Monday, 26 May 2014

Week 22 2014


If you want to do something traditional this weekend then head off in the direction of Pineuilh for the 13th Annual Bandas.  Held at the Sports field opposite the big Leclerc, four or five different Bandas will entertain you.  Go prepared to join in with the entertainment as the Bandas are often seen marching along the table tops as they encourage everyone to participate.  Buy your food, choose your drinks from the stands and have a great evening.

Have a great week whatever you do this weekend in the Gironde and Dordogne regions,

Best wishes,


Week 22 2014

24 May – 8 June : Painting and Sculpture Exhibition by Philippe Froger at the Salle Cascante in Castillon.

Monday 26 May

26 May 14h15 : Maps to the Stars is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.
A tour into the heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. Starring Robert Pattinson, Carrie Fisher and Julianna Moore.

Tuesday 27 May

27 May 20h30 : Concert at Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot featuring Ferenc Vizi, piano Schubert, Liszt.

Wednesday 28 May

28 May 21h45 : Maps to the Stars is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.

Thursday 29 May

29 May : L’Ascention. The public holiday was established in 1801 by the signature of the Concordat between Napoleon and Pope Pie VII.  It’s a religious day and is always 40 days after Easter. Shops, schools and businesses will be closed.

29 May 19h30 : Maps to the Stars is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.

29 May 21h45 : The Homesman is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.
A claim jumper and a pioneer woman team up to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa.  Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank and Maryl Streep.

Friday 30 May

30 May 13h50 : Maps to the Stars is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.

30 May 16h : The Homesman is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.

30 May 18h15 : State of Grace is showing in VO at La Breche in Ste Foy la Gande.
Terry Noonan returns home to New York's Hells Kitchen after a ten year absence. He soon hooks up with childhood pal Jackie who is involved in the Irish mob run by his brother Frankie. Terry also rekindles an old flame with Jackie's sister Kathleen. Soon, however, Terry is torn between his loyalty to his friends and his loyalties to others.  Starring Sean Penn, Ed Harris and Gary Oldman
30 May : Chai Pascal in St Emilion is having an evening of Jazz and French songs with the duo Sophie Bourgeois and Thierry Lujan on guitar.  Go, sample the new Tapas menu and listen to the live music – entrance €5

30 – 31 May – 1 June : National Garden Day.  Throughout the country, private gardens are opened to the public.  If you know of any please let me know. 
Franc Lafleur at St Magne de Castillon is a prticipating garden.

Saturday 31 May

31 May : Fete La Biere in Saint Leon 


31 May 21h : Gala and Soiree dansante in Branne.

31 May : 13 Annual Bandas in Pineuil at the Sports ground.

31 May  - 23 July : Exhibition by Cuban artist Hans Christian Vergara at La Cave Dourthe on the road between Libourne and St Emilion. See more about the artist

Sunday 1 June

1 June : Foire a tout at Montcaret.

1 June : Vide-Greniers at Cabara

1 June : Vide greniers at Saint Seurin sur L’Isle

1 June : Vide Grenier Brocante in Mouliets et Villemartin 

1 June : Repas de Quartier de Capitourlan

1 June 18h15 : The Homesman is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.

1 June 18h15 : Wrong Cops is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.
A group of bad cops look to dispose of a body that one of them accidentally shot.  Starring Mark Burnham, Eric Judor and Steve Little.

1 June 20h30 : Maps to the Stars is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.

Coming up…

And finally…

It’s true – there really is a cork tree!  But which garden in St Emilion can you find these unusual trees?  We went there last weekend for a visit and a tasting, and very nice it was too!

Clue : When the cork pops out make a wish... if it stays in the tree, then you wish will come true!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Week 21 2014


What do you do when the sun finally comes out and brightens up the day?  We thought it was the perfect day to have tea and delicious cake at The Glass House at Chateau Carbonneau  just outside Gensac.  We arrived to find all the outside tables were taken, but Morgane happily moved a table outside for us.  In the heat of the summer, the cool shade of the chai will be welcoming, but the first glimpse of sunshine for a while and everyone wanted to be outside!

We were spoilt with a choice of Chocolate Guinness cake, Banana and salted caramel cake or scones with jam and cream… so we took one of each. And there’s always cheese, ham and wine if you’d prefer.

Let's hope the sunny weather continues through the week.  Whatever you do have a lovely time in the Gironde and Dordogne regions.

