Monday, 27 April 2009

Not a bad little venue....

Over the next couple of weeks, many of the local towns and larger villages host spring plant fairs and flower markets. I love them. For me, they seem to confirm that spring is really underway, frost is becoming a distant memory and that the summer lies ahead.

The last Sunday in April is the usual kick off date for the flower fair season, so yesterday we took a trip out to the really very beautiful Chateau at Neuvic which hosts a little plant fair in its grounds.

These local fairs are just perfect for me. There's generally something of everything, from rare perennials, cacti and succulents, pottery and woodwork through to massive displays of annuals and bedding plants, take your pick.

These little festivals of flowers are really very sociable affairs. The smaller village fetes particularly so. At 12 noon the only thoughts are that of lunch. Generally rows of trestle tables are laid, carafes of wine are placed out and service commences. All very convivial.

Over the coming weeks there will be pretty spring markets everywhere. My personal favourite is a two day event held around the grounds of the 12th century abbey in Cadouin, another of the French 'plus beaux villages'. All those beautiful stalls surrounding an impressive Romanesque church :- The Abbey at Cadouin is registered on UNESCO’s World Inheritance list under the heading of Compostelle Paths in France.

France has a wonderful market culture and the French are very, very good at it!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Wisteria Lane

Well sort of. Actually these are Wisteria photographs taken along a number of lanes.

OK, at this time of year I'm not going to be the first to blog about wisteria or indeed the last, but it just looks so fine growing against stone Perigourdine properties such as these.

This is the Hotel Cro-Magnon in Les Eyzies. It has a simply stunning facade, not only that, it is built into the rocks behind. I'm serious, some of the rooms are like caves. This is 21st century troglodyte living at its best.

This is the covered entrance to the tobacconist in Les Eyzies. Apart from being able to buy everything you need to smoke yourself to death, Le Tabac is where you go to pay parking fines and buy stamps. Interestingly enough, sometimes the local post office sells stamps.

Wisteria atop a drystone wall.

A house in a little village called St Cyprien which is only a few miles from me. I 'snatched' this pic as the owner was looking a little perplexed as he stared at me and frankly I felt a bit rude. Did he think I was casing the joint?

A little house on the lane that leads to Beynac, one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Finally, this was outside one of the many little bistros in another of the most beautiful villages in France, La Roque Gageac.