Hidden and not so Hidden Gems of St Cyprian

Arriving at St Cyprien you are first greeted, by the commercial area with Carrefour Supermarket which has a very handy chemist, plus other stores including a DIY and a household electrical stores which we have found very useful. Head up to the town and you reach the main street the Rue Gambetta.

Along this charming road there are many restaurants and bars, a good fresh fish shop and a number of boutiques, there is also an excellent shop selling beautiful cabinets and stone hand basins for the bathroom. If you are looking for a coffee, a meal or simply a stroll taking in the French atmosphere, this is the street to head for. The tourist information office is on this street and they can give you a very useful map for exploring the old town.

Our not so Hidden Gem. If you use the Credit Agricole bank in St Cyprian you will have noticed across the road from the bank a very interesting Roman style sunken garden which is I am afraid to say is somewhat neglected now but you can imagine how wonderful it once was.

It looks gorgeous even now.
 

A market is held every Sunday morning throughout the year and Wednesday mornings in the summer season.

The array and variety of fresh produce is outstanding.
 

Every basket you could possibly want is on display
 
Our Hidden Gem. A weekend Brocante is held each April and is hidden away at the back of the Sunday market in and around the Salle des Fetes.

Does anyone remember these dress makers models? My mother used to have one like the model to the back, right. Very awkward to use, she had to take it apart and rebuild every time she needed another size. With my help due to the fact that it was always very difficult to attach the pins.
 

Our purchases from the Brocante. Blue and gold leaf coffee cup
 

Plus a red and gold leaf tea cup and saucer
 
 
Event:- Cenac this Sunday, 30th April for the Flower Festival
 
 

Mortisha

Before we moved to France we sorted through a lot of items, some that would fit well in the French property and much that would not. Sometimes difficult decisions were made about what to keep and what to dispose of. One of which was the old wrought iron candelabra, I thought no, it should be left behind, Paul wanted to take it for personal reasons. Yes it was and I am so glad that we did.

It was not until I started to renovate the candelabra that I began to remember where it came from so many years ago. It was a gift from my father in law who died seventeen years ago. So while I worked fond memories of him came flooding back. Recalling our first meeting when he welcomed me as ‘Mortisha, from the Adams family. Well I was dressed in a long black dress with hair flowing past my waist and wearing a large black floppy hat. In my defence I was only seventeen at the time and it was in the late 1960’s.

Fond memories Fond memories of a man who is still missed today.
 

Cheers DadI think that he would have loved sitting on the veranda by candle light sipping a drink or two. Cheers Dad.
 

Now that the warmer days are here, flowers are starting to develop and open in our courtyard.
apple blossomMagnificent is the apple blossom on our new tree which looks and smells gorgeous.
 

I just had to take pictures of our babies relaxing in the spring warmth.
relaxing in the shadeCleo on the veranda steps dappled by the sun.
 

This is the life...Angel, or as she has affectionately come to be know Groucho Marks, she was not in a good mood that day.
 
 

Vide-greniers and Brocantes:-

Sarlat 27th May.
Daglan 3rd and 4th June.
Castelnaud-la-Chapelle 13th July.
Saint-Cyprian 26th and 27th August.
La Roque-Gageac 3rd of September.

 
 

Our New Find.

Last Sunday our friend Judith took us to a Brocante near the village of Catus which is about thirty minutes drive from Daglan. Somewhat off the beaten track but my goodness what a find, there is a large building full to the brim with antiques, furniture, books, paintings etc., plus smaller out buildings and every available outdoor space covered with furniture, china, garden ornaments etc.

Judith took Paul and I into the main building first, ‘wow’ does not come close, there is such a lot of furniture, if you were hunting for that ‘something special’ there so much to look through. Paul and I will certainly need to go back and hunt for other pieces.

I told Judith that I was looking for a chair for the spare bedroom so she took us to a room packed with chairs from wall to wall, floor to ceiling, all piled higgledy-piggledy onto each other. A couple caught my eye but the above chair had the edge, luckily it was near the front but still buried under a few other chairs.

After a few contortionist style wiggle moves by Paul the chair was pulled out. It was dirty but in good condition.

This is the ‘before’ picture. Before dusting and extensive cleaning with soapy water and lots of cotton buds. After which Paul rubbed on several coats of scratch cover to hide a few wear marks at the corners. After that had dried and was buffed I returned for the final polishing.
 

Looking good, I love the carving and warmth of old wood .
 

Our new – old chair now sports the latest of my embroidered cushions, depicting two women in conversation standing in a field of fantasy red flowers with yellow stems.

My last embroidered cushion for this year will be completed in a few weeks time. It shows a central piece of trumpet flowers with the greenery, like the above, alongside the central piece and the corners.
 
 

Event:- Sarlat Chocolate Festival, this Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th.
 
 

The last Crusade and the curious iron!

Part one of our trip to La Rogue-Gageac.

 

The Brocante at La Rogue-Gageac was wonderful and it was so large that it extended from the road to the water front, in one direction and from the cafes through to the end of the car park on its South side. Brimming with everything from Dinky cars, antique and not so antique furniture, paintings to linen and lace.

