Moving to Aquitaine?


We all quite like the idea of the south west quarter of France so I thought I’d do a bit of research about that part of the country to see if l can narrow down our options. So first off, let’s see if we might be moving to Aquitaine. As usual my scientific investigation will take the form of a list, or maybe two.  I’ll start with the positives:

  • Bordeaux hosts an annual chocolate festival – obviously a big plus point.
  • The region benefits from 2000 hours of sunshine per year.
  • Aquitaine is a popular location for cycle tourism – not that I’m an enthusiastic cyclist, but it may it may provide an opportunity to create a business.
  • The south of the region is famed for gourmet cuisine and Sarlat has an annual gastronomic feast!
  • It is home to FC Girondins de Bordeaux which, according to Wikipedia is one of France’s most successful association football teams. Not that I could care less, but it might be a point of persuasion for my husband, if necessary.
  • Obviously, it is famous as a wine growing region, and I can certainly think of a few people (mostly family) who might be more inclined to visit for that fact.
  • It boasts both stunning beaches and beautiful countryside.
  • There is a good supply of cooking schools in the region, maybe I could improve my baking skills – I do like cake! It may also persuade my mother-in-law who has just gone on a cooking holiday to Italy.
  • Biarritz hosts Le Temps D’Aimer dance festival, featuring all kinds of  dance. I think this could be a big draw for my six year old daughter.
  • The region includes an industrial centre for the production of footwear (amongst other things, but I’m only interested in the shoes.
  • Geese and Turkeys are the principle exports of Gascony – so I guess Christmas dinner won’t be a problem. Who needs Bernard Matthews?
  • Biarritz is the spa capital of France – I like the sound of that.
  • Both Bordeaux and Bergerac have flights to various airports in the UK for ease of getting to see family and also is useful if we set up any kind of tourist business.

So are there any negatives?

  • There are a fair few British expats there already, which in one way is a positive, but it may also mean that opportunities in the tourism sector are harder to find/create.
  • The region is famous for truffles, and I’ve never been very big on eating fungi, in fact mushrooms are my very least favourite food.
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We are thinking of moving to France – we being me and my husband, our two children, and my mother-in-law (and two dogs). The current plan is that we’ll spend the next year plotting and planning and if everything goes well we will make the move in the summer of 2015. I plan to document the whole process so that I can look back in three years’ time and marvel at how well it all panned out! If, however, it proves a fated endeavour then my comprehensive blog will no doubt be snapped up by some Hollywood director for untold millions – it’s pretty much a win-win situation, right? Well, I’ll keep you posted…


  1. I’d also say that the high proportion of expats would make it harder for you/your kids to integrate into Francophone life: if, indeed, that’s what you’re thinking of doing.

    • Yes, we had thought that this might be a problem with Aquitaine. It’s a difficult decision, trying to balance value for money and climate. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  2. I think there is also weighing up the right place to be able to run a business, and having other expats in the region will only benefit this. I think the key to the whole adventure would however be to have the children, and us, as integrated as possible into the French lifestyle. All about balance I guess…

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