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February 2010 newsletter


In this newsletter, we have an article about holidays in Europe which incorporate France,
many new properties to rent in various areas of France, a review of a book about strolling
around Paris, a painting of Arles, Cafe La Nuit for auction, recipes for crepes and galettes
for Pancake Tuesday and facts about saints' days in France with Saint Valentine's Day
on 14 February which is the closing date to enter the draw for some European goodies
as well as the end of the special price offer to rent our apartment in Paris (Mar - May).

A la prochaine
Sharon et David

PS: Don't forget to check out, if you haven't already, our new extensive directory of
all things French in Australia (over 1,000 listings) at

PPS: Watch out for a new French film being released this week A Prophet, winner at the
2009 Cannes Film Festival and France's Official Selection for the Academy Awards 2010

Multi-country holidays in Europe including France
As we all would agree, France makes the best European holiday destination in its own right but it is also ideally located to be incorporated in a multi-country holiday. Carolyn from Holidays at Europe has written an article on how to incorporate other diverse and interesting European countries into your next visit to France:

If not travelling to Europe this year don't worry, you can still enter the draw for European goodies valued at over $200: Italian leather travel wallet, Baci chocolates, Almost French book and French phrase CD/audio guide.

les arcs 2009 april 044-1


More of our members' places to rent across France

Set in the buttress of a 15th century church, this five level, 2 bedroom stone cottage is in the centre of St Flour in the Massif Central. This property which is the most photographed in town, was built just after the Revolution in 1789 and has been restored to keep many of the original features intact without compromising modern conveniences. Buy the local cheeses, wines, and vegetables at the local market. Dine out in bijou restaurants or the local chateau. From $880 a week:


This three-storey terrace house is in a quiet street in the heart of the medieval village of Les Arcs sur Argens which is frequently featured in books on Provence. It is an ideal base for holidays in the picturesque Var region. The area is dotted with small hilltop villages among vineyards and olive groves, yet it is only 30 minutes from the beaches along the Cote d’Azur at St Tropez and Frejus. The roof terrace has table and chairs where you can sit out and enjoy the ambience of life in a Provencal town. Close to the TGV. From $500 a week:


Luxury 1 and 2 bedroom apartments situated in a quiet street of a lively medieval village in the Dordogne. Walking distance to all activities including kayaking, tennis, village swimming pool, fishing plus much more. A short drive away is a fabulous golf course and many vineyards. You will be ensure of a warm welcome from the Kiwi/English owners who previously lived in Sydney. Price starts at $650 a week (or B&B from $114 a night):

In a similar style, Maison de Poitiers is a B&B situated in the 12th century bastide village of Castillonnes in the Lot et Garonne which is famous for its food, wine, history and its unspoilt beautiful countryside. Guests are offered a choice of five stunning individually designed bedrooms with beautiful furnishings and state of the art bathrooms From $114 per couple per night. For more details go to:

To see more detail on these or other rental places, go to:

See full size image

'The Flaneur', strolling through Paris, book review

This book has been around for about ten years and is still as relevant today as the references it makes to  many 19th and 20th century authors and poets. As described by the writer, Edmund White, la flaneur is an aimless stroller who loses themself in the crowd, has no destination and goes wherever curiousity directs their steps. Read more about the book and the Parisian areas White walks through as well as our review of the book at:

White says virtually every district in Paris is beautiful, alluring and full of unsuspected delights, especially those that fan out around the Seine in the 1st which is the arrondissement our apartment is in. He describes the Palais Royal, which is around the corner from our place, as 'an oasis of silence and elegance in the heart of the old city'. To be a flaneur in Paris and stroll through famous places like the Palais Royal gardens or discover unique treasures of your own, why not use our charming and historic apartment as your walking base - special offer of $295/night ($1,695/wk) til 14 Feb (for Mar-May):

Jacqueline's van Gogh themed Arles, Cafe La Nuit

Painted from the terrace of the Cafe La Nuit in the Place du Forum, this work is in the same impressionist style of van Gogh in his Cafe Terrace at Night which is believed to be of this cafe in Arles. Van Gogh's paintings of this period are richly draped in yellow, ultramarine and mauve similar to Jacqueline's. Bidding starts at $60 for this month's online auction. Congratulations again to Jane who put in the highest bid for the sunflowers auction.

Paintings from French masters including van Gogh are now showing at Canberra's National Gallery - for details on this exhibition, go to French Australia's events page.
To see this cafe yourself, Arles is accessible from our Provence place or our member's Languedoc property.

  Recipes for crepes/galettes for Pancake Tuesday
For French crepes:
For galettes:
Note: Shrove Tuesday is 16 Feb but in France that day is Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday; pancakes are served 2 Feb:

Facts about saints days and St Valentin's in France
In France the Catholic tradition of having every day of the year dedicated to a saint is still recognised...for more: February the 14th is the date in the calendar Saint Valentin is honoured and there is a lot of French history behind it:
Remember, you have til Valentine's to enter the draw for the European goodies which include two French books.


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