On Sunday we were asked to join a group of Arlebossiens and others, who don’t know the village, to test out the new parcous d’interprétation, ahead of its official inauguration in the summer. We are thrilled that Arlebosc is to have its very own discovery route, which has been put together by our friends Elena, who wrote the texts, and Helène at Cairn Interprétation. As you can see from their website, Cairn have created some stunning and original routes, one of our favourites is the Daronne Gorge, not far from here.
Everyone gathered at the Mairie on an unfortunately cold and drizzly afternoon to be given our instructions and divided into groups to test different parts of the route. With our neighbours Brice and Lisa we set off for the hamlets of St Just and les Fauries and were rewarded with stunning views of the spring countryside.
Although we know the area so well and have written our own hiking routes for Walksweeks, it’s fun to get another angle and there is always something new to discover.
The parcours works like a treasure hunt, giving you clues to find illustrated cards (temporarily housed in Tupperware boxes but later in specially designed letter boxes accessible by secret code or in geocaches). Each card fills you in on the history, culture and environment of the village using three major themes: agriculture, religion and the different châteaux.
On our return to base we were asked to complete a questionnaire covering everything from our general impressions of the route to typos and the quality of the information and graphics. It was a very convivial event and there was a great deal of enthusiasm and praise for all the hard work which has gone into the project over the past three years.
The other big news is the re opening of the village café/restaurant after a complete renovation and under new management.
We dropped in for lunch on Monday, having totally run out of provisions, and were very impressed. The menu du jour was crudités followed by local specialities: caillette, served with artisan ravioles. There was then a choice of cheese, (either a selection or fromage blanc à la crème or with fruit coulis) or to go for one of the home made desserts: chocolate mousse, tiramisù or a royal or tropézienne cake.
The quality of both the ingredients and preparation was really excellent: the caillette was cooked in a marchand de vin sauce – a novel idea and very successful, and the chocolate mousse was utterly delicious. With a carafe of wine the bill came to 15 euros per person. Pretty unbeatable value!
We and all the village wish the best of luck to Olivier and Sandrine in their new venture and we shall be back soon for sure.