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Chateau Living For A Weekend

PARLER PARIS: Chateau Living for a Weekend

March 11, 2002

*** La France Profonde

It’s not every day a girl gets invited for a weekend at a
chateau, so how could I say no? The TGV (Train de Grande Vitesse)
to Poitiers takes only 1 1/2 hours, then a one-car regional
train putters along a little more slowly through the little
villages and hamlets of department 86 (called Vienne) till you
come to Montmorillon, a town not far from Le Chateau d’Ouzilly

Bill Bonner, International Living’s founding publisher and
president of Agora, Inc., lives here with his family, mostly on
weekends, away from the hectic pace in Paris and the weekday
responsibilities of the business and school (for his four kids).

Bill refers to the chateau as his "country house" or "working
farm" –which it is. Aside from the statuesque
nine-bedroom, three-level house which was built over a period of a
few centuries, there are numerous other buildings on the
property. A few have been turned into guest houses. Others are used to
house cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks and turkeys, all
on about 300 acres of farm land and woods, streams, ponds and
even a small swamp. In a "potager," lettuce, beets, leeks,
potatoes and other assorted vegetables are grown. An orchard was
recently planted with a variety of fruit trees.

For the last five years, he’s spent almost every weekend
renovating, repairing and gardening, doing much of the work
himself. I was most impressed by the tall stone wall he built
with his own hands (and the help of his family), stone by stone.
The house is under renovation and redecoration, using whatever
original materials could be resurrected, such as the beautiful
19th-century floral wall paper in the "petit salon" and the wild
boar’s head over the mantel in the "billiard room." He estimates
that it will be another four years or so before it’s really in
the shape he’d like.

During the time spent in "La France Profonde" with Bill and his
charming and hospitable family, we dined on the foods produced on
the farm, listened to sad ballads sung by Bill on guitar,
"labored" over a 1,500-piece jigsaw puzzle of a Degas painting,
visited the grounds by foot (through the woods, around the pond,
hopping on dry spots in the swamp and climbing through barbed
wire to the old Roman road), went to Sunday mass at a local
church built in the 12th century and lunched in the sun in the
neighboring historic village of Dorat.

Being a French land baron clearly has its pleasures. Bill is so
at home here. It would be easy getting accustomed to the
lifestyle and the surrounding beauty.

You can have a chance to enjoy Chateau living, too. This coming
June 25 to July 02, Le Chateau d’Ouzilly is hosting an Epicurean
Excursion for twelve guests to "Savor France" through a learning
experience in wine and cooking with a young vintner from the
Loire and a local professional chef. The trip starts in Paris
then heads south to the chateau. For more information about the
adventure, write to mailto:[email protected]?subject=pparis

Note: To make train reservations in France, you can visit the Web
site for SNCF ( or better still, if you’re
already here, go to any neighborhood travel agent and for a small
fee, they’ll make them for you and save you the hassle of
maneuvering the dreadfully difficult SNCF site.

A la prochaine fois . . .

Email: mailto:[email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Parler Paris
Written and Edited by Adrian Leeds

Published by International Living
mailto:[email protected]

Issue Number 29, March 11, 2002

In this issue:

*** All the Answers For Living in France
*** Last Chance to Save $200 Learning the Ultimate Secrets
*** Walk Your Way Through Montmartre and the Left Bank
*** The Easiest Way to Find the Best Apartments
*** For Rent This Month in Paris
*** Join the Party
*** Integrating Into Parisian Society: The Truth

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Jean Taquet is a French jurist and associate member of the Delaware Bar
Association who frequently gives courses about dealing with French law and

Readers of the Paris Free Voice may recall Jean’s regular feature from the
past eight years, in which he answered legal questions that Parisian expats
would send him each month.

Jean’s column is no longer available in the Paris Free Voice…but he has
drawn on more than 200 of his best answers to write "Practica

l Answers for
Living in France." It’s an amazing reference for anyone interested in moving
here, or anyone that’s bee
n here a while and is still trying to find their
way around the complicated French system. Plus, Jean manages to make it fun
and interesting–no easy feat.

To read more about "Practical Answers for Living in France" (part of the
Insider Paris Guide series), click here:


This is your last chance to take advantage of the early reservation deadline
of March 15th for the Ultimate Travel
Writers Workshop.

