French Connections

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  • Biggest savings ever on Wine in France

    More people from Britain are going to France to stock up on wine and other drinks, as the savings are now greater than they have ever been.

    This is due to a potent mix of rising liquor duties in the UK and a weakening euro giving better exchange rates. According to a recent report in the Daily Telegraph, it’s a combination that has ushered in the “new age of the booze cruise”.

    The newspaper also points out that tax on wine is an astonishing eight times higher in Britain than in France, and the gap has widened over the past few years.

    There are no limits on the quantity you bring in as long as you don’t intend to sell the wine and no import tax is due on alcohol brought in from France, providing it is for personal use, which includes large purchases for weddings, events and parties. With savings of around £4 on an average priced quality wine and £12.50 on a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, there’s plenty to celebrate.

    Don’t forget that you can book ferry and Eurostar crossings on our travel pages – and why not make your booze cruise into a French mini-break? If you’re shopping at the Calais hypermarkets, visit the Cote d’Opale, the Boulogne aquarium and pretty inland towns like Ardres with its lovely lake.

    We have a range of accommodation in the Nord-Pas de Calais and Normandy as well as in the Champagne area and all the wine regions of France. With this year’s harvest time approaching in the vineyards, the next few weeks are great for a visit. Salut!

  • Entente cordiale still rules!


    Never mind the politics, let’s book a holiday. That’s the response of British people to recent events, as a massive jump in getaway bookings since last Friday has been reported by the travel industry.

    And, of course, the love affair with France continues – and always will. It’s easily accessible with great value holiday homes from home. More than that, we love the food and wine, the language, history and culture, the beautiful countryside where community continues, where traditional farms sell fresh local food at market and festivals, fairs and concerts are held all summer long.

    I reslish the sheer variety of landscapes and fascinating destinations. The Dordogne with its pastoral idyll, pre-historic museums and painted caves; the mind-blowing Ardeche gorge with Pont d’Arc and the replica of the Chauvet Cave. Closer to home I am always happy browsing Honfleur for the harbour, architecture, food and crazy art and Monet’s garden is heaven. For a quick hop across the Channel, I like Ardres and the beach at Wissant.

    Recently I fulfilled a lifelong desire to visit the Camargue, inspired by the ‘White Horses’ TV series. I so enjoyed the fabulous flamingos and herons, the church at Saintes Maries de la Mer and throwing myself into warm sea off the little beach there.

    Where next? A quiet spot off the tourist track on the Mediterranean coast, close to arty harbours and villages and accessible to a chic, historic town or city. Languedoc-Roussillon perhaps? There I would take a boat trip, go swimming, wander markets, vineyards and lavender fields. Can’t wait.


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