First im­pres­sions

Living France - - NEWS -

I’ve en­joyed tak­ing a trip down mem­ory lane while put­ting this month’s is­sue to­gether. Read­ing Peter Ste­wart’s ar­ti­cle on Seine-Mar­itime (p20) re­minded me of my first school trip to Up­per Nor­mandy – I re­mem­ber the ex­cite­ment of the ferry crossing to Dieppe; see­ing (and smelling) cheese be­ing made in front of my very eyes, and stand­ing be­neath the Gros Hor­loge in Rouen, be­fore pluck­ing up the courage to or­der an ice cream in my best school­girl French from a glacier in one of the colour­ful half-tim­bered build­ings.

My ex­pe­ri­ence of Seine-Mar­itime was short but sweet, but for Lynn and Dun­can Bir­tles, it has of­fered a dif­fer­ent way of life for the past 14 years. The cou­ple share what they love about liv­ing there and run­ning a B&B on page 28.

It’s not ev­ery day that a fa­mous TV chef comes to stay, never mind that you have to cook for one, so what hap­pens when James Martin ar­rives on your doorstep? Find out on page 30, as Ca­tri­ona Burns catches up with two cou­ples run­ning B&Bs in Dor­dogne and Aude who wel­comed the cast and crew be­hind the French Ad­ven­ture series. We took the op­por­tu­nity to ask James where he’d buy a home across the Chan­nel too – let us know if you agree with his choice.

This month’s Cannes fes­ti­val also in­spired us to take a closer look at some of the towns and vil­lages across France where pop­u­lar movies have been filmed (p40). They all have star qual­ity, and are even bet­ter in real life than they look in the make-be­lieve world on screen. Just imag­ine what it would be like to live there…

Vicky Leigh, Ed­i­tor

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