Daydreaming in the Dordogne

Bonjour mes amis! After a rather chaotic last few weeks, I finally found the time to put together a post about my little holiday to France.

Fun fact: My family is French and I spent a number of years living there when I was little. We lived in Fontainebleau for a couple of years but spent most of the time in South West France in the Dordogne. We left France when I was 4, but I still spent almost every summer there until I was a teenager. Then work commitments and poor health, I haven’t been back in almost 7 years.

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After a difficult few months past, and multiple surgeries looming, my mum and I decided that a trip to France would be exactly what we both needed! Now I’m not a huge fan of flying and neither is my mum, so we decided to drive down. Growing up we did the drive pretty often, so the 12-hour drive wasn’t an issue. Plus it meant that we didn’t have any weight restrictions on our luggage, so naturally, I packed everything but the kitchen sink.

After a long drive, we arrived on Sunday morning. We headed into Eymet, our closest town, to grab some breakfast. The entire town was dressed for Tour de France that was arriving a few weeks later. There were ribbons and bunting everywhere, and incredible Ralph Steadman-esque illustrations in every single shop window. Eymet is an old bastide town and you can see remnants of the past throughout the tiny town.

There are defensive walls and corner-castles littered around, which makes for a nice contrast to the modern cafes and restaurants that fill the town.  download-49download-55

A couple of days after we arrived, a 10-day heat wave came through and it was 35-39C on most days. Not wanting to slowly bake ourselves, we scheduled our days around outings in the mornings and days at the house. Most days we visited Eymet for lazy mornings with pastries and coffee on the square. Other days we ventured further afield and visited other nearby towns.

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One of my favourites days was visiting idyllic Issigeac. Another medieval village, Issigeac is full of winding streets and ancient colombage buildings seemingly held up by sheer determination. There are hidden passageways throughout the town, where you can find funny little statues scattered around (see the ear below).

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Although the heat was *almost* unbearable, it was an incredible holiday. I had the time to paint every day, I finished four books, I got to spend some quality time with my nearest and dearest, and I ate more cheese than should be humanly possible – “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”.png It was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

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