HOLIDAYMAKERS have been warned that Northern France is absolutely honking.
Decomposing seaweed has been blamed for beaches in northern France smelling like Serge Gainsbourg's laundry bag, while exclusion areas have been established along the coast to deal with what the French government admits is 'une poomf exceptionelle'.
The alarm was raised when a horse and rider fell ill on a beach in Brittany and local rescuers were overcome by fumes while attempting to drag the stricken animal to the nearest delicatessen.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "I have been working here for 20 years and not in my wildest imagination did I think I would have to issue a press release warning that France smelled even worse.
"It probably is manky seaweed, but it's France so we have to allow for the possibility of animal parts being rendered and made into the most delightful little jam-filled pastries."
Attempts have been made to deal with the seaweed by incorporating it into a blue-veined soft cheese or passing it off to tourists as two-week old sheep testicles marinated in goose urine.
But French tourism minister Jacques DeFarge insisted: "It seems ze British palate is not educated enough to appreciate ze intoxicating cocktail of aromas one may find à la plage.
"Perhaps zey would feel more at home if we scattered some donkey poopings and several zousand used 'roober johnnies'. Mais oui?"