23 December 2009

J oY e U x N o ë l

* * * * *** ** J oY e U x N o ë l * * ********

We wish you a very happy Christmas and may all your dreams come true in 2010.


Nous vous souhaitons un joyeux Noël et nous espérons que tous vos rêves se réalisent en 2010.

Leeann & Trent

15 December 2009

Christmas/New Year 2009

{image from here}

We have been getting a few inquiries re eating out on Christmas and New Years Eve.

The Chateau in Eymet will be lit up by lasers for New Year's Eve and the council will be offering an aperitif to all reviellers.

La tour des vents in nearby Monbazillac have fabulous menus for both days, please visit their website for further details.

La cour d'eymet, the fabulous restaurant literally a minutes walk from Maison No. 20 will be open on both days but have yet to provide us with menu details.

Les pieds sur terre, the new and very chic restaurant situated on the Boulevard National will be open new years eve, menu details are as follows:

New Year's Eve Menu 45 euros per head
A selection of canapes
Jerusalem artichoke veloute with truffle oil croutons
Foie gras terrine with accompaniments
Crayfish tail cocktail with toasts and Marie Rose sauce
Fillet of beef "Wellington" winter vegetables, port gravy
Pan-fried tuna steak, cauliflower puree, winter greens, monbazillac wine and saffron sauce
Plate of assorted cheese
Plate of home-made mini desserts
Also a reminder re the Marche de Noel which will be taking place on Sunday throughout the day on the village square. Pere Nooel will be available for photos, should you require one.

Nous vous souhaitons de très joyeuses fêtes

Leeann & Trent

14 December 2009

Mulled wine

At this time of the year I adore the smell of Christmas.....the tree, scent of Christmas candles, freshly baked gingerbread biscuits and my favourite smell, mulled wine.

I thought that I would share our secret recipe with you.

1.1 litres/2 pints red wine
3 cinnamon sticks
6 star anise
6 cloves
3 oranges, sliced
3 lemons, sliced
150g/5oz brown sugar (you can use honey instead if you prefer)

1. Bring all of the ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan, then continue to simmer gently for 6-8 minutes, without boiling.
2. To serve, pour the mulled wine into six heatproof glasses.


Leeann & Trent

2 December 2009

Live music evenings In Eymet

‘Le Off’, is the 2009-2010 winter season of live music evenings in Eymet (24).

The box office opens at 7pm and doors open at 7.30pm. You can eat and there is a bar. Music starts from 8pm. Places are limited.

21st November 2009: Dois Da Bossa (percussion and guitar duo; bossa nova /samba) 10€ Restaurant Italien des Arcades - Eymet (24)

5th December 2009: Le Free Du Hazard Trio (new jazz) 10 €
Restaurant Italien des Arcades - Eymet (24)

19th December 2009: Robin NOTTE Quartet (jazz funk) 10 €
Restaurant Italien des Arcades - Eymet (24)

9th January 2010: Barbara LUNA Trio (world music) 10 €
Restaurant Italien des Arcades - Eymet (24)

23rd January 2010: Tribal Voix (vocals / percussion) 10 €
Restaurant Italien des Arcades - Eymet (24)

6th February 2010: Emile PARISIEN Qtet (jazz) 12 €
Restaurant Italien des Arcades - Eymet (24)

20th February 2010: Post Image (jazz fusion) 10 €
Salle des Fêtes - Eymet (24) rés

See www.maquizart.com for more details.

Christmas in France

{Bûche de Noël, image from here}

I thought that I would share some facts about Christmas in France......

Nearly every French home at Christmas time displays a Nativity scene or creche, which serves as the focus for the Christmas celebration. The creche is often peopled with little clay figures called santons or "little saints." An extensive tradition has evolved around these little figures which are made by craftsmen in the south of France throughout the year. In addition to the usual Holy Family, shepherds, and Magi, the craftsmen also produce figures in the form of local dignitaries and characters.

{Santons in Avignon}

The craftsmanship involved in creating the gaily colored santons is quite astounding and the molds have been passed from generation to generation since the seventeenth century. Throughout December the figures are sold at annual Christmas fairs in Marseille and Aix.

The Christmas tree has never been particularly popular in France, and though the use of the Yule log has faded, the French make a traditional Yule log-shaped cake called the Bûche de Noël, which means "Christmas Log." The cake, among other food in great abundance is served at the grand feast of the season, which is called le rveillon.

Le rveillon is a very late supper held after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. The menu for the meal varies according to regional culinary tradition. In Alsace, goose is the main course, in Burgundy it is turkey with chestnuts, and the Parisians feast upon oysters and pat de foie gras.

Here in SW France, the locals feast on foie gras, canard, oysters which is all washed down with a glass of local wine - we have many to choose from as the area is reknown for its wine.

French children receive gifts from Pere Noel who travels with his stern disciplinarian companion Pre Fouettard. Pre Fouettard reminds Pere Noel of just how each child has behaved during the past year.

In some parts of France Pere Noel brings small gifts on St. Nicholas Eve (December 6) and visits again on Christmas. In other places it is le petit Jesus who brings the gifts. Generally adults wait until New Year's Day to exchange gifts.

The count down has begun, only 23 days to go.....

L x

6 November 2009

Christmas Markets in France

{Christmas market stall, Strasbourg}

Christmas time in France is joyous event and celebrated in cities, towns and villages with sparkling decorations, festive food, concerts, festivals, parades and, perhaps most importantly of all, Christmas markets.

When it comes to Christmas, France is not as commercially driven as in other countries, with less emphasis being on big spending and more being on seasonal events. With hundreds of Christmas markets taking place throughout France between late November and early January most are found in the larger town or cities, with Paris, Lille, Strasbourg and Avignon being the principle ones.

Traditionally, housewives in France would spend the weeks leading up to Christmas preparing the festive food and Christmas markets developed to supply them with the ingredients and products they needed. The first Christmas market to emerge in France was Strasbourg, in 1570. Here is our selection of top French Christmas markets to visit this winter.


