History of BritsNîmes

A little history of BritsNîmes

The Association BritsNîmes was founded in 2002 by Robin Boxall.

He and a group of friends were aware that there was a need for a social network for English speaking people in the Gard where they could meet, get help and advice and exchange their experiences of life in France.

To be able to meet, three events were organised every month, a Walking Club, a Restaurant Club and a Book Club. These are still the pillars of our Association.

It started out with mainly British members, but soon French people began to join as well..
Often they had lived abroad, retired in the Gard and wanted to keep up their English.

And then the ball started rolling, other English speakers from many countries who had settled here started also to join.

BritsNîmes is now an Association with over 250 members of more than 20 different nationalities. It has become a truly international community. The place to meet and make new friends.

We are there for each other.


Activities on a Break

The activities and clubs listed below are on a break, and we hope to restart them shortly,

so please look out for announcements in the next newsletter.

3C's Club
Beaucaire coffee morning
Film Club
Sauve coffee morning - See you in July!
Sommières Meet-Up







Monthly Visit

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MONTHLY EVENT

 

GLANUM – THE LOST CITY
SATURDAY 19 JUNE 10.00AM

 

Meet at 9.45am at the Antiques (large arch and spire monuments
next to the Glanum car park - see photo above).
Booking Deadline – Friday 11 June

 


Our first visit of 2021 takes us to the spectacular Roman city of Glanum, near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. 

In a magnificent setting in the Alpilles mountains, this ancient and wealthy city was founded in the 4th century BC as a Celtic oppidum, and was then settled by the Greeks before officially becoming a Roman city in 27 BC. It’s particularly well known for “Les Antiques” monuments dating from the 1st century BC.

The city was later abandoned when the population moved to Saint-Rémy, but as the site was never built on, it became buried through the centuries and thus was found virtually intact when excavations started in the 1920s.

Our English-speaking guide will be Anne – some of you already know her, as she was the excellent guide on our recent “In the Footsteps of Van Gogh” visit.

 

IMPORTANT – COVID RULES FOR THIS EVENT
 

Please note that your safety is BritsNîmes’ top priority at all times, and thus all our events and activities will adhere strictly to French Government guidelines

  • The walking tour lasts 2½ - 3 hours, and will be entirely outdoors (apart from passing directly through the Visitor Centre at the beginning and end of the visit)
  • Toilets and the boutique are located in the Visitor Centre, but only eight persons are permitted inside at any one time
  • You must wear a mask throughout the visit
  • You’ll have your own headset, so you’ll be able to socially distance from others while still hearing the guide. If you prefer, feel free to bring your own smartphone earbuds to insert into the listening device
  • Remember comfortable walking shoes, hats, sunscreen and water
  • Due to the uneven terrain of the site, we regret that this visit is not suitable for members with mobility concerns
  • Dogs are NOT ALLOWED into the Glanum site

 

 


PARKING & MEETING POINT

 

  • Meet at 9.45am at the Antiques – the large arch and spire monuments next to the Glanum car park (see photo above). The tour commences at 10.00am
  • There are two car parking options – either at the Glanum site itself (€4 for eight hours parking), or else free parking at the St-Paul-de-Mausole monastery, a five-minute walk away from the Antiques.

LUNCH

 
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there’s no group meal this time. However if you’d like a bite to eat after the walking tour, below you’ll find a detailed list of restaurant recommendations in nearby charming Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, kindly provided by BritsNîmes member Julie Mautner, a food writer, blogger (ProvencePost.com) and travel advisor (ProvencePostTravel.com) who lives in Saint-Rémy.
 

REGISTRATION


The price for the visit is €17 per person, paid in advance. This includes an English-speaking guide, headset and entry into the Glanum site

  • This event is members only, with bookings accepted on a first-come, first-served basis
  • Maximum participants : 30
  • Booking deadline : Friday 11 June
  • IMPORTANT! Regardless of the weather, the visit will go ahead, as advance payment has been made to secure the booking. Therefore once the final number has been confirmed to the Glanum office, cancellations are not possible. Thus unless a replacement can be found to take your place, you will be charged for the visit. Your understanding is appreciated.
  • Please be considerate - last-minute cancellations or no-shows deprive another member of the opportunity of attending

NEW BOOKING PROCEDURE FOR PRE-PAID EVENTS

 
Step 1 : Email organiser sian@britsnimes.com stating :

  • how many places you require
  • your mobile phone number in case we need to call you

Step 2 : The organiser will email you to confirm that space is being held for you pending payment, and the amount payable (however please note that your reservation is NOT confirmed until your payment has been received)

Step 3 : You then have five working days to arrange your payment. Please note that your tentative reservation will lapse if your payment is not received within this time frame.

Step 4 : When your payment is received, the organiser will email you to advise that your booking is now confirmed

Your booking is not confirmed until you receive an email advising that your payment has been received.  Only written proof of bookings as per the above procedure will be accepted - however, do not hesitate to follow up if you have any questions, or do not hear from the event organiser within a couple of days of payment.  
 

