‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

Over recent weeks Sarlat has been transformed from a beautiful medieval town to a wonderful Christmas village. The highlight being Sarlat Christmas Market (this year with a Spanish theme) and outdoor skating rink. Open until the end of December, with up to forty wooden chalets selling traditional arts and crafts, mulled wine, cakes, hot roasted chestnuts and caviar! But I saw no tapas on our morning visit!

Snow flakes flutter down in this tableau scene at the entrance to the Christmas Market.
 

I particular like the traditional Christmas tree ornaments for sale in quite a few of the chalets. Glass baubles, wooden hearts, and lots of red bows that are very popular in this area of France.

Incidentally, many French Christmas traditions originate from Alsace and it was in the town of Selestat that Christmas trees first appeared in the 11th Century. People used to decorate their trees with real fruit but one year the harvest was poor and a local glass blower from Goetzenbruck in Moselle tried to replicate the fruit by creating glass balls to hang on the branches. However, I have heard of a few more places that have been named for the origination of glass ornaments! Wherever they came from, they are gorgeous.

Facade of a Spanish Finca welcomes visitors to the market.
 

I do love this little donkey standing outside the chalet of the Donkey Sanctuary where you can buy gorgeous soap, aprons, tea towels etc. The profit goes to the upkeep of the Sanctuary.
 

New to the Christmas Market is a chalet selling Neuvic Caviar.
 

Spanish Flamenco dancers or matadors decorate many of the chalets.
 

Prints of Salvador Dali paintings hang from the trees. This painting is a particular favourite of mine.
 

Paul admiring the traditional wooden Christmas tree decorations in this chalet.
 
 

Event:-Daglan Truffle Market every Sunday from 11am until February.

26th to 30th December Merlin at Château de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle. This is a narrative show for young children in sound, shadows and light. Shows are at 11 o’clock, 2.30 and 3.30.

Sarlat Truffle Festival 19th and 20th January.
 
 

Advertisements

Deck the Halls

The ladies of our weekly Craft sessions have had a treat over the last fortnight. First we had a demonstration of garland making then this week a workshop, all under the expert eye of Carolyn Lindsey.

Boxes upon boxes of the most gorgeous decorations.
 

Carolyn giving advice and a helping hand.
 

Ribbons, ivy, lights and golden baubles are being used to make this stunning garland.
 

Brilliant Denise, I wish that I could have stayed to see the finished work.
 

My attempt. If you are in Daglan over the festive season take a look, it will be hanging on the door of our home.

Big thanks to Carolyn who will be out and about selling her decorations at various Christmas markets over the next few weeks.
 
 

Marchés de Noël
Saturday 1st December at Meyrals
Sunday 2nd December at Soirac
Sunday 9th December at Salviac
Sunday 16th December at Belves

 
 

Good News, we can still buy French bread!

There is no milk in our supermarket in Daglan. In-fact no milk and no deliveries of most things will be arriving in any Supermarket for at least another week but local bread is still being delivered.

France’s major strike by the Gilets Jaunes (yellow vests) is having an effect on the Perigord area in which we live. The Gilets Jaunes are protesting against sharp increases in diesel and petrol prices which could come into force in January. This impacts on the overall rising costs of food etc. and therefore the fall in living standards for a lot of people.

We experienced the strike first hand this morning has we drove to Sarlat market. The roundabouts at two major junctions were very active with people wearing yellow vests, but traffic was flowing. On the way back from Sarlat we observed protesters who were stopping traffic going into Sarlat. Unsure for how long the delay was but expect some delays over the next few days.

More news, you can still buy local fresh vegetables and fruit at the markets… That is if you can get to them.
 

Excellent News for me this week. I have had my first Commission for my artisan embroidery work.

Truffles and truffle oil.
 

Walnuts in a wicker basket.
 

I am so trilled, excited and so very pleased that the person who commissioned me loves the embroidery pictures which will go into her two gites named “Walnut” and “Truffle”.

I am working towards an exhibition in Daglan next July and August. Which will cover a variety of themes and local interest, plus embroidered bags, cushions, pillow cases, lavender hearts etc.
 
 

Event:-Sarlat Marché de Noël, 5th to the 31st December. This years theme is Spain, I can not wait.
 
 

Dominique ALLAËRT

The Exhibition of watercolour and oil paintings capture the true beauty of the Perigord. This is a man of extreme talent, his perception, colour and artistic genius is truly unique. I have picked just four of his many paintings for this blog but to be honest I love them all. You can see more of his work at his website Art par Dominique ALLAËRT.

The exhibition is open until the 18 August on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 14:00-18:30 and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-18:30 at the Ancien Presbytère in Daglan.

Due to the composition and “the artistic eye”, each one has amazing detail that draws you into the scene so that you see something different each time that you look.

The gorgeous combination of colours captures the ancient stonework of Monpazier.
 

Dominique setting up his work for the exhibition.
You can buy different sizes, framed or unframed at a variety of prices.
 

You need to see this painting in order to experience the full depth. Different textures create a 3D effect which draws you deep into the forest.
 

I could just sit by the river dangling my feet into the water on a hot Summers day.
 

In midwinter the lone tree stands in the snow, once again superb depth and the colours are amazing.

 
 

Dominique very kindly asked if I would like to show two or three pieces of my own work in his exhibition. I picked two which are in the second room of the exhibition. I will be exhibiting my work from the middle of July to the middle of August next year in the Ancien Presbytère. it will be the first exhibition of my embroidery work so I am a little nervous already.


Une cabane en pierre sèche – A dry stone hut.
 

Dame médiévale dans son jardin – Medieval lady in her garden.
 
 

Come along, take a look and buy a few of the works of art to remind you of the Perigord.
 
 

Le Château De Monbazillac.

Part One

This Château and vineyard is one of our favourite places to visit. So it was a real pleasure to show our friend around while she was here on holiday a few weeks ago.

Listed as an historical monument it dates back to the 16th Century where it was built in the Renaissance style. Set in a woodland with magnificent vistas across the valley. 3500 hectares of vines produce in my view pure nectar, sweet and dessert white wines. Which of course can be sampled in the wine shop before… and perhaps after… your visit to Le Château De Monbazillac.

Michelle and I all ready for the visit.
 

The architecture is a mix of traditional and defence style, towers, parapet walk, battlements, moat, cannon and the start of Renaissance art in the form of wide windows, mullion windows, fixed bridge, grand interior staircase and of course the layout of the rooms.
 

The Château and its vines have been the property of Monbazillac Cooperative Winery since 1960. Before that the château was handed down from mother to child (or nephew) and has been sold six times since the 16th Century.
 

Coat of Arms Tower is represented by the successive owners of the Château. From the family that initially bequeathed the land for the construction of the Château to the last lords of the viscountcy.
 

The Grand Salon. The Renaissance fireplace was decorated in 1929 with heraldic sculptures.
 

A Harry Potter moment! In other words the bottle room. 7,000 bottles of Monbazillac from the 2002 and 2004 vintages are presented on the walls giving the walls a gorgeous golden glow. The display case shows the changes of bottle shape over the years.
 

The Dutch brand display case contains vintages of Monbazillac wine. The map by Belleyme (who surveyed the region from 1761 to 1774).
The spelling of the name was how my ancestors spelled their surname, an ancestral relative perhaps?. The Belleyme’s originated from Northern France, and owned the area now known as Belléme. A future blog I think.
 

Part Two blog will cover a fascinating person called Jean-Sully Mounet.