Articles by Community Contributor

Planning board

FAQ: Understanding French Planning Principles

A guide to the basics of planning from French Plans Many people misunderstand the planning process in France. In our experience, mis-information can cause problems for everyone, so we regard it as part of our job to ensure that clients

Artisan Central: Defence Against the Cowboys

  How many times have we heard tales of friends or acquaintances who have fallen foul of cowboy builders, electricians, or plumbers? Most of us are familiar with the term ‘P&O Qualified’, which refers to the shady operators who suddenly

Buying a Property in France – Searches and Diagnostics

Charlotte Macdonald is an associate solicitor in Stone King’s international and cross border team. Over a new 12-part series of articles Charlotte answers legal and practical questions that are often asked by her clients in relation to France; whether that

Having Internet in France

You will probably end up without Internet for the first few weeks of your relocation in France because you are usually required to have a French bank account get WiFi at home or a SIM card.

special villas in aquitaine

A Selection of Very Special Villas in Aquitaine

Beautiful Houses for Big Occasions Whether for a great summer holiday, team conference or a great celebration, Special Villas offers a unique range of large properties, from 6 and 8 bedroom houses, with the potential for up to 25 bedrooms

A Simple Guide to French Insurance

  Don’t assume that insurance in France is the same as you’re used to in your home country – there are many quirks and differences to consider! Here’s an essential guide to make sure you’re properly insured while living in

la coterie peaceful lodge

La Coterie Lodge: Explore La Creuse

Looking for a house, home, or a holiday? Explore La Creuse, Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Short or long stay available – Open all year Family Friendly Lodges with Swimming Pool and 6 Acres of Gardens and Woodland A small exclusive and tranquil holiday

Roads in France

It’s All About The Lifestyle

A new year brings with it the potential for a fresh perspective and new start. Could this be your year to make a real sea-change .. to bring your dreams about having a new home in the sun, a new

New build village

Advantages of New Build French Property

New Build French Property Is Ideal for Overseas Buyers At Sunny French Property we are convinced that new build French property is ideal for buyers who are buying from far away. There is no supervision of works since it is

Kick-start your New Year at The France Show 2018!

The UK’s greatest celebration of France returns to Olympia London on 26-28 January. Whether you love French food and wine, enjoy holidays in the sunshine or want to bag your dream property, the France Show is the place to be.

Rules and regulations contract

French Rental Activity – Rules and Regulations

If you earn an income from property in France, you are obliged to declare that income in France and pay any relevant taxes in France. UK residents would also declare their French income on their UK tax return and a

Villa Savoye

Design Notes: Modernist Architecture in France

France has some truly outstanding modernist and contemporary architecture, not just public buildings but also private dwellings. Many represent excellent value for money as they provide large, light, airy living spaces plus the bonus of living in an extraordinary, unique environment and a piece of architectural history.

Terre blanche outdoor pool

Visit France for a Pre-wedding Health Retreat

For many brides-to-be the pressures of wedding planning can create a cauldron of stressful choices, difficult emotions and family feuds. Famed for its joie de vivre, escaping to France on a pre-wedding health retreat could be your best wedding idea

Renoir's home. additional view from garden

Impressions of Renoir’s Home in Cagnes-sur-mer

It is a well-documented fact that my trips to Giverny have been sabotaged for over ten years now. I’m hoping that this coming summer will be my time for Claude Monet’s spirit to sit atop my shoulder and finally guide

heart in hands, romantic vacations in Paris

An Ode to Romantic French Men

We are all well-versed in the notion that French women don’t get fat. They are also the epitome of chic and have the best, unfussiest hairstyles on earth. With so many articles and books written about the style, elegance, and chicness of

Eiffel tour in Paris

Thoughts on Returning to Paris

While engaged in a conversation discussing the recent terrorist events in Paris, I was asked if I was going to move forward with my plans to visit France later this year. The question caught me slightly off guard. Of course

Nat and Nin Bags Ii got in Paris (2)

Surviving the Soldes

While Papa Noël, Father Christmas and Santa Claus enjoy a well-needed rest after quite a busy holiday season, an even livelier season is taking hold throughout France: the winter sales! Shop and boutique windows everywhere are displaying the word SOLDES!

Paris at christmas

Memories of a French Christmas

I’m in Paris. It’s evening and the snow is falling. I’m standing before the huge open window in the parlour of the apartment on the Rue des Grands Augustins. I’m gazing at the white lights twinkling on the Eiffel Tower

Place Dauphine in the Snow Winter 2010

People Watching in the Place Dauphine, Paris

People watching is by far the most entertaining sport in Paris. Many participate in this sport while seated outdoors at a café. Others may partake in Parc Monceau or Jardin du Luxembourg. I take my people watching seriously. For me,

Vide-grenier in France

Vide-greniers: how to bag a bargain in France

There’s a fine and fluctuating line between clutter and collecting which is, in our household at any rate, often crossed. As an ardent and somewhat militant minimalist the prospect of a morning rummaging through the jetsam and flotsam of someone’s

Chateau Maintenon

A Day Trip from Paris to Giverny?

