Monday, 29 June 2009

Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère



This is possibly my favourite village. I say possibly as there are so many other favourites in this area but for now this place is firmly numero une.

Listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages des France, St Leon is midway from Les Eyzies on route to Montignac Lascaux, so roughly ten minutes drive from here.

It's an absolute gem. It is so utterly charming and so completely timeless that on a warm
Summer's day you feel that you've practically found paradise.



I stood looking, gawping at the ten feet tall giant Hogweed whilst listening to a choir singing in the church and watching people picnicking on the banks of the river and simply thought, 'this is it, this really is it, the true vie Francaise'



Picnic is a French obsession, and a jolly convivial one it is too. People picnic everywhere, all things stop for lunch. Out comes the wine, cheese, sausicon, bread and olives, all of this in 'pinch myself, I must be dreaming' surroundings . Incidentally, we take the word picnic from the French pique-nique.



I spent the afternoon lazily mooching down the impossibly quaint narrow streets, appreciating the self sown Hollyhocks, Evening Primrose and Touch- me- Nots (Impatiens balfourii).



Did I mention Hollyhocks?



Unfortunately I didn't manage to snap a pic of the beautiful Chateau de Chabans in the Village centre. Bluddie battery ran out on my trusty point and shoot. Another time....



Ah beautiful St Leon. It was just one of those days that will always stay with you.

'Summertime an' the livin' is easy'

24 comments:

  1. This sounds so idyllic, Rob! I could just sit by a river with bread and olives, sausicon, cheese and wine! And then wander round those lovely old streets.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How charming! I want to go! Looks like a lovely picnic... perfect! Thank you for sharing this quaint beautiful village!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Rob, such an enterprise as you suggest of mooching down the walkways does sound too good to be true. The New York Times had a recent frugal traveler piece about low cost ways to enjoy a trip to Paris, in a word, picnic! The hollyhocks are wonderful.
    Frances

    ReplyDelete
  4. I learnt the french for hollyhocks (rose trémière, hope I'm right there!) in Ile De Rey one summer where they grow around very door. Talking of your surroundings, I found and cooked this the other day. Salad de Magret Fume Cro-Magnon from a restaurant at the edge of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac reproduced in Patricia Well's Bistro Cooking. Small world?
    You gotta love a pique-nique!(is there a literal translation?)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my, I know quaint and charming are cliches, but those adjectives perfectly fit Saint-Leon-sur-Vezere. It looks absolutely wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  6. That looks like the life :) No wonder people stop to picnic and enjoy their surroundings, it's just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great place Rob - I love picnics too as long as the flies stay well away (and ducks!).

    ReplyDelete
  8. You've got to stop tempting us like this! Oh my-- such a lovely place. Sigh.

    Cameron

    ReplyDelete
  9. It does look like paradise. I'd love to visit France one day - it is on my list of things to do.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Rob - oh what a lucky man you are ! I love picnics - wasps and all. We are heading off to France soon - Normandy and Brittany again but we must make it down to your neck of the woods soon !

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rob what a delightful place thanks for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Rob, I love how all things seem to stop when it's time for a picnic lunch! Europeans (esp. in France!) really know how to live! The photos you've taken are lovely--those hollyhocks--wow! How nice it would be to spend my free time this summer meandering around nooks and crannies in quaint little towns!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Phoenix, Carol, Frances,

    Pinics 'R' Us during the Summer

    Fay, 'Pique' is taken from 'piquer' to take. I don't think there's a translation for 'nique', it rhymes well.

    Sweetbay,Caroline, Hermes it is a beautiful place

    Cameron, Wayne, Philip, I actually don't think my photos do it justice.

    Anna, Brittany and Normandy in a camper sounds fun.

    Jan, Joanne, thanks. It is so nice just to wander through the small streets doing, well, not a lot really, just taking it all in.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Everyone should blog and read what others have to say about their homeland. You feel about your France the way I feel about NC. And that makes me feel settled in the most content of ways. I like to know there are people taking picnics here and there.

    I so much enjoyed all your photos and it does make me want to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi!Nice photography blog!Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow, wow, wow. S-L-s-V can be my favorite village, too. I haven't ever thought about a favorite village before! This one doesn't need many flowers to make it beautiful since the old buildings are so charming.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your new blog face! The photographs are great, and the place on the picture before the last one is my idea of paradise.

    ReplyDelete
  18. All I want to know is, how do you ever get any work done?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for your comments, Rob.
    Re: Patricia Wells hahaha, the incredible shrinking world, I'm thinking there is a good chance we may yet discover more coincidences between us in blogs to come!
    Re: There is a superlative book about this region entitled 'Cooking and Travelling in Southwest France' by Stephanie Alexander:) worth a look.
    Absolute-blooming-likely, off to do that right now, you've tuned in to one of my many obsessions!(shared?)
    Each and every one of your posts reinforces my opinion that you are my blogging hero;-)
    Regards to you and your from Chez Northwood

    ReplyDelete
  20. Rob, I have something on my blog for you. I know that some people (including me) don't like such things, but this is a reality of a blogging life. Do whatever you want, just know that I love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks Rob - it's down to your blog tours that we're coming to the Dordogne soon (10 days - and counting!), but you just keep adding all these glorious places onto my list of 'must see' places and we've only got a fortnight!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. You make me long for summer in France.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Rob
    I have some deep red hollyhock seeds I will bring down with me. Hollyhocks are lovely and seem to scream cottage! Although the last time I screamed cottage! me and George Michael got our collars felt.

    ReplyDelete