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…..