A workshop like this doesn’t come along very often — with so
many well-known and experienced professionals coming together for
four days this April in Paris (April 23 – 26). Hosted by International
Living, you’ll have instruction with Jen Stevens, Steenie Harvey,
Rose Marie Burke, John Forde, Addison Wiggin and guest
appearances with local authors Polly Platt, Harriet Welty
Rochefort, Thirza Vallois, and Elizabeth Reichert.

Evening events include readings at the Cafe de Flore, dinner at
the home of Adrian Leeds and a farewell dinner at historic Le
Bouillon Racine.

When you reserve your spot THIS WEEK, you’ll save $200!

See all the details about this exciting workshop at

Plus, take advantage of the SURVIVAL FRENCH 2-day intensive
workshop by Marie-Elisabeth Crochard April 22 and 23

* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *


In May 1964, a wealthy north shore Chicago man wrote a
letter that would change forever the way sophisticated,
discriminating people travel…

This letter gave unheard-of access to the world’s top cities,
detailing the secrets known by no tourist…and the surprising
pitfalls to avoid.

If you want to travel in a world of luxury…enjoy the benefits
of privilege known only by a few…yet spend less than you
could ever imagine…read this letter now:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The Parler Paris authors have organized guided walking tours of
Paris–See Amelie’s Montmartre, Hemingway’s or Gertrude Stein’s
Paris through their own eyes.

* "The Montmartre of Amelie Poulain," led by Rose Marie Burke
author of The Insider Guide to Working and Living in France, The
Insider Guide to Good Value Paris Hotels and The Insider Guide to
Biking in Paris (

Wednesday, April 3rd, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, April 6th, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 1st, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 4th, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

* "The Literary Left Bank", led by Elizabeth Reichert, author of
The Writer’s Insider Guide to Paris (

Saturday, April 27th, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

* "Paris is a Woman", also led by by Elizabeth Reichert

Sunday, April 28th 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

* You can read more about these tours mentioned here, by visiting
the Web site: /parlerparis/guidedtours/index.html;
writing to mailto:[email protected]; or calling

* * * * * ADVERTISEMENT * * * * *


Have you ever dreamed of working and living in France…but just don’t know
how to go about
simply doing it?

What if you knew someone who had already done it? Navigated the tricky
French system…successfully dealt with residency and work permits…knew
how to find a job…create a businesss…and more…

Plus, they’re willing to teach you everything they’ve learned.

To read more about this JUST UPDATED resource, click here:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Single guest rooms, each with private bathroom, newly renovated in chic
1,900-square-foot duplex apartment in Passy/Trocadero 16th arrondissement
near two Metro lines. Full access to modern
well-equipped kitchen, living room with TV (cabled) and stereo,
office with computer with 24-hour Internet access, dining room,
laundry with washer/dryer. omen only, please and non-smokers. 1 month
$1500, 3 to 6 months $

1,200/month, more than 6 months $900 per month. 50%
deposit. Email mailto:[email protected] for more


When you stay in an apartment in Paris, you’ll have all the
comforts of home . . . and get the sense of what it’s like to
really live here. Now, we’re making it easy and simple for you to
find the perfect Paris vacation apartment.

We’ve put together a simple online form that you can submit to
several rental agencies at once. It’s easy to do, and it costs
nothing. Take a look here:

Try it out for your next trip to Paris!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


These short-term rental apartments are currently available. I am
familiar with these apartments so I personally recommend
them and trust their managers to give you good service.

To inquire about any of the apartments below, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected]


* Beautiful studio on a courtyard near Le Musee Picasso with
three windows overlooking a quiet, peaceful and romantic
courtyard. It is outfitted with two large, high quality single
beds that together make a King size bed, TV, VCR and films in
English, hairdryer, iron + ironing board, digitcode and intercom
entry, telephone and answering machine, Internet access, Hi-Fi,
safe, kitchenette with fridge, two-burner stove, microwave oven,
coffee maker, toaster and all the basics needed to have a snack
or dinner at home, plus a welcome kit including breakfast basics
and complimentary drinks and French wine. Hand and bath towels
are provided for everyday’s use. 100 euro per day, minimum 5

* Luxury duplex near Le Centre Pompidou of 65 square meters —
Beautifully decorated with early 19th-century French antiques, it
can accomodate four people, has a separate single bedroom, two
single beds in the lounge, a fireplace, a small kitchen very well
equipped on level one. On the second level, there is a the large
bedroom with double bed open to the bathroom that has a large
jacuzzi. Its windows are overlooking the roofs of Paris with
unlimited view . The flat is very bright and absolutely quiet. It
is outfitted with all the comfort you need for a short stay: TV,
VCR, hairdryer digitcode and intercom entry, telephone and fax
and answering machine, Internet access, luxury Hi-Fi system,
alarm system, cupboards for your clothing. plus a welcome kit
including breakfast basics and complimentary drinks and French
wine. From 150 to 200 euro per day depending on the number of
occupants. Available March 8 to 13.

