Am I the only person to have enjoyed the film Bed and Breakfast? Known as Bienvenue au Gîte in French, the film was released to widespread indifference in 2003.
It tells the story of husband and wife Caroline and Bertrand, who give up their corporate lives in Paris to run a chambres d’hôtes in Provence. They arrive expecting a high-class hostelry and are more than disappointed to find that their new business relies on backpackers and porn studios to tick over.
Caroline’s Parisian ways manage to upset the locals, while Bertrand settles into his new lifestyle with more ease. He befriends nearby gay British chambres d’hôtes owner Peter. Played by Michael Maloney, Peter adds some humour to the storyline – thanks largely to Caroline’s envy of his more upmarket holiday complex.
“Bed and Breakfast showcases some of the pitfalls of taking on a property in the hope of turning it into a holiday business”
Without giving the story away, a medieval-themed village festival gives Caroline even greater opportunity to ruffle the feathers of the local townsfolk.
It is perhaps surprising that the film isn’t better known among British expats in France. Although the two main characters are French, Bed and Breakfast showcases some of the pitfalls of taking on a rundown property in the hope of turning it into a successful holiday business.
I would expect it to strike a chord with more than a handful of Britons who have swapped their jobs in middle England for an altogether different life in the middle of rural France.