Articles by Staff Writer


Late Summer French mortgage tips

Late summer and early autumn is often the busiest time of the year for buyers of second homes in France committing to new purchases. Here we look at two key points to ensure your French property purchase remains on track!

French Mortgage Advice

An Agreement in Principle Why it pays to get your application for a French mortgage sorted out before hunting for your dream home… “When you possess an ‘agreement in principle’ it sends a very clear message to vendors that you

Renovation Case Study – Sleeping Beauty

  The Wilkinsons used their aesthetic talents and exquisite taste to return a dilapidated farmhouse in the south of France to its original splendour. Greg Cook finds out how…   Barely off the plane, Marianne and David Wilkinson took one

Moules au Roquefort

Rope-grown mussels steamed with Roquefort cheese, white wine, garlic, parsley and bacon lardons. This simple but tasteful dish has a great  combination of flavours and is sure to impress any guest! Our quick and easy recipe makes it perfect for

Taste of the Terroir – Toulouse

The ‘Pink City’ is a well-established culinary centre, one which boasts famous specialities that range from cassoulet and Toulouse sausages to violet-flavoured sweets.   Toulouse is most famous for its speciality charcuterie sausages – historically made from pork that’s marinated

Pan fried fillets of plaice with butter and almonds

Filets de carrelet meunière aux amandes     One of the best-known and loved flatfish of all, plaice can be easily identified at the fishmonger’s by its distinctive brown colouring and vivid orange spots. If cooked well, this tasty fish

A Tale of Two towns – Deauville & Trouville

  There is more than a bridge linking Deauville with Trouville.  Both villages on Normandy’s lovely Côte Fleurie have a casino, a beach boardwalk and a film festival…   Given its small size and a population of just 4,000, Deauville

Raspberry Soufflé

  Once mastered, this beautifully light dessert with intense raspberry flavour will be in your repertoire of special dinners for years to come. You might even feel like investing in individual copper pots that are the perfect size for soufflés,

Taste of the Terroir – Pays Basque

Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Spanish Pyrénées in the South-West of France is the Pays Basque and it has a much respected culinary style all of its own!   As an appetizer, you can’t beat a few slithers

Just Desert – Floating islands

  Everybody deserves a little sweet self indulgence once in a while, and what better way to round off a meal than with a delicious French dessert?   This is a simple microwave version of the classic French dessert, also

French Interiors – It’s all in the detail

To create the compagnard, or “country” look, go for useful items without cluttering Would you like to create a touch of French chic in your home without breaking the bank? Interiors expert Mayke Hogestijn looks at how to achieve the

Buying Property in France Case Study – Dordogne Dreams

  Rupert Springfield and Franck van der Hooft fell in love with the Dordogne one summer, there and then making plans to return and create their perfect home and business. They’ve turned the fantasy into reality!   FRENCHENTRÉE MAGAZINE: How

The manoir, reborn…

We talk to Anna Congratel who, alongside her husband Abel, worked for 15 years to gradually turn a spectacular 19th-century manor in the Lot into a luxurious guest house   FE Mag: When – and where – did you buy

Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val

The medieval town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val on the Aveyron River boasts a beguiling mix of amazing scenery and fascinating history plus a fantastic local market – it’s a jewel of the Tarn-et-Garonne…   1. Stunning panoramas The first and most obviously

Pear crêpe white wine, chocolate & almonds

A variant of the classic French dessert Poire Belle-Hélène, adapted here for a Breton crêpe.   Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes per crêpe FOR EACH CRÊPE 80g (3oz / 1⁄3 cup) crêpe batter 2 tbsp chocolate sauce

Lifestyle Case Study – Stepping into the Light

Adding a single-storey dining room extension has enclosed the courtyard Bénédicte and Phil Apple left gloomy Britain behind to convert an old mill house in Provence into an idyllic haven. They tell Greg Cook why it’s the best decision they’ve

The Cost of Living in France

The dream of moving to France is often based on a simpler, less costly and more rewarding lifestyle, but is it really a cheaper place to live?   START WITH THE FACTS At a glance, the cost of living for

