Curried roast parsnip soup with coconut

I used all the vegetables for this recipe of curried roast parsnip soup with coconut from the panier that I bought from the local farm as I’m a great advocate of buying locally. I love the surprise element of buying a box of vegetables and not knowing what you are going to get from week to week. I probably wouldn’t have bought parsnips so it was a good change to make a soup out of them.

Serves 2

2 large parsnips

Cooking oil

1 small carrot

1 small leek

1 litre of water

1 vegetable or chicken stock cube

2 heaped teaspoons of curry powder

1 heaped teaspoon of coriander

1 heaped teaspoon of cumin

4 tablespoons of coconut milk

  1. Peel and chop the parsnips, boil in the water until slightly soft.
  2. Remove the parsnips from the water (save the water) and roast in the oven with a little oil until crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and chop the carrot and slice the leek. Boil in the saved water with the stock cube.
  4. Add the spices and the parsnips.
  5. Blend and then add the coconut milk.
  6. Sprinkle with a little coriander.

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Buy locally-produced food in the Dordogne

The recent farmers’ protests have certainly reminded me how important it is to buy locally-produced food in the Dordogne and only what is in season. So last week I committed to buying a panier of locally-grown organic vegetables (and eventually fruit) once a week and off I went on Friday afternoon to collect it from a farm a few kilometres away from where I live.

Exactly what you find in the panier every week is a surprise and this time it was full of vibrant, natural colours and imperfect shapes: 2 medium-sized leeks, a large brown paper bag of spinach, 1 round, black radish, 2 medium-sized turnips, about 10 small carrots, 3 onions, 2 parsnips and about 7 Grenailles potatoes. The quantity was just about the right size for two people, all for 11 euros. I was chuffed to bits and got cooking using some of the spinach and potatoes straightaway to add to a curry that I cooked in the slow cooker. I then made a curried roast parsnip and coconut soup (see my recipe on the mylittledordognekitchen page in the coming days along with an idea for using black radish).

Fortunately, there are numerous farms that provide vegetable and fruit crates in the Dordogne. Some you collect, others can deliver. There are no plastic containers and next week I’ll be taking the crate back when I go to collect my next one.

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Wine gaming at Domaine Du Haut Montlong

Wine gaming is a game of discovery linked to the subject of wine and takes place on site at a vineyard. In the Bergerac wine region, the only vineyard to hold a licence for this relatively new concept is Domaine Du Haut Montlong.

Wine gaming involves answering 12 questions, following a circuit around the vineyard plus wine tasting in order to win a prize at the end. It lasts for approximately 1 ½ hours.

Laurence Metifet owns Domaine du Haut Montlong with her husband, Phillippe, and they are very pleased with how wine gaming has taken off. “We get a lot of families reserving and although at first the children look a little confused about the concept, they end up loving it as they are spending precious, fun time with their family outside,” says Laurence. “Wine gaming is also popular with companies who use it as a team building exercise. Plus, it’s available with Wonderbox as an idea for a present”.

Wine gaming can be reserved in the summer months (reservation only) and takes place twice a day. The cost is 20 € per adult and 12€ per child les than 12 years old. Minimum of two people per reservation, maximum of eight.

Another unusual concept at Domaine Du Haut Montlong is the 10 cl phial. These caught my eye straightaway and Laurence told me that they are very popular as presents with tourists as there is no tax to pay on them and they can be taken in hand luggage on the aeroplane. Laurence also told me how she had one customer that placed one phial at each place setting at a large Christmas table. Such a great idea which is definitely earmarked for next Christmas.