PAYMENT

 
Electronic Transfer/Virement (our preferred method)
IBAN : FR76 1350 6100 0008 7491 9100 138 BIC : AGRIFRPP835
Please insert the event and your last name in the Beneficiary Reference area

or

Cheque
Please make your cheque payable to “Association BritsNîmes” and send to
Sian Griffiths Bell, A52, La Porte Romaine, 7 Place Gabriel Péri, 30000 Nîmes

 

 

RESTAURANTS IN SAINT-RÉMY-DE-PROVENCE

 
Recommendations by BritsNîmes member Julie Mautner, a food writer, blogger (ProvencePost.com) and travel advisor (ProvencePostTravel.com) who lives in Saint-Rémy.

Le Bistrot de Saint Rémy
For anyone who asks me where to eat in Provence, the Bistrot du Paradou has been my secret weapon for years. Not that it’s secret by any means - Paradou is one of the most popular places around, but it’s a no-brainer, a guaranteed great experience year- round. The food at Paradou is hearty, homemade, Provencal rustic, perfectly prepared, comforting...and superb. Nobody does it like Paradou! So we’re all pretty excited that Paradou owner Vincent Quenin has opened a second restaurant, this one in Saint-Rémy. It’s called Le Bistrot de Saint-Rémy and it’s on the site of the former Cafe du Lezard. Vincent’s partner in the venture is Bastien Maltagliati, who was a server at Paradou for many years; Vincent is mostly at Paradou and Bastien runs the Bistrot de Saint-Rémy and the Bar Divin next door. The menu formula is like Paradou’s, in that you pay one price for everything, but Vincent knew that the “long lunch in the country” idea wasn’t the best for a setting in the heart of a busy village. “Here we have more choice, lighter, faster, cheaper and more brasserie-style,” he says. A three-course lunch (starter, main, dessert) is €29; cheese, wine and coffee are extra. Or have a starter and main...or a main and dessert...with a glass of wine for €27.At dinner, for €49 you’ll get a starter, main, cheese, dessert and all the wine you care to drink (coffee and bottled water are extra). The house wine is always very good but if you want a different label, there’s a full list and you pay accordingly. Next door at the Bar Divin, you’ll find classic and creative cocktails made from fresh and unusual ingredients and often, live music on weekends. For more about both restaurants, see my recent blog post https://theprovencepost.blogspot.com/2020/07/just-opened-new-paradou.html
12 blvd. Gambetta, St. Remy. Reservations a must  04-90-21-11-59. Lunch and dinner daily, except Tuesdays.

Bar Tabac des Alpilles
St. Remy has a number of lively bistro/brasserie/cafes where you can eat fairly well at a reasonable price. The menus typically include salads, pasta, grilled fish, steak frites, pasta and always a plat du jour. My favorite these days is the Bar Tabac des Alpilles, a super-popular local hangout...in business since the 1940s! It's like my Cheers. The vibe is extremely warm and you can set your own pace; come for morning coffee or French-breakfast and linger over the paper; settle in for the afternoon or evening over lunch or dinner - or just have a quick bite and go. Chef Josh's food is always good; the plat du jour is a great bet as are the salads and pastas. If they’re serving the daube (beef stew) have it; it’s a wonderfully comforting dish, usually served on pasta. Ditto for the sliced-to-order leg of lamb, served with crusty scalloped potatoes and a garlicky salad, available at lunch and dinner every day. (Whatever you order, have a bowl of fries for the table...they're perfect.) Wines are cheap by the pichet and reasonable by the bottle. The charming owner, Patrick, has a refreshing "whatever, whenever" attitude...he's all about customer service and the servers clearly feel the same. Dining is indoors and out; kids are very welcome, and there are sometimes parties in the evening with wine tasting, live music or other treats. In a village saturated with restaurants, this is a terrific all-around choice and one I’m really happy to recommend!
21 Blvd Victor Hugo, 04 90 92 02 17.

Cafe Riche
Great central location opposite the big church on the main traffic circle. Unless it's Wednesday (market day) you'll find plenty of parking on the big Place Republique just opposite the restaurant. Whatever the plat du jour is, it's ALWAYS good and very good value....
http://grandcaferiche.fr/

La Cantina
Claude and Donna Douard sold Bistro Decouverte a few years back to focus on their cute Italian bistro La Cantina, where they now work ensemble. How nice to find not one but two owners in a the restaurant, keeping tabs on everything! For such a tiny place, the menu is surprisingly ambitious: antipasti, bruschetto, carpaccio, crispy pizzas, marvelous salads...and hearty home-style dishes like vitello tonnato and a terrific osso buco. Inside you’ll find a small and simple gray-walled dining room, with splendid oversized chandeliers and wall of wine adding a nice design-y touch. (Speaking of wine, Claude is a sommelier who worked for Michelin-starred restaurants in London. So what to drink with your pesto gnocchi? Trust me, he knows). Indoors, seating is at high or low tables or at the large counter/bar. Outdoors, you’re on a crowded sidewalk at smallish bistro tables. Truth is, I can’t imagine that, come summer, it will be possible for anyone to get a table but if you call ahead, and go early or late, you might indeed get lucky. La Cantina also offers takeaway.
18 blvd victor Hugo, 04 90 90 90 60.

