At the end of this year, Britain says au revoir to our cousins across the Channel, as we leave the EU. This is a particularly sad time for those Brits who live in France.
One of them, Béatrice Viennet, tenth child in a family of 11, grew up on her father’s farm next to Chequers, the Prime Minister’s official country residence.
She knew Churchill when she was a little girl. A kindly uncle figure, he once gave her some chicks to rear. Later she fell in love with a French wine-grower, Luc Viennet, whom she met in London, and she now lives among the vineyards on his family estate near Montpellier.
Now 71, Viennet had been working for Sotheby’s for a decade before she married. She continued to do so, becoming their representative in the Occitanie region of France. She drove across the country to look at family treasures for sale, giving advice and calling in experts – ever on the lookout for the priceless discovery.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
John le Carré, the German master
In 1956, before he was a famous spy novelist, David Cornwell came to teach at Eton. Among his pupils was Ferdinand Mount
Hats off to Napoleon and Wellington
The Emperor and the Duke both wore bicornes – in different styles. Now their hats are united, thanks to Nancy Astor. By Justin Davies
Alan Crawford has learnt to be content, despite suffering from dementia for three years
Wasn't he so loverly?
Wilfrid Hyde-White was as charming and mischievous in real life as in My Fair Lady, remembers Simon Williams, his friend and co-star
My hostess? A banjo-playing prostitute
Exotic Lady Meux brought glamour, several Whistler portraits, and a Christopher Wren masterpiece to Maureen Lipman’s favorite hotel
Fine and dandy
The dandy style, created by Beau Brummell, was perfected by Oscar Wilde and Edward VIII. By Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert
Dirk Bogarde's lucky second act
Roger Lewis celebrates the centenary of a sad, dark actor who matured into a happy writer
A happy Hunter once more
At 85, widowed Hunter Davies is writing new books and finding young love. By Valerie Grove
Gregory Gregory's Stately Pleasure Home
Harlaxton Manor has been home to a millionaire Victorian recluse, a face-cream tycoon and an American university
Penny for your thoughts
No one wants to spend more than they have to and there are lots of ways to make savvy savings in France. Vicky Leigh shares some tips
Carcassonne, Aude, France. 5:43pm. 18 September 2011. David reflects on his favourite pictures of Carcassonne and explains how much time and effort was required to get a shot as inspiring as the location itself
On the opposite bank of the Rhône from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Dominic Rippon discovers another shade of rosé
A matter of taste
American Jessica Hammer talks to Lucy Parford about running food tours to help people discover Toulouse’s rich culinary heritage and produce
For our anniversary issue, Janet Brice explores France’s 30th département, bridging the gap between Roman ruins and the birthplace of denim