Best wishes,


Week 21 2014

Monday 19 May

Tuesday 20 May

Wednesday 21 May
Thursday 22 May

Friday 23 May

23 May 20h30: Concert as Part of Les Grandes Heures de St Emilion at Château Soutard
Natalie Dessay, soprano, Philippe Cassard, piano
Clara Schumann, Brahms, Strauss, Poulenc, Fauré, Debussy

23 May 21h : Comic Theatre at the Centre Cultural in Castillon.  ‘La Chevauchee des Ouzbecs’ in performance.

Saturday 24 May
24 May 20 h 30 : Église collégiale de Saint-Emilion
Ensemble Vocal Maurice Ravel
Conservatoire de Marmande
Direction M.C. Mestre
Voyage dans l'univers romantique :
de Brahms-Schubert-Schumann-Mendelssohn-Rheinberger-Rossini
Entrée : Participation libre

24 May – 1 June: Bordeaux Foire. Fun for all the family at one of Bordeaux’ biggest fairs. Held at the Parc des Expositions there’s plenty to see throughout the day.

Sunday 25 May – Mother’s Day in France

25 May : Les Puces au Coeur de la Bastide in Ste Foy la Grande.  This is always worth a look, it spreads through the centre of the town.

25 May : The Bergerie de Daignac opens it’s doors to the public as part of Marche a la Ferme. Visit and discover more about the sheep and the home made dairy produce.

25 May : If you like to cycle then join in the day of cycling around the slopes of Castillon. For more information

Coming up…

And finally…

We took delivery of some new hens this week and they seem to be settling in quite well, though no eggs yet.  We have 2 Sussex and a kind of Rhode Island Red, though I’m not sure if that was lost in translation!  We’re looking for 2 Araucana girls to complete our flock, so if you know of any, or where we could get some, then please let me know.  Thank you.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Week 20 2014


The latest news on the bees is that they flew away… hopefully they have found a dream home somewhere, so now we still have an empty hive, all ready and waiting for a new swarm.

We had a lovely day on Thursday at Chateau Bonhoste.  It was like a night market, but during the day  - plenty of delicious things to eat and drink.  There was also entertainment by en excellent Jazz band playing Cuban style dance music and also a Bandas later in the day.  The rain stayed away and it was a great event.

If you hear of a great event, or just want to let me know about something going on, no matter how big or small, drop me a line and I’ll add it into the weekly listings.

Have a great week – whatever you do, they say that the warmer spring weather is on its way from Wednesday.
Best wishes,

Week 20 2014

From 11 – 20 May : 50% off all shows at the Grandecran in Libourne.

Monday 12 May

Tuesday 13 May

13 May – 14 June : Exhibition of Sculptures and Paintings at the Espace Cultural Antoine de Saint Exupery

Wednesday 14 May -  Les Saintes Glaces are over – go ahead, plant those tomatoes outside!

14 May : L’Atelier du Pain.  Learn to make bread traditionally with a Master Baker, for more information call 05 57 41 48 86 / 06 79 74 34 30 (they speak lovely English)


 Thursday 15 May

15 May : Concert as part of Les Grandes Heures de St Emilion at Chateau Ripeau.  A programme of Lindberg, Schumann and Beethoven.

Friday 16 May

16 May 18h30 : Vernissage for the Exhibitions of of Sculptures and Paintings at the Espace Cultural 
Antoine de Saint Exuperny by Elizabeht L’Hopital Bouton and Anne Le Louarn.

 16 - 18 May - Fete de Printemps at St Ferme

Saturday 17 May

17 May 21h : Concert "Josem" performed by the Entre Deux Mers Young Symphonic Orchestra.


17 May 7h – 18h : Marche Gourmande et Artisanal at Cave de Romagne, Grangeneuve

17 May 20h30 : Julien Loko in Concert at the Salle Polyvalente in St Pey de Castets.  Entrance €12

17 – 18 May : Expo-Vent  - Recreation au Feminin. A sale of handicrafts at the Logis de Malet opposite the Maison du vin in St Emilion

Sunday 18 May

18 May : Balades en Pentes Cotes. Walking following a trail – 16km with food as you go.  For more information go to

18 May : Vide Grenier at Grezillac

18 May : Vide grenier at Gensac

18 May : Vide tout at Branne

18 May Vide Grenier at 4 rue du Colonel Picot, Libourne

18 May : Vide Grenier at St Emilion

18 May  : Vide Grenier at Creon

18 May : Foire aux Affaires at Montpon Menesterol

18 – 26 May : Bordeaux Foire. Fun for all the family at one of Bordeaux’ biggest fairs. Held at the Parc des Expositions there’s plenty to see throughout the day.

