Saturday, 21 June 2014

Dreaming of France ,, Villebois-Lavalette part 2

 Who loves a biscuit ?
Les Cornuelles,   a unique speciality of Villebois, are small Easter biscuits.

They are instantly recognisable by their shape, a small triangle with a hole through the centre, symbolising the creation and the Holy Trinity.

In days gone by, these little shortbread biscuits were threaded onto long sticks to carry them to market.   They also decorated the branches of boxwood trees blessing Palm Sunday.
 La Cornuelle is a short-bread biscuit decorated with aniseed stars or balls.   Distinctive - in a triangular shape (some say to represent The Holy Trinity - The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit) with a hole through the middle, allowing it to slide easily onto branches during the festival.   Traditionally, the biscuits are blessed on the branches of the boxwood tree, and enjoyed by the villagers after the Palm Sunday service!  It is also written, that the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle pilgrims carried them around their necks to sustain them on their long journey.    At the start of  Spring, the cornuelle also comes to represent fertility. You can read more HERE

In Villebois Lavelette they use  the biscuit designed brass markers to identify points of interest for tourists .  I do believe you can get a map at the Tourist Information .

Love Shutters , I think we must all
have so many photos of them .

This car has not moved for a long time!!

Are you dreaming of France and have story to share,
maybe about  a book , memories , a film or a trip you made or would
like to make then why not join us on
over on Paulita's blog

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Villebois Lavalette -France

The town of
is a lovely little town
perched on a hillside
and surrounded by countryside.


Full of character and a
wonderful place to have a walk
With a Castle , Church and a
very unusual Market place.


And here we have a


Which in English is a Grinder.

They even have their own Patron Saint.
Sainte-Catherine is the patron saint of grinders.

You might just still see one or two left in Paris.
But now a very dying trade.

He was very happy to have
his photo taken whilst doing
his sharpening.  Merci.

 Les Halles

Such an unusual market place , one that is so original.

In 1665 the covering of the original market was
replaced with the one we see now. 

and its huge wooden pillars  and fascinating structure.

The stone columns were added in 1855 to replace the original oak ones

A small but very lively market takes place
on Saturday mornings.
This is where I go a FREE oyster ,
I offered to pay  but she said it is Nil price.

 Shopping, Lunch and coffee all under one roof .

Apart from the market , many other events take place here,
suppers, concerts and shows.
The House of  Francois de Corlieu.
This house dates back to 15th or 16th century and the
the lintel is decorated with a  magnificent

 Francois was a celebrated historian , who acted as a
counsellor to the King and Duke of Orleans from 1544 , and he
was then appointed to the position of King's Procurator. Unfortunately
he drowned in the River Charente in 1576.

The Church of Saint-Romain.

In 1864, the commune of this town, received a bequest
contained in the will of the parish priest Vacher.
 The careful economies of the priest, together with the sale of his goods, realised the sum of 30,000 francs, sufficient to pay, in those days, for the enlargement and reconstruction of the church, dedicated to Saint Romain de Lavalette. His will also included the proviso that a requiem mass be celebrated in  perpetuity, on the anniversary of his death.

Unfortunately we could not enter the church on this day ,
as there was a funeral service being held.
Here is the link to Diane's blog and her photos of inside.

We then made our way round to
The Castle which was built in the 10 century on the site a former
Roman settlement, it was modified and fortified in the 12th and13th centuries
by the Lusignan family.

We did not go into the grounds of the Castle either
(no tour) here is Diane's day out there!

As you can see I love ROUND walls .
I have a few more photos to show you , so will
do that in the next post. I hope you enjoy the
tour as much as I did.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Little trip to France - Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure


View Larger Map

After my fabulous sleep in my
wonderful bedroom with
Shutters (they are amazing)
and breakfast, we set off
to see their market.
This one I believe was their Monthly
Live Animal market and they have two
smaller ones a week.
Of course it took over the whole town but was not just
animals, it has allsorts ..
So French !!
Cannot resist an Oyster or two!!

Some people like these , obviously a demand for them :-)
We had one left in our garden by previous owner.

Every man will have one of these in his pocket ! I know my hubby has one.
(maybe I should include women too, who knows) 

Beautiful mural on the end of the wall of a Florists.

Special carvings seen around the area ,  designed by a team of wood carvers
who come over from Canada.  The carvers work with chain saws, chisels and at the end
they sand everything smooth by hand.

 I have tried to find more information
and each time I google I come across this blog ..  yep it is Diane's.
Diane has a more in depth post about the carvings.  I know she won't mind
me linking and sharing.

And of course
The Shutters. You will see these a lot in my posts.

Just a little post today .. more to come.
Hope you enjoy .
Are you dreaming of France ?
Why not go to 
and share your stories, your books or your dreams.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A fabulous trip to The Charente , France..

I had a wonderful opportunity to visit this area,
when my good friend Diane and her husband ,
 kindly invited me to spend time with them.
The Charente is a beautiful area of France, and
one which I have never visited before.
Diane has a fabulous blog (she has 3 actually )
 Great write ups and
fabulous photos so do visit her blogs.


My Life in the Charente

My Life before Charente


So my journey started by Eurostar from St Pancras
to Lille Europe (Yep not Paris this time) and then
to walk the 10 minutes to  Gare de Lille Flandres to catch
the TGV to Angouleme.

View Larger Map

Lille Flandres is the main railway station of Lille, capital city of the French Flanders and it opened in 1842 as Lille station (Gare du Lille) and was renamed Flandres in 1993 when Lille Europe station opened. There is a 500m walking distance between the two stations,

The Station front is the old front from Paris' Gare du Nord which was dismantled then reassembled in Lille at the end of the 19th century; an extra storey, as well as a large clock, were added to the original design.
Source of Information :- Wikipedia.
Geographically and historically, Lille is located in Flanders (French Flanders, that is). The region has strong historical and cultural connections with Belgium.
After making sure I knew exactly where to go, I took a walk outside the station

I did not have time to go in , but I am sure it is wonderful , judging by
the architecture of the outside.,_Lille

Just a few photos as we journeyed through France in the
Double Decker TGV  and I was upstairs , and amazing
trip, nothing like what we have to put up with in the UK .

 Well I think I am up and running again . Lots more to see.

BIG THANKS to DIANE and Nigel for the invite.
 ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