Twins on tour

Hattie and Joe’s French Adventures: Brantôme

After hanging out with the grandparents yesterday while Mummy and Daddy enjoyed a child-free excursion, Hattie and Joe were delighted to discover that, today, we were all heading to Brantôme (pronounced ‘bran-tom’) for the weekly market. And I was delighted too, as it’s my favourite place in France so far, and we visit it during every French trip. 

We started off with a run around in the Brantôme playground, which was typically cool: fenced, safe, and with a good selection of equipment for children of all ages:


We had a mooch through the market, making a stop at a lovely wooden toy stall:

 

We bought the kids two sets designed to help them to get to grips with maths in a couple of years’ time:


And after mentioning to the stall holder that we’d bought other things from her during previous visits, she very kindly gave Hattie and Joe a little necklace each, which made them very happy. 

We bought some delicious local produce and generally soaked up the scene…


Sated, we visited the local abbey for a spot of culture:



All that culture took its toll…


It was time for a cafe break, during which Hattie and Joe entertained themselves by playing that perennial favourite game of siblings: ‘hold the other person’s hands and make them do stuff’:


At this point in the day I was very disappointed to discover that one of reasons I loved Brantôme so much was no longer there: a cavernous secondhand and antique shop in which I’d intended to introduce Hattie and Joe to the ever-satisfying delights of rummaging through mountains of old bits and pieces and finding treasures (and I use ‘cavernous’ very specifically: the shop was actually in a cave). Sadly, the space it occupied has since been carved up into several smaller shops. But all was not lost: I bought myself a lovely linen top in one of them. 

By this stage we were all fairly tired and hungry, so we trudged back to the cars and collected our picnic, stopping on the way to take in the lovely local sights:


We tried for action shots during the picnic, but who can pose attractively with a mouth full of baguette? Joe, Gogga, and I did our best:


On the other side of the table Hattie had a totally different photo in mind:


And we rounded off the meal by having a lot of fun with cheese strings, which is the product of a genius, quite frankly:


There should be more food that you can tie together and dangle into reluctant eating children’s mouths. 

We had a lovely morning in Brantôme, particularly because Hattie and Joe had slept well and were both on excellent form!

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