Today is Monday, which means it’s market day in Castillon. Full of wonderful smells from the bakery stalls, wonderful displays of oysters and paellas, glorious flowers and plants sold from the back of vans and brightly coloured clothes stalls. All based around the town where people stop to greet each other with smiles and kisses and busy cafes drag you in with smells of coffee and eventually the lure of a ‘petit rose’.
Chez Castillon sits right in the heart of this small town in South West France, surrounded by vineyards and neighbouring the fabulous Saint Emilion.
I first heard about Chez Castillon when my friends, Janie and Mike, went to look at the property and phoned me from their hotel in Saint Emilion to tell me they had fallen in love with the place. Giving up their life in the UK, they bought it, moved out and set up Chez Castillon, a place for writing, painting and photography courses. Soon afterwards I visited and fell in love with it too, impossible not to. Set in the centre of the town, but with a quiet, peaceful, walled, garden and its own pool – it is heaven!
It was here I came to get words on the page when I was writing The Oyster Catcher followed quickly by The Olive Branch. And I wrote the whole of The Chestnut Tree in a week here, and still managed wonderful meals, sundowners across the road in Moniques’ bar and of course, my weekly visit to the market.
The Olive Branch is now out as an e-book and comes out in paperback on July 2nd.
I am now planning my next trip out to Chez Castillon, because guess what, I love it so much, it has inspired my new book A Vine Romance and I’m on my way to do some serious research, tasting local wines, enjoying fabulous meals and I can’t wait for my Monday turn around the market.
Chez Castillon inspired me, I’m sure you’ll find it’ll do the same for you.