• Our area,  Things to do

    The Bayonne Ham Festival

    A few weeks ago, we came across the Bayonne Ham Festival during another one of our many DYI store trips to the French Basque capital. It became evident that something big was happening in town when we saw cars parked all over the roundabouts, miles before we got anywhere near the centre. When we finally reached the banks of the river Nive, we understood why. Dating back to 1462 (yes, that’s right!), Bayonne Ham Fair takes places every year during the Easter weekend. Over 30 local producers compete in showcasing their produce. Three different elements — pigs bred for meaty, muscly back legs, a rich diet of grains and nuts…

  • Our journey

    Biarritz, here we come!

    We left London on 5th November with only a couple of suitcases with destination Biarritz. Our cat, Heathcliff, left behind in a cattery in West London until travelling arrangements for him could be made. We stayed at the same hotel (Best Western Kemaris) where we stayed at a little over a year before, when we came to prospect and fell in love with the area. It was raining and cold when we arrived in Biarritz, but that didn’t stop us from going out. We remembered a few places and made our way to Bar Jean, a magnificent Basque restaurant by the central market, where we ordered an excellent Rioja, sardines and…

  • Biarritz,  Our journey

    A new life begins

    I am sat at the table Alistair made from a wood plank that he had varnished himself and to which he had attached copper steel legs: the same one that dominated the kitchen in our flat in Streatham. Now it looks like a miniature in comparison with the vast space of the open plan first floor of the barn that it is now our home in the South West of France. Outside in front of me, there is nothing but nature. A river (Le Saison) is flowing through our land and the only other house we can barely see through the branches of the trees that line up the river…