Sunday 29 May 2011

With Summer holidays approaching, it is nice to find out about towns or areas in France:

 A group of students in a Tuesday evening French class did just that!
Here is what Pat wrote about St Malo where she spent a couple of days on her way to the Loire Valley:

St Malo

St Malo est une ville très ancienne, un centre maritime du peuple gaulois des Ambibarii. En 423 l'armée romaine l'utilise pour de nombreuses attaques venues du Nord.
C'est ensuite que Saint Maclow, venant de l'actuel Pays de Galles, s'installe sur le rocher qui prendra le nom de rocher de Saint Malo en 541.
Saint Malo est un port de mer situé sur la Manche, à l'embouchure de l'estuaire de la  Rance.Il y a des remparts qui entourent la ville, construits et reconstruits au XII  et au XIX siècles. Les remparts étaient très impressionnants et beaucoup de rues étaient protégées. Dans les rues il y a un grand choix de cafés, de restaurants et aussi de magasins.
Aussi c'est possible de rencontrer les musiciens qui jouent dans la rue.

if you would like to study areas of France, whatever your level of French, join one of our French courses: for more info...

Sunday 22 May 2011

Did you know about the French intensive course running in June and July with Alliance Française de Bristol?

The French intensive course that we offer every year is becoming more and more popular. Whether you need French tuition in basic French or French classes in intermediate or advanced French, we have something for you:
-    If your French feels rather rusty, we will help you cope with practical situations aimed at your requirements such as going to the shop, the restaurant, solving problems, etc….  “A really good start if you have very little French.
-    If your French is of a good standard, we may discover a French region with you, find out more about an area you would like to go to, discuss how to buy a property etc… or go over this grammar point that you always struggle with. “A real boost to help you regain confidence in speaking.
For instance , last year one of our French tutors had a group with several members going camping in France in the following weeks and they wanted to be able to communicate about small ailments such as:
A stomach upset: une crise de foie
A headache: mal à la tête.
A toothache: mal aux dents
A sun stroke: une insolation
A mosquito bite: une piqûre de  moustique
A wasp sting: une piqûre de guêpe
If you wish to find out about our French intensive course, please go to our website: more info...

Sunday 15 May 2011

Did you know that pets de nonne are little sugar doughnuts?

Le pet de nonne or le beignet goes back to the Renaissance period. Different stories are told about the origin of the name but, in any case une nonne is a nun and pets de nonne were first of all cooked by nuns in Franche Comté ( east of France) for instance.
Iza, our French chef and French tutor is preparing some pets de nonne in her French cookery class next week and here is the recipe:

Pets de nonne

•    250 ml of full fat milk
•    60 g of unsalted clarified butter
•    150g of plain flour
•    50 g of caster sugar+ some more sugar to coat the pets de nonne
•    Optional: 2 tbs of essence of orange blossom flower
•    Frying oil
•    50 gr of dble cream
In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine the milk and the sugar and the diced butter. Heat it until the butter has melted.
Off the heat, add the flour in one go. At first whisk the mixture, then with a spatula mix vigorously until you have obtained a paste that clumps into a ball.
Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl and add one egg at a time. When adding the essence of orange blossom flower, mix it between the first and the second egg. The paste must be smooth before adding the next egg.
Preheat the oil to 170C.
With a spoon, form  walnut size balls that you will drop into the preheated oil. Deep fry a few balls at a time for 7 to 10 minutes depending on their size.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.
Finally, coat each ball with caster sugar or icing sugar. Pets de nonne are at their best when served immediately.


If you would like to learn French and learn to cook French recipes at the same time, watch out for our next French cookery workshops: more info...

Sunday 8 May 2011

Notre nouveau podcast est en ligne!

Ce mois-ci, Audrey est allée enregistrer notre podcast au magasin Les Fleurs dans le centre de Bristol. La propriétaire Vanina nous parle de ses clients et de ses fleurs puisque le printemps est là! Elle nous raconte aussi quelques anecdotes inattendues! Alors n'hésitez pas à écouter notre podcast pour en savoir plus.
Cliquez ici: Podcast Les Fleurs

Sunday 1 May 2011

Did you know that the French offer each other lily of the valley on the 1st May?

A sprig of lily of the valley ( un brin de muguet) or a bunch ( un bouquet) if you're wealthy (!) is offered to loved ones on the 1st of May ( le premier mai). The tradition goes back to the Renaissance when, in 1561, it is believed,  the king, Charles IX offered some to wish luck ( porter bonheur) to ladies at his court.
Le muguet celebrates Spring ( le printemps) and brings with it ( we hope) lovely sunny days!
It is cultivated intensively around Nantes to be ready for the 1st of May. All the florists all over France sell some and you can also buy some on the streets. It tends to be very expensive, a sprig ( un brin) costs at least 1 euro.
If you are a student in one of our French classes, if you have du muguet in your garden, do bring un brin to your French tutor. She will be delighted!


If you would like to learn our French language or find out about our French culture and customs, why not join one of our courses: For more info...