Bellebouche Rotating Header Image

French Life

A Year Of Fancy Dress (Part IV)

Another fancy dress party?  No, this is something a little different again !

It all started after the 1920s party in London.  During the evening a young man danced with a group of girls – he swung them out, twirled them and had some truly awesome moves on the dance floor.  A group of onlookers stood around with open mouths – wanting to be that man.

A few days later, Adrian did some research and found out what kind of moves this man had been dancing – Lindy Hop.  More research and Adrian found some classes in Northampton and started to go with a friend from work.

Fast forward to August and a few flyers at his dance class advertised a dance festival weekend.


A Year of Fancy Dress – Part III

Just before our Versailles Trip – I was on my way to buy a couple of vintage bikes, for an up and coming event, when I had the misfortune of being involved in a car accident.  Luckily no-one involved was badly hurt but it did leave both cars written off.  This resulted in me driving a small hire car which meant that I couldn’t pick up any bikes.  With the help of some wonderful friends, they took me in their car,  trailer in tow, we headed off for the Emmaus in Cholet.

There I found plenty of old bicycles, I chose two likely suspects and returned back home with the bikes in tow.  That was the beginning …


A Year of Fancy Dress (Part II)

What could possibly follow the success of the Prohibition Party ….



A Year of Fancy Dress (Part I)

2012 was the year of the music festivals – Main Square, Cognac, Melle etc etc.

This year, 2013, has so far … and will be … the year of masquerades and disguises – involving – hats, gowns, breeches, masks, wigs, waistcoats, polka dots, spats, bow ties and much much more ! (more…)


So, a little spell offline over a busy summer and something nefarious broke the blog. Or, more specifically something in the underlying SQL. A few hours polish and it’s fixed. Apologies for the disruption.


plenty of updates in the pipeline including….

A complete re-roof of all of the outbuildings. STRESSFUL!

A visit to a Masked Ball at the Versailles Chateau

Some Special Visitors for the summer 2013 season

A Vintage bike-ride along the Loire

And so on.



Carriages Await The Ardennes Refugees

There is never a dull moment at Bellebouche.  After having an afternoon walking a friends dog in their woods, I came home to discover these wonderful carriages sat outside my house.



2012 – A Re-cap

Firstly apologies to our regulars.  We have neglected this blog – with the ease of posting and adding photos to  Facebook we have regularly updated our pages there and not felt it necessary to replicate them here.

Below you will find a quick recap of some of the events that happened in 2012 …

Festival Of Games – 2012

Every year we make sure that we spend a day at the Festival Ludique International de Parthenay, or Flip.   This year the weather has not been too kind but we managed to visit for an afternoon of sunshine with the odd shower.

Flip 2012

Each year, over the fortnight, it draws thousands of people – young and old – into the town of Parthenay, to enjoy and partake in game playing.  I have blogged this festival before in 2006 and not much has changed since then.

lost in thought

Father and daughter (?) playing a board game in the streets.  It is so lovely to see all generations of people just stopping their day to day rush and spending time playing and being with each other.

Games Festival 2012

Over the years we have had a go at some of the circus school games but this year we decided to just sit back, with a Belgian beer, and watch the children doing it with ease and laughter.

Games Festival 2012

When the rain did come, it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.  Numerous marquees around the town were filled with people hiding from the rain – but – still playing games!  The rain passed quickly and everyone poured back out into the streets again.

Games festival - 2012

Inside the Palais du Congress were all the video games and interactive games for young and old alike.  It was funny to watch young girls playing a dance game, holding handsets to record their moves and scoring points for every correct move they copied from the animated dancers.  They did it so seriously.

Games festival 2012

All the young boys were on the racing car and shoot-em up games.  If not shooting or racing, other males were on the 1st floor of the building partaking in the Rubiks cube tournament.  Some were so good they weren’t even looking at the cube while they completed it and others only used one hand.  I personally have never been able to do a rubiks cube without taking it apart!

Flip 2012

Face painting was very popular this year. It seemed to be, wherever you looked, children and adults alike were painted with patterns and bright vivid colours.

