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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.

Make friends whilst you walk

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Like the British, the French have a love affair with walking, and France’s beautiful and varied landscape is definitely a magical place to explore.

Of course you can hit the trails alone if you’re after some peace and quiet, but an alternative is to join a local walking or hiking group (groupe randonée). These provide the perfect opportunity to meet locals, practice your French (but not feel any pressure to talk the whole way- especially on the inclines!) and discover your local area, whilst getting fitter and healthier.

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France in bloom

Julie Savill // Wednesday, 09 September 2020

I thought I was a bit of a gardener.  I rated myself, living in the UK.  Moving to France challenged everything I knew (or thought I knew) and sent me scurrying back to the drawing board.

Despite coming from the driest part of the UK (East Anglia is officially a semi-arid desert!) nothing had prepared me for the range of temperatures and rainfalls that occur in south west France.

I set off happily thinking I could just recreate what I had grown in the UK.  It didn’t take many weeks for it to become apparent that plants that thrive in moderate temperatures and with regular rainfall fare less well in 30+ degree summers where you get very little rain for weeks on end and then get a lot!

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When too much is just enough!

Julie Savill // Thursday, 03 September 2020

It’s just the way it goes - when you have a glut going on in your garden, everyone else has exactly the same thing going on!  Can I give you some plums?  No thanks - we have 6 trees-worth. Courgettes? Pumpkins? Tomatoes?  You just can’t give them away.

Right now it is the end of summer tomato flurry. A hot dry summer meant that our tomatoes were slow to get going and now there is just no stopping them.  We’re looking at ways to preserve them so we have some of that tomatoey goodness right through the winter.

Here are three of our favourite ideas.

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The holidays never end

Julie Savill // Tuesday, 01 September 2020

It’s September and the families have, by and large, returned home.  It’s noticeable out on the street that the current (smaller) wave of tourists is of a slightly older profile.  The empty nesters have arrived to enjoy the late summer warmth.

By the end of October the visitor numbers in France will have dropped right off and those of us who live here, or spend a lot of time here in second homes, will be rediscovering the joys of moving unimpeded through the market, short queues at the supermarket and more French being heard on the streets!

This ebb and flow of people is one of the joys of living somewhere that other people choose to visit on holidays.  The upsides (and it is almost all upside) include the fact that when you yourself have visitors, there are lots of summer events, plenty of decent restaurants that cater for the summer season and  great local facilities such as swimming and boating lakes.

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Come and see us in Monflanquin!

Julie Savill // Thursday, 23 July 2020

There is something quite magical about the bastide towns of south west France. Perched on hills and dating back around 700 years, they punctuate the countryside and offer a wealth of fabulous architecture. One of our favourites has to be Monflanquin in Lot-et-Garonne.

Max Germa Immobilier has been a fixture of Monflanquin for many years and we were delighted when the company recently joined forces with Beaux Villages Immobilier.

Max and his assistant, Anne-Marie, have both now taken their planned retirement and we thank them for their efforts and wish them every happiness in the future.

There is a new team in the Monflanquin office who will uphold the values of service, quality and commitment that sit at the heart of both Max Germa and Beaux Villages.

Stop by and meet Fred Filliette, Iona Welvaert and Vanessa Hopkinsat the shop on the central square to discuss a property sale or purchase. They’d be really pleased to see you!

All the Max Germa properties for sale are now on the Beaux Villages website as part of an enhanced local portfolio. Start your search here.

Friendly faces everywhere

Julie Savill // Tuesday, 21 July 2020

It’s that time of year when these sunny faces start popping up all over south west France. Throughout July and August you’ll see fields of them busily growing to provide seeds and oil. Nothing’s wasted - even the stems and leaves can go to make cattle feed.
There is a bit of an old wives tale that they turn their heads to follow the sun (hence the French name, tournesol or turn to the sun). When they are young the heads do track from east to west during the day, so there is a nugget of truth in there, but by the time they are flowering they are quite set in their way and direction.
Crops are rotated so the sunflowers don’t appear in the same fields each year. Each spring is a waiting game to see if this is going to be a year with sunflowers just over the garden fence or if we’ll have the pleasure of gently bowing silky heads of barley or the maize as high as an elephant’s eye.
We’re not ashamed to say we’re elated when we get a sunflower year! If you’d like these towering lovelies over the garden fence or just up the road, we’ve got thousands of country properties in rural areas for you to choose from.
Let us have your property spec and your travel plans and we’ll include sunflowers in the tour. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and our lovely team will get right back to you.

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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