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October 2013 newsletter

In this newsletter, we share with you Sharon's thinking about the blog she is writing; have
new places for sale and rent in France; tell you about upcoming French happenings here
(FD in Melb, movie passes for helping with Sharon's blog and Brisbane language special);
and, provide Sally Hammond's recipe for croissants as well as facts about French bread.
A la prochaine
Sharon et David

Sharon asks why do we love France/things French?

Now seven years on, I again contemplate why Australians have a love affair with France and things French. I wrote my original thoughts in one of our website's first news articles 'What makes France so desirable' and also in my book 'My French Desire'.

For Bastille Day this year, I was asked to write a blog where I explained that France's national day here is  'not just for the French'. Open Forum have asked me to again write about things French in Australia for their new Multicultural Australia Featured Forum.

After taking the latest tour through our region, David is more convinced than ever that Australians have an affinity with France. Not only did the tour group have a great time, so too did those in France who showed them around including Vendee property finder Jacquie who also recently assisted a past tour participant find their dream place. We have also been approached by Peter Griffen, Provence a property finder keen to help Australians who he sees more buying places in France (email us for his details).

The now million and growing Australians visiting France each year is some indication of the strength of the French attraction we have to France's history, culture, food and architecture etc.

I am not sure the reasons France is so appealing have changed, just that more Australians now are interested in things French. Certainly the number of French related businesses has grown - we now have over 1500 listed on French Australia. Perhaps this also is related to the increasing number of French visiting our shores which has trebled in the past decade.

To help me write my blog, I would really appreciate your comments on our facebook post today - the best 3 will be used in my blog and
receive passes to the film below. Will also post blog link on facebook.

Seven new places for sale in the south of France

Three are in the Languedoc-Roussilon region:

Puissalicon: Here is your opportunity to buy your own share of an existing French property owned by six Australians. Puissalicon is an ancient circulade village close to Montpellier, Beziers and the Canal du Midi. The house has three bedrooms, a courtyard and is close to centre ville. There is much history in the village, house and nearby. Share price: $75,000 AUD 

Millepetit: Two stone properties by the banks of the Canal du Midi on the 12th century wine Domaine de Millepetit, in a location famous for its rustic charm and beauty. Property 1 is a refurbished canal side cottage and 2 is a barn with planning approval to convert. Features include official boat mooring with garden and BBQ area next to the water as well as courtyard / terrace. Price: 170,000 GBP

St Cyprien: Modern 2 bedroom holiday apartment with all the mod cons in the sunny Languedoc with private pool and close to the beach/ amenities. There is an open plan sitting/dining/kitchen, bathroom, separate shower room, balconies off the master bedroom and living area and a large roof terrace. Views of the Alberes mountains and nature reserves make this apartment very special. Price: 295,000  euro

Three are in the Aquitaine region:

: Spacious renovated farmhouse and outbuildings on 5 hectares in a beautiful quiet location. Located about 5 min from the market town of Miramont de Guyenne and 30 min from Bergerac, it is set on a south facing hill with extensive views over its land and rolling countryside beyond. The house has been fully converted and spacious 4 bedroom accommodation over 2 floors. Price: 320,000 euro.

Eymet: Converted old stone barn in the Purple Perigord of the Dordogne. Beautiful stone house with 4 bedrooms, entirely restored by local artisans. Large living room with french doors opening onto a big covered terrace. Independent renovated pigeonnier with bed and living rooms. Superb views over the surrounding countryside. Price: 399,000 euro 

Sauverterre: This 18th C stone barn with 4 bedrooms has been sympathetically transformed to provide a high standard of modern living. Also the original 3 bedroom farmhouse and an elevated terrace. Both properties offer river views. The property is at the end of a cul-de-sac of character stone houses and a small chateau. Price: 495,000 euro

One in Poitou-Charentes: An Australian is selling her place in the pleasant rural village of St Angeau. It consists of two attached but separate old stone houses, one has been renovated and tenanted with four bedrooms and the other is the same size but not renovated - price 80,000 euro. A small vineyard next to the houses with an old barn containing WWII history is also available to the buyer for 55,000 euro.

A new property to rent - a farmhouse in Provence

Beautiful secluded cottage, close to Vaison la Romaine (2.5 km), not far from Mont Ventoux and Avignon. Part of a large old 18th farm, this independent two bedroom house has its own character, but is renovated with all modern appliances. It has a large terrace with a beautiful view of the valley of the river Ouveze. You can also see the castle of Vaison which is an authentic medieval town recognised for its roman ruins but which today has a lively modern centre with shops and restaurants. In the surrounding area are excellent wineries producing the now famous Côtes du Rhone.
The traditional stone exterior of the house which was the sheepfold, has been retained, while the interior has been carefully designed to give very comfortable, modern accommodation. Rent $650 a week.

Plenty of French things happening here at present

FLY ME TO THE MOON is a fun, light hearted French romantic comedy starring Dany Boon. Isabelle has a terrible tradition in her family that every first marriage ends in divorce, so she decides to marry a hapless complete stranger before then marrying her fiance. This feel good film is being released on 31 October.

Trailer at:

Don't forget, comment on our facebook post today to win a free double pass to see this movie.

Como House and Gardens will once again transform into a replica village in France for the Melbourne French Festival. Spread across three enchanting days from 22 to 24 November, you can take your pick which day you come; book online for a $5 discount on entry. You can also see us there at our French desire stall or book into one of our property purchasing presentation at the festival. More details are in the event listing on French Australia:

Lingua Franca Language Services is a Brisbane based independent language school specialising in teaching French to adults. They hold group and private lessons in cafes, bars and bookshops as well exciting events and have a small range of gifts. Katrina from Lingua Franca is offering French desire members 5% off classes booked by the end of Oct. Also, anyone signing up for this year's lessons, goes into the draw to win all of next year's classes free. 

Recipe for croissants (courtesy of Sally Hammond)

Sally Hammond (published travel and food author) modified a Bon Appetit recipe for croissants to make her own quick version which she has graciously allowed us to share it with you, merci Sally - enjoy:

Facts about French bread (pain) and baguettes

French bread facts including history of the baguette:  

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