Past Meeting Highlights

2019-2020 Season

March meeting

We had a very entertaining presentation from Nicky Lake, one of our members, who worked for the Caravan Club after her degree in French.

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Following the presentation there was an open meeting to discuss the future of the French Club.

Unfortunately there are not enough people who have come forward to organise and run the Club for next year so it was voted by the members present that Horsham French Club will have to close at the end of this season.


February meeting

So now we all know a lot more about Brittany than we did last month! Brigitte gave us a very detailed and interesting account of Brittany including history, customs and food.

This was followed by an extended ‘pause’ when we had Bretagne biscuits, panckaes and time to chat – in French of course!

Then the group had to listen carefully while Angie read through a pancake recipe (in French) after which they then had to fill in the blanks on a prepared worksheet to see how much people could remember.


January meeting

The new year got off to a flying start with a presentation from Carole on Charles Aznavour, full of information and of course lots of music!

Then we were treated to a bicycle trip down the Avenue Verte from Linda, which looked like great fun – she even brought props!

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To finish off the evening Izzy gave us a Bicycle parts quiz, which tested quite a few of us with our vocabulary!

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Christmas Party

Great food, great entertainment, great company – yet another very successful French Club Christmas party.

Everyone brought a plate to share, and as ever there was a great selection and plenty to eat. Drinks were provided by the Club.


We were treated to some festive French choral singing from David, Jane, Clare and Richard who all sing in various choirs in the area. A lovely sound adding a seasonal ambience to the evening and then finishing off with some French carols and audience participation.

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No party is complete without a game of charades…

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November Meeting

Yet another interesting and informative for the Club in November when we discovered just how many Celtic Countries, or Regions, there are – not just limited to WalesScotland and Ireland.

Celtic countries

Olivier Bernard, more commonly seen in Tristan’s as Maître d’,  gave a comprehensive history of the Celtic Regions, including a quiz to see how much we had learnt – always a challenge on a Friday evening!

After the pause, we heard about the latest news from France thanks to Catherine, as ever a comprehensive and clear account. Can you work out the topics from the pictures below?

The evening finished off in true French Club style with a quiz, this time on kitchen equipment, very ably led by Sally, with the help of what seemed to be the contents of her own kitchen!

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October Meeting

We had a very informative presentation from Roger Kendall about the abundance of Saints linked to villages and towns in the Limousin region of France – who knew there were so many!

This was then followed by a very entertaining brief history of the life of Jacques Chirac, who died recently, from Carole Noble.

Then we were tested on our knowledge of Saints in a quiz lead by Stephanie – not as easy as you may think!

Do you know who they are?

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Click this link to see the images.


September meeting

The first meeting of the new French Club season got off to a great start with a very interesting presentation from Annick Lieutaud about the explorer Alexandra David-Néel (24 October 1868 – 8 September 1969) who was a Belgian–French explorer, spiritualist, Buddhist, anarchist and writer. She is most known for her 1924 visit to Lhasa, Tibet, when it was forbidden to foreigners.


This was followed by ‘le speed dating’, when we all got a chance to catch up with other members and visitors news following the summer break.


June 2019 Meeting – AGM, Summer Party with Boules


The evening got to a great start with welcome drinks, the venue once again very kindly being provided by Stephanie and Martin.

Then followed the AGM, chaired by Angie, which saw the Committee being re-elected, as well as 2 proposals being accepted:

Proposal 1: to start the French Club Friday meetings earlier and to finish earlier so the timings would be 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

The proposal was put to the members for discussion and comments were made that in the winter an earlier start and therefore finished would be good, and also if we ever were to overrun we would not be making the Caretaker stay longer than was booked.
The proposal was carried unanimously by 17 votes for, none against.

Proposal 2: to reduce the amount of non-sustainable materials used by the club so that in future plastic plates, cups, glasses etc would not be used for HFC events. This would mean for the Christmas and Summer parties china plates would be used and supplied by the members of the Club.

This proposal was put to the members and all the comments were in favour of accepting the motion. As the events are bring and share, members take a dish, so it is not too much extra to take another plate and cutlery for main course and dessert. Plastic plates are not really reusable unless you get the more robust ones such as used for picnics, which can be used numerous times. Plastic cutlery is quite fragile so not really suitable. Paper plates don’t do the job effectively, and can’t really be recycled once they have been used. It was suggested that the Club could hold a set of plates donated by a Club member but as there is no storage facility this is not a viable option.

The proposal was carried unanimously by 17 votes for, none against.

Once the AGM was finished we enjoyed a fabulous supper, courtesy of all the attendees who brought a plate of food to share for the ‘pot luck supper’.

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During a pause before we had pudding Boules was played, with varying degrees of success!

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We were once again very lucky with the weather although it did get a little chilly as the photos suggest!

May 2019 meeting – Living and working in Angers


Izzy gave a very entertaining and interesting insight into her life as a language assistant in Angers for the past 7 months. She certainly packed a lot in to such a short time and spoke very clearly in French about her experiences.

