Real Life

FRANCE Magazine’s Provence-based columnist looks back on 2020 and reflects on the kindness of strangers during difficult times

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Anna and Wilson Thorburn run Domaine l’Ancienne École in Drôme, an organic winery with three gîtes which enjoy panoramic views of Mont Ventoux

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Rhone-Alpes

For American actor and writer Alexander Burnett, a shortage of bread at his local boulangerie was one of the biggest challenges of lockdown in his adopted home city

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We catch up with Angel Strawbridge following the publication of her new book

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Running a business

Graham Welch and Damon Biddlecombe moved to Belvès in the heart of Périgord Noir to launch Planches et Plonk

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Aquitaine

Buying a house in France takes daring, legwork and a little bit of fate. After much searching, Michelle and Graeme Warren fell in love with a stunning riverside home in Léhon, Brittany

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Brittany

Home ownership in France doesn’t have to start with a dream property, Nigel Howard and his wife Michelle found an apartment in Côte-d’Or as a foothold first

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Burgundy

When Sheryl Mills turned 50 she moved her life and antiques business from rural Herefordshire to rural Mayenne, and her decision has proved to be more midlife miracle than midlife crisis

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Australian couple Philip and Janet Barnard-Brown moved to Château de la Fare in Gard after living in the UK for nearly 20 years, where Philip was senior coachman to the Queen

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Languedoc-Roussillon

Neasa and Laurent Miquel live with their two children in Languedoc, southern France, and make wines ‘with elegance and finesse’

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Anne MacColl-Turpin and her husband Jean-Louis wanted to use the barn at their home in Tarn-et-Garonne to do something purposeful – so they made their own French gin!

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Jessica Hammer runs Taste of Toulouse which offers tantalising food tours to help people discover the city’s rich culinary heritage and delicious produce

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Midi-Pyrenees

Although he had a long-held ambition to live abroad, Matthew Castle hadn’t considered moving to France until he discovered Carcassonne, where he now shares a home with his partner and runs gîtes

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Expats in France

Trish and Mark Tyler run a beautifully restored chambres d’hôtes set in six hectares of park and woodland in Saint-Quentin-de-Caplong which has a fascinating history

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Aquitaine

Private chef and author Lisa Baker Morgan left a legal career in pursuit of her passions for food and French culture and has written about her experiences in Paris, Part Time

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Ile-de-France

Interior designer Benji Lewis tells us how lockdown inspired his new online design service Zoom That Room and why he loves French properties – especially his own in Landes

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Dick and Angel Strawbridge are back on our screens with a new DIY series tackling dream projects at their château in France and offering advice to others

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London doctors and wine enthusiasts Paul Jenkins and Paul Jarman bought a unique vineyard in Hérault in 2018 and have now launched a new organic rosé

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Conversations with the regular deliverymen is a highlight of life in France’s small rural communes, explains Janine Marsh

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Expat Helena Woods lives in Strasbourg with her husband Alex where she specialises in lifestyle family photography

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Alsace

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