A Taste of Garlic

Pays de la Loire

A Corner of France

Reviewed – February 5, 2010

A corner of France is the home of the Cogitator’s musings about the day-to-day events in running a group gîte in Mayenne.

The blog displays Cogitator’s seemingly “Love/Hate” relationship to gardening, as can be seen here… I hate the rock fairy and here, where he gives flying lessons to Snails.

There’s also a tall story about the Caterpillar that got away and presumably turned into one of the Drunken Butterflies? Do caterpillars turn into butterflies? I’m not actually sure. I’m not very good at some of this nature stuff, having spent most of my biology lessons at school staring at Mavis Bradshaw’s bottom. She had a big bottom and she gave personal biology lessons behind the bike sheds, she did! But….. that’s another story!

A Malaysian in France – The sweet and sweat in the romantic country



A Slice of ExPat(é)

Reviewed – February 26, 2010

A Slice of ExPat(é) is Stu’s blog about his life with his wife Syb, their three children and Shelia (Syb’s mum.)

Stu (and family) run the Chantes des Oiseaux Gites and Campsite and A Slice of ExPat(é) is full of well thought out snippets taken from his life.

He writes intelligently about integration – take a look at… The Bistro Bus and Integrating Slowly.

The depth of Stu (and family’s) own integration can be seen by posts such as… Adieu Gérard Douaire. Notre ami, et bon voisin, Sad News and Just what is it with France?

By the way, the last post has a lovely picture of some lovely Parasol mushrooms – take a peek if it won’t spoil your dinner!

A Whinger in France

Reviewed – January 6, 2010

A Whinger in France is a delightful blog by a retired investment banker who describes himself as… An annoying Old Fart…That will not go away!

Nice, eh? The blog is described as A Whinge about Life in General but about Life in France in Particular!

A bit of detective work tracked the author down to the Vendee where he runs a forum for people living in the Vendee (no wonder he’s so grumpy – running a forum. I wonder if he has any hair left?)

All the Days of Delores

Reviewed – September 24, 2010

All the Days of Delores is the blog of Dolores Dolittle and details her daring adventures in the Loire Valley with her husband and critters.

Did someone mention rabbits?

How about we begin of with Rabbits We Have Known which starts with Mr Bunny being given a toxic-powder dousing and finishes with him flinging himself on his back with eyes closed and legs waving in the air – a sure sign of bunny delight.

What I want to know is… when does he get prepared for dinner?

Then, there is Grumpy Old Bun which describes how the aforementioned rabbit pretends to be ill so that he’ll be pampered for life.

I think I might have to try that myself!

Finally, in Sleeping with the Fridge, with the bunnies all gone Delores tries sleeping in their rooom (or the room they used to live in) only to find that the fridge keeps her awake.

Brian in France – I am starting this blog to keep friends and family informed about my life in France. Those of you who know me well realize that this is a horrible idea. My cat could probably maintain a blog better than I (not the small crazy one, the large striped one).

Castles of the Loire Valley – Leesa’s blog about castles.

C’est (toujours) une blague

Chateaubriant Daily Photo

Reviewed – March 5, 2010

Another day, another photoblog.

Like yesterday’s this one is also annotated in both French and English.

Chateaubriant Daily Photo is a clever mix of superb photos, each catagorised by a colour.

After 840 posts, it’s hard to choose ones that stand out; they really are all very good!

I suppose that if I were put up against a wall, with a firing squad at the ready and someone threatening to smash my Johnny Hallyday record collection, I would probably come up with the following posts that interested me and have provoked some thoughtful reflection….

EJ in Angers – Like many other recent liberal arts graduates, I have only a vague idea of what I want to do with my life and absolutely no hope of making a living doing it. Luckily, I get to delay the inevitable by spending a year in Angers, France, attempting to teach a wee bit of English to sweet little future Frenchmen. But let’s be honest, the job isn’t really what I’m here for…

Entre Nous

Reviewed – November 04, 2010

Entre Nous is Samantha’s blog about her life in La Rochelle.

Now, how Samantha got to La Rochelle is quite a story.

Quite a love story, in fact!

It starts with the words… “This whole thing began because of a wonderful, red haired French boy. On a trip to America he met a shy American girl who was terrible with pen pals.”

Now, has that got you tingling in those places that tingle best?

If so, you might want to read the rest of Samantha’s version of the Franco-American Story.

