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CatherineS2's Achievements


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  1. This may seem like a really dumb question, given the previous comments about them not being very bright, but do they cause any light polution? We are in a very isolated position, and sometimes we turn off all the lights at the house and lie on the sunloungers gazing at the stars, looking out for satellites and shooting stars. If we installed solar lights, would they affect the ability to see the stars at night?
  2. I am in the Sawday's French Holiday Homes book (I am not a B&B, I am a gite owner - hope it's OK to post in your forum!). Although I get most of my bookings from other sources, not from the Sawday's book or website, the advantage for us is that we can say that we have been recommended by Sawdays within our other advertising, which gives us one extra brownie point and hopefully makes us stand out amongst all the other gites being advertised. Also it gives people the comfort of knowing that our gite really does exist and that they are not going to arrive to find a non-existent gite. It's not cheap, in fact it is our most expensive form of advertising, but I have just signed up for another two years (£481) and I am proud to have successfully gone through the inspection. BTW - Alastair Sawday was featured on "The Hotel Inspector" which was on channel 4 this week - he was inspecting a B&B in Greenwich.
  3. [quote user="alnmike"]  I guess I'll have to pay for timed-changeovers now, for guests to collect the keys.[/quote] Actually, there is a "half-way" solution, as per my post above. You don't need to pay for someone to sit and wait for your guests, just for them to put the key there on the day of the changeover. That should be a bit cheaper? It certainly is for us, and our keyholder is much happier now that she is not tied to having to wait in for the guests to turn up.
  4. Very worrying, as we too have a keysafe. Where was your safe? Was it very visible? Ours is tucked away in one of the outbuildings, and we don't keep the keys in there permanently - our cleaner puts them in there on the day of the changeover, so we'd be really unlucky if someone tried to force it during the few hours when there is actually a key in there... But we will bear your experience in mind in the coming months now that the end of the busy season approaches - next weekend is the first time the house will be empty since last spring, so we really need to make sure our caretakers are more vigilant.
  5. [quote user="ltf"] Catherine2, do the outof eden protectors have a little give in them to fit the extra 5cms of a French double mattress? And has anyone found any genuinely impermeable mattress covers in France? I have discovered that the ones I bought from Carrefour are not[:@] [/quote] They must do, because I bought my mattresses in France from a local bedding shop and the covers fit on them fine. I think that they are genuinely impermeable, because they have a thickish plastic backing, with a quilted top. But they don't squeak, unlike other plastic mattress covers I have come across in some cheap hotels, and they don't make you sweaty. We even have them on our own beds back home in the UK. Before ordering them I called OofE customer services and they were very helpful, apparently that particular model is the one that they supply to upmarket hotels. I thought that the mattresses WERE sprung, but having read the posts above about sprung mattresses not being available in France, I am now starting to question this, and as I am at home in the UK at the moment I can't check. However, whatever it is they are made of, they were NOT cheap, but my goodness they are comfortable, and we have have many comments from guests about how comfy the beds are and how well they have slept....
  6. When you go on holiday, one of the worst things is having to sleep on a cheap, saggy, uncomfortable mattress. Therefore my advice is, if you splash out on only one luxury for your gite, make sure it is on good quality, comfortable bedding. You will probably have to spend even more than 200 Euros, but it will pay off in the long run - your guests will thank you for it. (And then keep it in good condition by investing in some good-quality waterproof quilted mattress protection covers like the ones sold by www.outofeden.co.uk - they're about £15 for a king size, and very comfortable) (PS: hooooooray to gdf for thinking about the customers!)  
  7. Why is it that every time there is a piece about anything french on TV nowadays, they always use the soundtrack from Amelie? Yesterday it popped up when Keith Floyd was on This Morning, and last night it was on The Restaurant when some people were opening a Bistro. Do program makers not have any imagination???!!! (BTW, I do have a copy of the soundtrack on CD and I listen to it often, but I'm bored with hearing snippets of it on TV)
  8. The Police are playing at Stade de France this weekend. Does anyone know whether this will be televised?
  9. Hello Chris, welcome to the forum. You will find a lot of information on the following website, which also has a very active forum: www.LayMyHat.com Good Luck!  
