Next time you need a tabard, a tea towel, a torch or a toilet brush, head to Castillonnès on a Tuesday. That’s market day in the Lot-et-Garonne village and it draws in the crowds.
Yesterday, the high street was packed with locals and tourists alike selecting the perfect fish for their lunch or a local cheese to follow. This would be washed down with a local wine, courtesy of one of the local vineyards, some of which also had stalls on the high street.
Castillonnès is a bastide village, so it’s on the tourist trail already, but Tuesdays are especially busy.
The day is an excuse for the local ex-pat community to get together too. They come into the village to stock upon things they need and the company they crave.
Three cafés vie for their business: L’Abrevoir in the high street, and Les Arcades and Le Ch’ti Creux on the central square.
The café owners know the group will often sit there for much of the afternoon, drinking, eating and swapping stories.
And so it proved yesterday. Le Ch’ti Creux – owned by a family from the north of the country, hence the ‘ch’ti’ – was the beneficiary of their custom.
We joined the group for a glass or two and a plate of food, enjoying their company until mid-afternoon.
Thing is, I never got round to buying a tea towel with depictions of local tourist attractions. Oh well, there’s always next Tuesday…