20 October 2013


The Secret Gardens of Cahors

Tucked away in the back streets of Cahor’s medieval quarter, there are a cluster of little known but delightfully tranquil spaces, collectively known as the Secret Gardens of Cahors. Some of the gardens, such as the Cloister Garden, have existed for over 500 years, while others were part of an initiative introduced in 2002 to [...]

14 October 2013


The Bastide Towns of SW France

The bastides, or fortified towns, of south-west France were the new towns of the Middle Ages. The very first, Cordes, was founded early in the thirteenth century, and others were built and developed right up to the seventeenth century, affording their people both protection and prosperity. The architecture of the bastides is as stunning as [...]

10 October 2013


Door Knockers of Montcuq

Whilst visiting local towns and villages with guests in the SW France during our Art & Textiles courses, there have been many comments as to why are there so many ‘door knockers’ in the shape of hands. Following a little research on the web, it does transpire that they can be found almost everywhere across [...]

2 October 2013


Plum Harvest in SW France

All around where we live in SW France plum orchards abound and are mainly grown for the production of prunes for which the area is famous. The ripe plums are these days harvested mechanically and transported to local co-operatives from where they are sent for drying. They are oven-dried at about 175 degrees Fahrenheit for [...]