Chalencon chestnut festival

IMG_0547I was all set to write this blog post last night. But I conked out by 9pm – took myself off to bed and felt guilty about missing a day of the blog post.

But it has been a full on weekend and I was in sore need of a long night’s sleep.

And you are all in sore need of news.  First up a warning: Artur is missing.  When it gets light (it’s only 6am) I need to go up and look for him. He is either accidentally locked in somewhere. Or he has staggered off into the forest on his last walk.

IMG_0548So that’s grim. But I can’t distract myself with that momentous anxiety right now.  I need to send you news of the Chestnut Festival.

It’s a big thing round here – what with us being the centre of the chestnut in this country.   For a month from October 8th to mid November there are eleven villages hosting these gastronomic  nut fests. And this weekend there was one in our close by village.


(Shocking photos – what was I thinking? I do apologize).

I have only been once a few years ago. I recall tremendous crowds and crunching over roasted chestnut shells on the cobbled streets. Crowds aren’t madly me.


And the event always seems to fall in the middle of my bulb planting season. I still have around 1000 to get into the ground and the narcissus need a good long winter of growth. So I am behind.

But luckily I had Lisa and Antoine over for the weekend and what a perfect thing to do with guests.


Yes, Lisa has stepped out of the pages of this blog and made the huge trek over from the south west of France with her chestnut-mad husband Antoine.

Lucky me!  The weather was suitably gorgeous – that’s the drought for you. And we did the sensible thing of getting to the festival on foot. We parked up in the forest and took a little travelled village path to reach the perched village.


I seem to recall massive traffic jams the last time I came.  But we did carry rucksacks for the booty.

We arrived just in time for a quick tour of the beautiful old village inside the defensive walls. And then it was off for a tour of a local chestnut farm with Jean-Pierre at the helm.

I love these talks: you come away fired up and energized and in sore need of attending to one’s own neglected chestnut forest.


But it has already slipped to the bottom of the to do list. Bulbs!  Toil.

And the village planting.  I have grasses and bulbs to put in there as well.

A few hours of walking along the streets sampling the wares: chestnut and mushroom pizza, chestnut shortbread biscuits, you get the idea.  We did sneak away by walking up to the top of the village to marvel at the view.

A perfect place to spot our little mountain top poking out of the landscape.

And then it was back down and a plod home (collecting fallen nuts along the way).


Post script. Found! He just ambled back here 24 hours after going missing. No explanation, no cried of glee (from either of us. I was too busy relieved but also cross!) Just back to his routine as if I haven’t spent ages looking for him. Grrr.