Monday, May 25, 2009

Barbeque at FAB PO member Domaine Treloar

Award Winning Domaine Treloar hosted a fun barbeque yesterday 24 May in their vineyards in Trouillas.
The day was warm, with a light breeze blowing, perfect for dining al fresco with the kids, dogs and bigger kids ( ie us!)
About 60 people turned out for this relaxing day out which was held in one of the fields adjacent to their vines. After a delicious barbeque, washed down with some fine wines from Domaine Treloar, we settled down to the business at hand : the gum boot throwing competition ( distance), the wine spitting competition ( distance and accuracy!) and the wine tasting competition.
Great fun was had by all and I'm proud to say that a member of The French Tour Co won the wine tasting competition ( ie moi!) so I must be learning something on all these wine tours I do!
Many thanks to Jon and Rachel of Domaine Trelaor for hosting such a FAB event!

Friday, May 22, 2009

VISA Pour L'Image - Perpignan

Cannes may have it's film festival at the moment, but little ole Perpignan holds it's own in September when it hosts Visa pour l'image - the 21st International Festival of Photojournalism.

From 29 August to 13 September, the city will be invaded by cool dude types, taking themselves extremely seriously and looking dangerously skinny as they chain smoke and drink black coffee in the coolest bars in town. Black is always the new black for these guys.

The photographic exhibitions are housed in the most beautiful historical buildings dotted around the city. All are within walking distance and it makes a nice day out, wandering from one exhibition to another. Old churches, convents, castles and even ancient burial grounds provide the backdrop in Perpignan for the world renowned photographers work.

Accommodation is always difficult to find during these two weeks so contact us at for a range of different accommodation options or alternative days out wine tasting, shopping , cathar castle visits etc.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flowers in FAB PO

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high oer vales and hills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing red poppies!

The Pyrenees Orientales is awash at the moment with fragrant bright flowers. After a few weeks of rain, the lush meadows and valleys are a delight to see as you drive around the Roussillon plains.
My favourite time of the year here, I beleive it is the best time to visit the FAB PO ; on the shoulder months, when the beaches are uncrowded, the traffic flows freely and the temps haven't reached fever pitch!

Visit for special offers off season

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm really new to this blogging game and so, after jumping in at the deep end and posting a few ramblings, I decided to do a bit of research on the subject ( typical me, feet first!)
Anyway, it seems that the average amount of time that Josephine Public spends on a blog is 96 seconds!!!!
So , the idea should be that you capture the attention of your reader with short snappy postings and don't ramble on ad nauseam
So, what's happening in FAB PO at the moment?

Summer has arrived
Perpignan is mayor-less and so is St Cyprien
It's vide grenier season
The cherries are ripe for the picking
Wine festivals next weekend
The frogs are having sex
Great low season offers on

Focus on Mark and Louise Sayers

Every week, we hope to do a "focus on" feature about a FAB PO member. This week, we are seeing what Mark and Louise Sayers of Med and Mountain properties are up to :

Focus on Med and Mountain

Med and Mountain ( is a Perpignan-based company specialising in property sales, property searches, translation and language services.

Set up by husband and wife team Mark and Louise Sayers, the company was established to assist non-French speakers to acquire property for sale in the P-O. Both Mark and Louise have degrees in French and have the invaluable experience of moving to France and setting up a home as well as a limited company within the French system. In May, Med and Mountain celebrates its 5th birthday – not bad going for a small business in France!

Mark heads up the property sales side of the business. With 6 years of experience in French real estate he is an expert on all aspects of buying property in France and is the ideal person to guide you through the sale or purchase of your house in France from initial viewings to the final signing. This comprehensive service won’t cost you a penny more than going to a French estate agent. What’s more, Mark is not your typical agent, being both a consummate professional and an honest guy to boot!

Mark has a large portfolio of properties ( and has access to many more via a network of 22 agents operating throughout the region. If he doesn’t have what you want, he can find it for you!

In 2008, the company expanded into offering language services and Louise heads up this side of the business offering translation, interpreting and administrative assistance. This was a natural spin off from selling property, as clients who bought houses in the region often needed assistance with getting established in France.

