June 2015 - France: Monday 15th
Let me assure you that we were up at a reasonable time. Time enough to make it to Sarlat la Caneda and the selection of wines available there at Leclerc. This is when we stock up with bottles for everyday drinking and a few slightly more luxurious offerings which might tempt us with a comparatively cheap price in their land of production. I like Rhone wines and we are far enough south here to see a decent selection on shelves. No good expecting them next week in the Loire, where the local vintages will dominate, so they must be bought now.
Coming back out to the car park I noticed something which must be concerning the populace and especially the tourist trade here. We have a fairly comprehensive holiday insurance but this sort of warning about potential attacks from the local archery club must be taken seriously!
We pushed on into the centre of Sarlat; a medieval and renaissance mash-up with lots of impressive architecture. The town is not too heaving at this time of year but is still very much prepared for visitors. If any foie gras or nut liqueurs are bought it will be done in quieter, cheaper places.
On to Beynac and its feudal castle. I'm refraining from using the French word for the sake of pet lovers everywhere... we know how much most chats hate eau. It's a winding road up to the top and makes great exercise for the keen walker... we brazenly tanked up in our vehicle to the closest car park! Lunch saw a reprise of that delicious quiche. Here's Mrs. Cheoff looking all sunshine and lightness. Things did deteriorate; I'd broken the baguette habit and bought a flute instead. I managed to get this pic before Mrs. C turned sullen when she failed to find the finger holes! :/
Le chateau (there, I said it) is perched very dramatically on a bend in the River Dordogne. With a bit of encouraging hand-holding we explored higher and higher up towers and on ramparts to get stunning views of the world below us.
We meandered like the Dordogne and stopped in Domme for an ice cream. We couldn't quite remember or identify the site of a lovely meal we had there with our two sons and my Mum - but that was twenty years ago! I do remember Jayson#1 ordering a slice of lightly pan-fried foie gras and finding it just too rich... I gratefully took over from him!
A fairly obligatory swim back at the ranch lulled us into the idea that we could replace a few of the calories lost with our evening meal. The barbecue was fired up. Lamb, its kidneys and a freshly made potato salad were among the stuff we washed down with a few glasses of Picpoul de Pinet left in the fridge by our generous hosts.
How great to be able to eat outside and enjoy warmth from not just the wine but also from the kind French evening climate. I never like to gloat for long - so let's finish this here and I'll try really hard to detach from smug mode before my next post... bonne nuit à tous.