Alsace is home to over 35 Christmas market with the most spectacular "Christkindelsmärik" taking place in Strasbourg outside its landmark gothic cathedral. The stalls sell Bredele (festive Alsatian biscuits), other local produce, Christmas decorations and local crafts. The market has not only an Alsatian influence, but Germanic too; this makes it a very special place to visit at Christmas time. Marked by the scents of gingerbread, sweets, roasted chestnuts, cinnamon and mulled wine, the market is very atmospheric. Taking place from 28th November to 30th December.


The capital city has several Christmas markets in the lead up to Christmas. The main ones are Les Halles and La Defense, but spectacular markets also take place at Montparnasse, Place St-Sulpice and Noisy le Grand.

Les Halles: This famous Christmas market is set amongst the twinkling Christmas lights and decorations of Paris city centre. It is a traditional Christmas market, which attracts visitors from all over France who take the opportunity to do their Christmas shopping here.

La Defense: 25th November until 27th December. The Christmas market stalls at La Defense sell everything from crepes to roasted chestnuts, wood carvings to glass ornaments. There is live musical entertainment and even a large ice rink to delight children and entice visitors to take to the ice.


Lille is the first Christmas market to open each year, and the town transforms into a winter wonderland. On Place Rihour more than 80 chalets sell gifts, nativity figurines, Christmas decorations and festive food. You can find regional specialities as well as arts and crafts from Russia, Poland and Québec. On the Grand Place a 50 metre high big wheel stands majestically to offer visitors splendid views across the city.
Taking place from November 18th to 30th December.


The Christmas market in Avignon takes place on the Place de l’horloge, in the heart of the city. Over 60 chalets sell gifts, decorations and food to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Father Christmas has his own house with santons (traditional animated figures). Entertainment and parades take place throughout the Christmas period to accompany the market and the town is adorned in twinkling lights and dazzling decorations. Open everyday from 26th November to 2nd January.


Under the illuminated trees of Les Allées de Tourny square, in the city centre, Bordeaux Christmas market takes place with a vast array of log cabins. Free sleigh rides and a visit to Father Christmas are just some of the events the children can look forward to. With the sound of Christmas carols and laughing children, Bordeaux city centre becomes a magical fairy tale. Open from the 26th November to the 30th December. Note Bordeaux is an 1 1/2 hours drive from Maison No.20.


The Christmas market is held in December in the very heart of Toulouse at the famous Place du Capitole. Chalets will provide visitors young and old with a feast for the eyes and taste-buds. Father Christmas can be found among the chalets, handing out sweets and other treats to children – the lucky ones will even get a chance to have their photo taken with him. Visitors can also admire a traditional Provençal nativity scene, marvel at the fairylike decorations in the Henri IV courtyard and take a stroll through the streets of Toulouse under the Christmas lights. The market is open from the 17th to the 20th December. Note Toulouse is a 2 hour drive from Maison No. 20.


The medieval hilltop town of Laon, which was the ancient capital of France between 7th to 11th centuries, is a magical setting for its Christmas market which takes place each year outside the Notre Dame cathedral. Its annual Christmas market includes a winter braderie with 40 different stalls offering food, drink, local delicacies and arts and crafts. For children the fun at the Laon Christmas Market includes a merry-go-round, a sledge set up in the cathedral square and a Father Christmas. The Laon Christmas market is taking place on various dates, including 6th December, 7th December and the 10th – 12th December. Further information


The Christmas market of Mulhouse takes place in the heart of the city on the Place de la Réunion. This main market, together with smaller offshoots in surrounding squares and museums, offers a wide range of high quality products and gastronomic delights. The Mulhouse Christmas market is also unique in the fact that every year, the Land of Carols and Fabrics designs a Christmas fabric inspired by the collections kept at the Museum of Printing Fabrics. The fabric dresses the City Hall and façades of the Place de la Réunion, the pedestrian streets and chalets on the Christmas market. Taking place from the 24th November to the 27th December.


From November 29th to December 24th, Montbéliard is illuminated by thousands of lights which provide the perfect backdrop to its Christmas market. Nestled near St Martin Church, the oldest protestant church in France (1601), about a hundred craftsmen offer gifts, flavours and scents. The town comes alive as musicians and artists perform on the streets. The wooden chalets are crammed with tasty produce and lovely craft products. Christmas decorations, figurines, wooden toys, candles, fine lace, jewels, soft fabrics and much more are available to purchase at the market.

3 November 2009

Marché de Noël/Christmas market

This is a Christmas Market not to be missed.....

12 & 13 December 2009
10h - 18h at the fabulous Château

20 October 2009

Some french wine facts....

{image from here}
French wine facts

· The French consume 60 litres of wine per person a year which is more than any other country in the world.

· France produces more wine than any other country (550 million cases produced per annum which is five times more than Australia at 110 million cases pa).

· A third of all French wine produced is exported.

· France has 10 principal wine producing regions and has its own identity including grape types. Appelation controlée laws guarantee a wine's origins and style.

15 October 2009

More events October - December 2009

{Image from here}

Italian Dinner - Saturday, October 10th
Dancing dinner animated by Americo and organised bythe twinning commitee "Tours e Castelli". Tariff: 20€. Reservation before October, 5th. Information: Maïté Gemme,

Grape harvest hiking - Sunday, October 11th
Grape harvest hiking in St Julien d'Eymet.
Departure at 4pm from St Julien market. 2 hours walk followed by a visit of the chai and tasting in the Clos le Joncal.
Dinner in the salle des fêtes of St Julien, 11€.Information: Tourist Office,

Choral "Chantemonde" - Sunday, October 18th
The Choral "Chantemonde" of Villamblard will suggest a musical discovery evening from 4pm.
1st part: Homage to Joseph Haydn for the bicentenary of his death
2nd part: "World songs" program in original languages
Tariffs: 7€(before the concert) in the Tourist Office ( and the Library (0553.22.55.48), 10€ on the site, free for less than 15.
Further information:

Concert of Caroline Jomphe - Wednesday, November 25th
Salle des fêtes d'Eymet. Concert of the singer Quebecoise Caroline Jomphe. as part of a cultural exchanges of our committee Eymet / north-Hatley.

