The Dordogne is no longer the destination of choice as cash-strapped Londoners head for the hop-fields of Kent. Land Rover Vogues are also no longer de rigueur with JCB and John Deere fast becoming the labels of choice.
“It’s just got horrendously expensive” said Mrs Cecilia Bodiam Carter Windthrope of Chelsea. “Whizzing over the channel in the 4x4 costs as the French would say an absolute ‘bras and a jambe’ so Kent is a much more civilised option.”
Holidaymakers are selling up their chateaus and barn conversions in exchange for a sojourn in a traditional hoppers hut. During their six week stay they join the natives in the hop gardens, communal toilets and at good old evening knees-ups.
“Sadly little Felicity and Alistair don’t enjoy it as much as the Dordogne. There’s no swimming pool for instance but there is a delightful carp pond where the locals sometimes go au-naturel after a refreshing Bishop’s Finger or two.”
A spokesman for the Kent Tourist Office said, “There’s been a definite increase in ABC1’s over the past couple of years. In fact the local council has had a few applications for extensions to the hoppers-huts. But they don’t want to encourage second-hutters which leads to locals being driven out.
There has been some dissension from other areas though. “We are fed up with the intrusion” said Jan Slowacki a Polish worker from Gdansk, “They stay up till the morning playing Julio Iglesias and The Gypsy Kings and then expect us to be polite to them. Next year I am definitely going to the Dordogne.”
Residents of the Dordogne and surrounding regions are delighted by the news and have announced an extra holiday and a week long festival for long suffering bar, restaurant and shop owners.