Sunday, 14 August 2011

Beware Mondays

Mondays are peculiar days in France. We went to Perigueux on a Monday and found everything closed. Thinking to enjoy a birthday celebration meal before we packed up and drove home, we drove to St Foy le Grande on La Dordogne and found the chosen restaurant closed. Of course! It was Monday. Hasty scratching of heads. Where to eat, if it was Monday?
St Foy offered nothing and the countryside south of the river, around Ligueux, Saussignac and Monestier, though beautiful, offered only closed auberges and restaurants. We drove into a golf resort hotel, which was open - but would not accept us because we were not resident. So, about six restaurants later, we arrived back in Bergerac, where we'd started, heading for the tourist area of the old town. Surely that would be open?
It was, and we had a very nice meal in a restaurant opposite the poissonnerie. I chose lotte saison and hoped it was fish. Whatever it was, it looked delicious, tasted wonderful and when I checked in the dictionary next day, discovered it had been monkfish of the low season. I'd been lucky with my starter, too, in ordering a tartine de legumes. It arrived as an artistically built mound of fresh vegetables: a baby carrot, a slice of red pepper, and paper thin slices of something yellow that may have been fennel, but might not. Something equally thin, almost transparent with faint pink stripes on white, a baby tomato cut precisely so that the inner structure formed the shape of a tiny tree. Delicious!
But the moral of the tale is this - in the Bergerac area of France (I cannot speak for other areas) the food is good, but almost impossible to get on a Monday night!
I thought you might enjoy a pic of me in my tree-felling gear!

1 comment:

Susan C. said...

The fact that so many European countries still observe closing days and holidays is something I find admirable (if frustrating for tourists!). It's hard to remember there was ever an English Wednesday half-closing day.