5 items you MUST take home from Perigord Retreats
When you come to visit us for a painting workshop this summer, bear in mind you’ll be visiting a unique place in the world. There is such a rich history in this region, dating from pre historic times through to today. Every day, you’ll be able to experience a different part of history whether it be from the Mesolithic period, from the 100 years war in medieval times, or World War 2.
Additionally, this region is well known for its exquisite culinary experiences and beautiful countryside. The rolling hills in the Perigord Vert, vineyards in the Perigord blanc or woodland in the Perigord Noir.
Before I start the list, there are a couple of honourable mentions…
I know someone who once took a fertilised egg across the Atlantic. They bought some eggs directly from a farmer, who explained that they were more than likely fertilised. At this point, you could see her brain whirring away and she immediately how she was going to make this work.
To this day, I’m not sure how (and I’m not sure I want to know) she managed to safely carry an egg across the Atlantic without breaking it. But you’ll be pleased to know this egg grew up to be a healthy cockerel with his own harem of hens in West Virginia, spreading his French genes widely.
I also have a friend who drove from the UK to France in search of fish for the magnificent pond in his garden. Specifically, he wanted a couple of specimen Black Bass for his stock. Again, I’m not sure how he managed to get them back into the UK but his specimens survived transit and are living happily in a pond in the South of England.
So without further ado, I have my personal list of 5 items you must take home from Perigord Retreats:
1. A conserve of foie gras and confiture de figue
At the time of writing, this was the first idea that popped into my head when thinking about the Perigord. Naturally, it had to be first on the list.
A delicious entree, it is widely grown and consumed in the Perigord. Fig trees are very common here too, so at harvest time, you’ll find a glut of figs… What better to do that use all leftovers by conserving them into a jam?
If you’d like to read more about foie gras, you can check out our previous blog post here.
2. A unique item from one of the ‘Vide Greniers’
Ok… perhaps not something this big, but it was the best photo I could find at the time!! Out of every trip I’ve been involved in, I’d say at least 80% of our guests take home a souvenir from one of the Vide Greniers we visit. Literally translated as “empty attic” – it’s what we would call a flea market or a car boot sale. The main difference is, they’re often located in an idyllic village full of lovely flowers overflowing onto the cobbled streets and a stream trickling through the main square.
People sell second hand items as you’d expect, furniture, kitchen items and ornaments. Some of the ornaments I’ve found here are unique to the region, you’ll be unlikely to find them anywhere else. There’ll always be the elderly gentlemen trying to sell his 30 year old car at an extortionate rate as he honestly believes it’ll “run another 30 years no problem” but he’ll be interesting to talk to using a mixture of sign language and his limited english/your limited french.
The Vide Grenier’s are usually held on a Sunday morning, I think its a great opportunity to relax and enjoy a slice of genuine day-to-day life from this area of the world. It’s always a very gentle morning out and one which is welcomed by most, if not all of our guests.
3. A keyring
Did you even go on holiday if you didn’t buy a keyring for yourself or a loved one?
This one is pretty self-explanatory, if you enjoy your time here why wouldn’t you want a reminder of it that you see every day?
You’ll be sure to find something that tickles your tastebuds in one of the many boutiques you’ll see in the towns and villages we visit.
4. Flower seeds
For those of you who enjoy gardening or in fact those of you who have a garden – this one is an absolute must have! It’s a brilliant feeling when you’re in the garden and you see a shrub/bush/flower you bought in the Dordogne in 2018. It will instantly remind you of all of your favourite memories you made whilst you were here and you’ll be sure to walk off smiling to yourself. You’ll also be able to impress your friends as they wander around your garden whilst you explain where this plant comes from – they may never have seen one in real life before if it isn’t indigenous to your part of the world.
A couple of things to ensure before you buy your seeds:
- Double check that it’s legal to bring these seeds into your country (some are more strict than others)
- Think about where they’re going to go in your garden at home, it would be so upsetting to buy some beautiful plant seeds and then realise you don’t have space in the garden or you don’t have the correct conditions for growing them.
When you visit Perigord Retreats, you’ll see that we have some tulips from Amsterdam, rockery plants from Provence and some plants brought over from the UK.
This brings us on to our final MUST…
5. A collection of memories from your time here
Most of our workshops last between 8 and 14 days – this is a long time when you’re visiting different places every day. It becomes easy to forget where you went and what you saw each day.
For those who enjoy photography, I suggest taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to empty your memory card and store your photos by location or date so they don’t get mixed up.
Equally, for those who prefer to ‘be present’ or simply don’t like the hassle of taking photos all day every day – we make a video available to purchase at the end of your trip with some of the highlights of your stay here.
However you choose to take memories from your holiday, you’ll be sure to go home with a smile on your face and your flight home will almost certainly involve you closing your eyes to re-live your favourite moments from the previous days.
So this brings us to the end of our list of “must haves” whilst you’re here. If you think we’ve missed anything or if you disagree – let us know below!!
We can’t wait to meet you.
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