A fun read with a delightfully flamboyant author who gets caught up in all things French.
When the artist Louis Jansen van Vuuren first visited Paris he could never have imagined that he would end up owning a chateau in rural France.
Almost French is the highly entertaining account of his induction over the past 21 years into all things French: snooty waiters, high-brow countesses, numerous faux pas with the French language and, of course, several encounters with the infamous French bureaucracy. Turning the dilapidated chateau into a boutique hotel with his partner, Hardy Olivier, required patience and perseverance. Many lessons were learnt the hard way. Four heaters are not enough to heat an entire chateau and they will blow your power supply. And practising your French is a must. On a visit to the butcher, Louis asks for 'sheep socks' when he was after leg of lamb. Talk about butchering the lamb! Louis interweaves stories about his life in France with fascinating snippets of history, culture and tradition. A must for all Francophiles.
Louis Jansen Van Vuuren is a well-known artist who has held over 50 exhibitions in South Africa and abroad. He was a lecturer at Stellenbosch University and Michaelis School of Art in Cape Town until he moved to France in the late 1990s. Louis and his partner, Hardy, turned La Creuzette chateau in Boussac, France, into a successful boutique hotel where they lived and worked for 21 years. In 2009 he and Hardy co-wrote Festive France / Feestelike Frankryk with Anet Pienaar-Vosloo. He has also contributed short stories to various anthologies and he is the author of Die storie van 'n huis and a volume of poetry, Tempermes.
Paperback - B format
Biography & True Stories