Med and Mountain can help with anything from getting your utilities connected and obtaining quotes from professional and trustworthy workmen, to setting up a business. Louise also offers ad hoc PA services for businesses who need administrative help – this is the perfect solution for small companies to avoid the punishing social security charges involved when hiring staff. (

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BBQ in the Vines

An open invitation to a BBQ in the Vines

FAB PO members , Domaine Treloar are having a BBQ in one of the fields next to their Vineyards on SUNDAY 24th May 2009 kicking off at 12 noon.

Basically it is bring your own (BYO) everything which on the positive side means you can invite your neighbours, friends & family for a great day out and lots of people can meet other people.

Be prepared for a bit of Gumboot throwing and Wine Spitting (distance and accuracy). All in a good days fun and laughter. Hopefully last years gumboot champs can come and try to retain their titles!

Please NOTE:
There are NO toilets in the vineyards but peeing is good for the vines. Be prepared to find a hiding place if nature calls.

Football games are to take place on the dirt track with fields either side leading up to where we are having the BBQ this is so the ball doesn't hit the vines as they are a little fragile at the moment. Please don't park your car in this stretch otherwise it may be part of the game!


From the N9 towards Thuir - drive past Trouillas Village on the main road in the direction of Llupia (past the cellier de Trouillas) - about 1km past the co-op on your left you will see Clos Massotte Winery (a big iron building with purple barrels), opposite the winery is a gravel layby, pull into the layby and turn right (keeping right) and follow the gravel track along to the hillside which is where we will be.

The BBQ will only be cancelled if it is raining or very windy otherwise we will be there. I will email in the morning if this is the case.

Any problems or questions please email Rachel at,
Tel : 0468950229

Monday, May 11, 2009

Climbing Canigou

I've been living here for 7 years now and every day I gaze up at the Canigou and marvel at it's awesome and impressive beauty. I've watched it change colours as the day progresses , I've watched the seasons changing the landscape and I've witnessed the most spectacular sunsets behind this sacred mountain.

The "pic du Canigou ", part of the Pyrenees, stands at 2784,66 metres and dominates the plains of the Roussillon region. On a clear day , one can see all the way to Marseilles and way down the Spanish coast as far as Barcelona
Locals revere the mountain as a sacred place and as you travel through the region, you can always see The Canigou keeping a watchful eye over you.

So, we are very excited to announce our FAB PO Challenge when Christian Piquemal , qualified and experienced walking guide from Enchemin and also a member of FAB PO has offered to lead a FAB PO group to the summit on July 3rd 2009.

We have opted for the easier approach for our first outing as there will be people with varying levels of fitness. It’s a fantastic opportunity to climb to the summit with an experienced guide.

You’ll need a 4x4 vehicle to get to the start of the walk ( we can arrange lifts for those of you who don’t have a 4x4).
It’s a 1 hour drive on dirt track to reach the refuge of Cortalets, the actual start of walk. Count approximately 2 h to the top (not counting breaks), sometimes steep but with no special difficulties; 1 h 40 to go back to Cortalets the same way. An early start is recommended to avoid heat. Bad weather conditions will mean the walk will be postponed to the following Friday 10th July.

Contact Karen on for more details
or call me on 0033 (0)607421668

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tour de France - Perfect accommodation

THE perfect accommodation if you’re coming to Perpignan for the Tour de France, this apartment is two minutes from the Perpignan finish line of the 5th stage.
Fully renovated this year, the property is on the 2nd floor of a characterful building in Perpignan city centre - with a patisserie on the ground floor so you don’t need to go far for your super-fresh bread and croissants in the morning!
It has a large living/dining room open plan to a fully fitted and equipped kitchen, 3 bedrooms (2 doubles and a twin), bathroom, shower room and separate WC. The apartment sleeps 6 very comfortably and the cost for a week in July is 600 euros - that’s just 100 euros per person!!!
AND the owners are offering 10% discount if you mention FAB-PO. Get booking now – contact

Cancer Support France

After the very successful VIN ART day out at Domaine Treloar, where over 400euros was raised for Cancer Support France , we presented Penny Parkinson of Cancer Support France with her cheque.

In the photo is from left to right : Penny, Rachel from Domaine Treloar who hosted the event, Karen from The French Tour Co who donated a wine tour for the raffle and artist Margaret Dibdin , who donated the wonderful painting.

Cancer Support France is a voluntary organisation which was set up to provide assistance and couselling for English speakers in France who need support, whether it be linguistic, emotional or practical.
For more details, check out their website here :