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May 2012 newsletter


In this newsletter, we share with you what we learnt about Tasmania's links to France at its
French festival; have more properties in France for rent and sale; review the French movie out
starring Audrey Tautou; tell you about great a brocante shop in Melbourne plus website; and,
provide facts about May fetes in France as well as a recipe for French snails in garlic butter.

A la prochaine
Sharon et David

PS: follow us on facebook to keep up to date with French activity in between newsletters;
our May facebook posts included our French Tassie trip and a 'Delicacy' double pass draw


Fabulously French festival celebrating Tasmania's, as well as Australia's, very early links with France

Every two years, Tasmania's east coast celebrates its French links at the France to Freycinet festival. We were there this month for a couple of the ten days of program festivities. The event retraces the footsteps of the expedition Napoleon sent French explorers Baudin and Freycinet on, well before Australia was colonised. These explorers named many of Tasmania's east coast landmarks on their visit to our country. Swansea, the festival's main base and where most activities take place on the last weekend of the festival, had plenty of French flags around the sleepy seaside town which comes alive due to this event with markets, art displays, a La Vie en Rose nightclub etc. If you are in Tasmania outside the festival, a permanent France to Freycinet exhibition is on at a local museum. There is also a display recognising French explorers in Hobart's botanical gardens. More on the links we discovered Tassie has with France at: 

This festival and early explorer history were not the only things while in Tasmania that reminded us of France. As we travelled around the island state, our thoughts went to France due to the climate, old buildings, markets, wine/vineyards, landscape etc and even the language (found difficulty understanding some Tasmanians who were all lovely people!). See our facebook France-like-Tassie photo album at: 

New French properties currently for rent and for sale

Three new rentals in very old, but renovated, surrounds:

- winepress: four bedroom detached stone house with  walled garden and pool; set in the heart of a once fortified village, with an 11th C church and clock tower; near the market town of Uzes as well as Avignon, Nimes and Arles. The owner who lives nearby can arrange French language, art/pottery classes. Rent from $1,000 a week.

- barns: These two lovely adjoining self-catering holiday homes in a converted barn are in the heart of one of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of the southwest, the Dordogne. Guests can enjoy the deck for sunbathing and eating/drinking al fresco. Both homes in the barn cater for up to 8 people each. Rent from $975 a week.

Two new old stone properties for sale in popular regions:

- Normandy: Nestled in the French countryside, this 1700's fully restored stone farm house sits on large grounds overlooking its own apple orchard, cherry trees and oaks/firs. The cottage is all on one level and has access from French doors opening onto the gardens from the cosy living area and bedroom. The charming country style kitchen has a large wood burner. Near Mt St Michel and D-Day beaches. Price: 137,000 euro.

- Perigord: Grand stone maison, with separate apartment, in the centre of a village on the left bank of the Dordogne, near the Black Périgord, an attractive holiday destination.  Featues include front balcony through French doors, rear courtyard, large attic space, cellar. Price: 170,000 euro.

We also have three new, grand properties for sale in the Midi-Pyrenees region through Sarah Lancashire.

David will likely be making a trip to France again soon - if he can assist anyone while they are there with their property search or purchase, let us know.

Latest French movie out starring Audrey Tautou

French film 'Delicacy' tells the story of Natalie (played by Audrey Tautou) who one minute is happily married but a tragic accident turns her world upside down. Some time later, the awkward and unassuming Markus falls hopelessly in love with her. Can he help bring her back to life? This is a tender, touching romantic comedy with great performances by its stars. An engaging and even quirky movie, well worth seeing (but be quick, it has been out for a few weeks). Congratulations to Glenda who won the double pass from our facebook competition.

A trailer of the movie is available on the following link:

La Brocante

La Brocante sells vintage objects and other curiosities

La Brocante's retail store opened its big old double doors on 1 March in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. Seven days a week the store sells an eclectic range of vintage objects, upcycled creations and new pieces from around the globe - items can also be seen on the website where all enquiries are welcome. Owner Penny Attiwill spent many years studying in France - with her enduring love of all things French, she has travelled back many times, most recently to source items for the recent launch of her store. If you can't find what you are after, Penny is happy to look for specific items in France on her next buying trip. She also hires out European pieces for ads, films.

Their store window for May (left) is a cosy Parisian bistro setting to escape from Melbourne's wintery winds. A 'brocante' (pronounced ‘bro-cont’) is a cross between an antique fair and a flea market; they are held regularly throughout France on weekends - Penny's store is like being at one (brings back many nice memories)!

La Brocante's details including website link are on:

FrenchAUSTRALIA: Oz guide to all things French


Recipe for traditional French snails in garlic butter

One of our favourites, not sure if it is the snails, or more likely the garlic butter sauce, we like so much. The recipe uses canned snails so no handling of live snails required!

Facts about public holidays in France during May

You may think we had a lot of public holidays in April, but the French have plenty more in France during May:
1 May: Labour Day (Fête du Travail)
8 May: VE/WWII Victory Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945)
17 May: Ascension Day (Ascension catholique)
27/28 May: Whit Sunday/Monday (Pentecôte, Lundi de_).

Read more about French holidays and those in May. Also, the Cannes film festival is held in May (on NOW!).

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