They say an Englishman’s home is his castle – and that goes as much in France as back home. There’s something about French châteaux that just draws us back, whether it’s the romantic dream of a beautiful, historic home, or the practicality of an exciting business opportunity. I spoke to Jacqueline Reddin-Williams from Beaux Villages Immobilier about buying a château of your own.
With little practical experience, I took on a project to renovate a sad and neglected grande dame on the quayside at the beautiful port of Barfleur in Normandy. Learning traditional skills from scratch, I managed to transform her into a quirky seaside retreat within a reasonable budget, with a mix of good luck, hard work and the help of excellent workmen.
You’ve seen the new film starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh, you’ve fought for tickets at the impressionist exhibition at Tate Britain, now buy the French home where so many artists found inspiration. See some of those places our favourite painters found especially inspiring, and a few homes to get your own creative juices flowing!
So you’re heading off on that property viewing trip. At last! But when a long-cherished dream gets real, you might suddenly feel far from your comfort zone, and very foreign. Learning a little bit of French puts you in control. But which is the best way to learn? Christopher Nye investigates your options for learning French for property buyers.
The hardest man on TV right now, Ant Middleton of SAS: Who Dares Wins spent most of his childhood in rural Normandy, where he developed a taste for adventure. France’s vast natural landscapes are perfect for outdoorsy types, even those who fancy testing their own survival skills…
Contestants sweating it out in this year’s I’m a Celebrity include TV and radio star Noel Edmonds, someone more used to a comfy existence in the south of France! Here’s why Noel’s experience in the Australian jungle must feel like a million miles from the Côte d’Azur!
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