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Oct 15, 2019
see Salut for full details
Jul 5, 2019
The annual Fete de la Musique took place on the 22nd June this year, see Salut of full details.............
Jun 20, 2019

Hayling Island Twinning visit to Gorron in France 3-6th May 2019

An early morning departure by Brittany Ferries to Caen saw 50 plus members of Hayling Island Twinning Association on their way to France........ see Salut for full article.

Feb 21, 2019
Cosy Quiz 2019
Jan 18, 2015

Chris & Christina's Christmas Market Diary

Chris and Christina went to Gorron for their first visit to the Christmas Market
Category: General
Posted by: Stacey

The alarm went off at 05:30. 5:30?!?!? That's the middle of the night for me! Today, however, we were off to France with Sue and Peter Loveridge to sell "typically English" Christmas fare at the Christmas market in Gorron, the French Town which is twinned with Hayling Island. The weather was miserable, really miserable. There had been gale force winds during the night and we were worried that the ferry crossing might be rough. In actual fact, the crossing wasn't too bad. The first half, there were a few lumps and bumps but after that, the sea became flat calm! We arrived in Ouistream at 16:15 and, after having obeyed the signs "Tenez la droit" (keep to the right) we started our drive to Gorron. The weather was terrible but Peter delivered us, safe and sound to Chateau Duchemin. Catherine et Michel were, as usual, very kind and welcomed us like old friends. For dinner that evening, Catherine and Michel invited Sue and Peter, and their hosts, Maurice and Madeleine for a fantastic 4 course meal. The Saturday was a day of leisure and so we decided to visit the nearby large town of Fougères for a bit of tourism. We missed the market, we arrived as they were packing up! But we found a nice café, "Le Café de Paris" and had a nice lunch. Afterwards, I saw a nice Christmas present for my wife, Christina; a pretty little watch. The assistant gift wrapped it beautifully for me, but she needn't have bothered, Christina opened it straight away; she said that she wanted to wear it that evening.

For dinner on Saturday evening, we were welcomed to the lovely home of  Maurice and Madeleine, where we were treated to a fabulous 4 course meal with coffee and homemade chocolate, which I can safely say, was the best chocolate that I have ever tasted in my life!

Sunday was the day of the Christmas market. It was cold but sunny and there was a thick frost over everything, Catherine went with Peter and Susan to set up the stand, whilst Christina and I had a leasurely breakfast with Michel. The twinning stand was in a large tent, and it was freezing cold in there despite the gas patio heaters, especially cold on the feet!
The market was very busy, and by mid-day, nearly half of the goods had been sold. Table crackers were the top seller, we could have sold double the amount.
At lunchtime, Marie-France picked up we four anglais and whisked us back to her house for another, superb, four course meal. Her husband Claude was chef and the food was, once again, superb. Some three hours later we returned to the market, where we found that Catherine and her Daughter Laura and her friend Claire, had sold almost everything. Gorron at Christmas time is lovely; all the shops are dressed, and the Christmas lights festooning the streets were very tasteful. The theme was greys whites and blues. It looked lovely, rather like Hayling Island! Honestly, I don't understand why Hayling Island can't do any better than barricade a a Christmas tree down a drain hole. It really does put us to shame!

It was a great day, but it wasn't over yet! For dinner, Maurice and Madeleine once again welcomed us with another fabulous four course meal. That's breakfast and eight courses! By the time we left their house, we could hardly walk, we were so full!
The Monday was the day of our return home, so, after saying our goodbyes to our hosts, we drove to Ouistreham for a light lunch of modules-frites (mussels and chips). Unfortunately, being Monday, there was hardly anything open, and the restaurant we did choose had no mussels left, because the locals had cleaned them out.
We boarded the ferry, and six hours later, we were in the welcoming arms of Portsmouth harbour. We had a great trip, and many thanks to our French hosts and also to Sue and Peter for taking us.