Articles by David Bolton


Galette des Rois • Recipe

This is a popular French pastry shared during the holiday of Epiphany, on the 6th of January. The lucky person who gets the hidden “fève” is crowned King or Queen and gets to wear the crown.

How To Point Your French Stone Property

It’s not too difficult to get right but all too easy to get it wrong. Pointing a stone wall is a fairly major renovation task, but one that is not out of the reach of the competent DIY enthusiast.

A Place in the Sun : Home or Away

We managed to escape the brunt of the current credit crunch with help from the show Place in the Sun: Home or Away (Northern Ireland v. France) on Channel 4. We are Stephen Kerlin, an electrician from Derry, Northern Ireland and Christina See, a translator from High Wycombe, England and we now run Chambres d’hotes (B&B) in Mazamet in the Southern Tarn.

Cathédrale Ste-Cécile, Albi

The Gothic Cathédrale Ste-Cécile of Albi, built in the 13th century in the heart of Cathar country, is the largest brick building in the world. Perched high on a hill, it looks more like a fortress than a cathedral – and that’s no accident.

Property auctions in France

Buying a property at auction has long been both an exciting and rewarding way of acquiring cheap real estate. Whether its a foreclosure, repossession or simply someone wanting to off load their property quickly for whatever reason.

Employing People in France

In my experience the French Police and Courts are cracking down on people who illegally employ workers (who, more often than not, are foreigners). This might be done through blissful ignorance – but the Courts do not always accept ignorance as a defence plea.

Support Groups In France

Where to find some help? If you reguire Energency Number in France click here>>> Problems of a more long term nature, from life threatening illnesses to stress and worries about life in France can creep up on people with little

Marcillac Wine

Marcillac is situated towards the north west of Aveyron at the foot of the « causses », blessed with a « micro-climate » giving rise to its milder winters and hence the production of its Marcillac wine. Red wine is predominant product of Marcillac, although rosé is also allowed within the AOC.

La Leche League

If you are about to have a baby or just had one and wish to breastfeed, it can be helpful and reassuring to have breastfeeding support in English, especially when living in a new country. The Leche League has been helping mothers in France for more than 20 years. If you live in South West France, you may contact one of the English-speaking Leaders living in France.

Rodez Property Guide

Rodez, the departmental capital, is an attractive city in a pleasant natural environment. Its historic centre is perched on top of a hill overlooking the Aveyron River. It has a population of just under 24,000 inhabitants.

Segala & Levezou Lakes Property Guide

Classified among the most beautiful villages of France, Sauveterre de Rouergue was once the capital of Ségala and is nowadays one of the most intact of the fortified towns of the south-west.

Roquefort, Millau & South Aveyron Property Guide

The eastern half of the Aveyron has been neglected. But the opening of the Sir Norman Foster-designed Millau Viaduct last year increased interest in eastern and southern Aveyron, and a boom in the property market could soon follow.

Castres Property Guide

Castres is a bustling market town and has been tastefully redeveloped and the Place Jean Jaures is now stunning. Its old world charm is typified by the balconied tanners’ and weavers’ properties overhanging the water.Many houses are made of limestone. Castres, and its surrounding countryside, has a good selection of competitively priced farmsteads and “maisons de maître” for sale.

Bastides & Gaillac Property Guide

This area is called the “Golden Triangle” by the estate agents as it forms a triangle between Albi, Gaillac and Cordes-sur-Ciel, which is a stunning hill top bastide town.

Lauragais – Cocagne Property Guide

The Lauragais is an area south-west of the Tarn with the pretty villages of Sorèze, Puylaurens with stunning views over the Montagne Noire and the Pyrenees. A bit further north is the Pays de Cocagne with hot spots like Lautrec and Lavaur.

The Upper Tarn Valley Property Guide

This area follows the river Tarn. Coming from the west on the A68 it includes many towns such as Lisle sur Tarn, Rabastens, Albi and Gaillac. If you follow the river east after Albi,If you follow the river east after Albi you can find Saint-Juery, Ambialet and Trebas where the fantastic Gorges du Tarn can be explored.

Mazamet – Montagne Noire – Thore Valley Property Guide

Mazamet is on the lower slopes of the Montagne Noire, yet just 45 minutes from Carcassonne and just over an hour from Toulouse. Mazamet, and its surrounding area could prove to be an excellent place to buy property, as the prices are reasonable and there are a good variety of desirable properties around.

Segala – Viaur Property Guide

This is also called the land of the 100 valleys. This is a rural area with spectacular, unspoilt countryside dotted with thick stone-walled 17th- to 19th century cottages, barns and farms which have been fully or partially restored or are still waiting to be converted.

Sidobre-Monts De Lacaune Property Guide

If you are seeking a real bargain in a lovely and unspoilt region of the south of France, you really should take a close look at Lacaune and around the Sidobre plateau.

Tarn – A Hidden Treasure In South West France

Is the Tarn the hidden treasure of the south-west France? Phil Frogham, from agency Abitasud in Realmont, explores why the department might appeal to house-hunters. Discover the many advantages of owning a property in the Tarn.

FAMOUS PEOPLE: Yves Thuriès

Yves Thuriès was born on 5th June 1938 in the small bakery of Lempaut (south of Tarn). At 14 years old, he completed his apprenticeship in the pâtisserie Benoît Barné in Castres and obtained his CAP diploma at the age of 17 in Toulouse.

Latest Recipe – Peach Wine

Peach wine – a great summer cooler with Gaillac rosé wine and vanilla pods.

Infusing time: 21 days
Makes: 2 litres

U.S. citizens voting from France

All American citizens over 18 are eligible to vote except in certain special cases—such as U.S. citizens who have never lived in the United States (usually the adult children of U.S. citizens living abroad).

