Page 1

July – August 2018 Issue 3

The

érigord Local The Region’s FREE magazine in English

The Summer Edition Inside – We Visit the lovely town of Excideuil Great Local Teashops Wine, Absinthe and Donkeys Roquefort – The Angel Cheese Managing Your Finances Beyond Brexit

Open-air Shakespeare in English

1-13 AUG 2018 www.ad-tour.com

SEE PAGE 6

www.perigordlocal.com


WE HAVE THE BUYERS – WE NEED MORE GREAT PROPERTIES! SOLD by PIONEER FRANCE

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SOLD by PIONEER FRANCE


4 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Welcome to our summer edition. We’re not going to mention the spring weather! In this edition we’ve visited the lovely town of Excideuil. It’s been great to find out a bit about what goes on there, there’s so much history and a few surprises. If you want us to feature your town or village in an upcoming edition, please do let us know. We’re not an ‘aspirational’ magazine (something advertising agencies seem to think we should be). We want to reflect what real people are doing right now. If you have a business or interest that you want people to know about then please get in touch. In this edition we find out about Nicola and Paul’s B & B (p.8) and learn about Fi and Giles’ (clearly very busy) life (p.42). On p.20 we’re glad to provide some coverage for HeeHaws a wonderful new donkey sanctuary. Hopefully we can help them attract some support. If you’ve not entered our competition to win tickets for Antic Disposition’s annual Shakespeare tour, then you have very little time left (see our May edition). Tickets are also available on buy on-line see p.6. The next edition will be out for the start of September. In the meantime do have a lovely summer.

Anna

From our website you can: • Read a copy of this and previous magazines (including the Quercy Local) • Subscribe to receive copies to your home address – anywhere in the world. • Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

www.perigordlocal.com theperigordlocal@gmail.com

CONTENTS Le Patio – Chambres D’Hôtes

p.8

Roquefort – The Angle Cheese

p.12

Currency Exchange

p.16

Finances – Beyond Brexit

p.19

HeeHaws – For the Love of Donkeys

p.20

Wines of SW France

p.22

Your Guide to TVA Rates

p.24

Excideuil p.26 Rebecca Merry

p.30

Papeterie de Vaux

p.36

French Page

p.37

3 Lovely Teashops

p.38

Fi and Giles Stonor

p.42

Tasting the Lot – Absinthe

p.44

Companion Planting (part 2)

p.48

12

31

22

This is a free magazine and so we are totally dependent on advertisers. So, please do support them whenever the opportunity occurs. You can follow us on

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The Périgord Local ISSN: 2608-497X. No part of this publication may be copied, used or reproduced without the written consent of the proprietor. No responsibility is accepted for any claim made by advertisers. All content accepted and printed in good faith. Please check that all advertisers are registered businesses in France or in their home country. The Périgord Local is owned and managed by A Atkinson, Las Razes, Touffailles,( 82190) Siret: 518 460 605 00018. Printed by Gráficas Piquer. French admin; Valérie Rousseau.


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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 7

Expect the unexpected.

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Discover more than 25 original experiences, and get ready for a magical evening show by the light of the moon with La Forge aux Etoiles, the aquatic fairytale fantasy from Cirque du Soleil (every evening after dark, included in the price of admission). Ideally located near Poitiers between Loire Valley, and Dordogne.

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


8 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

‘Meant to be’ One couple’s new life in the Périgord

N

icola and Paul from Aberdeen, Scotland now run ‘Le Patio Chambres D’Hôtes’ an award-winning Bed and Breakfast in the center of La Tour Blanche-Cercles, Dordogne, this is how they moved from working in the UK public sector to working for themselves, ‘Living the Dream’ in France. In 2014 Paul retired which gave us the opportunity to do something different with our lives. We had a limited budget, which we knew would go further in France than the UK. We had visited France several times and thought it provided the opportunities we were looking for. While on holiday during September 2014 we arranged with an estate agent to view 4 properties with gîtes and a house which could be run as a B&B. Once we saw the house we realised its potential and that it was perfect for us. It was ‘meant to be’ and that was the beginning of our adventure in France. The previous owners were considering opening as a B&B but decided to sell instead, it was almost as if ‘Le Patio’ had been created just for us. The house had been newly renovated with two large en-suite bedrooms and a dining room on the first floor providing an ideal layout to run as a small B&B, five guests maximum.

Our front guest room has a super-king bed, view of the village and can accommodate an extra bed, our back room has a king-size bed and a lovely view of the garden. There is a lounge and a large private courtyard garden for guests to enjoy. We moved into the property in mid-February 2015 and opened in March with the arrival of our first guests. We run the business with the attitude of ‘Is this somewhere we would like to stay?’ We have good

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 9

We are open all year; our rooms are priced from e75 per night bed and breakfast. La Tour Blanche-Cercles is a very pretty, traditional French village, there are numerous local services including a bakery, butcher, co-op, weekly market, bar/ restaurant, tabac, post office, pharmacy, doctor, dentist, petrol station etc. One of our favorite walks is to the restored windmill. The experience has exceeded our expectations, we have been surprised by how lovely all our guests have been, they have been very complimentary of our business and have looked after the property as if it was their own home. Over time we have become more relaxed about having people in our home and have learned when to spend time with them and when to give them space. We have spent many a happy evening sitting in the garden sharing a glass of wine with our guests from around the world, many have returned and some have even bought local properties and are now our friends and neighbours. Since opening we have received excellent reviews, we are rated 5/5 on Tripadvisor and 9.9/10 on Booking.com. The majority of our clients are French, then British and the remainder come from around the world. The best advice we could give to anyone thinking of doing something similar is to do proper research regarding your finances. We are fortunate to have a monthly pension, without this we would not be able to survive on the income from the B&B alone. Living in France is generally cheaper than the UK but there are still local taxes, utility bills and deductions from your B&B income, which must be paid. However, we are certain that, for us, we made the right choice and continue to love our new life in France.

quality beds, our luxury linen, bedding, towels and toiletries are from ‘The White Company’, we provide complimentary water and chocolates in the room and a welcome drink on arrival. Included in the room-price is a full continental breakfast including, fresh bread from our village bakery, fresh fruit and home-made yoghurt, we can also provide a two course Tables D’Hotes evening meal including coffee and wine for e15, Paul is our resident chef and uses local seasonal produce.

Le Patio Chambres D’Hôtes 6 Place du Marche Dieu, La Tour Blanche-Cercles 24320 Lepatiodordogne.com Lepatioltb@gmail.com 05.53.90.71.35

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


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The Périgord Local • July - August 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local


THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 11

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In business in France since 2005, we create outstanding traditional and contemporary ironwork for indoors and outdoors. Pergolas, staircases, railings, handrails, balustrades, balconies, gates, sculptures, outdoor structures and more... simple or elaborate, intricate or uncomplicated, small or large, we can fabricate, forge and hand make ironwork customised to your needs.

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12 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

The Angel Cheese I

t would simply be unjust to attempt a series on French cheeses without mentioning the legendary Roquefort. This blue veined, creamy and somewhat pungent cheese is no new comer to the market. The people of Roquefort were first given sole production rights by an act of French Parliament in 1666 and it has had an AOP (appellation d’origine protégée) since 1925. Even those are fairly modern events in Roquefort’s history. The cheese itself has been consumed for more than two thousand years. The cheese’s production was made possible by a seismic event that took place more than a million years ago when a tectonic shift opened a series of underground caves and passageways in the Cambalou Mountain. Here, legend has it, a young shepherd sought shelter from the rain carrying with him a lump of sheep’s cheese and a loaf of bread. He had no sooner sat down to enjoy his meal and wait for a change in the weather when he spotted a beautiful young woman deeper in the cave system. Naturally, being a young man, he decided to approach her. It is at this point that the legend gets a little murky and there are two distinct schools of thought. One suggests that the woman was an angel and the other a figment of the shepherd’s imagination. Presumably one school believe that God sent an angel to give us this incredible product whilst the other frowns upon the idea of an angel of smelly cheeses; either way the young shepherd never found

the woman and it was several months before he even relocated the remains of his meal. By then the bread was hard and mouldy and the cheese was marbled with dark grey veins. That, according to folklore, is how one of France’s most famous cheeses was born. The caves in which Roquefort are made are tiny. They run for just over two kilometres in total, and yet each year these narrow rock formations, that have hardly changed over millennia, produce in the region of twenty tons of cheese. The caves are pitted with narrow fault lines called fleurines. Master cheese makers control the air flow through the fleurines using nothing more technical than doors and windows. In so doing they have learned the art of perfecting the microbial activity that is crucial to this particular cheese. The mould is

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 13

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Meet Cro-magnon man ! still cultured on bread where it forms fungi known as Penicillium Roqueforti. This mould is then introduced to full cream sheep’s milk at the rate of 4 grams to 5000 litres of milk. The cheese is then made into round wheels and allowed to mature deep in the caves. All of this is done under the watchful eye of the master cheese maker and AP-LABYRINTHE-Sud Ouest-64x94-2018-1.indd 1 05/06/18 every batch will be tested two hundred times during the curing process. Only once he is satisfied is the cheese wrapped and shipped to its appreciative international 2 large, air-conditioned cars, and local markets. Even the wrapping process is governed by tradition. The cheese is wrapped in thin one for 7 and one for 5 people. silver foil by women who are called cabaniéres. Only women are regarded as having hands delicate enough Service to and from for this operation and a good cabaniére can wrap up stations and airports to three hundred 3 kg cheeses in a day. The cheese appreciates a gentle touch, apparently, and men are Child seats regarded as far too rough and careless for this part of the operation. and wheelchair access The famed Italian womanizer Casanova, who was reputed to have had numerous affairs and relationships 24 hrs / 7 days – Any distance with woman of high society across Europe, was a great enthusiast of Roquefort cheese. He is quoted as saying AIRPORT TRANSFER that “Roquefort is an excellent thing to restore old love TO AND FROM BERGERAC and ripen a young one.” This is definitely a cheese that brings with it the love it or hate it factor. Despite Casanova’s advice, you might Mob: 06.32.10.63.36 want to consider carefully before presenting some to Tel: 05.63.04.20.19 your wife or partner when next time Saint Valentine’s email: taxioccitanie@alsatis.net comes around. Based – 82200 MONTESQUIEU By Mike Alexander

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SARL TAXI OCCITANIE Séverine DALPOZO

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018

11:


Cement Tiles, and garden furniture/decorations - including Moroccan and Vintage styles Tel. 05 63 39 96 46 Mobile. 06 80 36 54 99 materiauxancienslauzerte@orange.fr www.bhmateriauxanciens.com

Parc d’exposition de 3 hectares Show Room - Livraison dans toute la France

Wholesaler of renovation, construction and decorative materials Vast selection of paving stones and travertine. Everything for your outdoor space Tél 05 63 95 39 08 bhlauzerte@orange.fr www.bh-materiaux.com Pont Rout, 82110 LAUZERTE

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 15

ISSIGEAC Le Relais de l’Ancienne Gare - Sylvie & Hervé Rodot - Route d’Eymet - 24560 Issigeac 05 53 58 70 29 relais.anciennegare@orange.fr www.relais-anciennegare.com Sylvie and Hervé Rodot look forward to welcoming you to their lovely restaurant where the dining room has a bit of a train theme; or to their floral terrace for a lovely summer meal. The restaurant is about 800m outside the medieval village of Issigeac in lovely leafy countryside.

