Sunday, February 28, 2010

'Chez Francis' In Brive la Gaillarde

Saturday night and with friends, we decided to go to one of our favourite little restaurants in Brive la Gaillarde.  'Chez Francis'.

This is an attractive bistrot inspired by Parisian brasseries. There are book signings on its walls and portraits of the writers who come every year to the Book Fair. Dominique Tessandier praises the cuisine of her husband, Francis. A cuisine for lovers of good food, created with feeling, such as the pan-fried milk calf with chanterelle mushrooms, the dish of choice for many of the regulars.

My husband's very 'loud' shirt (on the left) added to the colourful decor!

Very pleasant ambience and friendly and quietly efficient service. The decor is charming and everything was as it should be.

Website here:



Friday, February 19, 2010

How about getting married in France??

I have just received rather an unusual request!  Nothing to do with property - but getting married in France!

I had to do a little research to find out some information for my client, so I thought I would share it with you incase anyone else is equally romantic!!   Thanks to Kay who has provided first hand advice, shared her experiance and knowledge......

"I got married over here and it is a bit long winded but worth it. But additional documents are required depending on where you come from so always worth checking with your embassy first."

The residency requirement for getting married in France is 40 days.

Publication of the Marriage Banns. According to French law one of you must reside in France for 30 days before an application for marriage can be made. The marriage application, otherwise known as the marriage banns must then be posted at the appropriate Mairie (town hall) no less than 10 days prior to your wedding.

Special Note about Residency Requirements:   Although it is said that the 40 day residency requirement cannot be waivered, if you or your family has property in France the residency requirement is not always strictly followed. However, it is very important to stress that this will be at the discretion of the Mayor at the Mairie (town hall) where you intend to get married. Therefore, I would strongly suggest that you contact the Mayor first to discuss the options available to you.

If you would like to get married in this beautiful country but cannot meet the residency requirements I would not let this get in your way of having your wedding in France.

My husband and I “secretly” got married in the United Kingdom prior to our wedding in France and had a Humanist wedding ceremony on our wedding day in France. Our civil ceremony in the United Kingdom was purely to take care of the legalities and our wedding day in France is when we considered ourselves married. Our guests were not aware that our civil ceremony had taken place and our very personalised wedding ceremony in France is when we and our guests felt that we became husband and wife.

Required Documentation:   All documentation must be original and endorsed with an Apostille Stamp. Any documentation that is not in French must be accompanied by official translations translated by an agency verified by the French Consulate.

A Valid Passport

Long Form Birth Certificate. This must be fully translated into French by a Sworn translator and must be issued within 3 months of your marriage date.

Certificat de Celibat. This is a certificate to state that you are not already married. This certificate does not exist under British law so you need to obtain an official attestation from the consulate to say so.

Certificat de Coutume. This is an Affidavit of Law which is a notarised statement by an attorney who is licensed to practice in both France and your home country. The Certificate de Coutume certifes that you are both free to marry and your marriage will be recognised in your country of residence.

For most countries your consulate in France will be able to help with issuing these documents. If you are a British citizen I would suggest contacting the Foreign Commonwealth Office for further details.

Medical Certificate. Blood tests and a medical examination must be undertaken by a French doctor or by a doctor who is approved by your local French Embassy or Consulate. Your marriage application cannot be published until you have submitted your medical certificates to your local Mairie.

Justificatifs de Domicile - Proof of Domicile. You need to show proof of residence. This can take the form of 2 documents such as gas and electricity bills.

Certificat du Notaire - Prenupital agreement. If you are planning to have a prenuptial agreement this must be presented to the Mairie.

Marriage Certificate. If get married in France you will receive a “livret de famille" which is an official document that is used for all events relating to your “new” family, such as births, deaths, divorce or name changes.

If you would like to obtain further copies of your marriage certificate you will need to write to the Mairie where the marriage took place, stating the following details:

The date and place of your marriage

Your full names (including maiden name).

Religious Ceremonies

In France only a civil ceremony is legally binding. If you wish to have a religious ceremony you must first have a civil ceremony. The civil ceremony can take place in France or in your country of residence.

French Wedding Etiquette:

Two Ceremonies. Marrying couples in France are required to have a civil ceremony at City Hall. This generally occurs the morning of the wedding day and is very short. A longer religious ceremony, usually in a church even if the bride and groom do not regularly attend, follows the civil ceremony. All guests are invited to the church ceremony, but unless you are immediate family or an extremely close friend, don't expect an invitation to the civil ceremony.

Vin d'Honneur or Cocktail Party. After the religious ceremony, all guests are invited to a vin d'honneur, a light reception with drinks and finger foods. You can almost be guaranteed a glass of champagne. This casual cocktail party of sorts will last a couple of hours as the newly married couple mingles with guests.

