French Connections

YES, WELL might you wonder what this is. You see, we sometimes get the feeling that we aren't alone in our house. Especially at this time of year. Do you ever feel the same? On the face of it, officially, according to the electoral roll and list of local taxpayers, Josephine and I are the only people who live here. But in compiling the definitive list of inhabitants we could hardly forget Pinot the cat, who would be black (and white) affronted if he knew he'd been left out.

'DID YOU know,' I said to Josephine, 'that there's a small area of London that has an Occitan name?'
'No,' she said.
'I mean,' I prattled on, 'there's this language, Occitan, that no one in the south of France speaks as their mother tongue any more, except maybe a few very elderly people, so to all intents and purposes it's dead, like Cornish. And yet an Occitan word has given its name to an area of London. Don't you think that's extraordinary?'
'Not really,' she said. 'What is it? Convince me.'
'Castelnau,' I said. 'On the south side of Hammersmith Bridge. It's part of Barnes, really. In Occitan it means 'high castle'. Castel means castle, obviously, and nau, sometimes naut or naud, means high.'
'Are you sure? Doesn't it mean 'new castle'?'
'Nope. High castle. Quite sure.'

Featured holiday rentals

Dordogne

Sleeps 8 – From £450
La Claperie »

Var

Sleeps 8 – From £1390
Villa Les Oliviers »

Finistere

Sleeps 9 – From £1410
Freemantle »


Discounts and special offers

Grab a special offer or discounted deal on a French holiday home, farmhouse, cottage or villa.

Last Minute

See last minute availability for self catering rentals, villas and cottages across France.

Long lets

Looking for a long let prior to moving to France or taking an extended break or a sabbatical? See what our Owners have on offer >>

Car hire in France

Our dedicated car hire search engine finds the best prices for you with pick up points in all major French cities, airports and stations.

Mobile and Internet

Save money on mobile and broadband charges in France with LeFrenchMobile.

Currency

Compare and save up to 10% on foreign currency with our travel money comparison tool.

France by Ferry

Find some great deals on ferries to France.

Flying to France

See routes and get latest fares on flights to France.

Driving in France

Read our free guide to driving through France.