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  • Tips for Getting your French Driver’s License
    If you are planning to move to France or you have just arrived here, you may be wondering if you can legally drive in this country.  The on answer depends your situation, and on where your permit was issued. If you have a driver’s license from another European country, it is valid in France.  As…
  • A Difficult Relocation Succeeds
    Eric Donovan and wife Thanita Mahakaraket faced a challenge when they decided to relocate from London to Paris. They managed to locate many nice properties to rent, but they either received no answer or negative responses from the agents they contacted. The likely reason for the Donovans’ trouble was their unique situation. As an entrepreneur…
  • Renting Property in France: A Glossary of Helpful Terms
    The intricate nature of renting property in France can make the task a bit daunting to relocating expats. The glossary below is designed to be a resourceful guide, providing explanations for frequently-used words, terms and phrases within the rental property realm. We hope you find it helpful. A Agence Immobilière – Real estate agency A Louer –…
  • Galettes des Rois Season
    It’s galette season in France! (Galettes des Rois, that is, or “King Cake.”) We very much look forward to these delicious pastries and the fun tradition around eating them every year. Children (and sometimes even adults ) love to slide under the table to announce who gets which piece, each person hoping to get the slice with…
  • Determining School Grade Levels
    Arriving from abroad, do you know your child’s grade level equivalent in France? When relocating, choosing the appropriate grade level for your child can be a daunting task. Some helpful tips, along with a chart below, will help you determine the right one. It is important to remember that not only the birth date counts,…
  • Understanding Rental Payment Guarantees
    If you are looking for an apartment or home in Paris, one of the first questions you might hear is, “What type of guarantee can you provide?”  Even though your revenue justifies the rent you are willing to pay, landlords often request a form of rental payment guarantee. There are many types of rental payment…
  • French Literary Awards
    (This article serves as a continuation of our previous blog post on notable literary cafes in Paris.) The concept of literary accolades in France dates back to the Renaissance period, when numerous poetry contests and improvised verbal jousts took place. These ancient activities gave tempo to the literary and artistic life of its time and…
  • Renowned Parisian Literary Cafés
    Well-named the “City of Light” or the “Capital of Art,” Paris is an animated, noisy and uncompromising town. When we think about this tremendous city, several images come to mind: a romantic Paris, an artistic Paris, a literary Paris. The best representations of a literary Paris are several famed cafés that have been frequented for…
  • Discovering Paris: The History Behind Wallace Fountains
    Wallace fountains (“Les Fontaines Wallace”) are drinking fountains made of green cast iron that one can find just about everywhere in Paris. The fountains not only allow everyone a drink of water when needed, but they lend unique and distinguished architectural detail to the landscape of Paris. The history behind these fountains is actually quite…
  • About Lily of the Valley Day
    May 1st is known as Labor Day (or the “Fête du Travail”) in France, as well as many other countries around the world, and many union organizations rally on that day in favor of workers rights. But aside from May 1st being a national holiday in France, there is another connotation to May 1st called Lily of the…
  • Discovering Paris: The History of Morris Columns
    Just as Wallace fountains or Guimard aedicules help to define the Paris we know and love, Morris columns also form an integral part of this great city’s emblematic and unique urban landscape. These columns originate from Berlin, where flyposting was at one time known to pose a problem. It was in 1845 that German printer-publisher…
  • How to Prepare for a Departure Inspection
    Preparing for the final inspection of your rental property is a task not to be taken lightly. This is the all-important moment when you turn the keys to the property back over to your landlord and your responsibility for the property comes to an end. The departure inspection is an important appointment that will determine…
  • Can You Make a Fire in Your Beautiful Haussmann Fireplace?
    In historic times, fireplaces served as a principal source of heat in the home. Today, most older Parisian buildings retain their beautiful stone fireplaces, but they are mainly used for decorative purposes. If you have a working fireplace in your apartment, can you use it? We hear different responses from real estate agencies. Some say…
  • Foie Gras Mi-Cuit For the Holidays
    If you are not familiar with this French delicacy, do give it a try. Foie Gras Mi-Cuit is divine and a special treat for the holidays. Foie Gras Mi-Cuit usually means fresh liver that has not been preserved in any way. “Mi-cuit” (meaning half cooked), refers to the foie gras being cooked rather than raw,…
  • Where to Park All Those Bikes
    Biking in Paris is becoming quite popular, with dedicated bikes lanes popping up in all arrondissements to make it easier for bikers to navigate Parisian traffic. But when you return home the question remains, “What do I do with it now?” You can decide not to get a bike at all and opt instead to…
  • 6 Tips to Streamline Your Housing Search
    When you are new to a country, searching for housing can seem like a daunting task. But you need not feel overwhelmed. The following tips will help you understand the French rental market and streamline your long-term property search. 1. Understand Lease Types There are several types of long-term property leases available in France. Your…
  • Make Life Easier with the New Smart Meter Rollout
    Have you ever waited at home for hours for a technician to come read your electric meter? Those days are shortly to be over, thanks to the emerging Linky smart meter. Linky is the new digital electricity meter to soon replace all current meters. 35 million meters are slated to be converted to the new…
  • Can you Drive in France with a License from Another Country?
    If you have just arrived in France, for a short or long-term stay, you can drive for one year with your valid foreign driver’s license and a certified translation of it, or even better an international driver’s license. If you have a valid European driver’s license, you are all set and can drive with it as long…
  • Learn to Make Traditional French Red Currant Jelly
    Everyone knows that the best traditional recipes come from grandmothers’ kitchens! And when it comes to jams and jellies, there is nothing better than homemade, as store bought ones just cannot compare. The French do love jams and jellies to accompany our wonderful fresh baquettes and breads for breakfast. I am happy to share this…
  • What to Expect in a Furnished Apartment in France
    You are looking for a furnished apartment and are wondering what will be included? There is indeed a basic minimum that is required by law which is good to know about. Beyond that, it is up to the discretion of the landlord what he/she includes. In general, furnished apartments are better equipped than this bare…