Two Months In

Vintage fish adn chip van at your event

Two months in ! The last two months have been a whirlwind! a very positive exciting whirlwind! A little stressful in places but mostly, so far, it has been a wonderful experience.  The public are so nice and supportive and everyone has been wonderful.  We have had lots and lots of compliments about our van, … Read more

Renée at Brantôme Police Horses

Renée at Brantôme Police Horses

Renée at Brantôme Police Horses charity music evening was a great success.  A great time was had by all, eating delicious fish and chips whilst entertained by the Broken Biscuits band. Brantôme Police Horses is such a special place.  The work that Alison and Roland do providing a unique forever, loving home for brave and … Read more

Montbron Night Market 2018

44 degrees… that was outside the van! Inside 48/50 degrees! Ouch! So having spent all day preparing and fully loading our Renée to the gunnels, we set of for our very hilly, twisty, slow journey in the old girl from our home to Montbron.

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Brantôme ‘So British Weekend’ 2018

23 and 24th of June 2018 saw Renee taking pride of place at Brantôme ‘So British Weekend’. Having only just launched our brand new business, this event was a real baptism! We wasn’t sure what to expect but we new a few sure things. We knew we had a wonderful spot in the beautiful town … Read more

Rice Bran Oil

Rice Bran Oil Le Petit Poisson Fish and Chips

Rice bran oil is a product from Thailand. We decided to use rice bran oil for our frying because of its health benefits, less greasy composition, and lack of flavour. The viscosity of this oil ensures that the food absorbs only about 20% of the oil. When less oil is absorbed, the food still retains … Read more

Reneé – Her Story

Vintage garden party

The Citroen HY Van

Citroen HY Vans were made between 1947 and 1981 (after World War II) and are often called panel vans.   They were made in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, mostly left-hand drive but some right-hand drive versions were also produced.  The design changed very little between these dates.

Then HY vans were often used as butchers, bakers or animal transporters, such as cattle trucks or a horsebox.   In 1964 the split-screen version were produced and often used by the police who named them ‘Painer of Salad’ (Salad Basket).

Why the HY Van

When we were deciding on the vehicle to use for our new venture, we had so many ideas to choose from.  But as soon as we saw the HY van, we knew it was the right type of van for the job!  Living where we do (Charente), you just don’t see many of these wonderful vans but there are lot that have been customised and used as food vans in the UK.

We very quickly fell in love with the ‘piggy face’ type and thought that the French folk, would love to see this classic renovated to its former beauty and a trip down memory lane for many.

Our Van

Once we made the final decision, the hunt began for a renovation company that could help us.  We searched all over Europe and eventually found a couple of second hand ‘almost completed’ vans in the UK.  We thought we maybe we could just finish off with some internal renovations, but we soon realised the costs were very high as these vehicles really hold their money being a vintage classic.  By complete fluke, we stumbled across Ryan Antony Classics, who were based just 10 miles from my family home in Essex!  This was meant to be, the discussions soon begun, and we could finally get under way.

Meet Renée

We would like to introduce you to Renée.  Renée means “born again”, perfect for a totally dead heap of metal, that is about to have a whole new lease of life!  Renée was born in 1979 and started life as most, in France.  She was then bought by a Dutch collector who took her to Holland. Ryan later bought Renée and she has been stripped, dipped, lengthened, strengthened, lifted and gifted with a whole world of new parts and panels.  A team of five men are working tirelessly for 3 months to produce our beautiful Renée to bring back home.

Here is her photo diary