"De Bric et de Broc" - Saturday, December 5th
The Ademir association and the Municipal commission will suggest "de Bric et de Broc", sale in aid of Téléthon.
You can help bringing varied objects (knick-knacks, books, dishes, toys, plants...)
Salle des Marguerites: on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm.
Salle du château d'Eymet: on Thursdays from 9am to 11:30am and from 5pm to 6:30pm.

Christmas market - Sunday, December 20th
All the day, Place de la Bastide.Informations :

6 October 2009

Christmas markets

A date for your diary..........

Sat 21st November 2009 Marche de Noel Monteton 10-4 pm

Christmas Shopping at its Best........
High quality handmade crafts ,books, cards etc. Food Hall will be well stocked with local Christmas goodies and wine.

Feast on Turkey sandwiches, mince pies and cakes washed down with a glass of local wine.
Bring the children to meet Father Christmas and receive a little gift.

FREE raffle ticket on entry.

Details of other christmas markets/events will be published here shortly.

17 September 2009

Christmas 2009 at Maison No. 20

As Christmas is only a few months away, I thought that I would let you know that Maison No. 20 will be open over the Christmas/New Year period.

This year we are especially looking to Christmas as it will be our first Christmas in Eymet, so you can rest assured that you will have a fabulous time and the house will be looking extra special in all her Christmas finery.

From mid October "la boutique" will be open on the ground floor of Maison No. 20. Here you will find anything that is french and fabulous together with local items perfect for christmas gifts.

For further information, please contact leeann on stay@maison20.com

Take a fabulous chateau and some grapes..

The very fabulous Chateau de Monbazillac

.....and what do you get? A fabulous place to visit that makes some of the best sweet wines in France. Or as it is called in Australia " sticky wine". The locals tend to pair it with foie gras and the end result is magic, one of my favourite meals.

The Chateau is called Chateau de Monbazillac and she sits high on the hill overlooking the fabulous vineyards of Monbazillac.

It is about a 15 minute drive from
Maison No. 20 and we adore going there for picnics and also to buy wine as they have a fabulous wine centre where you can taste and purchase wine and the prices are very reasonable.

Another reason for going is the fabulous michelin starrred restaurant La Tour des Vents which sits high on a hill surrounded by vineyards and has an amazing panoramic view over the Dordogne Valley.
The views are spectacular and Marie Rougier (fabulous french woman chef) has a reputation for creating some of the best food in France with an emphasis on fresh local produce.

Enough about food, lets get back to the wine. As promised I am going to share some of the photos that Kees Terberg took of the Monbazillac vineyards, over the course of a year.





The final product

If you liked the photos, please click here to see many more beautiful photos, reflecting a year in the life of a vineyard.


L x

30 August 2009

October 2009 Events

Photo: Kees Terberg

Autumn is my favourite time of the year in SW France as the colours remind me of the fall in the US. It is an important time of the year as the grape harvest takes place this month and is a fabulous sight to behold.

There are many events taking place to commemorate the harvest and another favourite event is the pumpkin festival in Issigeac at the end of the month.

Some events taking place in October 2009:

Fri 2nd Oct Fête des Vendanges Sigoules

Sat 10th Oct Festival Grain d’Automne : Musique du Monde Cunèges, à l’église, à 20h30

Sun 11th Oct Semi-Marathon de Cyrano -Bergerac USB Athlétisme

Sun 11th Oct Morning Prayer Monteton 1030

Mon 12th Oct Vide Grenier Monempron Libos

Fri 23rd Oct Fête de la Bière avec l’orchestre Bavarois Bergerac
Le Music Hall à 20h30
Réservations : 05 53 22 58 11 ou 05 53 73 95 38 ou 06 08 49 60 47

Sun 25th Oct Foire aux Potirons Issigeac
Expo-vente de cucurbitacées, concours du plus gros potiron et des plus belles créations, ventes de soupe et de millas. Organisée par le Comice Agricole :

Sat 31st Oct Soirée spéciale Music Hall Cabaret
le "Music Hall" de Bergerac
Revue à grand spectacle "Cosmopolitan Company" et soirée dansante.
Dîner spectacle 49 euros.
Cocktail spectacle 20 euros.
Réservations : 05 53 22 58 11 ou 05 53 73 95 38 ou 06 08 49 60 47

13 August 2009

Jet2.com offer Leeds Bradford to Bergerac link

A new service between Leeds Bradford and Bergerac airports is to be operated by Jet2.com next summer.

Flights will depart every Saturday from May 17, 2010, with an additional Tuesday service available between June 28 and September 12.

One-way tickets start from £29.99 inclusive of fees and charges, and are on sale now.

Jet2.com offers a number of routes between the UK and France, operating flights to:

Avignon from Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford
Chambery from Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle
Paris from Leeds Bradford
Nice from Leeds Bradford and Manchester
La Rochelle from Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford
Toulouse from Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford

Flight times
Leeds Bradford to Bergerac
Saturday, departs 8am, arrives 11am
Tuesday, departs 11.30am, arrives 2.30pm

Bergerac to Leeds Bradford
Saturday, departs 11.30am, arrives 12.30pm
Tuesday, departs 3pm, arrives 4pm

3 August 2009

Pizza and horse riding....

Photo: Cheval24

As most guests that have stayed with us before at Maison de Poitiers and more recently at Maison No. 20 know, there are many nice restaurants in the village of Eymet.

There is even an Indian Restaurant, "The Eymet Tandoori" and a few kms from Eymet, our favourite restaurant Ma Maison, who have the most gorgeous courtyard not to mention the best foie gras in the area.