Coming up…

And finally…

Small pleasures in life for me include a goose egg on toast for Sunday Brunch – it’s like an egg on toast… but BIGGER and BETTER!  Yum!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Week 19 2014

Congratulations to Ste Foy Market which has been voted the peoples favourite market in France.  It’s held on a Saturday morning and spreads out from the centre through the town taking up a dozen roads.

Another market I love is the one in Castillon on a Monday morning, that too spreads out and takes over the town and it’s where I bought my strawberries this morning.  I picked my first garden strawberries this weekend – but not enough to eat for dessert.
Strawberries at Castillon Market

If you have another market you like, let me know and I can include it on the blog.

The sun is back to tempt us out into the gardens – have a great week in the Dordogne and Gironde regions, and let me know if you hear of any events and I’ll post them on the page.

Best wishes,

Week 19 2014

Brocante de Printemps continues this week in Bordeaux at the Quinconces.

Monday 5 May 

5 May 20h30:Notre concert de la chorale de Libourne
 église St Ferdinand au programme TELEMANN et
BACH, accompagné par l'orchestre baroqueVILLA BOHEME
Il serait judicieux de distribuer des flyers de notre concert du 10 juin!

5 May 20h45 : Joe is showing in VO at the Grandecran in Libourne.
An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.  Starring Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheriden and Gary Poulter

Tuesday 6 May 

Wednesday 7 May

Thursday 8 May – Fete de la Victoire

8 May : Marche a le Ferme at Chateau Bonhoste.

8 May : Brocante at Pessac-sur-Dordogne

8 May : Brocante Vide Greniers at Montpon Menesterol

8 May : 3 Brocante/Vide greniers in Bergerac – (1)Ecole André Malraux – (2)Hameau du Pré Joli – (3)Sous le Parapluie de Picquecailloux

Friday 9 May

Saturday 10 May

10 May : EcoFestival at Pellegrue

10 May : Brocante professionelle at Place Abel Surchamp in Libourne

10 – 11 May : Portes Ouvertes at Chateau Les Farcies du Pech featuring an exhibitions of pastels by Peter Thomas.


Sunday 11 May

11 May : Brocante Vide grenier at Saint Magne de Castillon.

11 May : Vide Greniers at Lamothe Montravel

11 May : Vide Grenier et Floralies at Le Fleix 

11 May : Vide Grenier/ Vide ta Chambre (Empty your attic and your bedroom!) Salle Rene Coicaud, Rue du sergent rey, Bergerac

11 – 20 May : 50% off all screenings at the Grandecran in Libourne.

Coming up…

Soirée jazz le 15 mai à Ste Foy la Grande at the Bar du Chai, featuring ‘Less Than Four’

I will be in St.Méard de Gurçon on Tuesday 13th May next to the church at 1.30pm.
This drop off point will be preceeded by a delivery run form Villefranche de Lonchat down to Castillon-le-Bataille and then along the river to St. Foy-la-Grande, if you want to be included on the delivery run then you must pre-order.
There are the usual choices of products which you can see on our website Do not hesitate to ask me if you would like a special joint of lamb prepared for a celebration for example a stuffed, rolled leg or shoulder of lamb.
If anyone would like something different this month I can prepare:
Herb and onion lamb-burgers
Paprika and garlic lamb burgers
Spicy Morroccan meatballs
Keftedes- Greek meatballs
Italian spiced pork sausages (no rusk) either sweet or hot and spicy
If you would like me to prepare something different please let me know as soon as possible.
See you soon
Helen Franklin

And finally…
Bees in the neighbours' garden

The bee adventure continues.  We were alerted to a swarm in a nearby garden and headed over to rescue it and found the bees nestled in the side of a bush.  They were carefully coaxed into a box and later in the afternoon they were all quite contentedly settled around the queen.

Coaxing the bees into the box
Safely in the box

The problem arose when they were transferred from the travelling box into a beautiful ready made home – complete with comb.  The queen decided that she wasn’t going in and took her swarm 10 m up into the acacia tree close by. 
Transferring to the 'des res'

Bees in the tree...

As I write this I can look out of my upstairs window and see the swarm of bees happily hanging on the branch above the ready for occupancy ‘des res’.  We can’t reach them, we’ll just have to hope that one of the scout bees thinks that the hive is a great spot and that the bees move themselves in.