on an American theme, with displays, music and the chance to win a seat at the Grand Western Dinner and Concert on May 26.There’s an exhibition of American cars on May 26 and 27. Call 02 35 57 17 70

Photo: © Closevents

Pick of the rest in Normandy

May 13 Marathon, starting at Cancale 08.30 - Up to 5,000 runners from 30 countries are expected for this magical run around the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel.The winner can expect to arrive at the finishing line at about 10.50. In the week leading up to the marathon there are several other events; the children’s relay from Mont Saint-Michel to Saint-Malo on May 10, a 10km run on May 11, and runners can load up with carbs at the pasta party organised by the Lions Club in the Espace Duguay-Trouin, Saint-Malo at 18.30 on Saturday, May 12. Free to watch; pasta party €15 Call 02 99 89 54 54

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012



What’s On 9




Photo: © Carentan Liberty Group

May 31-June 5 Bloody Gulch Camp reconstruction, from 10.00 – The Battle of Bloody Gulch on June 13, 1944, allowed the American forces from Utah and Omaha beaches to link up.The TV series Band of Brothers featured this battle, which took place at the Manoir de Donville, the HQ of a German Panzer division. Collectors and campers gather on May 31; on June 1,2 and 5 there are re-enactments at 21.30; on June 2 and 3 at 15.30 you can watch FREE shows about the US 101st Airborne. Access to the camp is FREE; to the night-time re-enactments €8, reservation advised. Visit to the Manor and gardens €6, children and students €4. Call 02 33 42 03 22 or 06 47 51 02 69


Seine-Maritime CULTURE


Photo: ©

May 10 Unusual Workshop visits: Christofle factory, route de Duclair 09.15-11.15 – Open day at the silversmiths; Christofle has been in business since the 19th century, producing works of the highest craftsmanship in silver and gold, hand-made creations by great artists and designers, reproductions of historic silverware and articles made to order, alongside the table silver for which the company is best known. Tours finish in the factory shop.Tickets €6.50, 12-18 €4.50, under 12 FREE. Call 02 32 08 36 53; email




Looking for ideas of days out or events near you?

Photo: © HGB

May 2 Guided tour of the abbey 15.00 Lessay’s wonderful 11th-century abbey church is open every day, but the remainder of the monastic buildings, mostly 18th century, are private property. This is one of the few days in the year when the cloister and gardens can be visited. It is also a day when the tour is FREE, and children will be given a leaflet with games and information. Call 02 33 45 14 34


FESTIVAL May 12-19 Jazz sous les Pommiers - One of the biggest jazz festivals in France, Jazz under the Apple Trees features artists from all over the world, including the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Ibrahim Maalouf, Kenny Neal, and the Christian Garros Big Band, pictured left. Full programme on Tickets on sale from April 21 all over town, from or by telephone.Tickets from €6 to €39. Call 02 33 76 78 50 or for reservations 02 33 76 78 68

Cerza: safari in Normandy! "Europe’s largest wooded park for red pandas"

May 12-13 Springtime at Manoir d’Argouges, Guided tours from 10.30 – Many different activities for all tastes and all ages, with guided tours of the manor by its owner Bertrand Levasseur, and a special lunch menu for the occasion.The Manoir d’Argouges is a listed historic monument which has been restored from ruins over the past 30 years to its medieval and renaissance splendour. In addition, this year, there is an exhibition by fresco painter Solène Éloy. Entrance and activities FREE. Call 01 29 20 09 09




Photo: © Christophe de Balorre

May 19 Pierres en Lumière 20.00 to 01.00 – In fact, it is not just Alençon, but the whole of the Orne, and this year all of Basse-Normandie, which is celebrating its heritage in light. Among the most spectacular effects is the transformation of the façade of the Conseil Général into a vast curtain of Alençon lace, which is timed to coincide with the European Night of Museums. Call 02 33 29 95 36

* Libre Cours . Caen - Photo : Gérard LACZ / Sunset

Photo: © Mathieu Schoutteten

Visit: At the time of going to press The Normandy Advertiser team checked, to the best of its ability, that the details of events listed here are correct. However, we recommend that you check with organisers before setting out to see there have not been any last minute changes to programmes.

Calvados, the true spirit of Normandy

10 What’s On

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

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THE AVA Refuge near Gournay-enBray in Seine Maritime (76) was founded 25 years ago, to provide a safe place where animals, especially old ones, can take refuge. The team, headed by vet Thierry Bedossa, does not put animals down except where medically necessary, and they work hard to integrate their animals so they can live in large enclosures. They have dogs, cats, cows, horses, deer, pigeons and rabbits. Some of them will live out the rest of their days on the premises, but others, like those pictured left, will be put up for adoption. “They do a lot of work with animal behaviour specialists, vets, and students,” said a helper. “They study the animals and try to understand what motivates them and we give people advice about training.” The team at the refuge studies the behavioural differences between animals living with humans and animals living in packs with limited human contact. The idea is to produce a set of

guidelines for improving animal wellbeing in kennels and refuges. They are also interested in establishing what well-being means for an animal. “We could think we’re looking after a dog by letting her lie on the sofa,” says one of their researchers. “But is that what the dog would choose to do?” The answers to some of these questions might seem obvious, but the team wants to produce scientific proof. This is particularly important, they say, when it comes to agricultural livestock, and implementing guidelines to ensure animal welfare. But like all animal rescue organisations, their expenses are high. “We have about 500 animals, so we always need donations, and people to foster or adopt the animals. And there’s always work for an extra pair of hands!” said a helper. They raise money through subscriptions, donations and a pet-sitting service. For more information call 06 77 48 27 92, email or go to


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Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

What’s On 11

What’s On in the capital


Newton’s iconic work for French title Nova and the British Vogue (right) Photo: Michael Schamis/Wikimedia

Fly high at funfair FAMILY

Photo: besofa/Flickr

Until June 3 – The Foire du Trône is a massive late spring funfair on the edge of the Bois de Vincennes, with rides galore, including a giant ferris wheel and all the usual stalls. A flat-rate pass (€29.99) buys access to the 10 big rides and other discounts. Open daily from 12.00 to midnight (1.00 on Saturdays). Metro Liberté (line 8) or 87 bus from Gare de Lyon.

French take on top Broadway puppet show Until May 27 – Sesame Street meets South Park in this musical comedy, which sees human actors performing and singing alongside puppets. The French interpretation is based on the phenomenally successful Broadway and West End shows and runs until the end of this month.Théâtre Bobino, Rue de la Gaîté (14e). Metro Gaîté (13) or Edgar-Quinet (6). €27 to €80.


Art events opened Suburban swing at Rare exposure for Degas nude works May 11-14 – The edgy, working class eastern Paris district of Belleville (pictured) hosts its annual artists’ open house event, offering the chance of a glimpse into the lives and work of local artists. More than 200 artists work in the free event, daily from 14.00 to 21.00, with studio tours, discussions and other activities. All mediums are represented, including painting, sculpture, street art, photography and video for the expected 50,000 visitors.

Photo: LPLT/Wikimedia


Versailles jazz fest

May 9-15 – Less than half an hour on the train from the centre of Paris, Versailles will host more than a dozen concerts, in a wide range of venues from restaurants to the town’s main market square, featuring established and up-and-coming French jazz, soul and choral performers. Some concerts are free, others range from €13 to €31.


Photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

May 22 to June 10 – The best tennis players in the world will compete through seven gruelling rounds for the French Open title over a fortnight, and almost half a million fans are expected to flock to Roland Garros stadium on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne to cheer them along. Spanish star Rafael Nadal (pictured) was last year’s champion in the men’s tournament, and Na Li from China picked up the women’s singles trophy. Tickets range from €17 to €169 depending on your choice of days and courts. Metro Michel-Ange Auteuil or Michel-Ange Molitor (line 9), or Porte d’Auteuil (10).

Photo: Helmut Newton Estate

EXHIBITION Until June 17 – Since Australian photographer Helmut Newton’s death in 2004, there has been no retrospective of his work in France, even though he did much of his work here, particularly for the French edition of Vogue. A new exhibition at the beautiful Grand Palais aims to fix that – and show that Newton was much more than just a fashion photographer. Bringing together more than 200 of his provocative photographs, mostly original or vintage prints made under Newton’s supervision, the exhibition also includes press records, and a film made by his wife, June. Open daily, 10.00-22.00, except Tuesdays and May 1. Open late on May 19 for the Nuit des Musées. Grand Palais, Metro Champs-Elysées Clémenceau (1, 13) €11, concessions €8.

Photo: Helmut Newton Estate

Provocative photos explore fashion, money and power

World tennis greats play French Open

Until July 1 – The Musée d’Orsay hosts the first major French retrospective of Edgar Degas’ work in almost a quarter of a century. Organised in collaboration with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, it focuses on the artist’s depictions of nude models throughout the course of his long career. It features several works that rarely see the light of day because of preservation issues. Open daily, 9.30-18.00, late night on Thursdays, closed Mondays and May 1. Metro Musée d’Orsay (RER C) or Solférino (12). €9, concessions €6.50.


12 Golf

Normandy Adver

Glorious golf courses that w With hundreds of golf courses in France of all shapes, sizes and for all abilities, how do you know where to start? RAY CLANCY shares some tips on picking the right course, and the right gear to accompany your golfing trip WITH its varied landscape and topography, France is ideal golfing country and today there are more than 550 golf courses which cater for everyone from beginners to advanced. Such a variety means, however, that you need to choose your course carefully to get the best of a day’s golf, as the terrain can vary widely. By the sea in Normandy there are links courses (which are quite exposed) and inland in the Dordogne, for example, you can find courses with wooded areas and more protection from the wind. One of the most vital considerations for many golfers in France is the 19th hole. Indeed, former French professional golf champion Daniel Lefèvre reckons it is one of the most important points to consider when trying a new course or when going on holiday. “It is always agreeable to try out and enjoy the restaurant and bar facilities in the clubhouse. If you are on holiday it also gives you the chance to try some local specialities,” he says. “I also recommend looking at the culture and history of a course. It can be an opportunity for golfers and their families to discover a new area.” Some golf courses are famous for their food. An example is the Château des Vigiers near Bergerac in the Dordogne. There is a formal restaurant, a brasserie and a club bar which also serves snacks. The château dates

Golf gear fashion: the new black WHEN it comes to fashion on the golf course, black is the colour for 2012 – not just graphite shafts and driver crowns but, increasingly, clubfaces to match. Of course, black, gunmetal and other dusky finishes are not new, but what started out with a few anti-glare wedges has turned into a fully fledged fashion statement available as standard this season. Most bigger clubs have their own shops with the very latest gear.


Demand for French family breaks remains strong Final 2011 sales figures from The Hoseasons Group reveal bookings for France finished at three times the volume they were 10 years ago. ACCORDING to those 2011 sales, Brittany, Normandy and the Dordogne are the most popular regions for UK holidaymakers; with families, by a ratio of 3:1, the biggest fans. And it is therefore no surprise to learn that three per cent of breaks included a pet, and longer durations of 14 nights+ accounted for 40% of all bookings. The final statistics also show that UK holidaymakers to France don't plan too far ahead with 36 per cent of them making a booking within three months of arrival at their chosen holiday property. France has been a popular choice for British family holidays for gener-

ations due to its accessibility, alluring culture, world beating wines and sublime food. And a self-catering holiday in France still represents great value for holidaymakers as well as fantastic opportunity for holiday home owners. Simon Law, VP Property at The Hoseasons Group, commented: "Our booking figures for renowned brands like cottages4you and French Country Cottages clearly show that France continues to be one of the most popular European destinations, particularly with our database of holidaymakers which is one of the largest in the industry.

"For property owners, these figures underline the importance of choosing the right partner to market your holiday home and our owners are secure from the start knowing that they are working with a British holiday letting agency that is fully licenced and bonded to operate in France. "In addition, owners have access to a full agency service from our Head Office on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales as well as support from a team of 15 bilingual regional managers based across France. And of course, superb marketing underwritten by a group budget of

£27million is what drives the allimportant bookings". Gerald and Victoire de Maleville are a great example of owners working very successfully with the Hoseasons Group. In 2010, they secured 34 weeks of bookings and in 2011 sales were up by as much as 18 per cent. Husband and wife team Gerald and Victoire started renting out holiday cottages as a way to restore some of the beautiful buildings inherited from Gerald's parents and for him, the properties have become a business. In 2007 he decided to take a three year break from his job as commercial development director at Moet and Chandon to concentrate on the renovation project and has big plans for self-catering in the

Dordogne. Gerald was the architect behind the renovations and personally oversaw the building work, whilst his wife Victoire, who has an excellent eye for colour and design, took care of the decoration and furnishings as well as adding the final touches to ensure perfection. To date, the couple have renovated four properties within the Sarlat area of the Dordogne and each has been beautifully restored, combining classic architectural features with modern fittings and quality furnishings. Gerald said: "The general standard of the properties has to be high for today's holidaymaker. They are looking for a home from home, with the facilities they would expect in their own residence. We take great


will suit you to a tee Main photo: Xiongmao - Side photo: Alexander Raths -

Tech tips: best golf gadgets „ THE MOST novel introduction in equipment, according to Golf Today, Europe’s leading online golf resource, is the Adams Speedline 9064LS where the shaft length can be varied by sliding different-sized metal spacers into the hosel section and compensating for the change in swing weight by switching a colour-coded sole screw. It claims to give an ideal trade-off between the speed advantages of a longer shaft and the control benefits of a shorter one. „ NEW technology is fast-moving in the golf world and GPS technology in particular has reached a new level for 2012. New gadgets give detailed green mapping features offering distance to mid-green ridges and they come pre-programmed with tens of thousands of courses, with all data revisions and software upgrades downloadable free of charge. „ OTHER glamorous gadgets include the Insight iTrainer, a box that clips onto the shaft of your club and delivers instant analysis on swing shape and club face angle as well as various dynamic data. Then to get in trim there is golf ’s answer to the treadmill, a pulley based home exercise unit for developing swing strength.

This beautiful course on the outskirts of Biarritz in the Basque country provides stunning views – but if you are a first-timer and want something less exposed and more easygoing, try an inland course in a wooded area which will offer more protection from the elements

Golf 13

May 2012

back to 1597 and it offers gourmet golf packages with spa facilities. The golf course is suitable for beginners and advanced players. In the busy summer months, booking in advance is essential and it is worth checking to see if certain days of the week are members only. Mr Lefèvre also recommends choosing a course according to your style of play. He says: “There is no point in picking a wooded course if you don’t like trees around the fairways and likewise a links course can be too flat and windy for some players.” He adds that it is also worth considering the distance to get to the golf course and the difficulty level. “For beginners I recommend a good nine-hole course or one of the easier 18-hole courses without lots of trees and water. The aim should be to enjoy your day,” he explains. For example, Saint Laurent in Brittany, which has hosted both the French professional championship and the National Open, has fairways that weave through an oak and pine forest, but the trees are well spaced and offer protection from the wind. It has been named as one of the nation’s top 40 courses and is suited to players of all standards. There is a nine-hole course as well. Both Normandy and Brittany have some spectacular courses and some much soughtafter clubhouses. Golf d’Omaha Beach is on the shore close to one of the famous D-Day landing beaches of the Second World War. It is popular with Americans, as is Cicé-Blossac in Brittany where the greens and tees are built

For beginners I recommend a good nine-hole course or one of the easier 18-hole courses without lots of trees and water. The aim should be to enjoy your day

French golf is so much more relaxed FRENCH golf clubs are unstuffy compared to UK ones, says one expat golfer. Nicholas Allbeury, president of his local club, is “enjoying the best golf of [his] life”. He likes the lack of dress codes. “In England you must wear collared shirts and have socks pulled up to your knees and shorts down to your knees. If not, people rush across the fairway to berate you. In France you can virtually wear anything. I came here to relax and have quality of life. The French understand it’s a game.” There are no segregated tee times (such as men-only from 8.00-11.00) and in competitions men, women and juniors play together. “In the UK men play together, here there’s égalité. A woman or a junior tee off a bit closer to the green, to compensate for the strength difference, that’s all. We have a chat on the fairways and get to know each other well. There are no cliques of better golfers or old pals and no culture of fourhour rounds. In the UK if you play slowly, as older people often do, people shout to ‘get a move on’. Here it doesn’t matter.” Woman have handicaps up to 56 and men 36, as opposed to 36 and 24 in the UK, allowing players of lesser ability to chart their progress rather than being “stuck”. Annual fees are cheaper - €395 for a couple, all-inclusive. In the UK a single member usually pays at least twice as much. Pitch and putt also thrives, said Mr Allbeury - a simple, “fun”, golf which, at his club (Mauriac Golf Club, Cantal) is played on the standard course, but starting nearer the green. It improves the short game and putting and is also ideal for the elderly. He added: “There may be some differences at some of the posher Paris clubs or championship courses, but I can speak for my experience in rural French clubs.”

Daniel Lefèvre

French professional golf champion upon sand so are very fast draining and therefore playable throughout the year. One of the most chic is the Golf Barrière de Deauville, while Champ de Bataille is regarded as one of Normandy’s best. For beautiful views it is hard not to beat Golf d’Etretat on the North coast of Normandy, which looks over the famous cliffs. A lot of golf courses in France are more environmentally friendly in terms of using recycled water for the greens but also in terms of protecting local flora and fauna. Courses have been sympathetically developed to make the most of the spectacular natural surroundings and you are just as likely to see an ancient standing stone on the golf course as off it.

Nick and Carol Allbeury with dog Hugo

NG FEATURE pride in making sure we fit the best quality bathrooms, kitchens and decorate the properties to be modern, comfortable and welcoming, whilst retaining the relaxing atmosphere and traditional features of these wonderful buildings. Victoire added: "The Dordogne has good summer weather and offers holidaymakers many activities. As Francophiles will know, there are lots of historical places to visit nearby including the medieval city of Sarlat with its famous twiceweekly market, many ancient châteaux including Castelnaud, Beynac and the ancient town of Domme known as the 'Acropolis of the Dordogne' with its quaint streets, boutiques and restaurants. There are also lots of places for walking and cycling but it is especially good fun to hire a canoe at nearby Vitrac and drift gently down the river stopping off at one of the

many pebble beaches to enjoy a lazy picnic or to swim in the Dordogne’s clear and unpolluted waters. "We chose French Country Cottages when they were recommended to us by a satisfied owner. The Dordogne is very popular with English visitors, so it seemed sensible to choose a company that could market our properties to such a wide audience and secure bookings on our behalf. We've had some great photography taken to show the properties at their best both online and through the brochures, which are great for getting our properties seen by thousands of potential customers." Simon continued, "Like Gerald and Victoire, those who travel to the country regularly or who already own a property there are always so passionate about what it has to offer and we are actively encouraging Francophiles to share their experi-

ences via the France Fan Club blog. Launched in February 2012, we hope this will provide a forum for fans of France to exchange tips and share their fondest family holiday memories, inspiring more families to enjoy all that France has to offer." With a major property recruitment programme underway, the 2012 portfolio is the strongest yet, carefully selected by a skilled team of holiday letting specialists. Property owners considering letting their holiday home can find more information at or; if you prefer to call then dial (+ 44) (0) 1282 845541 and ask for either David or James who will be happy to chat through your options in either English or French! To get involved in the France Fan Club, simply send your tips and memories to

14 Leisure Page

Normandy Advertiser

French-themed crossword

What’s in a word?