After 2 years of almost living on foie gras, I consider myself to be a bit of an expert and I think that Didier's is the best that I have tasted!

I must admit that we have been pretty busy this last month or so but that is no excuse for not seeing the new pizzeria that opened a little over a week ago.

So we decided after an apéritif with friends that we should "test it" just to ensure that it was okay before we send our lovely guests there.

The pizza's were very tasty, with the base being not too thin but not too fat and the toppings were generous.

The restaurant is called Le Pepistril and it is open every day apart from Monday.

Where does the horse riding part come into the equation, you may well ask? Well whilst we were waiting for our pizzas I picked up a brochure on horse riding, cheval24.

So for those of you who like pizza and horse riding or either of the two, you know where to come and stay :-)

A bientot,


28 July 2009

Maison No. 20 - 2 bedroom apartment finished

Photo: Maison No. 20 Living Area

As a lot of you know, we have been very busy working on our latest venture in Eymet; Maison No. 20.
Apartment No. 1 was completed early this year but as Apartment No. 2 is a lot bigger it took a lot longer than Apartment No. 1 to complete.

The apartment has been designed in such a way that it can be rented as an entire apartment, perfect for families or two couples that are holidaying together or purely on a bed and breakfast (B&B) basis.

Photo: Maison No. 20 Entrance area

It comes complete with self contained kitchen, flat screen TV, DVD player, infact everything that you need is provided right down to the french cane shopping bag so that you can shop like a local.

Photo: Maison No. 20 Dining area

The furniture used in the apartment is a mixture of modern and antique pieces and has been sourced from around the world with many pieces being sourced from local brocantes and vide-greniers.

Photo: Maison No. 20 Chambre 1

The first bedroom can either be configured for two single beds or 1 large super king bed (180 x 200 cms).

Photo: Maison No. 20 Chambre 1

The building consists of two houses that have been merged which means that the bedrooms are some distance from one another hence privacy is assured.

Chambre 2 also contains a super king sized bed which was hand made to the owners requirements and has matching bedside cabinets.

There is also a lovely antique single bed perfect for a small child or alternatively for lounging on.

Photo: Maison No. 20 Chambre 2

In September 2009 there will be a small shop opening for guests use only which will stock local products and french gift items (new & antique).

In Spring 2010, the 3rd and final apartment is scheduled to open and will be perfect for guests that have limited mobility or simply prefer to be on the ground floor.

More information will be posted in due course about the shop and 3rd apartment.



24 July 2009

Dordogne Activities

The perfect day out - Chateau Margaux near Bordeaux

We have produced an insiders guide to Eymet, a one page guide to what we think are some of the key things to see and do during your stay with us at Maison No. 20. This can be found in the "Things to do" folder in the living area.

Today I found this list of things to do on the mrandmrssmith website and thought that you would be interested in reading about some of the activities that they recommend.

Dordogne Activities
Highlights the best Dordogne has to offer, from art and culture to fun-packed activities; we've even found the most inspiring place to enjoy the views from.

Worth getting out of bed for........

The village of La Roque-Gageac, near the charming mediaeval town of Sarlat, clings to the cliffs overlooking the Dordogne valley. The most striking view is from the ruins of the troglodyte fort at the top of a vertiginous ladder.

Arts and culture
The Dordogne is dotted with castles and châteaux. Two of the best are the Renaissance Château de Puyguilhem near the town of St-Jean-de-Côle and the very grand Château de Hautefort, with its wonderful gardens, northwest of Brive-la-Gaillarde.

Something for nothing
The suitably haughty statue of Cyrano de Bergerac takes pride of place in Bergerac’s Place Pélissière. The statue’s famously protruding nose is often stolen.

In Bergerac, Bille de Bois in Place du Docteur André Cayla is filled with old-fashioned wooden toys. There’s so much fabulous local wine to choose from; try the velvety Monbazillac, a sweet white wine often drunk to mark special occasions. There are markets in Bergerac on Wednesdays and Saturdays, Lalinde on Thursdays, Libourne on Fridays and Sarlat on Saturday. Bergerac’s fleamarket sells antiques and bric-à-brac on the first Sunday of the month.

Book two weeks in advance to visit the wine cellar of Château Margaux, north of Bordeaux. The neoclassical château produces some of the Médoc region’s finest wine. The cellars are closed in August and during the harvest (http://www.chateau-margaux.com/).

There is good canoeing on the Dordogne, between Argentat and Beynac. Copeyre in Souillac hires canoes and mountain bikes (www.copeyre.com). The Bergerac area is ideal for wine-tasting; contact www.vins-bergerac.fr for details. L’Essentiel, on Rue Guadet in St-Émilion, promotes ‘boutique’ producers and is stylish yet unstuffy (www.essentiel-vin.com). There’s a challenging nine-hole golf course at Château les Merles (http://www.lesmerles.com/).

An interesting list but we have a few secrets of our own up our sleeve, and I plan to share with you over the next coming weeks some of the things that we think are unique and make this area so special.

A bientot,

Leeann x

17 July 2009

September 2009 Key dates

Sat 5th Sept Rando en fête Monpazier, dès 14h30
Sat 5th Sept Marché Nocturne Monpazier, à partir de 19h

Sat 5th Sept Marche Gourmande ( Randonnée)Biron, à 18h

Sun 6th Sept Vide Grenier MonpazierRens : 05 53 22 68 59

Sat 12th and Sun 13th Sept Salon des Antiquaires Salle Anatole France, Bergerac

Sat 12th Sept Fête des Gabarriers et des VigneronsVieux Port, BergeracRestauration et animations sur les quais. L’après midi : joutes, chasse aux trésor, promenades en gabarre... ; en soirée : table des gabarriers avec animations musicales. Rens :

Sat 12th and 13th Sept Salon des Antiquaires BergeracSalle Anatole France,

Fri 18th and Sat 19th Sept Journées du Patrimoine - 500 ème Anniversaire du Pont Place Barbacane, Bergerac05.

