Amanda on March 12th, 2008
Helen Martin

Helen Martin

In days long gone by most good guidebooks were essentially travel books. Charming, personal and full of odd little facts known only to the author. To a great extent these honourable tomes have been swept away on the tide of serial guides. They tell you where to lay your weary head, how much you should budget to do so, where to eat, drink and be merry and a great deal about the history and architecture of your chosen destination into the bargain. Invaluable stuff, and nobody should attempt a new region without one. But if you want to scratch just a little deeper, really get under the skin of the area you intend to visit, then what?

If your area happens to the Lot you need look no further, Helen Martin supplies it all. Lot, Travels Through a Limestone Landscape is a vast volume of impeccably researched fact and delicious personal preference. She doesn’t tell you where to eat and sleep, eschewing the role of conventional guide in favour of friend and mentor. Read More »

Book Review – Lot by Helen Martin from French Life

Amanda on March 1st, 2008
Paques en Quercy

Paques en Quercy

It is going to be an early Easter, and in the Quercy a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of food – the other matter being on his mind all year round.
All the markets are stuffed to bursting with bitter spring greens, tender and delicious; points de chou, broccoli de pays, navet and colza. The fabulous poultry stalls are lining up duckling and guinea fowl, pigeon – still considered a delicacy in this land of gastronomy, and correspondingly expensive – and delectable little quail. It’s a family time, and feasting is what most families will do for much of Easter day. We will have family visiting too, and we will take them to one of our favourite little restaurants, tucked away and almost anonymous – as most good restaurants are – in an old converted house in Castelfranc. Read More »

Easter 2008 from French Life