Articles by Staff Writer


Property Hotspot – Bellac, Haute-Vienne

Where did the town of Bellac get its name?
The official tourism website posits several possibilities, but we find ourselves favouring the idea that it’s simply an amalgamation of ‘Belle’ and ‘lac’… in short, ‘beautiful lake’. Even if that doesn’t entirely make sense (the only body of water here is the Vincou river). Still, you get the gist.

Property Hotspot – Arles-sur-Tech

If remote is your house-hunting watchword, consider the hillside village of Arles-sur-Tech. Burrowed in the lush Vallespire valley and bordered by the Canigou massif, most of this 2,882-hectare territory is densely forested, with a population of just over 2,700.

Renovation Case Study – Cabin Fever…

When Bob and Diane Kirkwood renovated a dilapidated lakeside ‘bunker’ near their home in Dordogne, they had no idea they’d be creating an off-grid, eco-friendly holiday experience that would win awards, they tell Greg Cook

The Accidental Olive Farmers

You fall in love with a property in the South of France, it has olive trees and you buy it. What do you do? You make olive oil, of course! Patrice Bertrand finds out more

Lifestyle Business Endeavours – The Snack and Shop

It took just one visit to Pas-de-Calais for Katharine Tasker to fall in love with this charming corner of France. Two years later, she’d swapped London’s traffic jams for gâteaux, tartes and wide open spaces. Janine Marsh finds out how she did it…

Steak à la Nina

I once worked as a waitress at a restaurant called Le Relais de Venise, or L’Entrecôte, and I was immediately drawn
to its menu, ‘The Formula’: a simple walnut salad with mustard dressing followed by steak and chips smothered in
a sauce with 26 different ingredients.

Chocolate Meringue Tart

This is a play on the classic fondant pudding – soft and melting inside – combined with Italian meringue. Sometimes I embed nuggets of chocolate salted caramel into the chocolate filling before baking. With or without them it is a serious hit of rich sweetness: you have been warned!

Home Comforts in the Dordogne

Thanks to the British love of the Dordogne, there’s a corner of southwest France that is forever England. But with its bastide towns, rolling green hills, verdant valleys, and food to die for, it couldn’t be more typically French, so don’t be put off when you hear it referred to as “Dordogneshire”!

Buying Tips – Five Leaseback Property Hotspots

Leaseback properties can be a fruitful long-term investment, but they can’t be found just anywhere. From the dizzy heights of the Alps to the glittering French Riviera, these are the spots to comb

Chalabre Property

Why buying property in and around Chalabre, with nearby lakes, castles and stunning views of the Pyrenees, makes for a great investment!

Loire Valley property for sale: A town-by-town guide

Your essential guide to facilities in towns to be found north of the Loire and east of Angers. You can find details on bars, restaurants, chemists, banks, supermarkets, broadband, English-language cinema, distance to the ports and much more.

Taste of the terroir – Lozère

This most sparsely populated department of Languedoc-Roussillon is rugged and mountainous but crossed by many rivers and densely forested in places, all of which lends the local gastronomy a truly unique flavour.

Champagne chiboust

Justin North began his career in his native New Zealand before travelling to England to work with renowned chef Raymond Blanc. This recipe is an excerpt of his beautifully illustrated book French Lessons which is a guide to mastering French cooking

Buying Hot Spots – Uzès, Gard, Occitanie

Where to buy in France now! Ready to make the move? The FrenchEntrée Property Services team reveals its top search areas – on and off the beaten track   UZÈS, Gard, Occitanie A shining example of la France profonde, you’ll

Characteristics of Corrèze

Corrèze has a rich medieval past with evidence of these times to be found throughout Correze’s towns and villages.

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.

Aveyron Property Overview

The department of Aveyron has not always been known for its property appeal but it has recently become much more popular.

Taste of the terroir – Nord-Pas de Calais

Situated between the sea and the farmlands of the Avesnois and the Monts des Flandres, Nord-Pas de Calais offers an unexpected cuisine which will delight the palate of the adventurous in search of lovely culinary surprises.

Interiors Case Study – A work of Art in Picardy

Clare Howarth and husband Carlos ditched the bustle of Paris for Impressionists’ favourite, Picardy, 20 years ago. Today they run a thriving guesthouse. Greg Cook finds out how they created their rustic idyll in this peaceful spot

Taste of the terroir – Auvergne

The region’s volcanic soil has helped shape every aspect of its gastronomy. From the cows that graze on it to the grapevines that are planted in it, the Auvergne produces food and drink unlike any other part of France.

Taste of the terroir – Brittany

Plateaux of fruits de mer and delicate sweet crêpes are just some of the things we look forward to eating on most of our holidays to France.

Hot chocolate pudding with praline parfait

Slice or cut the warm pudding into any shape you fancy. Pour some hot chocolate sauce over it and add a generous scattering of toasted almonds. Serve with a large scoop of the praline parfait.

Sarthe property for sale: a town-by-town guide

This beautiful part of France is home to some of the most spectacular properties in Europe, but you can also pick up a bargain. Its proximity to the Channel ports and Paris also make Sarthe an ideal location.

South-east Vendee property: a town-by-town guide

Extensive details of Fontenay le Comte and surrounding area The south-east Vendee has been a popular destination for house-hunters for many years. The climate, excellent transport links and affordable property make the area ideal for those dreaming of a new

Commuting to Work in the UK from France

How many of us dream of the good life in France on our daily commute? What if you could have that lifestyle, and still work in the UK? Janine Marsh investigates

Taste of the terroir – The French Alps

At this time of year, we’re looking forward to warm and hearty meals like those enjoyed in the mountainous Savoie department. Traditional Savoyard cuisine owes much to the special breeds of cattle grazing in the Alps.

Loire Valley Buying Guide

Gorgeous châteaux, pretty riverside towns, and a climate that’s never too hot and never too cold – it’s no wonder Brits have been beating a path to the Loire Valley since medieval times, says Dominic Bliss

Paris Brest

These were created in 1891, to celebrate the first 1,200km Paris-to-Brest bike race, one of cycling’s oldest events.

Guide to Buying a Vineyard in France

From Languedoc to Provence, Patrice Bertrand reveals what it takes to realise your dream of owning your own vineyard in France, and making wine in the sun

Taste of the terroir – Champagne-Ardenne

Champagne is a world famous wine, but the gastronomic heritage of Champagne-Ardenne is comparatively unknown. So look out for these local specialities, each one ideally married to the region’s bubbly booze…

Memories of Gascony – French Kitchen

Legendary French chef Pierre Koffmann waxes lyrical about his idyllic childhood in Gascony. In this exclusive extract from his book ‘Memories of Gascony’ he recalls the place of duck and goose on the family menu and how his beloved grandmother prepared her own confit.