Amanda on August 9th, 2010
Perfect Peaches

Quercy Peaches

Summertime – and the living is easy…  Okay so it’s not very original, but in countries where summers are hot, harvests are lavish and lazy rivers run full of fish, it’s so very true – nowhere more so than here in the Quercy.  The fields are dominated by harvesters, crawling across the landscape like vast locusts; the markets are full of eye-popping colour and equally full of misty-eyed tourists.

My son has spent much of his summer fishing.  The river Lot winds its serpentine course through some of the most spectacular and historic landscape in southern France and eventually passes conveniently at the feet of our own hills.  Strolling along its enticing banks in the warm, balmy evenings I glance out over the shimmering, rippling stretches.  Willows dip and bow, groves of walnuts march right down to the thirsty shore and there are so many fish dancing just below the surface, I feel I can almost reach down and scoop them out. Read More »

High Summer In The Quercy from French Life

Amanda on October 1st, 2008
Cahors Wine Grapes

Cahors Wine Grapes

Late September and the temperatures were still sizzling. We’d had no rain for weeks and the leaves on my pear trees were drooping disconsolately, like a guilty dog’s ears. In the vineyards the farmers frowned, growled and stroked the grapes contemplatively. They were ripe and just about ready for picking but they would have been better for a drink. It has to be supplied by nature too, a vine destined to make AOC Cahors wine cannot be watered artificially. It was too late anyway, having failed to produce a shower at the right time the weather mustn’t be allowed to break now, and ruin the year’s prospects. A good spell of sunshine is absolutely crucial for the harvest and the forecasters were on their mettle, a whole community depended on their getting it right. Read More »

The Fete des Vendanges from French Life

Amanda on July 1st, 2007
Carnac en Fete

Carnac en Fete

Lazy high summer is upon us and here in the lovely Quercy that means the season. Not only the tourist season but also the glorious season of the fêtes. Every turreted village, sprawling town and elegant city in France has at least one – often more – but if there’s only one it’ll be in July or August so that every member of the community can attend, from Madame Dubois, the eldest lady in the commune, to baby Aurélie who was born last week. In our immediate area the first in the summer calendar is Villeseque and the last is Cénac. In these two crowded months we attend fourteen delicious and somewhat riotous fêtes. All these affairs start with numerous aperitifs and general chit-chat, then gradually everybody will drift towards the long lines of tables and wait for local girls to bring on the first course. Read More »

Joys of French Life – Summer Fetes! from French Life

Amanda on August 1st, 2006
Carnac en Fete

Carnac en Fete

The season of the fetes has arrived in true style, vibrating with visitors all eager to join in the fun. Every little town, village and hamlet has at least one day of partying, followed by half the contents of the local cellars and at least four courses of splendid local cuisine, followed, if you’re not very careful, by some outrageously vigorous dancing. I was swept off my feet – literally – last year by an elderly Lothario who insisted on lifting his shirt and rolling the muscles of his six pack at me. I kept treading on his toes because I’ve never learned to tango and neither, I suspect, had he. When I waved at him the next day he didn’t even recognise me, but then of course it might not have been him… Read More »

Quercy en Vacances from French Life