Monthly Archives: September 2014

Fall For The Beautiful Charms Of Lot And Midi-Pyrenees This Autumn

A View to ShareSummer is drifting lazily into autumn; most of the year’s tourists have gently ebbed away for the season, leaving little behind but fond memories as they return our picturesque corner of France to the locals.

Which, we think, is a shame. Lot is rarely more beautiful than on a soft and warm early autumn day, when the turning leaves add a blaze of burnished gold to the crests of the gently rolling hills.

Anyone who has read our blog will know that we have waxed lyrical about our wonderful and beautiful part of the world before. And you’ll also know that we believe the best and most relaxing way to soak up all the scenery is from the saddle.

But there’s still plenty to do even when you’re not on horseback; even now, when the long, hot summer of festivals and events has wound almost all the way down.

There’s still the natural and man-made beauty of our part of the world to enjoy – and it can stay pleasantly warm and sunny here long into October.

Well we would say that. We’re a little biased. We’re lucky enough to live here. We love it and we want to tell the world all about it, but don’t just take our word for it.

Earlier this year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published the results of a global study into quality of life. And the Midi-Pyrenees, the region to which Lot belongs, was found to be the best place in France to live.

The medieval streets of Cordes-sur-Ciel. An astonishing place, whatever the season
The medieval streets of Cordes-sur-Ciel. An astonishing place, whatever the season
Our part of the world also boasts more astonishing historical places to visit than it is possible to shake several sticks at, let alone one.

Cordes-sur-Ciel – the beautiful medieval town that’s less than 30 minutes from Château de Laumière by car – has recently been named the best town in France by viewers of the country’s national TV channel France 2.

The history books and Wikipedia will tell you that Cordes-sur-Ciel sits atop a hill in the northeast corner of our neighbouring Midi-Pyrenees’ department, the Tarn. They will say that it is a well-preserved fortified town that was built in 1222 by the Count of Toulouse, who, though not a Cathar, tolerated what other Catholics considered a heresy.

Imposing: The first view of the ancient town of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn
Imposing: The first view of the ancient town of Cordes-sur-Ciel in the Tarn
They won’t tell you will need to have an ice pack to hand to soothe your chin after it hits the floor when you first cast eyes on the place. As you walk along cobbled streets that have been there for nearly 800 years, gazing at buildings that have stood for almost as long, looking out over a landscape that has been there for aeons, you’ll realise, as the pain in your chin recedes, that you’re somewhere truly special.

Then, a little further along, sitting in a plain of beautiful French countryside and protected from view until it’s ready to take your breath away, is the episcopal city of Albi, one of several UNESCO World Heritage sites close to Château de Laumière.

This is where we live. And, honestly, it’s hard to think of better time to be here than early autumn. So, if you can make the most of the October holidays, join us at Château de Laumière and enjoy this part of France – away from all the tourists.

A Poem for Laumiere – by Karen Whitehouse – July 2014

We received this from one of our guests – another Pam Ayers in the making maybe?? and we thought you might like it too. Thank you sooo much Karen:

“I wonder what it will be like there” we said while flying through the air…….
The horses, The food, would they really care?………..
We picked up the car and started on our way
We had already been travelling for most of the day……..
“We are running late” we said on the phone………
To this lady who was letting us stay at her home
“Don’t worry” she said you will “still be fed”……..
And then you can relax in a comfortable bed
We arrived in the village, not knowing where to go……
And then we spotted this….. magical chateau!
“There it is we cried” and then we sped up the drive……..
There, Lynda, Tanya and Chris, were waiting for us to arrive……

The next morning we watched Tanya leading the horses with pride…..
I bet she was wondering……..”can they really ride??”……
We went down to the stables in a rush…….
We wanted to get started and give the horses a brush
Tanya chatted to us about our past…….
To match us with the right horse so we could have a blast
Kez – lively, me – fast, Jayne – steady and Bev – sensible
Tanya’s knowledge of her horses was incomprehensible
And as we led them out to the block, ….we still didn’t know what we had got….
Off down to the ménage for her to view our trot……..
I think we all passed….. when we saw her smile
We then rode through the countryside for mile after mile….

After our ride we got back to the yard……
We were greeted by the dogs, standing on guard
Lynda was creating another gastro delight…….
Could we fit in a cuppa….I think we just might…….
Off to lunch then to meet with our holiday crew…
All the veg on the plate, in the garden it grew
Delicious and tasty, a culinary delight! …..
Lynda,…..you have got the menu just right! …
At 8 we all met and Chris served the aperitif….
With nibbles and treats, it was beyond belief…….
Chris has lots of roles noticed throughout the day
Dog walking, collecting croissants and even making hay!

Just to make sure you know how much fun we had……
And getting back into riding is not just a fad! …..
We could quite easily jump back on a plane…..
And spend some time with you again! ….
The horses were cared for and loved to the core…..
The food was fantastic we could eat more and more
The rooms were comfortable and really clean!….
The chateau itself was sublime and serene……
Thank you All it was really ACE!!!!……
You really do have a fabulous place!………
We will get together and visit again………
With love from us all – Kaz, Kez, Bev and Jayne xxxxxxxxxx

Video of Team trotting’s Horse Riding Holiday in South West France at Chateau de Laumiere

Our Scandinavian guests returned again in early May this year complete with a set of pink T-shirts – Team Trotting at Chateau de Laumiere -for everyone including us. Thank you all!

Although our hacks cater for all levels of riding with plenty of opportunity for good canters and a gallop not everyone wants to do more than enjoy a leisurely ride and take in the countryside. This is the case with Team Trotting hence the name. Whilst here Chris (one of the group) was filming everything and to our delight has sent this momento of their holiday with us.

We are inviting you to share this video as we think it gives a better idea of the countryside you can ride through here than we can describe in words