In the early 1980s’, Patrick Forbes, the U.K. representative of the champagne house Moët et Chandon, suggested to Lord Montagu that the Beaulieu community would be ideally suited to be twinned with Hautvillers, in the Champagne district of France. Beaulieu had one of the few vineyards in southern England, and Hautvillers is the birthplace of Dom Perignon, the monk credited with the invention of the sparkling wine which came to be known as champagne.
Accordingly the Beaulieu Twinning Association was organised in 1985 , and since that date, it fostered friendships between people from the Beaulieu area and people from Hautvillers, to develop personal contacts and to enjoy and develop cultural, recreational, educational and commercial activities between the twinned communities.
The 25th aniversary of the BTA was celebrated n 2012, when some 40 Beaulieu folk visited Hautvillers and Lord Montagu planted a commemorative New Forest Oak sapling outside the Abbaye St. Pierre d’Hautvillers.
Children from The Beaulieu area visit Hautvillers in alternate years for a 3 to 4 day stay, and in the alternate years Hautvillers children visit us. These exchanges have been a huge success and firm friendships have been formed amongst the young as well as great progress in our childrens’ ability to speak French and vice versa!
Visits in alternate years are organised for adults from each village. Hautvillers families put us up as guests in their homes when we visit, and we do the same when they come to us. In this way both communities gain fascinating and stimulating insight into lifestyles in the Marne and the New Forest. If you don’t speak French it is no obstacle as you will be hosted by locals who speak English.
On these occasions, both sides of the channel, there are civic receptions and outings to local tourist attractions, concerts, art exhibitions, and for the children outdoor activities such as canoeing, football and a host of other things.
The BTA gets is funding through the annual membership fee and fund raising activities from social gatherings such as picnics, hosted lunches quizzes, the strawberry tea tent at the Beaulieu Village fête and the champagne and French Tombola stall at the Beaulieu Victorian Christmas fair in late November.
Membership is open to anyone living, working or having a close historical relationship with Beaulieu, Exbury or East Boldre, including anyone in education in any of these three villages.
INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP IS £10 A YEAR
FAMILY MEMBERSHIP IS £15 A YEAR
CORPORATE MEMBERSHIP IS £20 YEAR
For information on the Beaulieu Twinning Association please click on https://www.beaulieutwinning.com/