Confolens in Charente

Property Guide to the Charente

Thinking of buying a property in Poitou-Charentes? This article is an introductory guide to the area covering climate, landscape, attractions, access, property styles and prices.

French gîte La Rochelle

Renovating and Running a Gîte in France

Sue & Simon Paine, who have stylishly renovated properties near La Rochelle, answer our questions about doing up a French home and also offer some sound advice to buyers. They provide essential advice for anyone considering renovating and running a

Gardiane de taureau; Frances Lincoln

French recipe: Joël Robuchon’s beef stew

French cookery legend Joël Robuchon reflects upon his culinary journey and presents a favourite recipe from his new book: gardiane de taureau I was born in Poitiers, in the Poitou. It is my ‘homeland’ – the region of my childhood

Susan Hays Our French Oasis

Seasonal change: springtime in France

A strange thing happens in France when the fire-wood runs low. Deserted villages and small quiet rural towns breathe a sigh of relief and disgorge winterized humans into the pale spring sunshine. This seasonal migration from a central, warm winter


Ham & Olive Bread, a French apéritif favourite

This is a quick and simple recipe for a french savoury ‘cake au jambon et aux olives’ or ham and olive bread. Very popular for snacks, picnics or informal apéritifs … just cut it up and serve!

The origins of Cognac

Located on the banks of the Charente, Cognac has a history as rich as its famous drink’s flavour. The area has been inhabited since the Prehistoric era and, even if their origins remain a mystery, there are still relics from

by tpholland via flickr

Daube de Bœuf à la Saintongeaise

Daube is a classic Provençal stew made with inexpensive cuts of beef braised in wine. Perfect for a dinner party as you make it well ahead of time to allow the flavours to meld together.

The Hermione Sets Sail in Charente

On Sunday the 7th September 2014 under the scorching sun of an Indian Summer an estimated 50,000 people gathered in Rochefort on the banks of the River Charente. The long anticipated event that drew them there was the departure of

©Jacqueline Davis, Ma Maison Parfaite

Settling into French life

Working as a property finder, people often ask Jacqueline how easy it is to settle into French life. She finds inspiration in Lynn, who took to her new life in France like a duck to water.

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

Taste of the terroir: The Île d’Oléron

The Île d’Oléron, off the west coast of the Charente-Maritime region, boasts a lengthy tradition of gastronomy. Daily markets take place all over the island, from the towns of Saint-Denis and Saint-Georges to La Bréeles-Bains and Dolus, showcasing over 90

Rémy Martin Fine Champagne Cognac

Founded in 1974, the history of the House of Rémy Martin is one of a family, the family of five generations of vintners and cognacs driven by the same ambition. Creation of cognac is the work of the Cellar Master, Pierrette Trichet – the fourth person to take on this prestigious role in the House of Rémy Martin and the first woman to ever reach this level of expertise.

French property with a dependence

Jacqueline Miller, FrenchEntrée property finder for La Rochelle and the Vendée coast, has noticed that an increasing number of properties are being sold with a dependence – well worth knowing about if you are looking to buy a house in France.

A home from home in France

Wide open spaces, uncrowded beaches, a sunny climate suited to an active outdoor lifestyle, great wines, historical buildings and friendly locals are just some reasons why the Vendée coast offers Australians a home from home in France.

When Renovators Become Residents

Val Walmsley tells the story of how she snapped up a renovation project as a second home. But once work had begun to transform the two C18 farmhouses (one habitable, the other in a sorry state) she couldn’t bear to leave and soon persuaded her other half to make France their permanent place of residence

a set of keys

Running a Property Management Company in Deux-Sèvres

Penny and Ken Smith have been running their property management company Complete Property Care for the last six years. Situated in a small village called Neuvy Bouin roughly 20 minutes from Parthenay, in Deux Sèvres, they look after properties within a 50 minute radius, and are currently managing 10 properties…

Jocelyn & Gordon Simms

Living the Dream in Deux-Sevres

Gordon and Jocelyn Simms are writers and poets and, when they decided to retire to France, it was important that they found the perfect place in which to ‘live their dream’.  Gordon tells the tale of how they found their mill home by the river.

Tel Turnbull – Potter

Tel Turnbull was born in the industrial Midlands and some of his first recollections were of the smoking bottle kilns. Since he and his wife Katie moved to France in 2007 he has created a centre where visitors can enjoy the experience of creating their own pots.

Inspirational cookery courses

Fed up with preparing the same old meals? How about spending a day with a professional cook and food writer? Beryl Brennan spent a day with Mary Cadogan, ex Food Director of the BBC Good Food Guide, getting some tips on vegetarian cookery.

A group of people together for a group picture

Getting Together in Deux-Sevres

It’s not always easy making new friends when you move to a new area, or finding out where you can meet people with similar interests. You might need an English-speaking dentist or a good vet for your pet.

Cerisiers' pool

Successful Gîte Rentals

Jim and Gail moved to the Charente-Maritimes in April 2003. Usual story; they wanted to get out of the rat race in South-East England, and bought a property with a tumble-down wreck attached. But now the wreck is a beautiful gîte, and the couple have discovered the recipe for success with holiday lettings…


Buying in the Poitou-Charentes

Following my last article on the healthy state of the “French property market” I thought it would be useful to highlight the five most common mistakes UK purchasers make when looking for their dream home in the Poitou-Charentes.

AVF Banner Logo

AVF – Help When Moving to Your New Town

AVF (Acceuil des Villes Francaises) is a national association (registered under French law) with 350 local branches throughout France including 3 in Deux-Sevres. It is a non-political organisation, run by trained volunteers. There are plenty of events and also French conversation groups.

Melon au Pineau

This is the next recipe in our Charentaise series and this time we are on éntrees and here are three ways to serve a lovely Charentaise melon.

Veggie Recipe

A quick and easy recipe to use up walnuts from last autumn’s harvest. A perfect dish to serve with fresh bread, salads and cheese for a light summer lunch or picnic…

Wheels in Charente

In July 2003 we began our search for a place in France. After several months of looking for a holiday cottage we changed our minds and decided to look for a permenant home …

Open Door – Living With Illness

Lynn Beaumont & Tony Webster started ‘Open Door’ in Civray – or Association La Porte Ouverte to give it its official name – almost two years ago as a Drop-in Centre to support people affected by long-term illness, either as a sufferer or carer …

Hotels Hosts

Starting a Gite Business

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s feasible to start a gite business in France, you’re not alone. Many people now say that the industry is ‘saturated’ and that it …

Booking Calendar Image

My First Year as a Caretaker

After a year in which I stopped taking bookings due to the poor standard of caretaking, I moved to France to manage my own property and that of a friend who had also had unsatisfactory help. Fortunately our changeovers were on different days, as the houses are 25kms apart.

Cookies made by children

French School Dinners

With all the fuss over school dinners in the UK, and headlines such as “Not fit for a dog” in the national papers, we asked Graham Downie how school meals compared …

Pineau des Charentes

Pineau des Charente was not made by trial and error, utilising various grape forms to produce a magnificent wine. No, legend has it, back in the 16th Century, …

All About Cognac

The English, Dutch and Scandiavians have been enjoying the wines of Poitou Charente since as early as the 13th Century. In the 16th Century the wines were transformed into …

Market Days in Poitou-Charentes

You can’t live or visit France, without experiencing the local markets and fairs, and Poitou Charentes is no exception. They are generally held in the mornings so be prepared for an early start………..