Trapped in our home by a large rotisserie oven!

When I came down stairs this morning I could smell the aroma of roast chicken and paella, then I noticed how dark it was in the lounge. On investigation it was found that the ‘promenade en gastronomie’ had started early with a very large rotisserie being placed at our front door. Surly they had noticed that someone was living in the house, planters at the front, the house being painted recently!

All right I thought, try the side door, but no, a large van was parked there blocking the door. At this moment I thought that perhaps we could arrange a delivery of paella through the letter box, when the van had to move due to it blocking access not only to us but to the entrance of the supermarket. It did not go very far, it just moved further up the lane to block the gate to our courtyard and preventing anyone from accessing the lane and houses further along. Food parcels to the family who were holidaying in a home at the top of the lane did spring to mind, but no… after hearing a few well chosen words of French the family had made their escape.

Our turn to escape through the side door and into the square.

DSCN1603Our front door is hidden by the large rotisserie, we were also not able to open the shutters for fear of sending the large pans of paella to the ground!

 

DSCN1602Stalls of food and drink covered the square

 

Balade en GastronomieAlso along the road and around the bend, ice cream, sorbets, honey, wine, garlic, organic foods, cooked food, bread and cakes.

 

DSCN1599A few days ago a small portable forest was being erected in the square for the truffle dog demonstration. This event is always entertaining because the saucisson seller has a stall nearby so that the truffle dog can not focus its efforts on finding the truffles. After various prompting and pointing from the truffier the dog was encouraged to find a truffle or two and get its reward of a dog chew.

 

DSCN1604A brilliant surprise in the afternoon was the young man playing the bagpipes. He was so good that one man came over and dropped his wallet into the boys hat. Encouraged by this and shouts from his family he played two more tunes, wonderful.


Event:- Belves Fête Medieval on the 6th and 7th August

Le Thé Vert

On an extremely hot day the option was to start taking up the carpet on our long corridor floor that leads past the bedrooms and bathroom to the veranda at the back of the property or to go to lunch at Le the Vert for a treat. Lunch it was, the corridor renovation can wait a while longer.

 

Le Thé Vert is one of our favourite places to eat in the Perigord and it is only a five minute walk from our home. It is run to a very high standard by friend’s of ours Judith and Paul. It has that home from home feel about it due to the friendliness of the proprietress.

You can have English or French food, breakfast or lunch. If you do not want a full meal there are snacks, sandwiches, scones and cakes all served with fruit juice, tea, coffee, beer or wine.

Special evening meals are organised regularly, for example ‘curry night’ or ‘fish and chip night’, (main course supplied by the excellent Dordogne Chippy). These soirée’s are always well attended so you’ll need to make a reservation in advance at Le Thé Vert.

DSCN1494Le Thé Vert to be found just by the bridge going into Daglan. To discover the full menu visit http://lethevert.fr/

 

DSCN1493Paul and I both picked the tomato and Brie baguette with a side salad and crisps. With a pot of Yorkshire tea, delicious.
 

We sat on the terrace shaded by a canopy out of the sun.

Le Thé VertTurn your head right and you see the forest which was alive with the sounds of birds and cicada’s and the various homes which are dotted about along the long winding road.
 

Le Thé VertTo the left is the bridge over the Céou River which finished the idyllic scene.

Judith and Paul’s pool looks gorgeous, the sight of water always makes you feel cooler and more relaxed. You can have use of the pool if you buy the property, yes sadly it is up for sale. The couple will be missed a great deal. So if you are looking for a good business in a prime location this is it.
 

Well no renovation work today but we did enjoy our lunch and we got to meet a couple and their dog who are having a holiday in the area. So we chatted while eating our lunch and introduced them to interesting places that they can visit while here in the Perigord.

Totally relaxed we walked home, so relaxed in fact that no work was completed. Start tomorrow!… maybe…

 

Wow, Wow, awesome, wow … !

Train A Vapeur De Martel in the Lot Department

A steam train my goodness, a dream come true. I have been wanting to have a ride on this particular train ever since I saw the painted metal advertisement for the railway on one of the pillars of the viaduct going into Sarlat in 2009.

As soon as I saw the train I was instantly transported back to my childhood in the fifties, when I would walk down the road to the station to see the steam trains.  The station Master’s wife would give me a cake or biscuits and a drink, served on a small table, then the station Master would tell me when a train was arriving at the station and I would run outside to greet it.  Once the train was in the station the station Master would let me sit on the train in the first class carriage and I would look up at the pictures of places that I would imagine the train would take me too.  Then after a few minutes he would shout “Christine, it is time to leave”, and I would jump down and run to the overhead bridge to see the train depart.
 

IMG_20160727_103500The society, Association du Chemin de Fer Touristique du Haut Query was formed in 1991 by a group of volunteers interested in restoring the line and turning it into a tourist attraction. They have cleaned the track, repaired bridges and points and replaced several hundred sleepers. A rock climbing club cleared loose rocks from the cliff face. They then acquired rolling stock which consisted of a Vesta (small steam shunter built in Lille 1927) and classed as an historic monument! Plus two diesel powered and two track maintenance crew vehicles, and a diesel shunter. In 2002 the society obtained a more powerful steam train, four more shunter’s and a diesel railcar to restore. This is a post war train nicknamed Picasso due to its raised control position is very off centre and therefore like a Picasso painting.
 

