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Vie Française |

Sue Hazell: A life in (French) stitches

Her fascination with needlecrafts began at her grandmother’s knee. She loved the brightly coloured skeins of silk and her grandmother’s silver stork-shaped sewing scissors. But I was surprised when Sue revealed that needlework was her least favourite subject at school.




Gastronomie |

Expat Profile: Sinéad Allart of Wilde Kitchen

Any dish which is À la Normande or Vallée d’Auge generally includes cream and butter, and sometimes mushrooms too. Poulet Vallée d’Auge is chicken with cream, calvados and apples and it’s a rich dish with nothing nouvelle cuisine about it.


Vie Française |

Blasting your way to discovering the secrets of old French houses

When we bought our first house in France it had the lovely old oak beams I’d always dreamed of; however, they were covered in nearly two centuries worth of soot and grime. I spent hours trying to scrub them clean… If only I’d known about Julie and Graham and the wonders of sandblasting…


Escapades |

A Natural Balance

Mike and Jean offer family holidays and are pioneers of the eco-gîte movement in Maine-et-Loire. The area they chose to settle in is also ideal for their other business which revolves around fly fishing.


Escapades |

La Vraie Vie de Château

Being a Countess living in a Château is far from the dreams and the image some glossy magazines give to it. Today, a countess must be prepared to roll up her sleeves and get things done.


Vie Française |

Chez Gabrielle

I’d like to tell you about Gabrielle. I never met her because she died, aged 92, before we moved to France. So how do I know her? Well, we bought her house and from the moment we first saw it, we knew it was right for us. Over the years that followed, our neighbours told us about Gabrielle, and now I think I know more about her than any other person that I’ve never met.


Escapades |

Travelling…hopefully…

With the holidays in full swing, one thing is sure; the French have a different idea of travel to the rest of us. It’s deeply engrained in their culture and of course in the language. Here are a few examples to show you what I mean.