The Cost of Buying Property in France

  Attractive property prices make France an appealing proposition. But with house-hunting costs and conveyancing fees to think about, it can all add up quickly…   HOUSE-HUNTING COSTS Often overlooked, these initial costs aren’t to be underestimated. There’s getting to

Property Showdown – LOT VERSUS LOT ET GARONNE

We head to the green heart of southwest France, where two départements reign supreme…   Lot Named after its defining river, the Lot shares its borders with the Limousin, Aquitaine and Auvergne regions. This historically rich area is known for

Taste of the Terroir – Poulet de Bresse

Justin Postlethwaite on just what it is that makes the blue-footed Bresse chicken, a living embodiment of the French flag, Le Tricolore, so in demand with amateur gourmands and top restaurants alike…   The strutting creatures that you occasionally glimpse

Chocolate mousse with cocoa-bean brittle and caramel ice cream

A recipe from a sumptuous cookbook by Rachael McKenna and Jean-André Charial which celebrates the unique gastronomic offerings and relaxed rituals of midday meals in Provence.   Mousseux au chocolat Grand Cru, craquant au grué de cacao, crème glacée au

French pigeon – Pigeon à la française

A recipe from a sumptuous cookbook by Rachael McKenna and Jean-André Charial which celebrates the unique gastronomic offerings and relaxed rituals of midday meals in Provence. Serves 2 200g lardons 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 bouquet garni

Ask the Experts – Removals to France FAQs

  A MOVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION Relocating abroad is not rocket science, but it does take planning. Tim Davies runs through the basics and shares some handy tips for a worry-free house move   Q How can I make

Taste of the terroir – Pyrénees-Atlantiques

  Strong Basque Influences Cuisine in this département is heavily influenced by Basque culture. You’d be advised to start off with the Bayonne ham. This is a sweet variety of specially cured ham protected by something called indication géographique protégée

Montanel, Mon Amour

Cows may outnumber villagers (or so her daughter believes) in the isolated hamlet of Montanel – but to Ani Moriarty the rural nook is simply heaven on earth   Where do you live in France and why did you choose

Grilled sea bass with ratatouille

A recipe from a sumptuous cookbook by Rachael McKenna and Jean-André Charial which celebrates the unique gastronomic offerings and relaxed rituals of midday meals in Provence.   Dos de loup de méditerranée cuit à la plancha, fine ratatouille aux goûts

French Wines Uncorked – FAQs

From choosing the best vintage (for you) to decanting and making heads or tails of tasting notes, Majestic Wine expert James Godfrey gets down to brass tacks   Q Why is wine so much cheaper in France than the UK?

Where to Buy in France Now – BEAULIEU-SUR-MER

Ready to make the move? The FrenchEntrée Property Services team reveals its top search areas – on and off the beaten track   BEAULIEU-SUR-MER Alpes-Maritimes, Côte d’Azur Beaulieu-sur-Mer, translated as ‘beautiful place by the sea’, lies at the very heart

Taste of the Terroir – Mayenne

This rural department of Pays de la Loire is characterised by wide open fields providing ample room for cattle to graze. Some poor cows live indoors all year round. Not here, where the beef is top notch   In this

John Dory Normande

from Philippe Mouchel This recipe from renowned Melbourne chef Philippe Mouchel is an ode to his home of Normandy, featuring a medley of seafood, the best butter and cream, and apple cider, which Philippe describes as ‘Normandy champagne’. Philippe starts

Property Hotspot – TREIGNAC, Limousin

Ready to make the move? The FrenchEntrée Property Services team reveals its top search areas – on and off the beaten track   TREIGNAC, Limousin. Standing next to the Vézère river, Treignac is situated in the north part of Corrèze,

French Country Living

Carolyn Westbrook is a designer known for her love of French interiors and in her  book Through the French Door, she shares her romance with beautiful and inspiring interiors, and invites us into some beautiful homes, including her own. Photography

Beef Stewed in Beer – Carbonade à la flamande

  Serves 6 Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 3 hours 30 minutes 800g beef chuck or back ribs 3 tablespoons fat 3 large onions 30g flour 400ml beer 600ml stock 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 bouquet garni

