Silver Travel Book Club

April 2023 – Five French Hens

We’ll explore a different destination for each Book Club, and a lucky Silver Travel Book Club reader can win a free copy of that month’s book.

Please note: this prize draw is now closed.


This month you could win a copy of Five French Hens by Judy Leigh, sponsored by our partner Railbookers.

The best days of your life might be still to come…

When 73-year-old Jen announces that she is going to marry Eddie, a man she met just a few months previously on a beach on Boxing Day, her four best friends from aqua aerobics are flabbergasted. The wedding is booked and, when the groom decides to have a stag trip to Las Vegas, the ladies arrange a hen party to beat all others -a week in the city of love, Paris. From misadventures at the Louvre, outrageous Parisian cabarets, to drinking champagne with a dashing millionaire at the casino, Paris lives up to all their hopes and dreams. But a week can change everything, and the women that come home have very different dreams from the ones who got on the plane just days ago.

Funny, fearless and with a joie de vivre that reminds you to live every day like it’s your last, Five French Hens is a perfect light read for a Railbookers trip including the city of love, Paris. If you’re looking for a little more from your next holiday then look no further than Railbookers’ latest range of European trips, Railbookers Signature!

Railbookers Signature European trips

These popular itineraries each feature a once-in-a-lifetime experience, be it a hotel room with an iconic view, a VIP all-access tour, an energizing hike to a world-beating viewpoint, or blending your very own bottle of wine in a Grand Cru vineyard in France. 

Let’s celebrate travel again.

How about four fabulous French destinations in one trip? On Railbookers Signature – Paris, Carcassonne, Bordeaux and The Dordogne you’ll go beyond the obvious on this fabulous eight-day rail adventure in France with Railbookers. Visit the famous gardens of Giverny and Versailles from Paris, then travel to the fairy tale walled city of Carcassonne for two nights. From here, take the train to Bordeaux for a truly unique day blending your very own bottle of wine and exploring the beautiful village of St-Émilion. Then it’s a day to remember as you are driven to the gorgeous region of Dordogne visiting the pretty villages of Sarlat, Beynac, and the famous Lascaux Caves – home to some of mankind’s first paintings.

Choose from a wide range of fantastic destinations and remember, when you take the train, you see the world from a very different view! Where will you choose?

To book a holiday with Railbookers, call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678.

How to win a copy of Five French Hens by Judy Leigh

On the Railbookers Signature trip, you’ll visit some of the most iconic regions of France. Comment below to tell us about an amazing experience you had in France, or an adventure you got up to like the five French hens!

A winner will be chosen at random in early May 2023.
The competition closes on 30 April 2023.

Read more about all our Silver Travel Book Club reads.

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33 Responses

  1. When we went to France 🇫🇷 last year in our motorhome we have a fabulous time visiting Carcasonne which is a beautiful walled city & had my favourite meal which is moules & fritters & a glass of Sauvignon Blanc

  2. One year we went with our family to Nice and had the most wonderful time, sunshine every day. We explored other parts of France on the train and managed to get to a perfume factory. It was also very exciting to see the Triathlon taking place by the seafront.

  3. My favourite experience in France – a five-day floating cheese and wine party on Burgundy’s canal network onboard Le Papillion, a beautifully restored barge.
    Cheese was a focal point of lunch and dinner, with our host introducing us to two different cheeses at each. We ate cheese from cow and goat milk, smelly and subtle cheese, hard and soft cheese, cheese in different shapes including the heart shaped Neufchâtel, blue cheese, washed cheese, young and old cheese, hot and cold Reblochon.
    Likewise, wines were local and varied, and I emerged from being a Pinot Grigio girl into a Chablis woman with the ability to savour the difference between 2015 and 2016 Pinot Noirs.

  4. Went to Paris for the first time on our 30th wedding anniversary and had an amazing few days which included a show at the Moulin Rouge which was fabulous and our Anniversary dinner at the famous La Tour D’Argent where the duck I ordered came numbered so you could trace it’s origin.
    This year we celebrate our 50th anniversary and are hoping to return to Paris for new adventures.

  5. We were driving down to west of France, suddenly an horrendous thunderstorm ensued. We saw a little restaurant and pulled in. We went in to a very posh dining room, dressed in our casual travelling clothes, nobody batted an eyelid, all french diners. The food was out of this world and we had a very enjoyable afternoon. It was so flooded outside a family of ducks were sheltering against the patio doors, too wet even for them!

  6. Just me and hubby with 2 friends canoing down the dordogne!!!
    Then fantastic time train from rugby down to nice on ONE day. Holiday of a lifetime

    1. My first holiday abroad was to Biarritz in the 70s. Very glamorous for a group of teenage girls from Scotland. Now I am nearer to my 70s and have enjoyed many fantastic trips abroad but credit that first holiday with my love of visiting new places and experiencing different cultures. Hopefully many more to come .

  7. My daughter got married in Bordeaux and it was so beautiful that I have such lovely memories I would love to return.

  8. I once had the pleasure of driving a minibus around France, with a small group of tourists in the back of the bus!

  9. We enjoyed a wonderful rail holiday in Collioure a few years ago. The sun shone every day and the local bus service was wonderful to explore the surrounding area

  10. We had a wonderful holiday exploring northern France. Marvellous food, fantastic weather anf brilliant food.

  11. We have had great adventures in the Loire valley following signs to artisan wineries down little paths to farmyards for wonderful wine – but never being able to find the same places again in a subsequent holiday.

