• Villa in the Vines with Pool & Spa
  • Driving in France

    Posted on 11th January 2016

    Driving in France….

    …really is a total joy… if you have an insider’s guide.  Imagine quiet village lanes, blue skies, vineyards, empty roads…..but of course, it helps if you know the rules of the road and can deftly navigate French roads with the ease and confidence of a local!

    Our Top 10 Tips for Driving in France

    Here we are going to tell you some of the quirky rules you need to know; how to compare petrol prices (they can vary wildly even within a couple of miles – /+25% is not unusual); tips for navigating those pesky toll booths and what the heck the speed limits are. Looking to hire a car for all the family, from the airport and not be ripped off?  Or perhaps something a little special…..dreaming of a 2CV or an open-top sports car?  Yup, we can tell you where. read more

    Rosegal Reviews 2015

    Honest Rosegal Review 2015

    I first came across Rosegal on Facebook in November 2015.  The photos looked so fab, I was sucked in and soon browsing their website.  The large banner at the top which read, “Happy ThaCksgiving” did worry me somewhat….however, I still went ahead an ordered the “Elegant Gray Slash Collar Long Sleeve Pullover Knitwear For Women”

    Elegant Gray Slash Collar Long Sleeve Pullover Knitwear For Women

    Zooming on the photo I could see the quality was not going to be fabulous, but I read the 3 reviews posted on there, which seemed honest enough, and decided to go for it.  At only £15 for a jumper/sweatshirt including postage.  Yes, free postage from China, I thought it worth a punt. read more

    Embarrassing French language mistakes

    Posted on 1st December 2015

    Funny French Language Mistakes

    Be it just using the wrong word entirely, or a case of mispronunciation, here are a few of the mistakes that us foreigners often make in France.  Many originate from the fact that we Anglo-Saxon speakers find it difficult to distinguish between the two different French sounds – OU and U.  Frankly, it would be difficult to explain the difference.  My son has (impatiently) for years tried to explain.  The end result usually being us dissolving into tears of laughter at my poor pronunciation or general incomprehension. J’ai poux (I have head lice) …when in fact meant to say j’ai pu (I was able to…)  Oh dear. Dessous (under)…..instead of dessus (over).  Excessive hand-gesturing is usually called for with this one to be sure you have understood correctly.  (You’re stuffed if you’re on the phone). En rut (on heat) instead of en route.  Quite disastrous if you inform your French host that you are en rut instead of en route.

    Citroen 2 CV france

    Further vowel traps await the unwary English speaker attempting to get to grips with French.

    Canard (duck) or did you mean connard (dickhead)?  Make sure you use the correct one with your French waiter, or during your road-rage altercation. Quand (when) or con (wanker)

    Z or S?

    Baisse-toi (get down)  or baise-toi (screw you).  Use with caution until you know the difference.  SS has an ‘s’ sound.  A single s has a more ‘z’ sound.

    What a delicious meal:  I’m pregnant

    Je suis pleine (I am pregnant)  when you actually meant to say, “j’ai assez mangé“ – I’m full.

    villeneuve market

    What fabulous weather:  I’m amorous

    Je suis chaud (I’m horny) instead of j’ai chaud (I’m hot)

    Cute puppy or shithouse?

    Chiot(puppy) pronounced she-oh.  Not to be confused with chiotte (shithouse) pronounced she-ot. Finally, when trying to enquire if your appointment is with a female doctor, do not say médecin/docteur femelle (loosely translates as “bitch doctor”).  My hairdresser literally fell on the floor laughing at this one.  Use Madame le docteur

    Bonne chance 🙂


    French language survival guide

    Posted on 30th November 2015

    French false friends

    Or faux amis in French.  Often, translating from English to French you can have a good stab at what a word may be by trying to use the English one, (ensuring you adopt an Inspector Cluseau-style accent).  However, it’s not always the case. Monnaie :  Not money (argent), but change – as in loose change. Envie : Not envy, but the desire/wish to do something, as in j’ai envie de… Librarie : Not a library (bibliothèque), but a book shop. Location : Not location, but rental, ie location voiture = car rental. Préservatif : This probably requires more care than most.  It absolutely does not mean preservatives.  If you were in a restaurant/shop and tried to politely enquire whether the food contained any préservatifs the response would likely be shock/double take/hysterical laughter….let me explain.  Un préservatif translates as condom!  You have been warned. Why do French people keep wishing you a “bon journey”?  What they are actually saying is, Bonne journée which means have a nice day.  Bon voyage would be have a good journey!    

    French language tips

    Posted on 29th November 2015

    How to get served in a French shop/restaurant!

    So, you wish to attract the attention of the shop worker who is stacking shelves…..and chatting away to a co-worker.  Hmmmm.  Of course in English the best way would be to start with a loud, “Excuse me….”.  However, that would be considered quite rude in France!