Opening Hours: 12h15 – 13h45 19h15 – 20h45 Open all year and every day except Monday lunchtimes, all day Thursdays and Sunday evenings You are advised to call and make a reservation

The Rodot Family – father and son chefs ~ Hervé, the father: traditional and gastronomic. Fabrice, the son: creative and modern. Victoria and Fabrice welcome you to their restaurant for all seasons – in winter there’s an open fire, charming open stone-work and a lovely cosy ambiance then in summer there’s a large shaded terrace

Fresh seasonal produce used to prepare fine cuisine. Easy parking opposite.

Only closed – Tuesday evenings all day Wednesday and Saturday lunchtimes L’Atelier, 66 tour de ville, 24560 Issigeac 05 53 23 49 78 Restaurant L’Atelier Issigeac

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


16 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

The third in a series of articles about Foreign Exchange matters, in discussion with Harris Raphael, Managing Partner of Dordogne-based Pioneer France FX

PIONEER FRANCE’S THREE GOLDEN FOREIGN EXCHANGE RULES UNDERSTAND HOW TO GET THE BEST VALUE FROM YOUR FUNDS “No two clients’ currency transfer needs are exactly the same, though the basic requirement to change one currency into another and achieve the best rates and service possible does not vary.” says Harris Raphael, founder and managing partner of Dordogne-based Pioneer France. Here are his three golden rules for successful, secure currency transfers.

1. DO NOT TRY TO HIT MARKET PEAKS Harris says that to try and do this is “speculating with, not managing, your money. It is a poor strategy to try and hit the peaks of currency market movements. Too many people avidly watch the exact rate when what they should be doing is aiming for an ‘exchange rate range’ within which they are comfortable to transfer their funds”.

2. BE FLEXIBLE IN YOUR CURRENCY EXCHANGE APPROACH AND LET A SPECIALIST BROCKERAGE TAKE THE STRAIN FOR YOU Harris says, “Our brokerage, for example, doesn’t just offer simple ‘spot’ rate trades. i.e. a trade executed at the prevailing market rate at a particular moment. We also provide clients with expert market guidance and a range of exchange rate watching and trading services that help clients maximise their funds. This is something the banks and many other brokerages cannot or will not offer. “For instance, say a client wants to buy Euros with his pounds and the current exchange rate is e1.15 to £1. The client can instruct us to buy his euros if the rate reaches e1.17 and also to buy if the rate falls to e1.13. In that way the client is able to benefit if the rate moves favourably, but also protect against the rate falling too far.”

The Pioneer France FX team, from left: Harris, Simon, Tanya, Zoe, James and Steven

Another example is where a client wants to make a regular transfer, say each month. “In such cases”, comments Harris, “clients have the freedom to fix the exchange rate for up to two years ahead. This offers both certainty of the currency amount to be received and also insulates the client against future market fluctuations, however wild”.

3. ENSURE THAT YOUR MONEY IS SECURE Pioneer France’s foreign exchange brokerage has been operating for nearly 40 years, trading over e23billion annually in currencies and is one of the very few brokerages that is fully authorised and regulated by the FCA, with the right of establishment in France, therefore providing its clients with real security of funds. Harris comments that it is essential to ensure that one’s trading brokerage has all the requisite licensing and regulatory credentials in place.

Pioneer France is committed to providing market-leading foreign exchange rates and service, so contact Harris and his team to find out more about saving thousands.

05 53 07 06 27 info@pioneerfrance.com www.pioneerfrance.com Pioneer France FX was recently voted number one for foreign exchange rates and service The Périgord Local • July - August 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local


THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 17

E - IC RD V A SER AW NG I N IN W DROP IN AND SEE US IN LALINDE OR VERTEILLAC

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


18 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Will you have the right to stay in France after Brexit? The EU has committed to maintain existing rights for Britons ‘lawfully residing’ in a member state. But what does this mean in practice? Can you prove your lawful residence in time for Brexit?

Talk to the people who know

Our Residency and Brexit guide outlines 10 key steps to securing residency in France. Download your complimentary guide from our website www.blevinsfranks.com. Our advisers can also guide you on prioritising the steps and structuring your affairs correctly.

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INTERNATIONAL TAX ADVICE • INVESTMENTS • ESTATE PLANNING • PENSIONS Blevins Franks Group is represented in France by the following companies: Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited (BFFM) and Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF). BFFM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, reference number 179731. Where advice is provided outside the UK, via the Insurance Mediation Directive or the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II, the applicable regulatory system differs in some respects from that of the UK. Blevins Franks France SASU (BFF), is registered with ORIAS, registered number 07 027 475, and authorised as “Conseil en Investissements Financiers” and “Courtiers d’Assurance” Category B (register can be consulted on www. orias.fr). Member of ANACOFI-CIF. BFF’s registered office: 1 rue Pablo Neruda, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon – RCS BX 498 800 465 APE 6622Z. Garantie Financière et Assurance de Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle conformes aux articles L 541-3 du Code Monétaire et Financier and L512-6 and 512-7 du Code des Assurances (assureur MMA). Blevins Franks Tax Limited provides taxation advice; its advisers are fully qualified tax specialists. This promotion has been approved and issued by BFFM.

The Périgord Local • July - August 2018 Please support our advertisers and tell them you saw their advert in The Périgord Local


THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 19

IT PAYS TO THINK BEYOND RESIDENCY WHEN PREPARING FOR BREXIT By Peter Wakelin, Blevins Franks

While the Brexit countdown may be on to secure French residency, do not underestimate the importance of tax and financial planning. Quite rightly, Brexit has encouraged many Britons to bring forward their plans to move to France to secure residency ahead of the expected transition deadline of 31st December 2020. The emphasis is usually on getting into the French system as quickly as possible. However, without careful planning in advance, changing residency can have serious financial pitfalls. Taking expert, cross-border advice is a crucial step towards ensuring your financial affairs are suitable for your new life in France.

The importance of early financial planning Anyone moving to France needs to prepare for a completely different tax regime to the UK. While there can be tax benefits in both countries, some opportunities may be lost if you wait until you have changed residency. An adviser who fully understands both the UK and French systems can help you take advantage of the most tax-efficient investment, pensions and estate planning solutions for your individual circumstances and goals. Even if you are already resident in France, there are usually steps you can take to improve your tax situation. However, getting it right from the outset makes things a lot easier – and cheaper.

UK assets Understanding when and where to liquidate your UK assets could significantly lower your tax liabilities. Here are some examples: • While pension lump sums are free of UK taxes for expatriates in France, they attract French taxes. However, if you cash-in your entire pension, under certain conditions French tax rates can be as low as 7.5%. • Once you leave Britain, UK investment products such as ISAs lose their tax benefits, with interest or dividends taxable in France. If you cash-in these investments as a French resident, capital gains tax can also apply. Alternative investment vehicles are available to French residents that offer better tax-efficiency as well as estate planning and currency benefits. • Timing is crucial when disposing of UK property. If you sell your main home when in the UK it escapes French tax, but if sold after a year of living in France it will be taxed as a second home. Selling a second home in the UK will always attract UK capital gains tax, but it can be tax-free in France if you have owned it for 30 years or more.

Estate planning French succession law and taxes differ greatly from the UK’s. ‘Forced heirship’ rules, for example, will automatically

distribute up to 75% of your estate to your children. While you can elect for the relevant UK law to apply to your estate instead, this can be complex so should be considered carefully. Note that doing this will not affect your liability for French succession taxes, which can be as high as 60% if you leave assets to step-children or nonrelatives. Good estate planning can provide peace of mind that your legacy will end up in the right hands at the right time, without attracting more tax than necessary. Along with a review of your tax and financial affairs, estate planning should be a key part of your strategy to become French resident – taking advice at an early stage can significantly reduce your tax bill. A cross-border specialist can provide advice on the best time to sell your UK assets to maximise tax savings, and recommend tax-efficient investment structures that also provide succession tax benefits for your chosen heirs.

Planning ahead Although the possibility of returning to live in the UK might seem remote when embarking on a new life in France, in reality this happens quite often. The pull of grandchildren, bereavement or illness can all be reasons to return to the UK. Again, early planning is the key to ensure your investments remain tax efficient and your financial affairs are structured appropriately for your new home. In any event, you should undertake regular reviews to check everything is still set up in the best way for your unique circumstances and to take advantage of any new opportunities. Ultimately, you need personalised, professional guidance to make the most of tax planning, pension and wealth management opportunities in France to suit you. Note, however, that UK financial advisers are unlikely to be upto-date with the intricacies of French taxation and the frequent changes to the tax regime. Speak to an adviser based in France who has specific cross-border experience with British expatriates. Although the Brexit countdown is on to secure French residency, take the time now to make sure that your finances are also in the best possible position for your life in France. The tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

Keep up to date on the financial issues that may affect you on the Blevins Franks news page at www.blevinsfranks.com

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


20 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

HeeHaws For the Love of Donkeys

Close to the border between the Dordogne and the Lot et Garonne you will find HeeHaws. HeeHaws is a donkey sanctuary based in Razac D’Eymet, founded by Carina, Linda and Angie. A lifelong dream of rescuing, helping and caring for abused and neglected donkeys coming true.

