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Having just taken my French A Level Exam, my fluent French speaking partner Roger accompanied me on my week’s immersion with the wonderful Evelyne. She and her husband Jean Pierre were warm and welcoming and I felt privileged to experience everything the other reviewers had – the delicious regional cuisine cooked with fresh, local produce; our spacious comfortable en-suite bedroom with balcony and adjacent sitting room; our conversations in French on a variety of subjects with our lovely hosts over meals, with their daughter joining us when she could; the laughter and fun-filled days in their well manicured and spacious garden, and of course the excursions. We were the fortunate and very willing guinea-pigs of Jean-Pierre’s newly found cooking skills, with the pièce de résistance of îles flottantes at the final dinner of our stay. Evelyne is an excellent teacher and intuitively helped me with my weaknesses, and misapprehensions of some grammar rules that I had inadvertently acquired over the years as a completely new learner of French. That was a revelation that only a personalised, face to face one-to-one immersion uncovered, and will undoubtedly help me improve my grammar and study for the DELF B2 exam next year.

I decided to tag along with my other half Brenda for her week of French immersion with Evelyne, Jean-Pierre and family (including, of course, their Jack Russel Ttuku and their cat Chouquette). I had a wonderful time, but my tastes are very unusual. I really would not recommend that you accompany your partner on his or her immersion course. Unless of course, you are one of those odd people who, like me, actually enjoys leisurely outdoor meals of delicious food; who appreciates balmy weather and rich greenery; who thinks it’s a good thing to be able to take a free bus ride to a gorgeous five-mile beach; who revels in the contrasting architecture of belle époque Biarritz, medieval Bayonne and the beautifully maintained villages of the Pays-Basque; who enjoys a foreign country more en famille rather than as a mere tourist; who would rather live in a spacious house, with a bedroom suite and sitting room, than an impersonal hotel. If you can put up with all of these impositions, then maybe you should go along too.

I had the advantage of being a French speaker, but if you aren’t – don’t worry! The language of food and wine and friendliness is universal. You’ll get by!

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