English Language FREE
July / Aug 2012 FREE
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE MAGAZINE FOR THE HERAULT
MUSIC* WINE* GARDENING* NATURE* HISTORY *EXHIBITIONS* ART* FOOD 1
THT July / August 2012
Never Miss An Issue: Visit www.theheraulttimes.com and subscribe now
08 ‘I play Vince Vaughns’ nemesis’ A ‘casual’ chat with Nicolas Braun on movies, food and wine.
05 Editorial 06 My Place 07 And Another Thing
14 Part two of Tim Kings look at the French elections
09 Apicius Dines Out 10 Wine Times
11 Business / Legal
25 Collioure calling A short train journey and you can be in another world.
12 Garden / Nature 13 GTBY 16 Days Out 17 Lifestyle
WIN In this issue you can win
The Pourcel Brothers
21 Looking Back
A meal for 2 at a Michelin restaurant
26 Recipe Times 28 DIY
15 A ‘Tour de Force’ in Sète. A look at the gourmet talent available in this beautiful town.
Spa Tickets for a day
6 Bottles of award winning wine
And more + Readers Offers
Cover Photo Marseillan © Kiff Backhouse 2012
Please note that August letters in print will be about subjects close to you. We thank you for your (99.7%) generous and warm words but now is the time to talk of issues that affect or worry you.
Columnists Gill Pound - Gardening Gill has lived in the region since 1998. Set up a small plant nursery (La Petite Pépinière de Caunes), as well as establishing a garden on a hectare of ground in Caunes-Minervois. Her activities include running gardening courses, lecturing, garden consultancy and project management. Rosemary George - Wine Rosemary was one of the first women to become a Master of Wine 1979. She has been a freelance wine writer since 1981 and is the author of eleven books. She contributes to magazines such as Decanter, India Sommelier, www.zesterdaily.com and writes a blog on the Languedoc: wwwtastelanguedoc.blogspot.com Apicius - Restaurant Review Born and educated in New York City, he has spent most of his life traveling and living abroad, the last six in this lovely region of France. He has sampled restaurants throughout the world. For Apicius the journey is often more important than the destination. Bassie Scott - Food Bassie started ‘Book the Cooks’ in London, caterring to PR companies such as Lynne Franks. She started ‘Go Bananas’, producing 9,000 sandwiches a day to clients such as the BBC. She and her husband ran a 10 bedroomed hotel. Now living in Gabian, Bassie delights in discovering local produce and runs Bon Appetit. Stuart Turpie - Sport Retired to Herault 6 years ago. Taught in London secondary schools; Interests, art and sport; Played basketball for GB and for 12 years in first division.
Robin Hicks - Director Robin has been a Radio 4 producer, a senior manager at the BBC, ran two of the Uk’s biggest farming exhibitions and a farm in Devon before settling in l’Herault over 10 years ago. An ex editor of Blablablah, he runs the Cassan Christmas Cracker Fair and joins the Herault Times whilst running – WoW (www.heraultwhatson.info)
If you have a story, an event or even an idea that you feel may be for The Herault Times or its associated publications please contact us at: info@theheraulttimes or visit the site at www.theheraulttimes.com Coming this month on www.theheraulttimes.com is the Classifieds section. Buy, sell, exchange, meet people, find classes. A classified section for the Hérault. See it now at classifieds.theheraulttimes.com
Issue 1 is excellent. We have to say well done to all of you. Informative and intelligent and relevant. Bravo! Steve. Montpellier
I’ll drink a toast to Issue one and to all involved. Cooking pages with fresh produce...stunning’! Would you tell me why none of these magazines are really bi-lingual please. They are all 2 magazines in 1! Debbie 34000
Well I have to say this was a surprise. Well presented, well written and I was even interested by the content. First time in 5 years. Good show, keep it up. Giles (email)
I’m sure I’m not the only one but did you leave the page numbers off so I had to read everything? Thank-you, my husband and I love it. Roz (email)
I will start by saying well done to the Hérault Times. I like your magazine very much. It is interesting to me as I think that we all need to try to be together and you are about France and her politics and her people. For this I am very happy. Thank you. Jean-Claude Séte
Dear Herault Times (Gatsby) You told us to be honest when we spoke so here you go. I was worried about the lack of French and that you would be a bbb clone. I actually like the fact that it is in English, there are after all french language magazines in the US and GB. I also like that you are fresh and new and you actually use writers and not interrnet content like others. It is also rather novel in this area to have someone listen without telling us what is what. We love the writers, the range and mainly that you are actually writing about here, the people and the place. Hérault people if you’ll use the pun. We both wish you great success. Mike and Richard, Beziers
The HT, I think your magazine is very good. I read it for my mother and she is laughing at my english but told me it will get better. I thank you. Laurence 13
I picked a copy of your publication, without suspecting anything, and I thought “nice, very nice, what a welcome change!” My very sincere congratulations for your new magazine. Your publication is informative and “pointu” on art, the mise en page is very good etc. I have no criticism whatsoever. Alors bravo! Amitiés J
IMPORTANT: This magazine is intended for the use of the individual(s) who picked it up. This magazine may contain information that is helpful, opinionated and can at times be unsuitable for overly sensitive Persons with no cultural credibility. If you are not sure then may we politely suggest that you pass it onto someone else as to continue reading is not recommended and may constitute an irritating social faux pas. No animals were harmed in the making of this magazine, and believe it or not one single opinion is definitive- period. 4
Editorial The Herault Times 1 Grand Rue, St Thibery,34630 Publisher: Gatsby B Director : Robin Hicks Editor : Emma Foulger Advertising Director: M.F. Art Editor: Daisy B EDITORIAL EDITOR@THEHERAULTTIMES.COM ROBIN@THEHERAULTTIMES.COM SUBSCRIPTIONS For all enquiries please visit www.theheraulttimes.com/subscribe or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING For display advertising and Classifieds please contact Kevin on 0624 63 63 77 or mail email@example.com For web advertising please contact Gatsby on 0624 63 63 77 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org The Herault Times www.theheraulttimes.com COPYRIGHT AND DISCLAIMER The Herault Times The Herault Times is owned and published by L’Herault Art L.A. Publishing (51926616300010). The publisher, authors and contributors reserve their rights in regards to copyright of their work. No part of this work covered by the copyright may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the written consent of the publisher. No person, organization or party should rely or on any way act upon any part of the contents of this publication whether that information is sourced from the website, magazine or related product without first obtaining the advice of a fully qualified person. This magazine and its related website and products are sold and distributed on the terms and condition that: The publisher, contributors, editors and related parties are not responsible in any way for the actions or results taken by any person, organisation or any party on basis of reading information, stories or contributions in this publication, website or related product. The publisher, contributors and related parties are not engaged in providing legal, financial or professional advice or services. The publisher, contributors, editors and consultants disclaim any and all liability and responsibility to any person or party, be they a purchaser, reader, advertiser or consumer of this publication or not in regards to the consequences and outcomes of anything done or omitted being in reliance whether partly or solely on the contents of this publication and related website and products. The publisher, editors, contributors and related parties shall have no responsibility for any action or omission by any other contributor, consultant, editor or related party. END
What a welcome you have given us – thank you!
e have been taken aback by the warmth and positive responses we’ve received for our first issue. We did it all in just 5 weeks, but it was worth it from the lovely comments we have had about the new Herault Times. We are ordering more copies (again) for this edition – so we hope you will find it more easily – and if there is a place you think we should distribute to – just let us know. In the June issue we said we hoped you would make this magazine your trusted companion in the Herault – and then in a fish restaurant we realised how much we needed a trusted translator - of fish names! So in this edition you will find a column which you might like to cut out to save you the embarrassment of “Well it is a fish – white – from the sea.”! French Logic There is something wonderful about the way the French make things happen – logical, workable and direct. Take the road tax for example – French drivers, like many in other countries, didn’t like paying it, so rather than waste a vast amount of police time chasing up the bad payers the French abolished the tax and instead leased out the motorways and collected the money from tolls. Much fairer too as you only pay for what you use. A French car windscreen shows even a casual observer – and the not so casual police
– the two most important facts about a car, whether it is insured and if it has passed a test for roadworthiness. The same with the TV licence – people didn’t pay – so rather than waste money chasing recalcitrant payers they simply placed the cost of the licence onto the house taxes. And it works at a local level too – a Mayor in a town in Hérault was fed up with people complaining about someone parking selfishly in a place most agreed was dangerous and created an obstruction. His many pleas failed to get the offending motorist to mend his ways. So he waited until the family went off on holiday. Once they were seen leaving the town, in moved the work staff and planted a tree right in the middle of the offending spot. Problem solved: an extra tree in the town and everyone was happy; including the man in question who had been lobbying for more trees in the town. He even watered the new tree which happened to be outside his house. On the other hand, how can you call a nation logical when the best that they can do when they want to say ‘70’ is to say sixty plus ten, or four twenties to make ‘80’ or even four twenties and a ten for ‘90’? If only the French could follow the Belgiums and Swiss and use ‘septante’ for ‘70’ and ‘nonante’ for ‘90’. Anyhow – apart from that – you really do have to admire their logic.
