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Sharing France with you

Every week you'll find new stories, local and national events, comments, recipes and advice on this page. Click on the Archive button to see previous posts full of interesting information and links.

Village People

Julie Savill // Monday, 15 June 2020

A village home can be the perfect property choice - a tiny town with the country on the doorstep.

Torn between town and country? Want the support of local resources and the companionship of a community around you, but still yearn for wide open spaces and peace and quiet? We think there is a way to have it all.

Village properties have been growing in popularity over the past 5 or more years and for very good reasons. It’s possible to have a taste of everything a bigger town can offer and, while a village won’t have the range of shops and commerce of a town, it has other things going for it that might swing the balance.

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Beaux Villages, International Associate of Savills

Julie Savill // Thursday, 28 May 2020

Now more than ever it is essential to have a strong presence in the international market to attract buyers. Beaux Villages has long had an extensive global marketing strategy and we are delighted to have strengthened that through our relationship with Savills.

We chose Savills for their innovation, their brand values and their global reputation.
Savills elected to partner with BVI because we fit with their ethos of being ‘best in class’.

Anyone buying or selling with Beaux Villages will gain from this association which is firmly rooted in providing a quality service from mandate to completion.

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Travelling to the UK from France

Julie Savill // Monday, 25 May 2020

The British Embassy, Paris has published their latest guidance for those resident in France and travelling to the UK.

Many of you have asked in recent days and weeks about quarantine measures when travelling to the UK. This evening, the Home Secretary announced new measures starting on 8 June to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections. They include 14 days’ self-isolation for anyone entering the UK, bar a short list of exemptions.
We’ve summarised the measures below but for more information, please visit

Why now?
At the start of the Covid crisis, enhanced monitoring was used on incoming flights from the worst-hit countries, e.g. China, Japan, Iran, Italy. Once the virus was spreading significantly within communities in the UK, the impact of putting in place additional border restrictions would have been negligible to the spread of the virus.
Now, as the transmission rate in the UK falls and the number of travellers arriving in the UK begins to increase in the coming months, imported cases may pose a larger threat as they could become a higher proportion of the overall number of infections in the UK and increase the spread of the disease.

What are the measures?
Contact locator form – arriving passengers will be required to fill this in to provide contact and travel information so they can be contacted if they, or someone they may have been in contact with develops the disease (NB: we’ll share the link here when it’s available);
Self isolation - passengers arriving in the UK will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and could be contacted regularly throughout this period to ensure compliance;
Enforcement - Anyone failing to comply with the mandatory conditions may face enforcement action, including a fine of £1000. Find out more here:
Spot checks - Border Force will undertake checks at the border and may refuse entry to any non-British citizen who refuses to comply with these regulations and isn’t resident in the UK. Failure to complete the form could result in a £100 fixed penalty notice. Public health authorities will conduct random checks in England to ensure compliance with self-isolation requirements.
These measures will be brought in from 8 June, and reviewed every three weeks to ensure they remain effective.

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How Will the Brexit Vote Affect My Property Purchase in France?

Julie Savill // Sunday, 17 May 2020

We've written a series of blogs since the Brexit vote and we've pulled a few together here in a digest.

We will update with new blogs as clear messages are released by the government.


The UK voted on June 24 to leave the EU. The process begins with the UK notification to the European Council under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Once such notification has been made, a period of two years is allowed for the detailed negotiations to take place. During that time, nothing will change in terms of the entitlements of UK citizens in Europe.
What are the possible outcomes?
The UK remains in the EEA by dint not of being in the EU, but by joining EFTA (which it left in 1973 after joining the Common Market). The current members of EFTA are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The EEA subscribes to the same “Free movement of capital, people and labour” that EU countries follow.
The UK negotiates a wide range of bilateral treaties with EU member states to preserve trade relations.
We believe that the first outcome will prevail in some form.
In any event, there are so many French (and other European) nationals living in the UK, that it seems unlikely in the extreme that the EU will unilaterally impose restrictions on the rights and entitlements of British citizens living in France (or elsewhere in the EU). A compromise will be found.

Buying a Property in France
Things are rather fluid at the moment as the political dust settles but in the end, we see no reason for the purchase and ownership of a house in France to be any different from how it is now.
Membership of the EEA will confer the same rights on British citizens living in France as they are under the EU – including healthcare and pensions.

Will life in France change?
If you were to judge that by the response of the French people we know and meet daily, you would see what might be characterised as “disappointed astonishment” in the UK vote and by an outpouring of support for the Brits who already live in France. France will retain its many attractive qualities, as it has done for centuries for Brits. Notably, many of our clients are more determined to come and own a property in France after the Brexit vote than they were before.

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Read all about it!

Julie Savill // Monday, 18 May 2020

Read all about it!

There is something magical for all us francophiles about reading a book with a French spin. Some of these are classics, others are a little less well-known but have found a place in our hearts. Just like France…

1 Chocolat - Joanne Harris
If you drooled a little over Johnny Depp or Juliette Binoche in the movie, treat yourself to a little afternoon delight with the book. Set in south west France, it’s an emotional page turner.

2 Suite Francaise - Irène Nemirovsky
Iréné was writing a series of 5 novels when she was imprisoned and then killed at Auschwitz in the second world war. Her daughter found the notebooks and finally read them in 1998. The first two novels were combined and published as Suite Francaise.

3 Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Anyone who has ever been to Carcassonne will get an extra frisson from reading this book as the streets of the citadel appear almost unchanged to this day. Two parallel stories - one from the middle ages, one contemporary - evolve around true historical events.

4 Wine and War - Donald and Petie Kladstrup
An engaging account of the efforts the French vineyard owners took to hide and protect their wines from Nazi looting.

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Green for go

Katherine O`Neill // Friday, 08 May 2020

As we ease into the first phase of a relaxing of lockdown restrictions, the French government has issued a map where each Department is coloured either green, amber or red.
The colour attributed relates to an ongoing assessment of the circulation of Covid-19 and the ability of the local health system to cope.
So the map is likely to change. The green zones are the ones likely to be prioritised to come out of confinement.

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Your turn...

Let your inner author loose!  If you have an experience to share about moving to, living in or simply visiting France then we'd like to hear about it.  Write a maximum of 300 words, attach a photo and we'll publish the best here.

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