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  • Writer's picture by Rae-Helen

L'autre vie #4

Our other life in France. "The Royal Weeding?"

by Rae-Helen Fisenden

Saturday the 19th of May dawned with delightful sunshine pouring through our cottage bedroom window. The day of the Royal Wedding had arrived and I could watch it all on french television!

So, patriotically donning my Australian flag apron and clutching a posy of flowers, I sat right in front of the television, as close as possible, to catch all the action.

Now many of you girls reading this will relate exactly to what I'm about to share.

My husband was not the LEAST bit interested in this event. In fact, he had decided to put aside the day for the "Royal Weeding" and set about attacking the garden with gusto. I guess we hadn't really discussed the matter as our individual expectations of the day were entirely different. There was simply NO WAY I was going to be available to help. My presence at the wedding was vital, I implored my husband. He looked at me completely aghast and indistinctly muttered something I couldn't quite catch as he left to do the gardening...alone.

I mean what girl doesn't love a wedding and a Royal one to boot!

There I sat with my ipad on my lap busily messaging both my sisters (who were in a group chat with me and watching the whole event in Perth) remarking on this one's dress and that one's hat. Musing as to whether Meghan would actually wear white and betting on what colour the Queen's dress would be. We all lost that one... who would have guessed lime green and violet!

Isn't technology fantastic? My sisters and I having a very comical exchange literally sitting a world away from each other. One event seemingly uniting the planet!

The french commentary was probably similar to commentary in any language. It went on and on and on! A bit like the evangelical preacher. Oh my, now didn't he set the cat amongst the pigeons! The looks on particular royal faces and the passing glances. The world is watching folks! Mind how you go.

I was, in fact, surprised the french took such an interest in the Royal Wedding. Their entire coverage was completely uninterrupted and extremely good.

My gardening husband was summoned to catch the bride's entrance and, having finished his gardening project, we decided to venture forth to the famous and beautiful town of Sarlat and indulge in a celebratory weeding/wedding lunch.

Sarlat is just a 15 minute drive from our cottage in Berbiguières ( like many wonderful attractions are ) and a must see for visitors to this area. It is one of Europe's best preserved medieval towns and a completely car free zone which makes getting about very easy. The Sarlat markets held on Wednesdays and Saturdays are famous and visitors flock to them to buy fresh produce and the like. Really excellent restaurants abound in this town too.

In this photo you can see tables and chairs outside a café in Sarlat. This is where we head to enjoy a favourite snack of ours...

Croque Monsieur!

Now this glorified cheese sandwich has to be tasted to be believed. It is a combination of bread, ham, bechamel sauce and typically, Emmental cheese. But I really think it's the grilling of it and the slight crunch to the topping which is so delicious. Again, ( oh waistline! ) it is served with a side salad and a generous basket of frites. Neil always orders the Croque Madame which comes with a fried egg on top. ( I think you can appreciate this little french joke.) We have tried and failed to replicate this sandwich at home nor have we found a café in Melbourne advertising Croque Monsieur, to come even close to this real french classic. It's simply delicious.

Whilst speaking of markets today is Sunday and the market in the town of St. Cyprien, (literally at the bottom of the hill from our cottage) is in full swing. It buzzes with life and we love to go to it, pick up fresh veggies, a roast chicken served in a bag with sautéed potatoes and a liberal spoonful of the cooking juices. Yum! Sunday lunch done and dusted.

This is exactly what attracts us to living the local lifestyle and what attracts other like minded people too. Discovering the real France. We'd love to help you to experience it as well.

Dare to dream.

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