French Hack tips & memories of carefree France!

Louise chats to Bordeaux-born and bred Alexandra Ganipeau who now lives in Melbourne Australia running an interior design business and an online service called The French Hack.

Written by Louise Prichard

26 Sep 2022

4 min read

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French Hack tips & memories of carefree France!

Hosted by Louise Prichard, Lou chats to Bordeaux-born and bred Alexandra Ganipeau
who now lives in Melbourne Australia running an online business called The French Hack.


Bordeaux-born and bred Alexandra Ganipeau lives in Melbourne Australia running her own interior design business and also an amazing service for all of us FrancoFilers, an online business called The French Hack. Alex’s French Hack has assisted hundreds of VCE French students to demystify the conjugating and grammar issues we often find when learning French!

Alex grew up in Bordeaux and always wanted to be bilingual so in her early 20s she headed to London, met and married an Aussie boy and the rest is history!
How lucky for us Melburnians that she is here too!

In my chat with Alex she shared the French perspective she had as a child, taking castles and quaint villages for granted. Now she sees the amazing beauty we all love about France and she loves sharing it all with her sons now when she can get back to spend time in France with family and friends.

During the recent difficult COVID years Alex kept her connection to France with French conversations every day, watching French movies, reading French articles and books, she adds a little bit of French to every day. Alex loves the fact that Melbourne is a very French-friendly city. There are loads of French restaurants and festivals. She also shops consistently with France at Home! That way she can buy all her fave French products even to the point of having her fave French shampoo! I must admit I love putting on French perfume every day. I breathe in and all of a sudden…there she is… Paris is right there with me… xxxx

Alex shared her memories of her teenage years with me. Such a fabulously carefree time! Chatting about our gorgeous memories is so important right now during a time when life has been more challenging than usual. Alex’s description of the beach culture in Bordeaux is just wonderful. The raw Atlantic coast with the dunes and the sunset sounds divine.

The French Hack

Alex runs a French membership called The French Hack. Every day there is a Pause Dej’ (pronounced almost like postage or paws-tage) which is short for “pause dejeuner” meaning a lunch break. The daily Pause Dej’ is an hour and a half every day during the middle of the day Melbourne time, where members can drop in and have a real conversation online for the whole time or just part of it… whatever works for them! There are chats about regular life, French tips for movies, etc. It’s just a place where people gather. Every month there’s a new challenge on Facebook. Both English and French speakers are welcome. There is a coffee morning once a month and even celebrations from time to time like petanque matches! Members are in Australia and around the world, just as long as the time difference works for them, all are welcome!

Special offer for Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles:

Alex has generously offered for listeners of the Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles podcast a free visit to The French Hack! Whether it is joining in with a monthly challenge or dropping into a Pause Dej’ daily session, LFF listeners can test it out and see what The French Hack is all about! Just communicate with Alex here and let her know you’ve connected via the Loulabelle’s FrancoFiles.


Rather than a recipe in this blog post today, Alex has recommended the French fave “non-French” food, which they have adopted as their own. Northern African and Middle Eastern influences are so popular in France with the locals and Alex’s fave restaurant as soon as she’s back in Paris is right near the Jardin des Plantes called La Grande Mosquée. Alex suggests the combination of a visit to the museum and zoo at the Jardin des Plantes followed by a late lunch at the restaurant at La Grande Mosquée is a wonderful day out for the whole family.


Alex left France in the 90s and sometimes thinks she is stuck in the 90s! The first French song I ever heard was by Etienne Daho called Duel au Soleil in about 1986. I recall recording it from MTV and playing it on repeat over and over! In those days before the internet ruled the world we only had whatever was given to us and this was the only French song I had ever found! I’m so glad it’s also one of Alex’s favourites.

Etienne Daho – Duel au Soleil

Louise Prichard

After countless experiences in France over many years, Louise Prichard created the podcast Loulabelle's FrancoFiles to share her French memories with FrancoFilers in Australia, France and around the world. Lou’s French obsession was inherited from her parents, with her dear Papa joining in on the podcast as a guest in one episode! She learnt French at school and as an adult, hoping she would get there eventually. Then one day an offer came to accompany a friend on her work trip to Paris and Lou’s love affair with France formally began!

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