An English Themed Sarlat. Part One

On a very cold morning Paul and I decided to visit the Sarlat Village de Noël, well to be honest it was my idea, I just could not wait to see the forty chalets brimming with Christmas delights.

Arts and crafts from all over France descend on Sarlat this time of year selling everything that a person would need for the Christmas season. Lovers of gastronomy are not forgotten with gourmet products to eat on the spot or to take away.

If you would like something warming there are a few taverns selling hot mulled wine and chestnuts. Plus artisan beer, macaroons, and candies. There is also a large open air skating rink and numerous entertainments for the children.
 

Entrance to the Village de Noël.
 

A London black cab and on the right is Santa’s Grotto and elf workshop.
 

Union Flags are everywhere as you walk along the red carpet.
 

Pretzels or candy anyone?
 

Me outside Buckingham Place.
 

One way to attract the attention of British visitors to their lovely honey chalet.
 

Getting ready for the ice skaters.

Sarlat Village de Noël is open until the end of December.

Part Two will be in a few days time which will focus onto the main street and the Medieval Quarter of Sarlat.
 
 

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Forgotten Vegetables

Shorter days and chilly nights call for soups made from root vegetables. While there has been a growing move towards seasonal vegetables in England, the French markets and supermarkets have been much better at presenting their customers with seasonal foods.

As the leaves begin to fall from the trees we have noticed some strangely shaped and oddly coloured vegetables appear on our local market stalls.

To me, some of these root vegetables look like a new variety but no, they have been cultivated for centuries when seasonality was imposed onto people rather than offered as a choice. Then they were forgotten when the move for more exotic vegetables and all year round availability became the norm. As always the French have a wonderful name for these vegetables, légumes oubliés (forgotten vegetables).

At first sight Paul and I were unsure if the purple, sometimes black carrot and the yellow carrots were actually carrots. So we bought some to try from a organic produce seller in St Cyprian market and decided they were delicious.

The purple and yellow carrots taste more peppery, than their classic counterparts, peel them roast them, place them into casseroles or soups the flavour is outstanding.

All ready to make a hearty soup so here is the recipe.
 

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

Serves about four people

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 medium size carrots, cut and diced
4 sticks celery, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 potato, diced
small turnip cut into small chunks
50g mushrooms
125g dried green lentils
1 litre of vegetable stock

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and cook gently for about five minutes.
Then add all of the other vegetables, stir for about five minutes. Add the lentils, stock and bring to the boil and then simmer for about one and a half hours until the lentils are tender.

Serve as it is with chunks of fresh bread or you could grate a strong cheese over the top, either way delicious.

It freezes well too.

A hearty soup for a Autumn or Winters day.
 
 

Local News- Maison Carré Patisserie at Castlenaud will be closed from the 23rd October to the 5th November.

 
 

What could be better than hot chocolate for breakfast?

Hot chocolate and pain au raisin of course.

We often have breakfast at Pâtisserie Massoulier on our morning visits to Sarlat. It was so cold and foggy last Saturday that a hot chocolate drink was especially needed to warm us up a little, it was such a welcome treat before we set off to slowly roam around in the market.

Totally delicious.
 

We usually see Glinglin directing traffic around Sarlat centre.
 

Today however, he was directing people around the market with a traffic cone loud speaker. He is such a joy to see and so funny.
 

The covers were up on the market stalls to protect against the Autumn chill of the morning. Which thankfully did not last too long before the sun came out and reached a temperature of 22C.
 

I can never resist taking a picture of “Le Badaud” the relaxed onlooker gazing out across Sarlat Medieval Quarter. The sculpture by Gérard Auliac and can be seen looking out over the Place de la  Liberté.
 

Installation of Julien Lombardi at Sainte-Marie Fountain.
Paul saw an animal painting on the back wall but I saw a landscape scene! Whatever it is the light really helped to illuminate the painting.

Carried out within the framework of the Residences of Art, Sarlat – October 2017
This installation is based on an exploration scene of the Cuze underground canals passing under Sarlat.

