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Everything posted by Eslier

  1. You can buy nappy sacks at "Bébé9". To find stores in your area see http://www.bebe9.com/
  2. I've used the http://www.talabardon.fr/ before and it is very good. Nothing flashy but full of French character. Book a sea view room if you can and the tide comes in directly below your window. It's easy to find right in the centre of the town in the Place d'Eglise. As for restaurants, you're not going to have much choice I'm afraid. At 8.30pm on a Tuesday evening in late September there's not likely to be much open. You'll just have to take a walk around and hope you can find somewhere. To be honest, if it were me, I would eat in the restaurant on the Pont Aven before arriving and then just go out to a bar for a drink on arrival in Roscoff. When the ferry arrives, you might be lucky and get to drive off quickly but often it can take a while to disembark. As you drive out through customs, keep in the right hand lane and don't follow the signs and all the other cars out of the port. Go straight on and take the exit up towards the Casino, turn right at the trafic lights and take the coast road around into the town. This should get you ahead of most of the other cars. Drive through the town and hopefully you will find somewhere to park in the Place d'Eglise. It will probably be nearer to 8.30pm by the time you have made it into the town and checked into your hotel. Hope you have a good trip. I've always enjoyed spending a night in Roscoff - it's a pretty place.
  3. If anyone has a TV for sale, or knows someone who has, then please contact Chauffor direct using the forum's Private Message service. This will help ensure that this thread stays within the Forum Code of Conduct which prohibits advertising.
  4. Pauline, there are far more questions here than you probably imagine. Firstly, if you aren't married then the whole question of inheritance is far from straightforward and you should seek professional advice to find out exactly what your position would be in the event of something happening to your partner. French law is very different from UK law and simply making a will doesn't necessarily help. Keep an open mind and if getting married is an option you would consider then that might be an easier course of action. Secondly, if your B&B is your only source of income here (and you think the income will be more than a bit of pocket money) then you may well find that you area obliged to register as a business anyway whether you want to or not. This is such a grey area and if you search through the forum you will find many discussions on the subject which prove that the answer is inconclusive. In different areas you will find the law interpreted in different ways. Again, you will probably be best off seeking professional advice from French accountant. Thirdly, your partner needs to avoid having anyone as an "employee" if he can possibly help it. The equivalent of employers NI contributions here will mean that for every 200€ he is paying you he will end up paying almost another 100€ to the government. Fourthly, B&B businesses can be quite difficult to earn a decent income from if starting from scratch. Unless you are very lucky and have invested quite a serious amount of money to set yourselves up, it is unlikely that you will see much of a profit (if any at all) for the first couple of years at best. Taking this into account then you may be worrying a little too much at the moment about how to split the money up. My advice would be to first, take a long hard realistic look at your business plan and cashflow predictions, not forgeting to factor in cotisations, health top-up insurance etc. If you still think you will be making sufficient profit to take formal steps to divide this amount then talk to your French accountant who will advise you how the business can be set up with division of profits. Just be certain that you don't end up paying out so much in cotisations and accountants fees that there aren't any profits left to divide. Good luck to you both.
  5. Cassis has got it right. Overall the cost isn't much different to the UK but it depends very much on what you are comparing. If, in the UK, you shop on a careful budget in places like Tesco and Asda then you will probably find it difficult to find as wide a variety of budget priced foods. There are budget ranges in most supermarket chains but the range isn't as wide as say "Tesco Value". In this case you will probably find yourselves spending more on food but will probably enjoy greater quality. If, on the other hand, you regularly shop in places like Waitrose or M&S for your food then you will find that similar quality food here (much of what you find in the supermarkets) is quite a bit cheaper and your monthly shopping bill will probably reduce. Markets here are more about fresh local - and often "bio" (organic) produce than being cheap. Most offer a fantastic selection of great produce and the trick is to buy what's in season. I think it did seem as though prices went up quite a lot here when the Euro came in, but also remember that, at that time, the exchange rate to the £ was about 1.6 compared to 1.4 now so that too will have had an effect upon visitors from the UK. Prices have been fairly stable here for the last couple of years which is surprising really given the hug increases in oil (and therefore trasportation costs) over this period.
  6. We introduced both an open wireless network and a computer (always online) available for guests this year.  I must say it has been hugely successful and got a lot of use. A number of guests have commented specifically on how useful they have found this extra service. As Matthew has stated, it is vital to take security seriously and it is also important to protect your computer from being messed up by guests (I remember our son a few years ago gleefully messing up the settings on any computer in a shop he could get his hands on !). Security is easy if you have Norton Internet Security. It is easy to set up a Windows user account for "guests" and apply the Norton "parental control" settings which are very simple but effective and will apply just to that account.  To protect the computer, I use a program called "Virtual Desktop" which is part of "Desktop Lock". With this, the computer, on power up, immediately goes to a virtual desktop screen and access can be configred to exactly what you want to allow the user to have. In my case, that's only the web browser and nothing else at all can be accessed other than that without knowing the password to exit Virtual Screen. This is a great piece of software which I downloaded for abot $40.
  7. Tarax now make a fosse treatment which will continue to be effective even if bleach and antibiotics are used. It is a once every six months treatment.  I must admit I was sceptical about it but our French plumber thoroughly recommended it to us. He claims that if this is used you can put almost anything down the sink and won't need anything more than a litre of beer poured down every now and then to keep it healthy.  Have just used it in our FS (cost about 7€ per treatment for a 3000 litre fosse) so we'll see how it goes.
  8. Eslier

