A NEW LIFE IN FRANCE

I grew up in Australia,  and spent many years  studying, working and living around the globe. But it is my European roots and love of history, arts and architecture, travel and my passion for good food and wine that has brought me to follow my dreams and move permanently to live in France.

My name is Gabriella Wise and this is my story of daily life of travels and experiences as I takle my new life in France.                

Who couldnt love France , a beautiful country  with diverse landscapes from mountains to sandy coastline, sunflower covered country side, to lavender fields in the provence. Ancient villages and prehistoric sites, the most famous vinyards in the world..to name just a few.. its incredibly  beautiful and pictureque and diverse. Smack bang in the middle of Europe its accessability to every country in europe within a couple of hours. Great transport  sysyem, when many countries have closed  their regional services france  still maintains  an amazing network  to some of the most remote  areas. Airports every where and  incredibly cheap flights.

A country with the largest land mass  in europe and the least population…largely rural with 1,000s  of beautiful villages, that still have local  farm fresh  produce weekly markets. 8,000 registered Chateaus. Art Galleries,  Museums, History in abundance. My experience so far, mostly friendly happy people  and most speak some english…and your frech improves daily. Its easy to get involved in local activies.

And its very  cheap to buy a property  ive just paid $70,000 for a beautiful little cottage in one of  the Most beautiful villages in France  called Domme in the Dordogne River valley. For me its my first renovation Project …you can follow my progress on here as i  will post regular  updates . And my favourite of all….the food and wine in abundance and  its incredibly cheap  as well…a  fresh croissant from the boulangerie 85 cents , a baguette 80cents-and cheaper at a supermarket. Duck breasts  are a bi product of the  fois  gras industry are  cheaper than chickens…..i cant  get enough of it…and  you can buy tins of ready made 6 -7 confit duck  breasts for $6 ..and Cheese ….where do i start…everyone loves Daphenoise….in Paddington sydney  it was $55 per kilo…here you will find it for about $10 per kilo as well as all the rocqueforte, the brie the comte,the sheep cheeses  they are  always on special  for a slab for $2 at a supermarket sale …And yes  Wine and Champagne   all protected  by  French AOP ( strict protection of french produce not allowing imports of other wines cheeses etc from other countries) just like  chesses and  some  vegetables and apples. A bottle  good  local french champagne will set you back  about $8.  It dosnt get much better than that

But yes, there are a few down sides to all this  wonderfulness…the beauracracy in france!!  what ive learnt is just go with it …..it took me 8 weeks to open a bank account … my house settlement was 4 weeks delayed because the mayor was on annual holidays in august ….And i couldnt finalise my french car registration  at the local prefecture  because…i dont  really know  why  but it took 3 weeks , no  one  can explain …it just does ..

C’est La Vie ……  

The french have  got it right…. they only work 35 hours a week…..they take 2 hours for lunch  ..with a glass of  wine. On mondays most places are  closed  even the bakery in some places…..you learn very quickly  about the operating hours of the busineses in your local community…. so rather than just getting all stressed out you just have to put up with it and  accept it ….. forget your  old ways  you are accustomed to  like opening a bank account in sydney  would have taken me 30 minutes  and Id be doing currency exchanges  overseas with in the hour… .. well here that just  does not happen …..join in  dont worry  be happy and become a part of  a  “stress free” life style ……

Born in Hamburg Germany , my father was German my mother Australian. 3 brothers and a sister . I lived in Australia at times on sydneys lower north shore  and later we moved to small rural country town  of Werris Creek . A large old family country coal mining  property. Educated in Tamworth and finished school at Newcastle Tech High. I moved to Sydney ,Graduated from University of NSW sydney  BA Dip ED in  languages French and German  and History major.

My Love for cooking, I followed  my dreams to train in europe, Diploma Hospitality Management  at the Caesar Ritz  Hotelery School in Laussane Switzerland. I married but now have lived independantly for many years in Sydney and have 2 beautiful  adult children Rebecca and Nicholas.

I  now live in  France  and have some what semi retired from a lifetime in high-end executive hospitality. A graduate of european hotel school and training as a chef, and  in the past 8 years as a fully qualified builder and renovator of beautiful homes on the the leafy Sydney North Shores. Any one who has  worked in those arenas will know and understand  just how strenuous the work is  but of course not with out its  rewards along the way. In Sydney,  executive chef at kpmg , Masterchef presenter in Melbourne.  International award winning  Events and Australian award for new business innovation and the most unique place to dine in Sydney  .                                   “.The sydney Harbour Ferris wheel dining  Experience.” Numerous Cafe and restaurants bisinesses in Sydney & in my last few years as a Business Consultant to large Restaurant  groups and businesses on  Sydney harbour. A cooking school and  Executive Catering company.             Lived in New York  for 8 years, as the Private chef to the man who invented the Bar Code.

I hope that  I can inspire those who follow my journey  to also follow  their dreams and also  take enjoyment in the adventures the photos and  my experiences, good and bad as all part of the journey to a new life…..

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