Sat 19th Sept Discover archaeological sites and the Mégaliths Monpazier, 09:00-12:45 Départ à côté du Bistrot 2 à 9hTransport par voiture individuelle. Inscriptions 48h avant au 05 53 22 63 01
Sat 19th Sept Discover the Roman churches Monpazier, départ à côté du Bistrot 2 à 14h30Transport par voitures individuelles. Inscription 48h avant au 05 53 22 63 01
Journées européennes du Patrimoine Sat 19th et Sun 20th Sept EymetLe samedi 19 : découverte du patrimoine de Sadillac.Visite nocturne aux flambeaux musicale et contée. Participation gratuite, vente de torches et flambeaux : 2 €. Départ du bourg à 21h00.Le dimanche 20 : la bastide d'Eymet se dévoileConcours de peinture toute la journée dans les rues du centre historique.Visite guidée de la bastide. Départ 15h00 de l'Office de Tourisme.Informations : Office de Tourisme du Pays d'Eymet,

Sat 26th Sept Grass Track Champions of France Marmande

4 July 2009

August 2009 Events

Tuesday Night market Eymet

Every Thursday Night market Duras

Sat 1st and Sun 2nd Aug Festival Bastid'Art- street festival Miramont
Sat 1st Aug BODEGA-ASE EymetPlace Gambetta de 17h à 1h00.Entrée gratuite.Informations :
Sat 1st and Sun 2nd Aug Fete Votive Le Sauvetat

Sun 2nd Aug Vide Grenier Montignac de Lauzun
Sun 2nd Aug Vide Grenier Loubes Bernac
Eymet, Itinérance médiévale en Vallée du Dropt Fri 7th- Sun 9th Aug Medieval Festival

EymetDu vendredi 7 au dimanche 9 aoûtLe temps d'un week-end, Eymet se replonge au Moyen Age.Soirée cinéma, balade aux flambeaux en français et en anglais, marché médiéval, animations, grand banquet-spectacle le 09 août à 20h00 sur la place de la BastideInformations :

Sat 8th and Sun 9th Aug Duras Wine Fair - Chater wines will be there!
Sun 9th Aug Vide grenier Lauzun

Fri 14th Aug Night grass track MiramontSat 15th Aug Fête de l'huître et du vin blanc EymetToute la journée, Place de la Bastide.Informations :

Sat 15th Aug Foire a Tout Eymet- Vide grenier
Sat 15th Aug Fete du Rugby repas fireworks Miramont
Sat 15th Aug Vide Grenier Tonneins

Fri 21st Aug Marche Nocturne Miramont Fri 21st and Sat 22nd Aug L'Autre Festival FonroqueFestival pluridisciplinaire alliant musique, arts du cirque, arts visuels et jeux pour les enfants. Restauration et hébergement sur place.Le 21 de 19h00 à 3h00 (1 soirée 10€, les 2 à 15€)Le 22 de 15h00 à 4h00Camping Lou Tuquet, Fonroque.Informations :
Sat 22th DEJA VU, Classic Rock Band, music from the 60's to 80's with a couple of modern ones thrown in. Free concerts LE MAS D'AGENAIS:Under the market hall: Meal available at the bar 'Le Bateau Lavoir': Meals can be reserved on 06 73 84 15 93

Sun 23rd Aug- Domaine Chater Summer Fair -St Sernin de Duras from 11.00 am - 11.00 pm - Day time - Craft stalls, local produce stalls, entertainment. Evening - Hog Roast and entertainment. Food and drinks available all day long. Some of the funds raised will be going to charity.For more info click www.domainechater.com

Thurs 27th Aug Visite aux flambeaux Eymet Accompanied visit with music. Visit free. Torches 2 €. Leaving from l'Office de Tourisme à 21h30. Informations :

23 June 2009

July 2009 Events

Until Sat 13th July Exposition Le Pays des Bastides fête ses 10 ans EymetExposition Arial photographs of Bastide towns Informations :

Every Tuesday Night market Eymet

Every Thursday Night market Duras

Wed 1st July Marché nocturne Monteton

Thurs 2nd July Night cycling Miramont
Thurs 2nd July Visite aux flambeaux Eymet Accompanied visit with music. Visit free. Torches 2 €. Leaving from l'Office de Tourisme à 22h Informations :

Fri 3rd-Sunday 5th July Fête du village St Sernin de Duras
Fri 3rd-Sunday 5th July Fête du village, Vide grenier, Bodega Allemans

Sat 4th July Bodega Tonneins
Sat 4th and Sun 5th July July International grass track St Colomb de Lauzun

Thurs 9th,Fri 10th, Sat 11th & Sun 12th July Festival "Afro-Latines" 2009 EymetThursday : Parc Gabriel Forestier from 21h00, opening of festival- freeFriday Jardin de Cadix from 19h00-concerts start at 21.00 with Perrine Fifadji Trio and Barbara Luna . Saturday Jardin de Cadix 19h00-concerts start at 21.00 with Mohamed Bangoura , Conjunto Massalia .Tarifs des concerts : tarif normal 15 €, tarif réduit 12 €, pass festival 25 €.
An ethnic market will be held in Eymet on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 Informations : Office de Tourisme du Pays d'Eymet, ou Association Maquiz'art, Gwenaëlle Doerflinger,

Fri 10th July Balade dans le vignoble Loubès Bernac
Fri 10th July Marché des producteurs de Pays Lévignac de Guyenne19.00

Sat 11th July English speaking Business Fair Eymet 10am-4pm Salles des Fetes. For more info call 0685603726

Sun 12th July Vide Grenier & Brocante St Sernin de Duras
Sun 12th July Tables Gourmandes Lauzun

Mon 13th July Grass Track Marmande
Mon 13th July Feux d’artifice au lac à Lougratte