O

ur story really started back in October 2017 when we met William in a farmers’ market: he was in a terrible state, emaciated, no fur on his ears and depressed, so we rescued him. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, but with the help and support from friends and family we brought William home to give him the necessary care he desperately needed. He is now healthy, happy and heehawing like a good’un. This got the cogs whirring in our minds and it was agreed that we would start an officially registered charity... and so HeeHaws – For the Love of Donkeys was born. At present, we have 5 donkeys in our care, Wilma, Rigalo, Dolly, Dudley and William. We sadly lost our old donkey Hattie, aged 35, very recently. They are all rescue donkeys who have been cared for, by Carina, for over ten years. They all have shelters – donkeys aren’t waterproof, fresh hay, nutritious food, regular visits from our lovely farrier, care from a vet when needed and a whole lot of love. We have helped to rehome a donkey with his great pal, a Shetland pony....and a cheeky goat who came along for the ride. This was achieved with the help of some precious people. Currently we are working hard to rescue Rodney, again in a state of neglect. People usually contact us via our Facebook page, asking if we can help-out with an abused and neglected donkey. We do all we can to help every donkey who comes our way, whether we take them in, find them a forever home with someone approved by us, or suggesting someone else who can help if we are unable to...in other words, we do all we can to help. Unfortunately rescuing and maintaining healthy donkeys isn’t cheap, so we do all we can to raise money. We have had various fundraising events, which have been both great fun and have helped with the costs. Look out on our Facebook page if you are interested in coming along to a Curry and Quiz night, a disco or a future event. You’d be most welcome.

Dudley

Another way we raise money is for you to sponsor a donkey or become a member of HeeHaws. Both are special things for you to do for yourself or as a gift, and means a lot to the donkeys....and us, of course. Please contact us on the details below if you are interested. Donations are always appreciated and needed. A standing order of just e5 per month will make all the difference. If you can offer manual labour and materials to help build hard-standing and shelter to enable us to

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 21

William at the time of rescue, emaciated and depressed

William now

Rigalo

Wilma

Hattie before she was ill

Dolly

rescue more donkeys, give us a shout. If you have the means of transporting a donkey and can offer your time and services, let us know. Sadly, the need for us is so much bigger than we imagined, the number of abused and neglected donkeys is truly horrifying, so we need all the help we can get. If you can offer your help, we would be so grateful... even spreading the word is a massive help. So, this is us, HeeHaws – for the Love of Donkeys.

Ways to contact us: Facebook: HeeHaws – for the Love of Donkeys (usual response time within 2 hours) Email: heehawsfr@gmail.com Telephone: 06 37 36 78 04 Write to us here: Heehaws, chez M le Maire, Mairie de Razac d’Eymet, 185 rue de la mairie 24500 Razac d’Eymet

Dudley and Dolly with Lin and Wendy

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


22 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Wines of SW France

Clos de Gamot (AOC Cahors) Malbec – The grape that built Cahors, vinified by the one of the most iconic winemaking family of the region – it’s the stuff of wine lovers’ dreams. The wines of Clos de Gamot are a benchmark for regional Malbec, with the Jouffreau family passing winemaking traditions from father to son for centuries.

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he family is first recorded as living in Prayssac as far back as 1290 and Clos de Gamot can be located from records in 1450. It was, however, not until 1610 that the two combined when the Jouffreau family built a house amongst the vines of Clos de Gamot – a house, a winery and a tradition that remains today. In 1880 a phylloxera epidemic destroyed most European vines. At the time Guillaume Jouffreau did much to secure the vineyard’s (and indeed much of the Cahors wine’s) future by collecting the last Malbec vine shoots from Clos de Gamot and successfully grafting them onto other vines, providing the start of a recovery.

When other producers introduced small, new oak-barrels (as used in Bordeaux) this family kept to their historical preference for using their 40-year-old+ foudres (a foudre is a large wooden vat, the word came from the German word ‘fuder’ meaning ‘containing a cartful’ and entered the French language in the 16th century) plus their traditional demi-muits. A preference that ensures wine with a finesse and balance. The family’s philosophy is simple: – be good farmers, give things time, observe, connect with, and be respectful of, nature. This approach ensures that vines dating back to 1885 are still producing intense, great fruit. The vineyard is located on the River Lot’s second and third terrace with a terroir composed of pebbles, gravel, and quartz mixed with river’s alluvium. A strip of red clay crosses the vineyard giving some exceptional properties. Moreover, the vineyard is encased in a

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 23

wine in bottles. ‘A wine, like a person’ says Yves (Jean’s son in-law), ‘should have a personal story to tell over time.’ The wide range of vintages offered by this vineyard mean that everyone can find their own favourite glass of history! The vintage wines from Gamot are truly bucket-list wines. I’m very fortunate, I’ve tried a few of them and I’m amazed by the ability of the Clos de Gamot wines to age and transform over time. EARL Jouffreau Hermann, Clos de Gamot, s46220 Prayssac. www.famille-jouffreau.com contact@famille-jouffreau.com by Thomas Gisbert meander, creating an exceptional microclimate which in turn brings a great freshness to the wines. There are no herbicides used in the vineyard. Grapes are partially sorted when they enter the cellar and then there’s slow maceration for about 20 days with regular tasting. The wine is then aged for 18 to 24 months. Jean Jouffreau’s family have continued to lovingly care for the vines and so the family story and traditions continue. Traditions which include a focus on maturing

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We are delighted to work with Thomas Gisbert who was born and bred to a wine producing tradition in S W France. However, he’s now in Australia where he promotes and imports wines from our region to share with his Australian clients. Thomas knows so much about the ‘less obvious’ but brilliant producers. We hope to meet Thomas himself in one of our later editions, that’s if we can catch him on one of his visits to his family vineyard. www.mosaiquewines.com.au

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Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


24 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Meet: Chloé Moore from French Business Management

‘A friendly, dynamic, bilingual team, helping you and your business succeed’

Different rates of TVA In the May edition, we talked about the new Micro Entrepreneur turnover thresholds compared to the VAT turnover thresholds, and so in this edition, we’re going to do a quick recap on TVA rates. Different rates of TVA In mainland France, there are 3 main TVA rates: 20%, 10% and 5,5%. There is also an additional rate of 2,1% applicable to newspapers and magazines. (and yes, there are yet more rates applicable to Corsica and the DOM-TOMs!) The ‘normal’ and most widespread rate of TVA is 20%. However, in certain circumstances, lower rates may apply. This is of interest of course for business owners, but also for the end client, as a lower rate of TVA con sometimes mean a lower overall bill. The ‘low’ rate of 10% This reduced rate concerns goods and services as listed below: - Agricultural products not destined for human consumption (example: hay, straw, grains) - Wood for heating purposes - Transport of passengers - Restaurants - Museum, zoo and cultural site entrance fees - Sale of original art products - Hotel stays, certain furnished rentals and star-rated campsites - Non-reimbursed medicines - Building work destined to improve, transform or maintain accommodation. The ‘super-low’ rate of 5,5% - Food products - Feminine hygiene products - Equipment and services for handicapped individuals - Books (including e-books) - Gas and Electricity contracts

- Heat production issued from renewable energies - School dinners - Concert and cinema tickets - Work destined to improve the energetic performance of a building - Social accommodation Whilst most these services can apply the lower rates de facto, some have very specific rules and obligations to apply a lower rate of TVA. The specificities of building/energy-saving work and the application of a lower TVA rate Firstly, and this is essential for both the builder and the client, each invoice with a lower rate of TVA MUST be accompanied by a governmental certificate (Cerfa N°13948*05) and signed by the client. (this is important as failure to produce a signed ‘attestation’ can and will result in the tax office reclassifying the work at 20% TVA – and it is up to the tradesman to pay the difference!) Lower rate of TVA can be applied: - on buildings over 2 years’ old - buildings destined for non-commercial accommodation (ie, secondary homes are admissible, hotels are not) - there must be no structural change to the building - the lower rate can be applied whether you are owner, landlord or tenant. The lower rate of 10% can be applied to all works intending to improve or maintain any building fulfilling the conditions cited above (ie renovation) whereas the 5,5% rate can be applied exclusively for energy saving work (ie insulation, installation of pellet burner/wood burning stove, double-glazing). How to calculate TVA On your invoices, you must always show the “hors-taxe” HT price (before tax) as well as the TVA amount and full price. It is not unusual to be able to provide the final

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 25

Furniture for France Ltd We don’t just sell furniture, we deliver a service. Quality, UK sourced furniture delivered and installed in your home in France.

Delivery from just £59 for any quantity of furniture. Sofas, mattresses, oak, pine and painted furniture.

Tel - 06 46 49 73 45 email - info@furnitureforfrance.co.uk www.furnitureforfrance.co.uk TTC (toutes taxes comprises) price to a client, but be completely floored when it comes to working out the net price! So here are a few easy formulas to keep with you: If your TVA rate is 20% TTC price = HT price + TVA TVA = 0,2 x HT price TTC price = HT price + 0,2 x HT price = 1,2 x HT price So in order to calculate your net price and TVA from your TTC price: HT price = TTC price/1,2 And TVA = HT price x 0,2 For 10%, simply change the 0,2 into 0,1 and the 1,2 into 1,1 and for 5,5%, change the 0,2 into 0,055 and the 1,2 into 1,055.

or indeed a credit which is carried forward, or, if the amount is large enough, can be directly reimbursed to your bank account. Please note that as always these are general guidelines only – specific rates or rules may apply to your business and you should always seek advice from a professional.

Of course, we understand how daunting it can be trying to run a business and deal with worries about TVA, income thresholds and business regimes. We offer advice on accounting and tax issues to businesses throughout France. Do contact us if you would like to talk about how we can help you.