Our American contributor Cathe outlines some more of the trials and tribulations – and joys – of French in-laws! Will she make it to Monet’s Giverny?


My village: At home in St-Antonin

I always knew we’d chosen wisely when we bought our house in France, but now everyone can get a flavour of where we live. Our small town, St Antonin Noble Val, is the setting for the recently-released film, The Hundred-foot

Estagnol tree near french beach

How to Behave at a French Beach!

On a beach holiday in the south of France, Cathe learns to ditch her tankini in favour of a much more French style of swimwear…

Pumpkin at French market

How to Be a Vegetarian in France

As a vegetarian in France, eating out can be difficult, to say the least. There must be vegetarian French people, but where are they? Perhaps they stay at home to eat. On many occasions I have been assured of a


First date with a Frenchman

First dates can be nerve-wracking enough, but cooking a three-course French dinner for a Frenchman can turn into a downright disaster – as Cathe learnt the hard way!

Land dispute? Love thy French neighbour

Boundaries can look like abstract arbitrary lines on a map … until your immobilier informs you that your front garden wall has actually been built on your neighbour’s land.

Less Style Council, more My Council

As one of the newly elected municipal councillors in a small commune, what kinds of things do we discuss? From school buses, to bins, to verge cutting, to complaints about roads, noise and neighbours, life’s rich tapestry is represented. I

Helpful advice for getting married in France

Get married in France? Isn’t that difficult, people will ask, mindful of French bureaucracy? Well, I got married here eight years ago, I have just organised my stepdaughter’s – much bigger – wedding so here’s how to do it!

La Troupe d’Acteurs du Quercy

Since I last wrote a few words about my exploits with La Troupe d’Acteurs du Quercy things have moved on. Well, they do don’t they? The sands of time and all that. From a personal point of view I have really enjoyed the opportunity to murder a few people…

New Septic Tank Rules for French Property

A new regime for septic tanks came into effect on January 1st of this year, which has brought a new concern for sellers of Dordogne property. At the time the preliminary contract is signed, the seller is now required to produce a certificate of compliance in relation to any septic tank arrangements.

Little kitten

Chats Du Quercy

The purpose of Chats du Quercy is to find permanent, safe homes for homeless cats and kittens with responsible and caring owners. We aim to provide quality, short term housing in a safe, disease-free and stimulating environment…


A Quick Guide to Running a Gîte Business

So what’s it really like running a Gîte business in France? Well, in short – it beats working for a living! So forget what you think it’s like and give 5 minutes to reading a real life account of setting up and running gîtes in France…

A Helping Hand In The Quercy

Image not found.Do you love the South of France?
Do you struggle a bit with the language and administration?
Need a helping hand to “sort things out”?
“Help in Quercy” are at your service.

Drawing of two people speaking french

Overcoming The Language Barrier

My decision to teach French happened by accident really. I had a call from a friend who had artisans on site and both sides were having trouble understanding what was required. I was happy to help but after I’d gone I was flattered to find the builder thought I was French. When my friend understood this, he said ‘Why don’t you teach it? It would really help me and I can think of several other people who would really value it too’.
And that’s how it all started…

village in the lot

Buying A Dream House in the Lot et Garonne

My love affair with France began nearly 20 years ago, when I was 18 years old. I was drawn to France, why – I don’t know. I had never been to France, never experience the French culture or food; I just knew I wanted to be there someday. I used to dream and believe by the time I was 35, I would live 6 months in Australia and 6 months in France…


Motorcyling in the Quercy

Like a good many of us who plunge straight into moving lock, stock and barrel to France, never having had a holiday home here, we underestimated the challenge of living in a foreign country…

A Vegetable Plot in the Lot

I spent the better part of this afternoon upside down with my head in our rainwater cistern battling the all predatory forces of heaven and earth. I think I’m winning.
Spring is the time for grand designs, and for years now, we have aspired but failed to keep up with the Jones’s, or more precisely, the Bousquets. But this year will be different…

Buying and Renovating an Auction Property

Image not found.Buying a property at auction is an exciting prospect – buying an auction property that needs total renovation promised to be an even bigger challenge for James and Vanessa HOPKINS. In the first of a two part story, Vanessa describes the purchase process…

Buying and Renovating an Auction Property Part 2

Image not found.Buying a property at auction is an exciting prospect, buying an auction property that needs total renovation promised to be an even bigger challenge for James and Vanessa HOPKINS. In the concluding artcile of this two part story, Vanessa describes the renovation work…