Monday, 3 August 2009

Yours will be the Tete de Veau

So Yours will be the Tete de Veau, Monsieur!

How we ended up at Perigueux, capital of Perigord, when we were looking for somewhere quieter, I don’t know. But believe it or not, it was actually quieter than the Dordogne-sud and a helluva sight more “real”!!!
We saw a few campervans down by the river on a car park, and having paid for two nights at great expense, we decided to make it a free night tonight! Parked up on the car park, right next to the river, with a delightful view of some graffiti covered flats opposite. But the river was lovely, and we looked up at Perigueux cathedral, and could walk into town. As everywhere, the car park was free, and even had water and tank-drainage facilities, where you just drive over a dip and dump; your waste water and even toilet waste! France really does cater for camping cars, everywhere.
We decided to spoil ourselves, seeing as we were in the city, and found what looked like a pleasant, inexpensive cafĂ©/restaurant, which got a reasonable write-up in the L.P. Guide. I ordered the Pommes Sarladaise (from Sarlat, nearby), which was basically a shed-load of potatoes cooked with lardons and onions, and was really tasty. Ian bravely ordered from the menu, ordering a grillard of cold cooked meatloaf, which looked distinctly like the kind of stuff I’d throw away. Then the crazy guy followed it with tete de veau, even though there was duck etc in the offing. When it arrived it was a gelatinous wobbly mound topped with mashed up yellow pate, on top of a salad. Ian looked shocked, especially when I explained that he ordered head of veal! There were things that looked like lips and cheeks, and the yellow pate might well have been brain matter. Gross! The waitress looked surprised when she cleared away a half full plate, and asked if I could translate for the menu, as she has clearly had shocked reactions from UK visitors in the past!!! My rather dull goats cheese on toast with more salad seemed wonderful, by comparison! Pudding to wipe away the taste of the previous course, and we were out of pocket by 70euros. Not a good night, but an experience. We went back to the van and sat outside, with our Spanish neighbours, who were just about to tuck into roast chicken, which they’d cooked in the van, and it smelt delicious!
As I stood chatting to a local elderly lady, I saw a kingfisher land only a few feet away with a few fish in its mouth! The lady was promenading because, she said, there was nothing on the TV. She enjoyed passing the time with all the different nationalities who parked up. I got the feeling she was lonely. She said she hadn’t seen anybody all day, apart from a workman, who came to fix the windows. We chatted for about half an hour, about her knowledge of UK, Sudampton, and the Isle of Wait. She tried to speak a little English and was a very jolly lady. She told me that she had climbed up the dome of the cathedral, when she was in her thirties, but now thanks to Health and Safety, that avenue of pleasure was closed years ago. Aussi en Angleterre!

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