Train A Vapeur De Martel

“Le Truffadou”, line which ran from Bordeaux to Aurillac took from 1880 to 1884 to build. It came into use in 1889 and competed with the boat traffic on the “River of Hope”. The rail lines were taken up in 1917 for use in the first World War effort. Later in 1919 the US Government replaced all of the rails and that is what is in use today. The trains were used to transport truffles and therefore the line was nicknamed “Le Truffadou”.
 

DSCN1576The power house, my goodness I so wanted to be an engine driver when I was a child. We sat near the front of the train so that we could get a good view of the engine and the driver. My “oh wow” moment continued for about another hour or so with the train hitting all of the senses, sight, smell and sound, the heartbeat of the engine was wonderful.
 

DSCN1578The Mirandol tunnel with its turrets and spiral staircase inside which was erected by the constructors to celebrate the lines safe completion: it is now a listed building.

In the first tunnel the conductor turned the lights off and everyone on the train shouted “Wow” as loud as possible. He then stated that there was to be no acrobatics when taking photographs of the magnificent vistas, he would prefer passengers not to fall out, and the only one allowed to smoke was the train.
 

DSCN1585Magnificent viaduct, the train stops here so that you can take photographs and buy refreshments.

On the journey back the train went at top speed through the tunnels, the smoke curling around, in and over the train, wonderful.
 

DSCN1581At 260ft up the cliff face you get a gorgeous vista of the Lot.

The train runs from Martel to St Denis and back again which is about an hour and twenty minutes.  There are two trains that you can ride on,  the diesel or the steam train.  A good tip is to arrive about an hour before the departure time to get a seat.  We arrived at about ten o’clock, the train was due to depart at eleven and there was already quite a long queue of people waiting for tickets.  The trains run at eleven, two thirty and at four o’clock each day during the summer months and it costs 10,50 euro each for the steam train and 8 euro for the diesel train.

Well worth a visit or two or three.

 

Artist at work in and around Daglan

Imagine our surprise when we popped out to the supermarket next to our home and found an artist at work creating La Place de La Liberty (village square) in water colour. The painting was wonderful the colours depicted exactly the golden colour of the stones when the sun shines upon them. This particular artist resides in Beynac, he travels around the various villages of the Perigord painting village squares, buildings and people.

 

DSCN1561 Artist at work at the corner of our home.

 

DSCN1553This is definitely a scene that I would love to paint.

 

Artist at workAnother artist capturing the still waters of the Dordogne river.

 

 

DSCN1558O.K I could not paint this scene so a photograph will have to do! A field of gorgeous sun flowers with their heads turned towards the sun near Castlenaud.

 

DSCN1567We had two sketches of our home commissioned by a local artist called Ray. One was a present for our son’s Birthday and the other is above. Brilliant work, I will be buying a few more sketches from him, a sketch of a Château or Monpazier would be great.


Events:-Daglan 31st July Garage Sale and Promenade en Gastronomie with demonstrations of dog truffiers. Which is great fun, a few years ago we watched the dog truffle finder who was more interested in the nearby sausage seller than the truffles!

Bonne Chance Daglan

Village of Flowers (Villes et Villages Fleuris) is awarded each year by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom (Council National des Villes et Villages Fleuris). During the inspection the council takes into account certain criteria such as landscape, plant heritage, floral displays and respect for the natural environment. The village or town may then be awarded one or more flowers, four being the highest level. It is similar to the star system you see on a hotel for example two or five stars. Bergerac is the proud owner of four flowers on its sign and Montfort has three flowers.

Today is Daglans big day when the Council will arrive for the inspection and the village I must say is looking awesome in bloom, but I am just a little bit bias.

 

Bonn Chance DaglanGorgeous trumpet like flowers are growing from a climbing plant across the road from Fabrice de Chief Cantina.

 

DSCN1509Not sure what the creature represents but it looks great lurking among the lavender
It was made by the children in the primary school in the village.

 

DSCN1504Looking out from our balcony to the village square which is adorned with flowers.

Event:-Belves Fate Medieval on 6th and 7th August

 

Swapping the Dordogne River for the Mersey!

It was our sons Birthday last Monday so a trip to Liverpool was planned to correspond with his celebrations.  It felt like years since we had seen him when in fact it has only been since January.  We Skype every week or more and phone and text everyday but it is not the same has holding him in your arms for a hug or two.  I know… I’m a big softy.

DSCN1539Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant in the heart of Liverpool. Sea Bass and vegetables, yum

 

DSCN1540For me, squid ink pasta with scallops and cod in a rich peppered sauce.  Although very tasty the sauce did overpower the delicate flavours of the fish but I still loved the meal. I’ve never had squid ink pasta before but I shall certainly try it again in the future.

 

LiverpoolA cold and extremely wet day at Albert Docks.

 

DSCN1520Despite the weather we still had a great time.

 

DSCN1522Côte Bistro in the centre of Liverpool was by far the best restaurant we went too. Could not praise the service and the food enough. Needless to say we sat inside.

 

DSCN1523Côte Bistro and a terrific breakfast, Happy Birthday Son.

 

DSCN1534John and Yokos Peace bedspread at the new Liverpool Museum at Pier Head, Liverpool Waterfront, absolutely fabulous and free to enter.

 

DSCN1535A little blurred I think from excitement at seeing the train, I so love stream trains and this was “Lion”, the first luggage train to run from Liverpool to Manchester. A better picture and information can be found here

 

Needless to say a brilliant time, the shops oh my goodness and they do not close at twelve! After a good stock up on essentials for France it was time to return to the Perigord.

Thank you so very much Adam for putting up with your old mum for a few days. You are loved lots and lots.