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Mar 5

UK Pancake Day celebrations and yummy recipe

Shrove Tuesday on March 5th 2019 means that across the UK there will be people practising their pancake tossing !

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday as it is more formally known, is a much loved day in the calendar as it a day to indulge yourself by eating delicious pancakes!

Of course even if you are in France on a viewing trip with one or more of the Cle France agents there is no need to miss out on your pancakes, in fact everyday is like pancake day at a French market where they is nearly always a Crepe stand serving freshly made French crepes, so another reason to buy a house in France! See how the French celebrate here.

So how did Shrove Tuesday start? Well the word ‘Shrove' comes from the old English word ‘shrive' which means to confess ones sins. The tradition of Shrove Tuesday began when Christians had to clear out their pantry before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent. Today many people give up just one thing for Lent, however hundreds of years ago all meats, eggs, milk and other rich foods were given up for 40 days to remember when Jesus went into the desert and fasted  for 40 days and 40 nights. The idea was that instead of throwing out the fats and eggs; they should be used to make pancakes as a final feast before the fasting period began.

As well as Shrove Tuesday being a day for making pancakes we must not forget it is also a day for pancake races. This tradition is thought to have began in Olney, Buckinghamshire in 1445 when a woman was making pancakes and she forgot the time. Then suddenly she heard the church bells ring to signal the start of the service and in her panic she ran out of the house and to the church still holding the frying pan with the pancake inside. Pancake races are held in villages and towns across the country, usually with several different races so that all ages can take part. The race usually requires the competitors to run a course while tossing a pancake in their frying pan; the winner is the person who crosses the line first after tossing the pancake a certain number of times.

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Our Pancakes above may be a little fancy but all Pancakes are delicious, when cooked right. If you have not tried before or struggle to make perfect pancakes, why not follow this simple recipe by Delia Smith.

Traditional Lemon & Sugar Pancake Recipe 

Makes: 12-14 pancakes

Preparation time: 30 mins

Frying pan: Good heavy one not more than 7 inches / 18 cm in diameter (inside base)


For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter
To serve:
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges


Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs - any sort of whisk or even a fork will do - incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don't worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl and use it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake. 

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you're using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It's also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it's tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife - the other side will need a few seconds only - then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.

Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, sprinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.

Recipe Source: Delia Smith - Complete Cookery Course Book

Blog submitted by: Alex at Cle France.

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Jan 16

Brexit Chaos - What now for Pound Sterling?

It’s the biggest defeat for a sitting British government in history…

Theresa May’s Brexit plan is dead and buried. Her own party made sure of that.

But what now?

The fact is there are so many different scenarios that could unfold from here.

Even if the PM survives today’s vote of no confidence, there is no clear path ahead.

The EU seems unwilling to compromise.

Labour is pushing for a second referendum.

Her own party is deeply divided.

Volatility in the Pound is inevitable against a background of huge uncertainty and increased risk.

We could be facing some big moves in the coming weeks and months.

A no-deal Brexit is perhaps the biggest threat of all. ING predicts Sterling would hit parity with the Euro if that happens.

Or politicians could do what they do best – and kick the can down the road – extending the deadline.

While a delay in Brexit would buy time, it will further damage the UK economy.

For those with GBP exposure, we are closely watching events and market moves throughout the day.

With so many possibilities, Pound Sterling faces a period of unprecedented uncertainty.

One thing we can do however is help you secure a rate of exchange and mitigate your ongoing currency risk.

To speak to a trader now call us on 01872 487 470.

Or to get current exchange rates, simply request a quote below.

Click here for a Free quote.

Key Currency

Thanks For Reading, What Next?

Have a great day, Geoff Lambourne - Direct Dial me on 0044 (0)1872 487 470.

Current rates: 

Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 09:05

£1.00 GBP = 1.1270 EURO

£1.00 GBP = 1.2871 USD

£1.00 GBP = 1.7878 AUD

£1.00 GBP = 1.8895 NZD

£1.00 GBP = 1.7060 CAD

£1.00 GBP = 17.5949 ZAR

Cle France Currency Guide link

Need to Send Money Abroad?

