OUR JOURNEY – 14 MIN READ
Autumn in the Lot
Architectural Impression © Carl Gysling
Following a wonderful summer of entertaining family and friends (in the midst of a building site), the focus is now on the final completion of our renovation project at Le Moulin. The excitement is building as we see it all coming together so beautifully. Our doors will open to welcome guests from next July onwards.
The five bedrooms of Le Moulin have been redecorated and the kitchen has had a major makeover. Loving our new ‘La Cornue’ French stove and the shiny copper pans. Given the high temperatures of summer 2022, air conditioning throughout the building is a must. We’ve ticked that box as well. Thankfully, our swimming pool headaches are over as now the pool is like new, with added space for sun-worshiping and it even has a shower and a loo built beside it. Now that’s what I call progress! Pride of place in the lounge area of the kitchen is our new fireplace which will make it so cosy in the wintertime. Our family will christen it this Christmas! We can’t wait!
We are really looking forward to welcoming guests to Le Moulin from July 2023. Our booking system is now open.
Autumn in the Lot
My Top Five Favourite Things To Do
1. Foraging in the Forest
There are lots of trails around Le Moulin but the one I love is a loop through the forest, which follows the river Célé. The colours and scents of autumn are amazing. The orange, brown and red leaves swirl in the sky and land softly on the water. The earthy, woody smell of damp lasts in your memory as nature prepares for sleepy season. Marc and I enjoy mushroom hunting, although so far, we only know chanterelles and cèpes or porcini mushrooms. Foraging is one of the many national pastimes in France that revolve around food.
2. Going to the Market
Our local market is in Cajarc every Saturday all year round. It’s a ritual to do the rounds, buy a few goodies and then have an aperitif in the hub of the town, ‘Au Fil des Saisons’ – Caviste & Sommelier – a great place for people watching and watching the world go by. Autumn is one of the best times for food-lovers in France as the market abounds with such incredible produce. Fresh figs, apples, pears, butternut squash and pumpkin to name but a few. And yes, sometimes we cheat if our mushroom foraging was unsuccessful, we buy them at the market. The elusive truffle makes an appearance at the market late autumn. These rather smelly weird looking ‘fruits of the earth’ are adored by the French and can certainly add something extraordinary to ordinary dishes such as an omelette or scrambled eggs. Our region, the Lot, is one of the major truffle-producing departments in France and it’s big business. They don’t call it ‘the Black Diamond’ for nothing!
3. Food, Food, Glorious Food
Still on the subject of food. The BBQ is safely stored away and that first whiff of autumn air brings the hearty flavours of root vegetables, nuts and game to mind. We love simple rustic food of the season. Some of my favourite dishes at this time of year are classic French favourites such as Boeuf Bourguignon, Coq au Vin and Magret de Canard. A speciality of the Lot region is the famous Walnut Tart. No matter what the season or region, it’s about savouring the dining experience and feeling connected to the land, sea and air as well as the culture and traditions of France.
4. Wine Not?
The Lot Valley is home to the vineyards of Cahors and we have grown a fondness for this structured and yet elegant, mostly Malbec wine. Back in the day, it was called the ‘black wine of Cahors’ due its deep dark red colour. A visit to a local vineyard Domaine du Souleillan is a delightful way to spend a day in the autumn sunshine.
5. Relaxing by the Fire
The days are bright and sunny yet the evenings bring a slight chill that makes you want to cozy in with a fragrant, warm dish and a snooze in front of the log fire. Loving life in the quiet lane. As they say in France, Vive l’automne!
Still a work in progress but when finished, our new entrance will be pleasing to the eye as well as being a lovely area to greet guests on arrival and bid farewell on departure. It can also facilitate early check-in or late check-out.
Salle à manger
Cool and shaded on a sunny day and ideal on one of the rare rainy days in summer – dining here will be a pleasure.
Joints à Pierre Vue
Pointing the wall is one of the most important jobs when renovating a traditional stone property. It helps with insulation and also keeps insects and small furry friends out. Most importantly, it’s respectful of the rustic style of buildings in South West France.
Following a recent inspection, Le Moulin is now a proud member of the prestigious Sawday’s Collection Special Places to Stay. We share their passion for hospitality and excellence.
There are other projects in the pipeline such as the renovation of the Cottage and the Barn We’ll update you on those in due course. In the meantime, on behalf of the Gysling family, we send you our warmest wishes and our hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you to Le Moulin sometime in the not too distant future.
It was such fun to host a big family celebration at Le Moulin last summer. Memories to last a lifetime.
And so, our dream of a wee place in France is real. We feel very blessed and happy. Our three kids, Christina, Carl and James are as excited about it as we are. There’s so much to do and no doubt there will be highs and lows along the way. It’s a journey and a story that we look forwarding to sharing with you.
We are really looking forward to welcoming guests to Le Moulin from July 2023. Our booking system is now open. The warmest of welcomes awaits.
Hope to see you soon!
Deirdre & Marc
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