1. Acrobat Jules _______ who popularised the one-piece costume now named after him (7) 4. Troubled president of Syria (5) 7. Woollen cloth with a tartan or crisscross pattern (5) 9. Relating to the nose (5) 10. Jacques ____, comic actor and Monsieur Hulot film director (4) 11. British feature film of 1966 based on the story of Joy and George Adamson and an orphaned lion cub named Elsa (4,4) 13. Unfinished but classic F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, The Last ______ (6) 14. Drink, often mildly alcoholic, taken after a stronger one (6) 17. Satirical, earthy writer best known for La Vie de Gargantua et Pantagruel (8) 19. Highest adult male voice (4) 21. According to George Bernard Shaw, “_____ is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children” (5) 22. Disrespectful British nickname for Napoleon (5) 23. Bird of prey’s nest – typically in a high inaccessible place (5) 24. Slice of pain or jambon (7)

1. Best-selling novella written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (2,5,6) 2. Department in Languedoc-Roussillon whose capital is Carcassonne (4) 3. Revolutionary leader overthrown by Robespierre and guillotined (6) 4. Potent alcoholic spirit once known as la fée verte (8) 5. Power produced by the conversion of sunlight into electricity (5) 6. Early photographic process named after its French inventor (13) 8. Room immediately below a building’s roof (5) 12. City in the Haute-Garonne and birthplace of 1 across (8) 15. Pièce in a house for receiving and entertaining guests (5) 16. In a brasserie, house wine is often served in this (6) 18. Born in the Lot department, this Charles became a Hollywood star in the 1930s and 40s (5) 20. Seventies pop group whose breakthrough song begins with the words “My my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender” (4)

by Paul Masters


mostly derived from pork, and which include such delicacies as pâté, rillette, and sausages of every type imaginable. This whole trade was based upon the requirements of food hygiene, in the days long before the invention of commercial refrigeration, since pork is a meat which spoils very quickly after slaughter. To avoid cross-contamination between the slaughterhouses, butcheries, charcuteries and fisheries, they were all physically separated in France during the Middle Ages, in a move which the charcutiers resisted fiercely at the time, since they lost control of the slaughter and supply of their own raw materials. But in the long term, this added competition led them to fight for survival, and the vigour of the present market is in no small measure the result of their success.

The France quiz „ 6 SCIENTISTS are to build the world’s biggest optical telescope in which French department?

„ 1 A MAN in Pérols, Languedoc, is suing fast-food giant KFC after finding what item in his Tower chicken burger?

„ 7 THE DOG star of which French film has been given a special invite to the White House for a dinner with President Obama?

„ 2 HOW many candidates were there in the first round of the French presidential elections?

„ 8 ACCORDING to a recent survey by recruitment firm Apec, which is the best region in France to live in?

„ 3 WHAT French vegetable has been at the centre of a price fixing scandal? „ 4 WHICH well-known French actor has agreed to play Dominique Strauss-Kahn in a movie – but only because he does not like him?

„ 9 WHAT French product are farmers in the Hérault feeding their cows in a bid to make them happier, and their meat more of a delicacy?

„ 5 WHICH French theme park has been named the best in the world by the American Themed Entertainment Association? Puzzles by



CROSSWORD ANSWERS. Across: 1 Léotard; 4 Assad; 7 plaid; 9 nasal; 10 Tati; 11 Born Free; 13 Tycoon; 14 chaser; 17 Rabelais; 19 alto; 21 youth; 22 Boney; 23 eyrie; 24 tranche Down: 1 Le Petit Prince; 2 Aude; 3 Danton; 4 absinthe; 5 solar; 6 daguerréotype; 8 attic; 12 Toulouse; 15 salon; 16 pichet; 18 Boyer; 22 Abba FRANCE QUIZ ANSWERS. 1. A screw. 2. Ten. 3. Chicory. 4. Gérard Dépardieu. 5. Puy du Fou, Vendée. 6. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. 7. The Artist. 8. Rhône-Alpes. 9. A litre of wine a day.


by John Foley



HAVE you ever noticed how some words simply do not translate? It is especially common with words which do not have any exact equivalent in the other language. When this happens, the foreign word is often simply absorbed, like sushi or bungalow, which have become part of standard English. Something similar has happened with charcuterie – there is not an obvious translation. Some dictionaries suggest “pork butcher”, or even delicatessen, a word imported from the German. But these hardly do the word justice, and to really understand what the word charcuterie means we have to dig a little bit into its history. Its roots are to be found in the old French chair cuite, which translates as “cooked meat”, and this points to the first distinction between the charcutier and the boucher, who, of course, sells raw meat. It is the skill and artistry of the charcutier which produces the astonishing range of cooked, salted and dried meats,

May 2012

Normandy Advertiser

Food/Pets 15

May 2012

Rich nutty grains that make a lovely loaf

Quick spelt bread


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

This bread keeps well for 2-3 days and is delicious with cheese or toasted. It is suitable for some wheat-intolerant people INGREDIENTS „ 750g épeautre flour „ 1 packet easy blend yeast (lévure de boulanger – found in the same section as flour etc in small sachets)

ate soft brown bread with a nutty flavour and texture quite unlike any I had tasted in France. Chef told us that he had made it with épeautre flour. Now that I knew what to look for, épeautre grains and flour popped up all over the place: supermarkets, markets and specialist épiceries. I still assumed it was exclusively Provençal. But a couple of years later, in the UK, the link was made. I was sent a sample of flour, produced from an ancient grain called spelt. As chance would have it, I had that morning also discovered an English reference to épeautre. Over the years, the rise in popularity of organic (bio) and whole foods has seen the availability of spelt/épeautre grain and flour in many health-food shops and supermarkets throughout France and the UK.

Photo: Joan Bunting

ON THE high plateau, below Mont Ventoux, the Romans left a legacy every bit as interesting as their architecture – spelt grains that supplied the flour thought to have been the original ingredient of macaroni. The Romans knew that on thin, stony soils in a savage climate a variety of wheat called triticum spelta flourishes far better than other grains, and the first written reference dates back to 301AD. Many years ago, we had hare civet accompanied by what I thought was brown rice. The grains were deliciously nutty and chewy, a perfect foil for the rich meat. Madame explained it was épeautre, a traditional grain grown on the plateau and used in Provençal cooking centuries before rice was grown in the Camargue. In another restaurant, we

„ 2 tbsp olive oil „ 1 tbsp salt „ 500ml warm water

METHOD „ Mix the flour with the salt and yeast, then stir in the oil. „ Add water to make a firm, but not too stiff dough. „ Turn onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. „ Return to an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to double in size. „ Knead briefly again then

divide into two pieces and form into cigar shapes or put it into a loaf tin. „ Either slash the top or sprinkle with some crushed grains. „ Cover again and leave to prove and set the oven to 220°C „ When doubled in size, bake the loaves in the pre-heated oven until they sound hollow when tapped on the base.

WHICH WINE SHOULD I DRINK WITH THIS? „ The nutty taste of épeautre goes well with red wines. Or, if you are enjoying it with cheese, try a Sauternes (white)

Helpful tips to ward off harmful ticks

THE PET care industry in France is worth an eye-watering €125m each year. Much of this is spent during the spring and summer seasons, when the annual pet budget is taken up with the preventative treatment of fleas and ticks. Ticks (tiques) are one of the major hazards for pet owners who live in the French countryside or close to rural areas. They are small parasites that feed off other animals’ blood. Disease can be transmitted through the blood from the bite of an infected tick – therefore it is prudent to use preventive treatment against them. The onset of tick fever can be rapid and often prove fatal for your pet. Symptoms include fever, blood in the urine, weight loss, lethargy

Photo: CallallooFred -

Tick and flea treatments are a wise investment to avoid your pet getting infected. SAMANTHA BRICK looks at what is available – and how to treat an existing problem

Pet Care and loss of appetite. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has contracted this disease. Get into the habit of checking yourself and your pets thoroughly for ticks when you get home from a walk. If you find a tick on yourself or your animal, remove it with a specially designed tick remover. You can normally buy these devices at the pharmacy or the vets. Sold as a twin pack, they typically cost less than €5. If you do not have a tick remover, use sterilised tweezers and gently

The pet column is sponsored by

You should discuss the most appropriate form of treatment with a vet remove the tick by the head. Be warned: try not to crush the body or leave any parts embedded within your animal’s skin as it is these areas that can carry the disease. After removal, clean the area with an alcohol solution. There are various preventative treatments on the market for sale in supermarkets and online, and prices vary enormously. While it is tempting to buy the cheapest products, it is sensible to discuss with your vet

the most appropriate treatment for your pet, according to where you live and local outbreaks of disease. Direct application products such as Frontline and Advantix need to be used every month. Tick and flea collars are another option, but may not be appropriate for use in conjunction with certain other treatments, so consult your vet first. Check your pet’s weight so you know to use the exact strength of drugs too.

