Easter Treats

Just a few events that will be happening over the Easter period in the Perigord region of South West France.

 

Chateau de Castlenaud

A costumed guide demonstrates how to use the crossbows and explains the many encounters between the English and the French during the Hundred Years War.

 

Monpazier

Easter Egg Hunt with Easter festivities in the Place Centrale.

 

Bergerac

From the 7th April to the 30th April they will be having a funfair on the Place de La Republique.

 

Chateau de Hautefort

There is a Treasure Hunt on the 6th April, where children will be allowed to roam the Chateau and gardens in order to find a mystery word in connection with the history of Hautefort. There are also many chocolate surprises to win along the way.

 

A trip to France at Easter is a treat, just to look through the windows of the many chocolatiere’s that will be displaying their fabulous creations. This creation is one of my favourites, the cameo Easter eggs look too good to eat, well almost.

ladureeThis chocolatiere, Ladurée is to be found in Paris, where they sell delicious chocolate eggs and chocolate macaroons to die for.

laduree-easter-egg-1Here is another one of their creations, macaroons inside a dark and rich chocolate shell, awesome.


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Solar Eclipse or in other words Wow, Awesome

Adam and I had been planning to view the solar eclipse for weeks, we had decided were to go for the best view in the area, we had purchased the recommended glasses, we were all set. Unfortunately the weather forecast was not good for the North West of England; thick cloud was coming in from the Atlantic and by Friday it was doubtful that we would see anything at all. However, not to be downhearted we raced to the designated spot (Barton Grange Garden Centre car park) and looked up to the sky. You guessed it, thick cloud all across the sky, we were starting to get downhearted when we saw a small break in the cloud and there it was, awesome.

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

Renovation

Furniture renovation seems to be a yearly habit for Paul and I; last year it was the linen chest and bedroom chair, this year we have focused on the dining room chairs. At first I did look into stripping and re-varnishing the chairs, but I am not that skilled and we would need then to strip and varnish the rest of the dining room furniture. So the chair cushions it was.

This is one of our chairs in need of new padding and new material.

A chair in need

A chair in need

The colour scheme in the lounge/dining room in our French home is duck egg blue and country cream, so we needed material to match. The material that we found is from Laura Ashley, it is a gorgeous white with a light grey Regency pattern on linen fabric.

1 Paul removed the cushion from the chair, not an easy thing to do, it had plenty of screws underneath attaching the seat to the chair. With the seat free and accessible he had to remove the old material which was stapled every half inch.

Out with the old, in with the new... material

Out with the old, in with the new… material

2 Then he cut a new piece of foam to size

Cutting the foam

Cutting the foam

3 I love the Regency print – I then cut the material to size with about 4cm left to tuck under the seat for fixing.

Work in progress

Work in progress

4 Paul then placed the backing material over the reverse side of the cushion and stapled it in place under the seat base.

Recovered

Recovered

5 Screw the recovered seat onto the chair frame and we have one chair complete, only another five to go.

One chair done...

One chair done…

I have enough linen left to renovate our rocking chair seat and back cushions – awesome.

Issigeac – stepping back in time

Issigeac is a medieval town which was built mainly in the 13th to 16th century; it is situated on the edge of the Dordogne near the bordering department of the Lot et Garonne.

Unlike many bastide towns, the narrow roads snake around the town in ever decreasing circles until you reach the centre, with beautiful medieval houses sit side by side with more unusual timber frames of the 14th and 15th C. Be prepared for a stiff neck since you are constantly peering upwards at the architecture. Many of the buildings have carved features for example the “Maison des Tetes” on the corner of the Grand Rue, with its carved heads on its upper level. Like Sarlat, you are certainly transported back in time, I had the feeling that a Musketeer would step out from one of the buildings, well I live in hope!

Just waiting for a Musketeer to ride down the narrow alleyway..

Just waiting for a Musketeer to ride down the narrow alleyway.

We reached Issigeac at lunch time so the shops were closed, therefore fairly quiet and a great way to properly see the many features. We shall certainly return again. I am thinking about a Sunday when they have an excellent market.

Superb architecture, it is well worth a visit or two

Superb architecture, it is well worth a visit or two

The small shops sell artisan pots, linen, soap and of course wine and chocolates.

A few of the many small shops

A few of the many small shops

Market day is Sunday – The third weekend in July is the basket market where vendors and artisans come from all over France to demonstrate their craft at the Foire aux Panniers (basket fair).

This one has the wow factor.

This one has the wow factor.

Also, in July and August are the annual bodegas which are held all over the Perigord, (Issigeac is one of the largest). Bodegas are street parties organised by the local rugby club as a fund raiser. Bands play into the small hours while you eat and drink the local produce.