Imagine every French estate agent whose window you had ever seen, every French food seller, wine merchant, travel agent and language teacher were all in one place at one time. That’s what you get at the France Show.
Held at London’s Olympia, the show is bigger than I could have imagined. Damon and I were there yesterday. What a day.
With a move to France on the horizon, we thought we could pick up some valuable advice and make some useful contacts at the event. There were plenty of financial experts, giving tips on how to finance a move. We could sell up here but it would be better if we could keep our Brighton home and rent it out.
The show also hosts Britain’s largest French property exhibition, but the floor given over to French living was the most fun.
We signed up for a wine tasting, and were talked through the various Bordeaux styles. None of it was news to us, but it was a delightful way to spend half an hour. The highlight was a 2008 Château Gigault Cuvée Viva from Blaye, made of 100% merlot.
We wandered round all the stands, sampled some great wines and settled on a mixed case of Burgundies and Rhône Valley reds, including a particularly good Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
At lunchtime, the food hall was packed. The crêpe stand, Je Love Crêpes, was especially popular, and we each wolfed down a galette stuffed with ham, cheese and mushrooms.
A rose éclair from the Maison Blanc stand proved the perfect dessert – unusual and absolutely delicious. It’s a pity they don’t have a branch in Brighton.
“The show hosts Britain’s largest French property exhibition but the floor given over to French living was the most fun”
To complete the day in true French style, we headed home and went for dinner in our favourite French bistro, Le Nantais, in Hove. There, we reflected on our day out – and on our future plans.
All in all, we succeeded in having a day in France… but without leaving Britain.