A Tiered Village in Southwest France

A Tiered Village in Southwest France

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Puy l’Eveque, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to summer – join us on the fabulous Amalfi Coast in July?

Not far from Cahors is the multi-tiered village of Puy l’Eveque…and rain or shine, the tour must go on! We begin at the Mairie (Town Hall), 03291501 AM rain or shine Puy l Eveque

then wind uphill (passing a castle for rent – any takers?) 03291501 castle for rentand gaze yet higher at intricate carvings on centuries-old homes.03291501 high above us renaissance carvingsWe visited this little village years ago with Jill, and what I remember are the pretty trompe l’oeil-ed walls, but we don’t see those this time.
Heading down towards the port, “La Cale” we pass a rushing streamlet by a mill, 03291501 milland a humbler abode tucked into the hillside.03291501 more primitive shelterThere’s much to appreciate in this multi-leveled charmer – and we’d like it even better on a sunny day!03291501 tiersNext, stop, a vineyard – Clos Triguedina, home to pioneering wine makers, the Baldés family, since 1830. 03291501 winery Clos Triguedina homeMr. Baldés, the 7th generation to work this land, is laid up with a severe sciatica attack, but his charming wife, whom he met in Beaune while studying at France’s prestigious Wine University there, does a wonderful job of introducing us to the estate. 03291501 winery tour damp and cold glad for every layerShe, one of the last to be born in the gorgeous Hospices de Beaune before it became a museum, has brought some Burgundy input to this fine property. 03291501 winery Clos Triguedina 7 generationsAfter tasting their fine wines, we choose a bottle to take home with us.
A surprise awaits us at enchanting Le Caillau, where we stop for lunch. Inviting seating areas are arranged around a courtyard – 03291502 a pretty spot for lunchthe sofas in the open barn look like a wonderful place to while away an hour or two! We’re seated inside in a charmingly rustic dining area, 03291502 excellent food and great setting good for tea or drink tooand as we begin our lunch, the owner walks over to us “Mr. and Mrs. Woodyard? I’ve heard about you!” and hands us a bottle of wine and a note. What prompted this, we wonder…and open the note….03291502 surpriseit’s a sweet missive from Jill – what a lovely surprise! No wonder we fell in love with this delightful and thoughtful lady from the first time we met!
Our delicious lunch is completed with a dessert as tasty as it is adorably served –03291503 creme brulee earl grey Earl Grey crème brulee with shortbread shaped like a tea tag. Yet one more place where we’d love to spend more time!





A Hilltop Charmer in Southwest France

A Hilltop Charmer in Southwest France

Thursday, March 21, 2013
Southwest France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Next on the itinerary: Our spring tours in Barcelona, Venice or Prague

Jill has chosen such a beautiful part of France in which to settle. Today she drives us past a farm, where a lone llama checks us out as we go by, on the way to a justly- famous perched village, Saint- Cirq-  Lapopie.

Winding along the Lot river, we squeeze under arches and through tunnels

until the dramatically- set hamlet appears above us.

Decades ago we visited this popular spot in the summer, and could barely squeeze down the lanes, but today, it’s just waking up for the season, and we’re free to wander, enjoying the quiet alleys

and the pretty homes,

before settling on the sunny café terrace of La Tonnelle for lunch.
After a couple of hearty salads and platters (one’s actually enough for two!)

we share a café gourmand, featuring a few local specialties such as raisins soaked in sauternes and coated with chocolate, a crème bruleé with prune liqueur, and chocolate covered walnuts – delicieux!

The lovely weather’s perfect for continuing our discovery of the village. Climbing higher, we’ve got the church on one side, with the river far below,

and a huddle of village homes on the other,

with arresting views wherever we look.

Returning to Jill’s village, we check out a co-ed petanque game just out her front door.

Dinner tonight – Jill’s planned a special treat at La Garenne, just outside of Cahors. Kirk peruses the wines, cradled in the old mangers of this former barn.

Each course we choose is a delight, from my tender lamb to the veal sweet- breads Jill chooses, to Kirk’s slow- cooked pork tenderloin.

And the desserts are each a work of art – this is a crunchy “well” filled with pineapple mousse and garnished with creamy caramel. A wow of a dinner – merci, dear friend!