Fête Nationale Tues 14th July EymetDance and fireworks from 23h. Restauration sur place.Animations toute la journée, Site de Bretou.Informations :
Tues 14th July Fête Nationale Meal in the streets, dance Miramont
Tues 14th July Fête Nationale,meal and fireworks Allemans
Tues 14th July Fête Nationale,paella and fireworks Lavergne

Fri 17th July March Nocturne Miramont

Sat 18th DEJA VU, Classic Rock Band, music from the 60's to 80's with a couple of modern ones thrown in. Free concerts Juillac ( near STE FOY LE GRANDE: Under the market hall: Meal available at the bar 'Le Bateau Lavoir': Meals can be reserved on 06 73 84 15 93
Sat 18th and Sun 19th July - Sigoules wine fair - Chater wines will be there!
Sat 18th and Sun 19th July - Fêtes de la Madeleine Duras

Sun 19th July Vide Grenier Lougratte
Sun 19th July Brocante EymetToute la journée, Parc Gabriel Forestier.Informations :

Fri 24th and Sat 25th July Tomato Fiesta Marmande

Sat 25th DEJA VU, Classic Rock Band, music from the 60's to 80's with a couple of modern ones thrown in. Free concerts LE MAS D'AGENAIS: Under the market hall: Meal available at the bar 'Le Bateau Lavoir': Meals can be reserved on 06 73 84 15 93

Sun 26th July Vide Grenier Tonneins

Fete de la Musique

Just a quick note to say that we attended the fete de la musique in Eymet on Saturday night which was fabulous. So many great bands and it was great to see young and old participating in the celebrations.

10 June 2009

June 2009 Events

Sat 13th and Sun 14th June Brocante Montpazier, Place centrale

Sun 14th June Jumble Sale in Association with BEE- Bilingual Education Exchange at Roumagne Salle des Fetes. 11.00-5.00pm for more info or to reserve a table click

Sun 14th June Tractor pulling Lévignac de guyenne

Sun 14th June Randonnée en fête Eymet
Une randonnée conviviale de 15 km accessible à tous. Participation gratuite. Départ de l'Office de Tourisme à 9h00.
Informations :

Sun 14th June Vide Grenie St Pardoux Issac

Sun 14th June Irish Evening Monteton Salle des fêtes
(Office Culturel du Pays de Duras Comité des fêtes de Monteton) - Tarifs : 10€ / Gratuit -12ans - Renseignements :

Fri 19th June ..Live music with Geoff Barker Pub Le Gambetta; Eymet
Popular guitar/vocalist GEOFF BARKER brings his extensive repertoire of songs from the 50`s to now:
Elvis, Buddy Holly, Beatles, Stones, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, Paul Weller, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Oasis and much more. Rock n Roll, Pop, Blues, Country, Folk.... Great to sing along with... and dance to! From 8.30. Bar meals available. Call: 05 53 23 33 41

Fri 19th, Sat 20th & Sun 21st June "Weekend de la Musique" Bar Le Kinito, Allemans-du-Dropt. Two bands Friday and Saturday, two bands and a blues jam on Sunday. Concerts are free. Food is available in the square.

Sat 20th June Fete de la Musique` with Geoff Barker in Eymet. The annual event ,which is the biggest in the calendar, has a wide variety of bands, singers and dancers performing from the afternoon until the wee hours! Events take place this year on stages in the Parc Municipal (opposite the Marie), The Chateau and in Eymet Square, (outside the boulangerie). Geoff plays here at 8pm.

Sat 20th June The next "pub" quiz will be held in Lauzun 19.00 hours in the Salle Jules Ferry (as last time). Quiz master Alan Lowrey. Please make a note in your diaries - fuller details to follow.
In the mean time bookings can be made through me on 05 53 93 00 89 or Martin on 05 53 36 89 29.

Sat 20th June Fête de la musique Puysserampion

Sat 20th June Feux de la St Jean Miramont

Sat 20th June Fete de la Musique Straccato Miramont

Sun 21st June Fête de la musique Soumensac

Sun 21st June Vide Grenier St Colomb de Lauzun

Sun 21st June Vide Grenier Bergerac, Zone de Campréal

Sun 21st June Vide Grenier Marrmande

Sun 21st June Fête de la musique Marrmande

Sun 21st June Fête de la musique Mairie de St Pierre sur Dropt
Fête de la musique à Saint Pierre sur Dropt (D211) à partir de 19h30 : programmation à définir - Rens: Comité des fêtes

Tues 23rd June Visite de la ville forte de Duras aux flambeaux Duras

Wed 24th June Feu de la St Jean Duras
Feu de la Saint Jean. Repas, musique et feu. - Rens Info-Tourisme Duras :

Thurs 25th until Sat 13th July Exposition Le Pays des Bastides fête ses 10 ans Eymet
Exposition Arial photographs of Bastide towns
Informations :

Sat 27th June Feu de la St Jean Virazeil

Sat 27th June Spectacle chanson française Gontaud de Nogaret.

Sun 28th June La Gambetta Rando Cyclotourisme St Eulalie d'Eymet
Inscription à 7h et départ 8h15 salle des fêtes de St Eulalie, 5€ à 9€.(44km, 74km, 104km)
Repas 10€.
Informations :

Sun 28th June Weigh To Go Sale - Quality Second-Hand Clothes St. Astier de Duras -Salle Polyvalente
Sale by weight - 5/10 Euros a kilo
Come and grab a bargain

Sun 28th June Vide Grenier Monteton

Tues 30th June Night Market Eymet

Tues 30th June Visite de la ville forte de Duras aux flambeaux Duras

23 May 2009

Castillonnes 750th Anniversaire Tea Towels

As many of you know, the village is which Maison de Poitiers is situated, Castillonnes, is celebrating its 750th anniversary this year so there are a variety of events taking place.

As part of the commemerations, a special tea towel has been created. It is made of high quality cotton and is white with blue printing.