Another nuisance comes from fleas (puces). There are almost 2,000 species of them, and unfortunately one of the biggest disadvantages in having pets is the fact that they are an ideal breeding ground for them. If you are not vigilant, within days, you could be host to a full-blown flea infestation. If your pet is scratching or you notice flea bites on your arms and legs after being in contact with your animal then you need to treat them immediately. You can get rid of fleas temporarily with a flea comb – drown the fleas captured within the comb by ensuring you have an adjacent bowl of hot soapy water. Unfortunately, combing out fleas is a temporary measure. The advice on preventative products for ticks is also relevant for fleas. If your infected pet is in contact with your home furnishings you will need to treat these too. Conventional products are available from homeware (bricolage) stores. However, once a flea infestation in your home is under control, it might take a couple more treatments to kill the remaining fleas and those that go on to hatch.

Tel. 06 58 01 82 76 Web. Email.

16 Directory



Normandy Advertiser

May 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 Chenil du Val Kennels Contact Angie: Tel 02 33 17 17 61

Mesnil Renovation


Areas 14/50/61

Small, friendly, professional kennel Special care/attention for your pets. Quarantine alternative Between Periers/Coutances/St Lo Siret 50993743900016

Hotel Biard

Small boarding Kennels and Cattery Individual, experienced attention for your pet

Project Management - Property Management 02 33 69 49 36 - 06 33 26 78 82 Siret: 48847516100011

Highly experienced English builder based in Orne

5 Star accommodation for Dogs/Cats Telephone 02 33 37 49 19 Emergency 02 33 38 41 32 Fax 02 33 38 44 16


World Wide Pet Relocator Ministry approved

DEVILLE PROPERTY SERVICES Barn & attic conversion specialists. We undertake all aspects of renovation & improvement projects. We legally employ English speaking staff & do not sub-contract. Full 10 year insurance backed guarantee.

TEL: 02 31 67 76 90

email: siret 499 313 658

WWW.BOCAGE RENOVATIONS.COM For All Your Building & Renovations Works

Spinning and other crafts. Half, Full day tuition or residential B&B tel: 00 33 (0)2 33 960904 SIRET No 489 459 438 00011

Sworn Translations Help with the French system Interpreting, phonecalls Admin & paperwork Call Hilary on 00 33 (0) 6 10 69 05 53

NORMANDY FRENCH TUITION Qualified bilingual teacher

David Pickering Complete Building Services

Ad No. 19261

Large or Small Projects

Andrew Morgan


Tel: 02 31 67 62 51 Mob: 06 19 91 29 48

All works guaranteed and carried out to French regulations standard. Tel: 02 31 67 34 40 Email:

Siret: 48877612100011

Regions Covered: 50,61,and 14 - Siret: 49427469900011

Email: Ad No. 18516


No. 61195004 – 61195001 Offices CDG Airport Paris Offices and Kennels Normandy

Full & part renovations, Drives, Land clearance & Fosse Installation, Footings, Block laying, Digger & Dumper hire Tel Andrew: +33 (0) 679274563 Email: __________________________

Tel: 01 48 62 87 25 CDG Paris Tel: 02 33 38 41 32 Normandy

Eradication of rot and woodboring insects 20 year product guarantee Tel: +33 (0) 679274563 Email:

Siret: 397549551

Siret 488081233


€ U R R E N C Y

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PIONEER FRANCE Best rates from the market leader Tel: 05 53 07 06 27

Specializing in Installation of Fosse Toutes Eaux - Mini Digger/Dumper Hire Email: Tel: 02 33 17 24 82 Mobile: 06 20 14 73 69 Siret: 481 189 991

( Many can be Viewed ) Backed up by 10 year Insurance 14 years working in France

Sell your property to a worldwide audience using our global network. Our fees are the lowest in France, our results are the best. WWW. HOUSESONINTERNET.COM

Crafts at Les Landes

Small groups, 1 to 1 online, intensive courses, translation Tél: 02 33 65 39 73 Mob: 06 15 76 37 34

Tel: 02 33 38 63 35 Mob:06 36 78 89 99


Tel: 05 55 65 12 19

Areas: 14 , 50 , 61 Siret: 5026366000018

All Renovation & Restoration works undertaken

Siret: 481 842 532 00014

Underfloor heated kennels Qualified staff Top Quality food and exercise Only 45 minutes south of Caen Convenient Ferry Access

Carpenter/Joiner All kinds of handmade furniture and carpentry work. From door fittings to kitchens.

Siret 48423125300010

Nice People In Normandy Planning Applications

English Run

John Shipton - 02 14 16 14 47 Tel. 02 31 09 26 54

Carantilly Tel 02 33 57 28 40

Chenil Les Mille Calins

Full / Part Renovations, carpentry, masonry, plastering, tiling, kitchens, replacement windows and doors.

JS Menuiserie

SW COMPUTERS PC repairs,upgrades, with internet connections, call out or bring to us.

€ U R R E N C Y

£ R A N S F E R


Tel: Mark 02 33 90 64 93 Mob: 06 72 66 61 51

Best rates from the market leader Tel: 05 53 07 06 27

Siret: 48397386300028

English and Fluent French speaking agent, always needing more houses for sale, 8 years experience TEL FR: +33 (0) 6 19 17 34 61 TEL UK: +44 (0) 7880 501 116 Siret: 519 751 465


English registered cars House insurance - Health cover 1700 British clients trust us 02 96 87 21 21 Dinan, Brittany

Normandy Advertiser

Directory 17

May 2012


Reliable, super-fast internet available everywhere

WE DEPEND on the internet for so many things these days: banking, shopping, education, entertaining, homeworking and communication with friends, colleagues and family. Web applications have evolved into complex tools that enhance our lives, but the media-rich online world is demanding more and more from our connections to the net. Unfortunately the aged network of copper wires strung from pole to pole across rural France is proving to be inadequate at keeping up with today’s demands for reliable and fast internet connections. This leaves many feeling

frustrated - in fact, a recent poll suggests that internet connectivity issues are among the most annoying aspects of modern life. Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators recognised this problem and at the end of 2010 launched KaSat, the world’s most advanced telecommunications satellite, to deliver its ‘Tooway’ broadband internet services to more than one million homes and businesses across Europe. “I’ve been kicking Tooway’s tyres for a while now and I’m impressed,” said Chris. “As a long time installer of satellite TV equipment I was glad to see that the

hardware is extremely well built definitely tough enough to stand up to the elements for a long time, which is important. But it is the quality of service delivered to the end user that I really like.” Not only is it far better than previous attempts at satellite internet connections, which have often been too expensive or lacklustre in performance, but speeds smash those offered to rural customers by ADSL providers. “Speeds of up to 10 Mbps really are possible to all homes in Normandy - and what’s more no phone line is required,” said Chris, adding that web pages load quickly, videos play instantly and music streams without a hitch. “That’s why we’re delighted to have partnered with one of the UK’s largest satellite internet providers to bring these

AllianZ Insurance

Seans Garden Services


For those facing disappointing broadband speeds or dial-up, now is a great time to look for a better internet solution. Chris Hutt from ASH Normandy explains why


Insurance in Lower Normandy Christophe Marie, Vire - Tel: 02 31 68 01 96 Email: Siret N° ORIAS 07/022 348


Lawns – Hedges – Trees Overgrown plots cleared. Free quotes for one-off jobs. Call Sean 02 31 09 27 00 Email: Siret: 50139841600013


Garden Clearance - Grass Cutting Hedge Cutting - Strimming and Weed Killing Tel: Charlie 02 33 91 78 05 Email: St Sever Area Siret 49763502900018


Professional Service Easy Payment Facility Vehicle Repairs - Pre-MOT Mechanical - Sales -Servicing ZAC Les Tuileries, 27260 Cormeilles

Tel: 02 32 42 05 62 Email:

Kilrush Cars Ltd

A large selection of European

ENGLISH SPOKEN (call Angeline) - 02 33 49 12 34

friendly team in Bristol,” said Chris. “Customers also have access to a free UK proxy so they can watch things like BBC iPlayer, which are usually restricted to UK residents only, and the same dish can also be used for TV.”

