La Serpate

OUT AND ABOUT IN THE AREA.

LA SERPATE is in the village of ST SULPICE D'EXCIDEUIL and midway between THIVIERS and EXCIDEUIL. Both are market towns, with markets on Saturdays and Thursdays respectively.

EXCIDEUIL is only 8 kilometres away and here there are doctors, dentists, bars, restaurants and all sorts of shops including a good supermarket which opens seven days a week. There are tennis courts and an open-air swimming pool

THIVIERS is a larger town with a bigger market on a Saturday morning. We use the doctors and dentists in Excideuil so I don't know much about these services in Thiviers. There are several bars and restaurants and all of the shops needed to support human life.

PERIGUEUX is an altogether different proposition. This is in my opinion one of the most lovely towns in France. It is the Prefecture of the Dordogne ( = the county town ) In the centre there is a large area of beautifully restored lanes and houses and most of this area is pedestrianised. There are so many restaurants serving food outside in the little squares ( weather permitting, of course, and it usually does permit ) that you might imagine you are taking part in a huge open-air feast. The town has all sorts of animations all summer long and the atmosphere is truly delightful. There are markets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. These are very well supported by the locals; they sell only vegetables, fruit, cheeses, meat and flowers - no tourist tat at all. In 2010 I have lived here forĀ 20 years and it remains a real treat to go into this excellent town.

BRANTOME is about 24 miles ( 40 km ) away. This is a dear little town. The river Dronne divides in two before the town and then meanders through it so that it claims to be The Venice of the Perigord. There are several restaurants in the town - one of which we like enormously.

SARLAT and DOMME are close to each other about 1 1/2 hours' drive away. Both are well worth seeing, both have plenty of fine buildings and restaurants but both can get a bit busy in high summer.

There are chateaux all around - too many to write about. Suffice to say that if you like them you are in for a treat. Another treat is the countryside around St.Sulpice; This really is the greenest, calmest, most authentic part of the Dordogne - the fields are full of golden Limousin cows usually with their calves and a bull; the roads are empty and there is a restaurant in almost every village waiting to fatten you with local produce and, after your meal, the bill is ( by comparison with the UK ) so reasonable you'll think they've made a mistake.