Water Suppliers In Tarn & Aveyron

The price of the water will be based on your consumption for most houses and there will also be an annual rental and a redevance (tax) to the Adour Garonne water agency.

What Size Clothes & Shoes are you in France?

Clothing sizes in the US and UK are different from those used in France and the rest of the continent. For example, a UK men’s shoe size of 8 corresponds to a USA shoe size of 9 and a French

Child-Care Options In Tarn & Aveyron

If you have young children (from 2 months old) who do not go to school yet (under 2 or 3 depending on the school) and you need to carry on working or have a few days off during the week, here are the child-care options in the Tarn & Aveyron.

Aveyron Property Overview

The department of Aveyron, department 12, has not always been known for its property appeal but it has recently become much more popular. Aveyron is one of the cheapest parts of France and, unlike many areas, there are still many properties to be renovated. The communication links are improving with Rodez served by Ryanair and with the A75 and the Millau viaduct. Aveyron is “La France Profonde”, but because of the wide-ranging outdoor activities is becoming very popular with younger types.

Tarn Property Guide

The Tarn, department 81, has been a favorite with British buyers in the south west of France for many years. Tarn is a prosperous and lively area that possesses a wealth of stunning towns and medieval villages, many of them classified as the most beautiful of France. From retired couples to young families, they invest in everything from vineyard chateaux to run-down cottages. There are also many celebrities who have chosen the Tarn as their hide-away place probably for some of the above-mentioned reasons.

Roquefort Shortbread

An quick recipe to make about 50 small biscuits for the apéritif using the local Roquefort cheese.

Preparation time :15 minutes
Cooking time : 12-15 minutes
Makes : 50 small biscuits

Albi Property Guide

With more than 50,000 inhabitants, Albi is a lively city with something for everyone whatever their taste. Its old quarters are charming, having been constructed with a distinctive red brick. Art and history stand side by side along the alleyways packed with crooked timber-framed houses and beautifully restored renaissance mansions.

Pigeon Houses In The Tarn – Pigeonniers

House-hunters in France have a new flight of fancy by buying and restoring Pigeonniers. Pigeon towers can be the most elegant of farm buildings, often more appealing than the houses to which they belong. Wide interest is now taken in the pigeon houses themselves despite the fact that they were in reality only part of farming properties.

Veau de l’Aveyron

The Aveyron is the No.1 producer of meat in the south of France and is particularly renowned for the quality of it’s meat, the Label Rouge guarantees the superior quality. In the Aveyron, and especially in Segala, the veal farmers adhere to this label and look after their calves as well as on any other animal farm.

Tarn Food & Drink

Whatever food or drink you like, you will never be hungry or thirsty in the Tarn. Tarn specialities are wide-ranging and full of flavour including specialities such as Truffles, Cepes, Wild Boar, Veal, Garlic, Echaudés Biscuits, Jambon de Lacaune,Pumpkin Pancakes which can all be accompanied by wines from Gaillac.

Latest FrenchEntrée Tarn & Aveyron Recipes

If you want to try to compete with the true “Aveyronais” and have a little bit of time and strength, put a black hat on. Here is the recipe you can try at home before making it for your whole village!

Preparation time : 30 minutes
Cooking time : 45 minutes
Makes : 4 servings

A Guide To Aveyron Food & Drink

Traditional Aveyron dishes, which must be tasted if you are living here or just visiting, include aligot, le Laguiole, la fouace ,Aubrac beef,foie gras, tripous, confits, stuffed cabbage, Estofinado,thrush pâté with goose liver, lamb, feuilleté au roquefort, ewes’ curds and the inevitable Roquefort accompanied by wines from Marcillac,Estaing or d’Entraygues.

Tarn & Aveyron Markets

Markets are a way of life for the French in the Tarn & Aveyron, and if you wish, you could visit one on most days. If you are on holiday in the Tarn or Aveyron do try and visit at least one while you are here as it is such a good way to immerse yourself and the family in French culture. Take the opportunity to sample the Tarn & Aveyron regional specialities on offer in the market with no obligation to buy, anything from local cheese, Gaillac Wine or Aligot.

English-speaking Notaires in Aveyron

Whether it is for buying a house, setting up business, writing a will, or settling a dispute with a neighbour, you will need the services of a good notaire. Check out our English-speaking Notaires in Aveyron here.

English-speaking Notaires in Tarn

Whether it is for buying a house, setting up business, writing a will, or settling a dispute with a neighbour, you will need the services of a good notaire. Check out our English-speaking Notaires in Tarn here.

Gaillac Wines – Wines of The Tarn Department

Situated in the north of the Tarn departement, the Gaillac Appellation area covers 2.500 hectares spread over 73 communes, for an AOC production of over 165.000 hectolitres. The vineyard of Gaillac was one of the first growing centres in Gaul. Today, the appellation comprises of one hundred independent producers and 3 co-operative cellars.

Gaillac Wines – Wines of The Tarn Department

Situated in the north of the Tarn departement, the Gaillac Appellation area covers 2.500 hectares spread over 73 communes, for an AOC production of over 165.000 hectolitres. The vineyard of Gaillac was one of the first growing centres in Gaul. Today, the appellation gathers around one hundred independent producers and 3 co-operative cellars.

Jean Jaurès – Born Castres (Tarn)

Jean JaurèsJean Léon Jaurès—full name Auguste Marie Joseph Jean Léon Jaurès—(born at Castres (Tarn)September 3, 1859 – Died Paris July 31, 1914) was a French Socialist leader. He was one of the first social democrats: within the Section Française de l’Internationale Ouvrière (SFIO), he opposed Jules Guesde’s refusal of socialist participation in bourgeois governments…