How many tonnes of Oysters are produced each year from the Bassin de Thau
The year the Hérault was created (04 March to be precise)
750 Km from Montpellier to Paris 148 Length in km of the Hérault River 1996 The year the Canal du Midi was made a world heritage site 40 The average depth of Lake Salagou in metres (Lac du Salagou) >33 The Percentage of France’s wine production that comes from the Region 5
HT talks to celebrated French chef Laurent Pourcel in his hotel/restaurant Le Jardin des Sens
Compression of Maine Lobster with Duck Ham and Melon
he Hotel and 2 star Michelin Restaurant Le Jardin des Sens is the manifestation of a dream realised by the drive and vision of twin brothers Laurent and Jacques Pourcel and their partner Olivier Chateau. Initiators
of a blend of creative cookery inspired by flavours of the Mediterranean, purveyors of sensorial delight, of taste, of creativity, the two brothers arrived in Montpellier at 23 with little in their pockets, yet nevertheless began a quiet gourmet revolution which quickly secured them Michelin stars and international recognition. Born in Agde on 13 September 1964, on the same day that the famous antique bronze statue ‘l’Ephèbe d’Agde’ was discovered in the River Hérault, the Pourcel twins grew up in the Montpellier region. The youngest sons of a generation of winegrowers, they learnt the arts of the table and notably of cookery through the regional dishes prepared by
to their work. Laurent, who is the more reserved, prefers to be in the kitchen or with his wife and young daughter; whilst Jacques, still single, loves to travel; exploring the world for new gastronomic inspiration, opening new restaurants or overseeing expatriate chefs: “Culinary discoveries can become a permanent search, daring to break away from classical cooking and looking around at nature, the land, the country, and all over the world, and in dreams, to create innovative styles in a profession which is constantly changing”. Their career paths took different routes. Laurent talks with great respect of his time spent with Alain Chapel and later Michel Bras, an experience he describes as ‘magical’ because of the array and abundance of new ingredients he had access to, while Jacques worked under the guidance of Michel Trama, Marc Meneau and Pierre Gagnaire. With the support of their friend Olivier Chateau, they opened Le Jardin des Sens in 1988. The dream of a simple, opaque exterior which hid a haven of calm and well-being was conferred to architect Bruno Borrione -who created the Japanese-style garden and a stairway planted with lemon and olive trees and umbrella pines as well as the fragrant bouquets of lavender, rosemary, thyme and verbena – and interior architect Phillipe Stark, whose pure line and simple approach are behind hotels such as the New York Royalton and the Paramount. Very quickly, Le Jardin des Sens became a reference to gastronomy in the South of France and in 1995, it merged with the chain Relais & Chateaux to become Relais Gourmand. Then in 1997, the two young chefs were voted the best chefs of the year by the Gault Millaut. When they received a third Michelin star in 1988, opportunities came knocking, although they insist that it was more through chance meetings rather than as a result of a considered commercial strategy. They 6
currently own 20 restaurants worldwide under the auspices of Groupe Pourcel, including the well-known Maison Blanche situated on Avenue Montaigne, Paris. Laurent admits, “We very much like Asia. Jacques and I feel good there and it’s a continent where French chefs can really enjoy themselves.” Laurent also has a strong affinity for Japanese culture and travels regularly to his Tokyo restaurant ‘Sens & Saveurs’ which opened in 2002. The cuisine Languedocienne plays with the land and the sea. It is full of strong flavours and personality. Our recipes, say the Pourcel brothers, pay homage to the extraordinary range of local produce, from the beautiful fish landed from our coasts, the oysters and mussels of Bouzigues, the sea urchins from the Mediterranean, the fruits, especially the apricots and peaches of Roussillon and locally grown almonds and pistachios. True artists of contrast, they love to introduce to all of these local flavours a touch of the unexpected, Szechuan pepper, ginger, cinnamon, balsamic vinegar. Harmony is an important concept in the brothers culinary approach, Jacques makes an interesting point, “The aim is to have the guest understand what we have done and how it was done. For this, nothing can replace the true taste of a product and its different flavours “. With this land-sea encounter and a conscious wish to explore
their mother and grandmother. Perhaps, it is the result of such a hands-on-relationship with cooking and family life, spent in the company of two strong women that accounts for the brothers’ natural discretion and modest appearance, which is coupled by an enormous generosity of sharing their knowledge. Just as Le Jardin des Sens is a sensually generous experience hidden behind a modest façade. As is so often the case with identical twins they remain very close, their different personalities having emerged over the course of their careers as complimentary
the food cultures of Asia and the Maghreb, Jacques and Laurent have managed to express both the ruggedness and mellowness of their home. For these two brothers who often speak in one and the same voice, the style and substance are inseparable when cooking. In 2003, the Pourcel brothers opened a cookery school opposite Le Jardin des Sens, which offers courses throughout the year. For more information contact: email@example.com or telephone 04 67 79 07 68
Win a lunch for two people courtesy of Le Jardin des Sens by answering this question. In which year were the brothers named chefs of the year by Gault Millaut? Answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
And another thing.......says Abse Spam
hate getting spam. Well, almost everyone hates getting spam. I did meet someone once at a party who said he enjoyed getting spam. It was more interesting than his normal emails. “Mmmmm” I said, as I moved away and found someone to talk to who only had one head. I don’t know about you, but I get loads of spam. It tends to go in cycles, and they aren’t all the same, but it adds up enough to be an irritation. My email provider picks up the more obvious spamming, so I get very little offers these days from Canadian chemists, and the spam I get tends to be more mundane. Generally it breaks down into four categories: 1. the aforementioned pharmaceutical companies, and related sex-industry garbage 2. People who are offering to raise the profile/number of hits on my website (presumably by spamming) (yawn) 3. Somebody who is trying to get me to accept 100m€ on behalf of their poor deceased brother – just as long as I give them my bank account details. (always ask them to send cash) 4. And finally (the subject of our sermon today) emails from genuine companies who have bought email lists off someone or other. Now this last category really annoys me for a number of reasons. Firstly the email is so dull and (usually) harmless in what its selling the company emailing you doesn’t appear to be dodgy at all. Secondly, it all looks so harmless I sometimes wonder if I somewhere didn’t agree to allow them to mail me – in which case it is my own fault. But I have got wise: I NEVER anymore allow ANYONE to put me on a mailing list unless I specifically require them to email me (Like the Hérault Times, for example), and I NEVER tick the button that says I agree to allow anyone to pass my email on to their “friendly ethical partners”. Yeah, right. Not only that, I have recently been obsessively hitting
the “unsubscribe” buttons on any email I am sick of receiving – even ones I originally agreed to. So bye bye Spartoo, bye bye Eurotunnel, bye bye Vistaprint etc. But which one of these organisations that I DID subscribe to sold my email address to all the other spammers who keep emailing me? Financial companies offering me loans, travel companies telling me their latest offers, various companies offering me various goods and services that I have no interest in . Today I got one from a company selling repossessed houses, offering them as an investment. This left a bad taste in my mouth. How did I, a socialist artist with no money in the south of France, get on some parasite like that’s email list? So I angrily hit the unsubscribe button. And then I did that other thing I do sometimes to spammers when they annoy me, I sent an impolite email telling said spammer where they can go and what they can do when they get there. And where they can put their spam. Or something like that. A polite rebuke, you understand. This time the spammer replied. I love it when that happens, especially on a day when I’ve not got much on (and am looking for something to write about for the Hérault Times) -it means I can waste their time as much as they waste mine. Inevitably, when I do get a reply (which is not very often) it’s because my language has offended the person receiving the email. One time I did this I got into a fascinating email exchange with some artist-exploiting firm in California (you pay them $1,000 and they put a picture of yours in their book which get sent to all the people stupid enough to pay the $1000 – and no one else.) My language upset the poor woman who had being trying to scam the thousand bucks off me (she particularly didn’t like the word “scam”), and I actually got an email from her boss who said my email had made her cry! I don’t think she was really cut out for the job. Then a few weeks ago I got an email from someone else
representing a US artists agency (who are well-known as scammers - lots of discussions on artists forums about their extremely large charges for doing nothing at all). As I do, I emailed back – this time politely (no, really) saying I wasn’t interested in being scammed by this art agency and could they please leave me alone. The reply I got that time really surprised me. The guy who was emailing me turned out to have been recently taken on by the agency and was being
it necessary to write emails like that? I replied, of course it was, and explained (with some more well-chosen words) that I didn’t want to receive emails from nasty parasites like him making money out of the unemployed and homeless, and could he kindly leave me alone? Believe it or not he replied again, arguing that really he wasn’t evil at all, but was a force for good - providing housing, rescuing poor people in debt.. yaba yaba yabah. I was so excited! An open goal! A chance
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Your first glass of wine ½ price with this advert.
paid on commission for anyone recruited. He had no idea about their reputation. This was his third day trawling artists’ websites, and mine was his first response. He was reasonably upset to learn about the people who had employed him, apologised for emailing me and thanked me for the info I’d given him. Today’s one takes the biscuit though: the parasitic property speculator turned out to be extremely sensitive - he was upset with my email. Was
to write an anti-capitalist political diatribe and to insult a bottom-feeding capitalist parasite! Yippee! Hurrah! Unfortunately I don’t think the editor of the HT would ever publish my letter, and as yet, I’ve had no reply from the parasite. I’m very disappointed; I have a whole load of quotes from Marx and Mao I want to use in my next email. Never mind. Who’s next? Ah, a Nigerian 6princess who wants me to look after all her money…
“I play Vince Vaughns nemesis.” Daniel James Talks to hollywood actor Nicolas Braun in a swimming pool
icolas Braun is an American actor whose credits include the Disney productions Princess Protection Program and Sky High and the films Red State and Prom. His most recent project, The Watch (out July 27 in the USA) stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill. After his stay at Domaine Saint Hilaire, he’s flying back to New York to play the lead role in an independent movie called The New Yorker. I interviewed him while he did a few laps of the pool. HT – Hi Nicolas. So, ever done an interview in a swimming pool before? NB – Nope. This’ll be a first. HT – I thought the pool was deeper than that!? NB – I’m exceptionally tall. But not in a weird way. HT – So what you doing on this side of the world? NB – I’m visiting my brother. He’s a musician. He’s doing a summer back-packing trip and then heading to a festival in the UK to link with this new band called Katy And The JDS-Pub-HeraultTime-184x150.ai
this dude Alfie Wade. He’s an incredible guy. You know those guys everyone knows? Everybody knows Alfie Wade. Then these last few nights, I’ve been staying at this beautiful vineyard, Domaine Saint Hilaire. The owner used to work in the film business with Monty Python, so we swapped some stories. And I’ve just been feeling so relaxed. When I’m in LA, it’s all about business and what you’re doing next. Here it’s all about good food, good wine, good times! And nice people. They’ve been really friendly. My French isn’t that good, but people have been real nice about it. HT - So what else have you been up to in the Herault? Any tips for our readers? NB – Went to the Fête de la Musique in Montpellier. That’s a crazy party. Don’t miss it when June comes round again. I guess the closest thing we got in the US is Mardi Gras, but that’s a bit more in your face. This was more about wandering round the town and finding the music you love. Discovering these cool little bands playing round every corner. I loved that – you got to do a bit of searching to find what your vibe is. Then what else? Went to this great little restaurant which is hidden away in the forest somewhere by a lock, called La Guingette d’Asterix. It’s the sort of place you’d never find if
Elders. You have to check this Katy girl’s voice out. Magic. So yeah, I’ve got two weeks in the South of France and Greece before I head back to New York. Loving every minute. HT - What’s your latest project? NB- I’m shooting an indie movie in New York from Late July. It’s called the New Yorker and I’m playing the New Yorker! The guy, not the magazine. I’m not that versatile. HT – What’s the favourite part you’ve played so far? NB – In Sky High, which was about a high school for superheroes, I played a guy who glowed in the dark. Not a great superpower, so I was relegated to sidekick. But it was a great part. HT – So you do a lot of Disney things? NB – Well my new movie The Watch is totally different, not Disney at all. I play Vince Vaughn’s nemesis. We’re basically battling over his daughter. I want to have sex with her. He doesn’t want me to have sex with her. Cue fight music. Romantic fight music. HT – Without giving away the ending… can we take it that you’ve now done your first sex scene? NB – Let’s just say Vince walks in at an awkward moment and – that’s a spoiler alert right there! HT – So where you been staying while you’re here? NB – I was staying with my brother in Sête for a bit. Hanging out with
you’re not with a local. We were a bit late, but check the owner out, hands down the best moustache in France. He looked after us real nice and it’s in a great spot. HT - Best food you had? NB – Got to be this watermelon salad we had last night, with goats’ cheese and mint. Sounds kind of wrong, but believe me it was so right. Delicious. It was at this dinner soirée type gathering where I’ve been staying at DSH. Chilled out music, sitting by the pool, and like ten different wines that they make here. The owner took us through them and, yeah, it all gets pleasantly hazy after that. I might have to try them again. Oh, and there’s like this secret place here that’s like a tiny English pub inside a cottage. It’s run by this guy called Nick who’s got a great vinyl collection. If you get the invite, make sure you ask for the orgasmatron experience. It’ll blow your mind. HT – Anything you’d avoid? NB – Yeah. Tasty looking traditional fish pastries from Sête. They look good. But just don’t put them in your mouth. They’re the kind of thing I’d give Vince Vaughn for breakfast if I woke up in his house after sleeping with his daughter. Nicolas emerges from the pool, looking exceptionally tall. But not in a weird way.
July 14th, Bastille Day Celebrations
hilst the actual day is the 14th some towns and villages celebrate with fireworks on the 13th – in the past Beziers has had an early and exceptional display. In Agde the fireworks are set off across the harbour – which looks terrific but be warned – traffic is heavy and parking impossible. Wherever you may be, make the effort to join in with this most French of French celebrations. It is enormous fun. Another way – to avoid the traffic and get a panorama of displays is to head for the hills where if you get the right spot you can see the spectacle of firework displays from towns, villages and even gardens..
Winners -June Issue winners. A signed copy of ‘A French Affair” by Jeremy Josephs WINNER - Jeign Craig Five tickets to Forteresse de Salses WINNER - Roz BATTERHAM Congratulations to the winners. Don’t forget to enter this months cmpetitions.
