The Real Benefits of Living in France
Updated: Feb 16
For the last couple of weeks we have been busy rushing around, visiting family and friends in the UK and managing deliveries. We have not had a lot of time to ourselves and even started to question why we moved to France. Finally, we have had a couple of quiet days, and it's given me time to relax and reflect on the reasons why we moved here and the benefits of living in France.
New Life in the Sun
Originally, we bought our house with the plan to use it as a family holiday home. It was a large, derelict stone barn with a few acres of surrounding land, in a quiet rural hamlet, but very close to Limoges airport. The location was key because we wanted to make it easy to travel to and from the UK. After a couple of years we had the house more or less how we wanted it. So we thought that as we had spent so much time and money renovating the house and garden, why not move here permanently and start a new life in sunny France? It was way before Brexit and with grown-up children, there wasn't anything to stop us. Family and friends were positively ecstatic and extremely keen to help with the packing.
Falling in Love
It's very easy to fall in love with France. The French countryside is mainly unspoilt and there are pretty little towns and villages all around us. Unless you are a fussy eater, France also has some of the best food and finest wines in Europe - probably why it's so popular with British expats!
Apart from meeting our happy hot tub owners, one of the other benefits of travelling the length and breadth of the country is seeing such beautiful landscapes, incredible properties and amazing views. From the mountains of the Pyrenees to the beaches along the Atlantic coast, France has everything, including an abundance of stunning - affordable - chateaus and mansions. Where else could you afford to buy a 10 bedroom mansion with a swimming pool and your own woodlands for the price of a 3 bed-semi with a postage-stamp sized garden, on the outskirts of Manchester?
If like us you are still working then it can be difficult to find the right work-life balance. In the UK there is more focus on work, promotion and earning as much money as possible. Whereas the French have value the time spent with family and friends - hence the long lunch breaks and lots of public holidays. It has been difficult for us to adjust in that respect because we value our customers and strive to ensure that we maintain our 100% 5-star customer service record. This year, even though we have extended our wood-fired range to include the new Saunas, we are determined to incorporate more days off, to reduce stress and improve our health and wellbeing.
I plan to spend a lot more time in the hot tub this year, as well as steaming away the stress in the sauna!
If like us you have family and friends in the UK, then France is very conveniently placed for traveling back home by car or plane. It's also very good for touring bordering countries, such as Spain and Switzerland. We haven't had much time up to now for holiday tours. But instead, the benefits are that we can easily deliver outside France - almost anywhere in Europe - and recently delivered to Luxembourg and Spain, with many other enquiries coming in too.
Cheese & Wine
When I think about freshly baked crusty baguettes, hundreds of different cheeses (including cheddar!) and a huge range of very affordable wines my mouth waters! It's not the best diet in the world, I admit, but it's quick and delicious. If you exclude the wine, this could be any meal, any time of day or night. But the best way to learn about any new country is to try the local dishes and produce.
We stayed at Le Ranch in July 2020 and it was our first clamping opportunity. Based on this experience it will not be our last. From the moment we arrived to the moment we (sadly) left, Hayley and Mike made us feel like we were part of their family. They were the perfect hosts and made the experience so memorable. The site is just the right size to keep it personable and the perfect place to relax. The facilities were far better than we expected and were very clean, no matter what time of day we used them. The tent was amazing and felt so homely. The bed was so comfortable and all of the décor matched the feel of the setting. Hayley and Mike have got this so right. And the wood burning hot tub just finished the whole thing off for us. If you’re thinking of booking, then stop thinking and just do it as you will not be disappointed. Make sure you visit on a Friday for the home made pizza night!! Well done H&M, you have created a little piece of paradise in a beautiful part of France. Darren Carling August 2022
France is a great place to live, but not knowing the language does sometimes hamper our daily life. From a business perspective as well, not being able to converse in French means we have not reached many French customers. It is difficult to find the time to take lessons, but we are determined to make more of an effort this year. And you never know, we might even enjoy learning and reawakening those little grey cells!
Another disadvantage, which I'm sure everyone grumbles and groans about, is the French bureaucracy and mountains of paperwork. Even simple tasks are a nightmare. I'm pleased to say that it is slowly improving as more forms can now be completed online, but it is still a headache - especially at Impots time.
Sauna Open Day Coming Soon!
Keep your eyes peeled for details of our next at Hot Tubs HQ Open Day in 2023 when we'll be showcasing the Burford Deluxe and Kingham Hydro hot tubs, as well as a shiny new sauna.
If you are interested in buying a wood-fired hot tub or sauna for yourself, or for your holiday business, get in touch. There are a few weeks between ordering and delivery, so get your order in ASAP if you want either of them for the Easter or summer holiday season. Happy Hot Tubbing!
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