Declaring TVA Depending on which option you chose when you set-up, and how much TVA you declare each time, you can have the option of declaring monthly, quarterly or annually. For goods, you pay TVA as soon as an invoice is issued, whereas for services, you need only pay the TVA once the invoice is paid (which is great for cash-flow!) The TVA you are due to pay back to the government is offset against TVA you have paid on your purchases, and you will either end up with an amount to pay,

You can contact Chloé on: contact@frenchbusinessmanagement.com +33 (0)5 53 04 27 80 www.frenchbusinessmanagement.com French Business Management La Jaubertie 24380, St-Maime-de-Pereyrol

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


26 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

In this summer edition, we’re featuring just one town – but it’s a great one! Amanda King has kindly written an introduction to this historical gem and tells us about life in the town and its activities.

Excideuil For its size, the little medieval town of Excideuil has a remarkable amount on offer. While walking the streets and cobbled alleyways, one gets a strong sense of its rich history dating back to 572. At the same time, it is an active working town with a vibrant social and cultural calendar. The imposing castle at the entrance to the town, which was able to repel Richard the Lionheart’s troops on three occasions, still plays a key role in Excideuil’s welfare. It has become the cultural hub of the town hosting a variety of exhibitions, concerts and films throughout the year. Saint Thomas Church, overlooking the Bugeaud Fountain, in the heart of the village, also has a story to tell. Its steeple was struck by lightning in 1934 and the ensuing fire caused major damage. The architect charged with reconstruction decided to use a “modern design” and a new material that was taking off at that time – concrete! Excideuil is now the proud owner of a very distinctive bell tower. During the Middle Ages the legendary Knights Templar had immense influence across Europe.

Their footprint is also to be found in Excideuil. The Commanderie des Templiers is directly across the road from the church and parts of this imposing building are nearly a thousand years old. Throughout the commanderie one can see carvings in the stone: medieval graffiti depicting faces and indecipherable words in old French. An imposing, original spiral stone staircase winds through the middle of the building and is the only access to the upper floors. Legend has it that the Templars brought their horses upstairs with them at night for safety... or was it perhaps for the warmth they provided?

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 27

FRENCH

HICCUPS

Help with administration, moving and settling in France and business registration

Do you dream of a life in France, or need help making your life here simpler? Then as a French speaker, let me help! Rosalynde HICKS | 9 Avenue Pasteur 24160 EXCIDEUIL 07.87.61.13.44 | roshicks@hotmail.fr www.frenchhiccups.com Professeure d’anglais N’hésitez pas à me contacter pour plus de renseignements

Excideuil is also a commercial hub and has an impressive number of businesses. These include trades-people, artists and craftsmen. The butchers, the bakers, and the shoemaker – you can find them all here. There are medical doctors, a pharmacy, a primary and a secondary school, a florist, a bank, estate agents, lawyers, a jeweller, an antique shop, dress shops,

hairdressers, a well stocked cave (bottle store), a post office, a laundry and a car wash. Enduring and dynamic, this town is home to both long established businesses such the Patisserie Faugerolas (founded in 1890) and exciting new arrivals such as Chénelia, a concept boutique selling rustic and refined home-wares, clothes and gifts. The recently refurbished Super-U and the busy Thursday farmers’ market provide most of the necessary groceries, fresh food and vegetables one needs to enjoy the excellent local cuisine. There is also a manufacturing presence here, which includes a foundry, Houcke, a bespoke shoe factory

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


28 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

and the Repetto factory, renowned for its ballet shoes, Stromae pumps and Michael Jackson moccasins. There are several popular restaurants and coffee shops – pop into Gaillard Gourmand for a good coffee and their signature carrot cake, The Patio for a hearty hamburger or the Rustic for a pizza. Le Central Perk offers takeaway sandwiches. If you are after more hearty fare try La Cuisine du Marché or La Petite Détente. Friday cocktail hour at the Fin Chapon is where the locals like to end their week. There is a variety of good accommodation options for tourists including hotels, B+Bs and a caravan park, which is situated along the shady banks of the River Loue. The Leisure Centre has a football stadium, tennis courts and a public swimming pool. Associations such as Merveilleusement Excideuil, Excit’oeil, Anim’Excidueil and the Rotary Club organise a wide variety of cultural, leisure and sporting events throughout the year. These include traditional annual

events such a brocante and vide-grenier, La fête des mères and the Christmas market. The 14th of July is celebrated with a fireworks display over the castle walls. There are concerts, art exhibitions, plays, film evenings, culinary evenings, photographic, and painting competitions which all provide ample entertainment and cultural stimulation throughout the year. For music lovers, the Classical Music Festival in August is not to be missed. It is hosted in the Excideuil Château by its owner Mr. Tom van der Bruggen, who invites renowned international artists for a weeklong programme of performances. An exciting new event is the Hoop Festival, which is now an annual highlight, following its successful launch in 2016. It was a local youth initiative started by four students whose Masters research project was “Energising the cultural tourism of a small town in Périgord vert”. Excideuil was chosen for the research and following this permission was obtained to put on a cultural event. At the first festival the very real value in promoting intergenerational enjoyment and stimulating dialogue between artists and the public was clearly demonstrated. This two-day affair, which presents the quirky and the current through live concerts and performances, animation, games, interactive workshops and food stalls, will be held again in August this year Excideuil Extraordinaire, a page set up by local resident Richard Bauer, highlights Excideuil’s news, attractions and events. excideuilextraordinaire Tourist office for more information www.naturellementperigord.fr

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ADVERTORIAL • 29

In the summer of 2017, Cornelia and Hugo opened a pop-up boutique called “La Maison Coquette” in Excideuil. The boutique exceeded their expectations, not only in the popularity it attained in such a short time but also how much they would love having the store. This summer experience planted the seed for a new adventure, to establish a bigger permanent boutique in Excideuil. And so, after five months of renovations the old Tresor Public in rue Jean Jaures was reborn in May 2018 as Chénelia. Chénelia, a contraction of Chez Cornelia; can best be described as a shopping experience rather than a store or boutique. It is an enjoyable and welcoming retail environment, feeling more like a home than a shop where you can linger and browse at your leisure to discover little treasures that will find their place in your heart and home. The theme of “Rustic and Refined” is the central thread that weaves it all together. Chénelia sells selective ladies wear, gifting ideas, home décor, cushions, throws and home fragrances. The selection is truly too numerous to mention. Suppliers are from far and wide, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Peru and of course France. A bientôt!

SAS CHÉNELIA, SIRET:833 968 761 00019 11 Rue Jean Jaures, 24160, Excideuil, France Téléphone : +33 5 53 55 21 97 Portable : +33 6 07 03 33 91 Email : hugo@chenelia.com

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


30 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Fine Arts, Icons and Egg Yolks Rebecca is an English painter who has lived in the Dordogne since 2014 and who bought her stone town house with its walled garden in Excideuil 2015.

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ebecca is the first to admit that she never had any desire to live in France. It was not until 2011 when she visited Montpellier to see an exhibition that she discovered the beauty of South West France. A visit to Provence followed and in August 2013 she came to the Dordogne on an art residency near to Montignac. For the first time in her life felt she’d come home. After visiting again that winter and the again following spring, following advice to see the region in the different seasons. She made the decision to rent out her terraced house in Cambridge and she drove down to the Dordogne with a car full of books, paints and her bichon frise, Charlie. As a trained artist and teacher moving to a region of France with a good size English expat community Rebecca realised there may be an opportunity to teach but more importantly it would enable her to fulfil her lifelong dream of painting full-time.

She had originally trained in Fine Arts at Bristol and then at the Royal College of Art in London. The main medium she works with is ‘egg tempera’. This is a paint used in the Middle Ages, before the invention of oil paints. It uses egg yolk and pigments to create a bright durable paint. It is still used in Orthodox Icon painting today. Rebecca’s interest in Icons led to her learning the technique and she now teaches short courses in it. Her classes are a mixture of art, art history, cooking and chemistry as she must always make fresh paint; as once it is dry, on the palette, it must be thrown away and remade. All levels of experience are welcome, the next course in Excideuil runs from 20 – 22 August. As well as courses in ‘egg tempera’, Rebecca also runs regular drawing and painting classes on Monday mornings, suitable for all levels. She’s an Adult education teaching certificate and taught evening classes for Cambridgeshire County council. Rebecca also teaches in French as well as English, now that her

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 31

French (which was minimal when she arrived) allows her to converse. She also exhibits around the region and has been a member of the Beaux Arts Societe du Périgord since she arrived in 2014. Which is a great way to meet other local artists, raise her profile locally and improve her French! One of the things that attracted Rebecca to the Dordogne and the town of Excideuil was her love of history, medieval architecture and visual arts, which she’d whilst at college. She’d worked in Museum education at the Victoria and Albert Museum for five years in the 1990s, and this led to an interest in traditional crafts and historical dress, which has extended into researching into local crafts and dress of the Périgord region and which she uses as inspiration for some of her paintings. Always one to try something new, last Christmas, Rebecca was asked to help paint the Christmas windows for local shops in Excideuil, which she discovered that she really enjoyed and has led on to painting murals in acrylic ink. She has discovered that working ‘large’ is as exciting as working small. She lives by the mantra used in her classes ‘it’s always good to keep learning and to try new things.’ For more information on commissions and courses, Rebecca can be contacted on 07 80 41 60 69; 05 53 62 82 46; rebeccamerry@hotmail.com; www.rebeccamerry.com RebeccaMerryArt RebeccaMerry Watercolour painting commissions start from 295e Limited edition prints are also available of most paintings from 65e Mural paintings start at 100e per square metre for a black and white design. Egg tempera course, 20 – 22 August, Excideuil 10.30am – 5pm 240e all materials, lunch and refreshments included in the price. Rebecca will be opening her studio the weekend of 21/22 July as part of Vari’art Open Studios event held in Perigord Vert and neighbouring Corrèze. www.variart.fr 10h - 19h Saturday and Sunday. Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


32 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Excideuil ‘on-pointe’ In the middle of the picturesque Dordogne there’s a hugely important manufacturing base for Ballet Shoes, supplying professional dancers worldwide. It all started, in 1947, with Rose Repetto who created her first ballet shoes in a workshop close to the Opera Garnier in Paris. She’d been encouraged by her dancer son, Roland Petit. Repetto, is world famous and their ballet shoes are still manufactured in Saint-Medard-d’Excideuil; using the highly skilled ‘stitch and return’ backstitch technique. The company also design and manufacture other stylish, but above all comfortable, footwear. Notable exponents included Bridget Bardot and reportedly Michael Jackson who’d made an order for shoes on the day he died. You can find out more about Repetto on www.repetto.fr Such skill in a workforce makes this a great base for other manufacturers – look also at Jean-Michel Houcke, www.jmghoucke.fr, Specialist in Made to Measure Shoes

THERE’S GOLD IN THOSE HILLS! Did you know that you can gold prospect in the Périgord?

