2011 Visit to France

Join us on a fun-filled 5 days / 4 nights coach trip to Lavaré in France.
Leave early morning on Wednesday 1st June 2011 and arrive in Lavaré 6pm that evening for welcome drinks.
(Dates are during Half-term.) 
Travel by luxury, air-conditioned coach, crossing the Channel by ferry to give a break for walk around and food (not included).. 
2 hour stop in a French town for late lunch on the way down to Lavaré - mmmm, proper French lunch in a little bistro on the central square.
Includes two days of trips arranged by the French, to historical monuments, vineyards, general sight-seeing. Get shown around the area by the locals and experience real French life and customs.
4 nights accommodation with hosts. This is where you spend time in the company with a real French family and get the real French experience. In practice, there are only usually two evenings with the family, as there is an evening dinner dance (no dressing up required!) and several families get-together on the final evening, often round a barbecue.
This photo shows several English / French families together.
Friday evening dinner dance where everyone gathers for a sit-down meal, speeches, and dancing to a live band. This is where they really roll out the red carpet treatment for us. Great fun.
Saturday is usually a free day where your hosts will take you shopping or you can do whatever you would like to do, including simply relaxing over cup of French coffee.
We depart Sunday 5th June 2011 to make the trip home, including a stop at another French town for lunch. We aim to arrive back in Norwich by 10pm.
All entrance fees for visits are included, along with all meals, including lunch (often substantial - the French are not known for skimping on their food).
Lavaré Visit Programme
Wednesday 1st June 2011
Welcome drinks on arrival at Lavaré.
Thursday 2nd June 2011
Mid morning:
meet up at the beautifully restored Lavaré Priory for various activities. Midday aperitif and picnic in the beautiful grounds of the Priory.
Afternoon: Visit to nearby Cider Farm. Learn how cider is made and includes a tasting session!
Evening: with host families.
Friday 3rd June 201
Morning: visit to Heritage Village - Le Domaine de la Petite Couère - A fabulous journey back in time where you can learn about French rural life as it was in the 1900’s. Includes 1900 village museum, farming museum, car museum, tourist train around the grounds and animal park. Something for everyone.
Afternoon: Visit to La Mine Bleue, near the city of Angers. Discover the work done in the mines at the beginning of the 20th Century. Guided tour by underground train! Visit includes a tour around the surface factory which made roof tiles.
Evening: Dinner dance - no requirement to dress up, only to have fun!
Saturday 4th June 2011
Free day with groups of families getting together for the final evening.

Many of your travelling companions will have made the trip to Lavaré severall times.
Richard Moore, the Chairman, speaks fluent French and can help out if any difficulties arise and also translates on the excursions. He has experience of his two daughters staying on their own (or with a friend) in a separate French family. My youngest daughter Joanne first experienced this at the age of 9. And my older daughter Stephanie went into the local French schools (middle and high school) for a day at her own choice. And yes, she survived quite happily!
Children are very welcome and there is substantially discounted price for them. They can either stay with their parents or they can stay with another family - the best and only way to learn French! And Richard can give them some essential phrases to make sure they can communicate with their hosts. And the children won't necessarily go on the adult trips unless they want to. They might prefer playing with their new french friends without Mum and Dad around!
Richard is happy to chat with you if you would like to know more about taking your children to Lavaré.
A trip like this should cost £400 per head upwards with everything included. For example, at the time of posting, a May coach trip with four nights in Bordeaux costs £464 on www.coachholidays.com and does not include the full and real French experience.
We are offing a fully-inclusive trip to Lavaré at only £150 per head and a heavily discounted rate of £50 for children for the full, authentic French experience.
Good food and wine, good company, at a good price with fun times in France.
Will you join us?
Next Action
Please contact Richard Moore to express an interest, book your place or ask any questions.
Tel: 01603 469133/400690

Can children go on the trip?
Yes, all children under 18 must be accompanied by their parents or by an adult willing to take full responsibility for them.
What travel incurance documentation do I need?
Passports / E111 cards-(optional) / Travel Insurance is the responsibility of each individual traveller or responsible adult.
The Old Catton Twinning Association has third party liability insurance under the Norfolk Association of Twin Communities block insurance policy. 
Do I have to pay entry fees on local excursions?
No, the French pay your entry fees
Do I have to pay anything to our French hosts?
No, there is nothing to pay to your hosts. However, it is customary to bring a small gift for the home with you.
What happens if I don't get on with my hosts?
In the Chairman's ten years of involvement with Old Catton Twinning, this has never been known to happen. The people of Lavaré are such genuine, lovely and welcoming people that I am sure you will get on OK. It's only for a short time. Yes, there needs to be a little give and take, but there is a common understanding of what it is like to experience foreign cultures and people. Try to be curious about your hosts, where they live and what they do and I'm sure you will be fine. And in many cases life-long friendships develop.
Will I be obliged to host a family when the French return?
No, you are not under any obligation. However, if you have made friends with the family you stayed with in Lavaré you may well be keen to return the hospitality. You will find the Lavarians genuinely interested in our way of life and keen to have a real English family experience.
I don't speak any French. How will I communicate?
Many French will be able to speak English to some degree or other. And if you can remember the odd word or two of school French, then you will be able to communicate. And you will be with other English travellers during the day, and some of the evenings.
If you have any real difficulties, your Chairman speaks fluent French and can help out if required. If you'd like a little help with communicating, just ask him.
I'm worried I won't like the food.
It is common practice among Twinning communities to keep food fairly simple and neutral and to cater to a wide range of tastes. If there is something you don't like, then say so politely. They will understand. Just be prepared for French meals to be a real family affair and they can often take a long time - the French take their food very seriously.
Old Catton Twinning,
28 Feb 2011, 03:22