Goat’s cheese Camembert salad with beetroot and artichoke

Preparation: 25 minutes Serves 4 200g French goat’s cheese Camembert 4 whole pre-cooked beetroots 400g cooked, marinated artichokes 100g pine nuts 150g podded broad beans or soya beans 2 large handfuls of fresh basil 2 lemons 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Where to buy in France now! – MAGALAS

  Ready to make the move? The FrenchEntrée Property Services team reveals its top search areas – on and off the beaten track   MAGALAS, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon The charming village of Magalas, located just 15km north of the dynamic city

Our Top Five Regional Parks

There’s nothing like a jaunt around France’s many parcs naturels régionaux especially in summer. Next time you’re in the vicinity, why not go and investigate the park life? 1 Vercors   Straddling the départements of Drôme and Isère in the

Spring tartines

Alain Ducasse is one of the greatest chefs of our time. His influence stretches across the globe, with more than 20 restaurants in eight countries, and he was the first chef to be awarded three Michelin stars in three different

INSIDER INFO – Paris

With the news that Paris will host the Olympic Games in 2024, 100 years after France last staged the event, those with a keen eye on the property market have been paying close attention to the key sites.   Unlike

My Town Côte d’Azur

Nearly 30 years since she left her native United States for the sun-dappled shores of the Riviera, Lanie Goodman tells us why it’s the best decision she’s ever made   Why did you choose to call Villefranche-sur-Mer home? The advantages

Taste of the terroir – Franche-Comté

This mostly rural, relatively little-explored region abutting Switzerland is best known for its cheese and charcuterie yet boasts a unique of variety of wine dating back to the Romans. Florence Derrick investigates…   One of France’s most underrated regions, Franche-Comté

Saladier Lyonnais

Serves 4 Preparation time: 30 minutes Resting time: 1 hour This first-course salad is a marriage of diverse ingredients associated with the area around Lyon. It is found almost everywhere, from the smallest bouchon (a Lyonnais-style bistro which tends to

A Vine Romance

  Patrice Bertrand meets three expats who realised their dream of owning a vineyard in the south of France – and never looked back   Amidst his ten hectares of vines overlooking the picturesque Provençal village of Le Barroux and

Duck Breast with Morello Cherries and Roasted Baby Potatoes

Serves 4 to 5 4 x 350g duck breasts from fattened ducks 500g baby potatoes 25g salted butter 3 shallots, chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 15 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped 50g pitted morello cherries Pinch caster or granulated sugar Preparation

Make the most of your viewing trip

If you’re looking for houses in France, it pays to be prepared. Follow our handy bullet-point guide to making the most of your viewing trip.   * Make sure you have appointments booked with agents – don’t expect to just

Taste of the Terroir – La Côte d’Opale

Twenty-one miles from England lies France’s Opal Coast. For many school children, this stretch of coastline linking Calais and Boulogne-sur-Mer provides their first taste of France. Eleanor Fullalove advises visitors of all ages to bring back plenty of yummy ‘souvenirs’

DESTINATION GASTRONOMIQUE

Tim Matthews with chef Alexandre Gauthier   In the pretty and petit hilltop village of Montreuil-sur-Mer, something foodie is afoot… Janine Marsh meets a British expat who teamed up with a local superstar chef to put this northern French town

Taste of the Terroir – Marennes Oléron

Situated off the west coast of France, the island of Oléron is accessible via Marennes in mainland Charente-Maritime. Not surprisingly, seafood is the main culinary delight found in this beautiful outpost on the Atlantic, but that’s certainly not all…

Interiors – French Inspiration

A living room that is meant for living is essential to family life, and the relaxed style that this room represents, with slip covered sofas, dreamy pillows and fabulous treasures from the sea, sums up Carolyn’s ethos Carolyn Westbrook is

Southern Comfort Provence Style

  The Infantes tell FrenchEntrée how they transformed a beautiful stone mas in the Vaucluse into a tranquil, relaxed-looking home for their family   FRENCHENTRÉE MAGAZINE: What brought you to France? ALISON INFANTE: We lived in Hertfordshire near Welwyn Garden