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CULTURE

Map: The 250 crumbling French monuments set to be restored thanks to new lottery

The list of the 250 crumbling French monuments set to benefit from the country's new special edition lottery and scratchcard game has been revealed.

Map: The 250 crumbling French monuments set to be restored thanks to new lottery
The new “heritage lottery” set to launch in September will help finance restorations of both protected and unprotected monuments around France. 
 
First, scratchcards with images of the monuments will be sold from September 3rd and then on September 14th the Heritage Lotto will be held, with all the revenues from the games going to France's heritage foundation. 
 
It is hoped that the lottery, first announced last December, will make €15-20 million, half of which will finance the most urgent work while the rest will be divided up between the other selected sites. 
 
All the French regions are represented on the list. 
 
So far the 250 most urgent restoration projects have been announced and those less urgent will be revealed later, according to RTL.
 
Villa Viardot. Photo: Renaud Camus/Flickr
 
In the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France monuments earmarked for restoration funding include the École Méhul de plein air, one of the open-air schools which opened after the First World War to children with physical and mental disabilities living in poor neighborhoods and the stunning neoclassical-style Villa Viardot (see above).
 
Meanwhile in Brittany, the 16th century Chapelle Sainte Suzanne and the Mouline de Boel, a 16th century windmill which was damaged by a storm in the 1960s have been chosen. 
 
In the south west of the country, the Stations of the Cross (Le Chemin de Croix) in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and the Byrrh Winery in the Occitanie region were selected. 
 
And in the south east, around the Riviera, several religious buildings including the Chapelle des Jésuites, the Maison seigneuriale synagogue and Eglise Saint-Thyrse are on the list of monuments set to receive some of the cash made from the lottery. 
 
The amount of money the monuments will receive from the lottery will vary. 
 
Some sites like the Couteaux caves in Haute-Loire will receive small budgets of €30,000 while others like Fort Cigogne in Fouesnant in Brittany will receive €3 million. 
 
Zoom in on the map below to get a more detailed look at where there 250 monuments are in France. You can click on each icon to find the name of each one and to see the full list click on the top left icon with the arrow. 
 

CULTURE

Le goûter: The importance of the afternoon snack in France

The French have developed an entire cultural tradition around the idea of an afternoon snack. It's called "Le goûter" and here's what you need to know about it.

Le goûter: The importance of the afternoon snack in France

With all those patisseries and viennoiseries tempting the tastebuds in high street boulangerie after boulangerie, there can be little wonder that France  – which takes food very seriously – has also invented the correct time to eat them.

Let us introduce you to the cultural tradition of le goûter – the noun of the verb “to taste”, and a cultural tradition in France dating back into the 19th century, perhaps even as far back as the Renaissance … allowing for the fact that people have snacked for centuries, whether or not it had a formal name. 

It refers to a very particular snack time, usually at around 4pm daily. This is the good news.

The bad news is that, officially, le goûter is reserved for children. This is why many schools, nurseries and holiday activity centres offer it and offices don’t. The idea is that, because the family evening meal is eaten relatively late, this mid-afternoon snack will keep les enfants from launching fridge raids, or bombarding their parents with shouts of, “j’ai faim!”.

Most adults, with their grown-up iron will-power, are expected to be able to resist temptation in the face of all that pastry, and live on their three set meals per day. Le grignotage – snacking between meals – is frowned on if you’re much older than your washing machine.

But, whisper it quietly, but just about everyone snacks (grignoter), anyway – a baguette that doesn’t have one end nibbled off in the time it takes to travel from boulanger to table isn’t a proper baguette. Besides, why should your children enjoy all the treats? 

We’re not saying ignore the nutritionists, but if you lead an active, reasonably healthy lifestyle, a bite to eat in the middle of the afternoon isn’t going to do any harm. So, if you want to join them, feel free.

What do you give for goûter 

It’s a relatively light snack – we’re not talking afternoon tea here. Think a couple of biscuits, a piece of cake, a pain au chocolat (or chocolatine, for right-thinking people in southwest France), piece of fruit, pain au lait, a croissant, yoghurt, compote, or a slice of bread slathered in Nutella.

Things might get a little more formal if friends and their children are round at the goûter hour – a pre-visit trip to the patisserie may be a good idea if you want to avoid scratching madly through the cupboards and don’t have time to create something tasty and homemade.

Not to be confused with

Une collation – adult snacking becomes socially acceptable when it’s not a snack but part of une collation served, for example, at the end of an event, or at a gathering of some kind. Expect, perhaps, a few small sandwiches with the crusts cut off, a few small pastries, coffee and water.

L’apéro – pre-dinner snacks, often featuring savoury bites such as charcuterie, olives, crisps and a few drinks, including alcoholic ones, as a warm up to the main meal event, or as part of an early evening gathering before people head off to a restaurant or home for their evening meal.

Un en-cas – this is the great adult snacking get-out. Although, in general, snacking for grown-ups is considered bad form, sometimes it has to be done. This is it. Call it un en-cas, pretend you’re too hungry to wait for the next meal, and you’ll probably get away with it.

Le goûter in action

Pour le goûter aujourd’hui, on a eu un gâteau – For snack today, we had some cake.

Veuillez fournir un goûter à votre enfant – Please provide an afternoon snack for your child.

J’ai faim ! Je peux avoir un goûter ? – I’m hungry! Can I have a snack?

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