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very Thursday (July and August) Philippe Roubinet comes to Excideuil to offer demonstrations and help people undertake their very own gold-search. Philippe worked for 20 years in the Bourneix mines, add this to his childhood passion for prospecting for gold and you have the makings of a career as a goldprospector. Once the mine closed and Philippe knew he wanted to stay in the area; the next step was obvious. So, for the last 15 years he’s provided training for individuals, groups and schools. People can learn about the local geology, the story of gold in the area and panning techniques. Philippe is convinced that it’s quite possible for anyone to find gold in the local rivers. A belief that stems from geological activity 500 million years ago, which has led to the local rivers’ alluvium becoming nature’s safe for the Pérgord gold! If you find gold – you can keep it! With the gold that Philippe gathers he creates jewellery and decorative items – that’s his winter activity! You can book in with Philippe via the Tourist Office in Excideuil. More info: http://lechercheurdor.org/ You can prospect for gold on your own but there are some rules to follow. Including, but not limited to: • Obtaining the landowners permission • Leaving the site as you find it • Respecting the natural environment • Not using motorised equipment • Respecting the breeding cycle of fish • Dispose of all rubbish found on or brought to the site.

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Next time you visit Excideuil stop by and try something a bit different...

Le Patio Café Excideuil Fine Coffees & Teas, Meals, Wine & Beer, Gateaux & Tarts, Private Patio See you soon ~ Steve Le Patio Café Excideuil 10 rue Jean Jaures 24160 Excideuil 05 53 55 17 74

Vélo Paradisio, your vintage bike ride in the Périgord! After the Monbazillac vineyards in 2016, Vélo Paradisio comes back on Sunday, July, 22nd at the Cité Clairvivre – Salagnac (24). A unique occasion to discover the beautiful landscapes hidden in this part of the Green Périgord. A fun ride with some old bikes and vintage clothes! Three circuits await you: in the morning, there’s a 40-km loop to ride with friends and a 80 km-loop for the bravest. After lunch, everybody can join the 15-km loop especially designed for families and the less fit. Rides are broken up with refreshment stops to allow you to enjoy some local products. In the evening there’s a gourmet night market, rockabilly concerts and an open-air cinema screening will end this wonderful day.

Prices: 10e / 8e (reduced rate) – (excludes meals)

Information / registration: +33 (0)5 53 07 54 54 / veloparadisio@gmail.com / www.veloparadisio.com

Pyrat.net have supported professionals in their communication projects for over 20 years. Initially focused on the digital market, the agency has expanded its capabilities to offer graphic services: signs, business cards, brochures, logo. We work closely together with our clients to develop their marketing strategies through websites, social media and paper-based communications. It is with passion and goodwill that we help our clients find innovative solutions which work to achieve their business goals. We have a proven track record with numerous companies ranging from small to medium-sized. We work throughout France and internationally – a few of the cities where we have been asked to do projects include Paris, Nantes, Rennes, Lyon, Orléans, Bordeaux and Jerusalem. We listen to our clients! The Pyrat.net team is committed to understanding their clients’ needs, to staying constantly responsive to their evolving business situations and to delivering solutions of exceptional quality and creativity. pyrat.net – Moulin de la Jaury – 24160 Saint Médard d’Excideuil

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


34 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Excideuil a magnificent heritage

The Rotary Club in Excideuil has put together a brochure about the town. Inspired by their text we’ve learnt a little more.

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f Excideuil were a fairy-tale, it wouldn’t be Sleeping Beauty. No evil witches have cast a spell plunging Excideuil into a deep sleep. Excideuil may seem dreamy but it’s fully-awake and steering a course between the present and a gentle nostalgia. Centuries of history have shaped the town’s appearance and its (often surprising) surviving heritage. Excideuil has a most unusual layout. There’s an ancient upper-town which wraps around the church of St. Thomas while the lower-town, extending from the foot of the castle, is a little less ancient! To understand the town, you must know a little of its past. But firstly, what about the name – where did that come from? The name Excideuil is Gallic in origin and means ‘the clearing of iron’. It was the iron mines that historically surrounded the town that made its reputation and fortune.

The region has been inhabited by man since the dawn of time. We can see that prehistoric man lived in the caves and hollows of the cliffs dominating the river Loue, a river which rises in the Limousin region and makes its way towards, and meanders past Excideuil. Excideuil has the powerful Viscounts of Limoges to thank for its Château (11th – 12th century). The city thrived under the protection of its great stone ramparts. In its surrounding streets craftsmen, merchants, religious orders, and noble families settled building beautiful mansions. Life ran smoothly here until man’s warlike madness struck with force. The Franco-English wars literally set the city ablaze. Richard the Lionheart’s (1182) desire for the Château and its town demonstrated their strategic importance. The town, heroically, resisted English attacks. In 1420, during the 100 Years’ War, a great fire annihilated the town. Recovery, from this disaster, was possible because the French Crown awarded the town a special status. This was as a reward for its fidelity to the Crown and its bravery during the fight against the English. Both Charles VII and his son Louis XI endowed Excideuil with many privileges, including tax exemptions. Exemptions which attracted many rich families to the benevolent regime. Excideuil benefited from these advantages until the French Revolution. Master forgers, magistrates, surgeons and apothecaries settled and built magnificent mansions. All with facades using the beautiful ochre-stone of Excideuil. These facades, with their beautifully balanced openings still grace the upper-town. Here you’ll find curved alleys with evocative names such as

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 35

‘rue du Four’, ‘rue du Puits’, ‘rue du Roc’ and ‘rue des Parfums’, often around these charming houses you’ll glimpse lovely floral gardens. What could be more perfect? Over the centuries several important families ruled the Château: Limoges, Brittany, d’Albret, Cars, and Talleyrand Périgord. Some famous names have also been linked to Excideuil’s past. Guiraut de Borneil; called by Dante the “master of the troubadours” and who was the official poet at the Château, in the 12th century. Marshal Bugeaud (conqueror of Algeria) and his family lived in Excideuil. The elegant fountain he gave to the town, demonstrated his affection to the place. Then there was Dr Jean-Baptiste Chavoix, the Parrot brothers (Philippe Parrot the painter and Dr. JosephMarie-Jules Parrot, the famous paediatrician). General Clergerie the early 20th century military leader. There must be something in the water in Excideuil as the list goes on and includes, the great scientist Charles Dufraisse, and the professor of medicine René Dujarric de la Rivière, the fashion designer Carven, and the actress Magali de Vendeuil. Others have stayed in Excideuil: Thomas Edward Lawrence, the future Lawrence of Arabia, came to rediscover Richard the Lionheart. Two men of letters, Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, passionate about Guiraut de Borneil, came to Excideuil to get to know him better, to better understand his writings and his sometimesconfusing life. Among these passing guests were also Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais. The novelist and biographer André Maurois also spent his holidays in Saint Medard in the family Château of Essendiéras, often walking there in the company of writers, filmmakers, journalists and politicians who come to enjoy the summer in Périgord. In the 1970’s, after years of abandonment the Château’s chapel, main house and towers were restored by its new owners. Gradually the splendour returned. The town began to work on the gatehouse, barns and stables, it was a joy to behold.

EXCIDEUIL Dordogne

JUILLEt & Août > 2018

Urs 35 ArtIsAns CréAtE 7j/7

ouvert avenue Gambetta tsho p.co m rens eign eme nts > cont

act@ artse

Imprimerie bédrine à excideuil - 05 53 62 42 40 - www.idb24.fr

Association Bidouill’ART Ambassadress of Recycling and Artistic expression 9 avenue Gambetta 24160 Excideuil contact@bidouillart.fr Excideuil’s Bidouill’ART is based in a workshop which is transformed into a pop-up shop for the summer. The workshops will be open every day from July 1st August 31st, presenting the work of around 30 artists. The Association is involved with local projects such as the decorative signage for the HOOP festival. They make their creative decoration and signs from recycled items such as pallets, cardboard, paper etc. Art from recycled materials.

Excideuil, its Château, Church and many splendid buildings, its winding streets and many residents all celebrate its heritage and that important marriage of the past with the present. A prestigious town then and now! The text is inspired by the new brochure produced by the Rotary Club d’Excideuil Lieu-dit Essendiéras, 24160 Saint Médard d’Excideuil To contact the Rotary Club – rotary.excideuil24@orange.fr Or for information about the new brochure about the town – welcome@ne-mac.com Rotary Club Excideuil Photographs courtesy of Rotary Club d’Excideuil

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


36 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Papeterie de Vaux Not too far away from Excideuil you can find the Papeterie de Vaux, in Payzac (24270). This Eco-museum is a quite literally a ‘factory in the fields’ and is a listed National Monument.

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riginally it was an iron forge, producing iron in the 17th century – the region was a producer of iron ore. In 1861 it was converted to the production of rye-straw paper, one of the very first industrial plants designed to produce paper. Situated on the banks of a stream (original power source) which runs into the river Auvézère the Papeterie de Vaux now offers 800m2 of museum space. The paper produced here was known as ‘butcher’s paper’ and was used widely in France for food wrapping. The paper was also popular with some artists. The premises here in Payzac finished off the paper-making process (begun a short distance away at another former iron plant). They produced rolls of paper from a strawbased dough. This involved huge blades, water wheels, rollers and vast quantities of steam from large boilers. Production finally ceasing in 1968 when changes in technology and demand made the plant no longer viable. The importance is this museum is undeniable – it is the last place in France with an intact production line of this type. This place offers an exceptional historical record of the eventual blending of an industrial era with timehonoured rural skills and practices. The mill looks the same as it did the day it first opened and occupies a timeless and charming landscape. During the summer, it also operates as a ‘residence d’artists’ with exhibitions and workshops. The Michelin Guide puts this ‘Eco Museum’ in its 1001 sites to see in France.