JULIAN LOMBARDI
The Imaginary Museum
October 7 to November 19,2017
Hotel Plamon – rue des Consuls and Fontaine Sainte-Marie
SARLAT LA CANEDAEDA
Free entrance from Monday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm
Information
and group reservations
Heritage Service – City of Sarlat
05 53 29 82 98 / 05 53 29 86 68

 
 

Investigating the narrow streets of Perigueux

As a tip, always head for the medieval quarter of Perigueux on route to the Cathedral of Saint-Front which acts as a striking focal point as you ramble through the narrow lanes; it has a very curious power of popping out at you whenever you think that you are lost. This happened to Paul and I a few weeks ago when we visited the former department capital. However, we did find a few very interesting small boutique shops.
 

A violin shop, the owner makes each instrument by hand, how amazing is that?

I am unsure if these are gnomes or trolls, but never mind they are very cute in the violin shop window.
 

The architecture is stunning in this area which is full of very tempting boutiques, filled with luxury foods, wine, chocolates, cafes and restaurants. Not forgetting the clothes shops of course. However, what we wanted to see was the Renascence architecture which can be found in any of small squares or narrow lanes.

Absolutely gorgeous entrance to the Maison Tenant.
 

Brief accounts of the history of many of the historical buildings in the city are to be found on plaques fixed at the front or side of the property. The above says, this dwelling consists of two habitable units, set at right angles to each other, with a turret at the second flour. Renaissance doorway with this inscription on the lintel: “Remember we all have to die one day. He who enjoys speaking ill of those who are absent, let him know that this house is forbidden to him. The greatest glory comes from displeasing the wicked. This house, built in 1518 with the blessing of the Almighty”.

The tympanum is emblazoned, framed with pilasters with a shell decoration mounted above.

In 1850 the house belonged to a pâté maker named Franconi and in 1897 to Pascal Tenant a friend of Catoire. (A Russian composer of French decent, have a listen to some of his music here, it is brilliant.)
 

Wednesday is market day, held near the Cathedral of Saint-Front. Paul and I had a treat of crêpes with Nutella sitting at an outside table enjoying the sunshine.
 

This stall was overflowing with different breads and cakes of the region.
 
 

Event:-24th September, Vintage car and motorcycles dating from pre 1980’s to be found in Marche Aux Noix Square Sarlat from 10:00 to 12:30.

 
 

Would Paella fit through the letter box?

Food glorious food, or rather “Promenade en Gastronomy Daglan 2017”. Our first impression of the event was the unmistakable aroma of roasting chicken and paella which permeated our home last Sunday morning. Our cat Angel sitting by the front door and licking her lips was also a sure sign that the Gastronomy Sunday was up and running.

The Paella and roast chicken stall made using our front door interesting to say the least and keeping the shutters closed reduced the temptation for our cats to go on secret raids. I had visions of Angel dragging a whole roast chicken home.

The side door was also temporarily blocked by a large white van being unloaded. No problem we waited for the lane to clear to enjoy the experience.

For Sunday lunch we could have lowered a basket from the balcony.

 
Le Place De La Liberté was packed with stalls offering various types of food and drink.

 
Long queues of locals and tourists were forming to buy the produce.

 
Tempted by truffles, these looked so good.

 
The forest materialised the day before for the truffle dog demonstration. Such a gorgeous dog who found the truffles in record time, but I think that the aroma of chicken, sausage and paella was a great distraction.

 
The Boulangerie stall selling various types of bread.

 
One simply cannot have a Gourmand Sunday without garlic.

 
Or wine, this is just one of the many stalls selling wine.

 
Perhaps a little too much wine (or beer), but it looked like great fun.

 
 
Events :-

Dominique ALLAËRT is displaying his wonderful watercolours.
See and buy them at l’Ancien Presbytère, Daglan until the 26th August.
Dominique ALLAËRT, Aquarelliste.