‘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.
 
 

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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.
 
 

Food, Food, Glorious Food.

Everything on sale was to delight the senses at the Promenade en Gastronomie in Daglan village yesterday. From truffles, gateau, saucisson, escargots, to vegetables, fruit, candies and of course cheese and wine to name just a few of the delicacies on offer.

The View from our balcony.
 

I had to buy my Sunday treat of strawberries which are picked that morning by a local grower.
 

One simply cannot have enough garlic. I love the little dishes for garlic, oil and herbs.
 

One of the wine sellers with a sign that I totally agree with.
 

Once again we were unable to use our front door for the chicken and paella seller. The aroma drove the cats wild. We had to keep them away from the balcony in case they pulled in one of the chickens!
 

A gorgeous smile from Corrine selling various fresh baked breads and petite gateaux in front of the Boulangerie.
 

Always a teat to watch, the truffle dog who needed a little encouragement in the form of cheese snacks to find the truffles. I think citing the truffle hunting area next to the sausage stall could have something to do with the dogs inattention to his task.
 

 

Next Blog;-Dominique Allaert who is exhibiting his oil and watercolours in the Ancient Presbytere, plus a couple of interesting embroidery works.
 
 

There and back again.

Our regular Sunday morning consists of a trip to St Cyprien market with a stop in
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle for a picnic breakfast on the banks of the River Dordogne.

Last Sunday morning the Montgolfier’s were out in force, rising like smoke over the hills.

It must be such a brilliant view across the Ceou valley from the balloons. But not for me, I’m too afraid of heights to open my eyes and admire the vista of the country side below.
 

Arriving in the car park we noticed a new sculpture being worked.
 

Can just see the dog at its masters feet in front of the figure being sculpted.
 

The Summer bunting provides a little shade.
Spots everywhere, there are over 300,000 of these rosettes covering the streets of St Cyprien.
 

On our return I could not resist a sunflower picture.
The brilliant yellow always reminds me of watching the Tour de France on TV when I lived in England.
 
 

Enjoy the sunshine.

Next blog, the Grand Gastronomie market which will be in Daglan this Sunday.
 
 

The Grand Opening of the Expo Art Plastique in Daglan.

What a joy it was to be invited to the Grand Opening of the Art Exhibition in Daglan last Saturday. Which will run from 11am to 6pm very day until 8th July at the Salle des Fêtes.

Paul and I love art and it was a great pleasure to take our friend Michelle (who is staying with us for a holiday) along to see the local works of art on display.

First the speeches welcoming everyone to the art exhibition.

Here are just a few of the works on display to temp you to come along and see for yourself and maybe to buy one or two.
This one is the most expensive at 4000 €, but you can buy art work from as little as one or two hundred euros.
 

Here are just a selection.


 

Very tempted with the two paintings above.
 

You can just imagine Audrey Hepburn in the above picture.
 

Not only paintings but some gorgeous sculptures too.
 

This one had to be my favourite. Just look at that face.