Life at the chateau

HAPPY ST. NICHOLAS DAY

HAPPY ST. NICHOLAS DAY

In a previous blog, I wrote about French traditions of St. Nicholas Day on the 6th December, some pleasant – leaving sweets in the shoes of children – and some that might not be well received. His travelling companion Père Fouettard has the anti-social habit of...

CHRISTMAS IS NEAR…

CHRISTMAS IS NEAR…

At this time of year, many of us have pleasant visions of Christmas in a hotel; waited upon hand and foot with no rows about the television/catering standards/who forgot to invite whom. Equally, there are countless families who crave just a tad more domestic space on...

DAYS OF LEAVES AND CHRYSANTHEMUMS

DAYS OF LEAVES AND CHRYSANTHEMUMS

At this time year, the thoughts of many who stay at the Chateau de Bois Giruad turn towards the kitchen. That may sound like the opening line to a French version of a certain Jona Lewie song, but the fact remains that a combination of autumnal weather, fresh bread, a...

HALLOWEEN – WITH NO TRICK OR TREATING

HALLOWEEN – WITH NO TRICK OR TREATING

As I have previously written, “trick or treat” played little or no part of my Halloweens of the 1970s. It was a quaint American customer, something that you read about in Betsy Bryars’s novels but never experienced directly. The 31st October still meant apple bobbing,...

A DISH OF ANDOUILLES

A DISH OF ANDOUILLES

The reader may have noted that I write comparatively little about the many and varied delights of the kitchen at Chateau de Bois Giraud. The reason for this is quite simple – I am one of the worst cooks in the history of Western civilisation, a fact I blame on my...

THE HEART OF REGION

THE HEART OF REGION

A confession that should not come as much as shock to the gentle reader – this writer’s expertise on fine wines is on a par with his comprehension of the internal combustion engine or why the BBC continues to broadcast Casualty. Yet, I do take an interest in this vast...

WHY I CRAVE A RENAULT CARAVELLE

WHY I CRAVE A RENAULT CARAVELLE

One day, preferably after I have won the Lottery, I will sweep up to the gates of Chateau de Bois Giraud in an ivory-coloured Renault Caravelle. Ever since I first saw one of these splendid machines (it was in the comedy film That Riviera Touch) they have represented...

SEPTEMBER AT THE CHATEAU

SEPTEMBER AT THE CHATEAU

At this time of the year, many Britons will be all too familiar with three of the most depressing words in the English language. ‘Replacement Bus Service” can still cast fear into the hearts of the most stout-hearted individual but when during one’s distant youth, it...

THE HARVEST COMMENCES

THE HARVEST COMMENCES

During the late 1970s, when the world was young and the highlight of a Thursday evening was George and Mildred on ITV, “Harvest” had two meanings for this scribe. Firstly, it meant a stream of Ford Cortina Mk. IVs and Hillman Avengers along the A32 headed by a...

AUGUST – DAYS OF PRUNES AND MUSIC

AUGUST – DAYS OF PRUNES AND MUSIC

Some people associate August with seemingly endless afternoons on the lawn with the Chateau grounds  bathed in golden light. Others will think of the last minute shopping before the start of the new school year. But for the past fourteen years nearly every citizen of...