Tag Archives: Hesdin

Choir Needs Singers ~ any Frogsider Tenors?

If you enjoy singing there’s a choir in Boulogne that would like to hear from you. This e-mail message has been passed on to Frogsiders from The Anglican Church in the Pas De Calais.


I am conductor of LYRIADE 62 in Boulogne and we are recruiting new
members for 2012. We are just about to launch into a project on André
Campra’s Requiem and would like to invite any singers who may be interested to join us Tuesday evenings 8pm at Boulogne Conservatoire.

The choir is currently 40 strong and of good quality and an informal audition of 10 mins is asked of new members. Possibility of a visit to Southend next year to sing with the Southend Choral Society.

TENORS PARTICULARLY WELCOMED!! (same problem here as in UK)

Thanking you.

Ian Ward.

ps – I also conduct a choir in Hesdin so this might be of interest to your
congregation there as well.

To be put in touch with Mr Ward please contact Frogsiders via our Contact Form, and we’ll reply with his contact details.

La Garenne ~ a funky place for satisfying food and wine

by Ian Blackshaw

Restaurants come and go in terms of quality and value for money. And one such Restaurant that has had a rather chequered history in recent years is ‘La Garenne’ in Huby St Leu, just outside Hesdin.

Grande Salle at La Garenne

My wife and I – and several of our friends – used to go there regularly
until a couple of years ago when the food went off and the prices went up.
Several of our friends – and we ourselves – have had some disappointing
meals there, when all we could hear was the ping of the microwave from the
kitchen as prepared food was heated up and then served!

Recently, we were told that that the owners had introduced a more reasonably priced menu of €19,60, instead of the previous one of €38. So a few Saturdays ago, we thought that we would give it another go – and we were not disappointed. The food was freshly prepared and there was a good choice. To make sure that this was not a flash in the pan, so to speak, we went again on Friday evening. Again, it came up to expectation and we enjoyed it very

I started with escargots a la bourguignonne and my wife with a fish dish, which rejoiced under the French name of ‘dos de poisson a la crème de pistou’ – both delicious. We then chose the ‘plat du jour’, which, to reflect the season, was venison stew with a selection of well-cooked vegetables – the French generally speaking are not good at veggies! These
included – again seasonal – Brussels sprouts – and rosti potatoes, which complemented the venison, which was very flavoursome and tender, very well indeed!

For dessert, we chose one of their famous – and quite generous! – coupes: for me, a coupe garenne with rum and raison ice cream; and for my wife, a fruit berry coupe.

We chose, from their excellent and renowned – but quite pricy – wine list a 2003 Chateau-bottled Fronsac, which was served at room temperature – and, I would add, in the proper bordelais glasses! – and went down very well indeed. Incidentally, they operate a loyalty card system and on your fifth visit to the restaurant you are entitled to a bottle of their finest Champagne gratis!

As usual, we had a table by the fireplace, on which, incidentally, they cook some of their meat dishes.

‘La Garenne’ – as Jaimie Oliver might say – is a funky place, both outside and in, and lives up to its name – the warren! It was decorated for Halloween. Indeed, on the way in through the garden one was met by life-size skeletons and wild beasts! They are also well known for their Christmas decorations, albeit, for some people, somewhat ‘ott’!

The bill came to €67 and, quite full and satisfied, we paid and staggered from our table and, on leaving the restaurant, we went for a post-prandial – and much needed – walk around the block!

We will certainly be back – if only to claim the free bottle of Champagne!

Contact Details:
Restaurant ‘La Garenne’
62410 Huby St Leu
Nr Hesdin
Tel: 03 21 86 95 09
Website: http://pro.wanadoo.fr/la.garenne

Anglican Church in the Pas de Calais – News

Once again the church here in the Pas de Calais is being forced to make a new start. Our Chaplain has decided to leave the parish early and is taking up a new position in Zurich. Thus again we will be all facing a period without a resident priest. Fortunately we do have help to hand for which we are most grateful. The Reverend John Porter who was a chaplain here some time ago has agreed to conduct some services in Hesdin while The Reverend Paul Bennett from the Mission to Seafarers in Dunkirk will help out in Calais. The Boulogne congregation has just decided to have two services a month, the 1st and 3rd Sundays, at the Convent in rue Denacre in Boulogne St Martin, at least in the short term.

We will have to rely on visiting priests but inevitably some of these services will be lay person led. However we are trying to make them somewhat special. Thus the service planned for 6th November will be a Remembrance Day Service led Paul Glaister with music by Charles Vandezande. On 20th November there will be a priest led Eucharist Service –at 10.30 On 4th December we will hold a special Advent Carol Service led by Lalage Glaister with readings by the congregation and Carols selected and played by Charles Vanderzande..

On 17th December at 4pm there will be Christmas Carol Service in the Church at Estreelles followed by Mince Pies, Mulled Wine and a stall selling Christmas Goodies: This service is always well attended by both the British community as well as the French residents from the local village. Charles will again be playing the organ and we will have carols in both English and French. In Boulogne the following day 18th December there will be a Eucharist service with additional carols.