In July and August, it’s open all day (Monday to Saturday) 10 to 18.30 – Sunday 14.30 to 18.30 Guided visits possible in English; visits last 1hr/1hr15 minutes. Out of season, by arrangement: laformeronde@hotmail.fr. Picnics possible for groups in the surrounding park (no charge). More details www.ecomuseesdelauvezere.fr

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Ecomusée de la Papeterie de Vaux : Une mémoire de paille !

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es paysages de l’Auvézère, entre Limousin et Périgord se colorent des tâches blanches et grises des galets de quartz et de schiste, dissimulant derrière un écran de bouleaux et de châtaigniers une collection de ruisseaux, sources et cascades. Du début du XVI ème, jusqu’au XIX ème siècle, de nombreux moulins s’installent dans ces lieux isolés, souvent difficiles d’accès : forges, moulins à farine, à huile, mais également moulins à papier comme à Lanouaille sur la Petite Loue, à Payzac, à Savignac-Lédrier et à St Mesmin sur l’Auvézère ou la Boucheuse. Sur l’Auvézère et sur son affluent, le ruisseau des Belles Dames, les forges de Malherbeaux et de Vaux connaissaient depuis le XVII ème siècle un destin commun : Vaux servait d’usine à fer à Malherbeaux, équipée d’un haut fourneau qui produisait la fonte. En 1861, leur propriétaire, Camille Bon, pionnier de l’industrie locale, a sans doute pensé aux vieux moulins à papier de la région et à la grande qualité des eaux du pays : il décida de reconvertir ces deux forges, condamnées par le modernisme, en une papeterie industrielle de papier de paille. A Malherbeaux, on préparait la pâte, tandis qu’à Vaux était installée une chaîne de fabrication du papier en continu. Cette installation était une innovation technique sans précédant dans la région. Son unicité, intégralement conservée jusqu’à nos jours fait que la papeterie de Vaux est Monument Historique classé. Son écomusée, ouvert en 2000,

a été récompensé par une étoile au Guide Michelin et déclaré en 2016 au titre des « Mille et un sites à voir en France ». Le papier qui était fait à Vaux était un papier brun, à usage domestique, sans colle ni colorants : un vrai papier écologique ! La papeterie de Vaux cessa ses activités en 1968, avant d’être achetée par la commune de Payzac. Elle est aujourd’hui gérée par une association culturelle. L’écomusée de la Papeterie de Vaux propose des visites, des ateliers et des expositions, car Vaux est aussi une résidence d’artistes. On peut aussi y profiter de balades dans un environnement paysager varié, très préservé. Pierre THIBAUD credit photos : Association la Forme Ronde

Vous aussi, vous pouvez nous faire part de vos billets d’humeur, de vos intérêts associatifs ou caritatifs, nous parler de votre ville ou de votre passion .... Alors, à vos stylos pour notre prochaine édition de Septembre : nous attendons vos textes en français !

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


38 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Teashops, everybody loves them! In this summer edition, we’ve looked at that most important of institutions ‘the teashop’ or ‘salon de thé’. Anyone who has run a business in France will understand the challenges involved. So, where these ‘wonderful places’ make our local area a happier place we need to celebrate them, and remember to use them!

We’ve included 3 very different teashops, each with something different to offer. Each described in the words of the proprietors or one of their great supporters! We’ve chosen this place in the magazine to feature ‘teashops’ because the first one is in Excideuil and we want this to be as close as possible to the pages where we’ve featured this lovely old town. So firstly, the lovely SALON DE THÉ GAILLARD GOURMAND in Excideuil (24160) – run by Marjolein Gaillard

Marjolein tells us that ‘After spending all my childhood holidays in France in the Excideuil area I did not hesitate when the opportunity arose to move from the Netherlands to live there. After a local café closed its doors in 2016 I lost my job, but Excideuil also lost a place that was a social, meeting-place and an information point. When we found the perfect building to open my husband’s physical therapy practice there just happened to be an unused space in the building suitable for creating a little teashop!

It did need a little bit of work. Whilst we were fixing the plans for the building, things started to evolve, and Gaillard Gourmand was born. The teashop offers homemade cakes with Dutch, English and French influences; light, home-made lunches served with home-made bread, coffee from a French torréfacteur and a variety of teas, including real English teas such as Yorkshire and Tetley’s! But there’s more to be found……local producers and artisans leave their products to be sold, there is a broad range of greeting cards and presents, a

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THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 39

small art gallery with paintings by local artists and a small library. The teashop has turned out to be more than the social place that I’d first had in mind. It’s become a place where people from diverse backgrounds and cultures meet and interact. A place where advice is given, new friendships are formed, and information is shared. A place where people forget the time and stay longer than planned because someone else they know just walked in. People come in just for their favourite piece of cake or to take home a slice of quiche for lunch. Schoolkids spend their free-time playing games and drinking smoothies or hot chocolate. The locals come in to start their day with an espresso while reading the local news. The best compliment is when people tell me it feels like home and that’s why they stop by every week!’ Opening hours 9.00-17.00, Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri. 9.00-14.00, Sat – sometimes longer when its busy. Also open on Wed and Sunday to coincide with local events. Catch up with Marjolein and her Teashop at Gaillard Gourmand or, bosch.marjolein@gmail.com Next we visit Serres et Montguyard and Caroline’s ‘LA CLÉ DES CHAMPS’

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful village of Serres et Montguyard (24500), lies a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. The welcoming and tastefully decorated café ‘La Clé des Champs’ is owned by the innovative and charming Caroline Wenckebach who

having been a chef in a former life decided to open this beautiful eatery. Caroline says ‘I worked and lived abroad for many years but yearned to return to my native France. I wanted a change of direction and searched for peace and tranquillity, and I feel fortunate that Serres et Montguyard has offered me all those things. I opened the café in early April having spent the winter months buying and restoring furniture to fit out the dining area, sourcing decorations, suppliers and asking the villagers what they would expect from a café such as mine. Living in rural France is wonderful, but sometimes just a little inconvenient, so I decided to add a Depot de

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40 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Pain which has proved a great success already and has helped build up local returning customers.’ Caroline has put a lot of thought into her exciting venture and goes on to say ‘we offer delicious food and drink with excellent service and have a selection of local homemade cakes, soups and quiches, but I plan to offer more very soon. Having tested the water, our customers are very supportive and consequently I will be expanding what we have on offer to eat and drink at lunchtime and plan to open in the early evening for apero, and ‘nibbles’ then two evenings a week for relaxed dining with a full menu, including vegetarian options and a small range of local wines to compliment. I am even considering a Sunday Buffet maybe once a month in the summer as there is a garden at the side of the café which would make a pretty, outside dining area. But that is something for the future as we need to get a little more established first!’ La Clé des Champs is much more than a traditional café and with Caroline’s enthusiasm and experience she hopes it will become the focal point of the village and a destination for residents and visitors alike. So, to conclude if you are looking for somewhere new to meet up with friends or if you pass through the village from time to time, drop in, have a coffee and say hello to Caroline, she will be delighted to see you! La Clé des Champs openings hours are as follows, Tues. to Thurs. 09.00 to 3pm and 6.00 to 8.00pm, Friday s 9.00 to 3pm and 6.00 to 10.00pm and finally Sat. 09.00 to 1.00pm and 6.00 to 10.00pm. For more information about the café, lunches and evening meals you can contact the café on amandapattinson942@gmail. Please visit the Salon’s Facebook page for up to date information. La-clé-Des-Champs-Serres, you can also contact us through this page using messenger. Our last, but by no means least, teashop is in the lovely riverside town of Lalinde (24150). LA PETITE CUILLÈRE, owned and run by Franck and Marie Pelong

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Franck and Marie, originally from Normandy, took over this lovely little cafe in April 2012. They fell in love with the genuinely friendly feel of the place and wanted to build a future of sharing it with others. A big move but not such a difficult decision, it was something they knew they both wanted to do. Franck had previously worked in restaurants but Marie had been a nurse and so she quickly had to do some training and obtain the necessary certification. Marie says that she loves this new way-of-life and is now in charge of preparing the lovely selection of sweet and savoury ‘delicacies’ available in the café. You will find an array of savoury options as well as (of course) tarts, muffins, cakes and brownies, all home-made and using the best and where at all possible, local ingredients. Then, and very important for these summer months, there’s a selection of icecreams to be enjoyed. Franck and Marie’s café is beautifully adorned with decorative bits and pieces – all of which are for sale. Making this a wonderful place to pick up gifts and perhaps find yourself inspired over the top of great cup of tea! If you love tea – then Franck is the man to visit. The café has a vast selection of different teas to either drink there or take home to enjoy a little later. It’s the same with their desserts, you can take a piece home or even order something special for a celebration. Teashops are rarely, just teashops, and this is no exception. Occasional evenings of entertainment are

held, including quizzes and music etc. Watch out for more information about proposed ‘themed literary evenings’ perhaps during the winter. A fantastic opportunity for people to gather, discuss, read and perhaps write a little all on a chosen theme, among friend and like-minded people. Perfect for when we get back to those dark nights. I think it’s safe to say that Marie will have something delicious prepared to tempt anyone attending the events. If you don’t believe us – try for yourself. Franck and Marie go to every length to make sure that your time in their teashop is a stressless one – a little time out! Open every day from 9h to 19h except Monday. You can find out about events held here La Petite Cuillère

La Petite Cuillère Bar - Restauration Salon de Thé - Glaces Café Littéraire Soirées Musicales á themes Vente de Déco Vente de Thés 12 rue des Déportés, 24150 Lalinde 05 53 27 36 39 La Petite Cuillère

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42 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Inspiration from the Water’s Edge

Sometimes when you pass one of the many achingly-beautiful regional houses you cannot help but wonder what goes on within? What do the people living there do? What talents do the old walls guard? So, we’ve had a little peek! Moulin de Latreille is a hidden gem in the Ouysse Valley. It’s a beautiful 13th century watermill nestled in the silent and timeless valley of the Ouysse river, surrounded by cliffs and wild flower meadows. When Giles and Fi Stonor found the mill over 20 years ago, they faced a challenge, there wasn’t even electricity. Since then they have dedicated themselves to lovingly restoring the building. They have created a peaceful and eco-friendly environment in which to bring up their son, now 13 years old. Their long perseverance and dedication has paid off, as they now have a beautiful home in a stunning, waterside location where, if they choose, they can live completely off-grid. Harnessing the power created by the water flowing through the Moulin. Happily, they are willing to share this idyllic spot with paying guests and the mill is now a successful Maison d’Hôtes. A haven of peace and tranquillity, where people from all over the world come to stay,

relax and enjoy the breath-taking view over the river with the soothing sound of running water. Guests can enjoy sampling life ‘off-grid’, whilst being ideally situated for visiting all the local historical sites, including Rocamadour, which is within walking distance of the Moulin. Let’s not forget the many gourmet restaurants locally helping ensure that the Moulin is the perfect place to stay to restore body and soul!

