On a return trip from Paris, after visiting his homeland, probably in the autumn of 1843, Tellefsen had a chance encounter on a street in Le Havre with his compatriot, the assessor Peter Hersleb Smith. Smith encouraged the young composer to join him on a visit to his friend, the Norwegian consul, Jens Thiis (1809–1887), in Honfleur. Thiis had a timber transport company and was both a successful businessman and a music lover. This acquaintance brought Tellefsen good friends in the persons of Thiis and his family, who supported him over the years in numerous ways. Thiis made sure that Tellefsen found employment as a piano teacher with the best families in the city, and those lessons gave Tellefsen enough financial security to allow him to spend the rest of the year in Paris. His summer stays in Honfleur became his annual routine until the 1950s.
At the Thiises’, Thomas Tellefsen met a French woman, Sophie Laporte, who first became his student, and later his lover. We have no biographical information about her, but it seems that she was very affluent. Tellefsen dedicated to her his Mazurkas, Op. 1, published in 1846. It may have been Sophie Laporte who presented Tellefsen with the Erard piano later auctioned during a lottery concert in Christiania in 1847. The composer stayed in Honfleur also in 1848, after the February Revolution, and before his departure to London at the end of April, as well as several months later, in September, when – on his return from Scotland – he performed in Sophie’s house. Rumour has it that the couple planned to get married, but for reasons unknown the relationship ended around 1850.