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December 2011 newsletter



In this newsletter, we tell you about this season's festive season in France and here at home;
have lots of new French properties for rent and sale; give you details of the upcoming release
of a hit French comedy;  provide facts about winter in France as well as seeking your input
via facebook for French recipes to share and places to eat in France you would recommend.

Joyeux noel et bonne annee
Sharon et David Stratford

PS: Watch out for email soon about our France property purchasing tour; 10-14 Sep '12
Also we are planning our next workshop in Brisbane on 17 Mar 2012, more details shortly.


What is going on this festive season in France?

The answer is plenty, as always. There are:

- Christmas markets just about everywhere in France

- ice skating in Paris outside the Hotel de Ville as usual, as well as first floor of the Eiffel Tower again

- Christmas lights and ferris wheel on the Champs

- the traditional Christmas activities as every year

- New Year's Eve celebrations, notably the interesting French group FONACON who 'protest' (in good fun) against the coming of the new year; for 2012 in Clisson near our Pouzauges place in the Vendee.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for you support this year - all the best for the season!


New French properties for sale and for rent

English speaking real estate agent Sarah Lancashire from the southwest of France has seven new properties for sale for us around Aveyron:

- a chocolate box cottage in the Auvergne with a wooded garden and bonus log cabin for 99k E
- another 99k E property for sale in Aubin, a restored stone house with 3 bedrooms and more to add
- a renovated stone village house in Figeac 2 beds,  fireplace, balcony, terrace and garden 105k E
- Pampelonne village house with five bedrooms, land and terrace overlooking the village square 108k E
- in charming village of Entraygues 3 bed stone house with convertible attic+2 more buildings 132k E
- another Entraygues stone 2 bedroom house with 2 more rooms to finish with attic and land 115k E
- stone house in St Martin, quality renovation with 6 bedrooms, 6 fireplaces and terrace overlooking large garden with back access/possibility to build 199k E

Places for rent in new areas of Paris and France

Elegant 2 bedroom ground floor Paris apartment, completely renovated with style, nestled in one of Paris' most beautiful Haussmann quarters with restaurants, boutiques etc, on the border of the 7th (Eiffel Tower) and 15th. Rent from $2000 a week

Three bedroom 600 year old village house in Aude near wineries, canal du midi, black mountains and Carcassone with its world famous castle, plus only
1.5 hours to Spain. Rent from $575 a week

Normandy restored 1700's country stone farmhouse with conservatory, wood burner and french doors opening out onto the garden with its wildlife, orchards, oaks and firs. Close to D-day landing beaches, Mt St Michel, UK ferries. Rent $800 a week.

If you are interested in renting any of these, email us


Upcoming French events around the country

Australian eastern capitals are overflowing with French events December and January. These include exhibitions of famous French artists' works as well as Jacqueline Sherwood's today in Sydney but don't worry if you missed it, we still have some of the paintings she showed for sale on our website - many you will find are also now framed.

For details of all these French events, go to:

AUSTRALIA: Oz guide to all things French

New French film: 'The Women on the 6th Floor'

This hit French movie, Les femmes du 6e etages, is set in the 1960s in Paris and tells the story of how a conservative couple's lives are turned upside down by Spanish maids who live on the top floor of their apartment building. It stars a stellar cast including Fabrice Luchini who was hilarious in the not dissimilar Potiche also set back in time. Fabrice is Monsieur Joubert, an unadventurous stockbroker, who befriends the maids in a social comedy that pits middle class French propriety against the earthiness and humour of Spanish cleaning ladies. One review of note called it a 'warm-hearted delight!' saying 'Only the French can make movies about husband stealing maids and infedelity look cheerful and right.'  See the trailer at:
This film was in the 2011 French film festival; note dates for the 2012 festival have just been released.

We are seeing the movie this weekend, so make sure you follow (like) us on facebook to read our review.  

Give us recipe ideas and restaurants in France

We are a bit fatigued come end of year and need your input for new French recipes you would like us to share in 2012. Also, to us, most places to eat in France are fantastic (we aren't very discerning!), so we are looking for you to tell us/others where the best places are. You can do both of these on facebook - add your comment to our latest facebook post.

French facts about winter/hiver in France

The winter is Sharon's favourite time in France - certainly beats the heat at home (especially in Qld):


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