I currently have a few available in my online shop, please contact if you would like further details. L x

12 May 2009

Castillonnes 750 years old this year

As you know, I was born in the youngest country in the world, which is how they are promoting New Zealand at present around the world so it is a little surreal when the village that you live in is celebrating it's 750th anniversary.

Hence Castillonnes is getting ready to party this year and we have a lot of events taking place including music concerts in the square and also medieval banquets complete with costumes. My very lovely and patient French teacher's husband (Didier) has taken a series of photographs which are going to be used as part of the 750th program.

The one that I sharing with you today is my favourite, I am sure that you will agree.

Merci beaucoup Didier, c'est super!

Leeann x

28 April 2009

French Labor Day - Fête du Travail.

It is a tradition in France that on May 1st, May Day - French Labor Day/Fête du Travail people will pick wild Lily of the Valley Muguets in French).
Also, it is very common to see roadside stands or people in front of supermarkets selling Lilies of the Valley, often to gather funds for an organization.
Lily of the Valley is a small plant that gives off a very nice smell. The tradition is: you go out and gather the Lilies of the Valley, enjoy the spring weather and get a little exercise. Then, when you have collected your Lilies of the Valley, you put them in a vase in your home to bring their perfume home.

7 April 2009

Some French Easter Facts

Photo courtesy of Epicerie de Charles

In France, church bells stop ringing on the Thursday before Good Friday and do not ring again until Easter Sunday morning. The reason for this is that all the bells are supposed to fly to the Vatican carrying with them the grief of those who mourn the crucifixion; then these flying bells (cloche volant) return on Easter Sunday bringing with them lots of chocolate and eggs.

Another French custom is a contest of rolling raw eggs down a gentle slope – the surviving egg is the victory egg symbolising the stone that was rolled away from Christ’s tomb. Kids also throw eggs in the air – the first one to drop theirs is the loser who must pay a penalty.
Joyeuses Pâques.........
L x

1 April 2009

Spring has arrived in SW France

I just had to share these photos with you, this is my favourite photo!

This one is so sweet, and so french with the shutters (volets)

I love the way the french mix different plants in one container....................

And finally, one for all you basket lovers out there...................

Tomorrow night - daylight permitting I am hoping to take one of the plum trees with their lovely white blossom so watch this space!

If you did not already know it this area is famous for producing the best prunes in the world but that is another story to come :-)

L x

24 March 2009

Video of Bergerac and surrounding villages

Today the Bergerac Office de Tourisme have advised that they have a new video showing attractions in Bergerac and nearby villages.

I have just watched and must say it is great as it shows the wine museum, Chateau de Monbazillac, Tobacco Museum, many surrounding villages including Issigeac, Monpazier and Beaumont, the Cadouin Abbey and many scenes in the old part of Bergerac.

Hope that you all enjoy watching it as much as we did.

à très bientôt

L x

16 March 2009

Market days

I love market days in France. It is a tradition that has been going some 700 years in this part of France and I love them as it is an excuse to meet up with friends and also buy some wonderful local fresh produce.

Yesterday we went to the market in Issigeac, the sun was shining and the market traders were out in force meaning that things are returning to normal. If it is grey a lot of traders do not show up so it means that the locals do not either so market days in the winter are rather grey whereas in the summer they are bright and sunny.

I thought that it maybe worthwhile posting details of market days in the area, we also include details in information folders at Maison de Poitiers & Maison No. 20 along ideas on what to see & do.

Places and days are as follows:


Monflanquin (juillet-septembre)
Sauveterre la Lémance

Villeréal (juillet-août)

Monflanquin + marché des producteurs



Monflanquin (juillet-août)

Also a previous guest has asked me for details of the events taking place as part of the celebrations for solistice and fete of St Jean Baptiste, it is a little early yet as most of the tourist offices will start publishing details next month so I will let you all know as soon as I hear of any deatils. It is a great time to be in France as each village holds a fete de la musique and they compete to see who can attrct the most people.

A bientot


10 March 2009

The Brocante/Vide Grenier season has started

My favourite time of the year has commenced...............

The brocante/vide grenier (empty attic or car boot) season has started again and we are looking forward to picking up some more lovely french items.

Below is a link to a document on the Villereal Office de Tourism website which contains all the dates for vide greniers/brocantes taking place in 2009.


For those of you who may not know the difference between a vide grenier and a brocante, the main difference is that at a brocante all the sellers are professional antique sellers whereas anyone can sell at a vide grenier hence the translation 'empty attic".

a la prochaine


23 February 2009

17 February 2009

Perfect for those cold winter nights......

Coq au vin

This chicken in red wine dish traditionally uses older roosters because they contain a lot of connective tissue, which creates a richer broth when cooked and rooster blood to thicken the sauce at the end of cooking.
Serves 4.

Coq au vin
2 tbsp olive oil
90 gm butter, coarsely chopped at room temperature
1.6 kg free-range chicken, jointed
150 gm piece of pancetta, cut into 1 cm pieces
12 small pickling onions
125 ml (½ cup) brandy, warmed
750 ml (3 cups) Beaujolais
500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
3 parsley stalks
2 fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
2 small heads garlic, halved lengthways
1 tbsp plain flour
200 gm mixed small mushrooms such as pine, Swiss brown and button, trimmed
¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Mashed potato
1 kg desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil and 20gm butter in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add chicken pieces and cook for 10 minutes, turning until golden, then transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add pancetta and onions and cook for 5 minutes or until golden, drain off excess fat. Return chicken to pan, pour over brandy and ignite with a long match. When flames are extinguished, add wine, stock, herbs and garlic and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and place in oven for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Transfer chicken, onions and pancetta to a warm dish, cover with foil and keep warm.
2.Strain cooking liquid through a fine sieve, discarding herbs and garlic. Heat sauce in clean casserole over medium heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. Combine flour and 20gm butter into a paste, whisk into sauce and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
3. Meanwhile, heat 50gm butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until golden, season to taste and set aside.
4. For mashed potato, cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender, drain and pass through a potato ricer into saucepan, add butter and cream, season to taste and stir to combine.
5. To serve, return chicken, pancetta, onions and mushrooms to sauce and cook for 5 minutes, turning to coat and warm through. Serve chicken and sauce scattered with parsley, with mashed potato on the side.