11, av. Saint-Lazare · 34000 Montpellier · T. 04 99 58 38 38 jardindessens.com · pourcel-chefs-blog.com 8
Take alo ng a copy of and rece ive a FRE The Herault Tim e E house your mea cocktail w s l - Offer e ith nds Augu s
The H.T. restaurant reviewer Apicius eats at.....
t 11 2012
Le 17eme Parallèl Montpellier
A Taste of the Orient
he seventeenth parallel, among other things, used to separate Vietnam into North and South before the country became unified. However, in Montpellier this geographical monicker has lent itself to a Vietnamese restaurant. Comfortably sitting in the shadow of the imposing arcades there is a pleasant outdoor deck to soak up the history. Inside, the dining room is small and decorated with bright, transparent chairs that give it a clean, minimal look. Thankfully, there’s
Le 17eme Parallèl
nothing tacky or faux oriental about it and were it not for the attractive photos of Vietnamese markets on the walls, it could be any type of restaurant. There is a lunch menu, which includes an entrée, a main with rice and a glass of wine or tea for 15€. There are also more elaborate and interesting menus at 23€ and 26€, and, of course, `a la carte. The lunch menu might offer up spring rolls and a brochette of chicken tightly covered with roasted peanuts and under a spicy ginger sauce. Appetizers are particularly delicious with plates like Bo buns, papaya & shrimp salad, filled won ton and what is probably the national dish Pho a filling meat and vegetable soup that is eaten at any time of day in Vietnam. Here you can have it in winter or order ahead. My shrimp filled nem (egg rolls) 6.5€ were nicely packed and while they lacked the punch that one can find on the streets of Hanoi, they still were tasty. Even more successful is the main of lacquered duck 13€ presented on a bed of bean sprouts and topped with a barbeque sauce. The duck was not fatty, had the right amount of bite to it and served with a side order of fried noodles and some onions 4€ had that wonderful, simultaneous mix of the exotic and familiar. A less successful plate was the shrimps a la chef with overly soggy won tons. However, there is quite a wide choice of principal dishes with pork and shrimp being prominent with examples like pork with Chinese mushrooms
6 Boulevard des Arceaux
and shrimps with basil and coconut. Desserts are unfortunately not the high point of a Vietnamese meal although the ginger confit I had was very nice and left a spicy, sweet flavor combination in the mouth. Most of the other offerings revolve around fresh fruit, ice cream or banana beignets. If there any sort of correlation between the wine card and a restaurant’s intent of purpose then the 17eme Parallel is hitting above its weight. There are more than a few decent houses from the region represented and even champagne. Prices start at 17€ a bottle. Wine by the glass is also on offer. A good addition would be to have some Riesling or Gewurztraminer wine from the Alsace included as they meld particularly nicely with oriental dishes. The service is friendly and certainly not standing around. For a restaurant that gets it’s customers from the surrounding quarter and not from tourists it’s amazingly busy. I’ve eaten there twice and both times all the tables were filled with a nice informal buzz circulating in the room. To avoid problems, especially at lunch, reservations might be a good idea. When I asked Mr. Thiery Hau the owner what he saw as his goal, the response sounded a bit like a movie title,” For people to eat well and be happy”; nevertheless, this is a movie I always like seeing. In summary, is this as good as eating in a superior restaurant in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City? No, but as we’re not there this is a respectable substitute that will leave only the purists carping.
Tel: 0467.630069 (closed Sun & Mon)
So much fish in the restaurants and supermarkets.......
but even locals sometimes look perplexed by what they have.....and what they thought they had.
Types of fish in French du cabillaud du haddock du hareng du maquereau de la morue des sardines du saumon du thon de la truite Lotte Sea Bass Red Mullet Grey Mullet
araignée de mer du calmar des coquilles Saint-Jacques du crabe des crevettes des crevettes grises des écrevisses du homard des huîtres des langoustines des moules ...marinière
(fresh) cod smoked haddock herring mackerel cod sardines salmon tuna trout monkfish bar - loup rouget mulet 9
spider crab squid scallops crab prawns shrimps crayfish lobster oysters scampi mussels ...in white wine sauce
Wine VISITING WINE CELLARS
cellar visit is very easy to arrange with a quick phone call or email. And most wine growers are welcoming and hospitable and enjoy talking about their wines to a captive audience. But do avoid the sacrosanct hour of midi. And if they have opened several bottles for you, it is only courteous to buy a bottle or two. But during the summer months, some growers go out of their way to encourage visitors. The Ollier family at Domaine Ollier-Taillefer in Fos organise an annual open cellar day – this year it is on Sunday July 22nd. I went last year; you could taste the current wines, their delicious white Allegro, supple les Collines and best of all, there was a tasting of a decade of their top, oak-aged red wine, Castel Fossibus, with the object of showing how well it ages. They succeeded; the 1999 was absolutely delicious. More information on www.olliertaillefer.com
Domaine la Croix Belle in Puissalicon is another welcoming estate. Their tasting caveau is open seven days a week during the summer months and there is a delicious range of wines to try. In addition this summer Françoise and Jacques Boyer are hosting an exhibition by a local artist, Alex MacCormick with a vernissage on 19th July, which will provide an opportunity for some wine tasting, with tapas, as well as the chance to enjoy Alex’s paintings. www.croix-belle.com The Teisserenc family at Domaine de l’Arjolle in Pouzolles organise an annual balade vigneron. This year it was in late June. They make a great variety of different wines, so this is an ideal opportunity to discover them, with the appropriate food. You walk a while and then taste some wine, and then move onto the next course. The walk, about two kilometres, so not too demanding, takes you through the lovely gardens of the Château de Margon and as well as through vineyards, and finishes in the barrel cellar at Pouzolles for dessert and a sweet wine.
Lidewej van Wilgen at Mas des Dames outside Murviel- les-Béziers hosts an Englishspeaking tour of her estate twice a month on Friday afternoons at 16.00. She relates her story, how a Dutch woman left her life as an advertising executive in Amsterdam to become a winemaker and the challenges she faced, and then she takes you into the vineyards and round the cellar, and the visit finishes with a wine tasting and some nibbles. More information on www.masdesdames.fr Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Win Domaine Saint Hilaire are proud to be associated with The Herault Times. To celebrate ten years in the Languedoc, owners Anne and Jonathan James are giving away a mixed case of their award-winning Domaine Saint Hilaire wines. All you have to do to win 6 bottles of award winning wine is answer this simple question: Domaine Saint Hilaire is situated between Montagnac and which other small town beginning with M? Send your answer to email@example.com Closing date 11th July 2012 10
Business / Legal / News Setting Up a Business What is a CFE? Contrary to what happens in the UK, it is a legal requirement in France to always register ones company/activity before one can start operating. Over the last few years, setting-up your business in France has been made considerably easier, from a registration point of view, with the introduction of the CFE (Centres de Fomalités Entreprises: Business Registration Desks) which deal with registering (i.e.: making official and legal) businesses, amending records in case of a new or additional activity being carried out, or cancelling registrations when businesses shut down. Business registrations files are all centralised by the CFE which checks them thoroughly and passes them onto the various bodies and administrations related to creating a business, namely: - INSEE (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) which is in charge of registering businesses with the Répertoire National des Entreprises (Business National Directory) and allocates both a SIREN number and a SIRET number, along with an activity code: the APE code. * The SIREN number is used by all public organizations and administrations the business is linked to and contains three times three numbers. * The SIRET number is used to identify the business, a sort of id often requested by the welfare services, tax authorities, and unemployment services (ASSEDIC). The SIRET number is based on the SIREN number plus a further 5-number code. * The APE code identifies the sector of activity - The tax authorities (services fiscaux) - Social Welfare Agencies such as URSSAF and RSI - The Commercial Court Registry (le Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce) – only if the business is of a commercial nature or involves trading. The thenPage send1 HERAULT TIMES ADVERT v2 Registry 23/5/12 will 15:16
the business owners a document proving that the business is registered with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCS: Registre du commerce et des sociétés). That document is called “extrait K” for sole entrepreneurs, and “extrait Kbis” for businesses (sociétés). - The Trade and Crafts Registry if the activity involves transforming something with ones hands (all activités artisanales such as painters, bakers, carpenters, etc). Ins - Social Welfare bodies (caisses sociales) dealing with employees assuming the activity does start with employees, which would be indicated in the registration papers, and the Inspection du Travail which is a control organization in charge of ensuring that work laws are applied properly and adhered to within factories and offices. Which CFE for which activity? * If you are a merchant, shopkeeper or if your business is not related to crafts trade, you should get in touch with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie - CCI). If you are a craftsman however, or a small-scale business dealing in the crafts industry, then you are to contact the Chamber of Trade and Crafts (Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat CMA). It may also be that your activity will be involved in both commercial and crafts matters in which case the CMA will register your business to both its own register, but also that of the CCI. Watch out for “regulated” activities (activités réglementées) for which you will need to justify of the relevant qualifications and/or a minimum of a threeyear experience to set-up a business. * Professions, be they regulated or not, and employers whose businesses are not listed in the Trade Register or the Trade Directory (e.g.: trade associations) must contact URSSAF (this organization collects social security and family allowances payments). * Individual and moral entities that mainly deal with agricultural activities should
contact the Chamber of Agriculture (Chambre d’Agriculture). However, please note that going to a CFE to register your business is only an administrative formality. It is not the CFE’s mission to give you business guidance and support so it is strongly recommended that you should do all your “homework” prior to the registration process: best suited legal status, compulsory qualifications, tax and social contributions implications to name but a few. Records can always be updated but this will carry a cost, as does the registration and deregistration (radiation, which one must do to officially shut down a business) in most cases. For more detailed information, you can contact your local CFE, and you can also contact the Agence pour la Création d’Entreprises (www.apce.com) which is the national business start-up agency. Business Column by Alexandra Thevenet www.thelinkservices.fr
Speed limit of 90 km/h on the highway A9 to Montpellier
rom this month the speed limit on the A9 between the exit for Montpellier centre and airport and the toll booths at St Jean de Vedas will be cut to 90 km/h The lower limit will be in force - At peak times, morning from 7:00 to 9:00 and from 17:00 to 19:00, during the working week - The speed is limited to 110 km/h, as now, during the day, night, weekends and holidays. Be warned - Fixed cameras will be installed on either side of the highway in the section which will operate at 90 km/h or 110 km/h depending on the time of day. These may be supplemented by mobile radars.
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In The Garden
B chilopsis linearis
eautiful….but very dangerous
irst of all – a big big thank you to everyone who supported our open weekend (Portes Ouvertes) in early June. It was great to see and talk to so many people. Summer isn’t really a time for planting but do come and visit the garden here during the summer months and observe what is in flower. July can be one of the driest months of the year and a time in which the garden is often resting and can look a bit jaded with not so much colour, especially as one tends to buy plants in the spring and plants that are in flower at the time. Plants which do flower in the summer and which are drought tolerant are thus all the more important. A shrub or small tree that will flower from early June until late September is Chilopsis linearis, the Desert Willow from Texas, once established it is incredibly drought tolerant and has lovely dark pink flowers. For those who are keen to use native plants in their gardens Lathyrus latifolia is a lovely perennial sweet pea, you’ll see clumps flowering by the roadsides but it also makes a
lovely garden plant; white forms are sometimes available too. Lathyrus matucana is an annual sweet pea with wonderful scent; grow it from seed and with luck it will then self seed in the garden. It is, allegedly, the ancestor of
eautiful….but very dangerous if you are a palm tree ! Paysandisia Archon or the Palm moth has wiped out two thirds of Languedoc Roussillons palm trees in the last 15 years with another 10 to 15% infected. This stunning moth made its entry into the Mediterranean in 1997 in a consignment of palms from Argentina bound for Marseille. It has since created havoc not only in our region but also on the Cote D’Azur and now on the coasts of Northern Spain and Italy. The female lays around 140 eggs in the palms which turn into larvae which then bore their way into the heart of the tree, fatally wounding the fonds which brown and die. The larvae then hatch into these enormous 10 cm moths and the cycle recommences. Last July I saw the telltale brown holes in my palms and the subsequent browning of the fonds. Armed with badminton raquets we attacked the beasts as they flew from the palms! To no avail. Not only are they very rapid, agile flyers, they are also incredibly powerful. A full on
modern, cultivated sweet peas – apparently introduced into cultivation by a Sicilian monk at the end of the seventeenth century. The summer months are much less busy in the garden – time to relax and enjoy it – and perhaps to make some plans for the autumn! During July think about the following: • Continue to keep an eye out for damage by slugs, snails, insects etc and take appropriate action • Continue deadheading perennials after flowering to encourage a second flowering spell • Vigorous climbers such as wisteria and trumpet vines (Campsis) may need some pruning from time to time over the summer • Clip back aromatics such as santolina and lavender after flowering, remember that lavenders should never be cut back into old wood • Keep an eye on the watering requirements of your garden, recently planted items (especially if they were planted this spring) particularly need looking after even if they are drought resistant once established. • If you haven’t yet done so, prune back spring flowering shrubs
For further information contact Gill Pound at La Petite Pépinière de Caunes (shrubs and perennials, ornamental grasses, unusual plants and plants for dry climates), 21, Avenue de la Montagne Noire, 11160, Caunes-Minervois. Tel: 04 68 78 43 81, e: Gill@lapetitepepiniere.com www.lapetitepepiniere.com Open March to November 10h – 18h Fridays and Saturdays, 10h – 12h Sundays, or by appointment – just phone or email to fix another time.