  12. I took the ferry to Ile Sainte- Marguerite and wandered through the trees and swam on deserted beaches. It was gorgeous.

  13. Most amazing experience in France for me was a post-wedding trip to Paris with a hotel overlooking the Eiffel Tower. WHAT an experience. I loved it, and it certainly made up for the honeymoon that we had to miss due to family and work commitments!

  14. We went for a road trip to France a few years ago. We had a blast. Cheered on the Tour de France cyclists, watched street performers in Nice and fabulous yachts at the port of Cannes.

  15. On 31st August 1997, we were on holiday in France and were taken on an evening coach tour of Paris at night. All traffic came to a standstill for a long time and it wasn’t until next morning at breakfast in our hotel that we learned the sad news that Diana Princess of Wales had been killed that night in a car accident.

  16. The last time we went toFrance, we stayed in a tent in Brittany. It would be wonderful if I could do a luxury trip by train, but in the meantime, I’ll happily read about the characters’ adventures in Paris.

  17. Beneath the stars, I sipped champagne while one of the singers danced on the table. Where was I? The Moulin Rouge? A private ball at Versailles? Nowhere near, dear reader.
    I had just delivered the performance of my life in a high energy concert, in a mediaeval painted church, in a tiny village in central France. I sang two English folk songs, accompanied by a guitarist whose father had played for Paul Simon.
    Afterwards, the mayoress invited all 20 of us to a sit down, four course meal in the village square. We toasted our hostess and sang some more to welcome our new Eastern European arrivals, who were to join the troupe. Without doubt, it was absolutely my best night in France ever!
    When I drove off in a loaded car from the UK in April 2022, if anyone had told me that’s how my summer would pan out, of course, I would not have believed them. I was excited, nervous and determined to go with the flow during my six months of renting a 500 year old cottage in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes while I wrote a book.

  18. I really enjoy Paris. My last trip with my two sons one who had flown back from Australia we went the week before Christmas and enjoyed all the festive lights. Decorations and fabulous food and atmosphere

  19. Sitting under the Eiffel tower at 10pm which the sun goes down and the lights twinkle

  20. Would love to visit Paris. All the sights, sounds a good place to eat and walk

  21. I would like to take four good friends to France. We have been through ups and downs over many years and would have great fun. I’m sure the book would inspire us.

  22. Many years ago Provence stole our hearts. Quaint & pretty with fabulous weather many memories made.

  23. I love Paris and I am pretty traditional when it comes to the sights such as the Eiffel tower-but there is lot I’ve yet to explore such as museums and art galleries. Fabulous food and a river trip down the Sienne were my best every experiences – loved the scenery and would jump at the change to do it all again

  24. Being the same vintage as Jen and always up for a new adventure, I would love to travel with my four best friends and have fun – joie de vivre. Make the most of the time we have. The book would be great inspiration!

  25. Been to France many times with the first being on a school trip…many years ago…

    We spent a NYE in Paris in our early days of ‘courting’, travelled all around the war sites in our motorhome as newlyweds, did EuroDisney with the kids when they were little and have since holidayed with them in Nice and Ile de Brehat

  26. Was with my parents in France and dad wanted some strong cheese to take home with us. I knew some French but not much so ended up acting out a strongman pose and asking for “fromage” at the deli counter. The owner was so amused he gave me the cheese for free!!

  27. I have many fond memories of childhood caravanning holidays to France. We went to an International Caravan Rally one year in Brittany, followed by a Tour de Bretagne, visiting a number of towns and cities on a caravan tour. We were entertained by locals in traditional costume to a variety of dinners and events. I also really enjoyed visiting the D-day beaches and museums in Normandy, and would love to go back to see them again.

  28. Try arriving on a camp site in the south of France to discover your wallet was still at home. Many years ago, before mobile phones this is exactly what happened. A coach trip from London and two weeks on the camp site and my husbands wallet at home. Strangers on the coach helped us out and we had a fantastic holiday. They remain very good friends.

  29. Happy memories of touring France and camping when money was tight. Cheap delicious food and wine of course!

  30. For my 40th birthday, my family surprised me with a trip to Monet’s house and garden in Giverny. It was perfect. Warm early summer sunshine, flowers and water lilies in full bloom and, to top it all, a photographer with a wedding party. Such a happy occasion, overflowing with joie de vivre and champagne!

  31. Having lived in Kent most of my life has given me countless opportunities for trips to France, many of them on `Booze Cruises` in the days when passports were not required – just day passes bought before boarding. I’ve been on ferries from Dover, Folkestone, Ramsgate and Margate to Calais, Boulogne (my favourite) and Dunkerque, several times as a helper with secondary schoolboys making their first foreign excursion. However, in 2009 I had a memorable day travelling on a Norfolk Line ferry from Dover to Dunkerque when I was a film extra in Albert’s Memorial, a black comedy starring David Jason and David Warner. My `extra` husband and I had spent the previous day at Dover Docks being filmed multiple times unloading our car and roof box for a customs inspection. At the end of the day we were asked to return the next day with our passports for filming in Dunkerque with the main actors. On board we had access to a private lounge and refreshments and at all times were able to watch the filming on the boat. Driving off the ferry at Dunkerque we were filmed being stopped and having to unload everything yet again. The joke was that while we, innocent holidaymakers, were targeted by customs the following vehicle, a taxi with a coffin containing a body, was paid no attention at all. It was rather clever and funny. However, when I saw it on tv the final version had been heavily edited and had lost its impact. Even though we didn’t set foot outside the harbour this was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a supporting actor: I even took several photographs (not allowed now in these days of smartphones).

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