September Activities: My top 4

September is one of the best months to visit the Charente. The sun is still strong enough so you can still walk in shorts and tops and important for lot’s of people the children are back to school! There are more different activities in this month around the corner than in other months.

My top 4 :
1. A day at the races in Jarnac, starting this afternoon and on the next 2 Sundays as well. The atmosphere is great and the gambling too, even if you don’t win, it’s a nice afternoon out.
2. A nocturnal walk through the vineyards where there are stands where you can drink, eat and dance. Better known as the ‘March de Mareuil’.  Every year there is a different theme and this year it was ‘Continents’. Last night there were about 2000 persons. The ladies we have in our B&B were very enthusiastic and they have done this walk for several years already. For only 14€ you will get food and drinks.
3. The 3 days foire/expo in Barbezieux. During the day and evening you can find stands with specialities of the region, but also with agricultural machines, etc. Every night there is an open air concert with a different singer/band. On Friday evening you normally have somebody who used to be populair in the 70’s. Last year there was Michel Fugain (for the 2nd time), this year Sheila (without the Black Devotion) and in the weekend more young performers.  The tickets including the concert (mostly about 90 minutes) costs only 6€ !
4. And the best one is of course in our own village. Here is the program for the coming week. We still have some availability in Au Bellefleur, so don’t miss out these nice events.

C’est la fête de la musique

Last Saturday our Comité des Fêtes organised ‘La Fête de la Musique’, an annual event in the whole of France. Officially it’s on the 21st of June, but since this is a weekday, it has been decided to have it on a Saturday. It was a pity that it took some time before the public came, due to the football no doubt, because everybody received a leaflet in their letterbox.

Anyway of course we were there again….You know there’s no party without ‘The Porters’ from ‘Au Bellefleur’.

We have been lucky with the choice of the bands. Burning Acoustic, with lead singer Walter Michel, played and sang songs from Peter Gabriël, Depeche Mode, Fleetwood Mac, etc.
We had a lovely chat with Walter from Burning Acoustic, here in this photo as well.

Mathieu Gautier, went solo with keyboard and later his group Anagramm joined. Despite his cold Mathieu (we had a little chat with him) performed  ‘Somebody that I used to know’ by Gotye (Belgian guy) very well. Furthermore we have heard some songs by the Police, Genesis, etc.

Burning Acoustic  in concert live unplugged will perform during the Blues Passion Festival in Cognac. (Free admission)
Thursday 5th of July at the restaurant “le patio”

Friday 6th of July too at the restaurant “le patio”  at 21h30  42, Avenue Victor Hugo
Sunday 8 th of july from 11h30 a.mTo 14h30 p.m at Bar/Brasserie l’Express  17, Place François 1er.

Here are a few live video’s I took during the event and which I have put on our channel on you tube. And our Au Bellefleur video channel is:
Au Bellefleur – Sigogne You tube channel

Mathieu Gautier Somebody I used to know

Mathieu Gautier Wild World and other

Anagramm Walking on the Moon

Burning Acoustic Solsbury Hill

Burning Acoustic Message in a bottle

Onze 1ste betalende gasten

….gelukkig niet onze laatste!

