English Expats tea shop in French Village is a success
Can a French village welcome a tea shop run by English ex-pats?
The fund-raising salon de thé for our new cross-Channel cultural exchange club has been a welcome attempt to fill an unexpected gap in the local market.
The village lost its single café-bar earlier in the summer, so for a while we’ve missed the typical French sight of heads buried in a newspaper spread across a café table. With the support of the Mayor, La Vie Anglaise has been able to step up and fill the gap.
Three mornings each week our salon de thé operates from the community centre in the town square. That’s Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 am to midday, local time.
Tea and home made cakes are on offer, of course, as we try to bring some small cultural exchange with our new friends and neighbours. But I’m sure no-one will be surprised to learn you can’t operate a café in France without … well … café.
Tiny thimbles of espresso, and the occasional Americano, are our early best sellers. Maybe it’s our warm welcome, or just the Keep It Simple price point, but with everything hot and wet at just one euro a cup, a few brave souls have tried English tea and seemed to like it.
We even made the inside pages of the local paper.
We may not be able to recapture the early risers who head to nearby Lieuran for their coffee and catch-up with local events, but for many other enthusiastic residents it’s been a welcome return of the opportunity to sit and drink and exchange a few words, or just quietly read the newspaper.