Strictly research: a day out in Brantome

One of my all-time favourite places – Brantome – is under an hour from Le Manoir Saint Gervais. The locals call it the Venice of the Périgord.

It is a great place to visit with friends and family; the town boasts an abbey, caves and picturesque river walks (the town is encircled by water). Why not have lunch while watching tourists navigate the small rapids near the mill in their bright yellow kayaks (first-timers never quite make it down in one go)?! There is also a regular boat trip in the summer months with a French guide.

The shopping isn’t extensive but there are a few choice shops perfect for small gifts (cards, ceramics, vintage signs, soaps, hats, gourmet food, wine, etc.). The tourist office is central and well-stocked with leaflets and posters.

For lunch in August I tried and liked pop-up restaurant: La Guinguette. It can be seen from the cave/abbey side of the river but is accessed from a back street. And don’t forget ice-cream… there is quite a choice. SC

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Garden update

As the heat of summer begins to fade and the first signs of autumn appear I can finally sit back and appreciate what’s been achieved in the garden these past four months.

It has been a battle (albeit a fun battle) to tame the weeds in the roundabout and in the gravel on the front drive… but I’ve finally cracked it; a mixture of brute force, hand weeding, spraying and mulching means I can finally put the iris rhizomes back. See the before and after shots below:

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Then there was the lawn which needed cutting weekly, the edges strimming, the privet hedge which looked better once nicely trimmed, roses to deadhead, containers and flower beds that needed to be weeded, as well as shrubs in need of shaping. And let’s not forget all those fruits and vegetables that needed tending (although not watering – fortunately).

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The tasks were endless but the result is now worth all of the effort as I look out of the front door across the garden and into the countryside beyond.

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However, there is still one major task that I’ve been saving until last… clearing/opening out the pond area and cleaning the pond itself. But that’s for another post since it’s going to be a bit of a mission! SCH