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New Ferry Service To Boulogne? Euroferries Express Says Yes!

Nova Star ._New ferry link puts Boulogne back in limelight
BOULOGNE’S new ferry link with Kent signals the town’s comeback after years in the shadow of Calais, according to the Euroferries Express company, who plan to operate between Ramsgate and the French port.

Per Staehr, Shareholder and Board Adviser said “We are pleased that we will be well placed to reactivate France/UK service utilising the recently commissioned Nova Star RoPax and further look forward to making additional announcements regarding the introduction to the Channel of our High Speed vessel plans.”

The President and CEO, Mark Amundsen of Nova Star Cruises Ltd welcomes the vessel deployment, for which there has been strong interest, and we are pleased to have reached agreement with Euroferries Express Ltd and look forward to working closely with them.

Civic chiefs in Boulogne expect an overdue renaissance of a town for centuries loved by the British but side-lined for nearly 10 years by massive investment in its northern rival.

The important day visitor as foot passenger, car user or the traditional coach visitors all now use Calais and head south to Boulogne. Coaches still make the trip but nowhere near as many as when there was a direct link and for foot passenger this destination has long gone.

The specialist shops and restaurants that are part of the charm of Boulogne and so attractive to Kentish visitors remain ready to receive this traditional visitor.

New shops will be opened in the terminal; the new 4km dual carriageway already links Gare Maritime with the national motorway to Paris and north Belgium.

The completion of the 9m Euro Port project makes the London-Dover-Boulogne-Paris journey quicker than going via Calais. In a few years’ time, the port redevelopment scheme with hotel, casino and shops is set to forge closer links between town centre and port.

The President of Boulogne Chamber expects 3.5 million passengers a year to use the new service and terminal.

“For Boulogne people, the link was psychological and economic. The announcement about the link, will have people of Boulogne smiling again.”

He accepts that some 80 per cent of passengers will be British. “Our challenge is to increase the number of French people going to Kent,” he said. He is keen to promote social and educational links between Boulogne and Kent, especially Ramsgate and Canterbury.

Boulogne has held a place in the affections of Kentish people for many years. While they may go to Calais and Cite Europe for Tesco and Auchan, the new terminal shops will be very convenient, and the Francophile with love of fine French cheeses, fine old architecture and character gravitate to Boulogne to experience the excellent selection of restaurants.

 

Boulogne’s new hub port
Massive re-development has taking place at the port of Boulogne, with a new ferry terminal now completed.

The ferry berth at the new terminal, named the Hub Port, is prepared for Euroferries Express NOVA STAR, due to use for the first time this autumn to Ramsgate with its commercial port adjacent to the Marina and Victorian seaside town; ready to meet demand for increased passenger and freight in the SE.

New facilities have been provided for British and French border controls, as well as all the other accommodation required in support of a modern port terminal.

Frogsiders View

We seem to have heard all this before – on several occasions, and we understand that the Port of Ramsgate authorities have yet to approve the plans.  However, the willingness of Boulogne to invest in the much needed improvements to the ferry terminal infrastructure and facilities is encouraging.  Let’s hope it happens this time.

 

 

Don’t Forget! Wyart Exhibition Starts Wednesday

wyart expo july 2015

Exhibition of Paintings by Peter Wyart – Sorrus, Montreuil Sur Mer, Pas De Calais, France
Includes retrospective of 30 years of art works as well as recent paintings of scenes of life in many parts of France.


Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Victor Hugo, Les Miserables and Montreuil

Miserables-2015British residents and visitors are invited to a special free presentation celebrating the 20th year of “Les Miserables at Montreuil Sur Mer”

“Victor Hugo, Les Miserables and Montreuil”, a multi-media presentation, will take place on Friday 19th June at 18h30, at 119 rue Pierre Ledent, Montreuil (a superb historic house)

Entry is Free!

