La Belle France - The Delights Continue: Sainte-Mère Festival - Blog 7

The  Albion Quartet at Sainte-Mère Festival


 Astonishingly rich in surprises and culture – Next a concert in a ruined Château.

The Sainte-Mère has a distinctly English flavour this year! 

And why not?

The Albion Quartet, four young English musicians’ performance was mesmerising.


I have to say the applications for French citizenship has rocketed since Brexit – 

What’s not to like about this magical part of France ?


Even the thunder storms are – well electric!

This one had the good manners to wait until well after the concert, and chose to entertain me as I got ready for bed. It was so impressive, I made a little video too!


Home Entertaining:

 My turn to reciprocate. Always a pleasure and easy to cater this time of year.

What better than to fill my Party-Susan with seasonal delights to start, followed by a simple pesto pasta and prawns. (Sorry no image – must have been the wine consumed!)


Inside or outside in the garden – the choice is yours!

My choice outside, definitely – if just me!


It’s Friday again! – And to favourite of all markets – Lectoure.

Going in the opposite direction to Condom, but same distance. Another 15 minute drive.

Never a chore!

With basket in hand I shop for my essentials and just wallow in the atmosphere, tasting all that is on offer – and usually buying – if delicious, and of course it always is! 

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Close friends Jill and Patrick live in Lectoure and actually bought one of the dilapidated towers in the fortified wall, and restored it as a home at the top level – awesome views. 


Everything seems delicious in this exquisite fortified town up on a hill that you can see from miles away.

First stop, Café du Sport for best coffee in town–and a few characters to oggle as I sip.

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The level below, was converted into a studio for Patrick’s photography. 


I digress – where was I?

Ah yes, in Lectoure market – time for lunch at Jill and Patrick’s favourite restaurant, owned by an English couple! – oh no, not again – they’re b….y everywhere! 

Catherine and Denis came too. I’ll let the pics tell you about the food and wine!  

The Rose wine was gorgeous.


His extraordinary techniques, adapted from past long ago technologies produce an amazingly soft finish.

I own one of his photographs using this technique which is displayed on my wall at home in West London. It is of an avenue of conifer trees near my house here. I adore it.


(I walked the tree avenue only last night, and started irresistibly snapping away – see what I mean?)


We all take coffee in the tower which is now their home. WOW! 

It has really changed since I visited early last year. I remember well the housewarming party and the photo gallery opening – Utterly unique!


That was a BIG Friday,,,

 Saturday will be quiet – I tell myself.


 A quiet coffee in the square perhaps? Stroll into the Epicerie for croissants perhaps?

Another lovely day as I step out of my huge old front door into the narrow Rue du Puits, and head out.

An astonishing sight greets me in the square. A horse with a young girl astride, and an unexpected pillion rider!

I had watched a man stand close, bend over to make a bridge with his back, upon which the dog leapt, before landing on the back of the horse. Clearly a well practised party piece!


Never a dull moment.

I needed a coffee after that, pinching myself as I watched the man at the next table roll his own cigarette. Ahhh c’est la vie.

Time for a walk


 Seeing is believing. We have our own resident sculptor, and water colour artist who gives lessons. I decide on a quick peek in at the sculptors gallery. He’s hard at work. Hmm – what is it? A bit phallic!

I need some fresh air. I wonder down the nearest lane and head out towards the fields..

Ahhhh – that’s better... need my sunflower fix.

Sanity restored.

Home to rest? My phone pings a reminder.


Lunch at the Jowitts!

Jamie and Ann have retired here. 

Jamie is an extraordinary gardener. It is his passion.

What a garden!

A perfect, relaxing interlude. Nothing eye-popping going on here... Just the scenery, pleasant conversation and good food.


I meander back through lanes not tried before, but sign-posted to names I recognised as being in the general direction of La Romieu.

I coasted through towards Blaziert

and got out to stretch my legs and take a peek at the one street that seemed to lead nowhere except back to where you started. I’m so glad I did.

“Pretty” doesn’t do the church interior or the well kept loved cottages/houses credit…

What do you think?


Time to go home. Only one thing for it... Sit at my window and dream.