Parlez-vous français?

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By Tess Malijenovsky
It’s a small world after all here in Beaufort — a small piece of France meets every month at the French Club meetings. In fact, for more than 29 years the French Club has brought together friends who share a passion for the French culture and language. So if you’ve been waiting for an occasion to brush up on your French and the sound of a wine bottle popping open makes you nostalgic, then this club is for you.

Members of the French Club gather from all over Beaufort County.

The French Club hosts members from Fripp to Sheldon to Sun City to Okatie to — bien sûr — Beaufort and its neighboring islands. Its members volunteer, taking turns to host a meeting once a month either at their homes or at a restaurant. Seeing as a large part of the French culture revolves around the table — the dining table — it’s only natural that their meetings have food and drink to encourage conversation. While fluency is not required by any means, French will be the only language spoken.
In March, Corinne Woodman hosted the French Club’s meeting at the Griffin Market where Chef Laura Bonino prepared a delicious menu specially for the club’s luncheon: Antipasti Misti, mixed green salad with lemon vinaigrette, a choice between three main courses and two desserts. Even owner Riccardo Bonino of Northern Italy also joined in speaking French.
At the meetings, members meet and greet each other, reminisce of their travels and lives spent in francophone countries, and along the way embrace in conversation. It’s a friendly and welcoming atmosphere to once again get in touch with your inner Frenchness without feeling silly or discouraged. Sometimes there are even mini-presentations of vacations or a member will bring along a French-speaking visitor.
Meredith Mims, the current president, as well as the other members, would love to invite more locals of the area into their group. Meredith can be reached at jyvais@roadrunner.com. Meetings take place on Wednesdays, generally sometime between 12-4 p.m. À la prochaine!