The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

1 year ago

Issue No. 23

Welcome to the summer! In this issue discover Dijon in Burgundy, sensational Strasbourg (and a secret speakeasy), and lovely Cognac. We'll tell you where the locals go on holiday, the secret places. Visit Versailles and the Paris Opera, Le Touquet - the "Monaco" of northern France and wild Provence. Guides, recipes and more - your trip to France without leaving home...

From London rat race to

From London rat race to a dream home & café business in rural northern France Katharine Tasker from London upped sticks in the city and moved to the sticks in France bringing a sprinkling of urban style to her new build home and thriving new business, a café and shop, as Janine Marsh discovers… Pas de Calais is a region of meadows and forests, the countryside is criss crossed by streams and peppered with villages and hamlets. It’s blessed with the beautiful beaches and dramatic coastline of the Opal Coast as well as fertile agricultural land. It’s a largely rural department despite being the gate way to France for millions who cross the English Channel, many of whom simply exit the ferry or train and zoom off down the auto routes further south. For those who stop and look though, the charms of the far north can be compelling as Katherine Tasker found out when she visited a friend… A life changing weekend Katharine Tasker loved her life in London. She ran a successful gourmet food shop with a loyal clientele who adored the speciality products she sourced from France including some world famous jam. At a sales meeting in Lille in 2015, Katherine decided to visit the jam makers in Saint-Rémy-au-Bois, in the Seven Valleys, Pas de Calais, not far away. They’d met in London when British entrepreneurs Judy and Nick Gifford who created the mouth-watering jams at Tea Together delivered a consignment in person and got on well. Katherine spent just a couple of days with her friends at their beautifully restored farmhouse with their beloved Jack Russells and horses. As well as their jam making enterprise, they also run Le Tea Room from their home, serving scones with their homemade jam and clotted cream to smitten locals. But, it changed the direction of her life. “It was” says Katharine “love at first sight when I saw how glorious the countryside is. So tranquil and varied, lush valleys, forests and wide-open plateaux, it is just so beautiful. I thought it would be wonderful to have a bolthole here.” Swapping urban life for a plot in rural France Katharine returned to London, and when, shortly afterwards, the lease on her shop needed renewing, she sought alternative premises close by. “It was very tough trying to find a new place everything was horribly expensive” she says. She’d kept in touch with Judy who, in the midst of Katharine’s frustrating search in London told her that a plot of land had come up for sale in the village of Gouy-Saint-André near St-Rémy.