Back and forth, hither and yon – whether on my habitual trajectory between Touraine and Paris or further afield… destinations, encounters, events and observations I can’t resist sharing.

Quercy Blanc

September 15, 2010

Visiting old friends in Tarn et Garonne, a southern department  even the French have difficulty locating. Quercy Blanc is the historic name for this midsection of the Midi-Pyrénées between Cahors and  Toulouse.  It’s the Tuscany of France, with an undulating landscape of sheep and cattle pasture, sunflower fields, chasselas vineyards and tidy industrial orchards of apricots, plum, cherry and walnut trees.  A succession of  gorgeous views are revealed at every twist along the sinuous road.  The round, green-gold chasselas grape, which is eaten rather than fermented for wine, is the principal crop.

After honing country French renovation skills on a home in the Loire valley, our Australian friends were ready to tackle a seriously daunting project.  They fell for an ancient fortified chateau on the plateau of a hill, whose stocky central tower was first ransacked in the 13th century.  Successive building campaigns in the 16th, 18th and 19th centuries failed to sustain momentum, and it had declined to a forlorn state  of decrepitude.  A tailor made challenge for two artists with vision and a history of savvy real estate investments in Sydney, London and Paris to bolster their courage. Read More »


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