When the artist Louis Jansen van Vuuren first visited Paris he could never have imagined that he would end up owning a château in rural France.
Almost French is the highly entertaining account of his induction over the past 21 years into all things French: snooty waiters, high-brow countesses, numerous faux pas with the French language and of course, several encounters with the infamous French bureaucracy.
Turning the dilapidated château into a boutique hotel with his life partner, Hardy Olivier, required patience and perseverance. Many lessons were learnt the hard way. Four heaters are not enough to heat an entire château and they will blow your power supply. And practising your French is a must. On a visit to the butcher, Louis asked for “sheep socks” when he was after leg of lamb.
Talk about butchering the lamb! Louis interweaves the stories about his life in France with fascinating snippets of history, culture and tradition. A must for all Francophiles.