A few facts:

  • Laurence and Phillippe are the fourth generation of the family to run the vineyard
  • A hundred years ago, the domaine was seven hectares, today it is 70
  • The vineyard is completely organic
  • The vineyard produces 17 different types of Bergerac appellation wines including red, white, rosé and sweet.
  • The vineyard also produces a special Vin de France which is free of sulfites.
  • Domaine Du Haut Montlong sells wine all over the world including China and Malta
  • Visits to the vineyard are possible (involves a cost)
  • During the summer, the vineyard organises 4-5 “soirées guinguettes” where guests sit on bales of straw, food is cooked on site and there is live music
  • Domaine Du Haut Montlong sits high up on the plateau on the south side of Bergerac and has fantastic views of the valley
  • Phials cost 2.50 €. Presentation boxes also available

Domaine Du Haut Montlong

Lieu dit Le Malveyrein

24240 Pomport

Office: 05 53 58 81 60

Mobile: 06 74 78 45 78 / 06 72 10 23 22

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Monpazier in the south of the Dordogne is an excellent example of a medieval bastide town. The town is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.

Monpazier is situated high up and boasts remnants of its thick defensive walls that helped to protect the town. Two of its arched gateways are still intact. Inside the walls the town takes the typical form of a bastide town with a grid of criss-crossing streets and a central square with a covered market hall. The houses are built in different styles and there are lots of interesting windows.

The first market hall in Monpazier dates back to the 13th century and was located in the centre of the main square “La Place des Cornières”. In the 18th century it was moved to its current position at the side.

In the central square at Monpazier you can still see the old tin buckets in the market hall which were used for measuring cereals such as barley, rye, oats, walnuts and chestnuts on market days. They contain 2, 4 and 8 bushels (1 bushel = 12.5 litres). The measures were also used to pay taxes.

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Mélange, Saussignac

20 useful French verbs

English                French                             

To have               AVOIR

Example: J’ai un rendez-vous ce matin/I have an appt this morning

To be                   ETRE

Example: Je suis anglaise€/I’m English

To go                   ALLER

Example: Je vais à Bergerac/I’m going to Bergerac

To do                   FAIRE

Example: Je fais mes courses/I’m doing my shopping

To talk                 PARLER

Example: Je parle à ma copine/I’m speaking to my friend

To watch/look    REGARDER

Example: Je regarde la télévision/I’m watching the tv

To see                  VOIR

Example: Je vois un avion dans le ciel/I see an aeroplane in the sky

To listen              ECOUTER

Example: J’écoute la radio/I’m listening to the radio

To take                PRENDRE

Example: Je prends les cours de français/I’m taking French lessons

To say                  DIRE

Example: Il dit non/He says no

To speak             PARLER

Example: Elle parle doucement/She speaks softly

To think               PENSER

Example: Je pense que c’est bon/I think it’s all good

To believe           CROIRE

Example: Je crois qu’il a raison/I believe that he’s right

To like/love         AIMER

Example: J’aime la France/I love France

To want               VOULOIR

Example: Je voudrais un thé s’il vous plaît/I would like a tea please

To be able to      POUVOIR

Example: Je peux parler français/I can speak French

To must               DEVOIR

Example: Je dois aller à Bergerac/I have to go to Bergerac

To arrive             ARRIVER

Example: Ils arrivent à 18h/They are arriving at 6pm

To go down        DESCENDRE

Example: Je descends l’escalier/I’m coming/going down the stairs

To go up              MONTER

Example: Je monte l’escalier/I’m going up the stairs



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Off-road Wine Tours

Now that spring is just around the corner, you may be thinking about getting out and about and exploring the local countryside again. If you are in the Eymet region, rather than taking the car or going on a bike or on foot, have you thought about doing it on a quad bike? David Lebras offers off-road wine tours on quad bikes from Eymet. Tours can be from 1 to 3 hours and can include a visit to the Lac de l’Escouroux, hilltop village of Soumensac and one or more local vineyards for wine tasting. The type of tour you prefer can be decided with David.

Off-road Wine Tours is relatively new concept and is proving to be a popular choice with holiday makers in the Eymet region. It’s also a fun way to entertain family when they are over.

For more information, visit David’s Facebook Page where there are some great videos too. He speaks good English.