To inquire about any of the above apartments, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected]


* Rue de Temple large 1-bedroom luxury apartment
$1,500/week, $4,000/month)

In the heart of the Marais, Paris’ historical center, this
spacious very upscale one bedroom apartment is perfectly suitable
for a couple with elegant taste. It is located on the Rue du
Temple, right in the heart of the historic Marais district, well
known for its trendy night spots and happenings all around the
clock. This sunny, spacious apartment is located on the main
number 1 metro line at the Hotel de Ville, and is within walking
distance of Chatelet, all Marais sites, St. Michel, Ile St.
Louis, St. Paul and the Louvre. This spacious one bedroom
apartment is located up one flight of stairs. The living room
overlooks the street and you can see the Centre Pompidou in the
distance. The bedroom is facing the courtyard, for quiet nights.
The bedroom has a queen size bed, the living room has a one
person sleeper sofa, the kitchen has a washing machine/dryer, all
modern appliances, and cable tv. Sleeps 2-3 people.

* 1-bedroom loft apartment on rue de Rivoli
$1,200/week, $3,700/month

In the heart of the Marais, Paris’ historical center, this
spacious one-bedroom duplex loft apartment is perfectly suitable
for a couple with trendy funky taste. It is located facing the
Hotel de Ville, Paris’ City Hall, at the entrance to the Marais
district, well known for its trendy night spots and happenings
all around the clock. This well furnished stylish apartment is
located on the main number 1 metro line at the Hotel de Ville,
and is within walking distance of Chatelet, all Marais sites, St.
Michel, Ile St. Louis, St. Paul and the Louvre. This spacious one
bedroom duplex is located on the ground floor and includes an
open staircase leading up to the bedroom and bathroom on the 1st
floor. This comfortable apartment contains a bedroom with a queen
size bed, a trendy living-room, an open completely equipped
kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine, a redone bathroom,
telephone, TV and even a small terrace. Sleeps 2 people.

* 1-bedroom apartment on rue St. Gilles
$900/week, $2,750/month

Right behind the beautiful Place des Vosges, this apartment is
located in the heart of Paris’ historic Marais district. A quiet
sunny cozy third floor apartment overlooks a courtyard (no
elevator). Recently decorated, in perfect shape, this "pied-a-
terre" contains a bedroom with a queen size bed, a living-room
(with sleeper sofa), an open kitchen area, a mo

dern bathroom,
washing-machine, telephone, TV (with cable). Sleeps 4 people.

* 1-bedroom apartment on rue St. Claude
$800/week, $2,500/month

Very close to the Place des Vosges and the Carnavalet Museum,
this apartment is located in the heart of Paris’ historic Marais
district. A quiet studio apartment facing a church on a quiet
side street, this apartment is perfect for guests looking to
capture a piece of history. The apartment is up two flights of
stairs and has windows in the main room and the kitchen.
Furnished with a number of antique pieces collected by the owner
over the years, the St. Claude is a very unique place. This
"pied-a-terre" contains a bedroom with a double bed, a living-
room with cable TV, a full kitchen, a modern bathroom, washing-
machine/dryer and telephone, Sleeps 2 people.

To inquire about any of the above apartments, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected]


* Rue Livingstone Penthouse Studio, available April 2 – 22
reduced from $1,000 a week to $850 a week!!

This beautiful and completely renovated apartment is located on
the 7th and top floor (with elevator) of a typical 1930’s
Parisian building with a spectacular view of sky, Parisian
rooftops and all of Basilique Sacré-Coeur. Perfect for a couple
with a child or three friends traveling together.

* Rue Cortot luxury studio apartment, available March 9 – 15,
reduced from $821 for six nights to $600 for six nights!!

