Making a lifestyle choice real

When people glimpse your French lifestyle, running a chambres d’hotes in a quaint medieval town & meeting people from all over the world, they often say to me ‘you’re living the dream – just like all those people on the TV lifestyle programmes’!  And it does make me stop and think what we have here – for which I am truly grateful…..and 3 and a half years on, we’re proof that it can be done.

A tranquil Winter scene by the Rives de Vincou, Bellac

And the appeal of these UK programmes shows no abating –  in fact we are hosting a complete production crew for Channel 4  this weekend who will be shooting in Bellac and nearby town Le Dorat for a new series due to air on channel 4 later this year when a British family has to choose between a new life in England or a new life in France.

I guess it’s easier to be seduced by the French lifestyle, especially in the Spring & Summer months,  than life in the UK with terminal grey days,  dodgy celebrities & politicians and litter everywhere.   But living in France is not all about that chilled glass of wine on a hot summer’s night ,visiting sleepy towns and browsing in the markets for fresh produce and sampling the fresh bread & croissants every morning in the boulangerie.

French bureaucracy and economic woes have caused many an ex-pat to reach for the rosé when their dream life seems to vanish before it really began.  There’s stress a-plenty chez nous too… with two daughters in the french lycée system – one about to sit her final exams, some petites problemes with booking websites, and  trying to get some renovations done before the season gets underway – but, I need to get it all in perspective – most of the things which stress me out are minor  niggles and can be dealt with, and there will be something else to think about next week.

For example, now that I’ve ditched & have our very own direct reservations system on this website we are back in control of our life & our business once again.

So, moving to France can be a fab lifestyle choice – but leave those rose-tinted spectacles behind, try to speak some French and be prepared for some challenges and stress along the way if you are going to make it work.  What do you think?  Do these tv programmes make you want to live in France or do they put you off for good?