    Pets from Spain

    You will need an EU Pets Passport for your cats to enter France from Spain - but to get this issued, all you need is the microchip and rabies jab, there is no need for the blood test. There is no reason why your Spanish vet cannot issue the passport as soon as the rabies jab has been done. However, for onward travel to the UK you will need the passport to be endorsed by the vet with the details of the blood test result, so you will need to return it to him for this to be completed once the results are known. The blood test must be taken as cose as possible to exactly one month after the rabies jab, and entry into the UK is possible six months after the date of the blood test (assuming the blood test results are satisfactory). Before you leave France for the UK you will need to have your cats treated for tick/flea/worms etc. between 24 and 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of your ferry.
  9. Eslier

    bed linen

    If you prefer to buy in England but don't want to have to carry the items over, then take a look at: http://www.dorma.co.uk/ They will deliver to France and there seems to be a standard delivery charge of £25 which isn't bad, especially if buying a duvet aswell as covers etc.
  10. I must say that we have quite a good laugh waiting to see which of our new arrivals will be the first to use the laundry room. It's rare that someone hasn't put a load in within 24hrs of arrival.  Personally I can't understand why people would want to spend their holidays washing and ironing but that's their choice and our job is to provide them with what makes them happy. I agree with Poppy, a washing machine is an essential item and something that many people make certain of before they book. A dishwasher is, I suppose, more of a luxury but it is one that more people now appreciate. It's probably not so important for a small gite accommodating up to four people but anything bigger and it starts to become more vital if you want to attract the higher paying guests. We don't provide washing powder or liquid (although we sometimes let people use some of ours when they need to get their wash on before they've even been to the shops after arrival) but we do provide dishwasher tablets. Not a whole box full, just enough for one wash per day of their stay plus a couple of extras.
  11. Swordfish (espadon) cooked at the table on a hot stone (pierrade). Washed down with a good bottle of Pouilly Fumé.
  12. Not sure what's considered "cheap" these days but you could look HERE 50 x Verbatim printable DVD-R for 129.90€ I've used materiel.net for other items and their service is very good.
  13. Yes that sounds absolutely fine Su. We don't go out of our way to offer towels but, if asked, will provide exactly the same and charge 10€ per set.
  14. a) Buying a house in France is exactly the same whatever nationality the owners are. You will still need to use the services of a Notaire and payments will need to be paid in Euros. b) Even the best house search agent will only be as good as the criteria you give on your wish list. The more specific you are the more use the agent might be to you. The problem is, that you may find they're not all going to be able to offer what you expect so only use someone if you can get good personal recommendations. It would also be useful to check that the "agent" concerned has the correct license to practice in this field (I'm sure someone on here will provide the exact details of what you need to check).
  15. Ian, your article is very informative however, theer is one very important fact that you have not made clear. You state that "you are not obliged to register at the Chamber of Commerce" which is not always the case. If your gite rental business is your main source of income, then in most cases you are required to register. There are well reported variations upon this advice from one region to another but, in more recent times, the professional advice seems more often than not to register. There was a very interesting and informative article from Miki not long ago on this subject, the source of information being Gite de France. It seems that the authorities are now starting to clamp down on this.
  16. Gary & Michel, welcome to the forum and I hope you find the advice here useful. The answers to your questions are, I'm afraid, going to be dependant on certain variables.  If you have a spectacular house with 6+ bedrooms to rent out with a pool, and in one of the most poplular areas then yes it is possible to earn a living, just, with one gite. Such a property might earn you up to around £20k.  If, on the other hand you have a 3 bedroom house with no pool in an inland location then you are liely to find that nothing more than about £5k per year is achievable. The figure I have given are, of course, before running costs which can mount up especially if you invest in good marketing. Incidentally, I have quoted figures in £ as, in the area you are looking, you should be able to obtain higher revenue letting to the British market. If your gite is your only source of income then you may well discover that you need to register as a business and you will incur cotisations which will make a huge dent in your income. (Look through other threads on this subject for more detailed information). So . . . 1) It is unlikely that you will earn enough to pay any tax but the cotisations (healthcare, pension social security etc.) will still need to be paid - these are likely to be around 4000€ in your first year.  If your gite only provides a secondary income and one of you is employed in France then you may not need to register and pay the cotisations. 2) How often you need to replace furniture will depend on the quality you start off with, how many weeks per year your gite is let (long winter lets can be bad news for wear and tear) and luck. The best advice is to allow a sensible budget - say 1500€ each year for decoration and renewals and use it. This will keep you on top of things. 3) Yes, most gite owners take a security deposit but this is often only a nominal amount of around £150 or so which wouldn't cover the cost of, say, replacing a sofa. The security deposit is only there as an incentive for your guests not to trash the place or leave it really dirty.
