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Everything posted by CatherineS2

  1. Do Eurotunnel no longer do the Day/Overnight fare? I booked this a couple of times recently and it was £50 to go out one day and come back before midnight the following day, which I thought was extremely reasonable!
  2. Believe it or not, the above is supposedly the English translation of  "Sole Meuniere au Beurre Citronné" according to a harbourside seafood restaurant on the Ile de Ré we went to last summer! See if you can work out what the following are supposed to mean... 1. Slab of tremendous, dip in the sauce to flaps mushrooms 2. Paved of wild roasted bar to the marrow, on reads of ruby 3. Pat of eel-pout, be riled of crabs and Norways lobsters 4. Made flaky fruity of sea 5. Cooked in a frying pan of shrimps make rosy flare-ups 6. The browned part to red fruits I find it incredible that this kind of thing should still occur - when there are masses of English tourists in the area and the restaurant in question (Le Belem for anyone who has been there) is one of the prime harbourside restaurants, not some tiny back-street café who can't afford to get someone to properly translate for them! They have obviously used some sort of automated internet translation service. I feel sorry for any poor hapless souls who speak no french and are trying to order a meal!!! To put you out of your misery, here is what they were trying to translate... 1. Pavé de boeuf, sauce aux ceps 2. Pavé de bar sauvage roti a la moelle, sur lit de vin rouge 3. Medaillons de lotte, bisque de crabs et langoustines 4. Feulleté de fruits de mer 5. Poelée de crevettes roses flambées 6. Le gratin aux fruits rouges
  3. This is great news Julia, as we live in Heathfield and our house is near Forges-les-Eaux, both about 40 minutes from Newhaven and Dieppe respectively! This will save us the schlep to Dover and Calais. But the only problem is that I have just bought another 10 Eurotunnel single tickets, so won't be able to try out the new ferry just yet. I look forward to hearing how people have been getting on with the new service...
  4. Dear Monihaar, Yes, we are very much still in business, and nothing has changed since the message above! Good luck with your letting, and don't hesitate to get in touch if you need any local advice (although we don't actually live in France).
  5. Thanks to everyone who has replied to my request, both on this thread and via PMs. I have passed them all on to my friend (except for today's one as it was too late, sorry), and they have now booked somewhere.
  6. Thanks for the tip! I was going to point her in the direction of Holiday-Rentals, VisitFrance et al, but I was hoping that someone would be able to come back with a definite property and dates. I will give her your suggested link anyway!
  7. I have just taken my children to their swimming lesson and there were two other mums who were looking through a French Country Cottages brochure as they are looking for accommodation during the school summer holidays - they both want a house with a pool, preferably not too far from the sea. Anyone got any dates left?   www.LeGaillon.com  
  8. Strider - where are you in 76? We are near Forges-les-Eaux and we advertise in: www.VisitFrance.co.uk www.holiday-rentals.com www.sawdays.co.uk So far I have 21 weeks booked for this year, mostly through those sites. We originally were with frenchconnections and although they were good at first (3 years ago), they changed their website and we found that we were never near the top of the listings and hardly got any enquiries so we have stopped using them. Good Luck! www.leGaillon.com  
  9. I am hoping that someone will be able to help me! I have just had an email from the guests who are arriving in our gite on Saturday afternoon - husband wants to watch the rugby and they wanted to know if it is on television. (match kicks off at 4.30pm I believe). Unfortunately we only have terrestrial TV, and as I live in the UK I am not sure where to even check the french tv listings. Does anyone know whether it is going to be shown? Thanks in advance!
  10. I do it the "British" way - not for convenience, but because by asking for the balance to be paid 8 weeks in advance at least I will have a chance to re-let the property if they pull out. If they did not have to pay until their arrival then what would I do if they didn't show up?
  11. Why don't you call Speedferries? I'm sure they will be able to give you a definitive answer...
  12. Dick, Could you point me in the direction of the "places which which will sell you an aerial photo"? That is essentially what I am looking for. Regarding the IGN photos, it was 50cm2, not 50m2 - so I think that is still fairly detailed... Also, I don't have a MAC so it's not a problem for me, and I do have a number of friends in the area so they may also be interested to see their properties - although I realise that I probably would not be allowed to print any off for them as there must be some sort of copyright restrictions.   
  13. There was a post recently on the laymyhat forum from someone in the USA discussing aerial photos of their property, and it set me thinking that I would like to get an aerial photo of our house in France. I found this on the web: http://www.ign.fr/affiche_rubrique.asp?rbr_id=1994&lng_id=FR Basically, it appears to be a CD-ROM of aerial photos which you can buy for your department, and it claims that each pixel represents 50cm2 of ground - so it must be pretty detailed. (Presumably these photos were taken by satellite, not aeroplane). Each one costs 50 Euros, which seems pretty reasonable to me. Does anyone know anything about this, before I commit myself to buying one - it seems a little too good to be true.
  14. That is so cute!!!! My daughter wants a kitten for her eighth birthday - problem solved!
  15. celui-ci - this one (male) celle-ci - this one (female)  celui-la - that one (m) celle-la - that one (f) ceci - this cela - that ceux-ci - these ones (m) celles-ci - these ones (f) ceux-la - those ones (m) celles-la - those ones (f) Hope this helps!
