Belvès shop window

Belvès: a very warm welcome

If I said it was really warm in Belvès during our first week in the village, you’d probably think I was referring to the weather. But I’m not. I’m talking about the people.

The warmth of the welcome we received from the villagers really touched us.

Things got off to a good start when we arrived at the property. The lovely woman we had bought it from had done our marketing for us – with signs in the window about the building’s past… and its future.

Belvès shop window

Then we spotted Bill and Jill, who offer chambres d’hôtes in the village and had put us up for a night earlier this year when we were property hunting.

They invited us into their home for a drink and we filled them in on our plans. They knew two Brits had bought the place, they said – Stéphane, the owner of the restaurant opposite us, had told them.

We decided Stéphane should be the next person we would introduce ourselves to.

As we walked through the door of his restaurant, he came straight over, his hand outstretched. “Bienvenue à Belvès,” he said. “You are very welcome here.”

He went on to explain that his view is that the more a village has to offer, the more people will visit – which is good for all us commerçants. Plus, for him, our wine bar was a great complement to his restaurant.

Positivity like that was just what we wanted to hear.

“Your cheese-and-wine bar is just what the village needs. I wish you every success”

The gift shop next door was our next stop. Again, the owner couldn’t have been nicer – she gave us her contact details straight away, in case we needed anything.

With three introductions done, we headed back to our building to make a start on stripping wallpaper. Later, Stéphane lent us some tools to make the work easier.

Belvès shop window

On Wednesdays during the summer, the village hosts a gourmet night market. We were keen to see what it was like, so we took a makeshift shower, changed into fresh clothes and went and joined in the fun.

We took a table in the shade outside a restaurant on the central square. The owner came over.

“You’re the two men who have bought the haberdashery, aren’t you? Welcome. Your cheese-and-wine bar is just what the village needs. I wish you every success.”

Wow! Word had clearly got around about us.

When we mentioned this to the women who owns the property two doors down from us, she just smiled.

“Well, of course,” she said. “You’re the talk of the town.”

I guess we are. Oh well, as a new business, it’s better to be talked about than ignored!

This entry was published on Sat, 13 Jul 2019 at 09:32. It’s filed under Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

28 thoughts on “Belvès: a very warm welcome

  1. Once seen never forgotten! Eh? You clearly have made a ‘dazzling’ impact! Fab…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sounds wonderful. A few months ago we where out for a walk and we got talking to one person on our way back from the walk everyone we talked to had already been told. Strange at first but I love the community spirit everyone helps everyone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nemorino on said:

    Sounds like you’re off to a good start. Great that the local people are so welcoming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very best of luck with your new venture and your new life. Word travels fast in the countryside! Your neighbours will know what you’re doing before you do…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I knew It French solidarity at work!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charming, heartwarming, what a wonderful welcome! But then with rather a lot of extended family in France we’ve never had anything but warm welcomes – we are part of the family our son married into. Reading your post brought tears to my eyes – you’ve hit a rich seam there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful start to your New Life In…Belvès!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We found most people to be very welcoming and friendly here in Dordogne.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. great…..a brilliant start ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fantastic welcome for you. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Absolutely wonderful. Terrific community spirit to support you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. How wonderful to have such a warm welcome! I guess it’s one of the advantages of living in a village, plus the factor of opening a business. Exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A read with a smile, lots of smiles. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Gail Bradley on said:

    Hi Graham. I am so happy for you both in your choice of Belves. It has a heart unlike any town I have experienced. I think you’ve landed on your feet, and shall most certainly raise a glass with you, and TO you, next year in your newly-named bar. Thanks for liking my modest efforts too. Gail – TwoFranciesinFrance blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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