Vive La France

Follow us as we travel around the Dordogne, Lot & Languedoc regions of France

Saturday, June 25, 2011

June 25 - Sarlat, Jardins d'Eyringnac, St-Genies, Temniac

Today was Sarlat's big market day. Vendors started arriving at 7am and by 9am every street and square in the medieval section is crammed with sellers of everything. Clothes, shoes, knick-knacks, games, records, books, paintings and ceramic art, and of course food. Everyone carries a shopping bag, or two, or wheels a shopping cart. You can buy the usual cheeses, meats, fish, and vegetables, and then ready made roasted chickens, ducks, and other fowl, Potatoes cooked a la Sarladaise, and even a great looking seafood Paella, and all sorts of pates, and marinated anything.

We planned to wander the market for the morning, have lunch here at a restaurant that we had read about (Le Presidial) and then head out for the day. So we stocked up on breakfast stuff (cheeses, jam, bread, berries, and cake), and then bought dinner. Salad stuff of course and then Paella (for Mike), Sarladaise potatoes, apple tarts, bread, and more cans of Foie Gras to take home.

Le Presidial is in a 16C renovated manor home right in the center of town, off the main street, with tables set up under shade trees and porticos and awnings. It's hard to believe this is the center of Sarlat, with the beautiful garden and peaceful surrounding while just outside there is the noise and hustle and bustle of the crowds. More pate, duck breast for Karen, roasted Rouget filets (mullet) for Mike, potatoes, haricot verte, all with typically great French sauces, and wine. All this followed by a shared Tarte du Noix. The Sarlat specialty dessert is a cake, tart, cookies, even ice cream, made with Walnuts (noix). That will hold us until dinner.

We left and drove to the Jardins d'Eyringnac, first laid out in the 18th century and maintained and added to by its present owners, husband, wife and son. It's a beautiful place, with topiary sculptured shrubs and trees, pools, and vegetable and flower gardens, apple trees and cypress groves, all on 10 acres with a 17th century mansion the owners live in. The home and property has been in the same family for 500 years.

Then we just drove around the countryside, following a route suggested in our Michelin guide, stopping at two small towns. St. Genies, built around a 15C castle, and then Temniac, with its 12C church, and a view that is supposed to overlook Sarlat. But, today was some kind of town gathering and everyone and his uncle was there, which required parking in a field off the road and making it impossible to get around. So, as it was getting late, we just headed back to Sarlat.

The one good thing about Sarlat is that everywhere we want to go is just a few kilometers away. The furthest we've driven so far is maybe 60 kilometers distant. There are a few sites that we'll see that will be further but most of those we'll take in as we drive back to Toulouse next week.

Also, not to forget, the weather today again was perfect. Brilliant sun, no clouds, low 80's and no humidity. Along the comfort subject we should add that the apartment has no air conditioning, but we have not noticed it. It is cooler than the street and its thick walls are what does it. With the windows open, though we close then at night as it does get down to the 50's, the cross ventilation is perfect.

No comments:

Post a Comment