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A quick look at the Moulin tells you there must be more to know – there’s a real sense of style, imagination and artistry. You would be right, there’s more! This creative and talented couple can use their skills in many ways. Giles studied restoration and decoration and worked in London and Oxford for 12 years before re-locating to France with Fi in 1999. They both have a good eye for colour and know which paints and colours work well with old and new buildings and on character pieces of furniture. So, Giles registered as an artisan and has been working, all over France, on numerous large and small décor and restoration projects, including historical châteaux. You can see some examples on the website.

Giles & Fiona Stonor, Moulin de Latreille, 46350 Cales. email: gilesetfi@gmail.com To find out more: Moulin: www.moulindelatreille.com Interior Furnishings: www.latreilleinteriors.com Decoration: www.gilesstonor.com

Through their personal restoration work, Fi and Giles have developed a passion for interiors and interior decoration, inspired by the textures and colours of the natural surroundings of the Moulin. Together they’ve set up Latreille Interiors which sources, makes and sells eclectic, quirky and oneof-a-kind pieces of furniture, whilst also taking on commissions for selected items. Fi explains that, ‘We’re passionate about good quality furnishings which we handpick and re-upholster in beautiful fabric to provide the finishing touches for any home. Each piece is unique and we believe that incorporating a statement piece of furniture can give the wow factor to any space and dramatically change the look of a room’. The couple also undertake larger projects and commissions such as whole-house interior re-design, re-styling or ideas for re-selling a property. As well as small projects, such as designing or renovating and re-upholstering that ‘ever-so’ perfect piece of furniture for a room or perhaps sourcing complementary pieces of art to finish a room off. Their home, Moulin de Latreille, has become a showcase for their work and many of the unique pieces of furniture in the Moulin are for sale. You can make an appointment to see the furniture and to meet Fi on 0965220403 or 0632804265. Fi is also having an exhibition in Sarlat-la-Canéda - ‘Lichen & Snowdrop’ at L’espace Liberté, 5, rue de la Liberté, 24200 Sarlat on 15th July 2018 for 2 weeks alongside fellow artist and designer Nicola Cresswell.

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


44 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Tasting the lot

Absinthe The Green Fairy, to give it its nickname. I’ve spent many an afternoon and evening, in a former job, giving speeches about Absinthe. Lessons on its history, how to make it, the difference between French and Czech absinthe and above all dispelling the myths that surround this rather nice summer drink.

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ts origins are much debated. Did it start life as a tonic to ‘calm’ ladies’ nerves and aid childbirth made by 2 sisters in 1790s? Did Dr Pierre Ordinaire, a Swiss doctor who prescribed it to his patients, buy the recipe from the sisters? Or, was it bequeathed it on a death bed? In fact, absinthe came from much further back in time, back to medieval times. Absinthe is a strongly alcoholic aperitif made from alcohol and distilled herbs or herbal extracts. Chief amongst these are grand wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and green anise, but also almost always including 3 other herbs: petite wormwood (Artemisia pontica, aka Roman wormwood), fennel, and hyssop. Some regionally authentic recipes also call for additional herbs like star anise (badiane), sweet flag (aka calamus), melissa (aka lemonbalm or citronnelle), angelica (both root and seed), dittany (a type of oregano grown in Crete), coriander, veronica (aka speedwell), marjoram or peppermint. Like all recipes in France the ingredients vary regionally. In modern Spanish absinthes star anise (badiane) is sometimes substituted wholly or partly for the green anise, but this tends to give a very one-dimensional liquorice-like taste. Star anise was used only very sparingly if at all in traditional Swiss or French manufacture. So-called Czech or German ‘absinths’ sometimes omit the anise entirely, but these are not true absinthes and are best avoided. High quality absinthes are always distilled rather than produced simply from herbal essences. They also have a deliciously complex herbal and floral character, with an underlying bitterness caused by the wormwood. The classic, green absinthe verte is produced by a 3-step process: first maceration of the herbal mixture in a base alcohol, then distillation of the resultant liquid and finally chlorophyllin colouration by gentle heating of a further herbal infusion. The traditional strength is 55% - 72% alcohol, or 110º - 144º proof. Historically the best absinthes, including those from Pernod Fils, were made from a base of grape alcohol, although cheaper grain or beet alcohols were also widely used.

Originally it was a drink for the upper class as it was expensive. Absinthe became increasingly popular amongst all classes of French society and so production switched from grape based alcohol to less expensive, grain and beet alternatives. As it became cheaper it began to overtake wine as the drink of the French working-class. During this period the French wine industry was struggling with the crippling effects of both oidium (mildew) and phylloxera (an incurable aphid infestation deadly to vines). Almost all the French national vineyard had to be replanted, a process that took decades and resulted in a prolonged shortage of wine, and a consequent rise in wine prices. Chronic use of absinthe was claimed to produce a syndrome, called absinthism, which was characterised by addiction, hyperexcitability, epileptic fits and

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hallucinations. By the late 1860s it was seen as an epidemic. Caused, we now believe, by the addition of copper, used by unscrupulous cheaper manufacturers to help the colour. Antimony chloride, another highly poisonous substance, was also added to help create cloudiness when water was added. Adding to the political opposition to absinthe was its popularity, not just with the working class, but also with the radical bohemian set – young artists like Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec, writers like Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Verlaine, to name just a few. Their scandalous lifestyles and debauched behaviour shocked and outraged the establishment. Absinthe, their favourite drink, came to encapsulate everything that had gone wrong with conservative France. In July 1905 Jean Lanfray, a Swiss farmer, while under influence of considerable amount of alcohol and two glasses of absinthe shot his family. The fact that he consumed seven glasses of wine, six glasses of brandy, two glasses of mint liqueur and a coffee with a brandy were somehow overlooked or ignored. So, the blame was solely placed on two glasses of absinthe that he had that day. This case was on the front pages of almost all major European newspapers and as a result 82,450 people signed petition to ban absinthe in Switzerland. It was satisfied in 1906.

Sorbet à l’absinthe

(This was used as ‘refresher’ course during an 1889 dinner in honour of Gustave Eiffel’s new tower) Ingredients 500ml water, 300 g sugar Juice of one orange and one lemon 20 g fresh wormwood absinthe leaves 100ml absinthe Method Blend 250ml water and the sugar over a low flame for 10 minutes. Infuse the absinthe leaves in the syrup. Cool, remove the leaves and add the orange and lemon juice, and the remaining 250ml of water. Freeze. Before serving, add the absinthe.

Mass alcoholism among French workers and shortcomings in the army due to general deterioration in the health of recruits was blamed on the consumption of absinthe. This led to the French Government trying in 1914 to ban absinthe. In March, 1915 with the support of ‘wine lobby’ consumption was eventually banned. At around the same time, it was becoming generally accepted that thujone, a terpene (organic compound) found in wormwood, was responsible for absinthe’s

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46 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Oysters Rockefeller

This is the classic absinthe recipe, invented in 1899 by Jules Alciatore, son of Antoine Alciatore, the eponymous founder of Antoine’s in New Orleans. This popular dish was reportedly named for John D. Rockefeller because it’s so rich!

Absinthe jelly Ingredients 450ml water 150ml absinthe Juice of 1/2 a lemon 200g caster sugar 9g leaf gelatine (5 sheets) Method

Ingredients 2 dozen oysters on the half shell, drained 4 pans rock salt 250g, softened butter 50gr finely chopped cooked spinach 6 tbsp. very finely chopped watercress leaves 50g finely chopped fresh spring onion tops 2 tbsp. finely chopped celery 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. white pepper 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. cayenne 1/2 tsp. ground anise seed 75ml absinthe Method Combine all ingredients (for sauce) in a stainless steel or porcelain bowl and cream with a wooden spoon. Complete mixing with a whisk or blender at medium speed. Shape sauce into oval patties about 2.5 x 2 inches and 0.5 inches thick by scooping about two tbsp. of sauce from bowl and pressing it into your palm. Set on a platter and refrigerate while you prepare the oysters for baking. Preheat the oven to 260 C. Wash the oyster shells thoroughly and dry. Place a drained oyster on each shell and set them 6 to a pan on the rock salt. Cover each oyster with a patty of sauce and bake 14-16 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and is lightly browned on top. Allow to cool 3-6 minutes before serving.

secondary effects. It’s often stated that the absinthe produced in the 19th century contained much greater quantities of thujone than are allowed in today’s drink, which must comply with EU limits of 10 mg/l. Values as high as 260 mg/l have been quoted.1 However, analytical techniques available in the 19th century weren’t capable of separating thujone out from the other compounds present. So, it’s therefore likely that concentrations were grossly overestimated. In 2004 government of Switzerland voted for the legalization of absinthe, banned since 1907. July, 2004 and the Court of Amsterdam declared that

