Saturday, 26 October 2013

Promoting local trade

This part of Burgundy attracts quite a few tourists, and for a varied number of reasons.

Pot d'accueil - Saint-Gengoux-le-National
Some come here to cycle, others to walk; some are hunting for special wines, others want to indulge in culture; and even tourists with a more contemplative character looking for spiritual enrichment will find what they are looking for, with Taizé next door.
Of course that is good news for those working directly in the tourist trade, such as gîte owners, hotels, camp sites, restaurants, but also local traders would not mind to get a small piece of this pie.

Smoked salmon of Fumage Artisanal de Bourgogne
And that is exactly the reason, why the Tourist Office in Saint-Gengoux in close cooperation with the local traders organises, during the summer months, on Sunday morning between 11h00 and 12h00 a pot d'accueil. During this event the local tradesmen and tradeswomen can promote their produce.
In practice this means that the local wine growers will present their wines, the various pastry cooks will dish out samples of their produce, and the same goes for domestic caterers, an artisanal Scottish salmon smoker, a producer of fresh fruit juices, etc. etc.
In a word, there is something to everyone's taste, and apart from tourists who have been informed of these tastings by the campsite, hotel or gîte they are staying in, there are always those tourists who popped by just to get the town map but who stayed much longer then they intended.

The contribution of Chocolatier Demortière
And of course that is the whole purpose of the exercise. The local traders are convinced that this promotion gives them clientele they would normally not attract to their shops.

The proprietors of La Tuilerie de Chazelle are usually also present at the pot d'accueil as volunteers of the OT Saint-Gengoux.

Saturday, 12 October 2013


Cormatin has finally its own, big flea market. Although the village hosts each year, on the 14th of July, a Brocante de Qualité, where one has to pay an entrance fee only to browse, it has always been lacking in the free flea market department. And that is something each self-respecting village around here has, at least once a year. For the very first time this year the Amicale de Cormatin (the village committee) had organised a flea market at the Plan d'Eau (on the green around a big fish pond), under ideal circumstances. It turned out to be a beautiful day, with a calm breeze, every so often a light veil of clouds, hence not too hot and not too cool. The public interest from sellers and buyers alike was so overwhelming, that by 3 o'clock all hot dogs had been sold out, and the members of the Amicale had to pick up their own personal wine stock from home because otherwise there would be no decent drinks available.
Because who can imagine a Burgundian flee market where one could not also enjoy a good glass of wine?

Plan d'Eau - Cormatin
La Tuilerie de Chazelle is an excellent base of operations for a search of brocantes and flea markets.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

A guest writer

Map of Clochemerle
A few days ago I received an e-mail from a total stranger, who obviously had read and enjoyed my blog. When I asked him if it was alright to publish his interesting account of his holiday around here, he gave me permission straight away. And as a small reward for his kindness I will attach the map he had been searching for as well!

Hallo Cees,
A few days ago I googled for a city map of the fictive village Clochemerle and one of the search results directed me to your blog. Well, I didn’t find the desired plan there, but as Burgundy is one of my favourite holiday regions and as we do share a common interest for Romanesque churches, classical music and best of all: the combination of it! That’s why I find your blog VERY interesting.
On my holiday trip last summer my first destination was the "aire camping-car" at the old station in Saint-Gengoux-le-National. To move my legs a little bit after the long trip from Bavaria I took my bike off the rack and cycled along the voie verte and into Cormatin. There I saw a poster of a concert in some chapel with guitar and bandoneon music which attracted me very much. Unfortunately I had nothing to take notes with on me - no pen, no mobile phone. So I had to memorize the info. The other day I dropped into the tourist office in Buxy and the nice Ladies there could tell me that the concert was on 23 June in L’Eglise de Chazelle près de Cormatin!
But fate had arranged something else for me. The same day there was a flute concert with four wonderful young Ladies at the Romanesque church of Baugy – I don’t have to explain to you where that is…

Concert in the recently restored church of Baugy
The other classical music highlight of my summer holiday was a concert in Le Pinacle (Saint-Vallerin, about 6 km south of Buxy) where the owners opened their parlour for a wonderful Sunday afternoon event. If you have never been there you really missed something!

Concert in Le Pinacle - Saint-Vallerin
The last evening I celebrated midsummer, the Feu de la St Jean on a hill close to the Grottes de Blanot … which wasn’t too far away from your place.
I’m already looking forward to my next holiday in Southern Burgundy and maybe even a concert in Chazelle will be the musical highlight next time… I will write in advance to the office de tourisme in Saint-Gengoux /Cormatin for information of the musical events in your area and I will definitely keep reading your blog to get new ideas for my next vacation in Burgundy.

Best wishes from Bavaria
Georg Albertshauser