FranceyPants – Francey Pants is the not-so-secret identity of freelance journalist and self-declared professional expat, Clair Whitmer. She’s a 40-something American woman who somehow ended up living in a small French town and is just trying to get along…as I go along. Originally from San Francisco, I am now living on the banks of the Loire with my French husband, two Franco-American kids and two rabbits. Even after five years full-time in this country, I find myself often looking around in amazement and saying to myself: “I seem to be in France. What am I doing here again?” Every time I tease out a thread of the answer to that question — or the corollary question, “What are all these French people doing here?” — I write it down here. The last thing I want to do is weigh in on the debate: France or America, which is better? Instead, as Francey Pants and in real life, I just try to stick to my motto: “Everybody’s got a story.” I chose this motto because I’ve found that people are more likeable — well, some of them merely more tolerable — if I remind myself to make the effort to learn their stories. As for my story, it’s not so much that I love, love, love everything about France as that I like myself better since I moved here. This is mostly because living here means I am prevented from looking at any random person on the street and even pretending to say: Got you pegged. Or vice versa. It’s stimulating.

French Leave

Reviewed – February 21, 2010

French Leave is written by the Fly in the Web who describes herself as… Retired, I’ve lived in France for about twenty years after leaving the U.K. Tired of listening to the ‘living the dream’ nonsense, tired of people shooting my rooks, it’s time to spill some beans from the cassoulet.

And that, she certainly does.

On this blog there are in depth compassionate articles about life in France in the olden days; try La Douce France for size.

There are life threateningly scary articles such as We’re Out Of Wine Again (that one brought me out in a right cold sweat – I had to have a glass or two of Merlot just to calm my nerves!)

I need to get out more – Wild & whacky british 40 something woman who moved the whole family to France on a whim quite some years ago. Had a fantastic life travelling, (in my younger years), and now trying hard to keep the years younger!

Indictive Daisy – A creative blog by Jennifer Sims

Just another night in Nantes

Knowing Nantes

La chatte chartreuse – la chatte chartreuse—a blog about my experience studying, living and being in Nantes, France.

La Vie en Foussais – The tales of an English family following their dream in Foussais-Payre, a quiet corner of rural France

Laura’s Life in France – Living my dream in Angers, France 2010 on a rotary youth exchange.

Life’s a feast – I have, over the years, been a college student (psychology and art history), lab assistant, art gallery manager, research assistant, university bookstore assistant director, typist for a technical translator, volunteer English teacher, culinary guide and interpretor, milliner, and food blogger. I have lived in Satellite Beach, Tampa, Philadelphia, New York, Paris and Milan and am now living in Nantes, France. I am married to Jean-Pierre and we have two sons, Clément (21) and Simon (19) and a clever yet insolent Boston Terrier named Marty. I bake, I cook, I eat, I read, I watch movies.

Life in Le Mans – Kate – A student of the University of Birmingham, I will be spending my year abroad in Le Mans, France from October 2010- April 2011 being an English Teaching Assistant. Keep in touch people! xoxox

Living in a Second Language

Reviewed – July 2, 2010

Living in a Second Language starts in April 2006.

The students are rioting and there are strikes going on.

I think that’s what I like about France, the timeless quality, the enduring traditions, the way things never change….

OK, I’ll shut up!

Nicole, at that point, had already lived in France for 8 years. She knows what it’s all about. She can pass it off with A Shrug of the shoulders and A Sigh!

An American married to a Frenchman with two sons, cleverly named Boy1 and Boy2 and she lives in Laval.

Now, just to put you out of your misery I’m going to get the stripping (as in taking clothes off) stuff out of the way so that we can settle down and appreciate the finer points of this blog.

Living in the Loire – This blog is about ourselves, Brian and Sheila, an English couple and our life in Le Puy Notre Dame near Saumur in the famous Loire Valley of France. After varied careers in the UK we finally decided to take the plunge and, in 2001, moved, lock stock and barrel, to a country which we both loved and where we had spent many happy holidays. We looked all over France for our first home and finally decided on the Loire Valley because we loved its “Douceur”, its gentle way of life, its people and, not least, its food and wine. Not to mention its history and Chateaux etc.

Liz goes to France – Elizabeth – A recent grad of the University of Vermont, I will be in Le Mans, France from October 2010 to April 2011 working as an English teaching assistant. Send me emails, write me letters, catch me on Skype and call me on the American telephone. Email: elbruner@gmail.com Skype: bruner3188

Marchons, Marchons – Lindsey – 12 hours a week I’m an English Assistant. The other 156…

Marianne Goes to France

Reviewed – September 2, 2010

Marianne Goes to France has only been going since November 2009 but has already got a host of great posts.