2 February 2009

Eymet - Key Events/Dates for 2009

Key events and dates for 2009 are as follows:

Nature festival Sunday, May 17th Information :

Fauna & Flora festival 5th edition From May 30th till June 7th 2008 In the south of Dordogne, in Bergerac Country, The towns of Eymet, Puyguilhem (Thénac), Sigoulès, Cunèges et Saussignac give a warm welcome to the Art Caravan. Artists from all corners of Aquitaine are coming to present their creations on plants and animals, through diverse techniques (paint, sculpture, photos, videos, sounds..)Full of poetry and very entertaining for the whole family and public of all ages.Opening hour : Every day from 2pm till 7pmInformation : 06 10 16 47 27

Randonnée en Fête Sunday, June 14thWalking trail 15 km. Departure in front of the Office of Tourism 9am. Free and for the whole family.Information :

Night Markets Every tuesday from june 30th till September 2nd

More than 60 professional stalls.Food available on siteStarts 7pm, Place de la Bastide.Info :

The "Afro-Latines" Festival 2009 Friday, july 4th and saturday, july 5th Information : info

Medieval journey throught the Dropt Valley Friday, august 7th : Conference Saturday, august 8th : Walk with torchlight, 10pm in front of the Office of tourism. Sunday, august 9th : pageants, workshops, market, games, and banquet with show in the evening.Informations :

The "Other" Festival Saturday, august 22nd and sunday, august 23rdMusic, live entertaining, video, workshops for kidsFood available on site.In Fonroque, between, Eymet and Bergerac.

"Le Pays des Bastides" celebrates its 10 years From monday, september 14th to sunday, september 27thPhotographies exhibition and many events. Information :

European Heritage Days Saturday, september 19th and Sunday, september 20thInformation :

For more information on events please refer to the calandar on the eymetguide:

http://www.ledropt.com/whatson2_09_feb.html then select the month that you are interested in.

After the storm.............

I guess that most of you have heard about the storms that affected SW France, there were winds up to 140kms an hour which combined with heavy rain resulted in a lot of flooding and damage to land and buildings.

Most villages in the area were affected in some way or another - most villages were without power which is a scarey thought in this day and age as we all rely heavily on electricity. It was a rather humbling experience as it makes you realise how much you take running water and electricity for granted.

Here are some links to some storm articles:



A bientot


19 January 2009

Castillonnes 750th Anniversaire

Re bonjour,

I have just realised that I have not yet told you about the events that are taking place this year as part of the celebrations for Castillonnes 750th! anniversary.

Key dates and events are as follows:

Sat 4 Apr Comice agricole
Sat 4 Apr Communal meal poule au pot
Sat 4 Apr Launch of commemorative envelopes/stamps
Sat 4 Apr - Mon 13 Apr (Easter Mon) Stamp/seashell exhibition
Sun 12 Apr Brocante

Fri 19 Jun - Sat 27 Jun Art exhibition (school/college art projects on 750th
Fri 19 Jun - Sat 27 Jun History exhibition (of the bastide)

Sun 2 Aug - Bodega (all night party)
Tues 18 Aug - Sun 30 Aug History exhibition and old photographic display of the bastide
Sat 29 Aug - Medieval day with open air meal in market square
Fri 28 Aug - Sun 30 Aug Twinning weekend
Sat 29 Aug Inauguration of new entrance to Mairie

21/22 Sep - History/photo exhibition again to allow children to visit from schools but open to public
We are especially looking forward to the medieval day as there is a reduced fee for the banquet if you wear a costume and I am sure that the locals are already planning their costume atire, so the pressure is on to find a good costume :-)

8 January 2009

Rejuvenated for 2009.....


I have just returned from having the most wonderful facial at our local beauty salon in Castillonnes. Michelle is "tres gentil" and gives the most wonderfully relaxing facial, 2 hours for 39 euros is pretty good value in my book. She is going to provide me with a treatment listing so that I can include this in the Maison de Poitiers Chambre information pack.

Her salon is literally a 2 minute walk from Maison de Poitiers and she loves the opportunity to practise her English should you feel inclined to converse in English!

She only uses Mary Cohr products which are completely natural products are are derrived from plant extracts.

It is still cold here and we have more snow forecast for Saturday.........................



6 January 2009

Snow photos!

Here is a album containing the photos that I took this morning, note the temp on the pharmacy clock -3.5!

L x

It is snowing here!


We awoke to find eveything here blanketed in snow, the village looks amazing! I have posted a photo so that you can see for yourself! I will also create an album so that you can see some more snow!

A bientot


3 January 2009


Today it is blue sky and a little chilly here. I love the blue sky but are willing it to be warmer as we watched a programme about an english couple relocating to Australia and it made me a little homesick.

Yes I am a kiwi but I have spent many years working in Sydney and as a result have an Australian passport which I adore as the photo in it is a lot nicer than my Kiwi one :-)

For those of you that do not know me I am a "40 something" kiwi who has spent the last 15 years of my life travelling and working around the world. I have lived in Dubai, London, Sydney, Mumbai and Istanbul and have travelled extensively as a result of working for large corporate companies.

Not quite 2 years ago I discovered France and spent the first year setting up a boutique style B&B "Maison de Poitiers" in a tranquil 13th century village called Castillonnes which is not far from Bergerac airport.

The next project has commenced which is luxury holiday apartments (maison no. 20) in a lively 13th century village called Eymet which is not far from here.

We have created a website for the apartments, http://www.maison20.com/

A couple of the rooms have already appeared on the top 100 rooms on mydeco.com which was a nice suprise.

I had better get back to work.

Bonne Annee