We therefore look forward to a challenging time ahead and hope that the local community will be able to support us and we will of course welcome all who wish to attend these services. For further information please go to our website at http://anglchurch.free.fr/new/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=47

Restaurant La Planquette, Cavron St Martin: good wholesome French country cooking at a reasonable price

My brother-in-law and his wife have been staying with us for a few days to celebrate her birthday and they very kindly invited us out for dinner. They left it to us to decide on the restaurant. This was a great responsibility, given that my brother-in-law enjoys French food and wine and is a member of the prestigious and exclusive ‘Pink Elephant’ Dining Club in Bristol. There, they specialise in French food and wine from various Regions, bringing in Michelin-starred chefs to cook for them! All rather grand and a lot to live up to!

So, it was with some trepidation that I chose a local restaurant, as they do not like to go far in the evenings, even in search for excellent cooking, and wanted a typical local place. The Restaurant de la Planquette is in nearby Cavron St Martin, a few kilometres outside Fressin. It is situated in a charming spot, along side the river Planquette, from which it takes its name, which is a small tributary of the river Canche. The Restaurant has recently been refurbished, but has preserved its rustic style and décor.

The Caron family who run La Planquette seen here in the restaurant dining room (photo: La Voix Du Nord)

We had a table near the fireplace, in which a roaring log fire greeted us. The location and ambiance were an instant hit, so the first hurdle was duly cleared. We ordered an aperitif, a bottle of 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from the Pays d’Oc, and this was served with a selection of charcuterie and crusty French country bread – again, this went a down a treat!

We all chose the €18 menu, which offered a variety of starters, including my favourite snails. My brother-in-law chose trout served in a cream sauce, which again passed the test for freshness and flavour. For mains, he chose steak, and the rest of us chose magret de canard, both of which melted in our mouths. We washed this down with a 2005 Chateau-bottled Bordeaux, which was very good indeed and served at room temperature – in other words, slightly on the cold side, which brought out its flavours. A plate of local cheeses followed, including maroilles, accompanied by a green salad with a delightful dressing. For desert, we chose home-made pastries and ice cream.

By now, we were all well and truly satisfied and decided to have coffee – and a digestif – at home. The bill came to a remarkable €115 for the four of us, including tax and service, which was very friendly and attentive. My brother-in-law pronounced the choice of restaurant a great success, not only offering good cooking – in the cuisine bourgeoise style – but also excellent value for money. I was quite relieved!

Contact Details:
Restaurant de la Planquette
8 rue Mairie
62410 Cavron St Martin
Tel: 03 21 86 90 64

December Events – Frogsiders recommends…

December is so often taken up with sending cards, gift shopping, hanging decorations and preparing for family feasts, that it’s often difficult to get out and do anything more entertaining. Frogsiders comes to the rescue with a few really interesting ideas for December outings.

The Franco-British Christmas Craft Market at Montreuil (already featured in an earlier post, but worth a reminder now. This weekend Sturday and Sunday 4/5 December (afternoons only)

Open Studio at the workshop of Scottish artists Alice Johnston and James Buchanan Johnston. Also already featured here, also in Montreuil this weekend Sunday 5 December 15h00 to 19h00

For tennis fans and all sports lovers, the 17th Le Touquet International Women’s Open Tennis Tournament takes place all next week Monday 6 December to Sunday 11 December at the Le Touquet Tennis Club. See the stars of the future (Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin were successful here on their way to stardom) including two contestants who are already ranked in the world’s top 50. Tickets from only 3€. Telephone 03 21 05 02 97

Ice Sculpture Demonstration at St Pol sur Ternoise.  Free!

A free demonstration by Philippe Gondrand, the champion ice-sculptor of France, at St Pol sur Ternoise, Square Warstein, December 11 at 14h00

Fancy something a bit more tropical?  Latin Singer, Dany Brillant stops off for one night, Saturday 18 December, on his “Salsa Tour” to give a concert at the Palais de Congres, Place de l’Hermitage, Le Touquet. Tickets from 36€ Telephone 03 21 06 72 00.

Traditional Winter Fair at Hesdin December 4 to December 12. A traditional event in the town dating back to the 17th Century. The programme includes a winter market on Saturday December 4, and an indoor Christmas Market in the Salle De Manege on the 11 and 12 December from 10h00 to 19h00. Enjoy also, all week, the traditional pork offal and “tripes” dishes which most of the restaurants in the town will be serving as part of the festival.

During December the villages and towns of the Seven Valleys region hold many events – too many to list here, but you can get the full programme by clicking here

Free Classified Advertising in Frogsiders!

Do you have something to sell or something to announce to English speaking residents and homeowners in Northern France?

From today all advertising in Frogsiders Classified section is absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!!

Anyone can place an announcement or advert.  To place your announcement or advertisement, click on the “Classified Ads” tag at the top of any Frogsiders page and just follow the easy instructions.