Café-causerie : Tour de France des fromages

Chers Amis,
The next meeting of the Cercle Français de Belfast will be …
on Mercredi (Wednesday) 7 février 2018  à 19h.30 
in Dark Horse Coffee House, 
30-34, Hill Street Belfast BT1 2LB

Café-causerie : Tour de France des fromages
Rosemary BLACK and Sylvain RABAUX 

An evening for French speakers of all abilities to talk about, and taste, some French cheeses.
Cette soirée vous propose de découvrir six régions françaises par leur(s) fromage(s). Après une présentation, en français en anglais, de chaque fromage, place au voyage gustatif ! Autour d’un plateau de fromages et d’un bon vin, vous aurez l’occasion de parler de ce produit incontournable du patrimoine gastronomique français.
N’hésitez pas à apporter vos livres susceptibles d’animer les conversations (livres de voyage sur la Normandie, la Franche-Comté, la Savoie, Midi-Pyrénées, le Poitou ; livres gastronomiques ; livres sur les fromages…).

Venez nombreux !

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday 7th February.

À bientôt, Philip

Registration for La Fête des Rois

Chers Amis,

Registration for La Fête des Rois

This year our Fête des Rois – Bal musette will be held ...
… on Wednesday 10th January 2018
… at 19h30 in The Dark Horse Coffee House
While this event is free for members, guests will be asked to make a contribution of £5.

La Fête des Rois is one of the most popular events in our programme. Indeed in the last few years we have come very close to full capacity of The Dark Horse. So, once again this year to ensure that everyone has plenty of space for a good time attendance will be limited to a maximum of 80.

There are some changes to last year's arrangements. 

1 We are asking anyone who is coming on 10th January to register in advance by Monday 8th January 2018.

2 As last year 'tickets' will not be issued but your name will be added to a register which will be checked at the door on the evening. Thus ensuring entry to the event.

To register please send an email to by 8th January.
You will receive an email acknowledging your registration.

Once we reach the capacity of The Dark Horse registration will be closed.

Remember it’s first come first served so, to avoid disappointment, register as soon as possible. 

Looking forward to receiving your registration and to seeing you at La Fête des Rois.

Bonne Année,


PS:  I thought you might like to know that Spiral (Engrenages) was back on BBC 4 last week. You can catch up on BBC iPlayer at …

French Foreign Legion talk with Ray LARGAN

At our meeting of the Cercle Français on 8 November, Ray Largan gave an excellent history of the French Foreign Legion. There were some interesting revelations such as the fact that the soldiers do not swear allegiance to France. This is highly unusual for an army! Interestingly, the soldiers in the French Foreign Legion march at 88 paces per minute while soldiers in other armies march at 120 paces per minute. There are 11 regiments of 7,700 men.

The Legion was initially stationed in Algeria and has been deployed in many conflicts and wars including the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, the Battle of Camerone in 1863 in Mexico when 62 Legion soldiers were up against 1000 regular Mexican soldiers and 500 cavalry. The French men bravely stood their ground and as a result 41 were killed, 21 were wounded and there were only three survivors. It was interesting and surprising to learn that this battle has been commemorated in both France and Mexico on 30 April every year since. The Mexicans were very gracious to the survivors, even forming a guard of honour for the Legion soldiers! 

The French Foreign Legion was deployed to the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. However, Prussia was victorious and French dominance came to an end in that area. The war also led to the unification of Germany and the loss of Napoleon the Third as leader. France then further expanded into Africa and the Far East and acquired new territory in Southeast Asia. This became known as French Indochina. Ray spoke about the ground battle of Dien Bien Phu which took place in Vietnam in 1954. This battle was disastrous for the Legion and led to the surrender of most of the French forces. Following this, the government resigned and the new government supported French withdrawal from Indo-China. 

Thank you to Ray for the very interesting talk which was enjoyed by all!

Reviewer : Vikki NELSON