Saturday, 29 June 2013

Have you ever played pétanque ou boules?

Last Monday, students learning French with Audrey have played pétanque in Queen's Square. The sport is especially played in the south of France, often while drinking a nice Pastis (an alcohol with aniseed) although I am told drinking alcohol while playing is against the rules!

Bill, one of the students, is a seasoned player and knows all the rules and tricks. He also showed us the equipment to measure the distance between the cochonet (little wooden ball you need to get your metal boules as close as possible to) and the boules.
Alliance Française is organising a pétanque event in September - why not join us?
To receive all the details in our newsletter, you can register here for free:
Here is a famous example of serious pétanque playing in a Marcel Pagnol film - the tramway has to stop for it!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Did you know that on Tuesday it will be our 9th French drama show at the Hen and Chicken?

You might be familiar with our "Learn French through Drama" course, which explores the language through drama exercises and impros. Did you know that even if you're a bit shy to take part you could come to the show next Tuesday?

The theme this time is "Histoires d'Amour de l'Histoire de France (et d'ailleurs)" Love stories in French  history (and other kinds of history). Come and find out about Antoine et Cléopatre's couple issues, what happened to Bonnie et Clyde or Napoléon et Joséphine. It will be a fun night; even if you do not know anyone you can sit to a table with other French learners (and even a few French people who come regularly!) Et biensûr, le Hen and Chicken is well known for its delicious pizzas!

Tuesday 25th June 2013, 8.30 pm
Upstairs @ The Hen & Chicken, North Street, BS3 1JF Bedminster

More info: or call Audrey on 0781 659 0609

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Nice tasty strawberries are around, it is time to prepare un fraisier.

Rebecca followed the French cookery classes with Isabelle, our French teacher and chef and learnt how to make un fraisier.

Un fraisier has a light biscuit base, on top of which you put the strawberries with a filling of mascarpone, cream and almonds.

Here is Rebecca's recipe:

Fraisier pour 2/3 personnes
2 œufs
Une pincée de sel
37g de sucre
20g d’amandes en poudre
15g de farine
150 g de mascarpone
Un citron
6 feuilles de basilic
80ml de crème double
1 barquette de fraises

1.    Faire chauffer le four à 220°.
2.    Séparer les blancs d’œuf. (Garder un des jaunes). Les mettre dans un saladier avec une pincée de sel. Faire monter les blancs en neige bien ferme et ajouter le sucre en 3 fois jusqu’à ce que ce soit brillant et qu’ il ne reste aucun granulé de sucre.
3.    Ajouter le jaune et mélanger légèrement avec un fouet pour garder la légèreté du biscuit.
4.    Tamiser les amandes avant de les ajouter. Les tourner avec le fouet et puis avec une spatule.
5.    Mettre une feuille silicone sur une plaque et y verser la pâte. Lisser jusqu’à ce que vous obteniez une épaisseur d’ 1 cm environ.
6.    Mettre au four et baisser pour 5 minutes. Quand c’est cuit, couvrir le biscuit avec un torchon.
7.    Choisissez des fraises de la même taille pour que le fraisier ait une jolie apparence. Les équeuter et les couper en deux. Les tailler pour qu’elles soient de la même épaisseur et garder les rognures.
8.    Ciseler des feuilles de basilic.
9.    Faire monter la crème dans un bol bien froid et ajouter le zeste d’un demi-citron.
10.    Détendre le mascarpone et ajouter le jus d’un demi-citron, le basilic et le sucre glace.
11.    Incorporer le mélange délicatement dans la crème- ne le mélanger pas trop longtemps au risque de le faire retomber.
12.    Enlever la feuille de silicone du biscuit et préparer une plaque recouverte d’un papier sulfurisé ; y déposer le biscuit.
13.     Puis, à l’aide d’un petit cercle de cuisson y découper 2 ronds ; déposer-les au fond de chaque cercle de cuisson.
14.    Coller les fraises autour de chaque cercle. Remplir avec de la crème (utiliser une spatule pour pousser l’appareil contre et entre les fraises). Ajouter les rognures de fraises au milieu. Ajouter encore le mélange et lisser.
15.    Laisser au frigo pendant 2 heures.
16.    Décoller les fraisiers avec un petit couteau en mettant la lame du couteau entre les fraises et le cercle.
17.    Décorer avec une fraises/des fraises, une feuille de basilic et du sirop de fleur de sureau (facultatif).

It is quite delicious, to be recommended!

Alliance Française de Bristol will be running some more French cookery lessons. Watch this space!
For more info on the intensive and regular classes...

Monday, 10 June 2013

Weather: looking back on the month of May.

It is common to say that the British are obsessed by the weather, well I am not so sure. Judging by the number of weather reports on the French radio, I think the French beat the British!
I can safely look back on the rotten weather ( le temps pourri) that we had in May now that we are basking in warm sunshine ( un soleil bien chaud).
So what was the weather like in France last May? Quel temps a-t-il fait en France en mai?
Wind (vent), rain ( pluies) and icy temperatures (températures glaciales) can sum it up.
Biarritz in the South West was the wettest ( la ville la plus pluvieuse) with 3 times more than average rain falls.
Lyon, in the East, was the second wettest with 185 mm of rain. Umbrellas were a must! ( les parapluies étaient incontournables!)

If you wanted to wear gloves ( des gants), hats ( un bonnet), scarves ( une écharpe) and felt like going for a brisk walk in the cold ( une balade énergique dans le froid), Aurillac in le Cantal was the place to be.
Nancy in the North East and Troyes in the East were the least sunny ( les moins ensoleillées).
Even Cannes, during the festival, was not very warm.
It is all behind us now and let's hope that we'll have a real Summer ( un véritable été).
So, if you're thinking of going to France for your holiday, Alliance Française de Bristol is the place to contact to practise your French beforehand. There are still some places in the July French intensive classes. For more info...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Did you know that every day is a saint day in France?

To day,  2nd June ( le 2 juin) is Saint Blandina ( la sainte Blandine).
Blandina lived in the 2nd century in Lyon, she was a slave and had an unfailing faith in god. She constantly refused to deny her belief so she was tortured by the Romans like so many Christians at the time. As she would not give in, she was wrapped up in a net and thrown up in the air by a bull, she was then butchered by gladiators.
The name Blandine comes from the Latin and means caressant ( affectionate). Girls called Blandine have a quiet, gentle appearance but are very determined ( pugnaces )and strong ( fortes). They know how to charm people!
So if you are called Blandine, on the 2nd June, your family and friends will say: Bonne fête Blandine! when they see you or they will give you a card or send you a text ( un texto).

Don't  forget the French intensive courses with Alliance Française de Bristol are starting either next week or mid June or at the end of June or July, there are still a few places left. For more info...