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  • Best Bordeaux (& SW France) Vineyard Tours & Wine Tastings – Hidden Gems

    Posted on 19th July 2017

    Our recommended châteaux for wine tasting tours in SW France

    winetasting holiday bordeaux

    Chateau Bauduc

    Château Bauduc is a prestigious 200-acre estate near Bordeaux & St Emilion.

    Their website says, “Welcome to our website. We make affordable Bordeaux wines on our own vineyard and sell direct to people at home in the UK and to leading restaurants. Delivery takes just a few days from our warehouse near London.

    Since the first vintage in 2000 the Quinneys have made Bauduc into a very smart operation, selling direct to consumers through mail order and the internet, and gaining regular listings with such star chefs as Gordon Ramsay and Rick Stein. The wine deserves it. Red, pink and white, they are utterly drinkable, each possessing a classic, mouthwatering Bordeaux texture and easy going fruit.  chateau bauduc award winning bordeaux wine
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    Are you paying too much for your holiday accommodation?

    Posted on 18th July 2017

    How to Book your Holiday accommodation for the LOWEST Price and get FULL Consumer Protection

    Yes you can have both!

    winetasting holiday bordeaux

    You would think, these days, that finding your holiday accommodation for the cheapest price would be the easiest thing in the world to do. It is, but, only if you don’t fall into the common traps. We’re going to bust the myths and tell you the truth – from inside of the industry.

    With all the TV adverts claiming to offer you your hotel or self catering villa at the best price, who can you really trust?  How about their claims of protecting your payments?  How much faith can you put in these claims?  Did you know these so-called price comparison websites often don’t actually show the lowest price?  Only the companies who pay to be listed on the sites are shown! read more

    How to Obtain French Nationality – French Naturalisation UPDATED FEBRUARY 2019

    Posted on 2nd March 2017

    Post Brexit –  Guide to How to Become a French Citizen / obtain French Nationality

     

    UPDATED FEBRUARY 2019*

    Update posted at bottom…

    This article is going to assume that you have already made the decision to apply for French citizenship / obtain French nationality and therefore isn’t going to get involved either with the politics of Brexit, nor the benefits and perceived advantages of becoming French.  Rather, this is an honest and full account of the processes and (considerable) paperwork involved in the quest to become French by naturalisation.  Be warned, it is not a quick read.  Arm yourselves with a comfortable chair and a glass of wine. read more

    Driving in France

    Posted on 11th January 2016

    Driving in France….

    …really is a total joy… if you have an insider’s guide.  Imagine quiet village lanes, blue skies, vineyards, empty roads…..but of course, it helps if you know the rules of the road and can deftly navigate French roads with the ease and confidence of a local!

    wine tasting holidays in the bordeaux vineyards in france

    Our Top 10 Tips for Driving in France

    Here we are going to tell you some of the quirky rules you need to know; how to compare petrol prices (they can vary wildly even within a couple of miles – /+25% is not unusual); tips for navigating those pesky toll booths and what the heck the speed limits are. Looking to hire a car for all the family, from the airport and not be ripped off?  Or perhaps something a little special…..dreaming of a 2CV or an open-top sports car?  Yup, we can tell you where. read more

    Rosegal Reviews 2015

    Honest Rosegal Review 2015

    I first came across Rosegal on Facebook in November 2015.  The photos looked so fab, I was sucked in and soon browsing their website.  The large banner at the top which read, “Happy ThaCksgiving” did worry me somewhat….however, I still went ahead an ordered the “Elegant Gray Slash Collar Long Sleeve Pullover Knitwear For Women”

    Elegant Gray Slash Collar Long Sleeve Pullover Knitwear For Women

    Zooming on the photo I could see the quality was not going to be fabulous, but I read the 3 reviews posted on there, which seemed honest enough, and decided to go for it.  At only £15 for a jumper/sweatshirt including postage.  Yes, free postage from China, I thought it worth a punt. read more

    Embarrassing French language mistakes

    Posted on 1st December 2015

    Funny French Language Mistakes

    Be it just using the wrong word entirely, or a case of mispronunciation, here are a few of the mistakes that us foreigners often make in France.  Many originate from the fact that we Anglo-Saxon speakers find it difficult to distinguish between the two different French sounds – OU and U.  Frankly, it would be difficult to explain the difference.  My son has (impatiently) for years tried to explain.  The end result usually being us dissolving into tears of laughter at my poor pronunciation or general incomprehension. J’ai poux (I have head lice) …when in fact meant to say j’ai pu (I was able to…)  Oh dear. Dessous (under)…..instead of dessus (over).  Excessive hand-gesturing is usually called for with this one to be sure you have understood correctly.  (You’re stuffed if you’re on the phone). En rut (on heat) instead of en route.  Quite disastrous if you inform your French host that you are en rut instead of en route.

    Citroen 2 CV france

    Further vowel traps await the unwary English speaker attempting to get to grips with French.

    Canard (duck) or did you mean connard (dickhead)?  Make sure you use the correct one with your French waiter, or during your road-rage altercation. Quand (when) or con (wanker)

    Z or S?

