Mar 23, 2014
Since returning from our trip to Sarlat in the Dordogne we have been doing things in and around Mazamet. Jenny likes to have coffee at a small restaurant just off the main square. It is full of all sorts of tea, wine and lovely things and 'un gran cafe au lait' comes with hot milk in a jug, a glass of water and a crunchy biscuit. I'm not sure what they are but I have seen them in E Leclerc, the main and biggest supermarket in Mazamet. Next time we go shopping there we will have to buy some.
Shopping in E Leclerc is an experience. It is a huge supermarket where it is possible to buy everything from firewood to food, clothing, pharmaceuticals, meat, vegetables and just about anything you can think of. The only trouble is that we can't find anything without touring the aisles many times over. There are some good delicatessen items but some things that we find in Australia are not available in the form that we know them. Sausages are sold in long spirals and bacon is non existent as far as I can tell although we did buy some 'potrine fumè' in the market yesterday which is the closest thing we have seen to bacon - it was pretty good too.
The weather has turned against us and it was raining heavily yesterday morning while the market was open and today it has been a little worse with some hail. The temperature has been a low of 4ºC and a high of approximately 7ºC. We had arranged to meet an Australian friend of Angela's, who lives in Mazamet, at the Cafè de la Paix at around 10.15am. We got a table at La Paix and had a coffee while we waited and waited and waited. At 11.15am we gave up. In the meantime I had challenged Jenny's ability to get the time and place correct and went around to The Woolpack to make sure we weren't supposed to meet there. We wandered home a called only to find that we had been stood up because the friend was too busy to come. It made us a bit angry that someone could knowingly do that.
Local Rugby Clubs
I haven't made up my mind about which club I will support while I am in France. From what I can tell Bernard supports Toulouse and John Jacques supports Castres.
However, our mood soon changed when Jean Jacques and Bernard arrived at the front door. They are terrific people and we are going to Jean Jacques house for a meal on Thursday evening with Bernard and Yvette, our next door neighbours. The discussion got around to rugby and Jenny and I were invited to go next door to watch the match between Stade Francais and Toulouse. Bernard and Yvette were really kind to us. We took the dictionary and our French phrase book with us but it doesn't have a section with phrases about rugby. Nevertheless we were able to have a reasonable discussion about the match which was fantastic. Toulouse (my home team!) were 27-5 down after half an hour but that was the last time Stade Francais scored. Toulouse pegged them back to be down 27-20 when the full time siren went. However they had a lineout 5 metres from their try line. After a few phases of play it looked as if they had scored on the opposite side of the field about a metre from the touch line. However the winger had just put his foot into touch before he put the ball down and the referee then took them back for another lineout (I can only assume they were playing advantage and he decided there was no advantage). They took another lineout and four phases later scored a forwards' try next to the post. After the successful conversion they were 27 all. It was a great match.
Auberge Des Acacias
Cuisine au fil des saisons, plats du terroir
Address: Avenue d'Occitanie, 34220, Courniou Les Grottes
Telephone: +33 (0) 4 67 97 31 64
We had planned to visit Beziers today but the weather was so bad that we just went for a short drive to find somewhere for Sunday lunch. Jenny has a knack of finding fantastic places and today was no exception. We were driving through a small village when she spotted a place that looked promising. We turned around, parked the car and went in. We were not disappointed. There was a blazing log fire and the place soon filled with people so the atmosphere was very French. We had an aperitif, gratin d'escargot, sauté de biche and I had a dessert. Jenny declined on the grounds that she didn't want to put on too much weight.
Some people came in and sat at the table next to us. We got talking because Jany (as we later found out) was fascinated by the high quality of the stitching on the leather of my shoes. She couldn't contain herself and got down on the floor to have a closer look. This led to us having a hilarious conversation and it turned out that they lived in Mazamet. We exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways. Lunch was one of those experiences that we will remember for ever.