Sarlat Christmas Market

Marché de Noel

For anyone traveling to France in December the one thing that you must see is a Christmas market they are pure delight. Our first visit to the Christmas market in Sarlat was in 2010 (the year that we signed for our property). Every street was lined with ‘real’ Christmas trees decorated with large red bows and glistening with lighting it was magical.

The Christmas village in Sarlat starts at the beginning of December for three weeks, consisting of forty two wooden chalets which are set around the medieval city and the car park. With stall after stall selling macaroons, chesses, nougats, clothes, toys, art and crafts, winter hats and gloves and my favorite mulled wine or beer to warm the shoppers on a cold day or night. There is also an ice rink, a toy library, circus performances, music and of course plenty of lights and Father Christmas. In short something for everyone.

The Christmas Village

The Christmas Village

This stall is selling candy to decorate the Christmas tree

candy Christmas decorations

candy Christmas decorations

All of the trees in the car park are decorated, truly a magical sight for the skaters below.

decorated trees

decorated trees

Under a canopy of light you can shop around for that extra special something.

canopy of light

canopy of light

I love this stall full of sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, handbags and belts.

Sarlat market stall

Sarlat market stall

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A lot more DIY

Where to begin? There are many problems with DIY stores in the Perigord, the one that stands out the most is that they are not like the stores in England: they are not large, do not hold a lot of stock or variety and they are miles apart. So you may get one or two things from one store and then have to travel an hour or so to the next. Not forgetting that all of the stores close at about midday and do not reopen until two or four in the afternoon. However, having completed my little moan, we have found a very high standard of customer service in every one that we have visited. Our French is not that good but we try and the positive feedback that we have received has been great. So even if it does take all day to buy a few things then we can plan it around visiting markets and/or having a long lunch, enjoying the countryside and the French way of life.

Here are just a few bricolage (DIY) stores that we have visited:

BricoNautes – Sarlat and St Cyprien – http://www.les-briconautes.fr/

Bricomarché – Gourdon, Bergerac – http://www.bricomarche.com/

BricoDepot – Perigeux, Bordeaux – http://www.bricodepot.fr/

There are also many local traders for example – Freyet – Daglan – http://www.freytet-bois-materiaux.com – A trade builders merchants who welcomes DIY-ers and has an English translation of their website.

And of course specialists in, for example ceramic tiles, can be found on the outskirts of most towns. If you know of anymore please let us know.

This is a picture of our lounge area after Adam and I painted the ceiling. Still a lot of work to do, the walls are next. A tip for you is that paint is very expensive in France. We have been lucky because a friend of ours transported a few tins of paint for us from England. Unfortunately not all of the paint we will need, there still more to buy but it was a great saving.

The lounge - Believe it or not!

The lounge – Believe it or not!

You can just see near the window our new cooker, cooker top and dishwasher which are waiting for the plumber/electrician to fit in the kitchen. Can not wait, I am so looking forward to a cooker so that I can try out various recipes which will incorporate the fresh produce of the area.

The hard work goes on, the extractor fan was purchased from Expert just outside Sarlat on the D57 Route de Bergerac. A good domestic electrical goods retailer selling washers, dryers, fridges, ovens, hobs, kettles, TVs, DVD players and much more. The staff are very helpful and knowledgeable. http://www.expert.fr

Paul fitting the new extractor fan in the kitchen

Paul fitting the new extractor fan in the kitchen

This is the wooden floor in the master bedroom which was ruined after the ‘flood’ from the radiator – see the post “lake garda in the bedroom” You can see the unevenness of the floor and damaged wood as it slopes away towards the fireplace.

The Old Floor

The Old Floor

The wood floor display at BricoNautes in Sarlat.

The wood floor display

The wood floor display

It did take days of hard work but the new floor is down. We just need tiles for the fireplace and the base of the French windows. Plus the repainting of the skirting boards and I think one or two walls. Then we need various wardrobes etc the list goes on. But it will be great.

