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Balloons at Dawn in the Roannais.


If you get up early enough in the morning (around 5.00) and drive to the foothills of the Monts de la Madeleine, near the little village of St Haon-le Vieux, you may be in for a great surprise. When the weather is good, and the sky is blue The local Montgolfiere Group are often preparing their floating transports for a series of flights over the Vallée de Roanne. The graphic drama of over a dozen balloons taking off in orderly sequence across the skies is stunning. Well worth a dawn start.

Once they’ve disappeared over the horizon you can then wander off and enjoy the many delights of the beautiful Côte Roannaise, including all the different medieval villages that are situated along this famous wine -growing region. The rolling vineyard-covered  hills, and the mountainous backdrop is a tourist’s dream. It never fails to delight us locals, either!!

So after an early morning start I can thoroughly recommend a visit to the busy little village of Renaison for a coffee and a shop-around. Then visit the attractive, ancient hill village of St Haon-le-Châtel for a short walk before settling down to a delightful luncheon at the Restaurant  Auberge au Natur’elles.


All-in-all, a great day out! Well worth getting up early for!

Côte Roannaise

French Property – Part of Chateau with gite, outbuildings, and land. Le Puy en Velay.

Frank's House group

Character house with outbuildings – ‘Seeing is Believing!’

(Part of Old Chateau with remains of part of dungeon and cellars)
250 m2 living space, quiet, in a nature reserve, close to all amenities (shops, schools, colleges 3 km),
15 km / 15 minutes south of Le Puy en Velay.
80 km/1h Saint-Etienne,
120 km/1h30 Lyon
Haute-Loire/Ardèche limit, the source of the Loire, Latitude Valencia, 800 m altitude. Detailed history known since the year 800 (academic thesis).

Excellent quality traditional materials (cement tiles lily flower, stone sink Volvic hand cut, beams and old cupboards, wooden staircase 19th century, oak flooring ..) but also modern comfort (room layout adapted to modern, contemporary living, with double glazing, timber joinery, large openings to the outside, polished concrete staircase, Philippe Starck fittings, etc).
Ground floor: Entrance hall 15 m2, kitchen / open living room 50 m2, living room / fireplace 50 m2, bathroom / wc, 15 m2 office, guest bedroom 20 m2. Laundry 8m2.
Floor: Ch1: 12m2; ch2: 16m2; ch3: 16m2; ch4: 30m2, bathroom / fireplace: 20m2, wc.
2 vaulted cellars.

+ House terraced holiday cottage 4/5 60 m2 equipped with every comfort, rented 350 € / week in high season.

+ 2 large outbuildings, bright, wooden floor, workshop for artists and showroom:
-120 M2 in one single piece of level,
-220 M2 with a floor and central heating,

All on a plot of 000m2 5 (large terrace, large yard, creek, adjoining land).
Tourist region in summer and winter, Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostela, Way Stevenson, Les Estables Station.
Interior restoration fully completed, the exterior remains to be developed.
Many landscaping and development prospects (guest rooms and tables, home walkers and / or riders, rental space, music studio …).
Common dynamic: Festival Brass, music school, European cultural center …

Property price: € 320 000 /approx: £275K subject to exchange rates  (price is open to negotiation)

Opportunity also to sell by individual lot:
– The dwelling house, plus cottage, courtyard and field
– Dependencies, plus terrain. To discuss on enquiry.

More photos of this splendid property can be accessed by clicking onto the below link:

le château de l’herm.pdf

For more information and/or to arrange a private viewing contact Brian Franklin


Time is now for French property investors say World First.

Roannais Villages and Property

The time is ripe for investing in French property, according to World First, leading international exchange dealers, economic watchdog and forecasters.

“The summer of 2013 is shaping up to be an opportune moment for international investors in France to finance their purchase with a euro mortgage, according to the mortgage brokers, International Private Finance (IPF).”

“The European Central Bank announced that its benchmark rate would be cut by 0.25% at the start of May,” explains Simon Smallwood from IPF. “This has had the effect of exerting downward pressure on Euribor rates, to which the majority of French mortgages are tied.”

Read more at:

Time is now for French property investors.

The BBC Programme Escape to the Country goes to Europe. By Brian Franklin

The successful BBC programme Escape to the Country  is moving over to the continent, so we are told.

‘Escape to the Country goes to Europe’, which will be a spin-off from the popular property series, ‘Escape to the Country’ currently running on the BBC.

If you are unfamiliar with the format, the BBC help people, who live in urban areas, relocate to the countryside, and the new programme will be following a similar format but with people who wish to emigrate to Europe.

The BBC are now asking, “Do you dream of a new life in Europe? Let us help you!”

The UK’s longest running relocation show, BBC’s ‘Escape to the Country’, is expanding and they’re looking for people who are thinking of embarking on a continental adventure!

Over 5 years ago, now, we started our own journey to fulfil our ‘Dream Home’ in France, and have now written a book of our  continental adventure called, “Living the French Dream”

Click on the book preview below:

Living the French Dream

 ‘Living the French Dream’ by Brian Franklin


So come on all you ‘Dreamers’,  let the BBC know.

Please email your name, telephone number and a little bit about your move to or call her directly on 01494 733551. It’s definitely worth finding out if you can become one of the lucky one’s to feature in your own programme and create your own adventure. Great fun!