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Help with France trip? Scouting for future house buy

Help with France trip? Scouting for future house buy

Sep 11th, 2007, 03:51 AM
  #21  
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Not into sport at all, I'm afraid, bilboburgler (now, what's the story behind THAT name? ).

Flygirl, ooooh, are you interested in Sheila's lovely manor house?
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Sep 11th, 2007, 04:13 AM
  #22  
 
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I suggest you try soliciting some work in France first, possibly work for which you would live in an apartment short-term while you complete the assignment. (You would not give up your UK abode but at most, sublet it.) In other words, start laying the groundwork for your business first. Think of yourself as an ivy plant. Stick the tendrils in first, then lug the leaves over! Bonne chance!
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Sep 11th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #23  
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Thanky!
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Sep 11th, 2007, 06:15 AM
  #24  
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I've not been to Nantes before, and I confess we'd weren't really leaning towards Britanny because we're not looking to become part of an expat British community and Britanny remains hugely popular with Brits.

But I won't rule it out, thanks to comments above.

Grenoble is further South than we'd prefer but again, won't rule it out.

Did enjoy our stay in the Saumurs/ Angers area several years back but one looks for quite different things as a tourist than as a resident so will need to re-investigate that from this newer perspective.

THanks all.
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Sep 11th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #25  
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Nantes is only 2 hours from Paris by TGV.
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Sep 11th, 2007, 06:39 AM
  #26  
 
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Nantes doesn't have a big British expat/holiday home base...it's not that close to a beach and it's still very French. Ditto for Angers, one of the reasons we like it so much.
FWIW, there are several very high quality new(ish) apartment complexes on the other side of Angers. They have huge balconies (from 200 to over 500 sqare feet), overlook the adjacent arboretum and the chateau across the street. By southeast UK standards, they are shockingly inexpensive. One of their larger apartments is near the top of our "places to retire in Europe" wish list.
OTOH, we're also tempted by some beautiful traditional style apartments with pretty balconies and center courtyard gardens right across the street from the chateau. Again, jaw-droppingly low prices compared to Maidenhead. And FWIW, everyone we've met in Angers has been friendly, down to earth and helpful and of course this city is known for having some of the purest French speakers in France (a poll of French teachers--in France--said the people of Anjou spoke French better than any other region).
Some of the coastal areas near Nantes (like La Baule) remain resolutely French.
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Sep 11th, 2007, 07:14 AM
  #27  
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Thanks BTilke, your comments are definitely making me want to check the area out anew on this trip. I'm thinking of making this a two centred trip - Nantes/Angers for about a week and perhaps back towards Tours and surrounding area for the other week.
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Sep 11th, 2007, 07:22 AM
  #28  
 
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You might find this useful:

http://www.journaldunet.com/0501/050117region-44.shtml
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Sep 11th, 2007, 11:17 AM
  #29  
 
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In terms of transportation, I believe that Burgundy might be better than Nantes and definitely better than the Limousin. My impression, for what a friend told me, is that you take the train from London to Calais and transfer to a TGV there to the Provence that by-passes Paris. I imagine that it stops in Burgundy on the way.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #30  
 
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Hey, Kavey, check out the "Hot Appetizer Recipe" thread in the Lounge.

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Sep 14th, 2007, 09:30 AM
  #31  
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Ha! Thanks Betsy!

OK, so. France.

We're going to start in Burgundy, spend some time there, drive across to Tours and spend some time there, and then move across to Nantes and spend time there.

Assuming we have time to do this.

Does anyone have any recommendations for inexpensive accommodation options in these locations?

Also, any advice on checking out a location as a potential future place of residence rather than simply as a holiday destination?

THANKS

Oh and I called the London-based French Tourist Office and they are sending me, as per my request, any accommodation books such as Relais du Silence, Best Western, Relais et Chateaux, Bienvenue au Chateau etc that cover the three regions we'll be visiting. I have copies a few years old.

We've previously found it possible to book just one or two nights in advance by phone and hence can play the exact itinerary by ear.

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Sep 14th, 2007, 09:33 AM
  #32  
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Oh and we may break the journeys in Reims and Rouen so any recommendations for inexpensive but pleasant accommodation in those two locations would also be helpful!

THANKS!
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Sep 14th, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #33  
 
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"Also, any advice on checking out a location as a potential future place of residence rather than simply as a holiday destination?"

Talk to the locals, travel around on the public transport network and see where you end up, "window shop" around estate agents, scope out markets and shopping streets, and talk to the locals again!

Also, check out job websites for the area you are interested in. You'll quickly see what kind of demand there is for work in different fields and different geographical areas. In France, in addition to sites like Monster.fr and stepstone.fr you should look at the Association pour l'emploi des cadres (www.apec.fr) which is the national agency for skilled/managerial (cadres) jobs.
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Sep 14th, 2007, 12:31 PM
  #34  
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Thank you - all good ideas.

Chatting to locals was already on my list (I'm quite gregarious, some might say garrulous!) and I thought I might see if I could pop in to local town halls and see if they have any employment advice bureaus/ business advice bureaus.

Checking out job sites is also a good idea.
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Sep 18th, 2007, 02:28 AM
  #35  
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Topping:

Any recs for accommodation in target areas (Northern/ Central Burgundy and Loire, East to West).

Also for overnighters in Reims and Rouens.
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Sep 18th, 2007, 04:19 AM
  #36  
 
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A while ago, while wandering around Picadilly, I was surprised to see a Brittany tourist office (near the Tumi luggage store and the Wolseley). Have no idea if it's still there, but if so, they could be helpful with the Nantes area.

In Angers, we always stay at the Mercure Angers Centre. Very pleasant modern decor, overlooks the attractive Jardin des Plantes. Secure underground parking and easy access to/from town. Rates well under 100€ per night. We usually pay about 60 to 75 € per night, which doesn't include breakfast but there are plenty of cafes around.
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Sep 18th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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I thought Hôtel le Progrès in Angers was very pleasant when I stayed there for a week back in 2005. Clean, large rooms, lovely staff, it seems to me parking nearby won't be a problem at all. Inexpensive, too. A good place to stay.
http://www.hotelleprogres.com/
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Sep 18th, 2007, 01:33 PM
  #38  
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Thank you both, suggestions noted.

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Dec 12th, 2007, 05:45 AM
  #39  
 
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Kavey, I know you're posting mostly on the Africa boards, but how did this trip go? Did you come to any conclusions? Still planning a house purchase in France...what area appealed to you most?

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Dec 12th, 2007, 05:52 AM
  #40  
 
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you sould check out www.laymyhat.com - MANY UK owners with places in France
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