Chimney Sweep Wood Stove Installer Property Management


02 33 91 69 29 / 06 04 14 21 40


• Weekly Service • Full & Part Loads • Container Storage • BAR Members • On-line Quotation • Internet Shopping Deliveries

Iain Davison

00 44 1722 414350 Tel: 02 33 14 09 55 Email: Ad No. 19022

Company Regn No: UK 5186435 TVA / VAT No: UK 864 7217 04


Spex4less.Com High Quality Prescription Glasses Online Save Money On All Your Prescription Eyewear

Siret: 494799968

Left Hand Drive One owner - FSH - C.O.C Tel: 00 44 (0) 1252 782883

Exclusive Healthcare

Weekly services to & from France

Your Helping Hand to the French Health System

10 years of brewing in Normandy

Art is an Ale

services to our customers in France,” said Chris. The partnership means customers will gain support when choosing a package and will benefit from ASH Normandie’s highly regarded installation services and guarantees. “Technical support, billing and account enquiries are handled, in English, by the


We insure UK registered cars


ASH Normandy can help you gain internet speeds of 10 Mbps

+33 (0) 4 94 40 31 45


DEPTS 50 & 14

Stephen Ramsbottom - 0233172361 e-mail:

Great beer for all occasions

siret: 51114827200012 Tel: 02 33 37 77 26

Dr Groundworks

61320 Joue-du-Bois

Groundworks including gravel drives, septic tanks, drainage, footings, concrete bases and landscaping. Based near Carentan (50)

Tel: 09 54 61 28 51 / 06 71 28 00 66

Full or part loads, 4 wks free storage, 30 Years experience Bar & Guild Member Contact: Anglo French Removals Tel: +44 (0) 1622 690 653 Email:


15 Years experience in roofing and zinc New and restauration / Chimney Sweep

02 33 38 28 86

With 10 years insurance - Siret: 50792761400010

WOOD STOVE STUDIO Wood burning stoves and Cuisinieres from

Cashin Camina Cleanburn Esse Hunter Parkray Stovax on display at our dept 61 showroom


Selkirk chimney and flexible liner Full installation service

UK - FRANCE - UK Full and part loads You pack, we move, you save! 0044 (0)1327 264627 UK Email: Tel 02 33 12 57 26 Siret 498 597 632 00013

Chris Hutt

Landscape Gardener

Auberge du Lac


"Where friends meet"

(est 1994)

Bar/Restaurant, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Roast Our contact details are:

*Maintenance *Patios & Decking *Fencing & Walling *Shrubs & Grasses stocked *Mini digger work

Barrage de Vezins, 50540 Tel: 02 33 48 03 48 email:

Tel: 02 33 90 92 28 Mob: 06 68 74 83 41

TV & Internet - all works guaranteed

Tel: 02 33 91 69 29 Email: Siret: 491 624 367



Tel: 02 33 64 99 31

Ash Grove Stoves Supplier of Hunter - Villager

Store Collections, General Removals, Motorcycle Recovery. France, UK, Europe. Email: SIRET Number 51407345.1-0001.5

Ad No. 17730


Siret: 495 098 428 000 16

Tel: 02 33 70 88 24 Email: Regions Covered: 50,14,61,22

Ad No. 19187

Siret: 515 210 847 00015

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

T: + 44 (0) 079705 30723 E: Ad No. 18445


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

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

18 DIY

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012


Explains how France's tax system works and how your income is assessed and charged


Published April 1, 2012, to include the latest information


Choose between PDF digital edition or paper copy posted to your French home

Taking care of swimming pools Photo:Petr Kurgan -




Shows how to declare your income such as pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest with a visual guide to the French tax forms

Sponsored by

The 2012 helpguide is now on sale for €9.50 for a downloadable or printed version (printed version does not include p&p)


You can order at the helpguide section of or call (free from France) 0800 91 77 56 or 0844 256 9881 from UK (4p/min) to pay by credit card Remember: Everyone permanently resident in France must make a declaration




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Lack of maintenance can turn pools green very quickly MANY things can cause algae to form in swimming pools. Lack of maintenance and a hot spell are enough to turn the water from blue to green in the space of a few days. Follow these steps and soon the green gunge will be gone. The first thing to do is to get into the pool and brush off as much of the algae as possible. Next check the pH levels – they should be between 7.2 and 7.6. High pH levels affect how well the chlorine works so it is important to get the balance right. Once you have assured the levels are correct, turn on the pool filter and add a chlorine based shock treatment that can be bought from DIY stores. Follow the instructions on the box for dosage. You should leave the pool filter running 24 hours a day. If after 12 to 24 hours there does not seem to be much improvement, add a second dose of shock treatment and repeat as many times as needed until all the algae have died (they should be white or greyish in colour when dead). Be careful when using the shock treatment. Always put the water in the recipient first and add the chemicals afterwards, never do it the other way round. The next job is to clean all the dead algae out of the pool. Start by vacuuming the pool. Try not to let too much of the algae get trapped inside the filter. Thoroughly clean the pool filter to ensure no algae has lodged itself inside. Finish by testing the chemical levels in the pool. To keep the algae away it is advisable to add an anti algae pool chemical once a week. General maintenance of swimming pools To maintain a clean swimming pool all year round it is necessary to pay careful attention to the chlorine levels. They should never fall below 1.0ppm. Chlorine kills both algae and harmful bacteria. „ Daily: If the pool is used intensively in summer then it is good to check pH levels every day. To raise the pH levels, add sodium carbonate. To lower the pH levels add sodium bisulphate taking care to dose according to the recommendations on the box. „ Once a week: Skim out any dead leaves or debris that may have fallen in. If not using an automatic pool sweep, vacuum the pool weekly to remove any debris that has settled on the bottom. Brush the sides and bottom of the pool. Clean dirt marks from around the water line especially if sun tan lotion is being used. To do this, use a chlorine-compatible tile and liner cleaner. „ Once a fortnight: The longer the pool water is filtered the cleaner the water is, so try to keep the filter running continuously when people are using the pool. It is important to clean out the filter at least once a fortnight. „ Once a month: Check alkalinity and calcium hardness.

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To a Normandy address (14, 27, 50, 61, and 76 departments only): €33 (£30 by UK cheque) Please note: Subscriptions must reach us by the 16th of the month to ensure delivery of the next issue. We would like to send you a weekly email with news and practical information about life in France. You can unsubscribe at any time. We will never pass your details on to a third party. If you do NOT want this please tick here NO THANKS! †






Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

Darling buds of May

Gardening Facts

Spring is the perfect time of year to experiment with some flower-arranging. Expert CLAIRE CHALKLEY shares some recommended tips and techniques

Black Cat Services Photo: Paul Maguire -

WHAT easier way to welcome spring into your home than with flowers? This month you are spoilt for choice. Garden roses have started coming, as have a few of the long tulips, aquilegia, lilacs and bluebells. While blues and greens give a room a sense of calm and tranquillity, vibrant reds and orange are more dynamic, and pinks and lavenders set a romantic scene. Current trends in flower-arranging include monobotanic (all one type of flower) and monochromatic (all one colour). For a contemporary look, put the flowers in groups of uneven numbers instead of dotting them around. But for an English country garden look, mix lots of textures and foliage. When arranging, the largest and darkest flowers tend to be placed near the base of the arrangement, whereas smaller and lighter ones are put towards the edges. Put the more open flowers at the base – do not stick them at the top of the bunch as it looks unnatural. Try experimenting with different shapes, textures and colours to bring out certain flowers – placing all your flowers facing forwards can look a bit dull. Little arrangements of just one flower have their place, too, and can be striking. Lilies of the valley bunched in apéritif glasses look lovely when placed three in a row in separate glasses, for example. On a practical note, when choosing flowers, ask your florist for the freshest varieties in stock and pick ones that show a bit of colour. If you are bringing

Lawns need to be aerated to ensure roots are fed

Keep up the momentum AS THE garden really gets into its stride, and everything is bursting with life, the main job in May is simply keeping up with it. Keep adding manure to everything, water if necessary and keep a beady eye out for fungal infections and pesty insects. It is much easier to treat any outbreaks if you catch them early. Tie up any climbing and trailing plants, and re-pot any root bound plants, if not already done. The first roses should be out now and if you cut some for the house, there are various ways of making them last longer. First, make sure the vase is clean. Put it through the dishwasher, or scrub in hot soapy water. Also make sure your secateurs are clean. Wipe them with bleach or alcohol to make sure they are not carrying bacteria. Water the roses thoroughly the night before you plan to cut them and then do so the next morning. Chose buds which are just beginning to unfurl, and make a diagonal cut. Floral preservatives in the water can work wonders, but if your cut flowers are in a direct sunlight or in a very hot place, they will not last long, whatever you do, so place them somewhere cool, and if you have time, wash the vase, change the water and re-cut the stems every day. Lawns need to be aerated so that water drains away properly and so that both air and water can reach the roots. To do this, chose a dry day and either use a mechanical aerator or a garden fork – just thrust it into the lawn at intervals. Once you have been over the whole lawn, you can sow extra grass seed if necessary. This procedure might leave your lawn looking a bit dishevelled at first but give it a few weeks and it will be much more lush and verdant than before. Aeration is particularly important if you notice puddles forming on your lawn when it rains. Flowerbeds need to be weeded constantly and going over the ground with a hoe will also do wonders. Water in the evening, otherwise the water will simply evaporate and be wasted. In the kitchen garden, use shallow water trenches to save water and discourage weeds. During May, a kitchen garden will thank you for every minute you spend there. Now is the time to plant out everything you started in seed trays, and it certainly is not too late to add another helping of manure. Harvest peas and lettuce, and replant various varieties of salad, a few every day so that you can enjoy them all summer long. May is a good time to start a herb garden – establishing sage, origano and rosemary plants is easy this month. Parsley will grow from seed, and coriander should do well in partial shade. Plant out leaks and onion sets, a second batch of carrots and perhaps even some more potatoes. Organic gardeners swear by marigolds in a kitchen garden for keeping aphids away.

