Last week I spent 5 days in the South of France, doing little more than burying my nose in a book and wandering from café to café in beautiful little towns and villages.
The trip was fairly last minute; an early birthday present to visit my mum, who has recently retired and moved to France to live her dream. Because of this I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like, so it was lovely to spend a few days being spoiled and feeling at home in her beautiful French maison.
Although the weather wasn’t brilliant, with the summer sun beginning to hibernate and the golden woodlands and autumn showers emerging from their slumber, I still had a lovely time in the southern French countryside. We strolled around the medieval towns of Cahors, Monpazier, Gourdon, and Puy L’Évêque without the usual summer crowds, peeking into antiques shops and sampling as much coffee as we could.
A real highlight was crossing the Pont Valentré, a spectacular 14th century bridge across the Lot River. I can’t wait to come back in summer and kayak down the river!
Besides the odd drive out to these towns, along roads lined with vineyards and orchards, I spent a lot of time at my new family home. An old 18th century farmhouse, it needs a fair bit of TLC so I helped out with tending the garden and preparing the huge kitchen fireplace for its impending restoration. Otherwise I spent hours avoiding the rain and sitting in front of the fire reading ‘The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle’ by Stuart Turton – I thoroughly recommend it as a gripping thriller!
The Dordogne and Lot regions of France are already beginning to feel like home to me, and I can’t wait to return and explore even more of the natural landscape and quaint little villages in the area.