Bring the water and lemon juice to the boil, add the sugar and stir until dissolved then remove from heat. Soak the gelatine leaves in a shallow bowl of cold water for a minute or so until soft. Squeeze out the water, add to the syrup and stir until dissolved. Add the absinthe then pour into individual jelly moulds or one large one. Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or so until the jelly is set. To serve, dip the moulds briefly in boiling water then turn out the jellies or jelly on to plates or a serving dish and offer with thick cream.

the 1909 prohibition of absinthe was invalid under Dutch law. Nowadays manufacturers are bound to follow the EU limits on the thujone content in absinthe. Maximum thujone levels in the EU are: 0.5 mg/kg in food not prepared with sage and nonalcoholic beverages prepared with Artemisia species. 10 mg/kg in alcoholic beverages not prepared with Artemisia species. 25 mg/kg in food prepared with sage. 35 mg/kg in alcoholic beverages prepared with Artemisia species. The high concentration of alcohol in absinthe weakens the effects of thujone. Thujone is an oily brown substance and does not dissolve in water but it’s highly reactive with ethanol. That’s why before drinking absinthe you must prepare it. Sugar is often used as it destroys the binds between ethanol and thujone or indeed any other essences present in absinthe. This allows the drinker to feel the effect of thujone and taste the absinthe to its full extent. Historically and at the height of the consumption of absinthe, sugar was a necessity. Then the large amounts of wormwood added and the general lack of distillation, meant that without water and sugar it would have been impossible to drink. Before anyone gets concerned about Absinthe, like all alcohol it should be consumed in moderation. The classic French absinthe ritual involves placing a sugar cube on a flat perforated spoon, which rests on the rim of the glass containing a measure or ‘dose’ of absinthe. Iced water is then very slowly dripped on to the sugar cube, which gradually dissolves and drips, along with the water, into the absinthe, causing the

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Garlic and Absinthe butter

A classic ‘beurre d’escargot’ used for stuffing snails... impossible to resist dipping your baguette into the sauce after the snails are gone!

Ingredients 50 g butter 2 g shallots 3 g of garlic 5 g of parsley Pinch of salt Pinch of pepper 1 dash of absinthe about 25ml 1 dozen prepared snails Method Leave the butter at least 1 hour to soften. Chop the garlic and parsley finely together then chop the shallots, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the butter then the absinthe until homogeneous to obtain a paste. This butter is traditionally used to cover snails in their shells before cooking. Lay the snails in their shells on an oven dish, taking care to place the opening of the shells upwards. Place in a hot oven, (250 C) for 5 to 10 minutes. The snails must be very hot, and are ready when the butter starts to foam on the surface of the shells, do not cook any longer or the butter will burn.

green liquor to ‘louche’ into an opalescent white as the essential oils precipitate out of the alcoholic solution. Usually three to four parts water are added to one part of 68% absinthe. Historically, true absinthe drinkers used to take great care in adding the water, letting it fall drop by single drop onto the sugar cube, and then watching each individual drip cut a milky swathe through the peridot-green absinthe below. Seeing the drink gradually change colour was part of its ritualistic attraction. I was very lucky to work with Marie Claude Delahaye, who is the leading French authority on absinthe and absinthiana, and the author of numerous books on the subject. I developed all sorts of marvellous recipes using Absinthe for events and tasting. It is worth a try. So, I hope you enjoyed the few recipes using Absinthe that I have included. They are delicious. Happy Tasting!

Luci Cox

www.tasting-the-lot.com

1.(Absinthe, Arnold WN, Scientific American, 1989 Jun, 260(6):112-7)4

REMOVALS TO & FROM FRANCE Successful moves to and from France for over 30 years

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CONTACT US Tel: 01622 690653 or 01622 695374 Email: info@anglofrenchmail.com Unit 15, Heronden Rd, Bircholt Rd, Parkwood, Maidstone, Kent ME15 9YR

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


48 • THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL

Companion Planting (part 2) I n our May edition, we talked about a few classic combinations of companion planting (carrots and alliums, tomatoes and basil, broad beans and winter savoury) where the plants work together to provide resistance to pests. Companion planting utilises the juxta positioning of many scent-masking and pestrepelling plants, both in specific pairings and general cure-alls, but companion planting methods also include other aspects, such as sacrificial planting, shade planting, maximising growing space, attracting beneficial insects, and avoiding combatants.

SACRIFICIAL PLANTS Trap cropping is the practice of using a sacrificial plant which pests prefer to your precious crops. Tropaeolum majus (nasturtiums), for example, secrete an appealing oil that insects are attracted to, and planting them near brassicas will help provide protection from caterpillars. They are also loved by aphids, so are a useful lure when planted near susceptible plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. Likewise, radishes can be planted near spinach and Swiss chard. This will draw leafminers away from your leafy greens, and while they’ll eat the leaves of the radishes, the radish crops themselves will be unharmed.

SHADE PLANTING Some vegetables and herbs are a bit tricky to grow during the hot summers here in south west France. Spinach, Coriander and dill are all prone to bolting and need to be kept well-watered and then harvested quickly. To slow down their rapid growth, you can plant them in the shade of tall plants such as sweetcorn and climbing beans.

MAXIMISING GROWING SPACE If you are partial to sprawling winter squashes like butternut and pumpkin, you may find yourself running out of space, even in your large French garden. Inter-planting quick-growing salad vegetables makes efficient use of the spaces between young squash plants, and you will have harvested your lettuces and radishes by the time the autumn and winter cropping plants need to grow into those spaces. Also, the salad crops help prevent weeds, which compete for nutrients, light and water. While tall plants like sweetcorn create too much shade for some crops, dwarf beans can tolerate it, and because their roots grow at different depths, they won’t

compete for water and nutrients in the soil. Additionally, beans attract useful predators which prey on corn pests. Climbing beans can also be inter-planted, and can be trained up the stalks of the corn.

ATTRACTING BENEFICIAL INSECTS Some companion planting techniques work not by repelling bad insects but by drawing in good ones. Attracting beneficial predators and pollinators will both protect and enhance your plants, and a good way to do this is by planting orange and yellow plants such as Calendula (pot marigold), Tagetes (French marigold), and Limnanthes douglasii (poached egg plant). It is important to select single, not double, flowering varieties for pollinators, who can less easily pollinate double varieties, and it is desirable to prolong bloom times with regular deadheading, and, for annuals, successional sowing. Plant them throughout the potager, as they are useful companions for many plants (aubergines, chillies, tomatoes, etc.). They will attract predatory hoverflies, lacewings and ladybirds, all of which provide effective aphid control. Hoverflies are particularly useful, and an average hoverfly larvae will eat approximately 800 aphids before it pupates. The strong fragrances of these

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plants will also provide an additional level of protection by repelling aphids, beetles, nematodes and whitefly. Yellow weeds are also useful, so don’t be too quick to mow your lawn, but instead allow plenty of daisies and dandelions to flower. Bees especially love the combination of pollen and nectar found in dandelions and as they are an early source of food in spring, they are useful for bee populations, who will reciprocate by pollinating your plants. Early flowering Salvia varieties such as S. algeriensis and S. fruticosa, are also useful for attracting bees, and while honeybees wait until temperatures of 9° C to venture out, bumblebees emerge at temperatures as low as 5°C, making them especially useful for early pollination.

COMBATANTS While many plants grow well together, some are incompatible, and these are called combatants. Sunflowers should not be grown near potatoes and beans; alliums should not be grown near peas and beans; and while cabbages and cauliflowers are both brassicas, they do not like being planted side by side. Walnut trees are incompatible with multiple plants, and should be grown far away from your potager, as their roots emit a chemical, juglone, that is toxic to many plants.

HERB BORDERS A simple but extremely effective form of companion planting is the inclusion of herbs with your vegetables. Basil, chives, dill, garlic, lavender, mint, nepeta cataria, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme etc. – surround your potager with a fragrant herb border for a beautiful edging that will help ward off pests. Enjoy playing around with different planting combinations in your garden. Remember that incorporating a diverse mix of plants, avoiding monocultures, but filling up all available space, and including strong fragrances, will help guard against pests and diseases, and will provide you with a beautiful, healthy garden.

John and Debbie (Le Jardin des Espiemonts) 06 44 23 73 65 lejardindesespiemonts @gmail.com

MUSIC FOR SUMMER EVENINGS BY THE ORCHESTRE DU CENTRE PHILHARMONIQUE Please come and join us – even in locations where we don’t specifically mention bringing a picnic, if it’s a nice day do it anyway; you will find a corner to set up a table, open a bottle, and get into the mood for some wonderful music! Orchestra and Soloists of the Orchestre du Centre Philharmonique Direction : Richard Beswick Soloists : Marie-Caroline Kfoury and others Friday 20 July: Penne d’Agenais (47140), Grange de Nègre, 20.30 Saturday 21 July: Castillonnes (47330), Cours de la Mairie, 20.30 Sunday 22 July: Bergerac (24100), Temple, 20.30 Monday 23 July: Tombeboeuf (47380), Château de Boisverdun, 20.30 Tuesday 24 July: Puy l’Eveque (46700), Château du Cayrou, 20.30 (bring your picnic from 19.00 onwards: if bad weather Salle des Fêtes at Puy l’Evêque) Wednesday 25 July: Duras (47210), Château, 20.30 Thursday 26 July: Casteljaloux (47330), Salle la Bartère, 20.30 Some dates to be confirmed, check website! Adults e20, 12 - 25 years e10, under 12 years free, reservations 05 53 01 76 08 or reserver.ocp@gmail.com or website www.ocp-verteuil.com. Enquiries in English: 05 65 36 45 98 or martin.milnes@orange.fr

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


THE PÉRIGORD LOCAL • 51

LEGGETT

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info@leggett.fr www.leggettfrance.com Tel: +33(0)5 53 56 62 54 Head Office: 42 Rue de Ribérac 24340 La Rochebeaucourt France

Published March, May, July, September and December each year The Périgord Local • July - August 2018


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The Périgord Local Issue 3 July-August 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...

The Périgord Local Issue 3 July-August 2018  

The free regional magazine for the ‘English speaking’ people, their businesses & the limitless culture of the ancient Périgord region of Fra...