The size of the arrangement should fit the size of the area – small flowers on a huge table will get lost

Photo: mangostock -

Sponsored by

Home and Garden 19

Red and orange flowers can give a dynamic, vibrant look to an arrangement any of your own flowers in, cut them in the morning before 8.00 or late at night. When the flowers are cut during the day and have had the sun on them then it is too late and they just do not last as well. Make sure that the vases are spotless and remove leaves that will be under the water in the vase as they will rot. I advise leaving the flowers in a bucket with water in a cool place before doing anything with them for a couple of hours. Cut the stems at an angle, as it gives them a greater surface area from which to drink. To keep your flowers for as long as possible, change the water every few days, and make sure that the arrangement is not placed in a room where it is getting a lot of heat or draught, as the flowers will wilt quickly. When it comes to where to place your

flowers, the size of the arrangement should fit the size of the area – small flowers on a huge table will get lost. However, if you plan on putting the arrangement on the dining room table, do not have it so high that guests can't speak to those across from them. There are lots of different, sometimes unusual, ways of presenting them. I recommend going to brocantes to find items – old bottles, little tea glasses, old cafetières, pottery – you do not have to buy a glass vase for it. Things you have already got can also work. The flowers just have to be cut proportionally to the jar. „ Claire Chalkley runs Les Couronnes Sauvages florists in Brittany ( Interview by Rebecca Lawn Photo: Sander -

Expert Chimney Sweep Registered and Insured Mess-free Service Certificat de Ramonage Issued

Steve Bainton-Smith

02 33 50 84 91

Photo: Brad Pict -

Black Cat Services

Head to a local brocante for unusual presentation ideas

Keeping it simple: a monobotanic arrangement of tulips

20 Property

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

Houses for sale across France Buying or selling a property? We can help. Our website carries details of more than 14,000 homes for sale across France. We also feature properties for sale in this dedicated section of the paper each month. To find out more about any particular property, go to and enter the ref: code shown under the property.

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

New Consumption and Emission Chart - e.g. Energy rating C & F refers to C for Consumption and F for Emissions

Contact us on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email

More details on all these properties - and how to contact the seller directly - can be found in the property for sale section of

For sellers, the adverts are also displayed across a range of popular English- speaking websites and are seen by thousands of potential buyers EVERY day. Our 3+3 pack-

Simply enter the code under each home to find out more PROPERTIES IN NORMANDY




Sourdeval, Manche Lovely, renovated property in the countryside. 2 bedrooms, living/dining room, WC, bathroom, kitchen, garages, cellars, garden with fruit trees and field, ideal for horses.

Athis-de-l'Orne, Orne Attractive property situated in the beautiful Suisse Normandie valleys with garden leading down to the river. Ground floor features an entrance hall, kitchen and 2 reception rooms.

Périers, Manche A very pretty village house with large garden and paddock situated in a quiet village location within easy walking distance of all amenities.

REF: IFPC21993


REF: 13552PO


REF: 13439sdd




Saint-Lô, Manche Corps de ferme, partially renovated, with numerous outbuildings. Features lounge, dining room, kitchen, shower room, WC, 2 bedrooms, adjoining outbuildings, including store room.

Pont-d'Ouilly, Calvados Completely renovated village house with courtyard consisting of entrance hall with cloakroom, kitchen, bathroom, sitting/dining room 4 bedrooms, sitting room and playroom.

Percy, Manche Set in beautiful countryside, close to shops, amenities, beaches and motorway links, this modernly- restored farmhouse has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and gas central heating.

REF: 13613s


REF: 13537PO


REF: IFPC21918




Mortain, Manche Renovated stone barn in quiet hamlet with beautiful views. Impressive entrance hall with double staircase leading to minstrel gallery. 3 bedrooms.

Bricquebec, Manche This is a unique opportunity to purchase this lovely two storey converted barn which comes fully furnished to a high standard, and will enable you to move in straight away.

Near Saint-Lô, Manche Beautifully presented house with just under an acre of gardens, in a quiet village. Comprising of a kitchen/breakfast room, dining room with large stone fireplace, lounge with stone fireplace.

REF: 13086POJD


REF: IFPC18527


REF: 13817s




Domfront, Orne Stone property dating from 1905, extended to create a modern longère with character. Situated in a peaceful location, on the edge of a forest and close to an ancient monument.

Sourdeval, Manche Detached, attractive country house with 5 good outbuildings. House renovated to professional standard. Large kitchen/living area with modern fitted kitchen. Tiled floor. Woodburner.

Percy, Manche This stone house comes with 3 bedrooms, lounge, dining room with fitted kitchen, shower and bathrooms and has an attached outbuilding that could be made into further accommodation.

REF: 13780POJD


REF: IFPC20256


REF: 13444 MH




Falaise, Calvados In this picturesque part of Normandy lies this charming property ideal, as a B&B, boasting two dwellings – a spacious and light house and a cosy cottage.

Falaise, Calvados Very pretty house in a village location with lovely garden. Ground floor has a large living room, garage and oil fired boiler. First floor features the entrance, kitchen/dining room/ lounge.

Condé-sur-Noireau, Calvados This beautiful old cider and cattle farm is set in the Suisse Normande. It boasts 3 large bedrooms all with en-suites, and a further small room, for storage or dressing.

REF: 13392PO


REF: 13542PO


REF: IFPC21903




Saint-Jean-de-Daye, Manche Two fully-renovated houses with further scope for increase in living space. Set in a peaceful location with views over the marais, yet within only 2-3kms of shops and swimming pool.

Agon-Coutainville, Manche This bungalow is in very good order, and is situated in a quiet area but only a short walk from the village shops, and with views over the bay de Sienne, approximately 3kms from the sea.

Évreux, Eure Beautiful 4 bedroomed “Maison de Maitre” with gardens of 800m², a 3 bedroomed gîte, fully equipped and ready for immediate rental – plus a 1 bedroom apartment.

REF: 13527scb


REF: 13518s


REF: IFPC21989




Bagnoles de l'Orne, Orne Lovely stone house with 2 gîtes, in a peaceful location set in close to 3 hectares of land, which includes an open fronted garage which is suitable to convert into another 1 bedroomed gîte.

Le Bec-Hellouin, Eure These two properties are situated in a pretty wooded hamlet immediately above Le Bec Hellouin, officially recognised as one of the prettiest villages in France. 7 bedrooms.

Saint-Lô, Manche This elegant detached ‘Maison de Maître’ with several outbuildings is a former notary's house and office. It is located in a charming village with all amenities within walking distance.

REF: 13643POJD


The adverts above cost from just €200



REF: BNO-626








for three months of web advertising and three months of print advertising.

Let our distribution get you a sale. Contact our sales team on 0800 91 77 56 (freephone in France) or email

Normandy Advertiser

Business 21

May 2012

JUDY MANSFIELD has lived and worked in Calvados for nearly nine years. She is an agent commercial, and worked at an estate agency in Lisieux for several years before branching out into business development, primarily for currency specialists First Rate FX and latterly for small businesses in Normandy. Photo: © Adriano Castelli /

Putting yourself on show

FINANCE Sponsored by

Get your business structure right Photo: Yuri Arcurs -

Advertising is a great way to reach your market, but it’s even better to get out and meet your potential customers face to face. Exhibitions allow you to do just that. We look at how you can get the most out of your trade stand „ Why exhibit? It is a great opportunity to get your product out there. People come to trade fairs, often paying an entrance fee to meet YOU. However, for it to be successful, there are things to consider. „ Cost Exhibiting can be expensive. Calculate how much you have to clear in sales to break even. Even if the space itself is only a few euros, there are usually extra costs, especially at larger events: z Furniture and extras: Electricity, tables and chairs, wi-fi z Printing: flyers, business cards, and banners z Additional stock z Stand décor – flowers, brochure stands, business card holders, tablecloths z Promotional giveaways: key rings, pens, sweets, samples, z Travel and hotel costs for you and your staff z Cost of you being away – missed orders and appointments? „ Pre-show TELL people where you will be! Add it to emails, write a press release, put it on your website, FaceBook page, tweet about it, but make sure people know! „ Presentation Make sure your stand is clean

and tidy. Take a waste bin with you for your empty coffee cups and sweet wrappers! Also YOU should be presentable. Don’t be scruffy. Dress smartly, but avoid being too corporate, as it can deter people from coming to your stand. Ensure clean hands and well-manicured nails. Don’t eat on the stand – it looks unprofessional. Avoid chewing gum for the same reason. If you are on your own, arrange with a neighbouring stand to cover for each other for 15 minutes to grab a bite of lunch. Wear comfortable shoes! It is hard work being on your feet all day, and if your feet hurt, it shows in your face! „ Know your product Think of all the questions a prospective customer might ask you, and research and rehearse your responses. If you don’t know the answer, say so. Thank them and offer to follow up by email or phone after the show. „ Contacts Build your customer database. Devise a simple customer contact form, to record details. Make sure you follow up within two to three days of the show, or the lead goes cold. Be careful with personal data, that you are collecting and using it in accordance with Data Protection legisla-

Exhibitions are a great way to meet potential clients

tion. Shows are a great opportunity for you to network. Day one is generally Trade Day, when you can find potential partners with whom you can refer business, or perhaps work together. „ Things to Avoid Sitting down behind a table - it’s an instant barrier, making it too easy for prospects to walk past. z Playing with your mobile phone. It looks as though you aren’t interested. z Wearing strong aftershave or scent, or eating spicy or strongly flavoured food z Alcohol and hangovers. No-one wants your beery breath wafting over them. z Making rude or suggestive jokes z If you have sweets, make sure you ask parents first before offering them to children! z

„ After the Show Send a thank you note and


a testimonial to the organisers on how your business benefited. This may well appear on their website, which is great free publicity for you. z E-mail the other exhibitors, and look to make contact with them on LinkedIn and Twitter. z Write a follow up e-mail to thank the people who visited your stand, and answering any questions they may have left with you. z Complete your costings, as you will need this to determine your Return on Investment (ROI). This can take a while to work out – I get contact from people I met two or three years ago! If you’re nervous about doing a show, or you want to cut costs, consider sharing a stand with someone else in a complementary business. For more information please join the Normandy Business Group.

Other Info... My recommended reading this month is Once A Customer, Always a Customer by Chris Daffy. ISBN 1-86076-164-x/978-1-86076-164-5. Very clear, written with humour, and lots of diagrams to illustrate his points. A common sense guide that is a must-read for anyone with customers.

