Hi guys. It’s our 6th wedding anniversary today. Yep, we’re those people that take advantage of cheaper wedding rates between Xmas and New Year, when hotels are already trimmed up beautifully. I am a Yorkshire lass after all!
Currently I have a glass of champagne in hand and I’m raising it to the 3 people that are no longer with us all since that happy day, including my beautiful bridesmaid. You are as ever, much missed.
We’ve had a lovely day today. Despite being bitterly cold, we’ve had bright blue skies and sunshine, so headed into Limoges to explore the Christmas markets.
They really take this stuff seriously. Serenaded by Buble and Crosby in the streets via some hidden P.A. system, and every shop front and pavement was resplendent in spruce and elegant white twinklies, which I’ve decided is the decor of Christmas future. There are various market locations, all signposted well, with maps to help you find your way. There are mini chalets selling vin chaud, waffles, crepes, roasted chestnuts, liqueurs, nougat and spiced nuts. It smells epic.
There’s an ice-rink, and a kind of, sit in an inflatable ring and slide down an icy bank type of thing.
Pere Noel has a little wooden farmstead, complete with live goats, roosters and baby chicks.
There are Christmas trees, flocked and au natural everywhere set against medieval streets, multiple spires and modern stores.
Two shaggy, adorable heavy horses are pulling a carriage full of people on joy-rides through the cobbled streets.
A makeshift indoor market, including temporary restaurants was in one of the squares. I don’t know if this is to compensate for the renovations currently underway at Les Halles, or if this is just for Noel, but it’s pretty fab. Excellent fruit and veg, lobsters, oysters, Chinese food including the biggest Bao buns I’ve ever seen. I love a good market.
We hadn’t decided on where to go for lunch but fell in love with the look of this place.
A blackboard on the door said Pate de Pomme de Terre and salad €8.50. Go on then! We weren’t sure where you ate but assumed it was in the back. We were led through a curtain and into essentially the stockroom, which in turn led onto the kitchen.
There were 3 small and one large table I think, and the room was made pretty with a mix of industrial lighting and little white twinklies. Black and white photos ran round part of the wall, giving it the air of an exhibition space, but elsewhere there were cardboard boxes and empty glass jars. It was cool, like it could try harder to be a restaurant, but it doesn’t need to (insert Gallic shrug). I really liked it. The service was great, very forgiving of our shabby French, and it really put us at ease. I chose a raspberry beer after being led back out through the shop to the fridge to choose what I wanted.
First taste was mouth puckeringly sour, but the second was much mellower. By the third I was really enjoying it.
Pate de Pomme De Terre is essentially potato Dauphinoise pie, and it was really tasty. There was a delicious dressing with fresh truffle that took everything from good to great. Loved it. Sadly no pictures except for an empty plate, once I’d scraped up the last of that dressing with really good bread.
Then we were asked if we’d like a little cheese. We answered oui in immediate unison. A generous slab of a really good Brie appeared, drizzled with olive oil and topped with a whisper of grated black truffle. Oh my good lord! Flipping amazing.
I need more black truffle in my life, she says, weeping at the prospect of yet another New Years diet regime, beckoned in half a stone heavier than the year before. That’s for January’s me to worry about.
We saw other tables were offered dessert, but I think we were too late to the party, so coffee it was. A little fruity black coffee served in charmingly wonky Limoges porcelain espresso cups that had the heat conductivity of copper. Ouch. But the coffee was exceptional, the little slightly chewy biscuits served alongside – also great.
Such a great experience, lovely food, charming location and all for a total of €32 for both of us. Will definitely go back.
We then wandered to the Cathedral to see if there was anything in the botanical gardens but that was a no, checked out the massive funfair close to the station. I’ve always liked wandering round funfairs more than actually going on the rides.
Then back to the car. The multi-storey we use is pristine, floors shiny like a squash court, no odour of wee, and piped in Baroque chamber music like the gardens of Versailles. All of this and the cost for about 4 hours was €2.50. What’s not to like!?!
I’ll leave you with some pictures of the shops and restaurants, including my florist shop of dreams (the first one). Had a lovely, lovely day.