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Newsletter April 2012


In this newsletter, we tell you about the index showing France continues to be the best place
in Europe to live; announce the winner of March's Fabulously French competition; have more
French properties for rent and sale; give you details of upcoming French events around the
country including a movie featured in the recent French film festival; and, provide facts about
feminism in France as well as a recipe for a French martini cocktail.


Joyeuses Paques /Happy Easter
(read about Easter in France)
Sharon et David

PS: in between newsletters keep up to date with French activity by following us on facebook;
you will also get the chance to win competitions like 2 of our lucky facebook followers below.


France again on top of the Quality of Life Index

For the third year in a row, France has come out on top of the uSwitch quality of life index which ranks ten European countries on the basis of 16 factors including income, essential goods/services costs and lifestyle.

France scored the top ranking as it rated highly on most factors including having cheap electricity and food; high government spend on education and health, hours of sunshine, holiday length and life expectancy; and, low retirement age and number of working hours.

In comparison, the UK was rated as the worst place to live due to high living costs, poor work life balance and low government spending on health and education. It is no wonder so many Brits want to live in France!  

Read more at:

Fabulously French competition winner - felicitations!

French desire and Holidays to Europe are pleased to announce that Ron from Brisbane won the Fabulously French competition prizes - coincidentally Ron chose as his favourite French destination our Provence village of Isle sur la Sorgue, particularly highlighting the restaurants and markets. I liked this comment from a lover of France's capital: 'No comPARISon, the LOUVRE, a flawless gem, not a RHINEstone, inSEINEly beautiful scenery'!

French properties currently for rent and for sale

Paris was probably the favourite place people wrote about in the Fabulous French competition above. Good news too for those who like to visit in Paris, the owners now rent their charming studio apartment in the Latin quarter for less than a week from only $195 a night for 5 nights (can sleep 4).

After Paris the next most popular destination was Provence and the south of France (where we have ten places to rent and soon another, a renovated old winepress) as well as Burgundy (with five places to rent including Moulin de Corde with updated photos now to view).

Also chosen a lot was the south-west, where we have over a dozen places to rent including our latest rental:

The 'Loftor', a five bedroom beach house which can sleep 12 people is located in the picturesque seaside Vendee village of Notre-Dame-des-Monts which offers wonderful wide, patrolled beaches as well as a plenty of nautical sports. The town offers free sporting activities in the morning on the esplanade, kids club, organised forest walks with rangers, extensive cycling trails, music shows, cinema, dance, concerts, festivals etc. The property is walking distance from the beach and village shops, boulangeries and creperies etc as well as being close to pine forests and Noirmoutier Island. Rent from $900 a week: 

Helen Verlander who rents her village house in Limousin in the southwest of France, wrote an article for The Age this weekend on her and others' (including our) experiences buying French property; while not always ideal, 'c'est la vie' she says with 'no regrets' from the Edith Piaf song: 

If you are still up for buying a property in France even after reading Helen's article, we have a new place for sale not to far away from hers in the Dordogne. Current Aussie owners of this cosy, two bedroom village house fell in love with Le Bugue on a two day visit and ended up buying this place, which is only one street behind the main square and the river of this market town, close to wineries, chateaux and gorgeous countryside. The warm and cosy stone 3 level townhouse features include a wine cellar, large window in the living area overlooking the quiet and narrow street below and a distinctive wooden spiral staircase. Le Bugue also has a railway stop. The owners are reluctantly selling their place for the price of 120,000 euro including all furniture and fixtures. See more at:

We also have a number of properties available for sale in the Midi-Pyrenees region of the southwest. All are available through real estate agent in this region, Sarah Lancashire who recently advised our workshop participants about what to look out for when buying property - platine members (prior workshop participants and workbook purchasers)  can view these films under the AV section of their platine site:


Upcoming French events in Australia we are going to

The French film festival finishes its across-the-country season for 2012 today in Perth; however, only a month til the Melbourne French Theatre (MFT)'s first production of the year which runs from 8-12 May. Pyjama pour Six is a French play which was a hit in Paris but even more so when it went to the UK as 'Don't Dress for Dinner' where it still holds the record for the longest running comedy in London. The MFT's show has all the hallmarks of a classic French farce, with plenty of misunderstandings and mistaken identities. A must for anyone looking for a very French evening out. The play is in French but there are English subtitles.

Every year, Tasmanians retrace the footsteps of the expedition Napoleon sent French explorers Baudin and Freycinet on, well before Captain Cook set sail. These explorers named many of Tasmania's east coast landmarks on their visit to our country. We will soon be there to join in this celebration of history, nature and delicious Tasmanian food and wine. This year's France to Freycinet festival is on from 4-13 May. The program includes markets, literary lunch, art display from Noumea, La Vie en Rose nightclub and long breakfast by the Banc.

For details of both of these events, go to:

Oz guide to all things French

French film festival movie in release in cinemas

which screened at the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival is now in release in cinemas across the country through Palace Cinemas.

Un amour de jeunesse is a chronicle of the romance between Camille and Sullivan, which begins during their adolescence. Like many first loves, they don't work out at the time but what happens when they reappear years later, after you have found an eloquent older Danish professor who offers you the stability and future your all-consuming teenage romance did not? This unapologetically sentimental story takes you through all of Camille's emotions and while a little draining, brings back memories of first love/s. For details/trailer:

Also you can read The Age's review which gave it 4.5 stars.

We gave our facebook followers during the week the opportunity to win free double passes to see this film. The ticket winners were Elizabeth Catchpole from Queensland and Karen Gardner from NSW - felicitations!

Follow us on facebook to be notified of events and competition entry opportunities between newsletters.

Recipe for the classic cocktail: French martini

Created by the Loire Valley liqueur company Chambord around the time of King Louis XIV, it is this cocktail's base ingredient along with vodka and pineapple juice:

Facts about feminism in France

The feminist movement in France, which dates back to the French Revolution, was recently responsible for the removal of the term 'mademoiselle' from all official forms:

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