"We were extremely lucky with our neighbours because they welcomed us with warm hearts and open arms! We do get together often for bbqs, get together parties, etc. But I have heard they are not like this normally!" (KH, March 2011)
What is your name, age and how long have you lived in Vence (Cote dAzur)?
My name is Krisztina Hoffherr, 35 years old, have been living in Vence since 2008 October.
Why did you move there?
I moved here because my husband is a yacht captain and the boat is based in Nice.
What is the area like?
The area is beautiful, town not too small, not too big. We are close to malls, airport (20 m), Nice etc.
What nationality are you and your partner?
I am Hungarian, my husband is Danish.
How many children do you have, what are their names and when were they born?
We have a daughter, called Zoe, was born 20 October 2009.
What was your experience of having a baby in Vence?
I gave birth in Nice, Lenval hospital. It was ok, wouldnt be better anywhere else. No comparison.
Do you work and if so what do you do?
I dont work, I am full time mum.
Did you buy or rent your property? How did you find the process?
We bought a house. We found it in the property magazines and we had a real estate agent who we knew a little before.
How well integrated would you say you and your family are?
We are well integrated here I would say. We will be in the french system very soon. We do have card vitel+a top up private insurance.
What language do you speak to your daughter?
I speak Hungarian with her, my husband Danish, between us we speak English and French will come soon in the school.
What is your impression of childcare and education in Vence?
Not sure if I can say much about childcare, dont have any. Education is said to be very good over all in France. Plus there is a very good school in Vence which is supposed to be different than other. Dont have much information yet, still need to go there to sign up.
What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in Vence?
Main advantages are definitely are the languages, my daughter will speak 4 straight away but thats because we are an international couple. France is a good country I think to live in. Disadvantages maybe I could say that my daughters mother tongue is not going to be like mine but French. Maybe also that we will never speak perfect French as it is very difficult but this is something we have to put up with I guess. Helping Zoe with school homework later on, might have to get little help if its complicated in French for us.
How welcoming were the locals when you arrived in Vence?
We were extremely lucky with our neighbours because they welcomed us with warm hearts and open arms! We do get together often for bbqs, get together parties, etc. But I have heard they are not like this normally!
Would you say your area is family-friendly and is there anything you think would improve children´s lives where you live?
Not sure what family-friendly means exactly but there arent so much to do here with children I think. It would be nice to have a zoo somewhere close/er. There is a nice park in Nice called Phoenix. In Biot there is the Marineland but havent been there as Zoe was too little. Thats about it. Maybe there are more activities but my friends dont know about it either.
Are you able to recommend to other MumAbroad members in the area any local services (home delivery, plumbers, dentists, babysitters etc) or any activities, restaurants or shops for children in the area?
Plumbers we do know one, speaks English (Patrick 0660029307), dentist (Olivier Rabilloud in Cagnes sur Mer 0493732411) home delivery no. Sorry restaurants I am not impressed at all here in France!! There is one only we liked in Vence, will have to find out the name. Shops for children, 1 toy shop and 2 clothes shop ridiculously expensive. One thing is very sure here that it is so very difficult to find a person who actually comes and does the work! You have to bag people! Strange! There is a company who does our official things (tax return, advice, pension, private insurance and a lot more) Janet Dott 0493229942
What advice would you give for anyone having a baby or thinking of relocating to Vence with children?
Advice... well start learning French asap! It can be frustrating if you dont.
What couldn´t you live without in Vence?
Cant think of anything what wouldnt be elsewhere.
What could you live without in Vence?
Maybe not so much in Vence but the Nice area loads of tourist in August, impossible to do anything, parking etc!