Sunday, 27 July 2014

As I write this blog Le Tour de France is in Paris, going round 9 times before the final sprint on Les Champs Elysées.

This year, the French riders have shown some talent and determination and two of them will be sur le podium unless there is a fall. The French commentators are delighted to tell us that it has not happened for about 30 years.
You may be watching Le Tour, you may even ride a bike but do you know the vocabulary?
Un vélo de course: a racing bike
Un vélo tout terrain ou VTT: a mountain bike
Un vélo de route: a road bike
Un vélo d'appartement: an exercise bike
Une roue: a wheel
Un pneu: a tyre
Une chambre à air: an inner tube
Une crevaison: a puncture
Un guidon:  handlebars
Un frein: a brake
Une selle: a saddle
Une chaîne: a chain
Un dérailleur: derailleur gears
Le braquet: gear ratio
Une pédale: a pedal

 Happy cycling in France!

Here is a link with a recap of this year's Tour:

No French classes this coming August with Alliance Française de Bristol or Bath, but look out for our enrolment sessions early September. For more info...

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Time for apéritif...2

Last week we wrote about what kind of drink you might be offered for apéritif in France this summer. You can read about it here.
This week let's talk about the array of options for nibbles offered with it:

  • Olives
  • Anchois (anchovies)
  • Saucisson (dried cured sausage, in thin slices, perfect with a pastis - see last week's post)
  • Fromage (little cubes of emmental or comté)
  • Cacahuètes (peanuts)
  • Verrines: in the last ten years, these have appeared everywhere! Served in small glasses and eaten with a spoon, they are usually very colourful and like a small elaborate dish. You can find a few recipes here.

The obvious problem is that by dinner time... you're not hungry anymore! Another piece of advice; sometimes you might be invited for apéritif and not for the meal - and other times the apéro will turn into a meal!

When you come back in September, why not join one of our French lessons groups to practise and learn in a relaxed atmosphere with Alliance Française de Bristol and Bath?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Time for apéritif....

If you're going to France this summer, you will undoubtedly be offered apéritif. Also shortened to apéro, it's a drink (or series of drinks!) taken before a meal. Different ones are found in different regions. In the south of France you will be offered:

  • Pastis (an aniseed transparent alcoholic drink which turns opaque when mixed with water) Sometimes it is referred to with the brand name: 51, Ricard, Pernod...
  • Muscat (a sweet wine, the colour of amber)
  • Panaché (shandy)
For children or if you fancy a non alcoholic beverage:
  • Sirop de menthe (mint cordial, very refreshing, bright green)
  • Sirop de grenadine (pomegranate cordial, bright red)
  • Diabolo (this is made with cordial, usually one of the two above, but lemonade is used instead of water)
  • Orangina 
Next week we'll talk about the fancy nibbles you might have with them!

What is your preferred apéritif drink? Leave a comment to tell us!

To revise very important vocabulary such as this, join one of our regular French courses in Bristol and Bath! :)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

If you need to go to the doctor's in France this summer...

Some of you will have come to our French drama show last Tuesday, where poor injured men were given quite a different experience in France and in England!

On the English side, the doctor was sitting besides his patient; on the French side, the doctor was behind the desk (derrière son bureau). Even though it was a knee injury, he was asked to take all of his clothes off on the French side (déshabillez-vous) whereas on the English side the doctor was nervous about the patient taking their clothes off!
Of course the scene went on the finish with the perfect medicine on both sides. In England, it was a cup of tea (une tasse de thé) and in France, after a long prescription (une ordonnance) it was of course... un suppositoire!

To find out more about our French through drama course, or our more conventional courses to learn or revise French in Bristol and Bath, visit our website: