Adrien, co-manager at Nicolas wine merchants, Crouch End branch

Article reviewed: 2013/01/04 | Next review due: 2014/07/23

Adrien first moved to London when he was 19. A self-admitted ‘non-typical French Londoner’, he first moved to London straight out of school to learn English for three months… and ended up working in restaurants for the next two years. He currently lives in South London and says that he’s finally found his place in the London landscape, but knows first hand the mistakes people make early on when first moving to London. He adds,

When I arrived here I didn’t speak a word of English. With no degree, my future in France was limited, but I found a job in London after just 48 hours.

After two years working hard as a waiter, he returned to France to take a Wine course, after which he decided that with the French economy it would be a better opportunity for him to move back to London.

I returned to London after 3 years in France and immediately found work, mainly by scouring the search pages. I was hired at the wine merchant, Nicolas. Now at 26 years old, I am co-manager of their branch in Crouch End.

When asked Adrian could have taken the same path in France, his answer is unequivocal,

Of course not. Here, if you work hard you earn trust. I don’t have a degree, but I’m manager of a store now, organising everything right down to private wine tastings. Here, the more sales you make, the more you win!

Adrian now lives in Muswell Hill, adding,

It’s a great village, everyone knows each other and people like me. When you sell wine, you make friends quickly!

Lively and dynamic, Adrien thinks a French people living in London have to be open-minded to the cultural differences. He adds that it’s a great city to good meet people, but is still surprised by the price of renting, even after several years of living here,

It’s often difficult to make ends meet here, the rent is so expensive. That’s why I lived in squats during my first years here!

Is a return to France on the cards?

No. If I left London I would probably wouldn’t amount to anything, but here I can bounce back.

And any current projects?

In January I'll be leaving for a six-month trip to Argentina, but of course I'll be happy to return to London once I'll have finished...

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