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June 2015 - France: Saturday 13th

Bonjour! Our first night in France was as comfortable and peaceful as expected.

The reassuring clang of cathedral bells greeted us as we woke on our first morning in France. There is an interesting history of the 'Maison Ailleurs' house on the website. I spent a few minutes capturing shots of the magnificent stairway before breakfast. 

I shouldn't really call it breakfast. Petit déjeuner is a more poetic phrase but still doesn't describe the array of wonderful delicacies which were presented to us. The thought which Valérie had put into preparation and presentation created one of the most enjoyable starts to any day that I've experienced... a very special moment.

My command of French wasn't good enough to adequately thank our host for her talents and care. I'll spend some time with Google Translate and some online dictionaries and try to assemble something approaching adequate in a private email.
We said our sad 'au revoirs' (we will definitely be back) and made our way further south.
Late afternoon found us in Leclerc in Souillac. We headed for the champagne aisle and bought a couple of bottles of cheery bubbly.
Fifteen kilometres further down the road and we were back in Payrac with Jayne and Barry, thirteen months after staying with them for the first time.
In a lovely gesture of friendship (and as a small indication that I hadn't offended them as much as I'd feared last year) we were invited for dinner that night.
We had time to take our first dip in the pool where Barry was trying to adjust his seasonings... something about salt levels being too high!
Even without the accompanying four wines (hell, it might have been five!) we would have had a great evening. Peppers, tomatoes and anchovies for starters; spicy chicken with fragrant, fruity rice to follow; chestnut roulade or tiramisu to wind up food proceedings - and, of course, a fine old catch up on news and views. We judged the moment when verbal expression and comprehension were becoming things of the past due to exceeding the prescribed amount of alcohol and repaired to our beds for sound sleep.
Barry and Jayne are not too concerned about bookings so I'm not putting any of their contact details here. If they tell me otherwise, I'll revise this post and link to their website.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with a small section of the glorious garden which greets us each time we step outside.

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