Judy can be contacted through The Advertiser or by email: or Suzanne Pearce: Judy is on Twitter at @NormandyBizGp

Lots to consider when moving your UK business My family and I have just moved to France and I want to get my computer consultancy business set up under the French system. I’m not sure where to start – I’ve heard so many conflicting pieces of information; I estimate that I will keep most of my UK clients and want to win some new French clients. My sales in 2011 were £75,000. THE first step is to actually register the business – and its now that you need to consider the best business structure. You do not mention if you had a UK Ltd company, or if you were running a husband and wife partnership. If you did trade through a UK Ltd company, it may be practical and commercial to keep that going, as you will then be able to keep your UK business bank account and give your clients a seamless transition. If you were self-employed, you need to change where you were registered, as under EU social security rules, your business has to be declared in the place you are habitually resident. provides a wealth of information about the options available to you to work abroad – you need to go to the section Getting the structure right for the French business from day one will help avoid headaches later. If you set up a SARL (the equivalent of a limited company) you can opt to tax your business under the family income tax rules – so instead of paying corporation tax on your profits you pay income tax instead. This can give you a lower tax bill, as in France you get personal allowances for your wife and children. If you opt for the corporation tax regime, you can benefit from a 15% reduced rate if the majority of shares are owned by you personally, otherwise corporation tax is 33.3%. Your French business will need to be registered formally with the authorities, and you will be given a SIRET number. With sales of £75,000 you will need to be registered for TVA in France, but for any UK VAT registered clients you will be able to zero-rate the sale. The other critical factor in terms of costs for running your business in France is the business social charges (national insurance), which for your type of business will be around 38% of earnings – see URSSAF for current rates and further information on creating a consultancy business in France –

22 Property

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012





Pontrieux, Côtes-d'Armor This 50s traditional house is set in a 0.4 acre of land and comes with a garage and an outbuilding. The property also has 2 rooms, kitchen, lounge, bathroom and 1 bedroom.

Monpazier, Dordogne Set in the heart of a pretty village and having a beautiful garden and terrace, this house consists of 3 reception rooms and 4 bedrooms.

Aigues-Vives, Aude A charming village house full of character This house is semidetached, and located in a quiet area with views over the vineyards, needs some minor renovations.

REF: 42106


REF: L2901


REF: 110153477




Montpon-Ménestérol, Dordogne Detached house with large brickbuilt barn plus two open barns, workshop, winery and piggery. There is potential for extending into the large roof space.

Bouriège, Aude This represents wonderful value for money. 3 bedrooms, bath/ shower room, living room, kitchen, roof terrace with fabulous views of the former monastery and river.

Merléac, Côtes-d'Armor This very pretty detached, recently-renovated stone cottage is in the most glorious setting, at the end of a lane in a quiet hamlet, the last house before the entrance to the adjoining forest.

REF: IFPC19704


REF: FP-24087PM11


REF: 10947-32882002




Hameau de Marty, Aude Renovated, detached house with 3 bedrooms in a small hamlet featuring entrance hall with doors to lounge, shower room and kitchen. French doors leading to the enclosed garden.

Plougonver, Côtes-d'Armor This picture-perfect, detached, fully renovated traditional Breton farmhouse, with grounds of over an acre, sits in beautiful countryside and is within easy reach of the coast.

Piégut-Pluviers, Dordogne This 3 bedroomed property, built in 2009, offers a large land area of 6000m² and a beautiful 1100m² pond.

REF: 8337


REF: 10947-36690023


REF: IFPC21026




Saint-Connan, Côtes-d'Armor This delightful farmhouse is set in over an acre of land with 6 outbuildings. The property has excellent links to both ferry ports and airports.

Lalinde, Dordogne Stone house dating from 1902 with a mansard roof, peacefully located near the Dordogne river. The house has three levels. Basement with cellars. 2 bedrooms.

Quillan, Aude Detached villa with lovely views, in a quiet residential part of Quillan. Ground floor has single garage, store room, 1 bedroom with shower and WC. Electric heating. Price negotiable.

REF: 10947-32717749




REF: 1892




Saint-Cyprien, Dordogne This property is situated in an idyllic, peaceful setting on over 8000m² /2 acres of land. The accommodation is all on a single level, with a large basement.

Hérault Charming, fully-renovated and furnished village house with 95m² of living space including 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with a sunny terrace. Well located in the a very quiet alley.

Guémené-sur-Scorff, Morbihan This home-and-income property is set in the heart of town. It has a restaurant, owner’s accommodation, B&B/self-catering potential and also a self-contained letting property.



REF: 10765-PP186000E


REF: 10947-32529757




La Bastide-d'Engras, Gard In the village centre, with an amazing view. 2 large bedrooms, beautiful living room with fireplace, terrace with barbecue, garage and basement.

Huelgoat, Finistère This unique property consists of two houses which are both habitable, and a lovely garden. It is walking distance to the shops and the lake. Located in the best residential area.

Verteillac, Dordogne A taste for country living doesn't have to mean life in a rustic barn, as this 3 bedroomed, architect-designed village house proves. Flooded with light from the huge windows.

REF: 12565


REF: M661-2914201


REF: 10947-29813626




Caulnes, Côtes-d'Armor Lovely, old, renovated property over 3 floors set in beautiful gardens. Lots of character. Large living room with wood burner, beautiful kitchen/dining room. 4 bedrooms.

Le Bugue, Dordogne This house is within walking distance of the shops of the market town of Le Bugue. It has an apartment and a converted barn with a passage between. 3 bedrooms and outbuildings.

Hérault Twenty-year old villa with 92m² of living space, 2 bedrooms, veranda, large attic, garage and terrace and an enclosed plot of 312m².

REF: 10329







Near Carcassonne, Aude Situated in a much sought-after Minervois village with all amenities, large 4 bedroom house with fully-equipped kitchen and attached barn. Terraced garden with swimming pool. Garage.

Maël-Carhaix, Côtes-d'Armor This attractive 3/4 bedroomed stone property has a wonderful fitted kitchen, large living room with fireplace, shower room and family bathroom. Garage and parking.


REF: 1014


REF: 2894




Trèbes, Aude Detached house with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 WCs, large kitchen, nice lounge and dining room with fire place, veranda, garage and laundry room. Land with garden shed.

La Trinité-Porhoët, Morbihan This is a large, well-maintained 5 bedroomed house with an office (possibly a sixth bedroom). The house is detached and in the middle of a private garden with a pond and well.

Near Villetoureix, Dordogne This is a 3 bedroomed farmhouse with an attached 2 bedroomed gîte set in its own grounds in a quiet hamlet location with countryside views.

REF: 110152943


REF: 700288


REF: BVI0005858




Morlaix, Finistère This property is located in a gorgeous spot. The main house and the gîte are both in very good condition. The main house is cosy with lounge, dining area, kitchen, 4 bedrooms and bath.

Villefranche-de-Lonchat A pretty, detached house in the Dordogne, set in over 3 acres of mature gardens and meadow with swimming pool, renovated to a very high standard, with beautiful exposed beams.

On Canal du Midi, Hérault Pretty villa including 4 bedrooms, on an easily-maintained plot with an above-ground pool and garage. Located in a quiet and mature residential area, at the edge of the village.

REF: M705-4291494


REF: 10947-19024206







REF: 10765-TNTHBAL216000E ENERGY RATING = Not given

Lalinde, Dordogne Renovated barn from the 1700's situated above a beautiful village with fantastic views from every window. The renovation is bright, airy and modern with stone walls and beams. REF: BVI0006804


REF: 10765-CC274000E




Normandy Advertiser

May 2012





Eymet, Dordogne This beautifully-renovated stone farmhouse is set on the hillside of the Dropt river valley not more than 10 kms from the Bastide town of Eymet in the Dordogne.

Olargues, Hérault Fifteen minutes from a small hamlet, outstanding 116m² stone house, set on 3855m² land planted with trees. High standard level! Living room, kitchen, bathroom, WC, 2 bedrooms.

Plouaret, Côtes-d'Armor A very pretty stone cottage, fullyrenovated, beside a lake fed by rivers and springs stocked with carp, roach, rudd, tench, trout, eel and pike. A fisherman’s paradise!

REF: APS1952


REF: 5744VM


REF: 10947-14974197




Olargues, Hérault The house is positioned in its own enclosed garden with cherry, apricot and olive trees along with ornamental borders surrounding the swimming pool. There is a double garage.

Ploërmel, Morbihan Located in the heart of the countryside on a no-through road, this property has been fully renovated and restored by current owners. Also two fully furnished gîtes.

Jumilhac-le-Grand This stone-built 4 bedroomed 'Périgourdine' home with parcel of land is located in the Périgord Vert region. Flexible living areas providing possibility of gîte/ chambre d'hôtes opportunity.

REF: IFPC22011


REF: IFPC21961


REF: BVI0005909




Carhaix-Plouguer, Finistère This superb property offers great potential, you just have to move in and start running the rentals. The main house is lovely with a fitted kitchen, dining room, lounge and conservatory.

Chaleix, Dordogne This spacious countryside house in great condition, is set on 1.5 acres of land and comes with a separate apartment. The property offers a spacious living room, a fitted kitchen and 4 bedrooms.

Lodève, Hérault Stunning property with a lot of character. Beautiful villa on a large plot with 4 rooms including a fitted kitchen and a living room. Includes a wooden swimming-pool.

