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March 2013 newsletter


In this newsletter, we share with you details of our visit to Lyon during our recent French trip;
have places for sale and rent in France including one new and two reduced; tell you about a
book on champagne; and, provide lyonnaise recipes as well as facts about Easter in France.

A la prochaine
Sharon et David

PS:  If you like to explore new parts of France or want to have a French place of your own,
then join David on our property purchasing tour to the west of France 23-27 Sept 2013

Lively Lyon: lights, luxury and lyonnaise cuisine

We were only in Lyon, the capital of Rhone Alpes region and largest centre in France outside Paris, for one evening and morning but we were certainly impressed. It has a stunning basilica on top of the hill overlooking the city which has beautiful buildings lining its two rivers. As Lyon is perfectly situated about half way between Paris and Provence, it makes a nice stop off on the way south. International airlines also fly in there - Emirates has just started selling flights from Australia to Lyon.

One of the main reasons we wanted to visit Lyon was to stay at the famous Hotel Le Royal located on Place Bellecour, the third largest square in France. This grand landmark hotel was built in the late 1800's. An article written in 1912 described it as 'a maison where refined comforts have been taken to such heights, everything that constitutes modern luxury is splendidly provided'. Over 100 years on, this remains a perfect description of Le Royal Lyon. Our 11 year old daughter said her bed was 'like sleeping on a cloud' and she wants to 'have her honeymoon' there - think you get how great it was! 

One pleasant surprise was that despite it being only the 7th December, Lyon's famous Festival of Lights had begun - traditionally it should start on the 8th December but the event has been so popular that they extended it before and after, lucky us! So there was lots happening including a brightly lit ferris wheel in the place outside our hotel from which you could see the coloured lights on the basilica above and also moving light displays/films being shown on buildings around town.

Right around the corner was a pedestrian walkway of Lyonnaise bouchons, restaurants in Lyon serving traditional local cuisine which features meat and offal. While not our favourite, we ordered the most traditional meals on the menu (but not the tripe!): charcuterie, salade lyonnaise with crispy lardons, blood sausages and steak with sauce lyonnaise then lemon meringue pie for dessert (apparently a Lyon classic!). There were plenty of vins to choose from with the Beaujolais and Cote du Rhone wine regions neighbouring Lyon.

Only having til midday before we had to get the TGV to Avignon (then our place in Isle sur la Sorgue) and a little cold out after snow fell the day before (Lyon is close to the Alps), we just wandered around the Place Bellecour with its views of the basilica and statue of King Louis XIV on a horse. This place is the largest pedestrian square in Europe and world heritage listed.

Being the official centre of Lyon, there are major streets leading from the square. We had a very nice time walking down the rue Victor Hugo pedestrian street, stopping in at many shops along the way.
Merci Lyon for showing us a good, albeit brief, time - we will definitely be back one day to explore you further!

Places in France to rent not too far away from Lyon

In the hills around Lyon sits Bessenay on the edge of the Beaujolais wine area. This stone and timber house is a typical French village maison, about 150 years old - it has 2-3 queen bedrooms and a sitting room with a huge open fireplace. Rent $1200 a week:

On the way to Lyon from Paris is the Burgundy wine region. Beaune is one of the most beautiful towns in this region with old rampart walls around it and a magnificent Hotel Dieu in its town square which is surrounded by great pedestrian cobblestone streets. We have a new place to rent there belonging to Aussie owners - Appartement Rose is a modern, spacious 2 bedroom living space situated on the third floor of an old building accessed via an ancient stone spiral staircase. It is above a florist shop, courtyard and lovely square. Rent from $750 for a 4 night stay:


Places for sale in France recently reduced in price 

Two keen-to-sell owners of places in France have recently reduced their prices hoping to secure sales:

- Mary from Melbourne has reduced her 2 bedroom 3 level stone village house in the southwest of France in Le Bugue, Dordogne by 10,000 to 110,000 euro which includes all furniture so it is ready to move into/rent out:

- Maison Daisy, a 4 bedroom villa with pool on 3/4 acre, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, near Contignac in the Var region of Provence, has been reduced by 100,000 euro to 389,000 euro:


'Great, Grand and Famous Champagnes' book

Nothing evokes the magic of France quite like champagne. 'Great, Grand & Famous Champagnes' is a beautifully presented hardback that is filled to the brim with full-colour photographs and vintage artwork. With this fascinating book, the magic will linger long after your last sip. Winner of the Gourmand Book Award (Australia) for French Wine, it celebrates the rich history of France’s most beguiling export and is a practical guide to the world's finest sparkling wines. Read more and find out how to buy it at the special 25% off recommended retail price for our members:

Felicitations to Michele Legge from WA who won this book in one of our recent facebook competitions as well as Jennifer Smith who won the free double pass to any session of the Alliance Francaise French film festival still on in many capitals around the country:


Two more recipes from Lyon: potatoes and sauce

In addition to salade lyonnaise, you can also now try making lyonnaise potatoes or sauce lyonnaise.

Facts about Easter and Easter egg hunts in France

If you are in France at Easter, you can take part in French Easter traditions including egg hunts/chasse aux oeufs, the most famous being held at a chateau near Paris where there are over 30,000 eggs to be found:



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