We waren in maart 2007 definitief in ons huis komen wonen en in augustus dat jaar kregen we onze 1ste betalende gasten al! De mooie B&B kamer ‘Porte-Bonheur’ was net klaar, maar de rest eigenlijk nog niet helemaal. En onze lieve gasten Caroline en Eric kwamen uit België.
Caroline heb ik in Londen leren kennen toen we daar nog woonden en zij via de fanclub van Julien Clerc wat spullen te koop aanbood. Tja die wilde ik wel kopen van haar, maar de afstand was groot. Gelukkig wilde het toeval dat Eric voor zaken in de Britse hoofdstad moest zijn, dus spraken wij af in een restaurant. Onze dochter Fleur (toen nog Fleurtje van drie-en-een-half) ging natuurlijk met mij mee en we hadden direct een click. We hebben wat contact gehouden en toen we eind december 2006 in Nederland bij mijn moeder tijdelijk inwoonden, had Caroline een schattig ensemble opgestuurd (rokje en t’shirt) van K3 die op dat moment bij Fleur met stip op nummer 1 stond.
Enfin, Caroline en Eric kwamen in augustus onze B&B bezoeken en achter de schermen ging alles fout wat maar fout kon gaan. Zo waren er ‘meringues to be’ in de oven op veel te hoge temperatuur en de tournedos oneetbaar en het diner moest dus snel op het allerlaatste moment worden gewijzigd.  Vraag niet hoe we het hebben gedaan, maar het lukte en belangrijker nog zij hebben niets gemerkt van ons gestress in de keuken. (Sindsdien ben ik de chef….hahaha). Ook weet ik nog heel goed dat ik bij het afrekenen voor de allereerste keer een briefje van 500€ onder ogen kreeg.
Om wille van de privacy geef ik geen achternamen, maar wel wat zij in het gastenboek hebben geschreven.
Of we nog contact hebben ? Sporadisch maar wel ieder jaar een beste wensen kaartje over en weer.
Wie weet komt het er nog eens van na het lezen van dit blog; dan hou ik jullie op de hoogte.uit gastenboek caroline en eric

Easter/Pâques/Pasen Promo

Can you guess how many Easter Eggs have been hidden in this picture ? Send your answer by e-mail to If your answer is correct and…..
If you book a minimum stay of 2 nights in a row in B&B Au Bellefleur, on your second day we will prepare your picnic for 2 persons for free. Valid until 31st December 2018.

Pouvez-vous deviner combien d’oeufs de Pâques ont été cachés dans cette image? Envoyez votre réponse par e-mail à Si votre réponse est correcte et ……..
Si vous réservez un séjour de minimum 2 nuits consécutives au Chambres d’Hôtes Au Bellefleur, le deuxième jour, nous préparerons votre pique-nique gratuitement pour 2 personnes. Valable jusqu’au 31 décembre 2018.

Kunt u raden hoeveel Paaseieren wij verborgen hebben in deze foto? Mail uw antwoord  naar Als uw antwoord correct is en ………
Als u een verblijf van minimaal 2 nachten aaneengesloten boekt in B & B Au Bellefleur, verzorgen wij op uw tweede dag uw picknick voor 2 personen gratis. Geldig tot 31 december 2018.

Easter eggs 1.jpg

Bordeaux…here we come!

 Text in French, English and Dutch

Depuis la nouvelle ligne de chemin de fer est opérationnel, vous voyagez d’Angoulême à Bordeaux en seulement 36 minutes et cela pour 10 € (aller simple). Dites oui à ‘Ouigo’.Cela signifie qu’après le petit-déjeuner, vous arriverez à la gare d’Angoulême en 30 minutes et que vous serez à l’heure pour l’apéro et le dîner chez Au Bellefleur. Une bonne journée dans le petit Paris.ouigo train

Since the new railway line has been in place, you can travel from Angoulême to Bordeaux in 36 minutes for just 10€ (1 way). I say yes to ‘Ouigo’.
This means after your breakfast you drive in 30 minutes to Angoulême station and you will be back in Au Bellefleur for cocktails and dinner. A day well spent in ‘little Paris’.

Sinds de nieuwe spoorlijn operationeel is, reist u vanuit Angoulême naar Bordeaux in slechts 36 minuten en dat voor 10€ (enkeltje). Zeg maar ja tegen ‘Ouigo’.
Dit betekent dat u na uw ontbijt in 30 minuten naar het station van Angoulême rijdt en u op tijd bent voor het aperitief en diner in Au Bellefleur. Een wel bestede dag in ‘klein Parijs’.

Passports & Paris, Trips & Tips (part 2)

The Photographer:

The tube took us to the Photographer and the shop looks bigger on the website; it is very small and space for 4 customers!