Pizzette
Pizzette, opened summer 2017, is always packed, which is proof that (as I’ve always said), Saint-Rémy really needed more places where you can eat quickly and cheaply. They offer two sizes (small personal-sized and larger for sharing) with a wide range of toppings, baked in a stone oven and priced from €5 to €16. Or, order a prix-fixe menu with a drink and dessert. Whether you eat in (or out, at the moment) or take away (they’ll box it), their surprisingly good pizzas are perfect for a snack, lunch, dinner or late-evening craving. Check the menu board, order at the counter, grab a table outside or lurk around until one opens up, and dig in. Open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner only on Sunday. Closed Monday.
24 boulevard Victor Hugo, 04 90 95 80 31.

Bien Bon
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Bienbon_saintremy-617721662007535/
17 rue du 8 mai 1945, tel : 04 65 00 02 85

 

 

Disclaimer
The term Event(s) in this Disclaimer is any group activity and related travel organised, undertaken or provided by the Association, and/or outside suppliers in its name. Participants in any Event do so at their own risk to themselves and their property, and it is their responsibility to have the necessary insurances.  No responsibility is implied or taken by the Association during Events for; Participants’ accident, sickness and/or third party liability; nor for negligence on the part of other Participants and/or any person working on behalf of the Association; nor for inaccuracies of information in Invitations or Notices; nor for changes to itineraries, level of difficulty, cancellations, and/or other changes, which may be made without prior notice; nor for damage to or loss of Participants’ own or third parties’ property, including vehicles; nor for any other liabilities and/or risks arising in association with an Event. By joining an Event, participants are deemed to have agreed to the terms and conditions in this Disclaimer, and they and/or their representatives agree to exonerate and waive any subrogation towards the Association and/or its Event Coordinators, and/or other Participants, for any liabilities and/or claims that may arise from participation in an Event

 

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Saturday 26 June - “Gladiator

Ridley Scott’s multi-Oscar-winning film, will be shown on a giant HD screen, accompanied by the Orchestre Nationale de Montpellier Occitanie and Choeur Région Sud performing Hans Zimmer’s award-winning score. The film will be shown in VOST – that’s English with French subtitles. Here’s a teaser video to give you a taste of this very special evening : https://urlz.fr/enEl
5-10 August – “Les Nuits de Nemaus, 

showcasing the history of Nîmes with special effects, video mapping, fireworks, horses, stuntmen, dancers and 200 extras (see below!). If you saw the show in 2019, there’ll be new scenes and special effects, so come and see it again!
 
8-10 October – “Les Grand Jeux Romains

 Now in its 11th year, Europe’s largest re-enactment event with over 500 performers returns, with “Caesar & the Conquest of Rome” as its theme – including the ever-popular chariot race too!
Sian Bell
sian@britsnimes.com


“Les Nuits de Nemaus" - VOLUNTEERS WANTED FOR A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE !
Fancy performing in a Roman amphitheatre?

Many of you joined the BritsNîmes visit to the Nîmes Arènes in August 2019 for the spectacular “Nuits de Nemaus” show.  It was covid-cancelled last year, but is scheduled again this August and we’ll be organising another BritsNîmes group visit.  In the meantime, Les Amis de Nemaus (the official association for “Nuits”) is looking for volunteers – as extras in the show itself, or helping the stage management team behind the scenes.
Here's a short video featuring highlights of the show and some of the volunteers to whet your appetite. The word “magique!”  crops up frequently - a sentiment echoed by BritsNîmes members Sian Bell and Elizabeth Foster, who were extras in 2019. Both ladies agree that performing in the stunning setting of the Arènes was a unique experience – not to mention great fun! – and so have promptly signed up again this year!
https://youtu.be/QNl7t_rzy1g

Interested? No experience needed and your French doesn’t have to be that good. However you’ll need to attend a maximum of seven evening rehearsals - two in June, two in July and three in August on 2,3 & 4 (but probably fewer, depending on which scenes you’re in), and of course the shows themselves, over four nights in August (5, 6, 9 & 10, with 11th  as an option in case of bad weather on a previous night).
Applications close on 1 May, so for further information and application details, contact:
Sian 
sian@britsnimes.com 



 Disclaimer

The term Event(s) in this Disclaimer is any group activity and related travel organised, undertaken or provided by the Association, and/or outside suppliers in its name. Participants in any Event do so at their own risk to themselves and their property, and it is their responsibility to have the necessary insurances.  No responsibility is implied or taken by the Association during Events for; Participants’ accident, sickness and/or third party liability; nor for negligence on the part of other Participants and/or any person working on behalf of the Association; nor for inaccuracies of information in Invitations or Notices; nor for changes to itineraries, level of difficulty, cancellations, and/or other changes, which may be made without prior notice; nor for damage to or loss of Participants’ own or third parties’ property, including vehicles; nor for any other liabilities and/or risks arising in association with an Event. By joining an Event, participants are deemed to have agreed to the terms and conditions in this Disclaimer, and they and/or their representatives agree to exonerate and waive any subrogation towards the Association and/or its Event Coordinators, and/or other Participants, for any liabilities and/or claims that may arise from participation in an Event.