Tel: 06 09 68 92 83

Bergerac airport

For both tourists wishing to holiday in the Dordogne and the ex-pat community living here permanently, any news from Bergerac airport is always welcome. I recently caught up with Emily James, Route Development Manager, for an update.

There is a lot of excitement on social media from English-speaking residents living in the Dordogne regarding the new route to Edinburgh, as from April of this year. Why Edinburgh? How long will this route be available?

Wonderful to hear that this “new” route has been welcomed so enthusiastically by the community. I put the “new” in speech marks as the route was previously operated by Flybe before their demise in 2020 and available via London City with British Airways (it still is an option).

Edinburgh has always been a requested route both by inbound tourists to the Dordogne and by the ex-pat community who live here most of the year and if all goes well, i.e. people actually book flights and use the route regularly, the service will be provided for as long as it’s popular. For the moment, Ryanair plan to operate the route until at least the end of October 2024.

Are there any more new routes planned for this year for Bergerac airport?


What factors determine your choice of new routes?

Market size, demand, airline capacity (aircraft availability). The airlines have to be able to make money so the route must be sustainable with high load factors and a good yield.

Can you confirm what flights are permanently available throughout the year?

In 2023, London Stansted with Ryanair and Rotterdam with Transavia Holland ran for at least 11 months (Transavia usually suspends the service during the last 2 weeks of November and 3 weeks in January and February).

British Airways also provided Christmas flights from both Southampton and London City in 2023 and we are hoping to reiterate in 2024. It would be good to know what the community thinks about this service.*

What additional routes are added to this for the summer?

Summer 24 looks a lot like summer 23 but with the flights to Edinburgh and additional flights from Stansted: up to 9 flights per week in April.

By how much does passenger frequentation of the airport grow from winter to summer?

In winter, we have between 2 and 4 flights per week, in summer it goes up to 35 flights per week.

With a lot of permanent residents from Manchester and the south of the UK living in the Dordogne all year round, why are there no flights to serve the demand from these residents in the winter? Stansted is a long way from these parts of the UK.

We have tried and tested various routes to and from the north of England during the winter including Liverpool with Ryanair and Manchester, both were stopped after the first year and resumed their summer season only status as they were virtually empty. If routes are operated following the community’s requests and then not used, we have great difficulty in asking the airlines to consider lengthening the operational season.

Only Southampton was a continual success on a yearly basis with Flybe. I am trying to persuade BA to turn the summer service into a year-round route but it is proving difficult.

Which are the most popular flights?

London Stansted, Rotterdam, Bournemouth and Leeds.

Why is there no regular flight to Paris?

It is only 3.5 hours to Paris on the train and Brive provide daily flights to Paris Orly, so the only route that would make sense would be a flight to Charles de Gaulle in order to connect to the rest of the world – Air France for example. However, Bergerac is not part of Air France’s strategy.

Fancy a holiday in Malta or Slovenia this year? Package holidays are also available via local travel agents in Bergerac with flights from the airport. See the website for more information.

*What do you think about Christmas flights from London City and Southampton operated by British Airways?

Photo credits – Didier Durieux

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Dordogne Associations

In our department there are a lot of associations, both French and English (or both) that cater for all sorts of interests. On the blog you will find a directory of these associations that I am putting together. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to add yours.


Association Culturelle Franco-Anglaise d’Aquitaine (ACFAA)

ACFAA was formed in July 1992 and aims to promote cultural life and well-being in thecommunities of Eymet and surrounding communes. Its objective is thedevelopment of activities that build community rapport. The associationoffers a wide range of activities in the fields of culture (art,atelier, craft, photography, gardening, history, music, dance etc) andwellness, as well as language classes and events for members within thelocal community. Today ACFAA has 600+ members. Membership is open to everyone.


John Simmonds runs the Eymet photography club. The club has approximately 30 members, both French and English. Each year the club runs an international competition with the Abingdon camera club where both clubs submit images and an external judge decides which club has the best selection. The event is running on the 30th January. You can find out more here

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