Salon Du Chocolate in Sarlat.

Set in one of the most gorgeous buildings in Sarlat,  l’Ancien Evêché (on the left of the tourist office) is the weekend of chocolate, a dream come true for any chocoholic.

Close your eyes and pretend that you are walking up the stone staircase towards the salon full of delicious chocolate creations. If you can picture this you will begin to smell the aroma of chocolate which was gently being stirred in a large cauldron by a Master Chocolatier.

As with previous years the event was organised by the Rotary Club of Sarlat, this year it was for the benefit of the school of young fire fighters of Sarlat.

Salon of chocolate. Smaller displays of chocolate this year but still amazing and well worth a visit.

Wow, all made in chocolate. The apprentice shows their skill at the back and the Master’s is at the front.

A wonderful work of art created by the apprentice at Maison Massoulier.

Chocolate fish, rabbits and dogs.

In the next room are demonstrations, a film of chocolate making and my favourite, the children’s works of art depicting firefighters and chocolate.

I love the bars of chocolate coming out of the fire hose.


Event:- There is still time for a visit to the Chocolate Festival it is open until six today and on Sunday it is open from ten until six.



Our First Snow Upon A Crisp Morn.

Snowflakes are one of Natures most fragile things,
but look at what they can do when they stick together.

I get far too excited when I see snow fluttering down from the sky. A remembered childhood vision of deep snow crunching underfoot, building snow men and throwing snow balls always springs to mind, the joys of snow.

Not how dangerous it can be underfoot when it is frozen or driving in a vehicle so let us stay with the positive side of our first and I hope, not our last snow this winter.

Sarlat looking gorgeous with a dusting of snow.

Minus three centigrade yesterday when this picture was taken.

Minus six this morning.

Looking down the hill towards the Restaurant de Rapier and and the Cathedral.

Also there was a light sprinkling of icing sugar on the roof tops in Daglan on an extremely cold morning.

More snow pictures to follow, I hope.

Take care and stay warm.

What a Wonderful Surprise!

Maison Massoulier, Master Chocolater and Patisserie presented Paul and I with a surprise box of their gorgeous chocolates while we were having breakfast there last Thursday morning. The present was for featuring their shop and most importantly showing their large selection of delicious chocolates, patisserie, gateaus, etc. in our blog.

This very yummy shop can be found at 33 Rue de la République in Sarlat.

Thank you so much.

Look away now if you are on a diet.

This was our breakfast treat. Paul adores his pain au raisin with a café noisette, my croissant almond and café crème was equally delighfull.

My goodness, so delicious. Being a chocolate person the gateau at the front centre would be my choice.

Here are some of the new creations of petite gateau which were displayed in the window.

Again thank you so much, the chocolates are delicious.

Event- Sarlat Organic Night Market from five o’clock this Thursday 8th February.

Lascaux IV

All these animals that seems to be leaping out of the walls, full of life, it was indescribable. Simon Coencas one of the finders in 1940.

We have visited Lascaux II three times so it was a real treat to find out that a coach trip from Daglan would be visiting the new Lascaux IV. It would be organised by La Municipalite et le Club de I’Amitie and would be taking place on the 27th January. I think that we can speak for all of the people who attended on the two coaches, it was a brilliant excursion.

Unearthed in the middle of a World War 2 by four teenagers, Lascaux almost disappeared, a victim of its immense popularity. Now protected by the State the cave can again be viewed as magnificent replicas.

The building nestles at the foot of the hill of Lascaux like an incision into the landscape. A little like a rock shelter in the Vezere Valley in the epoch of the Upper Palaeolithic. Created by an Norwegian Architect Kjetil Traedal Thorsen co-founder and co-director of the Snohetta Office.

Lascaux IV.

The result: there are no apparent pillars on the transparent facade. An 8,600 square metre landscape building blending into the hill; 150 metres long and only 8 meters high, it fits snugly into the topography.

At the start of the tour we were given a tablet with head phones so that we could listen to commentary of the very knowledgeable tour guide and to extra information in your own language. The tablet can also be used to access more detail such as 3D maps of the cave system and includes a built in camera which I think is a brilliant idea.

At first we were taken to the top of the building where we could walk and admire the view of the valley on one side and the forest on the other. Then we were taken via a small tunnel to the ‘path of discovery room’, so that each visitor is drawn into the heart of a prehistoric forest displayed on a large screen, using sound environments and 3D visuals. It ends of course with the finders of the cave the four boys and Robot the dog.

Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Simon Coencas and Georges Agriel who found the cave in 1940.

At first they did not see the paintings. They walked past the enormous bulls painted onto the vault over head so it was not until they had reached the Axial gallery that the boys discovered by the light of a torch a procession of red cows, deer and black and yellow horses painted onto a background of white calcite.

The pigments used were yellow, brown and red ochres, iron and manganese, that the artists gathered from the environment before mixing them into a palette of about twenty colours which are unique to the Prehistoric Period.

One of the Aurochs or Giant Bulls, which is one of our favourites due to the vivid colours and the detail in the painting.

Visitors pass through the Hall of Bulls and then the Axial Gallery, before going into the Nave to discover the paintings that have not been reproduced in Lascaux II. A total of 1,963 paintings approximately 20,000 years old were completed by the original Master Artists of the Southern Period of the Palaeolithic Era.

Workshops consist of interactive tablets and panels of the reproduced cave paintings which are a brilliant way to study the workmanship of the artists who produced these magnificent paintings. The artists used 3D scanners with laser technology to compile and process the information to from a 3 dimensional digital reconstruction of the rock.

There is also a 130 seater cinema with two screens front and ceiling. Plus a large souvenir shop selling everything from books, T-shirts, cups etc. to whiskey.

From the Axial Gallery a red cow with a black head. Which looks similar to Egyptian Art, showing a side view with all of the details.

“What these people achieved twenty thousand years ago, with the limited means that they had and under those conditions, is incredible”. Francis Ringenbach.

Falling horses. Their knowledge of using the rock to the ultimate effect. In the cave it looks like the horse is falling into a pit or hole.

The total budget: 57 million euros to create Lascaux IV, with 33 million euros provided by the Department and French State. They receive up to 4000 visitors per day during the Summer months.

Write it into your to do list when you visit the Perigord. It is well worth a visit or two.

Everything Truffle.

I wish that I could have a fragrance blog and then you would be able to experience the gorgeous aroma of the Truffle Festival as we walked from stall to stall in Sarlat last weekend. For anyone who has not had the experience it is a heady, earthy, dusty strong smell that permeates your scenes and it is so delicious.

Truffle sellers proudly sell their wears to the buyers. You not only buy a truffle but you get their history too.

From €800 to €950 per kilo depending on quality the truffles were selling at anything from ten to five hundred euros each.

There were stalls selling a wide variety of foods and snacks made with truffle such as pate, sausages, gourmand cakes, chocolate, macarons, desserts, cheeses, wine and oil. They also had related items such as books on how to find truffles or you could even buy your own oak tree.

I can not describe how delicious truffle macarons are, just amazing will have to do. Plus we have a truffle which is slightly bigger than last year, it is dessert spoon size. It is at this moment sitting in a dish of eggs in our pantry so that the taste permeates the egg shells for a delicious omelette which may be served with thinly sliced truffle on top. The truffle will then be placed into a jar of rice for a few days for truffle flavoured risotto or paella. Then the truffle will be cooked with a chicken at the weekend, or sliced on top of tagliatelle in a cream sauce. Superb.