Audrey : I think they would like to move to Avallon!
Lillian : It is a very pretty place - the old town is on top of a hill, surrounded by remparts (ramparts) with watchtowers ...
Audrey : The French people don't say 'cousin' like we do.
Lillian : No - and they say Avallon in a rather unexpected way too.
Audrey : The hill-side is covered with little walled gardens where the locals grow fruit & vegetables and some flowers.
Audrey : Avallon is quite a sleepy little place where men play boules in the parks in the afternoons - the men in the background here were quite young.
Lillian : There are winding, narrow streets with over-hanging buildings; many of them maisons à colombages (half-timbered houses) and as we noticed at Marie-Antoinette's Hameau the French don't paint these buildings black & white but use more natural browns for the timbers and soft cream or apricot for the cob or torchis (a mix of clay, chopped straw, lime and sand).
Audrey : There are also a lot of cats ... tres francais!
Lillian : Yes, and that kitty had been visiting the Costume Museum; it is a private collection, very large - our Stylist went there and was amazed and delighted.
Audrey : Perhaps that is why she loves Avallon - a town with a population less than 7,500 and yet there is a costume museum and a Chapellerie (hat-shop)! Our tour-manager nearly bought himself a very stylish Borsalino!
Lillian : We stayed at Les Capucins - very nice and the restaurant was great but I thought the garden was the best part. There was muguet (Lily of the Valley) in flower!
Audrey : And this pretty flower, which we had never seen before; it looks rather like a row of pink wigs from a production of "Hairspray"! What is it Lillian?
Lillian : I had to research this one - the French call it
Coeur de Jeannette - the Latin name is Lamprocapnos (formally Dicentra) spectabilis - the English call it 'bleeding heart' or 'Dutchman's trousers'!
Audrey : Very cute - more about the lovely town of Avallon in our next post.