I love looking at the most curious items while searching for the particular pieces that I would like for our home.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1764This selection remaindered me of the scene in the film The Last Crusade, when Harrison Ford had to pick which chalice to drink from.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1761This desk took Paul and I back to the late 1950’s when we were at school learning while sitting at desks which were similar to the one above. I was lucky though I had fountain pens rather than the ink wells in this desk. You could also buy the class photographs from the 1930’s, 1940’s, plus end of term school reports.
 

La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fair, DSCN1765Believe it or not this stack of cushions are porcelain, they look so real. They were so interesting that I was tempted to ask the price but where would I put them?
 
La Rogue-Gageac Brocante, antique fairTemptation over with, I have always wanted a flat iron as a kind of homage to the women who had to use them, who I have great respect for. This particular one is fascinating due to the fact that it seemed to have belonged to the Gendarmerie which is cast into the iron along with the Gendarme emblem. After we had purchased the iron we were talking to another antique dealer who said that it was unusual and rare!

I do seem to find linen and lace from a long distance away, I know exactly where the various stalls are, (Paul calls it my linen magnet). One stall had displays of manufactured lace and hand made lace. Resistance was very futile, this particular hand made lace is from about the eighteen hundreds and absolutely gorgeous. There are two possibilities for the lace, either on a pillowcase or a white linen top – It is so special that I think it should be the top.
 

Event:- the last Brocante in our area will be held in St-Cyprien on the 24th and 25th September.
 


Brocante – flea Market

This particular Brocante was just outside Sarlat, it took us ages to find it but when we did it was well worth the effort. I love spending an hour or so looking around the stalls and talking with the stall holders who seem to know the history of every object they are selling.

I seem to have a radar for anything linen and lace, so that pillow cases, table clothes, clothes etc are a magnet to me. However, on this particular visit I was looking for bedroom furniture. Something that needed renovating would be great for me to work on.

Brocante I was unsure if the gentleman in the beret was displeased with me taking his picture, or with his friends playing!

chestI took this picture for our son, who would love this chest.

metal bath I can remember my Great grandmother having a metal bath just like this one; it brings back happy childhood memories of her.

ironThis iron was so heavy I had trouble picking it up. Saying that I do wish that I had bought the iron, it would of looked great beside the fireplace in the lounge or in the kitchen.

Sadly, there were no bedroom furniture for me to buy but on a positive note I will need to visit more Brocanties on our next visit, great.

Event

Tour de France starts on the 4th July to the 25th July. Following last years Grand Depart from Yorkshire, this year the famous cycle race heads to the City of Utrecht in the Netherlands for the opening stage. This marks the 21st Grand Depart outside of France and is also a record sixth time the race has begun in the Netherlands. The 102nd Tour de France will cover a total distance of 3,360km made up of 21 stages, with four new French stages; Livarot, La Pierre-St-Martin, Muret and Sevres-Grand Paris Seine Ouest.

For further information go to letour.com

Daglan Market + part two

Gastronome (food market) and vide grenier (empty attic) part two

The vide grenier (like a car boot or garage sale) was held on the same day as the gastronome, it was placed around the church and along the main road.

Browsing the stalls was interesting, we bought three paintings from here.

We bought three paintings from this stall

Browsing the vide grenier

Here they are, the large one on the left is my sons the two small ones are ours. The smallest of the three is of Marie Antoinette painted onto silk, gorgeous and is great for the period of the house.

Three paintings

The three paintings

Three leather purchases, two for our kindles and one notepad, all excellent buys. Adam calls my kindle folder, “the eye of Sauron”, from the Lord of the Rings.

Three leather purchases

Three leather purchases

Sarlat and the magic of mushrooms.

I thought that we would start our first blog on our return to Blackpool looking at Sarlat once more before our next blog which will cover “the first leaks” of the year, something nice before something that was unpleasant.

We always enjoy visiting Sarlat, a town where I half-expect to walk into a film crew making another version of The Musketeers. The set designers might need to alter a few shop fronts and remove the chairs from a few café terraces, but otherwise they would not have to change a thing. The town as been preserved as if in aspic since the 16th century, a glorious jumble of medieval houses and narrow alleyways, dark tunnels and grand Renaissance town houses, all built around a monastery and an abbey that dated back to Charlemagne’s time. Now the capital of the Perigord Noir and one of the most visited towns in France. We never tire of wandering its cobbled streets whether it is market day or not it is such a delight every time.

The sun was just breaking over these ancient buildings while we drank our cup of morning coffee.

early morning in Sarlat

early morning in Sarlat

I could not resist taking another photograph of a Patisserie

Patisserie

They all look so delicious.

Look at the size of these mushrooms, awesome. We thought that they were just for display purposes, but no, they were to buy.

mushrooms

What an omelette they would make!

If anyone is in the Perigord Noir check out the Brocantes this weekend at Daglan and St Pompon, they are always worth a visit.