Louise Elsom has been living in the Languedoc for four years and in January 2012 launched Brits in Carcassonne, hosting regular events in a bid to bring English speakers together to share advice and tips on living in France…
“I moved to France with my mum after I finished university in the UK. We holidayed in southern France throughout my childhood. My dad always dreamed of retiring here and sadly he never got to live out that wish, but we decided to grab the bull by the horns and move out here. We like a challenge!
“We live 15 minutes outside of Carcassonne. Whether you want to go for a meal in the main square or go for a walk around the medieval city, there is something for everyone. Plus the beaches of Narbonne are just 45 minutes away. What more could we ask for?
“I launched Brits in Carcassonne at the end of January this year. I remember how hard it was to meet people when I first moved here and thought it would have been great to be able to talk to people here to ask for advice and tips. We are based in the Carcassonne area but we have members from all over Languedoc-Roussillon, as well as those who live in the UK but have holiday homes here – everyone is welcome.
“Brits in Carcassonne (now called Aude Grapevine) hosts regular events including a walking group, a Carcassonne cake club, coffee mornings and evenings at the local Irish pub, The Celt. We are always looking for new ideas for events to host.
“The aim is to help English speaking newcomers to the area, create a network for local businesses and to bring a sense of community to the area. We hope that some of the French locals will join the group over time, as I have already told the local villagers about our coffee mornings and walks.
“Joining gives you access to our forum, where you can chat with other members. You can message other members privately, read my daily blog, share your thoughts and read about upcoming events. Membership is free.
Aude Grapevine has a Facebook page.