Dinner and Dancing. The luncheon or dinner following the vin d'honneur is the main event. For a minimum of six hours, guests sit back and enjoy multiple courses of food and drinks. During this time, guests provide entertainment arranged by family and friends. The bride and groom are sometimes surprised with readings of poems, games, serenades and other festivities.

Dancing begins later in the evening, often not until 10 p.m., and continues into the wee hours. You will probably be provided with coffee and refreshments somewhere around midnight. This is hardly the end of the event, though, as French weddings can last well into the next morning and beyond in many cases.

Invitations. One thing to remember when receiving an invitation to a wedding in France is that you might not be invited to attend the entire event. It is very common for brides and grooms to invite guests only to certain parts of the day. How much of the event you're invited to depends on how well you know the couple.

If you receive an invitation, you will almost certainly be invited to the church ceremony and vin d'honneur after-party. If you know them more than as acquaintances but are not necessarily close, you might also be invited to join dessert and maybe dancing later that night. Only very close friends and family members attend all events of the day and stay the entire time.

Attire:  Grooms in France don't typically wear formal tuxedos on their big day, but instead opt for a simple suit. If you walk in more dressed up than the groom, it will be considered strange and probably even rude. Remember that these weddings last all day and into the night. If you've been invited to join them for every event, be sure to dress comfortably and appropriately.

A couple of intertesting links:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Like 'A little house on the Prairie'!! A little gem.

Ref 3265S                                                 SOLD!

Price:  120.000€ (agency fee included)

A dinky little cottage situated almost perfectly in the middle of 10.000m2 of wooded land.  Actually to be found down a windy country road between Souillac and Gourdon in the Lot.  The cottage is not completly isolated, there are other properties either side.  And it is only about 6 km's from the nearest village (with all small commerce) so not in the depths of beyond!  I fell in love with this one.... just such an idyllic setting. 

The little cottage has been renovated.  The exterior is in excellant condition.  The interior could probably benefit from some refreshing but it's not essential and it is certainly habitable.  Presently consists of a living room with a cantou fireplace, a small kitchen and a bathroom.  Upstairs is the only bedroom but it's a good size measuring 20.27m2.  Typically French style - there are lots of heavy brown furniture so it makes the rooms look rather full!  However you will see from the photo's that there are some lovely old features such as the old stone sink and exposed beams etc. 

This cottage would be ideal for a holiday home.  Alternatively, you could extend to make a much larger home - at this price, it would make complete sense to consider this property because this kind of location and setting is difficult to sometimes find. 

There is a wooden chalet/shed also in the garden.
Browse the photo's....  and imagine yourself on the terrace!!


Please contact me if you would like further specific information by e-mail (FAO Kim)

Don't forget to add me to your favourites or click on the link to 'follow' the blog. I will be updating as and when new properties come onto the market, news about the area, oh, and a little about my French life!!

Hope to hear from you soon!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

A little village cottage with an old forge!

Ref:  4992S

Price:  98.200€ Price reduced to 92.500€! (agency fee included)

New on the market and sooooo interesting!  This very sweet little cottage is situated in a small hamlet between Souillac and Gourdon in the LOT. 

What a cute little place!  It is stone built, and actually has a surface of 85m2.  Ok, so it's a little old inside but because of it's size, it really will not take too much work to make this into a very nice little place.  Central heating has already been installed.  The price is certainly very competative for a little house in this neck of the woods.  It presently has 1 bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and lounge.    There is also an attic that could be converted. 

There is garden on all sides measuring 1200m2 in total.  Attached to one side is a large garage of 33m2.   Also there is a full basement of 54m2. 
Now for the part I really enjoyed!  There is an old forge, inlcuded!  It was obviously only a very small local one, however, all the parts are still inside...  so interesting to see all the old bits and pieces.  Even the old stall for keeping the horses in place whilst being shod is still present!  Not sure what you would do with this building - but you would be able to say you own the old village forge!!!


Please contact me if you would like further specific information by e-mail (FAO Kim)

Don't forget to add me to your favourites or click on the link to 'follow' the blog.  I will be updating as and when new properties come onto the market, news about the area, oh, and a little about my French life!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dinner with Jean Michel SALVADOR - a French Artist

Dining out with mutual friends, we had the very great pleasure of meeting Jean Michel Salvador, a French artist and his adorable wife Alice. 

We had been invited to a very French, gastronomic delight of an evening!!  (I will do a seperate post for that - as it was something rather special!)

It is always such a pleasure to meet up with some very interesting people.  And Jean Michel certainly is inspiring and interesting.
Here he is about to tuck into, the fourth course I think!  And after a few glasses of champagne and the finest of wines.....

Jean Michel has since sent me some photo's of his work.  Wow!  Here is one example alone:
Also, just recently, some of his work has been published in one of the best selling deco magazines in France (and one I buy!).  This is the Jan/Feb edition - so be quick if you would like a copy!

You can visit Jean Michel's website here: 

Please note, Jean Michel will be exhibiting in Martel on the 12th - 24th May.