  10. Thank you for raising this interesting discussion. I would like to install WiFi at our gite, but as we do not live on site (in fact we don't even live in the same country!) I need to install something very robust and unbreakable. Trouble is, I'm not too sure how to go about it! I'd just like to have WiFi, but no PC. I do have a laptop, so am I right in thinking that I could take the laptop with me next time, just to set it up, but I won't have to leave it there, the WiFi will continue to function on its own? Can anyone point me in the right direction. What equipment do I need and how should I go about setting this up? How much is it likely to cost per month? (We have a France Telecom phone line at the house, and I have checked and apparently we are able to get broadband in our village). Thanks in advance to anyone who is able to give me some advice!
  11. We always stay in Alencon on our way down to the Ile de Re, and we stay in the B&B Hotel - it's basic and cheap, but very good quality for the price. Has air conditioning, and family rooms where the adults sleep downstairs and the children have a little mezzanine area with twin beds. You can arrive as late as you want as you let yourself in with your credit card. www.hotel-bb.com  
  12. [quote user="Eslier"]you can buy a freesat card from Sky for a £20 one off fee[/quote] I'm a bit confused because I've just looked up Freesat and it appears to be £150 (this from http://www.freesatfromsky.com). Where can I find it for £20? We've just had a satellite dish installed, it is pointing at Astra 2D and we have the BBC channels, but I would quite like ITV, C4 and Five too. We live in the UK and have a full Sky package at home, but the France house is let out as a gite and I would like to provide the extra channels for our guests. Thanks! 
  13. See this thread, and the response I've just posted on page 4 about the CLCV: http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/4/942388/ShowPost.aspx#942388 If you have any consumer problems (mine was a rubbish tiling job), they may be able to help you. - "Association de defense des consommateurs" - www.clcv.org.    
  14. FURTHER UPDATE After my letter to the company and their CEO, I got a response from them, giving us the choice of accepting the work done so far and not having to pay the balance (about 900E), or for them to come back to replace the tiles. Only problem with the latter option is that they couldn't do it within the last couple of weeks and as we are now booked up through the summer, the work would be done in September - but by the same workman, and they require us to be present while the work is done (presumably because they want to make sure that we hand over a cheque at the end!) I contacted the CLCV (www.clcv.org) and the woman I had previously spoken to has taken up our case. She has contacted the company and they have now agreed to send someone else - in fact, apparently the original subcontractor has now been licenciee (let go) and I have to say that I feel really bad about that, I don't want people to lose their jobs on my account :-((  Apart from the cr*p tiling job, he was very helpful, polite and punctual and the rest of the work didn't seem too bad... Oh well... Also, when I told her that it was very difficult for us to spend a couple more days over there mid-week in September, she said that she and her colleague would go along to our house on the final afternoon to check the quality of the work (bear in mind that her office is 80kms away)!!! I was very pleasantly surprised and thanked her profusely, but she shrugged it off - "c'est normal!".  She is only in the office two afternoons a week, the rest of the time she is a sort of roving dispute resolver, and she often goes along to court with plaintiffs too! I have to say that I am so impressed with the way the CLCV have taken up our case, even though we aren't members (although I have now joined the association - it's only 30euros p.a.). I would really advise other people with consumer-related problems to contact them if you feel you need some assistance with any disputes. I'm going to post something in the Legal section of this forum too. 
  15. Realise it's a little late, have you already found somewhere? If not, I can recommend the following: http://www.visitfrance.co.uk/accommodation.cfm?i=4989# It is owned and run by our keyholders. If you contact them, please say that I recommended them to you (from Le Gaillon).  
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