My Blog

Le Patio Café – a dream come true!

I cannot believe how time has flown since I last posted a blog of any sort let alone a follow-up to one I posted back in March this year entitled “A major milestone for one client”.  Well for those interested persons I am now going to let you know that for this couple in particular an awful lot has happened in the ensuing months since my last blog.  The couple I refer to is Steve and Maggie and their hard-fought battle to become the proud owners of a petit restaurant/café called Le Patio Café here in our local town of Excideuil, Dordogne – and they are loving every minute of it!!  French Hiccups has been fortunate and privileged to have been involved from the very beginning when it was a grain of thought in their minds to the now fully  blossomed reality.  The once building site has grown into a very welcoming and comfortable place to spend some quality time with friends over a cup of tea or coffee, whilst enjoying some delicious homemade cakes or biscuits.  Or enjoying a light lunch.  All is possible in the comfort of their café or their salon, or even outside on their sunny terrace.  Every time I visit – which can be fairly often because I am lucky enough to live just around the corner from Le Patio café Excideuil – I am always amazed by the transformation that has occurred and how much hard work and effort went into transforming this once rather dark building into the lively, warm place it is today.  As my previous blog mentioned the work French Hiccups carried out for Steve and Maggie was a challenge as I didn’t know everything, but I am learning from experience that every client and the work they require me to do is never the same.  So watching and being involved in the growth of this business has given me much pleasure and my confidence has grown alongside.  I still continue to work for them and I hope French Hiccups can always continue to be of service to their flourishing café.  I even serve customers now and then in the café  which I thoroughly enjoy!  Steve and Maggie are a lovely couple who have had, and still have, an amazing support team surrounding them.  One person in particular, Paige Kilford (who ois also responsable for their homemade cakes and biscuits) is so very good at welcoming every customer that walks over the threshold and keeping the café running smoothly.  French Hiccups would be more than happy to remain part of their future growth and I really hope that Le Patio Café Excideuil is the success they deserve.  Well done my friends, you made it and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple!!  Follow their story from beginning to end on their Facebook page, Le Patio Café Excideuil.

Long Awaited Roast Dinner

Now when was it?  I believe it was sometime in October 2016, that I was asked by an English couple to help them with the ordering of a fitted kitchen. So with their plan and measurements in hand, we all went down to the French company they had chosen to carry out this work for them. Wow the chose of fitted kitchen styles and colours these specialists have is amazing – I would have struggled to chose – but this couple knew exactly what they wanted and because this was only going to happen once, they wanted it just right.  So after two visits to see these kitchen experts, plus a personal visit by the expert to the clients home to verify everything was just so, my clients were at last happy with their choice of kitchen fittings, colours, work surface, electrical equipment, etc.  The work was planned for the beginning of March 2017, so this couple went back to England and returned to France a few weeks before the work was due to start.  With the best will in the world, not everything goes according to plan and this work was no exception I’m afraid to say.  One of those occasions where the company fitting the kitchen itself and the company fitting the work surface didn’t quite get their timing right!! Mmmm.  So my poor clients were left without any means to cook or wash up because there was no work surface to connect these two items to!!  It took several phone calls on my behalf to eventually get the company making the work surface to get their part of the work schedule completed so the young guy fitting the kitchen could finish off by installing the hob, oven, sink and extactor fan.  Everything is now in place and I heard a couple of days ago that this couple were looking forward to cooking their first roast dinner since they came over to France in February – once they had worked out how the oven worked, of course!!  

Hot and Cold

I received the good news earlier today that one client is at last sitting comfortably in his home in France with his wife and they are both WARM!!  Sounds strange you would think this time of year to say that, I mean why wouldn’t they be warm.  Well the story goes like this ….  Last summer after signing and paying the customary advance payment to an Artisan to install a new central heating boiler, it has taken until recently to have this new central heating boiler installed and not, I may add, by the original Artisan.  That part of the story has been both complicated and a nightmare for my client, but at the end of the day they had no choice but to chose another Artisan to quote for and install the required boiler. So when this poor couple arrived over two weeks ago it was to a freezing house that had had no heating in it since last winter.  How they have survived I don’t know, but survive they did!!  They are now very happily warm and toastie and ready for the installation of their new kitchen, which I helped them organise, a few months ago (mentioned in one of my earlier blogs).  I couldn’t be more happy for them to have eventually got to where they are now. One day they hope to be here in France living permanently and living in the home they will have lovingly created for themselves.

A Major Milestone for one Client

I have been working with a couple for some while now with their new venture of opening a small restaurant in my home town of Excideuil. It has been both exciting and a headache for everyone, but one major achievement has been accomplished this week and that was the attainment of their SIRET number (business registration number).  So as from the 1st April 2017, Le Patio Café Excideuil is open for business – follow them on Facebook it has been an interesting journey to get to where they are now.  They have some travelling still to do to get Le Patio completely ready for the general public, but if anyone can do it they can!!  There is a lot of goodwill out there for Maggie and Steve so this is sure to carry them safely the rest of the way.  It has been a journey for me to come in at the beginning and help them take the steps towards achieving their goal and between us we have learned an enormous amount about the French system and how it works – and how it doesn’t!!  One thing for sure though there is always a way and I am never afraid to ask for advice on what I don’t know if it helps a client – we can’t know everything.  As I said there is still some way to go, but with the support of the locals – both French and English – and an amazing team of Artisans around Maggie and Steve, I’m sure Le Patio Café Excideuil will be the success they deserve. So I had better roll my sleeves up for the remainder of the journey ……….

Auto Insurance Blog

No one ever wants to have an accident in their car, but even the smallest bump requires the obligatory form completion for insurance purposes.  I have just helped a friend with the completion of her declaration and helped her liaise with the second driver who is French.  It was very amicable I must say and a relief to both parties that it was dealt with smoothly.