Recipe: Giant vol-au-vent stuffed with spinach, mushrooms and goats cheese

  “Oh my god, the oven’s on fire!” This wasn’t quite the statement I had intended on making while cooking Den’s birthday meal. In my mind, I would flit around the kitchen, looking all chic and glamorous while creating a culinary masterpiece – a bit like Nigella would. What actually happened was that I got distracted…

Too fat to run? Not me!

Hands up if every January, “lose weight and get fit” are among your new year resolutions but come February you’ve lost nothing but the motivation. Yup, me too. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, I don’t seem to be able to lose weight. For example, three weeks in India at the start of…

Help us prevent the destruction of the Dordogne countryside

One of the many things we like about France is its commitment to the environment. We understand that the country has ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, tackle  local air and water pollution, and put in measures to manage waste and conserve biodiversity. All of which are hugely attractive to us as residents. Coupled with this is…

Meeting the “locals”

“There seems to be something blocking the vacuum cleaner,” said dad as he attempted to hoover the carpets in the gite. My parents are currently over to visit – or should I say, ‘work’. They very kindly offered to come and help decorate the gite, our first big project and one which is taking more…

Blooming lovely

After five days of almost continual rain, I looked out of the window this morning to find the skies had cleared and things had brightened up (albeit just a little). While the rain had caused some areas of the land nearby to become waterlogged, to my delight it also seems to have encouraged some more…