Rue Cortot is a quiet and winding cobblestone street right behind
the famed Basilique Sacré-Coeur, conveniently located for Métro,
bus and taxi use. This luxury studio apartment, located in an
early 1930’s Parisian building, is perfect for a couple or a
couple with a small child.

* Rue Charles Nodier Sacre Coeur 2 bedroom apartment with 2
balconies, available March 6 through 15 and March 23 through 30
reduced from $1,600 a week to $1,100 a week!!

Located in an early 1930’s building, this newly renovated two-
bedroom apartment is located on the 7th floor with a fabulous
view of the Basilique Sacré-Coeur and its gardens. This apartment
is perfect for two couples or a family of five or six.

To inquire about any of the above apartments, email me directly
at mailto:[email protected]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


We’re taking final reservations this week for our anniversary
lunch at TGI Fridays — In honor of Parler Parlor’s 4th

March 16th EVERYONE is invited to attend the Parler Parlor
French-English Conversation Group at 11 a.m. at Coprom Langues,
14 rue Lafayette, 9th, 4th floor, then have lunch with us at 1
p.m. at TGI Friday’s, 8 boulevard Montmartre, 9th.

You do not need to be a member to come to the party! In fact, the
more the merrier! Practice speaking French and English with our
members and friends.

15 Euros Per Person Includes Starter, Main Course and Dessert
with Wine, Beer or Soda.

New members and renewing members can take an ADDITIONAL 10% off
their registration that day. Native Anglophones ALWAYS take 10%

For more information, visit the site at or to reserve for lunch on March 16th
email Adrian at mailto:[email protected] or call Elisabeth or Adrian


* Dear Adrian

After having living in Vancouver for nine years and spending the
last year in the UK, making regular hops over to Paris, I am
making my plans to head back to Canada. But, you are making it
so difficult for me, with your glorious descriptives exporting
your readers to the most wonderful city in the world.

Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your column. There is so
much to this city that is not covered in the regular guidebook.

One question to you, if I may, how easy is it for a person to
integrate into Parisian society? I am working on my French, but
know how difficult it can be to meet people in a large city.
Your comments would be most appreciated.

Kind regards,


Dear Claire,

The honest answer . . . very difficult. Almost everyone I know
comes to France thinking they want to integrate into the
French/Paris society, only have French friends and speak French
all day long. The reality is that unless you are fluent in
French, this is near to impossible. Plus, the reality is, that
once you’re here, you may not really want to!

Personally, I find that I now have a mixture of friends from many
different nationalities, including the French, of course, and I
find it fascinating and fun. It’s the best of all world


Most of these people I have met through the Parler Parlor
Conversation Group, which facilitates meeting people from many
nationalities very easily (we’ve counted 50 countries represented
there!). Joining an organization of this nature will be very
important to getting you on the right track. If you join a
British or American organization, then you will likely only meet
Brits or Americans.

If you work in a French company, then you will meet more French,
but making friendships from within the workplace is sometimes
difficult, too. Plus, the French are not open to making new
friends, while immigrants are.

My advice . . . don’t make it a priority. Just come and gravitate
toward the people you enjoy being with and you will ultimately
feel very comfortable here, no matter who your friends turn out
to be.


* Dear Adrian,

I am writing to ask you a big favour. Our primary school has been
offering French for 10 years but the students are losing their
interest because they have not had any connection with a school
in France. We are near a locality with 73 wineries! Perhaps you
can pass on our school’s name to a primary school teacher and we
can start writing to each other. We can even do it by email and
sending digital photos!!!

Please use simple French and we will try to write in simple
English and French!

Thanks a million!
Fe Gilbey, French and Japanese Teacher
Morphett Vale East Primary School
Monarch Ave., Morphett Vale 5162
South Australia

Dear Readers,

If you know of a teacher who would like to correspond with Fe
Gibley’s class, please email her directly at
mailto:[email protected]



If you would like to have your message read by the
subscribers of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre®, please email me
at mailto:[email protected]

*** If you have links about Paris or France and would like
reciprocal links, please email me at
mailto:[email protected]

If you’re not a regular reader of this e-letter, and would
like to be, simply enter your e-mail address here (it’s

*** To CHANGE your address,

*** Know someone who would be interested in the
opportunities in this e-letter? Forward it to your friend,
relative, or associate!

Go to /parlerparis/

Copyright 2002 Agora Ireland Publishing & Services Ltd.


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