Clare then gave us the low-down on the news in France which featured the tragic fire at Notre Dame, Paris.

And something to make us all laugh!

Road markings gone awry

April 2019 meeting

Stephanie gave us a very interesting talk about Aliénor d’Aquitaine, who was Queen of France, and then Queen of England. She had a fascinating life, especially considering the times she lived in.

Claire then gave us the low-down on the current news in France, which fortunately did not include the B****t word!

Both presenters gave out quizzes which always pleases the audience, even if we don’t always remember the answers!

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Gâteau au citron et à la lavande

Click the link below to get Christine’s recipe for a lemon and lavender cake:

Christine’s lemon/lavender cake recipe

March 2019 meeting

This was a very well attended meeting where we found out about lavender growing in Provence thanks to Christine Vidal, of Made in Provence. To demonstrate the versatility of lavender, Christine brought a cake she had made using lemon and lavender, that we could taste – yummm!

There were many  products available for sale and many people took the opportunity to try something new.

Following pancakes provided by the Committee during the break, Elyane gave us an update on the news in France which was both entertaining and informative – as ever!


The evening was very interesting and a good time was had by all.

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February 2019 meeting


A really varied meeting this month which started with Catherine talking about her life in Paris and and the interesting history of the Eiffel Tower and the significance of it during her time in Paris.

This was followed by a very entertaining presentation by Sally on the urinals of Paris, an education for all of us!

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There was then a game to try to match up the names of French airports with the towns that they serve – not that easy as it turned out!

Here is a link to the worksheet – see how well you do!

Aeroport Feb 2019 worksheet

January 2019 meeting

This was our first meeting of 2019 and for the first time (I think) Horsham French Club and Horsham Town Twinning got together for a joint meeting, as part of Horsham District’s Year of Culture – Outreach month.

It was a very busy meeting with over 40 people attending and James Prentice, Chairman of the Twinning gave a fantastic presentation with video footage showing us snapshots of what the resident’s of St Maixent l’École think of their town. A really well put together presentation which took a lot of effort and was excellent to listen to.

This was then followed by 3 typical French Club activities:

Cheese tasting – where you had to guess which Brie was French and which was British, and which goat’s cheese was French or British. Interestingly the majority of people got the Brie the wrong way round, but  were overwhelmingly correct with the goat’s cheese.

Guess the Building – parts of 10 famous buildings were shown and you had to guess what the building was, more challenging than you would think!

Tarsia puzzle – where you have to build a triangle by matching the correct words together.

There were the usual refreshments and some wine to go with the cheese – it is a French Club! People had the opportunity to chat in French and meet other Francophiles.


Christmas Party 2018

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What a festive occasion! Fun was had by all thanks to the Accordion music provided by Sue Bennett, food brought by all participants and a game of charades – pictures of all of this can be seen below. Oh and there might have been some wine!

Happy New Year to you all.

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November meeting 2018

Another busy and informative meeting this month which started with an excellent presentation from Christopher Doidge on France between 1885 and 1900.

October meeting 2018

The second meeting of the season was very well attended and we had an action packed evening that started off with a presentation from Thibault Keuleyan on Les Châteaux de la Loire.


After the pause Carole entertained us with the latest news from France, always a treat from her!

Carole Noble

Finally our brains were put to the test by a translation quiz, devised by Sarah and Jane, to work out the English film titles from the French versions. Quite challenging!


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September meeting 2018

The new season got off to a fantastic start thanks to a very interesting and entertaining presentation by Emanuelle Stehle on ‘Les fêtes de Bayonne’. History, language, pictures and a quiz!


This was followed by ‘le speed dating’ where everyone got the opportunity to meet other people at the meeting in a speed dating format, thus encouraging them to speak to a number of people at the meeting.


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Horsham French Club stand at Horsham Library – September 2018

We were lucky to get the opportunity to have a stand to promote Horsham French Club at Horsham Library during the first 2 weeks of September this year. Thanks to Stephanie and Felicity for doing that.


Summer Party and AGM – June 2018

Friday 8 June 2018 dawned and the weather was superb which helped to make the HFC Summer Party and AGM a great success.

Martin and Stephanie were very generous hosts and the setting was fabulous.


The AGM was brief and saw the election of the Committee for next year, with Angie Lowen as Chair, Felicity Goodliffe as Treasurer, Stephanie Giesen as Secretary, Sarah Nuttall as Publicity Officer and Graham Greene as Minutes Secretary.


This was then followed by a delicious supper, provided by members, along with refreshments provided by the Club.


There was even the opportunity to play Boules, which was a lovely way to finish the evening.


Following the success of the evening The Committee have decided to keep the Summer Party in the programme for next year, so keep the date free for 14 June 2019!