REF: M680-42914111


REF: 42492


REF: 1990VM




Fixard, Dordogne Detached stone/brick and slate property, built in 1985, situated in a hamlet, not too far from a village with shops, with a garden and two lakes. Gas central heating. Double glazing.

Belpech, Aude A wonderful renovation for this delightful house. Lots of space inside, with 5 bedrooms and spare room in the attic, a barn, garage and a swimming pool. Laundry room and an office.

Dinan, Côtes-d'Armor Stone longère fully renovated by an architect. 2 reception rooms, fitted kitchen. 2 en-suite bedrooms and 3rd bedroom with family bathroom. Charming garden with sunny terrace.



REF: 2669


REF: 11296




Saint-Michel-d'Euzet, Gard In a quiet location overlooking vineyards and forests, stunning villa in a beautiful sunny field. 3 bedrooms. Garage.

Domme , Dordogne Next to one of the nicest villages in the Périgord Noir with all basic shops, you will be charmed by this stone house and its guest house, which are settled around a lovely and secluded garden.

Morlaix, Finistère The house includes two massive rooms with impressive granite fireplaces, one in the dining room and one in the lounge, a nice fitted kitchen, a new bathroom with shower and wc.

REF: 33616




REF: M794-22914183




Merléac, Côtes-d'Armor The house has, on the ground floor, an entrance hall, kitchen and amnage team with dining area, lounge and living room with fireplace and insert, a bathroom and WC.

Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil A very well-located Dordogne property, with beautiful views towards the village. Built 15 years ago in the traditional style, this 3 bedroomed house has a lovely reception room.

Pézenas, Hérault The villa has a large living room with an open-plan kitchen. 3 bedrooms, a bathroom with a walk-in shower and a separate WC. Integrated garage with a utility room and an office.

REF: L10016


REF: DOM1338






Cunèges, Dordogne This beautiful stone property offers very spacious accommodation all on the ground floor. The property, built in stone, has 4 bedrooms, a large double garage and a swimming pool.

Near Pézenas, Hérault High-quality villa of excellent construction and finish. There are 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3 WCs. The home is configured so that it can easily be divided into 2 lodgings.

Pontivy, Côtes-d'Armor This property provides an excellent income from a very successful business which is already established and fully operational in a highly desirable location.

REF: APS2054


REF: 10765-NNP374000E






Near Carcassonne, Aude Beautiful 4 bedroomed villa in very good condition. Wonderful landscaped garden with mature trees, swimming pool. Large garage and workshop, independent guest accommodation.

Callac, Côtes-d'Armor This property is located at the edge of a very pretty little town, in the countryside with a nice view of a lake. The manoir is full of character and has been renovated with great taste.

Léguillac-de-Cercles, Dordogne This beautiful, spacious and completely renovated country house with swimming pool, stone barn and carport, sits on a plot of 1,410m². The garden is fully grown and well-maintained.

REF: 744


REF: M910-22214193


REF: AQU-653




Côtes-d'Armor A rare opportunity to acquire an 18th century manoir with 5 bedrooms. The property is situated at the end of a lane where there are no other houses and therefore offers a tranquil setting.

Nontron, Dordogne In the North of the Dordogne and 50km from Périgueux, a farmhouse typical of the region, updated to a very high standard. There are also 3 small outbuildings.

Bédarieux, Hérault An authentic and completely renovated ‘Maison de Maître’. In front of this unique property is a separate garden with a lovely stone outbuilding which includes a summer kitchen.

REF: KPS 1787


REF: 1674






Sarlat-la-Canéda, Dordogne In the heart of the Dordogne valley, near to Sarlat and less than 5 mins from the shops, this attractive Périgordine-style house with stone Pigeonnier, has superb views over the valley

Magalas, Hérault The villa has an interiordesigned living area, fully fitted kitchen, master suite and 3 bedrooms. Reversible air-conditioning. Garden, pool, pool house, and 2 impressive terrace areas.

Dinan, Côtes-d'Armor Beautifully-renovated longère with 2 large reception rooms and 5 bedrooms. Second renovated house with living room, kitchen and 3 bedrooms. Ideal as a gîte.



REF: 342431381


REF: 10316











24 People

Normandy Advertiser

May 2012

I’m paid to drink cider every day! Arnaud Didier gets to taste cider all day long and is paid for doing it.

SAMANTHA DAVID meets Normandy’s very own cider taster ARNAUD Didier is an oenologue, or wine expert, at the Chambre d’Agriculture for Normandy. “It was a natural choice for me,” he says. Having been born in Eure, Mr Didier has always been aware of cider and says that when he left school and began studying oenology he realised that a huge part of what he was learning could also apply to cider and cider production. “There are many types of cider, it isn’t just a choice between dry or sweet - there are many different tastes. It has colour, depth and nose, different flavours in the mouth just as wine does. The earth, the rain and the type of apples used all affect the taste of the finished product.” But what really fascinated him was the process of turning apples into cider. “Making cider isn’t easy. It isn’t just a case of whacking a few apples through a press and waiting for them to rot. You have to know what you’re doing.” He admits that in much of France, people tend to think of cider as something which is only drunk with pancakes. “But cider has complex tastes and can go with all dishes, you have to find the right one...” He is quick to point out that in Normandy they never drink it with pancakes. “That’s a Brittany thing,” he says. Mr Didier is a man who has found his niche in the world. His job is promoting cider all over France and further afield, and his enthusiasm for the subject shines through. “Normandy cider is pretty well known in France, but the other places which really appreciate it are Germany, Belgium and, of course, the UK.” UK cider is completely different from Norman cider, he explains, because most cider in the UK is industrially made in huge quantities. “They use apple concentrates, which we don’t here in Normandy.” But he will admit to being jealous of the UK in one respect: “Your pubs! The British cider industry has a huge advantage there, and

Factfile: Normandy cider

something I’d love to see in France cider on tap in every bar and pub across the land.” He says that the problem is that most French bars and cafes are owned by the brewing companies. “Beer is the main competitor to cider and French brewers certainly do not want to sell it in their cafes!” he says. The other part of his job is to help cider producers make the best possible products by advising them on everything from planting the trees, pruning them and spraying them, through to harvesting, pressing and actually making the cider. This means he is out and about all the time, driving from one end of Normandy to the other. He does about 50,000km a year, so he knows and loves the whole region. He enjoys having a job which is hands-on, social and practical. Traditionally, explains Mr Didier, Norman farmers were beef

The earth, the rain and the type of apples used all affect the taste of the finished product

and dairy producers, the cattle were the main thing and the cider-making was a more of a sideline. But now more farmers are letting the beef and dairy farming go and they are specialising in cider. He is enthusiastic about the opportunities to get into cider production. “It would be hard if you have no experience at all but farms do come on to the market from time to time, and if someone has a passion for it, why not? For a beginner, it would be best to do a course first and there is one such specialist course in France. It’s here in Normandy at the Lycée Agricole le Robillard, where you can do a Certificat de Spécialisation Cidricol. For details, visit The future is a challenge, says Mr Didier, because cider makers in Normandy have to convince people that cider is not old-fashioned and

Arnaud Didier has a genuine passion for his job of promoting cider boring. “It’s not just a thing for granny and grandpa. “The image has to be changed, so that people see it as a young and fun drink. It’s joyful. It makes a delicious

apero, for example. It should be served très frais at 8 degrees.” Cider can be stored in a normal cellar, as wine is; out of the sunlight, at a stable temperature, lying down.

Cider in Paris AT more than 600m2, the Normandy stand at this year’s Agricultural Show in Paris was one of the biggest and included demonstrations and tastings of Normandy’s range of ciders. “It went very well,” says Mr Didier. “People were very receptive to tasting the new products we had on offer, and we did a lot of tastings. In most of France you can only buy sweet or dry cider - people are missing out on the varieties of ciders that exist.”

NORMAN cider production dates back to the 1100s with the introduction of cider apple varieties from Spain. However Guillaume Dursus, a Spanish nobleman who settled in the 16th century, brought superior varieties, which contributed to Norman cider’s renown. He settled in the Pays d'Auge, covering parts of Calvados, the Eure and the Orne. Normandy is still one of the most renowned regions for the drink and, like Brittany, has prestigious AOC for some of its ciders (from the Pays d’Auge). There is also a Label Rouge (quality label) for Cidre de Normandie. These two regions and the Pays de la Loire make the most French cider, but it is produced elsewhere, from Savoie to the Pays Basque. Cider sold from the farm, from smaller producers, is cidre fermier - similar to scrumpy found in the south-west of the UK. Cider comes in three kinds: doux (sweet), with a strong apple flavour, often drunk with dessert; and demi-sec - medium - suitable for drinking with a main course, and brut - dry - with a more bitter flavour. The drier the drink, the higher the alcohol. Cidre bouché refers to cider sold in champagnestyle bottles, with a “mushroom” cork and wire. Everyday cidre de table comes in ordinary bottles. Other drinks made in Normandy include pommeau - an aperitif made by mixing apple juice and brandy - and calvados, an apple brandy from Basse-Normandie. But part of the joy is that it doesn’t improve with age. “You can’t keep it more than two years - you have to drink it now.” Mr Didier certainly loves his job. “It’s the best job in the world - listen, I’m paid to drink cider!” He says he never wants to leave Normandy, it’s his home and he loves it. And will his son be following in his footsteps? “Maybe,” he says. But Lubin is a bit young to start drinking cider. “He’s only four years old!”

Normandy Advertiser - May 2012  

The Advertiser, Normandy’s English-language monthly newspaper

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