whack from the weapon simply checked their progress for a tiny moment. There are, you will be pleased to hear, three more effective, treatments now available. None however claim 100% results: • The Insecticide, L, Imidaclopride which chemically attacks the larvae • A glue, Biopalm, which when applied to the tree, traps the emerging moths • Nematodes. Microscopic little bugs which attack the larvae causing Septicemia All of these treatments are EXPENSIVE If the pesky moths didn’t do for the palms then the freezing temperatures and harsh winds of last February pretty well finished the job. The lesson perhaps is very similar to that of Phylloxera, 150 years ago, which wiped out virtually all of our vines. With global trade there comes global dangers! For more information on this pest I can recommend googling: olharfeliz.typepad.com/strategiepreventitive
Good Be Young To Listening to right now:
-Scream Usher -This is Love Will.i.am -Princess of China Coldplay and Rihanna -Wide Awake Katy Perry
Anyone going to a festival? Tell us about it....
HT young journalist, Philemon MacCamley visits La Foret d’Acrobats, located in the Parc de Bessilles. The Accrobranche is an activity that takes place high
I’m 17 alright.....it’s a BLOG
“Some people are like rain clouds. Once they leave it’s a beautiful day” As usual my iPod is by my side, on shuffle, and the song playing right now is “We’ve Gotta Get Out of this Place”, The Animals. I nearly lost my iPod in a field last week whilst walking my doggy, and it somehow concealed itself in a little patch of grass like right in front of me, but I obviously jumped to the assumption that it had dragged itself half way across the field. How curious I must’ve looked walking through the corn. All I could think of was my iPod breeding with a rabbit, and escaping an eternity of being carried around in my grubby bag being strangled by my earphones. Luckily I found it before an approaching rabbit dared snatch it away. These are just some of the thoughts going through my head. Others include, that I think my British accent makes me sound really smart like I actually sound like I know what I’m talking about (I don’t.), but then I hear Russell Brand’s accent, and I’m like, never mind. My brain hates me. (“Caravan Girl” Goldfrapp) Also including various fantasies about Micheal J Fox in his Back to the Future days. Anyway, the BAC is nearly over, mais oui mais oui, le BAC c’est bientot fini!! The French written exam was today, and oh my god, aren’t I glad to have that crossed off my bucket list, and soon enough I’ll be free (“We Broke Free” Metronomy), free as a bird I might say, and thus all my exams will be under my belt (until next year that is). To any budding English kids
reading this, who have endured the torture of the bac, I take my hat off to you (metaphorically speaking however as I never wear hats), it is intense. But if you fail and become an unemployment statistic, don’t blame your teacher, because, aren’t we all trying to blame anyone but ourselves? If I fail, I blame my cat (“W.T.P” Eminem). Another thought: Some people are like rain clouds. Once they leave it’s a beautiful day. I’m whizzing off to Canada in about two weeks. (“People are Strange” The Doors) Oh so very exciting. It’s going to be a five hour flight so when I arrive my arms will be rather tired… I couldn’t resist that one. I love Canada. On various times that I’ve been over there, people have constantly commented on my accent “ohh my gawd your accent is soo cwa-oot!! Say water, say water!!” Strangers have even hugged me for being British. Hello, 6 weeks of swimming in lakes, eating ice cream, going to parties (whilst obviously promoting alcohol free fun ahem), enjoying my youth, and enjoying life. Because that’s what summer is all about in my case!! (“Summer Breeze” The Isley Brothers). Goals for this week: 1) study, 2) avoid distractions, aka Tumblr, 3) Tan. Here’s to wishing you all an amazing summer in France! Especially enjoy the wine, and you may even enjoy this article.
between trees in a forest. The activities I performed are scary but mostly fun. I went to the one in Bessilles. The whole time the stages are between trees, with security measures. The entire time I was doing a stage my heart kept beating frantically. The stages can be for example two metallic cables, attached to the trees, one you are supposed to walk on and the other where you hold on. I really had the feeling that I was going to fall on one of the tracks. The community of the Accrobranche started building and designing the activities in 2002, and each year they expand and add more activities to the Accrobranche. The instructors were supportive and helpful. My favorite parts were sliding down the metal cables with a special tool, and my least favorite was when I had to walk on a cable and hold another, looking down was a bad idea, because it was high and it was taking me out of focus. But the view from high was beauti13
ful. Once I finished all activities and got back down to the ground (of which I was very happy), I did feel like taking the activities once again. All in all I would be more than pleased to go back to the Accrobranche and complete the stages again, feeling more comfortable. It’s scary but that’s what makes it fun. There is a great picnic and pool area and it can be a great family place. It took me over two hours to complete the entire track, so there is much to do. Their site is called La forêt d’Acrobates and they offer other activities besides the Accrobranche, such as Kayak, Rafting, Archery and much more, including a bare foot forest trek! Not every activity is for every age, most are for ages from ten
and above. For more information and prices see: http://www.loisirs-foret.com/ fr/accueil.php or telephone: 06 07 13 43 80
Open 7/7 between June and 9th September, 9h to 19h, weather and conditions permitting. La Foret d’Acrobats, Base Départemental de Bessilles, route de Montagnac, 34530
C’EST MAINTENANT Part two of Tim Kings look at what it means now the national and regional elections have finished........
The Socialists are in power, with a strong majority in both houses of parliament. If you read the French press, talk to French teachers, eavesdrop animated conversations in French cafés you have the impression Socialism is as natural to the French as enjoying wine. But in fact this is only the fourth Socialist government of the 5th Republic; since 1958 they have ruled for only 14 years (whereas paradoxically in the cradle of capitalism, the British Labour Party has governed for 24). So what will they bring us? Inevitably few have any ministerial experience. François Hollande himself has a very different style, not just from Sarkozy but the whole gamut of 5th Republic presidents. He is a man who listens, a conciliator not burdened with an inflated idea of himself. Whether in the longer run this will please the French is anyone’s guess. In the past they have admired (and re-elected) presidents who bear themselves like a king. A Mr Normal, whose presidential car gets stuck in traffic jams...it all smacks of one of those “lesser” Scandinavian or Dutch monarchs going round on a bicycle. Gravitas matters. More important, future respect will depend on how Hollande handles Europe’s terrible mess. It broke his predecessor, who for lack of ideas caved in to Germany’s demands for austerity. Hollande is fighting a different corner, bravely. He maintains Europe’s salvation must be through growth, and that positive narrative now has the backing of much of Europe and the United States. But growth does not just happen, especially when most of the world as we
know it is slipping back into recession. Growth depends on industrial energy creating jobs and people spending more to boost demand. One fuels the other and
together they lead to confidence – and confidence is the key. That was De Gaulle’s greatest contribution to the French, telling them back in June 1944 it was they who had saved and liberated France. True or not, the important thing is they believed him – the power of the positive narrative – and re-built France. For the French, belief in their country and everything French is essential. It has kept them at the top table, despite heavy labour costs, massive civil service, generous but outrageously expensive welfare state. It is the root of their immense pride in “l’exception française”. I have a hunch that’s the card Hollande is playing. Well, I hope it is, because by any rational standards his chances of coaxing France into growth are small. Since January, 135 major companies have announced they’re going bust, 36% more than last year, with nearly 9,000 jobs lost. But there is worse to come, according to Le Monde, with “thousands of companies at risk of going to the wall in the next few months.” It is the small companies, with between 20 and 249 employees which are most fragile. Profit margins are at their lowest for 25 years and when margins drop so debt increases, new lines are shelved and margins drop further. It needs a creative mind to pull France out of this vicious spiral – to look for new ideas and not be too chauvinistic to learn from other countries’ successes – difficult when you believe your country’s system is the best. François Hollande, thoughtful, considerate, may well be just the person to do that – but growth takes time 14
and that’s something Hollande does not have: in what’s left of this year he has to find an additional €10 billion to reduce France’s huge deficit to 4.5%. Already that looks impossible but he is committed. He also has to pay increasing interest on France’s blossoming debt, so he has gone for the knee-jerk Socialist reaction, raising taxes – but raising taxes while stimulating growth is like putting one foot on the accelerator, the other on the brake. An example: before the election Hollande promised 6,000 new teachers. Now he tells us 6,000 public service jobs must go to compensate. The French are starting to realise all those election promises may have been nothing more than that. Taxes will rise and jobs will be cut. As I see it, there is also a downside to Hollande’s growth mantra. Growth depends on us giving full-rein to our insatiable appetite for buying things – spend, spend, spend – driving us to borrow more so we can buy more. And borrowing beyond our means is what got us into this mess. Growth may be a dangerous god. In the meantime Hollande is trying to turn off the Euro crisis by integrating monetary policies across the eurozone, to decide – and control – monetary policy in every Euro country. But of course countries outside the Euro would have no say. So two Europes, probably on divergent courses. That could have very serious consequences for us, the expatriates. But that will have to wait until next month. © TIM KING JUNE 2012
A ‘Tour de Force’
The HT takes a stroll and meets some of the real pearls of Sète.
throughout the South of France. She felt strongly that, given its growing importance as a tourist destination, Sète should offer something unusual and appealing and decided that is was time to alf a day and a little insider information – unveil its many attractions and local colour. that’s all it takes for visitors to Sète to dis‘A gourmet tour was an obvious choice for a cover the gourmet specialties of southern France! town rich with seafood, olives, artisan boulangeLocal oysters and fish soup, wine, cheese and ries, and fine local produce in the markets. It’s a several surprises, are all on the menu of Savouring really interesting town to explore on foot and ideal Southern France an intimate gourmet walking for cruise passengers with limited time in port tour along canals, across bridges and through the and whose only land option offered by the cruise company is to Carcassonne, a four-hour round markets of this bustling French fishing port. To this culinary adventure, add a garsh of history trip drive! I designed my 3 hour tour for only six people because I wanted it to feel intimate and and tradition. Expect the unexpected: during the stroll one might be fortunate enough to witness informal, much like an outing with friends. The an unfortur jouster tumbling into a canal to loud merchants are delightful, very friendly and love applause during the Festival de St Louis. Nancy to talk about their specialties and so it is always a McGee director of Absolutely Southern France, a most pleasurable experience for me too. I was also surprised and gratified, that several local residents destination management company based in Sète, came up with the idea of the gourmet walking tour have shown up for the tour and that I was able to based on her expertise of sourcing tours show them something new’.