    Baisse-toi (get down)  or baise-toi (screw you).  Use with caution until you know the difference.  SS has an ‘s’ sound.  A single s has a more ‘z’ sound.

    What a delicious meal:  I’m pregnant

    Je suis pleine (I am pregnant)  when you actually meant to say, “j’ai assez mangé“ – I’m full.

    villeneuve market

    What fabulous weather:  I’m amorous

    Je suis chaud (I’m horny) instead of j’ai chaud (I’m hot)

    Cute puppy or shithouse?

    Chiot(puppy) pronounced she-oh.  Not to be confused with chiotte (shithouse) pronounced she-ot. Finally, when trying to enquire if your appointment is with a female doctor, do not say médecin/docteur femelle (loosely translates as “bitch doctor”).  My hairdresser literally fell on the floor laughing at this one.  Use Madame le docteur

    Bonne chance 🙂

         

    French language survival guide

    Posted on 30th November 2015

    French false friends

    Or faux amis in French.  Often, translating from English to French you can have a good stab at what a word may be by trying to use the English one, (ensuring you adopt an Inspector Cluseau-style accent).  However, it’s not always the case. Monnaie :  Not money (argent), but change – as in loose change. Envie : Not envy, but the desire/wish to do something, as in j’ai envie de… Librarie : Not a library (bibliothèque), but a book shop. Location : Not location, but rental, ie location voiture = car rental. Préservatif : This probably requires more care than most.  It absolutely does not mean preservatives.  If you were in a restaurant/shop and tried to politely enquire whether the food contained any préservatifs the response would likely be shock/double take/hysterical laughter….let me explain.  Un préservatif translates as condom!  You have been warned. Why do French people keep wishing you a “bon journey”?  What they are actually saying is, Bonne journée which means have a nice day.  Bon voyage would be have a good journey!    

    French language tips

    Posted on 29th November 2015

    How to get served in a French shop/restaurant!

    So, you wish to attract the attention of the shop worker who is stacking shelves…..and chatting away to a co-worker.  Hmmmm.  Of course in English the best way would be to start with a loud, “Excuse me….”.  However, that would be considered quite rude in France!

    The most practical French language tip you will learn

    Always, always, always start with, “Bonjour”.  To be extra-polite, add in “Monsieur/Madame”.  You can then go on with your request.  The whole excuse-me thing is just superfluous, as “Bonjour” translates as “Sorry to interrupt your little chat but can you serve me please”? If your French is rusty to say the least, forget trying to conjugate tricky sentences.  It is perfectly acceptable to say just (after the “bonjour” of course) “ketchup/bananes/fromage s’il vous plaît”?  When finished a “Merci et bonne journée” will do nicely 🙂 bordeaux vineyards france holiday rental

    France : Life à la crème anglaise…

    Posted on 24th November 2015
    Living in France as an anglaise… Today, sitting in front of my roaring log fire, feeling rather smug with ma vie (my life) when I went to fetch the post.  (Post is delivered to a box at the end of our drive, so a round trip of some 300 metres!  The post box locks with a key, so parcels can be safely locked in.  However, when we moved in several years ago, we quickly figured out that the local population of voleurs (burglars) seem to be on permanent holidays, so the key is left in the lock of the box for our convenience.  Anyway, I digress)… First letter was a request from the world-famous French fonctionnaires (civil servants) requesting that I fill in a long form and furnish them with several attestations (certificates, usually of rights to a particular service).  Any newcomers to France will very quickly hear and learn the word “attestation” as every civil servant in France is specially trained to demand them at every turn.  There is seemingly no limit as to the number of attestations that can be required.  As I am already registered with this particular branch of French government, managed to jump through the administrative hoops without too much effort. Letter 2….hmmm…an invitation (oh really?) to register with a new branch of bureaucracy for the business.  Oh joy.  Not only the prospect of a form of several pages of miniscule writing with vocabulary so obscure that after 8 years here have never heard (nor am likely to again)…..but also the guarantee of another tax bill to follow swiftly on its heels! Still, it’s 18h (or 6 o’clock in normal speak) so a glass of Bordeaux seems to be calling.  Well it would be rude not to…..am just supporting the local economy 😉 wine for dinner!

    Last minute holiday rentals

    Posted on 30th June 2015
    Looking to pick up a last minute holiday rental?  Why not head over to France?  We have a couple of special offer periods still available, including the school summer holidays 2015. bordeaux vineyards france holiday rentalWouldn’t it be fabulous to find a place that was beautifully furnished…..that the OH loved…and the kids adored?   You’ve found it! Your own fabulous villa with a private heated, fenced swimming pool…..and its very own spa!    Just imagine whilst you are relaxing here, the kids are out unicorn hunting amongst the villa’s acres of private grounds or splashing in the pool…dressing up at your holiday accommodation   fenced heated private poolPrices start at just £1199 for a 5 day break in July! £1649 for a week or just £2950 for the last remaining August week.  You better be quick!  Collage spa

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