May 2018 meeting

We had a lovely evening with Philippe and Juliette giving us their perspective on France. I had never realised that the 6 sides of l’Hexagone divided up into 3 land and 3 coastal borders!

Philippe and Juliette 1hexagone_france


April 2018 meeting

This meeting was very well attended, with lots of new visitors which is always a good thing.

Izzy talked to us about the pros and cons of teaching different sized groups and Felicity’s idioms quiz was quite challenging – even for the most experienced French speakers!




Georgina’s presentation on being a Modern Languages student in the 20th century was very well received, with lots of pictures to illustrate her time at Newcastle University, and abroad as an au-pair in Spain, living for a year in China, and volunteering at a hostel in Paris – an action packed 4 years!





 Local Societies Information Day


On 10 March 2018,Horsham Library hosted an event to promote local societies so there was another opportunity for cheese tasting. Catherine and Angie were on hand to answer questions, so hopefully we have raised the awareness of the French Club to the general populous of Horsham.

Cheese Tasting and Quiz Night

9 March 2018

It was action packed for the March meeting with a selection of 10 cheeses, 5 French and 5 British (4 of which were from Sussex), being tasted to see if we could tell the difference between the two different countries’ produce.


Members and guests did very well, with at least half of people being able to tell which was which. However it was no easy task and a huge thank you to The Cheese Hut ( for suggesting which cheeses to compare.


After a pause to rearrange the room, the Quiz took place, with Catherine doing a fantastic job of Question Master, ably assisted by Stephanie who was the Score Keeper. The questions were challenging but enough people knew the answers to make it manageable! We also learnt a lot!

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Sainte Clotilde, le Carnaval et la dictée

February’s meeting was action packed with Stephen Chapman opening the evening with a brief history of Sainte Clotilde, wine and her non-relationship with the Chateau!

Stephen Chapman Feb 2018

Pancakes were then served during the break but it was difficult to get people’s attention off the carnival quiz prepared by Felicity and Angie, but lemon and sugar helped!


Masks were worn by some members in the spirit of Carnival, good effort everyone!

Carnaval Masks Feb 2018

Catherine Moore then gave a very interesting presentation about ‘la dictée’, and we all had a little sample of what is involved, with some people doing much better than others (not to be named here!)

Fête de Noël

There was a wonderful atmosphere at the Millennium Hall on Friday 8 December 2017 as members and guests of Horsham French Club got together to celebrate the Festive season.

Christmas 8
HFC Committee getting the hall ready





Christmas 6

Welcome drinks greeted guests.

Fête de Noël

Food was provided by everyone with a ‘bring and share’ table.

President Catherine Moore intruces Brian Walsh







Brian Walsh provided the musical entertainment.

Fete_de_Noel 17 -9

Everyone had a good time; eating ,drinking, chatting and doing quizzes.

Fête de Noël

Christmas 10


And the evening was rounded off with a sing-song led by Elyane and Catherine.

Fête de Noël







November Meeting

La ProvenceOdile Lord was the speaker for the November meeting and she talked very enthusiastically about La Provence. There was a real atmosphere of Provence as Lavender bags were given to each person who attended, made by Angie

la Provence
Odile Lord, enjoying her presentation











This was followed by a very entertaining Tarsia puzzle devised by Felicity, testing our knowledge of French authors and their famous novels.

Nov 17 -9
Have we got this right?
Nov 17 -10
Nearly there!
Nov 17 -12
The answer!

October Meeting

Annick Lieutaud gave a very engaging talk about French Polynesia, and particularly Tahiti, at the October meeting. Members were greeting with Leis, made by Chair Angie Lowen, to add to the ambience of the evening.

Annick with Catherine and Stephanie








Later on in the evening Jane led everyone through a game of ‘le bac’ which brought out  people’s competitive side!

Playing ‘le bac’


September meeting

We were delighted to welcome back Marion de Montfort for the first meeting of the new season and she gave a very interesting talk on ‘Le pain’.

Sept 17 Marion
Marion presenting a history of bread

This was followed by a quiz about bread, and the winning team received a voucher which entitled them to a free loaf from Marion’s shop on East Street in Horsham.

Sept 17 - quiz du pain
Working on the bread quiz






During the pause people got a chance to catch up after the summer break…

Sept 17 - la pause
Catching up after the summer

… and this was followed by ‘speed-dating’ where you had 3 minutes to talk (en français bien sur!) to at least half of the people who were present at the meeting, so it was an excellent opportunity to get know more people from the Club.

Sept 17 - more 'speed-dating'

There was also the opportunity for Club members to find out what is going on in the Horsham French Club, brilliantly delivered (as ever) by Carole Noble.

Sept 17 - Carole et les nouvelles de la club
Carole delivering ‘les nouvelles de la club’







The evening was very successful with everyone evaluating it as ‘excellent’ using the newly introduced feedback system which is very hi-tec, involving buttons and bowls!

June AGM and Wine-tasting


Wine tasting with Christopher Doidge at the June AGM