The photographer will first complain about the Dutch Embassy because they are so difficult with the photos, but he still likes to make an exception. It is quite a character but a very nice man. The advantage is that he gives you prints in 2 copies of 3 or 4 different sizes (zoomed-out/in). Costs: 15€ per sheet. Although small, he has everything you need for your photo work. porter-girl-top
(tip 2)

Zoë Photo
147, Rue d’Alésia
75014 Paris

Passports & Paris, Trips & Tips (part 1)

Since the Dutch embassy in Bordeaux has been closed for renewing passports we have a choice either to go to the Dutch embassy in Paris or to a few town halls in The Netherlands.
After a long debate with myself I have chosen to go to Paris during the school holidays. The appointment at the Embassy has been made 2 months ago and all endless and necessary documents and forms were filled and witness of signature from my husband, for our daughter since she’s a minor, by the local gendarmerie. Hotel booked near Gare Montparnasse and train tickets too. At home I had already figured out which metro lines we had to take to the photographer who could do the photo’s since the Dutch Government is very strict, to the Embassy, to the French ‘Madame Tussauds’ Museum and even a selection of 4 restaurants near the hotel. Yes, I am very organized and not to your surprise I had already enough tube tickets.

A friend of ours took us to the train station in Angoulême, because the regional train 5 minutes from us had different time schedule and with the new line, the fast train booked by ‘Ouigo’ took us in 2 hours to the heart of the city. (tip 1)

ouigo trainTip 1:

 If you travel by train, try to buy tickets for ‘Ouigo’ tgv is also of the sncf but significantly cheaper. The consequence will be that the you will leave in the middle of the day. We paid, in the February holidays, from Angoulême to Paris-Montparnasse for a one-way ticket 15 euro per person, that includes a normal size rug sac or a trolley (you have to pay extra money for extra luggage).We left at 12:30 and 2 hours later we were in Paris. Make sure you are at the station really at least 30 minutes before departure of the train. There is a very strict check for both your ticket and your identity card. As a result, you may get a bit of an idea of ​​’all cattle to the slaughterhouse’, but for 15 euros you will get over it.

When you book your ticket, you will receive your email with the download print about 6 days before your departure (I got it 2 more times!). Read this carefully, you do not arrive in Hall 1 or Hall 2 in Montparnasse but in Hall 3 and that is really 10 to 15 minutes walk to the metro and the big hall. You have fixed seats and good seats, but no socket for your phone / laptop. There are also no bins near your chair, but a big one in every carriage; Note: you must put your waste in a plastic bag before you throw it away. Take your own food & drinks with you, there is no facility. Yes there are toilets. On the outward journey, an employee came by with a large plastic bag towards Paris, but not on the way back.ouigo outfit staff

On the way back we left Paris at 15:15 for the rate of 15 euros per person. At the platform someone from ‘Ouigo’ with a microphone is telling everything; It can not be missed especially if you see their outfit. Incidentally, no minute delay.

But because they drive at not such a popular time, you have to consider an overnight stay which is a joy to see a bit more of Paris.

Big Names at Cognac Blues Festival

Cognac Blues Festival 2018 logo

To celebrate in July 25 years CBF (Cognac Blues Festival) some more big names have been announced to give a concert.

Earlier I wrote already about James Blunt (You’re beautiful) who will perform on Friday 6th July.

james blunt

Wednesday 4th July: Santana (with their mega hit ‘She’s not there’) certainly will give Cognac a ‘wake-up call’.Carlos-Santana

You will find live music during the whole week in the streets and in some bars of Cognac, and even better during the day they are free of charge!

In B&B Au Bellefleur awaits you a warm welcome where you can come and go as you please because we will give you the keys and we will offer flexible breakfast hours so you can have a lay-in when you book 4 nights we will pay 1.
Click for details:   ⇒   Promotion Au Bellefleur

We are only a 15 minutes gentle drive away from Cognac.