Category Archives: Auvergne

Cantal le Beau

I’m never quite sure which destination appeals to me more: Cantal or Corsica. They are both mountainous and beautiful in their own way, but very different. Cantal, of course, is easier to get to, being only just over two hours’ … Continue reading

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Cantal Revisited

I’m always torn between sharing places I love with other people and keeping them to myself. After a fierce internal tussle the altruistic side won. The Cantal is a part of France to which we keep returning, although our last … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Cheese

At the Tuesday market in Caylus, which stall has the longest queue? No contest: the cheese stall. It’s especially long in summer when the holidaymakers and second homers swell the population. But even in winter you can count on a … Continue reading

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Captivated by Cantal 2

We spent three nights and two days in Cantal last week, which wasn’t nearly enough. But we got in two good, long walks and the weather was glorious. The countryside is superb, especially in early autumn when the trees are … Continue reading

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Captivated by Cantal 1

Every year in September we try to get to the Auvergne for a short walking holiday. This is the mountainous Massif Central, formerly an area of significant volcanic activity and later gouged out by glaciers. Last year, we didn’t manage … Continue reading

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Les Chemins de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle

Happy Easter. I know it’s a bit late but I took advantage of rare and unexpected sunshine to work in the garden yesterday. The magnificent ceramic egg above, was nestling in last year’s Virginia creeper cuttings outside Catherine Smedley’s art … Continue reading

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Blithe Spirits: Quirky French Apéritifs

Behind the bar in all French cafés lurks a selection of bottles with evocative names such as Byrrh or Suze. They are usually made from aromatic plants to closely-guarded recipes. You still see ancient advertisements for them stencilled onto barn walls – … Continue reading

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Awesome Auvergne

  This week we made our annual short visit – almost a pilgrimage – to the Cantal Département. It is a spectacularly beautiful, mountainous area in the Auvergne Region, about two hours’ drive from us. It offers excellent walking: the … Continue reading

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French country novels

French country novels celebrate rural life, which changed out of all recognition during the 20th century. Continue reading

Posted in Auvergne, Aveyron, Books/writing, Customs, French life, History, World War I & II | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Six things that make French country hotels unique

  The picture shows not a misplaced extraterrestrial but the light fittings in our hotel room during a recent stay in the Cantal on a short walking holiday. More of those later.   We have stayed in many French provincial hotels over … Continue reading

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