Le Château De Monbazillac Part Two.

Fist of all, Bravo Les Bleus. I do not usually watch football but I, like millions of others, just had to watch this match.

Wow… you are so awesome.

 

O.K back to Monbazillac.

There is a very interesting room in the Château called Mounet-Sully room. There is only a brief explanation of the person so I just had to find out more. Mounet-Sully (birth name Jean-Sully Mounet was born in 1841 in Bergerac) and he became a famous actor, painter, sculptor and writer. He was a member of the celebrated Comedie Francaise, as was his brother Paul.

His most famous role as an actor was that of Oedipus in L’Oedipe, a French version by Jules Lacroix. He was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1889.

A little bit of scandal, his brother Paul was famous not only for his acting but for his affair with Sarah Bernhardt. Who’s picture you can see on the table in the room.

Mounet-Sully caricatures.

 
In the tower room is a gorgeous collection of white porcelain from Limoges which also belonged to Mounet-Sully.
 

The Bedroom of the Viscountess.

A Reconstruction of a lady’s bedroom in the 17th Century.

 

Next to the bedroom is a wonderful room filled with sketches of Ladies fashions from the Edwardian period. I particularly liked this sketch above, the costume looks so elegant and stylish.
 

We had a sneaky peek into this room which is being restored to its former glory.
 
 

Events:-

Saint-Pompon Night market open every Saturday until 18th August.

Celtic night in the village of Saint Andre d’Allas on 21st July.
 

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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.
 
 

New Gems for Sarlat.

I never get tied of taking a picture of the stunning architecture around Sarlat Medieval Quarter and this sunny morning was no exception. The square was beginning to come alive for the tourist season with huge parasols welcoming people to sit down, have a rest, drink coffee or delicious hot chocolate and take in the sights.

Medieval Quarter.
 

A sculptor has opened a shop to show his art so take a walk inside and look at the many exhibits, they are very good so you may be tempted to buy a few.
 

This shop is full of witches, trolls, dragons and of course ducks!
 

If you like olives this is the place. Yummy.
 

All the artisan cheese you could ever wish for, plus a good selection of wine. They even have truffle cheese which you can taste before you buy.
 

Walk down any street in old Sarlat and you will find interesting buildings dating back to ancient times. On the monumental portal, an inscription in Latin signifying: “May God watch you enter and exit”. (Psalm)
 

A new leather goods store selling all hand made items. I particularly like the handbags.
 
 

Events:

Put on your dancing shoes for this event in Sarlat.
 

Also, do you own a Château?

Do you own and run your own French Château? Or are you planning to buy one with renovation in mind? Kindling Media would like to talk to British Château owners about a potential series of Escape to the Château DIY, with Dick and Angel Stawbridge. Which will be filmed and shown on British television.
If you are interested please email info@kindlingmedia.tv with your contact details and write a few lines about your story.
 
 

All I need is a Château!

A Brocante in Daglan village always draws in the crowds from far and wide. Paul and I were there early in search of a bargain or two. We are still looking for a wardrobe for the guest bedroom and a chair for the veranda. But sadly we could not find what we were after. However, the following are just a few of my favourite things that I loved in this years Brocante.

Ne Pas Toucher. I just wanted to have one small touch.
 

Paul and a neighbour. “I love that painting, and the china dishes”.
 

Superb selection of just about everything was to be found over the weekend period.
 

Somehow I have a magnet that always draws me to the vintage linen stall.
 

Now these bed warmers would be handy for next Winter.
 

All I need now is a Château to go with the spinning wheels.
 

Think CSI Las Vagus and the miniature serial killer – or is it just me. Where is the miniature body? For anyone who did not see this series of CSI Las Vegas, a miniature model of the room that murder was in to be committed was cratered by the murder in such fine detail that it was an exact copy of the room were the body would be found.
 
 

Upcoming changes to the opening hours of our village 8 à Huit Supermarket. Summer is nearly here.
 
 

Gabarres at La Rogue-Gageac

It is dismal grey and pouring with rain outside so I thought that a little sunshine was needed to brighten up the day. If anyone is planning to holiday in the Perigord this Spring, Summer or early Autumn. One of the places that you need to visit is La Rogue-Gageac. What better way is there on a warm and sunny day than to travel down the Dordogne River on one of the gabarres which are moored at La Rogue-Gageac. Gabarres are traditional flat bottom boats which were used to transport merchandise down the river.

Just close your eyes and picture yourself relaxing down stream with a cool breeze in your face on a sunny day with blue sky’s above. To add to your enjoyment you can either listen to a commentary in French or use one of the supplied headsets programmed for your language. We opted for the headphones this time. The commentary is told in the form of one of the men working the gabarres in the 18C which is informative while being entertaining at the same time.

Inland water transport expanded rapidly in the 18C and to meet this demand boats were built with flat bottoms because the water level was so low in the Summer months. Traffic was so dense along the Dordogne River that by 1860 there were 571 gabarres.

You get a good view of the shops and restaurants as you pass by.

Quite a few of the gabarres on this part of the river were only one way, going down stream with their cargo and then dismantled on arrival at their destination and cut up for firewood. Thank goodness a few also came back up stream with the help of oxen, man power or both by pulling the boats against the current by rope.

Château de la Malartrie dates back to the 12th Century. It was once a hospital for lepers, then in the 19th Century the Count of Saint-Aulaire, Ambassador of France in England had the Château transformed into the renaissance style that it is today.

Just lazing around on the river. Kayaks and canoes are also available so you can see the river at your own pace.

The largest gabarres were made of oak with strengthening rails along the sides. They had three or four masts and were about twenty metres in length, they could carry about thirty tons of merchandise: coffee, sugar, and citrus fruit were favourite.
 
 

Event:- Sarlat Truffle Festival and market on the 20th and 21st of this month. Not only truffles are sold you can buy truffle macaroons and other delicious cakes, cookies etc. Plus there will be cooking demonstrations by the top Chefs from the Perigord.