  17. If you are intending to register as self employed in France then you won't need an E106. Once you register at the Chambre de Commerce or Metiers (depending on what work you will be doing) then you will start to contribute to the French system and you will be given a Carte Vitale which provides your medical cover. You will become a fully paid up member or the French system, and even if you have an E106 it will become obsolete at that point. If you are resident in France, then it makes no difference whether the freelance work you do is in France or the UK, you will need to register. To make sure you do this in the most cost effective and correct way (there are many variations!) you may find it advatageous to contact a French accountant for advice. You will frnd that, in general, French accountants charge much lower fees than accountants in the UK.
  18. They've had them in several of the brico stores this year, but by now everyone is selling off whatever remains of their stock as the season for buying garden furniture is over for another year - expect to see big displays of woodburners in the stores within the next couple of weeks ! If you take a look at THIS LINK it will give you an idea although I've seen better ones (some with aluminium frames) at lower prices. The best time to buy is early May when everywhere is well stocked.
  19. Buying a second hand Sky Digibox doesn't put money into RM's pocket. You don't need to take out a subscription to use a Sky digibox. Take a look on ebay(uk) and you'll see plenty for sale which usually go reasonably cheap these days. The Panasonic (TU-DSB31 or DSB40) boxes are probably the best buy. You don't need a card unless you want to watch Ch4 &5, but you can often get boxes complete with a card on ebay too, but expect to pay a little more. On the other hand,  you could just tune your digibox into BBC5-Live  connected to another TV and then watch the footie on French TV with the sound down.
  20. We are in a similar position to you but use a combination of some good quality cushions with removable covers that can be washed, and some cheap ones that can be replaced each year. We usually attempt to dash out and bring them under cover if it rains - although that doesn't stop wet bodies coming out of the pool and lying on them!  On the odd occassion they get wet, they dry out quite quickly. We are now considering, for next year, replacing all our loungers with the latest type that use a fine mesh soft plastic instead of the usual hard slats. They now seem to be cheaper to buy than some of the better cushions and are very comfortable. We have tried out a couple of La Fuma loungers with this type of covering this year and they are excellent. I'm not sure I would want to lie on a plastic covered cushion!
  21. My Mégane has just had its 60,000km service, at our local Renault dealer which is a fairly major one replacing lots of bits. It also needed a new electronic lock to the tailgate which had stopped working.  The cost was 249€ which I thought was quite reasonable.
  22. This thread has now drifted so far off topic. It has now been locked. If you wish you can continue this sort of disciusiion within the "lounge" but please do your best to keep threads elsewhere within the forum on topic.
  23. Assuming that you haven't signed an exclusive agreement with either of your agents, then you should find the process fairly easy. Once you have found a buyer, you will need to contact a Notaire of your choice who will draw up the Compromis de Vente. You will also need to find out from the Notaire what reports you are required to have carried out befor ethe CdeV can be signed i.e. asbestos survey etc. You will then need to arrange for these things to be done which can take a few weeks.  Don't forget that during this time no contract is in place and your buyer can still pull out - unlike where an immobilier has produced the documents for the buyer to sign on the spot (sunject of course to the normal cooling off period). The Notaire will then call you to his office to sign the CdeV which will then be sent to the buyers for their signature (and their deposit). Whether the buyers choose to use the Notaire that you appoint or not is entirely up to them. They have the right to use a different Notaire if they wish and, if they do, no extra is paid in fees - the fee is simply split between the two Notaires. All Notaire's fees etc. are usually paid buy the buyer however you will need  to pay for the asbestos report and anything else that is required prior to the CdeV.
  24. James has been made aware of this.  In theory, the forum software shouldn't allow it but, in this case, it may have something to do with the fact that Will (the first) changed his screen name a short while ago from Will the Conq. so we think the forum software may not be able to cope with this. Will (the second) has been asked if he would mind changing his screen name to Will2.
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