Biscuiterie Pouget, 47, Quai de Bosc M. Fabre he smell of vanilla, aniseed and beeswax and warm, freshly baked biscuits…. La Biscuterie Pouget has been producing traditional, handmade biscuits since 1913, including the traditional, boat-shaped ‘navette’. M. Fabre, a lithe, attentive man, whose face lights up when he talks about his commitment to preserving the recipes and techniques of baking his delicious biscuits, and the joy derived from creating a welcoming environment for his customers. He has a passion for the arts and music, his shop a treasure cave of paintings, photos and curiosities. M. Fabre starts baking in the early hours of the morning and regularly sells out before the day is through. If this happens he hangs a sign on his shop door which translates, ‘Stocks exhausted’ and sometimes he hangs another sign underneath, ‘baker exhausted too.’
Le Caveau Voltaire 4 rue Voltaire. M. Buet, wine merchant he sound of classical music, the chirping of a canary…a visual indulgence of fine French wines and local produce. A wine merchant of some 30 years’ experience, M. Buet moved to Sète from Montpellier 20 years ago and was welcomed into the heart of the local Setoise community. From every angle there are thoughtfully displayed bottles, selected from approximately 60 vignerons. He is always happy to share his knowledge with customers. When asked about his perfect day, he replies, ‘Every day. I work with pleasure. I am eligible to retire in a couple of year, but I love what I do and have no plans to stop.”
Les Demoiselles Dupuy 4 Quai Maximin Licciardi Louique Professional comedièn Louique demonstrates how to open an oyster on the shady terrace of the seafood restaurant Les Demoiselles Dupuy, owned by artist, architect and oyster farmer, Gilles Marie Dupuy. Azais-Polito 13 Quai Maximin Licciardi Mme Azais Fish merchants and traditional seafood cannery Fresh fish, intriguing jars full of prize winning recipes and a proud family tradition… ocated opposite La Criée (Fish auction house), founded by the grandfather of Mme Azaiss husband, the award winning Azais family run the last seafood cannery in Sète. Their traditional Mediterranean specialities such as true aioli, bouillabaisse, seafood bisque and volouté and Setoise fish soup are imported all over the world to fine food vendors, including Harrods in the UK. Their celebrated recipes are family guarded secrets, passed down through the generations
Frescati 6 rue honoré Guzet Mme and M Aprile, artisan pastry chefs Frescati (traditional Setoise cake), homemade ice cream, chocolate and a multitude of delectable house specialities…. The perfect repose after a walk around the hidden streets and quiet corners of Sète, is the patisserie Frescati owned by the Aprile family, 4th generation artisan patissiers. Continually seeking to improve their skills and knowledge, Mme Aprile, in a pristine white apron, her dark hair swept off her face, emphasises the marriage of French patisserie techniques with new recipe ideas inspired from all over the world. Attention to detail, both in taste and presentation, the spirit of French patisserie tradition is kept alive by the Aprile family’s extraordinary love and commitment to their business, with more than 105 different products made in-house.
Lou Pastrou 5 rue Gambetta M. Cadlac, cheese specialist Son of a 4th generation Roquefort cheese producer, M Cadlac moved to Sète to start his own cheese business in 1976. His shop carries cheeses by approximately 72 cheese producers from across France. M Cadlac explains the change in cheese tastes as you drive south of Paris. Here in the Hérault the cheeses produced are made from goat and brebis (female sheep) milk due to the scarcity of pastoral land. His personal orientation is towards organically produced cheeses. It is, he says, a business in continual evolution, with new methods and cheeses being introduced all the time. As Charles de Gaulle famously quoted, “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?” One wonders what he might say if he had known that today there are more than 1600 varieties produced in France!
For further information on the Gourmet Walking Tour telephone 0613 23 10 35 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org 15
The Herault Times recommends some of the wonderful options that are available in the Hérault and occasionally beyond......... Shady Days. When it is just a little too hot
Grotte de Clamouse
Musée de l’Ephèbe
he Grotte de Clamouse has guarded its secrets over millions of years. This underground world was only discovered in 1945 by a team of cavers from Montpellier. It is thought the name ‘Clamouse’ comes from a Languedoc word ‘clamousa’ which means ‘clamour’ or ‘cacophony’ because of the tremendous noise made by the underground water during the floods. The chamber of caves extends for hundreds of metres from the Pont du Diable, along the edge of the Gorges de L’Hérault. It is an extraordinary underground world; the slow, continuous dripping of water over millions of years has embellished the caves with a diversity and abundance of breath taking formations. In 2005 the Grotte de Clamouses was classified as a ‘site scientifique et pittoresque’ by the Ministry of Ecology. Access is with a guided tour only. For those who need a break, there are some places to sit during the tour, but these are quite spaced out. Considerable walking is involved, although it takes place at a very leisurely pace. Duration of guided tour: approximately 1hr
This museum in Cap d’Agde contains some of the most important antique bronzes in France, The museum has three main departments: The modern department : medieval pottery, arms from the royal fleet and cargoes from 12th to 19th Century wrecks. The ancient department : maritime trade (amphorae, crockery), the Greek town and ancient boats (naval architecture, anchors, life on board), a mosaic illustrating a little-known scene from Greek and Roman mythology: “the judgement of Marsyas”. The bronze department : The Agde of Ephèbe, a prestigious Hellenistic bronze found in the waters of the Hérault in 1964, dating back to the 4th Century BC, a series of stone cannons, a victory wing and some outstanding items found recently: two roman statues (Cupid and a young boy wearing a Roman tunic) dating back to between the 1st Century BC and the 1st Century AD,... The “inventors” room : shows the wealth of discoveries made on the sea bed in Agde and the surrounding area.
From Béziers: A75 Clermont Ferrand/ Millau, A750 direction Montpellier/Gignac. Take exit 17 Gignac. Continue to Aniane then follow signs for Saint-Jean-De-Fos.
Car: Follow the signs to Cap D’Agde
Adult rate : 9.00 € Reduced rate : 7.70€ Childrren 4 - 12 : 5.50€ NOTE Web rate online gives reduction
Adult rate : 15.50 € Children 5 to 12: 10.50 € Family ticket: 48.00€
Address and Contact
Address and Contact
Grotte de Clamouse, Route de Saint Guilhem le Désert 34150 Saint-Jean-De-Fos tel.: 04 67 57 71 05 / fax: 04 67 57 78 00 www.clamouse.com email@example.com
Musée de l’Ephèbe - Mas de la Clape - 34300 LE CAP D’AGDE Tél : 04 67 94 69 60 - Fax : 04 67 94 69 69 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org 16
t’s arguable that there are few places more cold, grey and silent than the main street of a French village or small town on a mid-winter afternoon when there is nobody about, the wind moans among the treetops and round corners and everywhere is shuttered down for the night, dark and impenetrable. Cut to one of those very same streets a few months later and the scene is transformed. It is hot- naturellement- and everywhere is vibrant and buzzing with activity. The street has become a delightful social centre. Traditionally in our local villages and towns there are many homes without gardens or any outside space. From the time when many villagers spent long hours working the vines, a breath of summer air shared with neighbours outside has become the preferred evening pastime. The pavement has become an extension of the sitting room and because an evening spent this way is scarcely more exciting to young people than one spent indoors, the society of the pavement is mainly the preserve of the older generation. Time passes very agreeably in these groups, but before you decide to join them there are certain unwritten rules to be observed, Firstly, you never do this in the morning, because mornings are reserved for the more serious side of life such as housework, shopping and cooking; lunchtimes and early afternoons are devoted to…well, eating, and we all know how important that is, which means that no right minded person should have the time to relax outside until the late afternoon at the earliest. Secondly, you can’t always presume to join a group of your choice, since many relationships were formed in primary school if not earlier. If you are seriously interested in joining in you should wait until invited, or form your own group. Finally never forget that each group has a carefully demarcated seating area-usually a particular bench or group of chairs, and some do not take kindly to any attempt to encroach on this. Despite the potential pitfalls for the unwary, it can be a very congenial and undemanding way to pass a long summer evening, murmuring amicably among friends or new acquaintances, and is just one small example of the kind of thing that people have in mind when they talk about the pace of life here being slower, more relaxed. The aspect of summer street-life that most newcomers and visitors find almost overwhelming, and one in which everyone is invited to participate in - the more the merrier - are the summer fetes held in a large number of villages and towns in this region. These tend to be concentrated during the week of the great religious celebration of the feast of the Assumption on 15th August, but in reality they stretch right through from June until September, with another peak on Bastille Day, 14th July. Many villages have more than one such celebration and some are very large, for example the Nuit de Rose, in the village of Fontes at the beginning of August, attracts about 3000 visitors and the inhabitants feel that they are at the centre of the universe for one night. All have some things in common-they are always held outdoors, they always involve lots of music and dancing, and food and wine are in copious supply. Most importantly of all, despite the ready availability of good food and wine the atmosphere is universally benevolent and it is rare to see any sign of drunkenness or anti-social behaviour, which is very much frowned upon. The evenings are for many people family events which all the generations can enjoy
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www.frenchestateagents.com 0800 900 324 and great care is taken to ensure that the ambience is appropriate and welcoming. It’s the music and atmosphere most people come for and this they certainly get. The legendary Paul Selmer band, which is just one example, is particularly popular since it puts on a very slick and professional performance with an enormous number of musicians and dancers who have countless costume changes and offer a wide range of music and dancing styles-all out of the back of a lorry. All the bands share one factor “danceability”, which makes it almost impossible to not join in, regardless of age. The good thing about these evenings is that except for the food and wine most of them are free of charge - you can just turn up and boogie. If there is a special meal involved, such as an ox-roast or paella, you might need to book and pay in advance, but often you just buy what you want from the various food and drink stands. Everyone is welcome, all you need to do is keep your eyes open in villages and towns for the posters advertising these events-they will tell you all you need to know including where to go if you need to book a meal in advance. Look out for those which are billed as a “brasucade” which is a traditional giant mussel barbeque-each village seems to have its own special recipe for the sauce with which they liberally baste the mussels as they sizzle away, making for a very juicy and tasty meal. If you do not want to eat, you can still come to enjoy the music and dance. Of course, these events are not universally popular since they are very noisy and tend to take over the village- speaking from first-hand experience if you live in a village where the fete goes on for several days it is easy to get rather fed up with it by the end! But for a good, reasonably priced night out under the stars it simply can’t be beaten.
La Distillerie de Pézenas are offering HT readers the chance to win 2 tickets to their spa. To win, send us the name of the author of Les Miserables Answers to firstname.lastname@example.org 17
nW O s ’ t a
In association with WoW The HT is pleased to offer you a listing of whats on in the region this month.
Wednesday, 11th – 14th July Beziers Festa d’Oc Occitan music throughout the town
Thursday 12th July to Wednesday 18th July Sète Jazz Festival (1)
Friday 13th July
Mozart Requiem 9.45 pm Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle
MONTPELLIER (3) Opéra Berlioz / Le Corum - 20h00 David Fray piano WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Sonate pour piano n° 9 en ré Majeur KV 311 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Sonate pour piano n° 15 en ré Majeur opus 28 “Pastorale” WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Fantaisie pour piano en ut mineur KV 475 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Sonate pour piano n° 21 en ut Majeur opus 53 “Waldstein” *** Château CASSAN, Roujan Concert TriOpéra 2100h Le TriOpéra est un ensemble lyrique composé de deux chanteuses et d’une pianiste, toutes trois habitées par la même passion : servir la musique et faire découvrir les œuvres du répertoire au plus grand nombre.
Saturday, 14th July – 26th August Festival de l’Abbaye de Sylvanès – Sacred Music For a full programme see www.heraultwhatson.com
Sunday 15 July
- Eglise Abbatiale - 21h30 PELERINAGES DE L’ÂME ~ Un dialogue des âmes David Sagastume, Pascal Bertin, Lluis Vilamajo, Marc Mauillon, Daniele Carnovich, Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall.
