FRENCH students have been given a taste of Basingstoke.

For the second year running, a group of 14 students from Marguerite Navarre in Basingstoke’s twin town Alençon paid a visit.

The five-day trip was organised by Tailored Languages director Annie Taylor, who herself had moved to Basingstoke from Alençon.

During the visit, the group was welcomed into the mayor’s parlour by mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councillor Seán Keating, where they heard about the town’s social care work.

To get a real flavour of Basingstoke, the visitors were split into groups and helped out at different organisations around the town, including the Camrose Centre, the Night Light Winter Shelter and various charity shops.

Annie said one of the things that touched the group the most was a visit to Oakridge House care home.

She added: “We arrived at 9.30am and were welcomed by the two activity coordinators Fatima and Lorraine.

“After being shown around we met some of the residents, Mabs, Lorenz, Joan, Barry and many more and we shared a continental coffee morning with them.

“The students chatted to the residents and soon it was clear that it would be difficult to leave them. An impromptu singalong led to the dance floor and before we knew it everyone was dancing.”

During the brief stopover, the students also took a trip to London where they walked along the South Bank, visited Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and saw the Changing of the Guard.

Annie added: “I am very pleased that as always, Basingstoke and more generally England, made such a good impression on our visitors.

“They seemed to feel at home and enjoyed the differences with their home towns.Vive la difference.”

To find out more about the borough’s town twinning, visit: