French Newsletter February 2024

Je voulais tout d’abord vous présenter, tardivement, mes vœux et vous souhaiter, pour cette année qui débute, une bonne santé et de grands succès dans tous vos projets.  Best wishes for a safe, happy, and fulfilling 2023.

La Fête de la chandeleur :Candelmas

Happy flipping ! Today (Feb 2nd), 40 days after Christmas is  La Fête de la chandeleur  and wafer-thin crêpes are on the menu.  Don’t forget that the first crêpe is the crêpe du chef – it unfailingly looks terrible so cannot be served. And if you want to be rich, you toss the crêpe with your right hand while holding a coin in your left hand. Fillings can be as simple as sugar and lemon – always a favourite – or as fancy as Aumônières de crêpes aux pommes et caramel beurre sale.

Let your imagination and taste buds go wild ! And … you are allowed to eat them on other days of the year as well.
For the lazy, cooking-allergic like me, here’s a hassle-free, washing-up-free recipe.
Pour le petit-déjeuner, as this newsletter will arrive too late…

For more celebrations both French and International, keep an eye on the website.

  • Bread Making Classes

Always wanted to make baguettes ?
Start off the year making bread with the brilliant Barbara in a Highly Recommended group class.
Proposed dates:
* March 2nd or 3rd for those who work
* March 5th and March 7th for those who are free during the week.
Time: 9 o’clock to 1-1.30 . Morning tea and lunch provided.
Cost:   $40 each. (Monies are donated to Parkinson’s Research).
Address:  Lower Oropi, Tauranga.
You will be making baguettes and another different bread.
Sourdough classes available too.
Please note:
You will definitely be making BREAD Baguettes, not chop stick baguettes ,not a wizard’s wand  baguette magique, nor a conductor’s baguette.

Anyone interested, get back to me, and put your name on the list..

  • French Classes start up again from 7th February 2024

If you haven’t already done so, please let me know if you will be continuing/returning/starting so groups can be organized. Proposed class times and levels are on the website but are relatively flexible.  Face to face classes will be held. Phone or email if you have any particular queries.
“Language is not a genetic gift, it is a social gift. Learning a new language is becoming a member of the club – the community of speakers of that language.” -Frank Smith
“Avoir une autre langue, c’est posséder une deuxième âme.” 
(To have another language is to possess a second soul.)   – Charlemagne

 * Soirée jeux  FFF – “Fly Funky Fly” -the fun card game for all the family

This is a game about catching flies. We are planning an evening with the inventors of the game, les Dubois, a French family with 2 sons living in Whakamaramara.  They all brought their particular skills to the development of this super fun game that was inspired by a nightmarish period in France when they were invaded by flies. Each card tells a quick, quirky story.
Combine your strategy skills with a bit of luck and play this hilarious card game. And we’ll add in a bit of French as well.
No confirmed date or details as yet, but it will most likely be before summer disappears. If you’re interested in joining in the fun, let me know.
For more info about the game itself
Facebook: @fffcardgame

 À l’écran – French Movies  Luxe Cinemas :

The rebranded Luxe Cinemas have just one website where you can see what is screening or coming soon in both Tauranga and/or Papamoa.
Two Tickets to Greece still has a couple of sessions left and the Woody Allen French film Coup de Chance (A Stroke of Luck) is programmed for later in February.
Also this month is the Royal Ballet performance of Manon. Manon is the adaptation of Abbé Prévost’s 18th century novel Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux, et de Manon Lescaut.
The story, set in France and Louisiana in the early 18th century, follows the hero, the Chevalier des Grieux, and his lover, Manon Lescaut. Controversial in its time, the work was banned in France upon publication. Despite this, it became very popular and pirated editions were widely distributed. In a subsequent 1753 edition, the Abbé Prévost toned down some scandalous details and injected more moralizing disclaimers. The work was to become the most reprinted book in French Literature, with over 250 editions published between 1731 and 1981. (Wikipedia)
Have a read of the plot.

  • Les Bonnes Adresses autour de chez nous 

Mindful Life Yoga with Stefan

Stefan’s Yoga classes have started up again this week in Omokoroa and Te Puna. Classes are open to all adults (beginners or experienced), whatever your level of physical fitness, age or gender.

Weekend à la mer Painting Workshops

Audrey Dubois runs monthly painting nights from 6pm-9pm on Fridays. This is your chance to immerse yourself in art, and create a beautiful tableau with a French artist tutor. All materials are supplied. No prior experience required.
Coming up on February 16th: Painting Night “Chilly Time”, March 15th: Watercolours “Light on Mountains”, April19th: Drawing Pencil “Cowboys”.

 Phone: 022 502 1671    Email:
Website:  Facebook :

The Tauranga Film Society

The Tauranga Film Society meets every second Wednesday from around 6pm at Cinema Luxe, 21 Devonport Road.  The programme for the year contains a wide variety of non-mainstream and classic films and always includes a number of screenings from the Francophone world.  Films you won’t see elsewhere.

The films are free for members of the Society. You can join for a year for $120 or opt for a 3-film sampler for $40.

Contact Michael O’Brien for more details.
Phone 07 576 7575 or        Email: Website:

Chez moi

At my place, I have a large collection of French DVDs (all subtitled) that are available to borrow, plus an increasing number of books and magazines in French. For anyone interested in art works, the watercolour artist, Jeanne-Marie Cantereau-Feran left behind several books about different artists and their work when she returned to France. The DVD catalogue list is available with the book/mag one coming shortly. I’ll try to get them on the website ASAP.

  • More « Bonnes Adresses »

If you are looking for an osteopath, a professional arborist, a mobile barber , a French café, Swiss chocolate, someone to tandem skydive with, a pétanque pitch, a tasting tour, or want cornrows, braids or hair extensions, have a look on There are Bay of Plenty French residents who offer such services. You will also find a couple of businesses, Gourmet Trader and Vetro, that sell French products, food and cooking utensils.

Keep in mind

WOMAD 2024

French artists from around the globe will be converging on New Plymouth for the 15th to 17th March WOMAD Festival. For festival details:

Les Misérables

This will be the 4th (I think) attempt by the Tauranga Musical Theatre to stage one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history, adapted from Victor Hugo’s classic tale. The show will run from 11-28 September 2024 at Baycourt Theatre.