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Nutella, Chateaux, Paris and more Newsletter from France


Bonjour and Happy National Croissant Day (yes really, January 30 apparently)…

A bit of local news has been keeping the tongues wagging here in my little village. In the bar where locals get together in the “big town” (population 376) all anyone is talking about at the moment is Nutella.

Yes I do mean the chocolate goo that French people spread on their bread with wild abandon. If you thought it was all oysters and foie gras in France well, I’m sorry to disappoint you because chocolate spread is probably No. 1 as far as most of my French friends are concerned.

Anyway, I am speaking of Nutella because a local family wanted it to be the name of their new born daughter. Babies’ names must be registered in France and the registrar has the power to question the parents’ choice if he or she is not happy with it. I kid you not. They’re not allowed to just say “Oh you can’t call her Jean, I’ve always hated that name” but if they think a name might ‘disadvantage’ a child in later life or in the school playground, they can bring it to the attention of the courts and it has to be ruled on. In this case the court ruled “Non, you cannot call your baby Nutella”. While they were about it, they also decided the couple’s other daughter Fraise (which means strawberry) cannot be called Fraise either, she has to be Fraisine (which is an old French name).

This has been a rich source of amusement for the villagers and there was lots of laughter in the bar as people tried to think of good names to call babies to annoy registrars and officials – most of which I cannot repeat here and many of which I confess I didn’t understand.

It was agreed by unanimous vote that Monsieur Foyard would from now on be known as Monsieur Coin Coin, which is French for “quack quack” (as in duck) since he waddles home from the bar after a glass or two of pastis.

Bon weekend to you all,
Bisous from France

Top stories this week:

An Arty Tour of Paris: Discovering the hidden treasures of Paris, Bob Lyons also discovers his artistic side…

A VERY quirky look at the history of the Moulin Rouge: Mago Lestz investigates the highest paid performer of his day at the famous Moulin Rouge, Le Petomane, a man with a rare talent and a unique musical instrument…

Palais Lascaris,  Nice: Author Patricia Sands falls in love with a beautiful palace right in the heart of old Nice…

Review of Return of The French Blue, a suspense thriller set in the south of France and interview with author Pamela Boles Eglinski – we’ll be giving away of a copy of her book on Facebook next week!

Great offers

Brittany Ferries are offering 20% off of holidays and return journeys, valid for the whole year including school holidays – book by Feb 10th though to get the discount.  We like their infographic about ferry v plane!

Luxury Chateaux Stays in France – where to find the best and most beautiful chateaux for a touch of living history and the chance to be Lord and Lady of the Manor, plus a special offer from Oliver’s Travels…

Tickets for Calais wine and fair – if you’re in the Calais region next weekend, pick up a free ticket from Opal Coast Girls and enjoy a wine tasting on the coast…

Thank you to everyone for sharing the articles on our website – its truly, enormously appreciated…

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