Tuesday, 17th July Festival de Thau
Wednesday 18th July
*** MONTPELLIER Opéra Berlioz / Le Corum - 20h00
Donovan at the Carcassonne Festival
Tuesday 24th July
Festival de Thau
Wednesday 25th July
Thursday 19th July
Marilyn Manson at the Carcassonne Festival
MONTPELLIER Opéra Comédie 20h00 LE CARAVAGISME ESPAGNOL Concert en relation avec l’Exposition du Musée Fabre de Montpellier Agglomération “Corps et Ombres, Caravage et le Caravagisme européen” La Grande Chapelle
Festival de Thau
Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet
Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet *** Béziers – Arènes 21h30 Concert Jean Louis Aubert
Thursday 26th July
Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet
Friday 27th July
Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet *** DURAN DURAN at the Carcassonne Festival
Saturday 28th July
Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet
Friday 20th July 9.30 pm
Prieuré de St-Julien 2045hrs Jeunes Talents 5 highly talented young musicians
Festival de Thau
Saturday 21th July 9.30 pm Palavas les Flots ‘‘Le Village des Vignerons’’ – Espace Animation, Rive Droite *** Nimes Festival: Elton John Festival de Thau
Sunday 22nd July to 28th July Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet Festival de Thau
Monday 23rd July
Les Nuits de la Terrasse et del Catet 18
Saturday 28th July 9.30 pm Monday 30th July
JOHNNY HALLYDAY at the Carcassonne Festival
Thursday 31th July 9.30 pm Thursday 2nd August
ALICE COOPER at the Carcassonne Festival
Friday, August 3
20:45hrs Church of Olargues Vincent Peirani, accordion VOCAL ENSEMBLE “EUTERPE”
Saturday 4th August BOUZIGUES Oyster and shell fish festival
nW O s ’ t a
In association with WoW Wow Updates these listings daily at www.heraultwhatson.com Sunday 5th August
BOUZIGUES Oyster and shell fish festival
Mon 6th August
Festival concerts and happenings as the sun sets and into the night *** Féria de Béziers full details at www.heraultwhatson.com
Valras Church - 21h Philippe Cornier Guitariste ClassiqueConcerto d’Aranjuez de Joaquin Rodrigo ainsi que des œuvres de Falla, Albéniz, Turina.
Friday, August 10th
Church Olargues MOMENTS on the ORGAN Free concert
Wednesday 8th August
CIRQUE DE MOUREZE Festival concerts and happenings as the sun sets and into the night
22 - 28 July
Sete Jazz Festival 12-18 July
Thursday 9th August
CIRQUE DE MOUREZE Festival concerts and happenings as the sun sets and into the night
Friday 10th August
CIRQUE DE MOUREZE Festival concerts and happenings as the sun sets and into the night *** Féria de Béziers full details at www.heraultwhatson.com
Saturday 11th August
CIRQUE DE MOUREZE Festival concerts and happenings as the sun sets and into the night *** Féria de Béziers full details at www.heraultwhatson.com *** Alignan du Vent 1800hrs Montazellis Wine Festival *** Fête du Rose: 8h00 - 18h00 - Cave Coopérative Fontes
Sunday 12th August
CIRQUE DE MOUREZE
13 July Montpellier
10th - 15th August
11th August 19
TriOpera 13 July
nW O s ’ t a
In association with WoW The HT is pleased to offer you a listing of whats on in the region this month.
Festivals The Festival de Radio France and Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon Monday, 9th – Friday, 27 July
estival Edition 2012 takes place from July 9 to 27 – centred on Montpellier but with a wide range of concerts throughout the region This bumper bundle of wonderful top class music is a little like the Proms in London. The Festival Radio France Montpellier is a huge musical event which includes a range of music and also offers free concerts for master classes for young musicians in the Corum. Montpellier is the venue for the 17 “grand” concerts and opera but there are countless smaller concerts from 9 – 27 July. In addition there are also 40 concerts throughout the region and 29 free concerts for Montpellier Agglo The cost of mounting this festival is just shy of €4 million – two thirds from the regions budget. It is an event enjoyed by over 130,000 and ranges from Classical, Modern, Jazz and Electro music French Local Radio
n the late 60’s, when countries were trying desperately to hold onto their State monopolies on Radio there was a huge blossoming of local illegal radio stations. In Britain the pirate radio ships were beaming pop music to a whole generation of young who had a thirst for “their” sort of music – not the Victor Sylvester type broadcast by the BBC “Light Programme”. It was simply not what the young wanted. Britain went through all sorts of legal hoops to ban the stations – with the Maritime Radio act and some heavy handed Home Office squads. It didn’t work and in the end the government created a quango – the IRA – Independent Radio Authority. Bidding for the franchise for one of the new local stations became an art in itself with the most extraordinary demands for studio design and engineering. Studios were meant to be constructed to be bomb proof and the resulting costs the new stations were so high that many failed and had to join up with the big boys like Capital Radio and Great Western Radio. The result is in most of the UK the local commercial stations are anything but local. On the other hand – France – which is not known for its light touch when it comes to
government – took another route. President Mitterand was asked what should be done. When told there were about 600 local stations in France he simply suggested they were licensed. And as a result they are still broadcasting locally. In the Herault valley RPH FM has three transmitters – In Lodeve, Clermont l’Herault and Pezenas. They work on a minimal staff of 8 people and rely on around 40 volunteers to make programmes. There is no advertising and the money to run the stations is from donations and from local councils. As a result many towns in France still have “proper” local radio – the fact that the studios are in no way bomb proof doesn’t seem to have limited their success. The RPH studios in Montagnac and St Andre de Sangonis are simply rooms with microphones and not much else – on very hot days you might hear the sound of a children’s playground in the back ground – as the notice says “For air-conditioning – just open the window”! To listen to the most eclectic music play list I have ever heard 102.9 Clermont l’Herault 96.7 Lodeve 89.0 Agde and Pezenas www.rphfm.org
Please visit www.heraultwhatson.com for all listings 20
Sue Hicks asks.... What’s in a name? 14 juillet
ontinuing our series on the history of France through street names, a place, rue, or impasse quatorze juillet, 14 juillet, can be found throughout the country. The day is a férié, une fete nationale, a public holiday. Some consider it to be the single most significant date in French history. But which 14 juillet is being celebrated? 1789 saw the storming of the Bastille and exactly a year later the Fete de la Fédération was celebrated at the Champs de Mars in Paris. In May 1789, at a time of financial crisis and harvest failures which led to shortages and high prices for grain, the Estates General assembled at Versailles for the first time since 1614. In the following weeks the battle for power between king and government and the selfconstituted National Assembly who planned to prepare a constitution was played out. In Paris, around twenty kilometres away, hungry crowds, frightened and angered by news of large numbers of mainly foreign troops being assembled, were seeking ammunition for the weapons they had gathered in the preceding days. La Bastille, the huge fourteenth century fortress which had become a state prison and symbol of arbitrary authority, had munitions. A crowd numbering perhaps as many as a thousand converged on the fortress and demanded that the governor give them access to the ammunition. Delegates entered the Bastille to negotiate and were invited to dine. Hours passed, the crowd became restless and fearful, shots were fired, the drawbridge fell and killed a protestor, the unhappy governor de Launay eventually surrendered, walked out, was set upon, murdered and his head paraded on a pike. By the end of the day, around one hundred people were dead. Only 7 prisoners were found at La Bastille. The Marquis de Sade would have been the 8th but had been transferred elsewhere the week before because the authorities seemed unable to stop him shouting to passers-by through
the pipe designed to empty his urine into the moat. Rioting and celebrating followed the events at the Bastille and many mark this as the flashpoint of the Revolution. Popular myths describe La Bastille being torn down but there had been recent proposals to demolish the building and in fact an enterprising group, the most well known of whom is a building contractor named Pierre-Francois Palloy, gained what turned out to be lucrative demolition contracts. A year later to the day, a huge celebration of the constitutional changes which had been made including the division of France into 83 departments, was planned for an expected 400,000 in the Champs de Mars in Paris. In earlier months, many towns had had lively and colourful smaller celebrations of the federation with outpourings of fraternal feelings but July 14th 1790 was the big one. There are romantic descriptions of how citizens joined in to prepare for the big day including the King, Louis XV1 who is portrayed in one print leaning on a shovel. It rained throughout the day while sodden delegations including members of the National Guard and the Army from throughout the kingdom paraded through Paris to the Champs de Mars. Many of the 954 officially named as conquerors (vainqueurs) of the Bastille were among the crowds who watched as Talleyrand celebrated mass although he could scarcely be heard in those days before amplification. Lafayette rode a white horse through the troops and led the swearing of an oath to support the constitution drawn up by the National Assembly. Even King Louis swore the oath and referred to himself as King of the 21
French (rather than the previous title King of France) for the first time in public. Celebrations lasted well into the night including a huge ball with fireworks held on the now largely cleared site of the Bastille. It was not until June 1880, over a century later, that proposals were made to pass a law to establish a public holiday to mark the watershed between the old society and the new. In the Senate debate, one speaker offered an olive branch, “ Those of you who have scruples against the first 14 juillet (because of the loss of blood) will certainly have none against the second.” So whether we celebrate the storming of the Bastille in 1789 or the upsurge of feeling and national unity shown at the Champs de Mars in 1790, the street names continue to remind us throughout the year of this key date in the French psyche.
elcome to the art pages of The Herault Times.
All articles are taken from the bi-lingual Visual Arts magazine L’Artiste or the L’Hérault Art website. Please visit us at www.l-artiste.com or www.lheraultart.com If you have an exhibition or art event and would like to see it on these pages please drop us a line at email@example.com. All exhibitions are online at www.lheraultart.com
LA CROIX BELLE Puissalicon
Lumières du Pays
Exposition de Photos et Peintures
27 Juin - 21 Août 2012
ouvert tous les jours 9h-12h,14h-17h30 sauf dimanche et jours feriés
Vernissage le soir du 19 juillet
Musée Paul Valéry in Sète is currently showing Chabaud Fauve et Expressionniste To win this 300 page, full colour catalogue (value €39.00) send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and answer this question. When does the Chabaud exhibition in Sète finish?
