It was pre-arranged with our cycle trial holiday guests that for their 4 night stay, I would book them evening meals with 3 local restaurants to enjoy the cuisine after their day in the saddle. The last night, tonight - I would provide dinner and they would join H and I at the table for their assortment feedback of views, constructive criticisms and ideas.
Firstly, I needed to walk the dogs quick, then dash into Ruffec for food shopping…
Once back, our guests were ready to be off on their unguided tour. That’s when I spotted a neighbour that we hadn't seen for a year or so walking into our garden. I went out to greet her, surprised at her spur of the moment visit when she exclaimed that she desperately needed a decent haircut and ‘did I have my scissors with me this trip?’ (apparently her daughter had spotted me walking the dog’s earlier)
“Sure,” I said. “I can do haircuts later on my way back from the supermarket…”
She laughed. Noting the puzzled look on my face she declared that it was Labor day here in France and I’d be lucky to find any shop open at all.
The prospect of two thin and crispy pizzas in the fridge with zilch exciting toppings on between 6 of us for supper filled me with dismay, so I wangled a deal… 2 hair cuts in exchange for whatever she had in her freezer.
“I have a leg of Lamb.” She suggested.
“What were you thinking of cooking?” she said.
“Toulouse & Lentil sausage casserole.” With that, she went off - to return 10mins later with 4 pkts of Morrisons English frozen sausages. I slightly panicked thinking how I was going to pull off a decent supper with whatever else I could find stored in the food cupboard...
Later however, whilst our guests were out cycling around the beautiful village of Nanteuil-en-Vallee they discovered that not only was the tiny village shop open but the local butcher too... I jumped in the car and dashed over before the two shops closed - brilliant! not only did I stock up on bit's from the shop but I got some big fat traditional Toulouse sausages from the butcher's and some fillet steak for a second choice (to keep the guys happy) By the time our guests got back from their ride, I was on a cooking mission in the kitchen relieved with the purchased ingredients I had to cook with. The guys continued discussions about bikes whilst lazy around on the sofas to the sounds of jazz softly whispering out from the speakers. The wine flowed in the kitchen as the girls joined in insistent on helping me with pud. All ended well. Phew!
We finally sat round for supper engaging in conversation receiving our feedback with open minds...
The cycling reviews were great, they complimented Roddy on his knowledge and cycle experience and how he looked after the girls on the ride, making sure they were okay rather than heading off down front with the boys.
The accommodation however was not for them... they are 'hotel people', used to spa's, gym's, tennis courts and luxury pools that come with 5 star accommodation. That's fair enough, we are all different. We know our market sit's catering for people who don't mind the rustic feel of an old comfortable homely farmhouse...
Lesson's learnt - remember to check all bank holiday dates!!