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Published: June 24th 2012
View of Hotel Plaza Madeleine from the park
The Malraux Laws of 1962 protected the centre of Sarlat from modern development - it is beautifully preserved.
Hugo has fallen in love. With Framboisiere.
We drove the prettiest roads from Tamnies to Sarlat today, and by the time we got into town everyone was peckish and I was dying for a real coffee, which did not disappoint. The next thing we stumbled on was a little boulanger/patissier on the Avenue Gambetta that is destined to become a daily destination from now on. Everyone tried a different cake - from chocolate jaffa delights to fruit flans to eclairs - but the clear winner was Hugo's Framboisiere. The lightest layers of almond sponge, sandwiched together with real raspberries and raspberry cream, and lightly dusted with icing sugar then cut into fingers. Until now, he has been a little shy about trying some French, but he has wrapped his tongue around this word, and it rolls out of his mouth with gusto and a hint of romance...... "Dad, would it be possible for us to go back to Sarlat for another Framboisiere
?" or "I wonder if we can get Framboisiere
somewhere in Melbourne?" Having sampled it myself, I must also admit to feeling a keen desire to re-visit the wonderful J B Grelier as soon as possible! The word itself
Imogen and Hugo, Sarlat
Basking in the Framboisiere glow!
has become a bit of a joke today - a synonym for pleasure - so we have wandered around looking at each other, pouting and then mouthing "Framboisiere",
before erupting into fits of giggles.
We ate our cakes in a pretty little fenced park down the street, and the children ran off the sugar rush quite successfully. One does get the sense from those around though, that perhaps that's not what one does in a park such as this in France. Isabel was drawn to the war memorial on either side of some stone steps up to the street. It was extremely poignant - listing the names of those murdered by the Nazis on one side (29 women, 25 children and 102 men), and those killed fighting in the resistance on the other. It made her recent Unit of Inquiry at school seem much more real. It also seemed quite surreal to be reading about those things happening in such a scenic, beautiful town.
The Malraux laws of 1962 meant that no modern development was ever allowed, so all the old buildings here have been maintained just as they were. Many films are made here because nothing has
Serving the Snails
Our lovely waitress was so helpful. She really enjoyed seeing how much the children loved their food and was impressed with their willingness to try anything.
changed for decades, and I can understand why. I love the sand-coloured stone and blue shutters, and the gorgeous slate roofs on quaint rooflines. We explored tiny cobbled laneways and some lovely shops in the very old centre of the town. I bought a gorgeous pair of decorative cast iron shoes which I may regret when weighing my luggage, but they were just too pretty to leave behind.
Those cakes had meant no-one was really ready for lunch until it was almost too late, but we finally found a place that looked open, and a lovely lady made room for our large group on a wonderful shady terrace overlooking the street below. She fussed over the children and made sure we got our orders in before the kitchen closed. The food was amazing - everything delicious, so we decided that if there was a place to try snails in France, this would probably be it. I think it was probably safety in numbers, but all the children wanted a taste, and the lady even helped them learn to use the special cutlery made just to hold the snail shell while extracting the meat. The faces on the kids were
I'll give it a try, but I think I'd rather have another Framboisiere!
hilarious - all were a bit apprehensive - but the beautiful garlic butter soon had them saying that snails were worth a try at least once.
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