f you’ve come here from the north, fed-up with grey skies and chilly, uncertain summers, you’ll enjoy the exhibition at Lodeve’s Musée Fleury. Théo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) was a Belgian painter and, like many of us, loathed
Van Rysselberghe l’instant sublimé
Musée de Lodève Until 21 October 2012
northern gloom: “Grey sky, grey sea, grey people,” he wrote to a friend. “Everything uniformly grey. When I see a painting that isn’t luminous it puts me in a vile mood. I’ll go and get plastered – best way to clear my head.” If Van Rysselberghe is known outside Belgium, it’s as an also-ran to the pointillist masters Seurat and Signac – but that’s unfair on Rysselberghe. He’s less showy and worked in an area ignored by his post-impressionist colleagues – the portrait. Van Rysselberghe liked and understood people. As you walk into the first room of the exhibition there’s a portrait of a girl in red. It’s stunning. Set against an abstract black and red background, the painter’s put her in a red evening dress with a high collar, buttoned-up. Fifteen perhaps, she hesitates – severe, uncertain, bored, challenging, knowingly yet unknowingly beautiful – that tortured cocktail which used to be called growing up. Van Rysselberghe was 26. Later that year his life was changed by seeing Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece Sunday afternoon on the Grande Jatte: the result is in the luminous portrait on the other side of the room, totally different, shimmering blues and yellows, the Portrait d’Alice Sèthe. Light captured on canvas with little dots, like grain on film. Rysselberghe was fascinated by photography – 23
portraits – and you sense that in his composition: often he sets his subject against a mirror to show, literally, another side of the person, a side of which the sitter is unaware. Another room has nothing but portraits, including the post-pointillist nude of the exhibition poster gazing at herself in a mirror, and a red chalk study for it, almost better. In the same room another portrait leaps off the wall, the writer André Gide. Life-long friends, they understood each other perfectly – and it shows. The painter captures and shares a fleeting look, man-to-man. In his late 40’s Van Rysselberghe painted more nudes. Have you ever wondered why so many artists of that generation did all those baigneuses uninhibitedly cavorting on the beach or stretched out in sun-dappled groves? The painters banged on about the play of light on skin, but in fact their models were happier taking their clothes off outside, less risqué than behind closed doors. There’s a perfect example in the furthest room of the exhibition, the 8½ foot long, specially commissioned Baigneuses à Cavalière. When Van Rysselberghe’s patron saw the work-inprogress he ordered the painter to put clothes on the young women. The version here is a clever compromise. In the last room is a sequel to that earlier girl in a red dress, just as powerful. Now the red is on the wall and the girl naked, except for a black choker, like Manet’s Olympia. But not idealised. The hard eye of the northerner shows pink pressure pads on the soles of her feet, her skin flecked with green reflected from the drapes. The exhibition ends with two unforgettable portraits: a self-portrait, a northerner serenely painting on his terrace in southern France. Could be one of us. The other is his daughter, then aged 26. She’d been to England to study gardening and got side-tracked to Bloomsbury. She became close to Virginia Woolf, had a relationship with Rupert Brooke. Just before this portrait was done he’d died and now lay in some corner of a foreign field. Her look, like Gide’s, is both at you, through you and past you. That same year Gide had given her a note: “My only real desire is for boys, but it bothers me seeing you without a child, not having one myself.” A few years after Gide’s indirect declaration, she bore his only child. That’s what I love about the so-called also-rans. Their work is human, real, where the Great Masters are on another planet. The strength of Lodève’s Musée Fleury is that every summer you discover painters who open a window not just on to their world but on to ours and who change, very slightly, our ways of seeing. ©TIM KINGJUNE 2012
Exhibitions Musée Fabre :
June to 2 September, 2012 Jean Cocteau, unique et multiple June to 23 September, 2012 Montpellier, terre de faïences 39 Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, 34000 Montpellier 04 67 14 83 00 **** Musée Internationale des Arts Modestes 3 June to 11 November, 2012 GROMIAM – Les 20 ans de Groland 23 Quai Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny Sète 04 99 04 76 44 **** Centre Régional D’Art Contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon 29 juin au 30 septembre 2012 PIÈCES À CONVICTION - MICHEL FRANÇOIS 26, Quai Aspirant Herber 34200 SÈTE 04 67 74 94 37 **** Musée de Lodève 9 June to 21 October, 2012 Théo VAN RYSSELBERGHE, l’instant sublimé Square Georges Auric, 34700 Lodève 04 67 88 86 10 **** Musée d’Art Régional Contemporain, 1 July to 28 October, 2012 MARCHER DANS LA COULEUR Daniel Buren, Ann Veronica Janssens, MaiThu Perret, Veit Stratmann, James Turrell, Felice Varini, Jessica Warboys 146 Avenue de la Plage Sérignan 04 67 32 32 05 **** Musée Paul Valéry, Sète Until 28th October CHABAUD Fauve et Expressionniste 1900.1914 04 99 04 76 16
a D e h T
o you love me because I am beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love
me? An often used expression that covers a multitude of subjects but I would like to put forward an opinion about the ‘Digital versus Film’ debate in photography. I was a professional photographer.And then...........along came digital photography. Now I am not going to argue about the early days of digital, the imagery was adequate for pre-shoot and generic photography but for professional hi-end work I still ran back to the tried and tested methodology of film cameras. But there was a change afoot. The public embraced digital. In all honesty, the subject of Film v Digital is an amateur argument at source. I am not going to provide a for and against list about cost and other mundane issues, go on the internet for that. Amateurs shoot film, in as much as 35mm film or digital output is what they know. Professionals don’t tend to talk in ‘film’ terms, they talk in E4, 35mm, 120 etc..... some are negative sizes, some are processing methods but they choose based on the subject and shoot needs. Now when you look at this side of the argument, there is a place for both. Large format advertising work is still not as good in a digital format as in film but then again this is a specialist area and is not for general consumption. I am talking about everyday use for individuals, children, families, pros in the 35mm film scene and most advertising agencies and stock photo organisations. Add to the above newspapers and magazines and tell me how many now ask for a film contact sheet and meeting for image choice? But the argument is not just about ‘film’ anymore, it is about manipulation. The options available to manipulate, enhance or ‘fix’ images that comes from digital images is phenomenal and makes decent photographers out of the masses. Yes, you can scan a film print and work on it or nearer the source a good ‘hand printer’ can manipulate an image whilst in processing but for the masses, both amateur and professional, this is time 24
e i D m y Fil
Digital v Film.......
consuming and often hit and miss. The reputation of film has definitely taken a hit since digital arrived and ‘the camera never lies’ has been buried and the eulogy read. But in truth, images have been manipulated forever, take dodging and burning as basic examples and fill in the gaps yourself.
Film photography is dead! There you are. Definitive enough? But in fact it is not strictly true. People still listen to vinyl records. People like vintage clothes. But it is hidden away in the side streets. You know the ones, where you visit when you want to reminisce or are looking for a specialist. And the office will be dated and a little musty. We love it when we visit but you don’t go back often if at all. Film is hanging on in large advertising banners, full format advertising and certain landscapes. it is the ‘cool’ hideaway of students and photographers that need to look ‘retro’ or like what they want and are comfortable with it. Press, public and families now use digital and I do admit that colour can be down in certain depth of field shooting but Photoshop exists. It is still better than carrying 2 or 3 cameras with different film in for changing light situations. And I don my hat to those with the argument that they want to be photographers and not computer technicians but really?? Poor argument to a genre that has received it’s marching orders. Digital film is dominant, it is accessible and it is the power behind the news, social media and the celebrity culture that now dominates our society. Is this good? Not my area. I am just telling you that I love photography and if I like it I don’t mind what format you shoot it in. I am pointing out that there are people who like tape cassettes but digital music downloads are so much better. Film is great but digital is much better.
Digital, I love it because it is beautiful, and film is only beautiful because I choose to love it!
A day out by train to Collioure and Perpignan
ou might be tempted to take the slow train from Béziers to Collioure to enjoy one of France’s most beautiful journeys along the lagoons south east of Narbonne. An alternative, although for some less feasible, is to take a double Decker TGV (duplex) and ride along these lagoons early morning or early evening when the sun turns them a bright blue, add the snow-capped Pyrenees behind and you’ve got that idyllic setting... Collioure is itself a very attractive town with its fortress; a favourite painting spot for Matisse and Derain. While you are there treat yourself to an anchois or two. France’s finest two anchovy processing workshops are to be found up on the bypass, but you can buy all that you want in town. Collioure is used by the French Special Boat Squadron, although I’m not supposed to tell you that. You could of course set off after lunch back to Perpignan and wander around the old city where the station has been tastefully modernised to handle the new TGVs to and from Spain. Fancy a day just across the frontier in Salvador Dali country? Figueras, by the way, is no
further than the trip to Nimes from Béziers. Every morning a modern Spanish Talgo leaves Béziers at 0808 and arrives in Figueras Town Centre Station at 1012. This is the only day time Talgo which rides along the old line. It crosses the frontier at Port Bou where it passes through a gauge changing machine at a very slow speed. It then sets off in the direction of Cartagena in the deep south stopping at Figueras, Gerona, Barcelona and a whole host of resorts along the Costa Brava and Costa Blanca. Get off in Figueras; you can spend a very enjoyable day in the town, once the home of Salvador Dali – the Salvador Dali museum is in the centre. You can eat well and cheaper than you can in France. The return journey is on the north bound Talgo train leaving Figueras town Centre Station at 18.15 with the same change of gauges in Port Bou. If it is just the train trip then stay on the train as far as Gerona and wander through the city; it has a lot to offer. The same Talgo arrives in Gerona 10.40 and leaves at 1748 and arrives
back in Béziers at 20.32 Figueras can also be visited using the new High Speed TGV service, albeit the only high speed section is from Perpignan to Figueras through the new 8 km long tunnel. The only snag is that this TGV does not stop in Béziers in either direction, so you need to take a TER as far as Narbonne and change there. Outward times: 10.40 dep. Béziers, 10.54 arr. and change at Narbonne dep at 11.35 12.41 arr. Figueras Vilafant. Return times : 14.20 dep. Figueras Vilafant 15.24 arr. Narbonne dep. 1531 1545 arr. Béziers Whereas there is a connection bus service from Figueras Vilafant (TGV station) to the city centre, it leaves very little time to eat so the best solution is to travel back by the evening Talgo. As you
We invite you to come and try our traditional French cuisine. All of our ingredients are purchased fresh daily. Open Monday to Sunday, 10 30h to 23h00 . Lunch time and evening formulas 12 euros. Reservations: 06 48 59 00 49 25
may have spotted there are two stations in Figueras, one in the town centre and close to the market and the High Speed station Figueras Vilafant, which is on the western outskirts of the city a ten minute bus ride away. The onward high speed line connection all the way to Barcelona is almost complete but we must wait until December 2013 before we can take the TV from Perpignan to Barcelona in just 55 minutes Chris Elliott is author of ‘The Lost Railway Lines of l’Hérault’ and ‘Night Ferry 1936 – 1980’
To Win a copy of Christopher Elliott & Eric Duvoskeldts book ‘Night Ferry 1936 - 1980’ please send an email to competition @theheraulttimes.com putting ‘Night Ferry’ in the subject line.
“Seasonal and Fresh” ‘New’ spice on the block
as el hanout, from Morocco, means ‘head of the shop’, which refers to a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer. In Moroccan markets traders make it to their own secret recipe, each trying to outdo each other with the number of spices they add to their blends. It has recently become available here and I was so happy to find it in both Pezenas and Beziers markets. When in the UK, I once
picked up Ras el hanout by mistake instead of tandoori powder (‘label your spices’ I hear you cry) and a new recipe was born which my kids deemed ‘fab’. I feel now is a good time to share this delight as the barbecue season is upon us and guests and family are descending in their droves. Something easy to prepare is called for in times like these I think!
Ras el Hanout Chicken kebabs Serves 4 INGREDIENTS 500 gr chicken breast (or pork fillet works just as well)
3 tsps Ras el hanout spice powder
125 gr pot plain yogurt
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
A squeeze of fresh lemon
METHOD 1. Tip yogurt into a bowl. Add Ras el hanout, oil, garlic and a squeeze of lemon. Mix well. 2. Cut chicken or pork into chunks and add to the above mix. Leave to marinate for a good 8 hours (or even 24 if you can bear it). The yogurt tenderises the meat beautifully. 3. If using wooden skewers, soak in water for half an hour to help stop them burning on the barbie. Thread marinated chicken on to them. 4. Cook on the barbecue (or under a grill) until cooked and slightly charred. Serve with cous cous and grilled aubergine (brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt beforehand) Cook’s Note: If
dairy intolerant, soya yogurt works just as well. 26
“Seasonal and Fresh” tin rte Ta a T Two French sisters, Caroline down and her guests loved it. and Stephanie Tatin lived in Lamotte-Beuvron, a small rural town in the Loire Valley of France, owned and ran the hotel called l’Hotel Tatin in 1888. The story goes that Stephanie was making an apple tart but, for whatever reason, made a mistake and left it too long in the oven. She thought she could rescue it, so she ended up turning it upside
I have taken inspiration from the Tatin sisters but instead of apples I’ve used apricots as there is a profusion of these little orange gems in all the markets at this time of year. They freeze well whole and I buy now for jam making in the autumn when it’s cooler in the kitchen. This is more of a cake than a tart but veritably luscious all the same!
Preperation You will need a cake tin of 8-9” round, buttered Preheat oven to 180c/350f/gas4
Apricot and lemon thyme cake ‘Tatin’ Serves 8 For the apricots
1. Put the sugar, water and half the lemon thyme leaves in a small saucepan. Heat slowly until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and don’t stir, just whoosh the pan round a bit. Watch for the syrup to caramelise, remove from heat and add the butter. Only stir when the butter has melted. Pour into the prepared tin and put the apricots on top, cut side down and close together. 2. Steam the potatoes for 5 minutes, then add the asparagus and steam for a further 7 minutes. Keep asparagus warm.
