British expats in France charter plane to deliver curry takeaway from UK

A group of curry-loving British expats in France who yearned for a "proper Indian takeaway in France" have chartered their own plane, dubbed "curry air" to sate their appetites.

British expats in France charter plane to deliver curry takeaway from UK
Photo: James Emery/Facebook
Curry loving British expats have long complained about the Indian food on offer in France.
“You can't get a decent curry this side of the Channel,” some would say. “The lack of spice over here is the one thing that makes me want to sell up and move home,” say others.
These complaints are common although many may debate them. (Writer's note:I had a cracking Madras in a Paris curry house on Saturday night that had me sweating like a Frenchman eating a poppadom).
But a group of around 50 Brits living near Bordeaux have found a way to sate their appetite for curry by ordering a takeaway to be delivered by plane on Saturday from a restaurant on the south coast of Britain.
The Akash curry house in Southsea will charge £32 (€36) a head for classic dishes such as Chicken Tikka Massala, Lamb Balti, Bengal Naga Chicken and Vegetable Paneer Korai alongwith a side dish, rice and a naan bread.
Photo: Mutton [email protected]/Flickr
The seemingly crazy idea which seems like the kind of story you read on April 1st, was first floated by loyal Akash customer Roy Buchan, who made the news in 2014 when he took £100 worth of curry back to Normandy, northern France for his Christmas lunch.
He explained his special quest by lamenting the lack of decent curry restaurants France and in particular the lack of an ingredient that the French are not particularly fond of.
“Although there are some Indian restaurants in France, the quality of food is nowhere near as good as in England,” Buchan told local Portsmouth site The News.
“And this is partly because French people, in the main, are not fond of spicy dishes.”
But the idea of a takeaway delivery to France by airplane was just a joke until James Emery, another British expat and pilot helped make the idea a reality.
Emery hatched “hair-brained plan”/ “publicity stunt” with some friends and then sent out an invitation to other south west-based curry-loving Brits on Facebook.
“Ever wished you could get a “proper” Indian takeaway in deepest darkest France?” he wrote.
“Together with a couple of friends we hatched a hair-brained scheme to charter a plane and fly one in, for one night only.
He explains exactly what will happen in his post.
“On 13 January 2018, a Diamond DA42 aircraft operated by Iroise Aéro Formation, will depart from Brest Airport for Lee-On-Solent Airfield in the south of the UK.
“Once there, it will be filled to the brim with Indian Takeaway food, which will then be flown to Bordeaux Saucats Airfield, located in the heart of the Pessac-Léognan wine region. 
“Local curry lovers are cordially invited to the airfield on 13/1/18 from 7pm onwards, for an evening of curry, beer, and good company.”
The food will be cooked at Akash, packaged but then warmed up in France and much of the cost has been covered by several private sponsors.
Although those attending the event have been warned that the weather could still scupper their plans by forcing a last minute cancellation.
In that case they will have to put up with eating local food from the south west of France. Sacre Bleu!


France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.