The New Floor

The New Floor

Domme revisited

The shops in Domme are always worth a look, so instead of taking photographs of the stunning views and the splendid architecture on our last visit, I focused on the wonders of the main street.

I love the bright vibrant colours of the pots in the shop below

Bright and attractive

Bright and attractive

This is the wine shop that I always head for in Domme, welcoming and ready to serve you a sample taster of the local wine and if you are lucky a small taste of the lacquer (walnut my favorite) and of course samples of chocolates of the region.

Wine for all occasions

Wine for all occasions

This shop sells jewelry, crystals, stones, pottery, perfume, body lotions etc.

Stones

Stones

For the meat eater, Saucisson, or “saucisson sec,” is a thick, dry cured pork or veal sausage with wonderful flavorings herbs, garlic, mushroom, pepper etc which are sold at the market every Thursday morning.

Market Meat

Not for me but Paul loves them.

A small statue of a child thinking outside a jewelry shop.

Thinking

Thinking

You can even own your own suit of armor?

Is it Knight

Is it Knight

There are of course many more shops to look at in Domme, plus the museum, the caves, restaurants, cafes, plus the beautiful buildings, gardens, medieval walls and views to die for.

Cenac et-Saint-Julien

Cenac et-Saint-Julien

Every time we go to Domme or Sarlat we always say that we must stop and have a closer look at Cenac, which is to be found on the D46 at the foot of the road up to Domme. It is a village that we pass through regularly but are always in a hurry and time escapes us. However on our last visit to the Perigord circumstances were in our favour, well a little. We were in need of a dentist fast due to the fact that our sons’ upper gum had become swollen, so off we went to Cenac and met a wonderful dentist who saw us right away. I cannot express enough thanks to him, his service was fast, efficient and excellent and I would recommend him. Thankfully our sons gum problem was not serious and the dentist did not charge a great deal. I was prepared with my EHIC card and credit card, and it was not needed at all, brilliant.

Anyway to cut a long story short, it gave us time to look around Cenac. There is a gorgeous Patisserie, selling breads, hand made chocolate, macaroons, all to a very high standard. Market day is every Tuesday, so we must come back for that. There are a couple or bars/cafés, a wonderful wine shop and the most interesting laverie (launderette) I have ever seen. You not only go to wash your clothes but they also have a free book exchange near the door, a few French books but most are English, and a good selection including fiction, crime, romance, biographies and a few travel books,. I love crime novels, so we exchanged a few books, excellent.

We also found a very good Thai restaurant which we booked for the following evening.

SAWADEE Restaurant

The restaurant is to be found at the Northern edge of Cenac just before you reach the bridge over the Dordogne and is well worth a visit. We originally thought that the main course (“plate principle” in French) was a little more expensive than expected but of course you get what you pay for and the food is really delicious so well worth that extra couple of euros. The starter (entrée) is around the same size as the main course so you could consider not having the starter and enjoy the main course which also tends to be a large portion. I had to forgo some of my rice to leave room for dessert. All in all an excellent meal and we shall eat there again.

SAWADEE Restaurant
Le Couderc
24250 Cenac Et Saint-Julien
http://www.sawadee-restaurant.com/

This is just a selection of the food we had that evening.

Main course.

This was mine, the source was gorgeous and such a lot of prawns, and the rice was delicious, fluffy and cooked perfectly.

such a lot of prawns,

such a lot of prawns,

Paul had beef, bean sprouts, tomatoes and again in a fabulous source.

Beef, bean sprouts, tomatoes

Beef, bean sprouts, tomatoes

And Adam had a Sea food green curry, just look at the amount of rice.

Sea food curry

Sea food curry.

Desert

fresh fruit salad.

Paul’s dessert, a fresh fruit salad.

Banana split

Banana split in a cream coconut sauce for Adam.

We where enjoying the food so much that we forgot to take a photograph of my dessert, so sorry for that but we shall take one the next time we go.