55g butter, chopped
8 – 9 fresh apricots, halved and stoned ………………………….....................
130g caster sugar
80 ml water
3. For the cake mixture, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time and keep beating. Sift together the flour and baking powder and start adding this to the mixture with the almonds, slowly, alternating with the milk. 4. Divide the potatoes, rocket, asparagus and radish leaves between the plates and top with the strips of smoked salmon, quail’s eggs and sliced radish. Spoon over the dressing from the bottom of the pan and grind some cracked black pepper on the top.
4/5 sprigs of lemon thyme, stripped ………………………….....................
1 lemon, zested and juiced
For the cake
150 g unsalted butter
5.Spoon the mixture over the apricots and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert it on to a plate. Some apricots may stick to the tin, just pick them off and plonk them on top of the cake.
150g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
100 g flour (I used farine a gateaux) ………………………….....................
4. Sprinkle the remaining lemon thyme leaves on top of the cake. You can also glaze the cake with melted lavender honey before sprinkling the thyme leaves on
1 tsp baking powder (levure chimique, little packets in baking section) ………………………….....................
100g ground almonds
5. Serve with crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream or just on its own as a tea time treat.
125 ml milk
Cook’s tip: Farine a gateaux has baking powder in it so if you can’t find baking powder not to worry. The extra teaspoon just makes for a slightly lighter cake. You can also use a food processor to make the cake. Cream the butter and sugar first in the machine before adding all the other ingredients.
PORT - EMERGENCY - DIY - TECH SUPPORT - EMERGENCY - DIY -TECH SUPPORT - DIY - TE
The Art of the Bricoleur Hugh Scott
described previously how the first gremlin in our new house led me to meet for the first time the groupe de sécurité at the base of the hot water tank (chauffe-eau). The second gremlin to manifest itself brought me into closer contact with this unfamiliar bit of kit. Gremlin number 2 timed its appearance to coincide with the arrival of the first family members to stay with us here. When the gremlin was in the hot water system we didn’t know whether our morning showers would be hot, tepid, or completely cold. Having hot water only intermittently was not too much of a problem because lads in their early twenties don’t seem to wash much anyway. Nevertheless a new chauffe-eau was needed. Replacing the gremlin infected chauffe-eau was fairly
Group de securite
straightforward with our system. But before doing anything, work out how to connect the new tank to your existing pipes and buy the bits that you will need before dismantling the original system! If the wiring in your house is old it might be worth checking that the electrical supply to the water heater is up to scratch. Many French houses have a water heater control with ‘0’, ‘1’, and
‘Auto’, the setting that only heats the water during cheap rate hours. According to the most recent
French ‘norme’ NF C 15-100 this should be protected by a 20A circuit breaker (disjoncteur) and a 30mA type AC RCD (interrupteur différential). The cables should 2.5mm2. It is my understanding that it is only obligatory for new houses and houses that have been completely rewired to comply with the most recent ‘norme’. Older wiring may be perfectly acceptable and safe. Get a registered electrician to check if you are not sure. Before investigating the wiring to your water heater turn off the relevant circuit. (In our house the only recognisably modern distribution box contains the circuit breaker and water heater control. Just to be on the safe side, I turned off the three circuit breakers and the water heater control and tested the heater terminals to make sure that the current was off.) The electrical side of replacing a chauffe-eau is just a matter of disconnecti ng the wires from the old heater element and reconnecting them to the new one. In our house the only recognisably modern distribution box contains the circuit breaker and water heater control. Just to be on the safe side, I turned off the three circuit breakers and the water heater control and tested the heater terminals to make sure that the current was off . The electrical side of replacing a chauffe-eau is just a matter of disconnecting the wires from the old heater element and reconnecting them to the new one.
guess I shouldn’t be surprised considering how computers are such an integral part of our lives but when I asked you in June to send me your questions I didn’t expect to receive 168 in the first two weeks! So I won’t waste space on white noise but will start by answering a question from Malcolm R from Montpellier who asked: BROWSERS - Don’t they do the same thing and which one do you use? I was once involved in a pub quiz and the question was ‘name 8 web browsers? I won. A browser has a couple of meanings but we’ll work with this: a web browser is an application that allows you to view or access or work with information on the internet. The first browser was called WorldWideWeb (later named Nexus and recently used by Google and Samsung in homage) and had at it’s height 4 million users. Personally, I can name about 60 off the top of my head but if you go to your computer chances are you are using one (at least) of these: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Opera. Malcolms question was do they do the same thing and the answer is yes they do. There were differences. Tabs, Web Page Security but nowadays it is personal preference and speed. Google Chrome is the fastest out there but Internet Explorer is catching up. Safari is best for Macs although is pushed vey close (some say it wins) by Opera. So what do I use? PC - Google Chrome MAC - Google Chrome Tablet - iPad Safari - Other Google Smartphones (other than Apple or Blackberry) Opera NOTE Minitel has been switched off. This French invention had the potential to dominate the world and in many ways did. Online bookings is down to it. Minitel, I for one salute you and say a a fond farewell
Classified Adverts Associations / Clubs
Dick Fowler Construction Liner pools, solid pools , + all house renovation and construction work. Email: email@example.com Port: 0670 91 12 17
Emotional, linguistic and practical support to cancer patients and their families through our team of trained volunteers.For information and support: Helpline: 04 67 44 87 06, email:firstname.lastname@example.org, www.csf.languedoc.com All welcome.
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Classified Adverts Business / Financial
Bike Rental Mountain Bike Rental in Cessenon Discover the superb Languedoc countryside on a mountain bike. Prices from €10. Tel 06 02 36 48 09 www.rambic.fr
Property Roquebrun Property Management Drop in Day
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Perfect Property Management
Professional, reliable company for all of your property needs. Changeovers, pool maintenance and repairs, project management. Siret registered. Contact Trudi: 0499470589 email@example.com www.perfectpropertymanagement.com
Books ENGLISH BOOKS AND CARDS: available at the English Bookstall at the following markets: Monday- Bedarieux, Tuesday - Marseillan Ville, Wednesday - Clermont l’Herault, Saturday - Lodeve. Contact Kerith Biggs 04 67 96 68 87
Last Thursday of the month (exc July/Aug/Dec) for support, fun activities and pampering hosted in Montagnac by CSF- Languedoc. For information and support:: Helpline: 04 67 44 87 06, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.csf.languedoc.com All welcome.
Bespoke massage, Mobile service,
Group bookings taken. Thai massages, Reflexology, Neck and face massage, Reiki, Oil massage. Susannah 0652752445 / 0467243142
Séjour de Remise en forme avec Cure de Raisin, cours de Relaxation, Massage, balades, exercices doux... et conseils individualisés ! Organisé par une Naturopathe dans un lieu privilégié et très calme, au cœur des terres rouges dominant le Salagou. 2 propositions : du 4 au 7 septembre ou du 9 au 13 septembre 2012 - inscriptions jusqu’au 31 juillet ! voir : curederaisin.blogspot.fr ou tel : 06 23 01 68 96
Personalised services for holiday homes and seasonal rentals. Full or ‘pay as you go’ service. Homes available to rent for 1- 15 people. Call Sue on 0652752445. www.househunterslanguedoc.com
Holiday Letting 2 bedroom furnished apartment next to Museé Fabre, Montpellier, available for rent by week or month. Contact email@example.com for details. Holiday Rental. Montpellier. Beautiful late 19th century house with garden to rent for the month of August. Close to town centre. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, large kitchen dining room, large salon. Two resident cats to be looked after; so applicants must like animals. Price negotiable. Contact Rupert. (0686 86 79 92) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Land For Sale Constructable land Les Aires Next to Lamalou 30 Kms to Beziers 1400 Square metres. Beautiful view on river and Mountains. Water, Electricity, sewage nearby Water Well. Alain Magnan 06 92 65 19 12 or 0467 23 07 30
Fom the July Issue The Herault Times will be offering a full classified ads section online and within these pages. From as little as 15€ per issue you can buy, sell, rent, swap or announce in the magazine and online. To advertise please email: email@example.com or call on 06 24 63 63 77 or go online to: classifieds.theheraulttimes.com Until August 12 2012 ALL online classifieds will be free Advertise, Sell, buy, meet people, hobbies - classifieds.theheraulttimes.com
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Headline Hérault Sports Women
portswomen on both sides of the channel complain about the lack of media coverage and support for their sports. How does Hérault compare? With the Olympics finally here British women get the chance to make a claim for fame. Just think about Rebecca Adlington, Kelly Holmes and further back Tessa Sanderson, Mary Rand or Mary Peters. Let’s hope a new crop of talent emerges this summer. But to be fair UK women’s sport gets little coverage most of the time. I recently checked the BBC Sports website and the 40 stories that day included none on women at all! The Herault situation is perhaps a bit more positive. One difference is the existence of professional womens sport. The Beziers Angels volleyball club are in the top 4 of the French championship with full time players recruited from France and several other countries. Lattes Montpellier Basketball club were also in the top ranks of their game this season. With support from the city and region, sponsorship and solid 1000 plus crowds, the team are also full time and competed in the European cup. Montpellier also has football and rugby sides for women with good reputations. At village level there is pride in the success of girls teams at junior level such as the USO Florensac-Pinet under 11 football squad. The thoughts of readers on this issue would be interesting. This month has seen the start of that most dangerous of local pastimes, Joutes Languedociennes. Each Joutes club hosts an event during the 4 month jousting season on the canals, rivers and harbours of the
region. As the blue and red boats pass one another the simple object is to eject your opponent with a blow to the shield from your lance, into the water below. An individual sport, the jouteurs are drawn in either red or blue barque. Those who defeat 3 rivals advance to the finals. Jouteurs can be eliminated for blows to the body, dropping the lance etc. Warnings are announced for some offences. The courage of those taking part cannot be doubted. When watching joutes be patient. Things are not rushed. An event can take 4 or 5 hours. Eat, drink and have a comfortable seat. Retire to local cafés when necessary. It is not always easy to align the boats for a pass and delays can happen. In the finals up to 5 passes may be needed to get a result. Even then both jouteurs may crash down into the water at the same time. You cannot rush joutes but anything can happen! Some names to watch out for are the veterans Claude Massias and Bernard Betti while the man mountain Aurélien Evangelisti is hard to miss. Sete has 6 clubs and many events with the Fete St.Louis on August 27 being the big one. Clubs have colourful names like SNJ Agde ( Societé Nautique des Jouteurs Agathois ) . Great places to watch though are Agde, Marseillan and Meze with plenty of refreshmants and close viewing spots. Joutes start about 3pm. Some dates this season are; 15 July Marseillan 4 August Beziers 5 August Agde 11 August Agde 18 and 19 August Meze
Fire - Pompiers
Medical - SAMU
Sea Rescue (From Land)
Sea Rescue (From Sea) Channel 16 SOS Europe
n every village and every town the Hérault has a chance for you to visit and explore the magnificent produce and wares that it offers. Below is a selection, please visit www.theheraulttimes.com for a complete listing AGDE – Thursday morning. Covered market every morning, except Monday BEZIERS - Friday morning: Flower market in the Allèes Paul Riquet Saturday morning: vegetables in the Allèes Paul Riquet; organic produce by Les Halles/ Sunday morning:large general market CESSENON-SUR-ORB – Tuesday morning Produce/Saturday morning: various LODEVE – Saturday morning MEZE – Thursday and Sunday morning MONS-LA-TRIVALLE – Thursday morning MONTPELLIER – Historic centre, Monday to Thursday 7h to 13h30, Friday and Saturday from 7h to 1800h (full list of Montpellier markets on HT PEZENAS – Saturday morning SAINT-CHINIAN – Thursday and Sunday SETE – Monday morning: regional produce/ Wednesday morning: various/Thursday morning: organic and regional produce/Friday morning: regional produce.
Good Times....Fun Times.....The Herault Times 31
The English Language Magazine for Anglophones