Exporting a UK-bought LHD car to France

Is it possible or indeed practical to buy a LHD car in the UK, originally registered in Poland, and then import it to France? Are there guidelines to be followed?

Driving in France

In recent years, travelling across to the continent and driving in France has become increasingly easy for Brits, but there are laws and regulations to bear in mind while driving abroad.

Mushroom picking in France

In France, mushroom picking, or “la cueillette des champignons”, is practically a national sport during the Autumn season. However, there are guidelines to follow before wandering through the woods.

Pineau … or Pinot? Do you know the difference?

Pineau is a delicious alcoholic drink which comes from the Charentes region of France. It is a fortified wine made from 3 parts grape juice and 1 part Cognac and, like many great delicacies, was discovered by mistake. Find out all about Pineau des Charentes.

Mushrooming in Monteneuf forest

If it were blowing a gale outside your French home would your first thought be to rush into the local woods to go hunting for ceps, chanterelles and pied de mouton mushrooms? Read Nicola’s account of mushroom hunting in Brittany in the middle of a storm.

Fete-de-la-musique

Fete de la musique in France

Summer fêtes are very popular across the whole of France.

If you see a sign like this on the side of the road. Stop, join in and “Faites la fête!”

The French are very good at social events, they love them! Give the French a marquee, trestle tables, long wooden benches, a pig roasting on a spit and a man playing the accordion and you have a party.

Frenchman playing accordian

Frenchman playing accordian

You won’t travel far in France during June, July and August without seeing a sign by the roadside advertising some kind of summer fête. Usually, French fêtes have a theme: there is the fête de la soupe in La Gacilly, the accordion festival in Augan, a bread

Bread festival at saint martin-sur-oust

Bread festival – Saint Martin-sur-Oust

festival, a traditional festival in St Martin Sur Oust and every village seems to host a music festival.

Traditionally, there is also the popular Fête de la Saint-Jean at the end of June, around Midsummer. It is associated with Saint John the Baptist, even though its origins date even further back to Pagan rites marking the summer solstice. During the longest day of the year, Pagan people used to light a huge bonfire meant to represent the light from the sun.
As with many Pagan traditions, this event was Christianized during the Middle Ages, to commemorate Saint John the Baptist’s birthday. It is always accompanied by a giant bonfire around which people can dance. In some places, once the fire has started dwindling, young men also jump over it.

Another very popular summer fête is the Fête de la Musique, celebrated every June 21st. Obviously, most important of all is Bastille day on July 14th. French national day is a Bank Holiday and comes with fireworks (some absolutely magnificent, such as the famous Biarritz firework display) and balls. However, both Fête de la Saint-Jean, Fête de la Musique and Bastille Day are not specific to Brittany and Pays de Loire. They are celebrated all over the country.

These fêtes are really worth the experience and if you feel brave enough, join the jostling French on the wooden benches and eat with them as well!

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