And the new hit game of the year – there didn’t seem to be one – unlike one previous year where everyone was playing Blokus.  We played it too and loved it so much we bought it.

Trends for 2012 – well – you can’t escape them – only a head shot will do …

Flip 2012

Zombies !!

Fête Des Nationalites 2012

Each year the Comité des Fêtes hosts an evening soiree to celebrate the diversity of the nationalities of the residents of Gourgé.  There are 12 different nationalities – French, English, Scottish, Portuguese, Mexican, Australian, Dutch, Turkish, Spanish, German, American and Romanian.

The first soiree held was three years ago and was an introduction to all the varied cultures.

The drinks and meal were all Dutch based.

Last year was the turn of the Mexicans.  There was a slide show highlighting the  country,  culture and  famous sights.  Margaritas,  Mezcal and a traditional Mexican honey based drink – Xtabentún – were served as pre drinks.  The meal consisted of Quesadillas,  Tortillas, Mole, Frijoles and other spicy delicacies.  All enjoyed to the sounds of Samba and a little bossanova !  After the meal some individuals gave a little turn by singing a song or doing a little dance.  At this point we left but were later informed the evening didn’t really finish until 0430!

Now to 2012 – the turn of the English !

Adrian volunteered to do a presentation on the history of British beer, brewing, pubs and he made a selection of traditional beers for sampling.

The car was loaded up with beer, a projection screen, laptops, various malts, hops and various other beery paraphernalia.


We had a selection of malts on hand for the show’n’tell.

fete-03 - Barley selection

An old gentleman came up and after asking a few questions about the different malts, he recounted his story of wartime occupied France when there was no coffee available – he told us how they used to roast malted barley at home to make a powder to make a coffee substitute.

He had slightly moist eyes at the end of the tale – quite lovely.

fete-03 - Hops

Adrian brought hops from New Zealand, Slovenia and… Blighty!

All quite different and one of them was outrageously skunky.

fete-04 - the small screen glasses and books

On the small screens we had a little running gallery of beer related pictures.

Ancient pubs, drayhorses, beer engines for hand pulled pints. It was suprisingly popular.

A little selection of brewing and beer history books and an introduction to the best drinking vessel in the world. A 568ml dimpled pot! Enough to make a grown man cry.

fete-05 - samples on offer

All the tasters laid out.  In this shot… from the back… our Timothy Taylor clone, an ancient 1750’s London porter, 1840’s IPA and a contemporary recreation of an oatmeal stout clone from Samuel Smiths in Tadcaster.

fete-06 - mrs fod gives good head

The  Oatmeal stout … a big surprise for everyone that tasted it.  Adrian had also germinated some barley to show where the sugars originated from and where his photo publishing debut was inspired from !

fete-07 - IPA to die for

Adrian’s IPA.  There were a few ‘WOW’s and a few people who have no doubt never had anything that bitter in their mouths before!

fete-08 - crowds take their places for dinner

Crowds take their places for supper.  Starter – Mulligatawny soup.  Main – Hot pot, potatoes and carrots with swede.  Desert – Trifle, Victoria Sponge Cake or Banoffee Pie.  Cheese – Jacobs Crackers with  4 different cheeses including Cheddar and Wensleydale. Tea or Coffee.

A lot of elderly people in the village turned out. They didn’t stay for the singing and the dancing.  We left around 0130 as the night was winding down.

fete-09 - god save king george
Other presentations were of the Royal Family past and present with wedding memorabilia from the  most recent royal wedding. A bowler and top hat adorned one table and I had created a slide show of all things British projected onto the screen throughout the evening.  From red telephone boxes to cornish pasties, The Angel of the North to full english breakfasts, Wimbledon to Churchill and many many more.

All in all a very enjoyable evening and hopefully a little eye opener for our French friends and hosts.

Next year – the nationality will be  …. French – not sure what to expect !!








The Oxford Companion to Beer

Something of a red letter day at Chez Bellebouche this afternoon. The culmination of a long long wait… my publishing debut!




Related Posts with Thumbnails