  16. [quote]It really does matter what enquiries it generates. Please do tell. John[/quote] It may be difficult to tell exactly how many enquiries it generates. I will only know for sure if people enquire and say that they found us in the book. But I am also hoping that by being able to mention Sawday's on our website, it might sway someone's decision who may have seen our ad on VisitFrance or HolidayRentals - they may not have bought the AS book or visited the AS website, but the fact that we have been recommended by AS may help them to narrow down their search and contact us rather than one of our competitors. That is what I am hoping anyway! Maybe I am being naive. Only time will tell... (New guide and website not out until end of Oct)
  17. Hello Chambres d'Hoters from a Gite Owner! May I post in your forum? Apologies if I am a little off-topic here, but I was interested to hear your various views regarding Alastair Sawday's. We applied last year, and they kept promising to visit our gite before April which was their cut-off date for the next issue. I had to keep pestering them and they eventually came at the very last minute. The inspector stayed with us for the whole afternoon. We didn't have to pay her, but then again she didn't actually stay the night (I suppose it must be different for gites rather than CdH). But I have to say that the inspection was very thorough, and at no point did I get the impression that "even a tent would be OK". She told me that they had over 1,000 applications for the French Holiday Homes book, and that only about 300 get in. Anyway, we were thrilled to be "accepted" and we are looking forward to being in the guide which is about to be published at the end of October. Also, I don't know whether the CdH guide is more expensive to be in, but the cost for the Holiday Homes guide is nowhere near £680! We paid £344 inc VAT for being in the book and on their website for TWO years - which is less than I am paying for Holiday-Rentals.com. For that you get a whole page in the book, with 2 good-sized photos and some very whimsical flowery prose about your house (it's interesting to read someone else's viewpoint about your property!). You also get to be on the website, with full search facilities and a link to your own website (which H-R doesn't allow much to my disgust!). Anyway, what does it matter if Mr Sawday himself does not do the inspections any more? The important thing is that the guide is well respected and people do use it - I have a number of friends who always book all their accommodation from these books and swear by them, although I must say that one of them was a little taken aback to hear that you had to pay to be included. She made some grumbling noises about feeling a little cheated, but I then asked her whether she had ever been disappointed with any of the places she had stayed at and she had to admit that no she hadn't. So, I am hoping that being in the guide will be a positive thing for us in the coming months... Will keep you posted!
  18. Yes, I did it a couple of years ago. I got one bid, and then after winning the auction the person decided that she didn't want to stay after all. She then left me negative feedback, without any motive. We then had an exchange of not very pleasant emails. I have 95 Ebay feedbacks and this is the only negative one and it really sticks in my throat. So I shall not be using ebay again for this purpose (although I have bought and sold many items over the years and have never had any other problems whatsoever).
  19. And how many computer programmers does it take?   ... None - it's a hardware problem. (Sorry - another old one for those in the IT industry)
  20. Thanks for the tip MusicMonkey - but in fact I am already a regular reader/contributor of laymyhat! (CatherineS on that one!). And yes I know what you mean about different perceptions about what constitutes a problem - I am very laid back and I don't allow myself to get worked up about minor inconveniences, so I suppose some people would say that it would be a little inaccurate to say that I have had 0% problems over two years... But I really don't count the odd broken glass or the odd scratch of the dining table (which we were able to polish up), or the missing teaspoons or the fact that each time we visit it seems like there has been a poltergeist in the house because things are never where we  left them!!! My parents have both been in the hotel business all their lives and I grew up in a medium-sized seaside hotel in Bournemouth, so I put all the above things down to normal wear and tear - I don't expect people to keep it 100% perfect.  And as I don't have these unreasonably high expectations, I don't get disappointed either. My glass is always half-full, and if someone does something bad to me I don't waste time getting worked up and bitter - I just move on because I know that "what goes round, comes around": they will be paid back one day! I will probably never be there to see it but I know it will happen, and it will SERVE THEM RIGHT!
  21. Good point Susan about showers using less water - our water is heated by an electric water heater and if we were to install a bath then we would also need to replace the water tank with a bigger one - more expense for us, and more electricity being used by the guests to heat the water.
  22. Thanks everyone for the advice! We are planning to update our bathroom next year - I thought I might not need to bother changing the toilet (it's in a separate room), but I think I will have to after all!
  23. When we bought our house it only had one "bathroom", and that had no shower, just a bath. (This in a house that sleeps up to 8 people).  My children hated showers when they were toddlers and I thought that this would really limit us so I planned to put in a second bathroom. However, we have never had any problems letting the house - 32 weeks booked in 2004, and 33 weeks so far this year. We have had many families with children and they have been fine with it. I have provided a plastic baby bath for those with children under 9 months and this has been used  a couple of times. We are planning to upgrade our bathroom next year, and although it is a large room with plenty of space, I don't think I am going to bother to put in a bath... just a snazzy much bigger walk-in shower. (By the way, I ALWAYS point this out to people who enquiring with young children, just to be sure that they understand that there is no bath. The last thing I want is for people to turn up not realising that this is the situation and to be disappointed. I am only aware of two people who have then not booked as a result - and they have said that they may contact us in a couple of years when their children are a little older). So, if your house is desirable enough in other ways, then I don't think it necessarily has to be a major issue. I suppose it kind of depends where you are situated and how easy it is to let. Good Luck!  
  24. Alane, I had exactly the same fears as you, but as BJSLIV suggests above, I purchased them using my credit card so feel reasonably secure... I like the scheme, found it very easy to book my crossings and I like the flexibility it offers - although Speedferries is cheaper (and I do feel a bit guilty about not supporting them), I like the fact that I don't feel constrained to having to arrive exactly on time - if I miss my crossing, hey, no problem, there's another one imminently! (Obviously at peak times like last Saturday I try not to miss my train as there is no guarantee that you will get on the next one, it is subject to availability so there may be a wait if subsequent trains are full!)
  25. Another thing - I've just noticed that the original question mentioned people trying to pay with duff cheques. It seems to be normal practice for gites that the customer has to pay for the rental IN FULL 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the booking. In my case I don't even send them the details of where it is until I have the money safely in my bank account. So the question of duff cheques just isn't an issue - if they tried that one on, I would just cancel the booking and hopefully relet it within the 6 weeks that I still have left...
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