Local Website Developer reports booming business

Local website designer Patrick Hay says he is delighted with a recent rush of orders for new websites.  With 12 years of website development behind him , Patrick believes he may be one of the most experienced website creators in the region, and claims that all his clients are referred to him by word of mouth.

Le-Tearoom website designed by Patrick Hay

“I commissioned a website for my own marketing business back in the 1990s,” he said, “It cost a lot and I was never really satisfied with it, so when I needed a site for my gite holiday business in 2003, I decided to use my own experience in marketing and advertising together with my ability to use computers for design work.  The result was that I got a site that really did the job I wanted it to do, rather than a flashy design stuffed with distracting gimmicks.  Now I try always to provide my clients with the same focus on their objectives, and an emphasis on pared down functionality rather than showing off with trick graphics.”

You can judge yourselves by checking out his two latest sites Peter Wyart Art, and Le Tearoom, both of which are businesses based in the Pas De Calais region.

What’s next?  Patrick says he is currently working on a site for a well-known London-based film producer.

If you need a website for yourself or your business contact Patrick on 03 21 05 19 77

Lidl Foire Aux Vins 2014

Not to be sniffed at, and well worth a visit!

by Ian Blackshaw

It is that time of the year again in France for the wine fairs – foires aux vins!
Apart from the traditional French Supermarkets of Auchan and Carrefour, this year an announcement by LIDL that they are holding their wine fair from 3 – 6 September, 2014 caught my eye.

Now LIDL is a discount supermarket (‘une supermarche des bonnes affaires’) which is often looked down on and one that my wife and I do not know very well, compared with the other German discount store of ALDI, which we do frequent, from time to time, finding their wide selection of French cheeses very good value for money indeed, including the local ‘sea-salty’ flavoursome cheese of ‘maroilles’.

In their 2014 wine fair, LIDL are offering a wide selection of French wines from the main wine producing regions of France, including Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Alsace, Loire, Cotes de Rhone and the Pays Doc. But, perhaps surprisingly, no Champagne – at least as far as I can see! However, I noticed that the Catalogue includes an interesting ‘Cremant de Bordeaux Brut Rose’, which won a gold medal in the 2014 ‘Concours des Cremants’, and a snip at €4.99 a bottle, and one, therefore, that I shall have to try!
As readers of my wine articles will know, I am particularly fond of the Bordelais reds, and one which caught my eye in the LIDL Catalogue is a 2009 a Graves Chateau Gravaillas, which won a gold medal at the Macon Wine Competition of 2011, selling at €7.39 a bottle.

Of the whites, a 2013 Saint-Veran, from the Cote d’ Or, Burgundy, priced at €7.49 a bottle, is particularly noteworthy, just as good as its more expensive neighbour ‘Pouilly Fuisse’! Likewise, the LIDL 2014 Catalogue features for the first time a 2011 Loupiac pudding wine from the Chateau du Cros.

There is certainly something for everyone in the 2014 LIDL French wines selection and also that will suit all pockets, from the cheap and cheerful (in other words ‘gluggable’), ranging in price from €2.50 to €4 a bottle to the more expensive sophisticated wines, like a 2011 Saint-Estephe Chateau Saint-Gorbian, Cuvee Tradition, which won a bronze medal in the 2013 Bordeaux Wine Competition, on offer at €14.99 a bottle – described as a ‘Coup de Coeur’! In other words, an irresistible bargain! Even more up market is another ‘Coup de Coeur’: a 2009 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe at €25.99 a bottle from Chateau La Tour Du Pin Figeac.

You can access on line the LIDL 2014 Wine Catalogue which is well illustrated and informative. Readers of this article, with a keen eye for detail, will notice that this is an interactive website and you can also order and buy on line, if you wish!

Better still, readers of ‘Frogsiders’ might like to make a personal visit to their local LIDL supermarket, rather than a virtual one, and see what their 2014 wine fair has to offer them and share their buys and experiences with us!

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