Terrasson-Lavilledieu : Périgord : France July 2017
We left Bordeaux, the day after England lost in the semi-final. It was sad. The only thing we look forward to is that Bastille day or Fête National is on Saturday and the final is on Sunday with France being one of the teams in the final so should be fun.
We are making our way to the Corrèze region. I’ll tell you why a little later. But we don’t want to drive too far in one day so we decided to pick a town close..ish to Perigueux as a stop off point.
As we drive we decided to look for a nice quiet village with a menu du jour. I’ve discovered when you not looking, you find a million but when you are looking you cannot find any! So when we stopped at the pretty town called Saint Médard de Guizières and walked around this pretty village we did not see one suitable place. So we drove on towards a possible place we saw on google. But as we left town we spotted a covered shady garden with lots of cars parked outside. Stop stop I say.!Let’s try this one!
You know you are onto a winner when you see the construction foreman, the plumbers and the local townspeople all enjoying lunch. We tried to read the blackboard but the writing was so cramped we could barely make anything out. The waitress came up and rattled off in French and we heard 2 things. …. moules ( mussels) and steak. We are not sure what this means? ” Like is this the only thing they serving ?” Are we doing menu du hour or plat du jour or what? But I choose steak and Chris the mussels and we hope for the best. Then she says drinks and I order rosé and Chris an orangina. She looks at him strangely. Who doesn’t drink at lunchtime in France I mean really! Then we sat and waited and waited. The drinks came and around us, we saw people eating from a buffet. Now I’m a little pissed cos it looks good and maybe I wanted that. But ok we happy and we just enjoy the surroundings and the people watching. Then she comes past and looks at us again and rattles off in French …you know I can’t speak French but having a French speaking mother means somehow I understand when they talk to me. Not sure how….anyway I get that she says aren’t we going to help ourselves to buffet. So I get up and help myself. It’s flippen delicious. Then Chris says “I wonder if it’s only you or me as well?” So we kinda share cos we have no frigging clue what the deal is here. Talk about tourists! After the buffet of salads and veg and even prawns, she asked if we were done. Then the main course arrives! A lot of mussels and my steak is done so rare and perfect with salad and frités. Chris ate at that pot of mussels for an hour and there was still some left. We decide even if this is going to cost a fortune we don’t care, the food is fantastic. Of course, we spot all the deserts going out now and we cannot resist. I have ice cream, homemade vanilla and coffee ice cream and Chris has the strawberry tart. We had a coffee and I then disappeared to the toilet as Chris goes to pay the bill. He comes out with a big smile on his face and says €24 only! Of course, as we left Chris spots a board that says buffet for 1 course( eat as much as you like) and then the choice of 2 mains and dessert and cafe and wine or beer all in. Love this country!
Now we are full and happy and we head to Terrasson-Lavilledieu. Town chosen at random and campsite chosen at random. We arrive at the lovely farmland and whilst we are still deciding whether to stay here or move to a spot closer into the town the lovely owner comes running out and before we know we in and hooked up to electric! €9 for the night… bargain.
Too tired to go into town we just relax and read and do some work in the beautiful setting. An old farm no longer in use but kitted out as a camper stop. Lucky for us we had a spot as she was pretty full and many were reserved. Everyone was so friendly. She was one of the best hosts ever. She came over with a map and a whole lot of brochures of things to do in town. Including a discount for the ‘Les Jardins de l’Imaginaire”
What she also offered us a dinner for the Fête National or Bastille Day on the 14th July. For €15 they were offering a 3 course meal enjoyed all together in the barn, and then I suppose everyone would walk and watch the fireworks at the bridge. Definitely a thought for next time, but for us, we wanted to move along for now.
Based on all the info she gave us it seems we underestimated this town. We are going to stay tonight and tomorrow we will have an explore!
We parked in town the next morning and what a lovely day we had…we checked out the shops and they were a lovely combo of modern and old. We walked across the bridges that span the river and admired the flower baskets everywhere. This town has 10 fountains and I was determined to spot them all…( see my pics but I dont think I found all 10!)
The old town has numerous artisans working from lovely studios housed in the old town. We started at the ceramicist, and I was jealous of her lovely workspace. She was friendly, her name was Julie Z and we had a good chat, of course, I had to buy something to support a fellow artist. See her website here!
We climbed up a million stairs to the top of the old town where the church was. Yes, of course, a look around the church and admiring the view from the ramparts of the old town never the river. It’s really a beautiful town. Then we walked down the other side and towards the “Les Jardins de l’Imaginaire”. The next tour was at 11.30am , great in 15min time, and the price was reduced as the lovely lady at the campsite had given us a discount coupon. (*****host)
I won’t bore you with details about every section of the garden, but I do have a million pics to share with you. And I will say this …pity as 2 out of the 3 parties were English that the guide could only speak French. We did have a translated book to follow along but she seemed to say much more in French. 2) best to go in spring or even winter maybe as it was a little dry due to the extremely hot weather they were experiencing.
BUT I would 100% recommend it!
After the visit, it was lunchtime. We found a casual spot right on the bridge and had a salad each. I chose the salad of the day….bad choice for me as it was Boudin (blood sausage) a speciality in the area but probably one of the few things I don’t eat. My lovely husband swopped with me as he had a quiche and salad. The food was good but not as exceptional as the day before but still for the price it was fresh and tasty.
We had to head on, as we wanted to find somewhere to spend 2 nights including the night of 14th July, or Fete national as the French call it.
Off we go…