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Clé France

The French Property Network

Apr 30

Living in or Thinking of Living in France?

For those of you already living in France, or planning to do so at some point in the future, you might find this series of ‘Europe Chats’ of interest.

In each episode, Jim Cloos, TEPSA Secretary-General, will be answering your questions about Europe and the EU, how it works, and what effects its policies have on your day-to-day life, as an EU citizen.

Take a look and feel free to 'Like' and subscribe and or leave a comment.

We hope you find them interesting.

Episode 1 - What is the EU?

Premiered on 25 March 2021

Europe Chats Episode 1

Episode 2 - What is the European Interest?

Premiered on 29 April 2021

Europe Chats Episode 2

Blog submitted by: David Evans - Co-Founder of Cle France.

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Apr 16

Overseas Travel to buy property is a 'Reasonable Excuse'

It is possible to travel to and from France from the UK [and many other countries] at the moment, but to read the newspapers and watch the TV news you would not think so.

We see many a frustrated email from our clients that want to go and view properties but they think they are not allowed to travel, this is simply not the case.

You are allowed to travel, to quote the UK Governments travel advisory page it says "to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property".

It is however, as you may have thought, not as easy as it used to be, let me explain:

- 1. Permitted reasons for international travel

Read here on the UK Government website the "Reasonable excuses for travel abroad"

It is noted as follows:

Other permitted reasons

There are further reasonable excuses, for example:

- to fulfil legal obligations
- to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property
- travel in order to exercise custody rights recognised by a court decision
- order to present oneself to a judicial or administrative authority

Recommended evidence: proof of contract, court decision and proof of place of residence, order to present oneself to a judicial or administrative authority, expiring residence permit, dismissal notice, letter or appointment details from estate agent [which we can provide], relevant contract or letters detailing sales, or other appropriate documentation or other appropriate documentation.

This will remain the case after the 29th March when the current stay at home guidance ends: you will still need a travel declaration form:

- 2. Legislation – the legal requirement to carry the travel declaration form

You will need to complete the travel declaration form to leave the UK

- 3. On 11 March, the French government announced it was easing restrictions on travel from the UK. From 12 March, arrivals no longer need to justify an essential reason to enter France. This applies to all air, car, ferry and train passengers.

- 4. Arrivals from the UK will need to complete a ‘sworn statement’ (déclaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This can be found on the French government’s website.

- 5. All travellers from the UK, including children aged 11 and above, will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure. Only PCR tests are accepted for passengers
- 6. Passengers arriving in France from the UK will also be required to self-isolate for seven days on arrival, before taking another PCR test. Exit from this self-isolation period is subject to a negative test result. Please find more information on how to obtain a PCR test in France here.

- 7. UK nationals returning home from France must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure.

- 8. You have to self quarantine for 10 days on arrival back in the UK

Blog submitted by: Sharon Evans - Founder of Cle France.

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For everything you need to know about French property visit

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Feb 12

UK Pancake Day celebrations and yummy recipe

Shrove Tuesday on February 16th 2021 means that across the UK there will be people practising their pancake tossing !

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday as it is more formally known, is a much loved day in the calendar as it a day to indulge yourself by eating delicious pancakes!

Of course even if you are in France on a viewing trip with one or more of the Cle France agents there is no need to miss out on your pancakes, in fact everyday is like pancake day at a French market where they is nearly always a Crepe stand serving freshly made French crepes, so another reason to buy a house in France! See how the French celebrate here.

So how did Shrove Tuesday start? Well the word ‘Shrove' comes from the old English word ‘shrive' which means to confess ones sins. The tradition of Shrove Tuesday began when Christians had to clear out their pantry before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent. Today many people give up just one thing for Lent, however hundreds of years ago all meats, eggs, milk and other rich foods were given up for 40 days to remember when Jesus went into the desert and fasted  for 40 days and 40 nights. The idea was that instead of throwing out the fats and eggs; they should be used to make pancakes as a final feast before the fasting period began.

As well as Shrove Tuesday being a day for making pancakes we must not forget it is also a day for pancake races. This tradition is thought to have began in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445 when a woman was making pancakes and she forgot the time. Then suddenly she heard the church bells ring to signal the start of the service and in her panic she ran out of the house and to the church still holding the frying pan with the pancake inside. Pancake races are held in villages and towns across the country, usually with several different races so that all ages can take part. The race usually requires the competitors to run a course while tossing a pancake in their frying pan; the winner is the person who crosses the line first after tossing the pancake a certain number of times.

Cle France Blogs

Our Pancakes above may be a little fancy but all Pancakes are delicious, when cooked right. If you have not tried before or struggle to make perfect pancakes, why not follow this simple recipe by Delia Smith.

Traditional Lemon & Sugar Pancake Recipe 

Makes: 12-14 pancakes

Preparation time: 30 mins

Frying pan: Good heavy one not more than 7 inches / 18 cm in diameter (inside base)


For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter
To serve:
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges


Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake. 

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It's also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.

Recipe Source: Delia Smith - Complete Cookery Course Book

Blog submitted by: Alex at Cle France.

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Dec 31

The New Year is Fast Approaching

Le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre (New Year’s Eve)

The New Year (le nouvel an) is fast approaching. 

In France, as elsewhere, New Year’s Eve (called le réveillon du jour de l’an) is typically celebrated with friends. It’s common to celebrate the new year with champagne and fireworks. But did you know that, unlike in English, New Year’s Eve also has a different name?

In French, New Year’s Eve is also known as le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre.

But who was Saint Sylvester?

Bonne Annee

Saint Sylvester was Pope (Pape) from 314 to 335 AD. Not much is known about his life, although the church grew in power during his tenure, erecting such monuments as Santa Croce in Jerusalem and the old Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Most of our common knowledge about Saint Sylvester is through unverified (and potentially fictional) stories about his relationship with the Emperor Constantine. One fictitious story stated that, upon administering blessed water, Sylvester cured Constantine of leprosy. Supposedly, it was Sylvester’s miracle that influenced Constantine to convert to Christianity.

The Feast of Saint Sylvester is celebrated around the world on December 31, because this was the day he died in 335. Today, many countries around the world, and not just France, refer to New Year’s Eve as Silvester, or a similar name in tribute of the ancient pope. For example, in Germany, Christian households traditionally celebrate Saint Sylvester’s Day by melting Silvesterblei (Silvester lead) in a spoon and dropping it into cold water, then divining the year ahead based on the shape of the cooled metal. In Switzerland, men dress as Silvesterklaus and ring large bells to welcome in the new year. 

In France, la Saint Sylvestre is celebrated with friends, good food, champagne, and firecrackers or noisemakers. But there is one more tradition that is often reserved for this special day: le baiser sous le gui (kissing under the mistletoe). Unlike in some Anglophone cultures, where kissing under the mistletoe is a Christmas tradition, this ancient ritual is reserved for la Saint-Sylvestre in France. 

Bonne année!

Blog submitted by: David at The French Property Network - Cle France.

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Dec 23

Merry Christmas to all - Joyeux Noel

I just wanted to send a quick note to wish you an enjoyable Christmas.

Your interest and visits to our website are very much appreciated.

Best wishes to you from all of us here at Cle France.

We wish you and your family a 'Joyeux Noel'.

Merry Christmas from Cle France

We are open 24/7 on-line so keep enjoying all the beautiful French property for sale and all our information about buying a house in France as usual on the website, but we may take a few days to get back to you if you send in any questions / requests over the Christmas period as we too will be enjoying the festive period with our feet up!

Oh! and we have lots of new agents starting in January adding extra new listings to our portfolio from January 4th onward.

Sharon Evans
Founder of Cle France

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