To find out more about the author of this blog I took a look at the about page from her Gite rental site, French Farmhouse Holidays.

And this is what I found… “Marianne first fell in love with France when she spent a summer in the French countryside as a teenager. A few years later, she arranged to spend a year in Clermont-Ferrand, where she worked as a nanny and studied at the local university. All this made her love for France grow and she dreamed of one day buying and renovating a place of her own in the countryside. When she met Caitlin, she found a good friend who shared this same love for France, and this dream started to blossom into reality. Since the purchase of the house in May 2000, Marianne has spent every summer at the farmhouse, and in 2009 she permanently moved to France with her husband, Jean-Marc.”

So, now we know that, let’s take a peek at the blog.

Nantes Daily Photo

No carb left behind

On vit le reve

One Way Ticket, Texas/France

Powerfulpierre’s Weblog – our life in France

Sara Hamler-Dupras’s Blog – I’m a recent graduate of the University of Oregon and I’m interested in working in event planning, public relations or communications internationally. My degree was in public relations with minors in European Studies and geography.

Sepia Senses… – Just some musings in the shade of sepia…

The English Armchair Abroad

The Vendée Blog

Reviewed – January 20, 2010

The Vendée Blog came highly recommended and so I took a look. It took me a little while to get into it but, once I had, I was hooked.

Warning, this is a very, very clever blog. There is plenty to get your teeth into here.

It is, I believe, currently being considered for a World Heritage Center award for the work being done on BAT and BAC differentiation.

For those of you who didn’t do very well at Calculus at school – this means that Jon Doust (not the famous Australian one – the not so famous English one), has found and developed a classification system for that strangest of creatures… The Brit in France!

Thyme for Cooking

Reviewed – December 23, 2009

Thyme for Cooking is the blog where Kate Zeller details recipes, food, insights about life in France and the trials and tribulations of restoring a French farmhouse.

There’s a lot in this blog (and Kate runs two websites as well), and it’s very easy to get lost in the archives (and I mean lost in a nice “oh, where has time gone” way.)

The blog does exactly what it says on the tin. Kate will start off talking about tiling the kitchen and then dive straight into braised pigs bottoms (or something similar.)

Good examples would be… Grilled Scallops with Lemon Ginger Sauce; the Update or Osso Bucco; the Stairs, Part deux

Up the Garden Path

Reviewed – March 8, 2010

Up the Garden Path is Jean’s blog about her, and her husband Max’s, efforts to cut their food bill by growing their own produce.

The blog starts with bold ambition In the beginning and continues through successes and failures (but I rather think far more of the former than the latter!) to This year’s pigs – Berkshire Blacks again!

Along the way we deal with subjects as titillating as Sex in the Greenhouse and My family and other vegetables.

The last post details storing garlic and potatoes and… sending 15 years old sons into sex shops.

I’ve checked thoroughly and there aren’t any posts about mushrooms, Citroen 2CVs or lingerie.

Visit Normandy – Pays de Loire

Reviewed – January 23, 2010

Just as yesterday’s post was all about Provence, today’s is about Normandy. Visit Normandy – Pays de Loire is the blog/guidebook to one of the first parts of France that many of us visit.

Visit Normandy – Pays de Loire is Phil Graham’s site (he also has another site at Normandy Bed and Breakfast) and is full of tasty posts such as Mulled Wine with Calvados and Spicy Baked Potatoes (yum, yum! I’ll have a lorry load, please!) and Camembert, Normandy (yup, a lorry load of that as well!)

Now, I’d hate to let any of the readers of A Taste of Garlic think that I only think of my tummy (although that would be largely true – large being the operative word!), so I’ll also mention the very interesting post on Rouen, Normandy (have I ever told you that I once had an excellent meal at Rouen – endless, enough to feed an army, and rather tasty as well!)

We’re Nantes in Kansas anymore…. – Who is this Jetsettutrice? – A semi-recent college graduate with a BA in English literature – A soon-to-be English teaching assistant in France – A language buff that spends too much time studying foreign culture and not enough time cleaning the disaster area she calls her bedroom. – A lover of outdoor activities including biking, running, hiking and beer drinking.

woolybanana’s witness


If you know of any other blogs from English speaking expats living in the Pays de la Loire, please let me know and I’ll add them to this page.

And if you decide to visit any of the blogs shown on this page, why not leave a comment and say hello? It can sometimes be a lonely business (or, rather, hobby) being a blogger and an unexpected comment or email can really put a sparkle on the day!

All the best

 Pays de la Loire   because we all love reading blogs about life in France

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