    The most practical French language tip you will learn

    Always, always, always start with, “Bonjour”.  To be extra-polite, add in “Monsieur/Madame”.  You can then go on with your request.  The whole excuse-me thing is just superfluous, as “Bonjour” translates as “Sorry to interrupt your little chat but can you serve me please”? If your French is rusty to say the least, forget trying to conjugate tricky sentences.  It is perfectly acceptable to say just (after the “bonjour” of course) “ketchup/bananes/fromage s’il vous plaît”?  When finished a “Merci et bonne journée” will do nicely 🙂 bordeaux vineyards france holiday rental

    France : Life à la crème anglaise…

    Posted on 24th November 2015
    Living in France as an anglaise… Today, sitting in front of my roaring log fire, feeling rather smug with ma vie (my life) when I went to fetch the post.  (Post is delivered to a box at the end of our drive, so a round trip of some 300 metres!  The post box locks with a key, so parcels can be safely locked in.  However, when we moved in several years ago, we quickly figured out that the local population of voleurs (burglars) seem to be on permanent holidays, so the key is left in the lock of the box for our convenience.  Anyway, I digress)… First letter was a request from the world-famous French fonctionnaires (civil servants) requesting that I fill in a long form and furnish them with several attestations (certificates, usually of rights to a particular service).  Any newcomers to France will very quickly hear and learn the word “attestation” as every civil servant in France is specially trained to demand them at every turn.  There is seemingly no limit as to the number of attestations that can be required.  As I am already registered with this particular branch of French government, managed to jump through the administrative hoops without too much effort. Letter 2….hmmm…an invitation (oh really?) to register with a new branch of bureaucracy for the business.  Oh joy.  Not only the prospect of a form of several pages of miniscule writing with vocabulary so obscure that after 8 years here have never heard (nor am likely to again)…..but also the guarantee of another tax bill to follow swiftly on its heels! Still, it’s 18h (or 6 o’clock in normal speak) so a glass of Bordeaux seems to be calling.  Well it would be rude not to…..am just supporting the local economy 😉 wine for dinner!

    Last minute holiday rentals

    Posted on 30th June 2015
    Looking to pick up a last minute holiday rental?  Why not head over to France?  We have a couple of special offer periods still available, including the school summer holidays 2015. bordeaux vineyards france holiday rentalWouldn’t it be fabulous to find a place that was beautifully furnished…..that the OH loved…and the kids adored?   You’ve found it! Your own fabulous villa with a private heated, fenced swimming pool…..and its very own spa!    Just imagine whilst you are relaxing here, the kids are out unicorn hunting amongst the villa’s acres of private grounds or splashing in the pool…dressing up at your holiday accommodation   fenced heated private poolPrices start at just £1199 for a 5 day break in July! £1649 for a week or just £2950 for the last remaining August week.  You better be quick!  Collage spa

    It’s all the little things…

    Posted on 1st April 2015

    Owners Direct France

    owners direct france beautiful gardensHere at Le Verger, we like to take real pride in looking after the property and grounds (usually to the detriment of our own house!)  When you rent a holiday property, it can often be disappointing to find disinterested/unavailable managers, absent (equally disinterested) owners and a general lack of care and investment in the property.  Renting direct from the owners, who live in France, can be a real bonus – including renting at the lowest prices – as you are renting direct without costly middlemen. Every year, we invest heavily in keeping Le Verger bright and fresh, be it replacing rugs, quality hotel bedlinenbedlinen, towels and sofa covers to keep them fabulous and new looking, or bigger items like the new blingy American fridge freezer. Lots of little details can also make a difference:
    • Freshly-planted flowers on the terrace
    • Herb garden for fabulous home-grown flavours
    • Coffee filters ready in the coffee machine for you
    • Salt & pepper pots refilled
    • Rinse aid/salt refilled in the dishwasher (doesn’t that drive you mad, when it isn’t?!) + supply of dishwasher tablets
    • Kitchen roll, cling film, foil, bin bags, spices etc ready in the kitchen
    • Even a loo roll in each bathroom
      tree-lined gravelled driveway Of course, living locally in France, means we can personally oversee the property.  However, don’t think you will be spotting us over the garden fence.  We are out of sight/earshot, giving you total privacy.  (We are often unobtrusively available should an emergency arise). Debs chooses the cotton percale bedlinen (both new and some fabulous antique sheets) and launders it with a passion, along with the super-size fluffy towels.  Let’s face it – nobody wants to be wasting space bringing towels on holiday with them! Richard works hard in the grounds, expertly mowing and strimming and generally tryingbig holiday rental in france to tame nature!   Of course, we try and remain as unobtrusive as possible, and will always aim to mow, wherever possible, when guests are out. We hope when you stay here, you will enjoy the benefit of our efforts.  Bonnes vacances 🙂

    Driving Licence Changes

    Posted on 17th March 2015

    UK Driving Licence Changes

    If you’re planning on hiring a car this summer, make sure you don’t get caught out by the UK driving licence changes.

    Just imagine – you’ve planned the holiday meticulously –  time off work, flights, great accommodation, things to do… only to land and find out that you are unable to hire your booked hire car.  Eek.  Don’t get caught out by the UK’s driving licence changes – read our handy guide. read more

    What is there to do with kids in The Dordogne France ?

    Posted on 23rd February 2015
    South West France has lots of activities to keep children of all ages occupied.   We know, as living here we have become true experts at finding all the best places to go to with our little angels ! Here are some of our favourites in The Dordogne and Bordeaux area of France to keep boredom at bay !

    25 Activites for Children in The Dordogne & Bordeaux area

      child friendly gite in france SAM_1836 poney club        
    • Pony ride around the vineyards.

    • Learn to ski on a giant indoor skiing treadmill in Bordeaux.

    • Kayak / canoe on The Dordogne.

    Trampolining at a trampoline park in Bordeaux (or in the grounds of your gîte) & play dodgeball. read more