  • At Clé France / Key Currency, many of our customers have a need for currency exchange.
  • We are pleased to offer our customers favourable exchange rates on international currency transfers.
  • As a Clé France website visitor, you qualify for preferential exchange rates when you transact through Key Currency.

How to Save Money on your foreign currency transfers

  • Key Currency can save you money by offering more competitive rates of exchange than your bank.
  • Clients can typically save you 3-4% of the total transaction value, which can result in significant cost savings.
  • All client funds are held in segregated accounts with top-tier banks keeping your money safe and secure.
  • Download our "Buying A Property in France" Guide PDF document.
  • Concerned about Brexit? download our "Buyers Guide to Brexit" PDF document.

For everything you need to know about French property visit

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Dec 31

The New Year is Fast Approaching

Le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre (New Year’s Eve)

The New Year (le nouvel an) is fast approaching. After a less than stellar 2018, I for one will be saying vive 2019! 

In France, as elsewhere, New Year’s Eve (called le réveillon du jour de l’an) is typically celebrated with friends. It’s common to celebrate the new year with champagne and fireworks. But did you know that, unlike in English, New Year’s Eve also has a different name?

In French, New Year’s Eve is also known as le réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre.

But who was Saint Sylvester?

Bonne Annee

Saint Sylvester was Pope (Pape) from 314 to 335 AD. Not much is known about his life, although the church grew in power during his tenure, erecting such monuments as Santa Croce in Jerusalem and the old Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Most of our common knowledge about Saint Sylvester is through unverified (and potentially fictional) stories about his relationship with the Emperor Constantine. One fictitious story stated that, upon administering blessed water, Sylvester cured Constantine of leprosy. Supposedly, it was Sylvester’s miracle that influenced Constantine to convert to Christianity.

The Feast of Saint Sylvester is celebrated around the world on December 31, because this was the day he died in 335. Today, many countries around the world, and not just France, refer to New Year’s Eve as Silvester, or a similar name in tribute of the ancient pope. For example, in Germany, Christian households traditionally celebrate Saint Sylvester’s Day by melting Silvesterblei (Silvester lead) in a spoon and dropping it into cold water, then divining the year ahead based on the shape of the cooled metal. In Switzerland, men dress as Silvesterklaus and ring large bells to welcome in the new year. 

In France, la Saint Sylvestre is celebrated with friends, good food, champagne, and firecrackers or noisemakers. But there is one more tradition that is often reserved for this special day: le baiser sous le gui (kissing under the mistletoe). Unlike in some Anglophone cultures, where kissing under the mistletoe is a Christmas tradition, this ancient ritual is reserved for la Saint-Sylvestre in France. 

Bonne année!

Blog submitted by: David at The French Property Network - Cle France.

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Dec 23

Festive Period Office Hours - 2018

Our Website and all the information you can find on it is open 24/7 of course but even we at Cle France take some time off over the festive Period.

Cle France UK offices will be closed from Monday 24th December 2018 until Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

Emails, messages and requests will be dealt with quickly on our return on Wednesday 2nd of January 2019.

Wishing everyone a Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année.

Merry Christmas

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Dec 21

Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année - Merry Christmas to all

Best wishes to everyone from all of us here at Cle France, we wish everyone 'Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année'....

We are open 24/7 on-line so keep enjoying all the beautiful French property for sale and all our information about buying a house in France as usual on the website, but we may take a few days to get back to you if you send in any questions / requests over the Christmas period as we too will be enjoying the festive period with our feet up!

Merry Christmas

If you’re looking for your dream home in France it is best to keep in touch with our network of agents and experts, please feel free to 'Like Us' or 'Follow Us' on our social media platforms and stay up to date with all the latest property news and competitions.

AND We have just added automatic uploads of all 'New on the Market' properties to be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In so if you have not visited us on these social media platforms then do it now and Like-Us, Follow-Us or Link with Us to make sure you get the most up to the minute news and you don't miss that perfect French home when it comes along.

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Click on any or all of the above to make sure you get up to the minute news on all things to do with French Property and you don't miss that perfect French home you are searching for.

Cle France wish everyone 'Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année'.

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